St. Martin’s Contest Entry And Musings

Well, I suppose it’s done and now up to fate/destiny/the will of God/the whim of the angels. My entry for the St. Martin’s contest (the first cozy mystery novel) went off a few weeks ago, and I came across the delivery confirmation slip today, crumpled in my wallet; I went on the Web and verified that the ms got to its judge. I stuck in a SAS-postcard, but haven’t seen hide nor hair of that one yet. Suppose my judge is holding all manuscripts and waiting until after deadline to read through them? Hope not. I was thinking I’d get mine to her earlier than Oct. 14th (which is when I got it sent–deadline is Hallowe’en, if I remember correctly), but life intervened. Wouldn’t it be awful if she’s already read “the one” that she wants to rate at the top and doesn’t give me a chance? *moan* *howl*

That would be just my luck . . my OLD luck . . . I have just done FengShui on the house, so now I can have GOOD luck. Right, Universe? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

The StMart’s contest launched the soaring career of Donna Andrews, remember. And last year’s winner, MURDER OFF MIKE, is really great; I can’t wait to read the sequel. It’ll be tough to live up to that standard . . . I only hope mine is as good as I believe it is. *grin* Although mine doesn’t have anything educational in it, like all the insider info about radio that MoffM has. I learned quite a bit (of depressing stuff) about radio and the probable future. I’ve had my amateur radio license for years (Tech-plus, or technician with code, a category that I am told no longer exists but for which I laboriously learned Morse at 5 WPM . . .married to an *extra class* ham, which means 20 WPM!) and I think I should have a radio show. The talk shows that are on in our market are so STUPID that they might as well be dead air–the host and cronies spend SO much time talking about what is going on in the studio and how one of them looks gay or spends time with the “tell me” “no, I’m not gonna tell you” “yes, you will” “our producer will make you” kind of schtick/banter . . .ack! I am more entertaining just talking to myself in the grocery store than these people are on the air! (I know ’cause my voices told me!! Only kidding.) (About the voices, I’m kidding. I do talk to myself in the store. Today I was arguing the merits of one low-carb salad dressing over another, and ended up engaging several Atkins-plan dieters. We decided on a creamy Italian. Hope it’s edible.)

The contest is also the only place you can send a cozy that’s over 100K words and not get shot down with, “They can’t be over 80K words if it’s a cozy.” We don’t like the rules, preciousss, but we have to play by them until I’m Diane Mott Davidson.

Are there any other contests like it? I don’t think there are, not for novels. There’s an annual YA novel contest run by, um, is it Delacorte? But that’s for YA novels, and judging by the ones I paged through in the bookstore the other day, they’ve really grown up since I read “Nancy Drew” and the Dana sisters series books. Man, some of those YA novels have more F-words in them than a camera manual! (F-stops . . . bad pun, too obscure.) I don’t f*ing think I f*ing could f*ing compete at all.

Where there’s life (and type), there’s hope. . . .

^& #* $@ (% &% #* 🙂

Someone asked me what “hooking up” meant in the USA. She wondered if it could mean getting together, as in friends (e.g., “We should hook up at McDonald’s tonight.”)

Um, well . . . when two heterosexual friends of same gender say “Let’s hook up at Mickey D’s,” they prolly just mean get together and meet there to start hanging out. *However*, to say “We hooked up” or “I’m going to find someone to hook up with,” when it’s a guy and a girl, at least, that means they made the beast with two backs.

(An editor took *that* euphemism/image out of my short story, saying it was too obscure. I must be dustier and more ancient than Dumbledore. My dad once used that term to allude to you-know-what in front of me when telling Mom about a suspected office affair going on between a prof and a student, and she gasped, but of course I had no idea at age nine what that meant, and I pictured them in the lab creating a very interesting monster. I thought much more highly of Dr. Wossname as a scientist after that. Until I got older and read Shakespeare.)

(No, you can’t have that anecdote for your book . . . it’s going into mine. *GRIN*)

Anyhow, that’s what the term means here in North Central Texas.
At least *today*.

$$% &#@ #@*$ *%&$

A couple of days ago, I was gonna post the following, but, um, the solar storm kept me from doing it (yep, that’s it, that’s the ticket!):

Well, fans, I did it. I just went ahead and printed out the first three chapters and synopsis of LITTLE RITUALS and sent them in to be considered for Dorchester’s new chicklit line. I sent the pkg to Kate Seaver, thinking she would at least know where to direct the manuscript if she isn’t buying for the line. I didn’t write “solicited” or “not slush” or “kilroy was here” on the thing; I didn’t even put “attention new trade paper line” on it. I suppose it’ll end up on a slush pile. Maybe someone will go through the slush and read it. I got delivery confirmation and put in a self-addressed postcard (which, logic would dictate, must be a postcard that has addressed itself–but that’s not what the term is accepted to mean.)

We’ll see what happens. Wish me luck, if you are so inclined. I’ll let you know how long it takes to get the postcard back and how long I wait after that for a reply. (I only hope she really IS desperate for books. Hey, if somebody’s gotta be pulled out of the pile, why shouldn’t it be me for once–for something good, for a change?!)

There’s also another book that could be said to be “Southern Gothic humorous Chick Lit.” Think Fannie Flagg on chick lit. Hmm. I might send that one, as well. Depends on what the tea leaves say.

I’ve already burned through a ream of paper over the past couple of weeks, though. And had to shake down the toner cartridge in the laser printer.

Now, I’m gonna forget about writing and go do some Halloween decorating. Oh, and my friend from South Africa swears there’s a holiday going on in India and parts of S. Africa this month, having something to do with an elephant wearing a headdress. Not the Ganesha and not Ramadan, she tells me, giggling at my ignorance. It started with a “D” and it started around Monday or so. So, whoever you are and whatever holiday it is, raise a tankard to life. Good show.

UPDATE: Ivan Van Laningham of “God N Locomotive Works” (**) tells me:
“Today, 25 November, is the beginning of Diwali, aka Diwali or Deepawali, the Festival of Lights. It’s the major holiday in Hinduism, and you can read about it here:

Cool. Celebrates the triumph of good over evil. I can definitely get down with that. 8*)