Monday, December 22, 2014

Blog contest results

I ran a quick contest on Saturday, induced when I needed some of the restorative powers of the comment column, and after requesting three count em three full manuscripts in one day.

I asked you to guess how many full manuscripts I'd requested this year.

Some of you clearly missed the "this year" part and thought I meant "ever"

879  Bill Negotiator
741  Laurie Lamb
716  El El Piper
617  Lynn Guelzow
427  Michele Lynn
427   Kalli
402   Erin
333   Denise Beucler
326   Stacy
303   Lisa Bodenheim
301  Ruthy

Some of you might have thought I meant in this decade:

279   Sarah Meral
266   Janet Johnson
258   JennyC
247   Unknown #2
222   Deep River
219   Ellen
212   mrsfringe
205    Alyssa Carlier
204     Becky Mushko
189 Josh Johnstun
178   Dan McFadden
176   MB Owen
162   Wordnerdlove
158   S.P.Bowers
157   Rami McShane
156   Dena
151   Kevin

And then there are those of you who really think I either don't work very hard or am VERY hard to please:

17    Christine Edwards
12    Antonia Malchik
8     slcortazar

 The remainder were in the ballpark at least.

Angela V. Cook was only off by 9
Unknown #3  and Poor Dead Jed were only off by 8

Britta Boudreau and DLM were only off by 1.

That makes Verna Austen the very best guesser at 78.

BUT, the most amazing part of the contest were your comments. Honestly you've outdone yourselves this time. I think I laughed about every single one.  What a great weekend tonic you provided.

Here are just a very few of the standouts:

Ones about the numbers:
Mister Furkles: 
I don't believe it is 47 but I like 47 and it doesn't get the attention it deserves.

Rae Chang: 
49 because it is just so pretty

I'm gonna guess 51. It seems like a cute and oft forgotten number.

My best guess is 8, for no other reason that I like that number. It's neat and tidy.

And comments about the couch and everything else:

Come sob on my sofa. No cats, but a dog who thinks she is one.

poor dead jed: 
I can rent some kittens for the day if you swing the contest my way, Sharky-Snookums. ;-)

Michele Lynn: 
If I win please send a book.
My couch is usually full of teenage girls sobbing over their less than perfect suburban lives,

You are welcome to cry on my sofa. I like a challenge and I need someone new to bake for. These people are animals and not in a good way.

You can come sob on my couch. I haven't done any querying in a while, so my couch could use a good watering.

Unknown (8:49am) 
And I'm going to say book because I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old--I have enough people sobbing on my couch from time to time!

You can come and squall to your heart's content on my couch. Trust me, you'd wail at the sight of it anyway. It's very comfy, but 20 years old. Little dog has decided it's his chore to end it's misery and attempts to destroy a bit more of it everyday. If you're still weeping on it on January 2nd, I'm sorry to say you'll be hauled away to wherever old sofas go.

If I win I'll take the book, because I'm not willing to pay for your airfare all the way to Tokyo. ;)

Amy Simonson: 
138, and I offer my couch and access to all the alcohol in my house which is significant at the moment as I'm hosting Christmas dinner for 14.

If I win, I would like a book please. I was tempted by the idea of you sobbing on my sofa, because I've been doing exactly that ever since my beloved bunny passed away just over two weeks ago, and I figured it was someone else's turn, but I think a book might cheer me up more :-)

p.s. that was not a shameless bid for the sympathy vote. After all, this is not the X factor final

p.p.s if a shameless bid for the sympathy vote would have worked, then please disregard my previous statement

Becky Mushko: 
Should I win, I'll take the book. My couch is full of cats, and they yield space to no one—not even sharks

You can come sob on my sofa, but can you bring a book? I'll make tiny red velvet cupcakes, or green Christmas tree spritz cookies.

Dena Pawling: 
I choose book, because I have a teen-aged daughter, and honestly my house is already way too full of drama.

But nothing by Laird Barron. I scare easily.

Kari Lynn Dell: 
102, because that was my kid's temperature last evening and it's approximately the number of cows and horses I have to pack feed to this morning. And I should take a book because I'm quite sure you don't want to experience the sensation of tears freezing on your cheeks.

Jennifer D: 
Couch, so you can hang with my very sad 5 year old son who thinks he's in an freaking Annie movie because I made him help me clean the house this morning.

S.D. King: 
And somebody's got to sleep on my couch this Christmas - it might as well be you!

LynnRodz: 26 
You can come cry on my couch, it makes out into a queen size bed and quite comfy actually. I'll even have my French chef whip up a wonderful dinner with warm crusty baguette straight from the oven. The wine will be flowing and you'll soon stop crying, because who cries in Paris???

Will be in FL at my parent's with lots of nieces and nephews. Mom and Dad have a comfy couch for sobbing and the girls will paint your toenails cheerful colors.

