Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Fricassee

You've reached a new level of awesome.

So many of you were disappointed to not have gotten in on the submissions.  Many times it was the frustration of mistiming, or a formatting glitch, or just the fact that there was such a HUGE RUSH at each submission window that, even if you timed it perfectly, the odds were still against you.

I absolutely would have felt the same level of frustration/disappointment/angst/sorrow.  Knowing me, I probably would have cried.

Well, a little bit, anyway.

But in all that, and among SO MANY of you, nobody complained.  NOBODY.

As in, NOBODY.

I've been in leadership roles online and in real life.  I've dealt with groups as diverse as four-year-olds in a preschool, adults in a church small-group setting, a huge Christian chat room online, and a sixteen-voice chamber group.

In every other instance, SOMEONE ALWAYS COMPLAINED.  One of my chamber group singers (I was the director; in fact, I founded the group) called me and told me how I was doing everything wrong and that I needed to drop a few songs because it was too hard to learn them all (read: singer incompetence).  One of the parents in the daycare complained to my director (without talking to me first) that I never greeted her child when she brought him to class (over an hour late, while I was in the middle of dealing with a dozen other children).  Her son was one of my favorites and I always gave him a huge hug after she said good-bye.  She never saw that part.

Then there was the church member who told everyone she no longer felt welcomed in my home because I had called her (gently) on some inappropriate behavior (which was my role because, yanno, I was one of the group leaders).  And the PTA members who told the principal I was an incompetent music teacher (the principal initiated a standing ovation at the performance of the musicals I'd written for the kids; something, I later learned, she had never done before).  And the misbehaving online chatters who would abuse me in a private box after I'd banned them from the room.  (Yeah, calling me obscene names is definitely going to make me change my mind about banning you.)

That's real life.  It's not outside of normal.

Then there's THIS group.  There's YOU.  And the dynamic is completely different.

So many of you received a rejection from the bot AND THANKED ME ANYWAY.  So many of you were frustrated and disappointed and SPOKE WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT AND APPRECIATION ANYWAY.

Even those of you who expressed sincere frustration and sadness did so in a non-complaining, non-accusatory way.  You shared your feelings, and I felt them along with you.

I can't tell you how amazing this is.  And how grateful I am.

I've said it so many times.  But I really love this community.  REALLY LOVE.

As for your donations?  I am humbled beyond words.  The button still makes me squirm.  That's just me, I guess.  "Thank you" isn't enough to say for your generosity, but it's all I can manage without blubbering and blathering.

So, thank you.

And may your weekend be as amazing as you are!


  1. Okay, this post makes me feel a *wee* bit better about getting locked out of the Baker's Dozen. *sniffle* You have a great weekend yourself.

  2. You are one amazing person, Authoress. Thanks for all you do. We really got to learn more about you. And I'm very sad for those who didn't get a chance to get into round one. It still isn't over yet. Thanks for all the work you've put into this contest. It is very exciting! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

  3. Thank you very much for hosting this! I'm new here, and still learning what to expect.

  4. I've been reading this blog forever, but only just entangled myself from the shadows to enter the auction.

    Yes, this community is AMAZING. But it would be nowhere near the same without you. So thank you, for simply being fantastic :)


  5. You have a big soft heart Authoress, that's why we love you so much. ;-)

  6. I recently hosted a blogfest where editing prizes were up for grabs.It was really difficult reading all the entries and deciding on the best and that was only for fifty eight entries. It also took a lot of time to do, so I thank you for giving up your time to run this awesome contest.

    I get tears just thinking about how wonderful all the writers are who participated in my contest. They cheered on the winners and graciously read each others' writing, giving encouragement along the way. I think we're all so use to rejection that when a fellow writer has a glimmer of luck it restores our hope.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and all the hard work you do, and yes, our community is such a caring one and I'm so happy to be a part of it.

  7. I agree with Tammy. You are a big ol' softie and we appreciate you so much. :-)
    I don't think I got into the contest because I never got a bot response. I'd taken the day off just for this contest to be home to submit. But, you know what? I'd already decided before the contest started that if I didn't get in, I was still going to be a "winner," because I was going to stop giving myself excuses and send out my query already. I've had it ready for weeks...was just nervous and wondering is it really, *really* ready? So, thank you Authoress. Even if I didn't make the contest, you inspired me to go ahead and roll the dice and play my hand. I sent it to my top 3 agents.
    THANKS AUTHORESS, you do more for us than you know.

  8. You're the awesome one, Authoress. You have built this into a safe place for everyone and that is borne out by the reactions you noted.

    In my book, all of you rock!

