Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Merit Badges 3

Sharon Wildwind

Today we have the third in our series of merit badges for writers and readers because we all need an Atta-a-Girl once in a while.

Series Maven
This is the second in our badges for readers as well as writers. Award yourself this badge if you will (or have) gone to any lengths to read a series in order. This includes—but is not limited to—bugging librarians, requesting inter-library loans, sending out general SOS calls for books on the Internet, driving to another city to buy a copy of the book, or paying an exorbitant amount for the one book needed to complete your series.

Right now I’ve been waiting 15 months for book #1 in a particular series. It’s a large print book and the library has had it on long-term loan to nursing homes. It's finally back in circulation and I’m #4 on the wait list! Okay, cause I know someone will ask, it's Nancy Martin's Blackbird Sisters series.

Book Tour Survivor
Award yourself, and your traveling companions (any of whom you’re still speaking to) this badge if you have done at least 2 of the following:

a) Laughed until you cried listening to other authors describe the machinations of their book tour, only to find out later that everything they said was true and then some.

b) Spent three hours making conversation with two bookstore employees and the store cat because you scheduled your signing opposite a major local sporting event, the Rolling Stones return tour, and/or the worse weather the town has had in 50 years. “We never have hail in October, honest!”

c) You add an extra stop on your tour at the last minute, but without checking a map. Then you find out that the Springfield you thought you were signing in—the one only 30 minutes from your last stop—isn’t the right Springfield at all. The one you’re committed to is half-way across the state, but not to worry. You can still make it if you drive all night.

d) You have eaten the most incredible meals, in the most bizarre circumstances and laughed yourself silly while doing so because you know what a great story this will make at the next convention.

Extreme Researcher
Award yourself this badge when you have done at least one activity from each category listed below in order to research a book:

Research in extreme places
You’ve done any of the following activities for a book: snake or other wild animal handling, skydiving; scuba diving; mountain climbing; rappelling; skateboarding, break dancing, or in-line skating over the age of 55; or cave exploration. Going with a guide through Carlsbad Caverns doesn’t count for the last one. We’re talking the light-on-your-helmet, wedging yourself through tiny holes kind of cave exploration.

Danger pay research
Gone on a ride-along with a police officer or taken a civilian police course; learned to fire a gun or fight with a knife, taken up a martial art, or attended a para-military basic training course. Give yourself full credit, and award yourself the badge, if you served in the military. Research doesn't get more extreme than that.

Researching the law
Done something slightly illegal. If you’ve done something blatantly illegal, I don’t want to hear about it. I’m putting my hands over my ears. I’m not listening. La-la-la-la-la-la-la.
Quote for the week:
As often as not our whole self...engages itself in the most trivial of things, the shape of a particular hill, a road in the town in which we lived as children, the movement of wind in grass. The things we shall take with us when we die will nearly all be small things.
~Storm Jameson, That Was Yesterday, 1932


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I get the first one, for sure!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

I think I qualify for Book Tour Survivor. I have schmoozed for hours to ONE bookstore owner and cat and it would've been longer if my cat allergy hadn't flared up. And I'm a contender for playing opposite the biggest competition--I was scheduled at the same time as Salman Rushdie at Book Passage. You can still see a picture of Mr. Rushdie and me in the photo gallery on my website and also on my publicist's photo page at BreakThrough Promotions.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on both of you for earning a badge. At least, Liz, I think congratulations.

Sandra Parshall said...

Do I get a merit badge for arriving at not one but TWO different conferences to discover my reservation had been screwed up? The merit was in restraining myself from pitching a fit in a crowded lobby. Rooms were found for me both times, but at one hotel I was told I would have to move after the first night. They ended up letting me stay where I was. Now I confirm my reservation -- more than once -- before I leave home.

Anonymous said...

Sandra, absolutely you get the Book Tour Survivor Badge.