The One Headed Into the Black

It took me a little longer than expected, but I finally finished revisions on my WIP (BLACK IS THE COLOR)! Coming to the end of several weeks of intense reworking and rewriting always reminds me a little of how it felt to finish out a semester's finals in college. There's this sense of relief and a lightness to your step, and you find yourself thinking, "AT LAST, I CAN FINALLY DO LAUNDRY AND CLEAN MY ROOM!" (Or was that just me?) Would it surprise you to know that until Monday, I hadn't done laundry in several weeks? I can get away with it because I have so many damn clothes, but also because I just kept buying packages of new underwear... I know, I know. Impressive, right? Well, you should have seen the tower of Mountain Dew bottles I built up under my desk. Now THAT was impressive. Or the tower of dishes and cups that I built up on TOP of my desk... which was less impressive and mostly sad/gross (sagross). I actually waited until both of my roommates were out of the apartment so I could wash them with the least amount of shame possible.

I'm so happy with how the story came together in the end, and I know I owe a lot of credit to Anna, who read through of the story twice to catch all of the little inconsistencies that came with cutting and rearranging scenes. Plus, homegirl is brilliant and her editorial comments are always spot on (unless I'm being a brat about something, in which case I delete her track changes comment and say, "KEEPIN' IT"). Don't get me wrong, I'm still stressed about how long the story is, but I just... feel very attached to the four main characters. I think it's probably because I've been so entrenched in the story for the past few months, but it's been hard to shake them out of my head. I was telling Anna the other day that I've noticed that I've picked up some of Ruby's slang and her speech patterns (the story is first person, so I guess that makes sense). It does make me feel a tad bit crazy, though, when I'll hear a song and identify instantly which character hates it/loves it/heard it for the first time in the hospital after breaking their arm when they were five. And this weekend, while I was doing some online Christmas shopping? I was on and found this little gizmo and added it to my cart, not because I thought it'd be the perfect present for my dad, but because I thought, "Oh, Chubs would like this," in passing. So we're talking THAT level of story obsession.

Because I moved on so fully to BitC, I have, admittedly, been neglecting Brightly Woven related matters. I turned off my Google Alerts a while back and no longer search for the title on Twitter to see what people are saying about it--and GoodReads? Pretty much dead to me. I felt this horrible pang of guilt when I signed on yesterday for the first time in months and had 30+ friends requests. Really, really, really sorry about that, guys. It's tough to frequent GR and maintain a level of self-confidence about myself and my writing that would allow me to, you know, actually sit down and start over with a new story. That's already hard enough without some stranger spitting on you!

Because of my new Maintain A Good Balance regime of NOT being all that involved in social networking/Googling myself into infinity and beyond/stalking GoodReads reviews, I completely missed this.

I know I'm prone to exaggeration, but I'm not at all kidding when I say that my reaction to this was a (loud) stunned, "HUH?" while simultaneously bursting out into tears. Because my first thought was, "Well, it's a mistake" (because on first glance I mistakenly thought I was the only YA book listed) and my second thought was, "No, it's a joke" (because I should not be lumped into the same group as The Imperfectionists, which is a masterpiece), and then my third thought was a hearty "WTF?!"

I did some research about the nomination process and found this nugget in the press release for the GCA:

Goodreads Announces the 2010 Goodreads Choice Awards– San Francisco and Santa Monica, CA—Goodreads is proud to announce our second annual Goodreads Choice Awards. Brought to you by Reader™ Digital Book by Sony, the 2010 Choice Awards reflect what book lovers are really reading. The polls open December 1, the contest is announced in the December Goodreads newsletter, and voting will continue throughout the month. Winners will be announced in the January Goodreads newsletter, which sends to our membership of 4 million readers.

There were no secret committees. We did not defer to experts or look at book sales or previous awards. Based on Goodreads activity, we know what our members are reading and what they like. Goodreads selected 15 books in 23 categories by analyzing statistics about books read by our members from the 47 million books added, rated, and reviewed on the site in 2010. We examined the popularity of a book and how highly it is rated on average. Only books published in 2010 are eligible.

I am still confused about how it happened, but regardless of whether you liked the book or not, or if you reviewed it on GR or didn't, THANK YOU! I am incredibly flattered and honored to have been nominated (but still think you should vote for Tom Rachman, the genius behind The Imperfectionists instead).

Fingers crossed everything goes well with BitC and you'll have something new to read by me before this century ends!

xx A