Silly Signing Clothing Contest results (. . . finally)
Because I am a whimsical hellgoddess, I am giving away three copies of the UK PEGASUS.* First I did the one that I was supposed to be doing. This involved counting up all the entries**, applying to the random number generator, and then counting up over again to the number it produced.
I don’t entirely believe in random, I think. It bothers me. It’s like ‘there are no coincidences’. There is no random either. And it always feels unfair to the fewer Twitter and FB entries. So I did it again. The first count was from the top of the forum, with the few FBs and Twitters at the end. The second count started at the end . . . and I feel vindicated, which is as dumb as not believing in random, because while the first count put me well into the middle of the list, which would have meant the forum somewhere, whichever end I put FB and Twitter on, the second count was just a handful in—so one of the Twitters won.
And then the third one is me diverting myself again. I did a shorter list of about twenty that were my favourites (including the inflatable cow, the dwarven whatsit, and the yarn fairy). And drew a third time.
And the winners are:
heather.dawn from the forum as Top Snowflake
@bridgetlittle from Twitter for the PINK costume
Julia from the forum as Thing 1.
If you’d please email me (nuraddin at robinmckinley dot com) with street addresses and whether you’d like me to write ‘to . . . .’ above my signature (you do want it signed, don’t you?). And any of you who may have been entering to show willing rather than because you wanted a second, British-ed copy, I’m happy to sign it to someone else.
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Listening to the news from London last night on BBC World, the only semi-literary news was the premier of the Deathly Hallows II, so I assumed that all was well at Forbidden Planet and that a Pegasus had not swooped down to carry Robin off to Olympus.
As a few of us were walking across the pedestrian bridge from Waterloo we were accosted by two young women with American accents. Where is Trafalgar Square? they said. My—English—friends instantly deferred to me. Trafalgar Square I can do, so I gave directions. The one who had asked the question said, Where are you from? Maine, I said. We’re from California! she said, and ran ahead, obviously in a hurry to get to Trafalgar Square. I would not have registered this except that one of my companions said, that’ll be for the Deathly Hallows premiere. And as we were crossing that tangle of streets in front of the Charing Cross station we looked interestedly to our left—toward Trafalgar Square—and saw a Raised Knobbly Landscape of Solid Standing Humanity. I can’t even imagine wanting to see/be at something that involved standing half-crushed in a crowd of thousands. And just as we disappeared behind the railings of the little slip road that drops you in St Martin’s Lane there was an Enormous Roar. It was one of those moments when I am reminded that I like not being monumentally famous. I don’t know if every writer (possibly even including J K Rowling) thinks it would be nice to sell just a few more books, but I’m fairly sure that in my case I mean a few.
One of the minor entertainments of the evening was that I morphed mysteriously into our Native Guide. Since Waterloo is my train station and I like to walk, this is my end of London—and it is a confusing end of London, all those mad little Soho streets—but it was still pretty funny.
I wasn’t imagining Robin & friends getting drunk [when I fell off the air for a day]…but I was imagining humongous storms, muggings, train wrecks, trains held for hours in pouring rain miles from any station, falls, sprained or broken joints, sick hellhounds, sick people, burglars, the Mother of All Bats crashing through the ceiling and explaining in high, batty squeaks why blocking up bat access was wrong, car stuck in mud…etc.
(Yes, I’m good at this. It’s called being a writer who has to put characters in peril. I can imagine more kinds of peril than exist.)
YES! YES! YES! I commented on the forum (‘I am so there’) about this already, but ‘I can imagine more kinds of peril than exist’ keeps rolling around in my head. Yes. Rocs. Evil magicians. Taralians. Vampires. Hellgoddesses. No, wait . . . I’m a nice hellgoddess. I just gave away three copies of PEGASUS!
[in answer to Knitronomicon saying her photos weren’t that good] I said:
Yes, situations like that are a ratbag to photograph as I know from experience. You get better photos if you don’t use the flash–but then you have to be made of iron bolts to hold the camera steady enough. And no one can whap into you as you’re pressing the trigger.
