Thursday, December 22, 2016

The winner of all of 2017!

I was very hesitant about offering up the planner as a prize cause it felt a bit pedestrian, but I was glad to see there were indeed some folks who both wanted it and could use it!

While this is the last of the giveaways there WILL be content on the blog for the rest of the holiday season. I figure the August hiatus was enough vacation for any of us!

And for those of you regulars who know

Amy Schaefer (12/21/16)
I only have internet access about once every 48 hours, so I'll miss tomorrow's giveaway, too. But I need to share this with you all.

We are in the midst of moving out of Paradise and back home after six years.
We're having terrible issues trying to send our stuff home.
It is very likely that I am going to have to leave ALL of my books on the boat.
All of them.
And did I mention I won't make it home in time for Christmas with my kids, whom I haven't seen in a month?

Okay, I'm done bringing down the mood. Friendly waves all around.

It's one thing to leave all your books behind by choice (as I did when I moved to NYC) but to leave them unwillingly…that's really hard. Let's all send some good vibes in her direction.

And now to today's entries, or comments, or both:

Susan just cracked me up here:

*Trying my hand at brevity. ;)
And Kitty's story of her thrifty grandmama (recycling thread!) and the new garbage pail!
As kind of a joke present for her 90th birthday, my uncles gave her a new garbage pail to replace the one that leaked. She said it was her favorite present and asked me to take her picture with it. She said she had had the old one for 45 years and thought it should have lasted longer.

I think I would have really liked her!

Lisa Bodenheim asked:
And now, O Sharkly One, what is the 1,000 page book you'll be reading? Curious hamster minds want to know.

The Power Broker by Robert Caro.

There's clearly something wrong with me because Megan V's comment cracked me up:
No planner necessary, I have no plans. 2017 will just have to do what every other year before it has done. Hit me with a bus.
I'm just hoping it's metaphorical.

Lennon Faris cracked me up too:
Colin - If you simply change your residency to another planet, you can be whatever age you damn well please.

At least, that's my plan. Currently I think I'm a Martian teenager. Or if I switch to Jupiter, maybe I'll be younger than my kids.

OK, time to turn on a normal facade again. Sorry folks.

Nate Wilson's comment made me laugh:
I have no need for such a planner.
I don't plan; I scheme.

But these two guys just laid me flat out with laughter:

Timothy Lowe
This week has been a testament to a shark's generosity. If anything stranger has happened in 2016, I'll be a monkey's uncle.

(Frain - quit writing your flash fiction about my extended family!)

Thanks Janet - I will echo others when I say this is not a bid for your prize. This blog is the prize.

Happy New Year all!

John Davis Frain
Lowe, I question your use of "extended," but I'll continue to keep quiet about what I know. Nice carton of cigs from your brother last Sunday, by the way. Hint, hint.

No, your other brother.

And the contest would not be complete without a gem from yesterday's winner, Steve Forti

O.T.T.D.O.C., my agent gave to me:
Twelve drafts of edits
Eleven query batches
Ten months of waiting
Nine rejection letters
Eight more submissions
Seven months of rewrites
Six fulls requested
Five new prompt words!
Four editors bidding
Three offers made
Two book deal
And John Frain’s manuscript under the tree

I really liked Gigi Kern's entry because I love the idea of helping her stick to her goals:
I know that if I had your calendar it would inspire me to stick to my writing goals. Deadlines are the little deaths that suck the life from me. But with your calendar, the light of snarky goodness overpower all that doom and gloom. Writing here I come!

As did Margaret Turkevich's
I'm an organizational mess. Your weekly planner, with its implied Shark stare on every page, would motivate me during a complete revision of my debut novel, Curtains for the Corpse.

And Amy Johnson's was fabulous:
A datebook touched by her own fins
Would mean the world to me.
Every day, the whole year through,
I’d take a glance with glee.

Her sharkly inspiration
Would permeate each page.
At last I’d leap off this mousey wheel
And break out of this cage.
And then came dear Donnaeve's plaintive wail:
Me! Please? With cherries on top?

“Why?” the Shark asks?

I always give hubby this exact thing as a stocking stuffer. The stuffing part is questionable - but I do give him one. This is like karma, because THIS year, I waited too long, and NOW I can't find one.


But of course the problem is, it would not get there in time for Christmas.