  9. We're awesome because you are. :D

  10. A group is only as great as their leader. There is my two cents worth on a Friday. Love you!

  11. This is the first and only online writers community I've ever ventured out of my hermit-hole to participate in, and this is why - it's the nicest, safest place. Even though I'm still depressed about not getting into the contest, I know how you'd be happy to let everyone participate if it were feasible, and that gives me a nice warm feeling. Which I'm going to need for the next few days while we wait for our hot water heater to get repaired....but that's entirely off topic. ;)

  12. I was very bummed not to have gotten in one either attempt, but overall, I still feel like a winner because this contest motivated me to hammer out my logline. So thanks Authoress, Holly and all of you who submitted and critted loglines so I could lurk and learn.

  13. And all the people said, "Amen."

  14. As I've said before, Authoress, you are boon and a blessing to the online writer community.

    Last week a friend said to me, "But what do I DO with my NaNo when it's done?" I said, "Sit on it for a month, do a thorough revision, and then go to Miss Snark's First Victim".

    You've encouraged and shepherded a warm, welcoming, and above all, HONEST community. Yeah, so I didn't get a story in, but you know what? I look forward to reading the entries, and I know that there will be future contests to enter.

    Because the group has been encouraged to be honest and helpful, I think taking rejections or missing out is easier, because we know that it was no fault of yours, because we've learned to accept our errors or rejectione or little dissapointments, and then to pull up our socks and try again.

    Brava for inspiring people thus.

  15. Authoress, everyone has already said everything I wanted to say, so I'll just second them. YOU ARE AWESOME! :)Your altruism is just incredible. I can't say enough positive things about you. :)

  16. I've found your blog so helpful that I'm often inspired to start my own blog that would help writers in some way - I just haven't had an original idea yet! Thanks!

  17. No one is allowed to complain 'cause what you're doing is awesome. Most of us don't have the skill or connections to pull this off, so we definitely can't criticize. We'll just save that for the winning submissions (but in the most positive way possible). ;)

  18. When I click the donate button it just takes me to paypal. Not to a page where I can donate to you, unless I know the email for your account.

    this is not a complain, merely an observation. :)

  19. Thanks for letting me know, sally. I fixed it, but now I have to figure out how to make those tiny credit cards go away. I don't like them!

  20. I join the many others in their praise of you Authoress. You help us in any way you can. Using your valuable time. That is something that is rarely given.

    I am thrilled to be part of this community and you are a major part of it .....

    I wish all the contestants good luck and I can't wait to read everyone's submissions.

    Many thanks,


  21. Thank you so much for hosting, Authoress! I agree that this a great community, and all the better to have you in it!

  22. Glad you posted today because that means the onslaught of submissions didn't crush you and you didn't drown in the slush. =)

    Hope you still love us after you've given up your time to read through all the submisisons and stressed over which to chose. ;-)

    I think what's great about your contests is that we're able to learn from them even if our work doesn't make it past the bot.

    And what's so great about coming here is you. You're kind and caring and have given us a safe place to learn and grow as writers.

  23. You can't believe the level of excitement and joy I felt getting my entry ready to submit. That's the feeling I want to keep with me as I write, as I take chances and submit to an editor or agent. My entry didn't make it in this round, but I thank you for making the opportunities available. You're a gem.

    I have a question that may help others who didn't get in. You mentioned that we should refer to an online clock. I didn't do that until after I had missed both windows to submit, but I then discovered that the online clock was 10 seconds faster than my computer clock. Ten seconds doesn't sound that long, but in this contest, it was probably what made me miss out. My question is, if I go by the online clock, my email "sent time" will be off. Will your system then reject my entry for arriving before the contest starts? Any suggestions?

    Again, thank you for everything you do.


  24. Sophia and everyone,

    I used the online clock at but I still didn't get in. And opened an gmail account. And typed in everything by hand, plain text. And spent two days away from Nanowrimo (which I should be doing now...i.e. get back to work, writer) to prepare the logline and polish the excerpt. And I know I'm not alone.

    Do you have any new suggestions for us, brave leader? We are following the rules to the letter. Is there another way to limit the amount of slush without the foibles of the send button?

    I certainly don't have the answer. But y'all are such smart people and this community is so great, is there anything we could do to keep things more fair? And so that all the pressure isn't on our good Authoress?

  25. You're spreading joy, as usual, Authoress.

    I think you inspire a lot more people than you know. :)

    Hugs to you and Jodi.

  26. The good news is that our fearless programmer is going to have a web form ready for us early next year. No more emails. :D

  27. For those above asking about online clocks: I used the Countdown widget on my Mac, and made sure it was set to the atomic clock, just in case.

