Thursday, 8 April 2010

SHORTLISTS AND PRIZES - AND A PRIZE FOR YOU...

Really, I do talk utter shite sometimes.

As you know, I have just moved house. (Have I said this?) And I do not, as yet, have broadband - until AOL get off their posteriors and activate the request I put in a long time ago. So, what with that and being up to my ears (almost literally literally) in paint, and having a blocked sink, failed heating system and a number of other tribulations, I do not really have time to write a blog post and then delete it. On purpose.

But I had to, because it was utter shite.

I was trying to talk about how and why I'm uncomfortable about prizes and shortlists for things. But then I realised I was talking out of an inappropriate orifice and gave myself a talking to from the correct one. This is essentially what I said:

"Listen and be grateful, you stupid old bat. After all, it's not exactly often that you get shortlisted for something that actually, according to a lot of people who keep emailing you, might be rather special. For crying out loud, you fool: Neil Gaiman and Paulo Coelho are on the same shortlist."

I then, of course, replied to myself, "WHAT??? Are you serious?"

See, when I first heard that I was shortlisted for Author Blog Award, I had my arm up a blocked sink pipe, and I didn't take much notice. Then people started emailing me and someone said it was on Book2Book and Bookbrunch. And still I didn't really register, because by then my arm was fiddling around in a cooker that wasn't working.

And then someone else said something about Neil Gaiman and Paulo somebody and I hit my head on the corner of a radiator that I was trying to bleed. By then I felt a bit dizzy and thought I'd woken up to find it was all a dream. Besides, I had failed to locate the boxes marked "shoes and boots", despite there being many of them. So, I really wasn't too interested in Neil Gaiman. (Though I love his books - grovel, grovel - especially The Graveyard Book.)

By the time I decided that this shortlist was even more interesting than the inside of a wardrobe that I was by then trying to re-erect, I couldn't get online anyway so I still have very little idea what this is all about. But I agree that it sounds lovely and I am grateful indeed. (Even with the absence of boxes of shoes.)

The kind organisers sent me an email and said I should ask people to vote for me, but there's no way I'd do that. They suggested I put the logo on my blog but I can't, because the connection is so fragile that if I go to get the link I'll cause untold damage. They also said I should spread the word about the awards, so I am at least doing that.

Anyway, I'm just going to say thank you to whoever nominated me, and to those who have emailed me with lovely comments and to the hard-working people who have organised the awards. And to anyone who has already voted for me, as I know some of you have.

My original post tried to unpick why being shortlisted for things causes me angst and discombobulation. (Not that this often happens, you understand.) I can't really explain. I guess this is just me. I had a strange upbringing, which I may tell you about one day, and competition played an unpleasant part in it.

Anyway, forget the discombobulation: I am hugely grateful to whoever came up with this idea, and those who nominated me, even if I do now have a bump on my forehead which is going to be hard to explain (the bump, not the forehead) when I face a serious audience this evening at the Wellcome Foundation, where I am chairing an event for which I am not prepared. Unless they ask me to unblock a sink, of course. I am very prepared for that.

Oh, and one other thing, is the prize chocolate or sparkly wine? Because if it is, I may well have to discard any residual discomfort about such things and ask you to VOTE FOR ME!

PS - When this post goes out, I will be on a train so I might actually be able to get broadband. Off to London to chair the above event. Impeccably bad timing two days after moving house. Back on the sleeper. Mainly, I am leaving my family to deal with the blocked sink, lack of broadband, lack of TV, and stinking eggs in the cellars.

PPS - NEWS FLASH: I found the shoes and boots! AND, to celebrate that and the fact that I just passed 500 followers - no, I don't mean I passed them: that would be rude. I just mean I passed the 500 mark  -  I am going to offer a free copy of my new book, WASTED, to a randomly picked commenter to this post. (As in THIS post, not the Wasted blog - but if you also sign up as a follower to the Wasted blog, you'll be entered in the weekly prize draw AS WELL.

I may talk out of my posterior sometimes, but I'm generous, I think. And you don't even have to vote for me. Unless there's chocolate or sparkly wine at stake.

Off to unpack shoes and put them all in a pretty line. Or two.

Please forgive any typos - you have no idea of the screaming that has been going on in this office while I have battled against slow and erratic connections and I am not damned well going to open the doc up again to check it. So there.

39 comments:

Nicola Morgan said...

And by the way, you get 3 votes, so I recommend you use one for Lucy Coats. Excellent dynamic blogger and good egg.

catdownunder said...

Oh my goodness! Things have to be looking up. Have you found the purple suede boots???????
The Wellcome Foundation people will be very nice I am sure. I hate giving speeches and people making a fuss - but it helps if they purr nicely at you and I am sure they will. All you have to do is purr nicely back. They might even give you some first aid for the bump if they are the crew I am thinking of.