And then the front runner took herself out of the running:

Amy Johnson

Of course I'm not sure if my little poem is anywhere close to being in contention, but after reading about Donna's icky, sticky pickle, I'd say no thanks in hopes that Donna's husband gets the datebook he's been used to getting each year.

Then Sharyn Ekbergh gave me a lovely idea here:
I think what I would do with this is choose someone who is planning on finishing a book in 2017. Not necessarily me.

My favorite line to start off with, (it may be from John Truby but I'm not sure) is,
"Will writing this book change your life?"

I like the way the line does not say "Will selling this book change your life?" The focus is on the writing of it.
Then I would scatter some inspirations and goals through the book and end in December 2017 with

"Query widely."
but of course, at 88 words, had to be disqualified.

And Scott G just cracked me up with this one:

In 2016, I was late for a procrastinator's convention. The very one I helped organize the year before. We'll have a convention in 2017, I'm sure. We'll use the same theme we had scheduled for this year: "Procrastinators Unite Tomorrow!" Which has been our theme for the past few years, but we've never been able to use it. In fact, it's been our theme since we started thinking about organizing a convention, which we've never had, but I'm sure we'll have one next year, if we start organizing now, which we'll start doing tomorrow, if I could only mark it in my planner, which I don't have.

but it too suffered from serious over word count.

So there were two contenders remaining: Margaret and Gigi. I had to call in assistance to decide. Of course, Her Grace, The Duchess of Yowl was willing to take a look.

She had a different idea of what the prize should be  and she's not all that fond of curtains.

Her choice, and the winner is Gigi Kern! 

Thanks to all of you who entered, and commented, or both.
And the holiday greetings really pepped up the day (mostly spent filing, blech!)

Yes there will be posts in the coming days, but I won't be answering questions till the start of the year. You're welcome to send them in now of course.

And as we all are out and about in the coming days, full of holiday cheer, let's remember the folks who work in jobs that require them to be there on Christmas, not at home. Call center operators, police, firefighters, convenience store clerks, hotel staff, and my personal point of reference: church musicians. 


Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Congratulations to Gigi...!

Janet: A huge thank you for all you do. Thanks, as well, to everyone here. This is the best community on the web. Truth. HUGS to all.

I had a million errands in town today. I was near an office supply store but didn't go in to get my 2017 planner. The reason? Before I left this morning I kept seeing everyone saying they didn't need one. That, and the fact that my mother washed tin foil to reuse. Figured I had this one in the bag. HA! That'll teach me.

Amy Johnson said...

Congratulations, Gigi. I'd use an exclamation point there, but my keyboard is missing a key, and that's the missing one. When I need an exclamation point for my WIP, I have to copy and paste one from Chapter 1, which I worked on before said key came off. If not for the number keypad, I would have just had to spell out "Chapter One." Strikes me as funny. But I'm weird.

Yay for church musicians (pretend exclamation point)

Colin Smith said...

Congratulations, Gigi!! :D

And I echo the thanks of my fellow reef-dwellers to you, Janet for all the fun and support you've given us this year. You're a class act, and the best of Sharks!

Oh, and as a church musician, thanks for the recognition. :D

BJ Muntain said...

Congrats, Gigi!

I, too, am a church 'musician' - singer, anyway. My choir usually sings on Christmas morning, but this year, we were scheduled for Christmas Eve. Which is much more work. At our church, Christmas Eve is the Children's Mass (it's at 7 pm. Our church no longer has a Midnight Mass. Not many young families can do Midnight Mass, so we weren't getting much attendance.) This means our church is filled by 6:30 pm. Imagine all those kiddies at 6:30, waiting quietly (?) for Mass to start, when they get to procede to the front and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. So the choir sings Christmas songs from 6:30 to 7:00, and then starts singing for the Mass. It's fun, but hard on the vocal cords. So why do I love it so much?

Karen McCoy said...

Congrats Gigi! So sorry I missed this! On the upside, lots of edits done today. Huzzah to all the Christmas workers.

Lucy Crowe said...

Congrats to Gigi!
My mother sang in the church choir all of my growing-up years and there was something absolutely magical about midnight mass. Her lovely voice skipped a generation, though - I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but daughter sounds just like her.
Just took cookies to the fire station! Of course, these are my coworkers and they know me well enough to be a little leery. Baking is another gift that kind of skipped over me . . . Lol!
Merry Christmas to all!!

