10 Ways to Kill Time Until the Call… GH, RITA, or THE Call

10 Ways to Kill Time Until the Call… GH, RITA, or THE Call

It’s almost here!  March 25th.  A day that will always be significant in the world of romance writers.  But it’s not here yet and the anticipation makes the hours drag by.  So how do you spend these final hours?

1.)  Plan your Celebration

Stock up on the champagne, streamers, and party horns.  Oh, and a tiara.  How can you party without a tiara?  Or book a day at the spa.  Make reservations for you and a significant other or group of writer friends at a restaurant.  Or plan a “pleasure reading day” that is only for you and the book of your choice.

2.)  Pose & Plan

One of the first things you’ll want after the call is a platform (if you don’t have one already).  Start mugging for the camera as you pose for your professional pictures in the mirror.  And don’t forget to practice your acceptance speech and reserve or renew a domain name for your fabulous author site.

3.)  Write

Oh yeah, that!  Just because you’re going to be a big success doesn’t mean you can take it easy.  Get to work on that next amazing manuscript.  The world is waiting!

4.)  Review

Look over your agent/editor submission list (and think about what you’re going to say to them when you email or call with the news that, yes, your manuscript is fantastic! ☺ )  Remember, as a GH finalist, you have first round picks of appointments at conference.

5.)  Revise

Oh yeah, there’s that, too.

6.)  Plot…

…your outfits for conference.  OR your future RITA-winning New York Times bestseller.  OR plot how you will celebrate (see #1).

7.)  Plan

Google maps of New York City, and plan your visit for the RWA National Conference.  But save lots of time to mingle with your fellow finalists and attend some wonderful events thrown in your honor.

8.)  Day job?

Pshaw.  No, daydream…your body may be at work, but they can’t control your mind (unless maybe you work for the government – but um, of course that’s a rumor).  The sky’s the limit here!  Browse your local bookstore (or and imagine how your book will look there.  What will the cover look like?  Picture delivering your keynote address as you receive the RWA Lifetime Achievement award.

9.)  Make a manicure and hair appointment.

Nails nibbled down to the nubs from the exhausting wait?  Get thee to the salon.  You’ve got to get in shape for that professional photographer appointment for your new website, business cards, and the gi-normous picture they’ll flash when you win the GH (see #2 above).

10.) Self-induced Chocolate Coma

Consume vast amounts of chocolate until you fall into a sugar stupor. It’s a proven fact: Chocolate makes everything better.

While I wrote this semi-tongue-in-cheek, I sincerely wish the best of luck to all who’ve entered, and to all who have submissions out there in the wide world of publishing.  Waiting is the hard part, and you’re almost there.

So, tell me…how do you plan to spend the final 48 (or so) hours before the GH/RITA calls go out?  How are you killing time while the seconds slip by?

And don’t forget… our Ruby Cyber-party on the 25th will commemorate the end of the wait!  Join us Friday for live updates (and lots of great giveaways!) as the Golden Heart and RITA finalists are announced.

70 responses to “10 Ways to Kill Time Until the Call… GH, RITA, or THE Call”

  1. Gwynlyn MacKenzie says:

    Fun post, Anne Marie! These last 48 (or more) hours will be spent bringing a manuscript up to snuff with the help of my indominable CP. Oh, and taking Pepto. I have no idea why this year is worse than previous years (maybe because, for the first time, I’ve entered more than one book?) but it do have my gut twisted into tight Gordian knots!

    • Thanks – I had fun writing it. 🙂 Hope you hear some great news (times 2!) on Friday. IMO, nothing better than losing yourself in a manuscript to make the time pass (except, maybe, losing yourself in someone else’s manuscript).

  2. I don’t know what I’m going to do to kill the time between now and then … a write-in, perhaps?

    This was definitely a fun post. I like the spa day idea. Maybe I’ll schedule myself a massage.

  3. Hi, Anne Marie! I’m not in the running for the GH, but I can still follow your game plan, can’t I? Already well on my way to a chocolate coma.

    Such an exciting time! Good luck to our GH and RITA hopefuls!

  4. Katrina says:

    Great post! I love the massage idea. I might book one for Saturday because it works either way. If I’m sad and depressed, it’ll help cheer me up, and if I’m ecstatic it’ll help chill me out.

    I’m killing time by being incredibly busy at work, but I’m not working Friday afternoon, so I’ll be here for the cyberparty! I was with you guys last year for the party, but it was a bad day for me (with work and family illness), so I wasn’t in the best frame of mind. This year will be much better!