And here are the two top comments, chosen for very different reasons of course!

Colin Smith:
My guess: 128 (the average of all the guesses as of 11:58 ET).

And I think I'd rather have you sobbing on my couch. It's a win-win for everyone:

My wife will feed you her grandmother's cheesecake, which is beyond awesome.

#1 child will share makeup tips and talk to you about her favorite books.

#2 child will teach you Korean, Chinese, and Japanese, and make her incredible Lo Mein for you.

#3 child will dazzle you with his Legend of Zelda skills, and invite you to team up with him... if you dare!

#4 child will draw your portrait.

#5 child will give you hugs and wait on you hand-and-foot.

#6 child will talk to you about anything. Anything. Don't expect to say much back.

And I won't need a book, because you'll bring all those awesome manuscripts with you for us to read. :)

I pick you sobbing on my couch(it really is comfy), that way I can read you my novel and you can't escape. I can also tuck you in, prop your feet up, it'll be like Misery. That was a feel good story right?

Colin, Brian, and Verna, if you'll email me your mailing address and an idea of what kinds of books you like, we'll get your prizes in the mail.

Thanks to everyone for participating. You not only made my day, you made my whole weekend!


Jed Cullan said...

Congratulations to the winners. However, I now have a problem. I rented the kittens and puppy and baby shark in anticipation of the competition going my way. But it seems I didn't win a visit from Sharky-Santa-Snookums, and can't return these pets until the new year.

The kittens are noisy and keep piddling in my shoes, the puppy crapped on my laptop and then ate my lunch whilst I was coaxing the kittens out of the shark tank, and the shark, it just stares at me. I think it has plans to jump out of its tank tonight and eat me. It's very disconcerting.

So, to cut a long story short, anyone want some pets for Christmas?

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I didn’t win, I didn’t get a mention and when I posted my comment I left out the part about win or lose, I was offering my shoulder if sobbing is what you needed. Forever available, my shoulder and my couch, I have four - couches, not shoulders.
Congrats to the winners and Colin, you are brave and must be pretty frisky.

Just Jan said...

The higher numbers remind me of days gone by when I used to bring an uncarved pumpkin to work and have a "guess the number of pumpkin seeds" contest. Every year, one or two of my employees always guessed in the 20-25,000 seed range. Not sure why they thought I wanted to spend my time counting this many pumpkin seeds, but maybe they thought I didn't have anything better to do.

Jed--always a bad idea to buy pets for Christmas, even if you are expecting company. Maybe you could take the shark to a nearby shelter??

Anonymous said...

Thanks, but no thanks, Jed. Little dog is territorial to a fault, chases stray cats out of our yard, and would think the little shark was a squeaky toy.

Congrats to all the winners! So many comments were AWESOME.

Thanks for the mention Ms. Janet, but, honestly? After ALL you do for us, it's the least we can do for you.

Amy Schaefer said...

I'm glad to see everyone is feeling cheery over the holidays. Or is it just gallows humor? My family parties are over now, and I don't intend to get out of my pajamas for the next week.

But 78? I am impressed. That is three manuscripts every two weeks, in addition to everything else you do. I'm guessing you don't need much sleep.

SLCortazar said...

Congratulations to the winner Verna Austen.

And thanks for the mention ;)

Janet Reid said...

" Maybe you could take the shark to a nearby shelter?? " absolutely cracking up at that image.

Jed Cullan said...

Would releasing the baby shark in the local swimming pool be wrong?

Colin Smith said...

Oh my!! Out of all these wonderful comments? Thank you, Janet! :)

Carolynn: We stopped at six. I love my wife, but, as Groucho Marx is famously supposed to have said, "I love my cigar, but..."--you can look up the rest of the quote if you don't know it. ;)

Anonymous said...

Oooooo...burn! My guess didn't make the cut in any of the listed categories. So I guess the suggestion about seeing a query from a successful book is burned, too...ouch.

Karen McCoy said...

I was fighting sinus gremlins all weekend and couldn't participate, but these were a riot!

Colin: My mother is the youngest of seven, so if my grandfather followed Groucho's advice, I wouldn't be here. He (my grandfather) also had a good saying: "When you stop getting better, you stop being good." These blog posts are definitely proof of that.

Rebekkah Niles said...

Jed - 3 years later - Janet the Shark searches her pool for the fish she ordered, ignoring the foul-tasting queriers perched poolside waiting for their turn to offer a manuscript, always promising stories worth their bytes in mackerel. Meanwhile, a certain agent opens a box containing literal chum, and sends back a request for a full, because it's the closest thing to a query she's gotten since the Shark Pool opened.

Bill Negotiator said...

The comments from Saturday are great. I really like Kalli's ps and pps. My guess was way, way way off.

LynnRodz said...