Julie Weathers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Weathers said...

Well, pooh, missed it by that much, but congratulations to Gigi. Very well deserved and a great pick.

I didn't sleep last night, so I decided to take a nap and overslept. My post went up, or tried, to just as it ended.

At any rate, I'm going to share anyway. I bought a lovely new wall calendar. It's top of the line, heavy linen stock and beautiful paintings. I'm a huge fan of Mr. Kunstler's work. It also has on this day historical facts on the days.

This is all great, except I need something to use Victoria Schwab's writing calendar with. Hence, my too late entry in the planner contest.

Now, of course, I can use the Civil War calendar, but I'm kind of anal about covering up the neat little factoids with rhinestones, stars, and funny little stickers. Yes, rhinestones. What can I say? They were on sale and I'm all about the bling.

I do a star for every 500 words. Knowing I just have to do 500 words, which is pretty easy to knock out in those 30 minute sessions. I usually wind up with 1,000-2,500, so don't feel like you're being a slackard if you just shoot for 500 words.

It also works for those other daily goals. 30 minutes of exercise. Sticking to the diet for one day. Reading for an hour. Not defenestrating your husband when he asks what's for supper the third time when you're obviously busy trying to get in 100 more words to get a sticker.

Scott G said...

Congrats Gigi!

Must apologize for the over-wordiness. Completely forgot about it. I guess the good news for next year is that I won't remember what I was late for.

As always thank you Janet, and Happy Holidays everyone!

Janice Grinyer said...

Busy here so I had to brush through JR's post. Read a little too quickly.

I read about Gigi's writing *goats*. oh.

Okay. Good thing she has calendar now...Congrats Gigi! May your goals (and if there are goats) be taken care of in 2017.


Donnaeve said...

Congratulations Gigi!
Uh, where do you live?

Kitty said...

Congrats Gigi!

Janet, I'd like to add doctors and nurses to your list of people who have to work on Christmas. This is the first year in a long time that both my daughter (an Er nurse) and her husband (an ICU nurse) will not be pulling a shift.

Janet Reid said...

uh oh, I suspect Donnaeve is plotting and schemeing.

Claire Bobrow said...

Congratulations, Gigi!

And good call, Janet, re: sending warm thoughts to the folks who have to work on major holidays. Also, I second what Kitty said!

Donnaeve: LOL :-)
Gigi: lock your doors!!!

CynthiaMc said...

Congrats, Gigi!

Julie - when my partner and I were writing A Time for War, I wrote a party scene at Belle Mer, our heroine's home. I sent it to him (he was an Army historian who did the battle scenes and guy dialogue, I did architecture, fashion, romance and frou-frou stuff). He is a Mort Kunstler fan and after he read the scene I sent him, he got a notice about Mort's new painting, Moonlight and Magnolias. It could have been our characters, it was definitely the house as I described it. Our hero and heroine were sharing a kiss (just as I described them, down to what they were wearing) and several of the party guests were spot on for characters we had written down to rank and branch of the service. He thought I used the painting. I hadn't even heard of the guy.

Stuff like that happened a lot. My last ship through the blockade turned out to really be the last ship through before the Battle of Mobile Bay. Good times!

Kae Ridwyn said...

I've been offline, editing, for a few days now - and just look at everything I missed! :(
Congratulations to all winners :) and thank you for the laughs. I'm with those who've said (and will continue to, I'm sure) that being part of this incredible Reef, I feel I've won.

Thank you, dearest QOTKU, for making these waters what they are.

And Merry Christmas, everyone!

[And Amy, I'm sorry. Sending best of healing wishes your way. Leaving books is like leaving friends.]

CynthiaMc said...

And if any of you happen to be in Winter Park, Florida on Christmas Eve, our choir will be singing the 9 pm and 11 pm Masses at St. Margaret Mary on Park Avenue.

Lennon Faris said...

Congrats, Gigi! May your 2017 be super organized and all your goals met!

These were a fun idea.

Julie Weathers said...


Now I'm intrigued. That just means the story was meant to be written. I'm even more impressed you partnered up with a historian.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Ah to live next year as all the others, planning my future with a free calender from my supermarket. Pictures of organic vitamins each month are inspiring. Or I can use my free calender from my bank. Pictures depicting local scenes snapped by customers is very artistic. Mine did'nt make the pick. Perhaps the free calender from my real estate agent would do. Million dollar listings from around the world are'nt depressing. The best planner, yellow post its stuck to the window above the kitchen sink.