Keren David said...

Well I've voted for you and Lucy Coats and Jackie Morris..all lovely blogs. Can I have my copy of Wasted now please????

Ellen Brickley said...

Yay, my nomination paid off! Congratulations Nicola :)

fairyhedgehog said...

I've voted for you and Lynn Flewelling. Now off to check out Lucy Coats!

I do hope your place gets sorted out soon. Moving is always traumatic but you sound like you're having an unusually bad time of it.

bookwitch said...

We can love more than one?

Miriam Drori said...

Good luck, Nicola!
You deserve it.

Elen Caldecott said...

I'd love to vote for you, but I am a bit concerned about giving my email address to a self-publishing company. Do you know, if I sign up, is there a button to say 'don't try and sell me anything'?

fairyhedgehog said...

Elen: I used a http://spamgourmet.com disposable address to sign up with. I don't know if that would help?

Spider Griffin said...

Witty and entertaining post as ever, Nicola!

Your life seems a whirl at the moment, as you predicted, what with fighting paint cans, and Zen and the Art of Unblocking Sinks. Lets hope you'll look back to all of that in a week or so's time and laugh; well, OK, smile, or at least just a huge sigh of relief!

Excellent that you are on the shortlist for BookBrunch and Book2Book blog awards. Here's more good news for you: you are also in the list for the Author Blog Awards at CompletelyNovel. You so deserve it!

http://www.completelynovel.com/competitions/author-blog-awards-2010

:-)

JJ Beattie said...

Oh three votes? I didn't know that.

I can imagine the colour of the air where you were with a delicate internet connection. Oh Yes. I had similar problems recently on changing over to a Mac: really filthy language... like a sailor.

Amie McCracken said...

That housework will get better...I hope. It sounds like you're having an awful time, but just imagine when you can sit down in the lovely living room and sip a cup of tea listening to the sink draining instead of gurgling.

Lacer said...

Congratulations on the nomination! It's a good thing you say you get 3 votes because otherwise I'd be impossibly torn between you and Neil Gaiman!

Lucy Coats said...

I don't know about being a good egg (thank you O mighty Crabbit One), but I am certainly nearly an Easter Egg, having eaten far too much chocolate this weekend. I am not a particularly competitive person either--but it would be nice if one of us won and flew the flag for children's books. Yes--I do believe in miracles--and fairies (even fairyhedgehogs).

Lucy @ http://scribblecitycentral.blogspot.com

mindmap1 said...

I've voted for you and Neil already and will vote for Lucy Coats because I always do exactly what you tell me....usually!

I wondered why you weren't thrilled to bits, but then you have a lot on your plate, what with shoes and purple suede boots! Er....have you seen the new summer sandal/shoe range from KG? Now they are truly mouth watering!

Christine

Old Kitty said...

Hi

Yay for your fab blog being short-listed!!!

Now put that paint brush down, unfold yourself from that blocked pipe, stop hitting the sink and language madame purr-leeze as you shake your fist towards your heating system...

And ENJOY your accolades and the many more to come!!!!!!

:-)

Take care
x

Jesse Owen said...

I've voted for you and Lucy Coats.

Good luck :)

SusanKMann said...

Congratulations and Good luck.

Catherine Hughes said...

Elen, they do send you stuff but mine drops into my spam box without too much trouble. They're not hard-sell emails, as far as I can see.

I already have a copy of 'Wasted' and have reviewed it on my blog, if anyone would like to see it:

http://readingwhilstwriting.blogspot.com/2010/04/nicola-morgan-wasted.html

Gemma Noon said...

Congratulations on getting shortlisted, even if you feel weird about it :-)

Ian said...

Congrats Nicola.
I'll be popping along to vote any second now.

Have an easter egg and put your feet up, celebrate the nom!

Michael Malone said...

I voted for you and Lucy. Cos yuuz are great! BTW the Gaiman thing looks like a twitter page and not a blog. Not having that.

Jackie Morris said...

hi there cribbety woman. I am on dial up too with no prospect of broadband! Last year I had no roof on my house so things are looking up.
Well, as a result of being on teh shortlist I have almost learned to spell Coehlo, and realised that although I do like Neil Gaimon I never read his blog and have only read one of his books, although it was Stardust, and that is good.
It has also left me feeling a little tongue tied, or finger tied and dazed and confused. Have been having a rare few days off and head is somewhat fuddled as a result, for want of a far more expressive an dAnglo Saxon word.
And I have met you. Only online, but a good start. And lovely it is to meet.
Must go now, have to make Tapas for a birthday party. Ah, the work of an artist and writer is never done. No, really, never, too much stuff gets in teh way some days.
Hope your sink is unblocked and may I wish you radiators that are free on lumps.

