Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Anniversary Hoopla

I suppose I should be all sentimental and nostalgic, thinking back over my first year of blogging, but first there is big news.

The city of Calgary is trying to pass a bill that would see tough fines in place for bad behaviour in public.

Which automatically rules out any thought of having B’con here and hoping John would be one of our featured guests. And I’d so like to see him do a public reading of Hardboiled Jesus at Olympic Plaza. Oh well. Some things just aren’t meant to be.

I did think that, in honour of Calgary’s penny-pinching municipal government, perhaps I should consider pledging to go one whole week without using profanity on my blog, but fuck that. I doubt I could last five minutes on an average day.

Now, let’s see. What happened this year.

November 16
The first person other than my husband commented on my blog.

Hmm. I’ve noticed my blog posts were considerably shorter way back then, but as early as last November I made fun of somebody who submitted a query to Spinetingler.

December 20
I wrote a very naughty Christmas poem about Stuart and John. This poem was accompanied by various Christmas stories that involved Santa, sex and special cookies.

I signed a publishing contract at some point in February as well.

Placed a few short stories. Demolition, Crimespree… I have stuff that will be in Mouth Full of Bullets in the new year and possibly two anthologies.

I interviewed Simon Kernick, after many delays. Of course, I was happy to accommodate Simon, as he’s one of my favourite writers and I enjoyed talking to him.

I met Cornelia Read.

In fact, I met virtually all of you for the first time through blogging. Not Stuart. Not a few others who read and don’t comment (but I know who you are). But most of you.

There have been times I’ve been bummed and times I’ve been psyched, and maybe a few times I’ve just come off a bit psychotic. If I don’t say it, Stuart will.

Other highlights of the year?

Edinburgh. I’ve been to something like 26 countries on four continents and I still tend to be a bit anal when traveling, like to do my homework, pre-plan for convenience. Not with Edinburgh. It’s a city I feel comfortable enough to just go to, and then make plans. I guess it would be best to say I feel at home there. If there is one place in the world I really want to take Kevin to some day, it’s Edinburgh. Of course, we’d need to tour Scotland, to look up that damn family castle of his. His grandmother was a Ramsay.

Some Scottish Author. Well, specifically, the one who got me drunk.

Some Other Scottish Author. This one kicked my ass. What’s with it with these Scottish authors and their abuse? And this one has what remains my sentimental favourite blog.

This Other Scottish Author, who completely cracks me up on an ongoing basis and has a unique relationship with an American who does the same.

And this Other Scottish Writer who is one of my favourite people to hang out with. It’s so much fun to bug someone who’s always more inebriated than you are. And, really, effortless.

Hanging Out With Mark Billingham. Any day with Mark is a good day. He’s a great person. And I interviewed him… finally.

In fact, I’ve had some awesome interviews this year. Mark. Simon. Laura Lippman. Cornelia Read. John Rickards. Upcoming ones with Jess Lourey and Duane Swierczynski. I’d venture to say that it would be hard to top that in the coming year, except I have David Terrenoire, Steve Mosby, Julia Buckley and Allan Guthrie on my list for 2007 already, so I have some great ones to look forward to.

I started the blog with the idea that it would force me to work on writing short, focused stuff on one topic, and when I wasn’t working on a new manuscript it would provide the reason to write something every day.

I think I’ve completely failed on the ‘short’ and ‘focused’ anyway.

The blogging has brought things I didn’t expect. A way to meet people online, many of whom I’ve met in person as well. A sense of community. Through the blog, I hear from a lot of people I suspect I wouldn’t otherwise.

All in all, I’m glad I decided to blog. I personally don’t think you should blog if it’s just to sell yourself, or if you find it a chore. It’s only something you should do if you enjoy it.

And I do. Mostly, because you guys make it so much fun.

On that note, I have some frivolous stuff for you, but first I was thinking that with so many bloggers taking on NaNoWriMo starting November 1 that it will likely be quiet… everywhere. For all of you who’ve decided to take on the challenge, I wish you the best of luck. For those of you still slamming on edits on manuscripts already finished in one form, but needing to be pummeled into another, I hope you have inspiration as well.

And I’d like to point out that all of you starting this challenge November 1 will have an easier day than Rebus.

He’s getting neutered.

An oldie

An extremely modest man was in the hospital for a series of tests, the last of which had left his bodily systems extremely upset.

Upon making several false alarm trips to the bathroom, he decided the latest episode was another and stayed put. He suddenly filled his bed with diarrhea and was embarrassed beyond his ability to remain rational.

In a complete loss of composure he jumped out of bed, gathered up the bed sheets, and threw them out the hospital window.

A drunk was walking by the hospital when the sheets landed on him. He started yelling, cursing, and swinging his arms violently; trying to get the unknown things off, and ended up with the soiled sheets in a tangled pile at his feet.

As the drunk stood there, unsteady on his feet, staring down at the sheets, a hospital security guard, (barely containing his laughter), and who had watched the whole incident, walked up and asked, "What the heck is going on here?"