Donnaeve said...

You bet I'm plotting and scheming.

Hm...Gigi hasn't even surfaced yet. I swear I didn't go to her house. I swear.

CynthiaMc said...

Julie - I always thought the Civil War story was meant to be written, from the summer I was thirteen, Gone With the Wind was my beach book, and I said "I can do that." We did send it out. One of the agents we sent it to gave it to Tom Clancy to read. Tom liked it and said so in a writer's chat I was in. I said thank you but didn't believe it was really him, though I wondered how he knew me and what I wrote. A mutual friend also on the chat messaged me and said "I do his taxes. It's really him." Then I got the letter from his agent saying he liked it, but Civil War was a hard sell so send him something about Scotland. I love Scotland too. Hubby's family is Scottish and we keep up with his Highland clan, so I wrote one but it was really dark (not my usual thing, but again, that one, Forget Me Not, almost wrote itself.) Life intervened, I never sent it, but I still think about it sometimes. It's still dark, but that's Scotland (my hubby's clan was almost wiped out entirely.)

Even meeting my partner was serendipitous. He bemoaned writing dry stuff no one read (but he got paid for it), my stuff was read, but I had no time for research. It was fun while it lasted.

I still play with the trilogy (A Time for War, A Time for Peace, a Time for Love). It's still the book of my heart and I plan to finish it. Mama always said "Finish what you start." Even if it's just for myself.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats, Gigi.

And yes to the wonderful church musicians. But, hey! Don't forget the pastors who are coordinating and creating and leading worship services. Although Catholic priests don't have children and spouses waiting for them.

Except one Catholic priest I knew who was a grandfather.

Mark Ellis said...

Church music indeed. Over the next two nights I'll be ushering at The Grotto, a national Catholic shrine here in Portland. We've been at it since the day after Thanksgiving. Each year we feature one of the largest selections of choirs in the country. By the time Ms. Reid gets back in 2017, I will have heard "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" at least twenty times. If I want "Rudolph" though, I'll have to turn on the radio or pull out my Christmas CDs. Interestingly, red-nosed reindeer are not technically considered part of the celebration of Christ's birth. :)

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Funny you mention Church musicians. I am one. (Any Mormon who plays the piano is doomed for life.)

And yes, I have a gig on Sunday. My daughter and I have a lovely violin/guitar duet for a congregation of about 500. Our ward loves its Christmas music.

roadkills-r-us said...

First off, Gogo, Gigi! Woohoo!

I didn't enter to win 2017 because I didn't even see it until more than 8 hours after it was posted. Some of us are NOT morning people. And it was a busy day especially for a day I was off work. I was going to try to win it for Sharon; she still uses paper calendars and such. I converted to Google Calendar several years ago because I always have access to that unless I'm in the middle of nowhere, in which case the planner isn't going to be much help. (Although now I want to write a short story where it's essential.)

Funny Janet mentioned church musicians and Christmas. Sharon and I were discussing this today. Our church, like some others, is not having services Sunday. I found out that there are people (not at True Life, AFAIK) who are livid that churches would not hold services on Christmas. Pandering to Pagan Philosophy, that's what it is. Or something like that. Anyway, we were just wondering how many of these upset people were pastors (or pastor's family members) or church musicians (or fam). We guessed not too many.

It really doesn't matter to us this year; we have no family available on Christmas this year. I realize that could be devastating to some, but we are both in need of down time. We're going to sleep in, rifle stockings (our two big trips this year covered all the gift occasions), eat, and go to a noonish party at some friends' house. Then maybe we'll take a long drive or something, But we're glad that our pastoral staff, worship team, etc. get to relax Sunday with family- and this week because they aren't having to prepare for Sunday. As a part of the worship team, I'd be happy to be there playing (as would the rest), but I'm still glad everyone gets to have a little less time pressure this year. Including me.

I hope all of you have a merry Christmas (or whatever you celebrate).

BTW, if any of you who write books involving history at least 50 years back (novels, histories, whatever) are interested, I can add you to the Writing History (closed) FB group. There are some cool authors there, and links to truly wondrous things show up on a regular basis. I'm easy to find on FB, and my email should be in the Karkoon phone book that someone (Colin?) maintains.