Lauri said...

Well I voted for you eventhough you didn't ask. Sorry about the move, it really is the worst kind of hell. I made a pact with my husband that next time if we ever move again we must just walk away with the clothes on our backs. I won't even take my books- I will wave to them lovingly at the door though.

Jo Franklin said...

Oh Nicola, I worry about you. Do you ever sleep? Do you ever sit down to sip that bubbly stuff or is it always supped on the hoof between laptop and plumbers merchant?Maybe they serve it on the sleeper. If not I suggest you get yourself a half bottle from M&S simply food at Kings X and swig it from the bottle all the way to Edinburgh.

Well done for getting nominated as best blogger. Who are you up against? I can't imangine anyone else spends the time and energy you do in counselling your followers who are getting increasingly depressed by the rejections from agents. (Well I am anyway. How can they reject you with 'we considered your ms carefully' when they only had it for 3 hours?) But I am getting positive feedback from publishers only they suggest I get an agent. So I'm well and truly rammed between the chicken and egg so you imagine where that is.

KarenG said...

Congrats to you, Nicola for all the awesomeness happening to you at once-- nominated for Academy Blog Award, passing 500 followers, your book coming out, and not to mention, moving into a new house. No wonder you're a bit frantic about the boots!
Yay! I hope you win, especially since I don't even know who those other people are!

hampshireflyer said...

Well I have voted! Neil who?! :)

I'm sure I'll figure out how to unsubscribe from the emails eventually! :P

Daisy Silverbell said...

Very spooky! I only started following you yesterday after following a link from 'womagwriter'. I then got stuck for over an hour reading through your old posts and comments. When my other half came home and asked what i'd been up to (he was really enquiring as to why the house was still a tip but wise enough to phrase it diplomatically) I thought better of telling him I'd been reading a blog and fibbed that the sink was blocked and it took me ages to clear. Made me laugh today to see that you actually had been unblocking a sink!
Anyway, love your blog and best of luck.

Flixton Mum said...

Ahem - I know I've been absent for several weeks, but my first port of call once I came back was to this blog. So please pick me. All that time in the internet wilderness I've finished all my own books so I need another one.

www.leelasoma.com said...

I am a sucker for prize draws especially when I knew this one is to win your book Nicola. Having followed you on Twitter I'd love to read your book. Pick me please! Enjoy your train trip away from blocked sinks and newly painted home. I'll also vote for your blog.NM OK!

Jennifer said...

Hi, Nicola. Having moved far too many times (the baby grand is getting an axe instead, next time), I can't believe you're dealing with that, untold household problems, no internet, chairing an event, and STILL have time and brainpower to post a witty blog! Makes me feel guilty for putzing around the way I do. I, too, found you from WoMag, and I love coming here to see what wisdom you have to share.

Rosalind Adam said...

Can't stop myself from reminding you that you tweeted not so long ago about how much you love moving house. It's possibly like giving birth. You forget the pain within weeks of the event and you'll soon be cooing as to how easy and enjoyable it all was. Congrats on being shortlisted and if there's a copy of Wasted going I'm only up the M1 in Leicester.

Theresa Milstein said...

This is one of your funniest posts. You must be inspired by your myriad of new house woes. Congratulations on being short-listed. I hope the prize includes chocolate and sparkly wine.

kathryn evans said...

I voted for you and Lucy and Jackie too - this round slightly easier - didn't have to make up fake personality so could also vote for Keren....I really should win btw as i STILL don't have a publisher and nobody loves me.

DJ Kirkby said...

You do make me laugh! Hope London is fabulous and stink free. Oh and please add me to your draw. Pretty please with sugar on top. x

Michael Jarman said...

Well you certainly put a smile on my morning Nicola! If still on your journey, I hope you plumped for a Pullman. Actually, that's probably the correct term for taking a seat in a Pullman.

catdownunder said...

They will not let me join the party! I am not allowed to vote. I tried. I filled out the little form. I did not get a reply...not even in the junk mail.
Oh rats and white mice...I'll hold thumb claws for you instead!

womagwriter said...

Hurray for the shortlisting and shoe finding! Will vote. Please enter me for the book giveaway - it is time I read some of your books and not just your blog. Otherwise I shall have to buy some.

Nicola Morgan said...

Oh, thank you all so much for your comments and support! As you know, it's been impossible for me to comment most of the time, thanks to no internet connection, but I am now in Starbucks (HOORAY!) and trying to plough through urgent tasks. The first of which is to say hello to you lot and thank you.

And, of course, to do the free draw. And to write the post to announce it. Off to do that now! You'll have to wait till tomorrow. Hehehe.