I'm terrible at math, but I thought 52 weeks in a year, one full request every two weeks - 26. I should've paid more attention to the 3 request in one day. Anyway, I'm glad to see your query appetite is bigger than I thought! And thanks for the mention.

Jed Cullan said...

I actually figured 1.5 per week, got to 78, then thought 69 would be a funnier number.

Just shows, I should try to be funny. No one wins when that happens. ;-)

Sarah said...

You mentioned my post, so I'm calling this one a win. I actually snorted at Brian's, so I'm on board with that answer.


DLM said...

Yay, I came close!

*Strikes up the 76 trombones*

*Gossamer and Penelope line up to be the Big Parade*

Gossie still would welcome you with open paws, though, and you still would not be able to cry. Seriously, his fur is MAGICAL. So if you ever figure out vacation - or if James River Writers ever succeeds in booking you for an event - there's that waiting for ya.

AJ Blythe said...

Was without internet for a few days but reading the comments has made up for missing the contest.

The best comment was Janet's... 78 requested! ~wowee~ 1.5 a week! Just don't spoil that number by telling me how many land in your inbox each week.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Colin, hahahaha. I found the quote.
Hey anybody old enough to remember You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx and his duck?

I know you're out there but will not admit it.

I think I remember but I'm not sure if it's because I'm too old to actually remember or maybe it's from film clips. (How's that for answer?)

stacy said...

Even after a guess that's way off, I still think there's something to be said for blind optimism.

Lilac Shoshani said...

I was so sorry I didn't see the contest in time.

Nevertheless Janet, you are always invited to Tel-Aviv, sobbing or not: my couch is your couch. My hummus is also your hummus. And I promise to cheer you up.

Congratulations to the winners. Colin, your kids sound wonderful. :-)

Colin Smith said...

Thanks, Lilac. I think they are--but I'm biased, of course! :)

Mmmm... hummus. If Janet doesn't take you up on that offer, care to send some my way? :D

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

I knew 33 was wrong as soon as pushed 'publish'. Yesterday we were flying accross the shark infested Atlantic. So only know am reading through the hilarity

Janet, you can still come blubbler on our blood read couch and gnaw on the stuffed animals, pink daulphin with buldging eyes included. We don't have any live animals but there is a vet in the building and maybe he'd let us pet the sick puppies. We've got lots of scotch and the like. My friend has a legalized feline colony, we could go there. She as yellow couch and a fireplace. The cats, 22 of them, are all nutcases from mistreatment. They have scotch too and Pastis if you can stomach it.

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

We just arrived in DC. I was jonsing the whole flight accross the shark infested atlantic, one because I fruitlessy scoured the Charles De Gualle Airport for Jeff Somers (off to find a Barnes and Noble) and a because I wanted to know the winner and read more comments. I knew I was wrong.

You can still blubber on my couch or we could go to my friend's house, she has a legalized feline colony, 22 psycho cats. (abused before arriving on her doorstep) We'd have to bring scotch, to knock off the smell.

Congrats to Verna. And thanks for all the hilarity, best Christmas present so far.

Congrats to all those lucky writes among the 78 that made it to the reef.

Lilac Shoshani said...

Colin, you are very welcome, and I don't think that you're biased at all: your kids are wonderful. :D

And I'd love to send some hummus your way, even if Janet takes me up on my offer.

There is enough hummus for all of us. ;-)

Patti Phillips said...

Absolutely the best blog column ever. I subscribe not only for the great advice, but for the hilarity found in the comment section as well.

Ms. Sharkiness, your awesomeness (and that of your talented clients) reigns supreme!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sad I missed this contest. However, the comments were so much fun.

Thanks to one and all for a fun read.


Anonymous said...

AJ Blythe--

I have it on good authority, Kristen Nelson fields 500 queries a week.

That's a frightening number. I can't even imagine how agents plow through these numbers let alone take care of other business. It makes my head explode just thinking about it. It gives you a whole different appreciation for those brave enough to be agents.


AJ Blythe said...

Julie.M.Weathers, that is a frightening number. Especially when you combine it with Janet's 78... that's only 0.003% who get a request for a full. I don't want to think about the number who get an offer of rep. Denial is a wonderful thing :)

Janet Reid said...

I don't get anywhere near 500 queries a week. More like 100-150 I think. I haven't counted in a while.

Anonymous said...


I was hoping that wasn't the norm for agents. I only know the number because that's what she told me.


One of the agents on a twitter feed said she only requests a handful for every 100 queries. If you read through #1000 queries and #500queries, it's easy to see how many get immediate passes.


AJ Blythe said...

(home from holidays and catching up)

*phew* Janet, you've given me hope!

Julie, I try to block out how many get immediates passes. Hopefully my in-depth scrutiny of Janet's words of wisdom on writing queries will pay off!