Monday, July 9, 2012

Lucky Ducks and Princesses

Thought for the day:  Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure.  [Earl Wilson]

Man, I'm really a lucky duck. Nope, not talking about my manuscript finally being in the hands of a publishing company. (Heck, I realize that could just as well lead to a suck-y outcome as a lucky one.) Haven't successfully drawn to any inside straights lately, either. Or won the lottery.

But WOW! The blogosphere sure has been good to me. You know, those little "contests" bloggers hold from time to time? I've lucked out on a bunch of 'em.

Started out on the lovely Delores' blog. All it took was writing a silly limerick to win several bags of candy. (Really GOOD candy.) I'd show it to you, but I, um, ate it.

On the talented Marcy's blog, I won a hand-made bookmark, and a free critique of one of my book chapters. Cool, huh? Didn't even have to DO anything for them, other than to show up and leave a comment. Ditto a win on super author Jennifer Shirk's blog, where I won a copy of Carolyn Brown's newest release, One Hot Cowboy Wedding. Won another book, too, but shame on me, I can't even remember which blog that one came from. It's a YA novel, entitled Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr.

See that spiffy towel hanging on the side of our fridge? Won that on the artsy-craftsy, oh-so-sweet Mare's blog by identifying a bunch of pictures. (Well, actually, another luck of the draw. Really easy pics to ID.) 

Isn't it pretty? She even made it to match our kitchen.

Linda Grimes is one of my favorite bloggers. She signed up as a follower right after I showed up on the scene. Didn't know me from Adam, (or Eve) but she immediately welcomed me to blogging, and has been a regular visitor and commenter ever since. She's also an awesome writer with a kick-butt sense of humor. Her first book will be released in a couple months. (YAY!) I'm really looking forward to getting her ARC in the mail so I can get a sneak preview. (YAY, again!) Every Friday, Linda also does a post for The Debutante Ball and since I'm such a fan of Linda's, I always follow her over there. Well, just because I filed a comment on that blog, I earned lucky duck status once again by winning a copy of another deb's book, which was just released last month.

And THAT'S what I want to tell you about. THAT book. That AMAZING book...

Molly Backes sent me a (hardback!) (signed!) copy of her book, which kinda impressed me from the get-go. But to tell the truth, I wasn't sure how well I'd be able to relate to her characters or to her story. I mean, high school students? C'mon, it's been a looooooong time since I was in high school. Besides, I sure wasn't a princess in high school. Far from it. I was a nerd. A goody-two-shoes. No smoking or drinking. No wild parties. No sex or drugs. Heck, I didn't even cuss. How could I possibly relate to a tale about a group of students who do all those things?

Boy, was I wrong.

You can close your eyes to the things you don't want to see, but you can't close your heart to the things you don't want to feel.  [author unknown]

And this book definitely makes you FEEL.

Molly does a phenomenal job of drawing readers into the angst-filled, insecure world of teenagers. Every word, every cringe-worthy worry and bout of silliness explode with a purity of truth. Out-of-control parental pressures... the terrible consequences of underage drinking (and driving)... racism... homophobic prejudices and injustices... and the age-old story of teenagers trying to find themselves and their true paths. Molly covers all of this and more, and in a masterful, sensitive way. It's no surprise that this lovely lady teaches teens. She obviously understands them, and is tuned into the troubling issues that unite them, and the different cliques that separate them.

Not since The Catcher in the Rye have I read a book that does such an outstanding job of baring the souls of teenagers. This is NOT just a book for teenagers. I'll certainly recommend it to my grandchildren, but this book, my friends, is for ALL ages.

I definitely rate this book FIVE STARS.

(Or... maybe FOUR LUCKY LEGS up?)
                                                                   Ducks are lucky,
                                                                   Don't you think?
                                                                   When they want to
                                                                   Take a drink,
                                                                   All they do is 
                                                                   Duck their bill.
                                                                  (Doesn't matter
                                                                   If they spill.)
                                                                   When they want to
                                                                   Take a swim,
                                                                  All they do is
                                                                   Dive right in;
                                                                  And they never
                                                                  Seem to sink.
                                                                  Ducks are lucky,
                                                                  Don't you think?
                                                             [ Mary Ann Huberman]

Behold the duck
It does not cluck.
A cluck it lacks.
It quacks.
It is specially fond
of a puddle or pond. 
When it dines or sups,
It bottoms up.[Ogden Nash]

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other. Bottoms up! Hmmm, maybe this lucky duck oughta  go buy a lottery ticket...


  1. I'm confident that whatever awards you've received for writing have been well-deserved. Excellence should be rewarded. I have no trophy to send but, this being California, I'm qualified to emit psychic resonances that keep car battery terminals from corroding. Happy motoring and thanks for consistently good quality.

  2. If your manuscript is as good as your blog (which I'm sure it is) I have no doubt that the outcome will be a very lucky one. Your awards and rewards are well-deserved.

    As for me, I haven't won an award since Taft was President (or so it seems). I stand on street corners begging for readers......

  3. No free gifts from Cro, I'm afraid. But I do send my congratulations on having your manuscript with the editor! Fingers crossed also!