The drunk, still staring down replied: "I think I just beat the shit out of a ghost."

Bug Off

Wait for it…


angie said...

Happy blogoversary, Sandra! And I LOVED the bug...definitely worth the wait.

JamesO said...

Congratulations, Sandra. And thankyou for a year of bad jokes, interesting discourse and well-constructed rants. I look forward to much more in the future.

Evil Kev said...

I wasn't sure how the masses would handle Sandra uncensored.

Many people use blogs to construct and maintain a nice public image, but you always said what you felt and if people did not like it... well they just had to deal with it.

I under-estimated how many people would respond positively to the often blunt honesty you put out. I guess it must be that many people realize that it is far harder to put your heart on your sleeve than to hide your feelings away.

But I think some of your finest moments were when you defended people or organizations when it was in vogue to slam them.

Giving the ITW a forum to present their side of the story when that award scandal was happening and defending Ian Rankin when he was getting attacked because of an article that I suspect he was misquoted in.

It is always easier to pile on when some one is down, but that was never your style.

You did good. Enjoy this moment and I look forward to the seeing where you will be next year.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Happy anniversary! I'm glad you decided to blog. :-)

Great comment, evil kev!

DesLily said...

Happy Anniversary!.. yet another milestone in "writing"!

I may not comment alot but I am here reading your blog and comments just about everyday!

James Goodman said...

Hooray! Happy blogoversary. :D

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!!!! norby

Anonymous said...

Happy Blogoversary indeed! I just wish I had a team of gnomes or something so I could achieve a tenth your output! Gracious!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Angie, my niece sent me that. I groaned and laughed.

James... bad jokes?! Seriously, thanks.

evilkev, you survive with the uncensored me every day. Are you suggesting you deserve a medal?

SW, thanks, and I feel the same about all of you.

DesLily, I know you're out there! And it's always nice to hear from you!

Thanks James! Thanks Norby!

Bill, doesn't everyone aspire to be more like me? Okay, well, maybe not... But I think the blogosphere would collapse if everyone spouted off as much as I do!

Stephen Blackmoore said...

A week without profanity? What were you thinking, woman? Me, I don't think I could go five minutes.

Very glad you started the blog. Sounds like you've had a lot of good things come from it and your work in Spinetingler and your writing in general. Interested to see what else you do in the next year.

Anonymous said...

Mostly I just aspire to have a team of gnomes. I mean, who wouldn't want a team of gnomes?

Sandra Ruttan said...

Well Stephen, I only said on the blog.

I could be sitting here swearing at you all day, just not typing it. ;)

Yes, it will be interesting to see what the next year brings.

Bill... I do not know. But wouldn't you have to feed them?

Sandra Ruttan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I buy mealworms for Mr. Glubber, our leopard gecko. I'm sure I could just grab a couple extra tubs next time I'm down at the tropical hut.

Jeff said...

Happy Blogoversary, Sandra!

angie said...

No more coffee for Bill...

Gnomes indeed. *says the woman who has 3 garden gnomes... but don't tell anyone! they're kinda creepy!*

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks Jeff!

And I agree Angie. No more coffee for Bill!

Anonymous said...

I just mailed my reg for BCon'07. Can I have some more coffee now?

Sandra Ruttan said...


Okay. They have a great place up there for buying tea and coffee and t-shirts and chocolate. We'll plan to skip out and go shopping at some point.

anne frasier said...

happy anniversary, sandra!

i love evil kev's contribution to the comments.

Daniel Hatadi said...

Happy Anniversary, Sandra. Jeez, only one year and look at what you've achieved. Pats on the backs all round.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Anne, you're going to make his head swell. ;)

Thanks Daniel. I'm really excited for you right now and will be channeling positive energy your direction.

SAND STORM said...

Always late to the party! Happy 1 year to you Sandra, mine is in a week. It has been an interesting and wild (at times) ride. Here is to next year and as the Chinese saying goes "may you live in interesting times".

John McFetridge said...

Now it seems like having Bouchercon in Calgary is a challenge!!

And if you don't, it might end up in Edmonton.

Happy blogoversary.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Sand Storm - one week! Wow! Congrats!

John, Edmonton? Imagine having something called a 'crime festival' in Edmonton. All the authors might have some first-hand experience to write from. (Hey, I live near Calgary. I have to protect myself. You know the rules - no talking nice about Edmonton in the south, no talking nice about Calgary in the north...)

mai wen said...

Awww, my hubby was the first to comment on my blog too! Aren't hubby's great for that?

Russel said...

Zhish osher Shcottish Writerisht issh never drunk or pished or anytshing of the short... Thish iss shlander, young lady... shlander I shays... (hic!)

(seriously - a year, happy, um, whatever we should call this!)

Sandra Ruttan said...

Mai Wen, indeed. They are.

Russel, that's awfully presumptuous of you. ;)