  28. WOW! AWESOME news...sorry for yelling. Huzzah fearless programmer!!!!

  29. Authoress, you're the one who's amazing. I only found your site a couple of months ago, and I lurked for a long time before hopping in to comment - afraid I might not be welcome in an established crowd. Not so! This is one of the most awesome, supportive groups I've seen anywhere, and you deserve all kinds of gold stars for running it. As someone else said recently, I wish for you all the successes you've helped others achieve, multiplied by a factor equal to the number of us your presence and actions have encouraged.

    I hope you have a great Thanksgiving - you rock!

  30. You have put in so much time and effort over these years (YEARS! I can't believe this blog has been here for so long!) and this truly is an invaluable writers' resource. I don't think any of us could thank you enough - unpubbed, unagented, and pubbed and agented authors alike, because what we take away from here - from the amazing community of fearless writers who aren't afraid of putting their work out there, from the agents who are generous enough to donate their time to provide critique, and most of all, your warmth and enthusiasm and wonderful organisational abilities- is something that really cannot found anywhere else.

    I did make it through the submission windows yesterday - finally! - but no matter whether I make it through the final rounds or not, I thank you for providing this opportunity from the bottom of my heart. :)

  31. Wanted to add my voice to the thank-yous. I didn't make it in, but it was a wonderful exercise in polishing my logline and first 250. I can't wait to read the winning entries. Your commitment to helping other writers along this journey is jaw-dropping.

    Thank you.

  32. As my momma always said, the nut doesn’t fall very far from the tree.

    Lookit, you created the venue, established the forum, focused on the polite-factor. All your followers did was to reflect back what you gave them as an example.

    The praise goes to you. We are merely the nuts following you…lol.

  33. I'll echo everyone here. You have made such a difference in our lives, whether or not we make it into your contests. It takes a special kind of person to do all this for others. Thank you.

    PS~ I've worked at a daycare too, and can relate to the frustration of certain situations :)

  34. Leave it to a former scientist to make a sugestion on a system that works just fine, but I can't help tinkering.

    There's a way to eliminate the problems of people who aren't finger fast, tech savvy, attached to an odd email service, might be busy at the two times on the day of submission, and those who want to be recognized for writing , not clicking send.

    Check out the site: Suppose you get 136 entries and you only want fifty. The free site will ask you how many sets of numbers do you want to generate//you say 1. Then asks how many//you say 50 (or whatever). Then asks range//you say 1-136. Then asks "Do you wish each number to be unique//you say yes. Then asks do you want it in an order//you choose least to greatest. Then you hit the ramdomizer key and viola. There's your numbers.

    If you choose to use this you can open the submission period up for a long time in one day, even all day EST. The bot will assign numbers. And dear Miss Authoress you'll randomize the lsush into a nice orderly list of the winners published in the blog and announced to the winners. This would reduce drastically most of the questions about the process.

    Hey even if you don't use this, the site is fun to try once.

  35. OH I forgot to say about the randomizer. You can cut and paste the page from the free service into the blog and in one step you're done announcing the final fifty and at the same time show fairness.

    p.s. You know I'm a fan. Sometimes guys don't get gushy (or ask for directions).

  36. I just thought of a couple problems with the randomizer. The solutions were easy:

    Suppose you need two alternates, then you type in fifty-two and instead of showing the numbers from least to greatest you choose a random display and then pick the last two as the alternates.

    Suppose even with the alternates or no alternates you find a double entry or somebody quits or somebody is ineligible. Here, you generate from the original 136 entries a random list of random numbers and pick the first number not taken already, etc. until done.

    Perhaps the easiest way is to have ten alternates (should cover it), don't sort the numbers so they are randomly dislpayed and then just keep the last 10 for contingencies.

    If this seems like rocket science, it's not. Just give the web site a look and you'll be amazed at the possibilities. Okay, I never quite got the nerd/geek out of me.

  37. FWIW, I also used the widget on my macBook - it was timed to the online clock at - and used my gmail account. I got through the six o'clock round hitting send as soon as the second hand on the widget hit the twelve. I was number 24 (which I assume means I was fourth after the first twenty from the noon round. Not sure if this is helpful to anyone or not.
    I have learned so much from this site and reading the submissions from the Secret Agent contests - it really is an invaluable service you provide Authoress!

  38. Authoress: I was so disappointed not to get into the contest that I could barely speak for a few hours. Then I ate some chocolate and I felt better.

    It was such an opportunity and thank you so much for providing it and for all you do for your readers and fans. I didn't get into any of the logline contests either but it was very helpful.

    Looking forward to the next contest (and maybe getting into it!)