  4. Aw, thanks for the kind comments. I can't wait for you to read In a Fix. :)

    And I'm so glad you got the chance to read Molly's book. I had the same worries going in, too, but it sucked me right in--it's a great read.

  5. Good luck with that manuscript. I am positive you're going to have great success with it.

  6. Congrats on all your lucky wins in bloggydom, Susan. And that your book is in a publisher's hands. Awesome.

  7. I like the sound of The Princesses of Iowa. And the fact that you did relate to it says a lot about the story and characters.

    And why are duck butts so cute when they're bottoms up like that?

  8. Geo- Hey, thanks for the positive vibes to keep my battery terminals yuk-free. (The less yuk in life, the better!) As for the awards, I didn't earn 'em... I simply WON 'em! No excellence involved; just pure good ... vibes.

    Jon- Thank you, dear sir. And you most certainly deserve some sort of award. Your blog is filled with heartfelt honesty, and doggone good writing.

    Cro- Thanks! I do appreciate it.

    Linda- Me, neither! When your book arrives, it's gonna cut right to the front of the line. I was honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed Molly's book. She is one talented lady, and I can easily imagine her book making it as a blockbuster movie.

    Delores- Thanks. That's sweet of you to say. (Almost as sweet as that candy you sent!)

    Karen- Thank you. Talent's great, but it's hard to beat good luck.

    L.G.- "The Princesses of Iowa" is one of the best books I've read this year, and I've read a LOT of books. I highly recommend it. As for duck butts, I dunno, but I think they're absolutely adorable when their cute little wiggly tails are up in the air.

  9. Oooh, I've won a couple of prizes from Linda Grimes.

    Fingers crossed for you on the manuscript. I know how that feels. Like, I know how that feels RIGHT NOW. (Even though we're not supposed to talk about submissions.)

  10. Dianne- Fingers crossed for you, too. (Not talking about it, though, not talking about it ...)

  11. Lucky ducky!

    You're a winner. Maybe you should see if the streak is still alive with some lottery tickets.

  12. Jay- Yup, that's me! Maybe I SHOULD buy some tickets...

  13. WOW, you are a lucky duck!! I want to read Molly's book and Linda's too!

    Did you really win a book off of my blog? I run so many contests I evidently can't keep track. LOL

  14. Jennifer- HA! Yes, I did. Well, the trip started on your blog, anyway. I think you were guest blogging somewhere else that day, and a free book was offered at random to one of the commenters. ME! (I'm very random.)

    Connie- Thanks. Can't beat luck!

  15. I won something once, a couple of years ago. That's it for me. Maybe it's because I don't believe in luck, but congratulations to you, Ducky.


  16. That is a nice string of luck. Stopping by from Connie Keller's blog, btw. I'm your newest follower, and after reading your review, I'm off to get The Princesses of Iowa! :)

  17. Wow, you're a lucky duck for sure. I think I'll take you with me on my next stand-by trip ;-)
    Thanks for the review. I will definitely buy that book. I taught teens for eight years and now have two of them. We've watched "The Breakfast Club" together and actually discussed it. I was amazed that they'd talk. Boys. 15 and almost 13. Talking to their mother about the pressures of school. Special moment.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Post A-Z Road trip!

  18. This post definitely makes you sound a heck of lot more like a lucky duck than a sucky duck, my dear Sus.

    And how fun to win not just candy but bags of it?!

  19. Hey Susan,
    Glad to know you're a lucky duck. Did you know that "duck" is a term of endearment in this part of lil' ol' England?
    Never mind, this um, 'fowl' posting truly encapsulates the finer attributes of the blogging community. You have made mention of some notable bloggers.
    And all the very best with your manuscript.
    And with that and not ducking the issue, I shall make like a bird and flock off....
    Kind wishes and a bag of virtual British sweets, your way, Gary

  20. You could buy a ticket, but maybe you've already used up your streak?

  21. Janie- I don't exactly believe in "luck", but it sure does seem like the universe smiles on us at times. I hope you're due for another smile real soon.

    Carolyn- Welcome aboard! I'm glad to hear you're going to get a copy of "The Princesses of Iowa". Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Tina- Not sure how much luck I'd be on a stand-by trip. I know for a fact that I have an uncanny knack for sabotaging store check-out lines. (I even warn people about getting behind me!) Glad to hear you're gonna buy that book, and I'd be real interested in hearing what you think of it.

    Suze- Oh, yeah, and it was reeeeeally good candy, too. Jelly beans and a couple different kinds of chewy fruit-flavored stuff.

    Gary- Thanks for the virtual candy, ducky. And as always, thanks for the smiles.

    Al- Oh, no! Good fortune is unlimited, dontcha know? I'm pretty sure my streak hasn't ended, but that doesn't mean it's ever gonna "strike" me in the lottery category, either. But that's okay. Heck, I'm happy when good luck hands me a string of green lights on the way home from the store.

  22. congrats congrats..and in the hands of a publisher..congrats again. good for you!!!

  23. Annmarie- Thank you, dear lady. I appreciate it.