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I Can't Believe That Just Happened
omfg
catvalente
I figured the best way to post about the two amazing things that happened this weekend was to split it into two entries--they are very different things, despite both involving a lot of screaming excitedly and jumping up and down.

So there's this glass obelisk in my house now. And I keep looking at it to make sure the universe isn't in a state of quantum flux and suddenly another book's name will appear on it.

I, um, won the Andre Norton Award.

I went to Florida perfectly happy to wear an awesome dress and watch a spaceship fly and lose this award. Because I was obviously going to lose it. Fairyland is a web-published novel, self-published, despite now having a contract and a publisher. It is a good book, yes, I know it's good, I love it so hard and I see that people love it. But up against NYT bestsellers and Newbury Medal winners and extremely popular authors--I knew I had no chance.

And I didn't care. Because the nomination was all I really wanted. It made history, it was a huge deal for me. I could not ask for more, as the song goes. I was totally zen about losing--and utterly unprepared to win.

Until about two hours before the ceremony when I had way too much coffee--like six shots of espresso--because I was exhausted from carousing with my friends the night before and all the nerves hit me along with the espresso and I felt like I was going to throw up all the way through the speeches and service awards. I still didn't think I was going to win but you do this thing (and I feel justified that I do it because we were talking to China Mieville in the dinner line and he basically narrated my internal monologue) where you say it's ok to lose, the nomination is enough, but then you think: what if I won? And then you go: oh man, don't do that, it'll only make you crazy. And so you just try to control the part of you that really wants it.

See, I've done the thing where you go to the banquet in a sparkly dress and hope and hope and think you have a good shot and then they say another name and dude, grace or no grace, it sucks. And since my body knows it sucks I was way more nervous because I was preparing myself to hit that brick wall. Or, possibly, it was the six shot of espresso. And three Cokes.

But it didn't happen. When Tom Doyle was saying the names of the nominees my heart was beating so fast I could hear it in my temples, and then...well, you can watch it here if you skip to minute 27:00. He got through about two words of the title before everyone started cheering and I just sort of shut my eyes and put my hand over my mouth and teared up. I was shaking so hard I could barely hold my hastily scribbled just-in-case-wrote-this-in-the-lobby-an-hour-ago speech. That whole speech is at the link so you can see me be stunned.

It was a total Oscars moment. I've won awards where you get an email and that's AMAZING. I never thought I'd win where you sit and wait and your dress glows and there's this bizarre time stretching action and then your whole head buzzes with your friends cheering...good god.

Twitter seems pretty sure this is the first time a self-published book has won a major literary award. Hollaback if you know otherwise, but one way or another this was highly against the odds, and I'm still in shock. Still not quite believing that happened. I'm so terribly grateful to everyone who believed in Fairyland and supported it, who made it this thing that no one judged for being self-published online, and to those who voted for it without prejudice. What an amazing world. This is not what usually happens when you put up a story on your website to pay the rent. Thank you to everyone who has said congratulations over the last couple of days, there are far too many to reply individually, but omg, love.

Afterwards we went out to Waffle House, and everything was beautiful and nothing hurt and I got to hang with paolobacigalupi who OMG WON and scalzi  and maryrobinette  and 2muchexposition  and saladinahmed  and so many others. It was like going to Denny's after a play when I was a dorky drama kid, but different because I wasn't on the outside anymore and I love my friends so much and I love my life and the luck, she beggars the mind, and here's a picture of a major literary award chilling at the 'House:Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

PS, if anyone has pics from the awards please point me to them!

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Congrats, dude! IT'S SO SHINY.

PS. I'm in the midst of deadlines right now (KILL ME), but if you're still interested in Lost shenanigans on Sunday, I'll shoot you an email probably Weds or so when the times are more definite. I mean, for you, show up whenever you would like. Not when the episode STARTS, you know, but I've got the thing reserved at 7, so... yeah. DETAILS, I'LL GIVE THEM TO YOU.

Awesome! Thanks! And yeah, still totally wanting to come.

I am so ridiculously thrilled for you (and it was totally deserved).

Now I'm even doubly sad you won't be at WisCon so I can congratulate you and hug you and do the snoopy dance.

I am sad, but it did turn out to be worth it to go to Florida instead.

Wildest Congratulations!!

Stasia

::new reader here::

Congratulations! I have not read it yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

You looked beautiful in that clip--what a gorgeous dress!

I bounced straight off the couch when I saw you'd won. Huge congratulations!

Randomly, ever since I saw the twitter-sphere blow up that you won, I have been randomly grinning and thinking: "YAY CAT." So if I am that thrilled for you, I can only imagine how great this is for you.

...

YAY CAT

EEEEE! *shares victory cupcakes*

There was VERY LOUD SQUEEING in the Thomas Household when we saw that you'd won.

AWESOME.

Lol. Given that my paternal family's surname is Thomas, I'd bet that was doubly true.

I saved my scribble-speech for you.

*flyingtacklehug*

YES YES YES EEE YOU WON YES!

*deep breath*

My heart is like unto an Icelandic volcano, only instead of travel-disrupting ash, it pumps out LOVE.

That is a hilarious image. Are you a writer or something?

I watched the video and did the screaming fist pump and then cried because this was just so amazing. I know how hard you worked, and how crazy post-train was and then the economy and how worried you were, and then it all culminated into one big bang of win. I'm so happy for you!

So glad I'm not the only one who cried! *hug*

Shiny happiness! =D

And yes, this is a paradigm shift in the making.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! *jumps around* *happyflails*

Wow. Like, WOW. ...........Wow. ^____________^

So happy for you!!

Three trophies for the Cat!

*hugs*

What amazes me, I said this on Twitter, is that the self/web published nature of it seems to not even be a story. No one is doing articles on the craziness of it. That says a lot to me.

Congratulations!
I just teared up at work over this, which is kind of embarrassing but I'll take it.
This must be what sports fans feel like when their team wins!

*laughs* What a great comparison!

I watched the video and got all teary. :)

<3 <3 <3

YOU ARE TOTALLY A ROCK STAR!!!

*headbang*

*throws horns*

*air guitar*

Congratulations! I love Fairyland, and I'm thrilled to see it getting the honors it deserves.

What a long road it's been. I've always been so happy that you liked the book.

I hope the second things is being so upset about the death of Dio that you had to scream and cry and jump up and down. I sure did.

Congratulations! Go you! :-)

Still full of squee here. It's awesome and shiny and yay!!!!

So much better than the cookie, the pony or the plastic rocket.

I am insanely happy for you. Madly, dearly, completely.

Hard work in the face of adversity. Who'd have thunk it.

Go. YOU.

That's flipping fantastic. Congrats!

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