. . . And what I should have added is that I hate having random flashes going off in my face, so thank you very much everyone who turned their flash OFF in deference to my maintaining my train of thought.*** Someone who brandishes a camera at me and says ‘May I?’, and particularly anyone buying a book for me to sign who wants to take a photo too, that’s perfectly fine, flash or no flash, because I’ve been warned. But people hanging around taking photos of the proceedings generally, those flashes need to be off.
“A signed book is a sold book.” (as in, it can’t be returned).
This isn’t the hard and fast rule that it was when we were young. My old publisher, Greenwillow, would take back signed books long before anyone else was doing this, and there are quite a few publishers now who will. I’m pretty sure Penguin USA will. It never did make much sense, you know? How can the author signing the book count as defacing it? But I know that was the industry-wide default for a long time.
i’m jealous. massively jealous. i would have come to the signing if i was in london. but alas, i am in new york. perhaps there might be an upcoming signing in new york???
Black Bear replied:
Robin doesn’t generally travel overseas these days due to health reasons (see posts re: ME) but if she ever does plan a signing for NY I’m sure we’ll be first to know!!
Sadly this is an aggrieved subject. Most publishers do still think in terms of dragging the live bodies of their authors around to a variety of three-dimensional venues . . . and it’s come up with me for every book I’ve written since . . . er . . . well, more or less since I stopped touring and/or going to conventions. First I moved to England and then I developed ME. I’ve never been a good traveller—I’m an introvert, social stuff, including professional social stuff, wears me out, it doesn’t charge me up—but I used to enjoy seeing new bits of countryside, and, crucially, I used to bounce back a lot faster than I do now. The ME means not only do they send me home in a soup tureen but it takes me several eons to re-evolve lungs and opposable thumbs. † It’s just not worth it. Which is not to say that we won’t have the same conversation over PEG II, nor that some day I probably will have a signing in NYC again. Just don’t hold your breath.
Wow Robin!! That skirt looks AWESOME!! You look young enough to be my older sister. (I’m 30.)
It is a good skirt. I’d forgotten what a good skirt it is. I’m glad I was having an attack of the Do Not Go Gentles. But . . . I don’t, actually. Look young enough to be your older sister. (Unless your mother had us really far apart.) Cameras lie. As I’ve previously noted. The thing that amuses the frellbangers out of me, the last few years, since the blog and comparatively regular photos of yours truly—yours truly who has hated being on the business end of cameras with a red-eyed sweat-drenched passion all her life—is that I take much better photos now than I did when I was younger, because I just don’t care that much any more. One of the perks of getting old—as I’ve also said—I care a whole lot less about a lot of dumb stuff that used to wind me up something fierce—and for you regular readers who have some concept about how many things there still are that wind me up something fierce, well: yes. You don’t want to linger on this thought very long. It’s also true that I still don’t like bad or misleading photos of me, and I’ll delete them if I can, but they don’t keep me awake nights the way they used to.
But I don’t look 35, or even 40, whatever the photos say. I maybe look 50 rather than sixteen months off 60. But I don’t look young. I look well preserved, that awful phrase. I’m just robustly moving the goal posts about what constitutes acceptable behaviour in the almost-60. ‘Wears black leather miniskirt’ is now inside the lines.
I’m sorry to hear that the local computer system went all wonky, you don’t need that kind of stress after a public appearance. Thank you for your heroic effort to get blog and pictures up, I enjoy them terribly much but feel guilty that you had to fight with your computer to make it all happen!
I did NOT need that kind of stress immediately after a public appearance. But the blog is one of the things I now do: Don’t feel guilty. The blog and I are one of the infinity of re-enactments of the irresistable force and the immovable object. It would be like feeling guilty for the hellhounds not eating. Wait . . . that’s not you, is it? I keep thinking there must be a reason. . . .
More tomorrow. I need more sleep.
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* Fortunately my author’s copies arrived on Friday. It would be harder to give them away if I didn’t have them yet. And I confess I would object to giving away my single advance copy if I had stayed within my own rules and only gave one away.
** Which was pretty funny: I’d said that if you were wearing your costume you’d go in the draw twice, and empty clothing laid over a chair would only count once. Almost everyone was a twosie. The final count therefore was like, wow! What a great turnout!
*** such as it is
† See: SUNSHINE tour. Which I still survived massively better than I expected.
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