  5. Tamara Hogan says:

    Building on Anne Marie’s #2, Pose and Plan, consider researching and booking some time with a photographer to have a professional headshot done. Now is the perfect window of opportunity. If you’re one of the lucky ones who get a GH call on Friday, one of your first deliverables will be a picture or headshot to be posted on the RWA website, printed in the RWR, and displayed LARGER THAN LIFE on the JumboTron at the RITA and GH Awards Ceremony. You’ll have about a month to turn this request around, and that month passes faster than you can imagine. If you don’t get a GH call this year, plan for success and invest in one anyway. You can use it on your website.

    Then shop for some new boots, and get a foot massage. 😉

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      I second that! The picture you send RWA will not only appear on, it will be projected on the JUMBOTRON at Nationals, whether you win or not. (It’s kind like the Oscars…they show all the nominees.)

      I didn’t know that my first time finaling, and just went into the backyard and held my camera out in my left hand and took my own picture. I felt pretty goofy when it flashed up alongside all the professional shots. Besides, why not feel like a movie star for once?

      • Amanda Brice says:

        That screen is huge, isn’t it? I definitely recommend investing in a professional photo, or at least a semi-pro.

    • Professional shots are SO worth it. Besides, you can use them on your website, business cards, little picture thingees next to your name on blogs, and on your book cover, of course. I’ve used many, many times more than I thought I would.

      And the scramble… I remember that being the only negative about the 25th… finding out I had 2-3 weeks to get them professional pictures. Luckily, my neighbor is a professional photographer!

  6. No chocolate for moi. I’ve got a dress I want to fit into for my daughter’s wedding in August (and hopefully one for the awards ceremony too.) I’ll be writing today and blogging tomorrow to keep busy.

    • Ah, the dress. I didn’t put that on the list, because I remember how stressful that was for me and I wanted to be fun. But man, that was the issue for several weeks (after the head shots)! (Excellent plan to keep busy, too, BTW. I’m judging a contest and trying to get back to my WIP now that my other edits are in. I’m actually really looking forward to it!)

  7. Kathy Altman says:

    Fun post, Anne Marie! And helpful, too! And by golly, if you recommend eating chocolate, then I’ll just have to put on my big girl panties and follow your advice. 🙂 I’m also considering an endless supply of chai tea while watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. *That* should distract me. 🙂

    Very best wishes, everyone!!

  8. Hope Ramsay says:

    Any plans I had for partying or a day day at the spa were crushed yesterday when my editor sent me copyedits that have to be back by Tuesday.

    I suddenly feel like the wise matron handing out advice to a giggling bride. Getting the Call is almost as much fun as getting married — but producing books is as arduous and producing children. 😉

    Ah but I wouldn’t trade the marriage or the kids (or the publisher) for anything. Good luck to all of you and may next year find you sidelined at the dance with a load of copyedits on your desk, too.

    • Loved hearing your journey story a couple days ago, Hope. So inspiring – and I’m glad you’re working on copyedits, because that means another book will be coming out “soon”- yay! It IS kind of like gestation… producing kids in 9 months… books in 9-24 (or more). They’re both a lot of work, but worth it.

      What a lovely sentiment, wishing copyedits on others. 😉

    • Rita Henuber says:

      Ugg! But you will stop by for a moment.
      You’ll probably have everything done by tomorrow night any way

      • Hope Ramsay says:

        No, Rita,

        Somehow I managed to draw the copyeditor from Hades. Honestly, she has no idea what deep 3rd person means. And has obviously never, ever visited the south.

        After spending a day undoing the damage this woman wants to inflict on my voice, I probably need a day at the spa. (Or a Chocolate induced coma.)

        So let me amend my wish — May you all have copy edits to deal with next year — from a copy editor who is completely sampatico with your own, personal, writer’s voice.

  9. Elisa Beatty says:

    Fun post, Anne Marie, and great advice–especially the chocolate! Good therapy either way!

  10. Absolutely! (And I was oh-so-proud of myself that I figured out how to attach pictures to this blog. It was fun surfing pics of chocolate.)

  11. Alexa Bourne says:

    Great post! I’ll be writing over the next two days, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about the calls going out Friday morning. I decided that I’m buying myself some flowers on Friday to either celebrate a final or to cheer me up if I don’t. Good luck to everyone who entered!

  12. Fun post! And heck, I’m not even entered this year but I stocked up on my “waiting for the announcement” chocolates : ) It’s SUCH a fun day — I’m really looking forward to it and I’m certain I will see a lot of familiar names announced. NYC will be one big party!!

  13. Jeannie Lin says:

    Must find chocolates….

    I think I’ll spend the next 48 hours doing stretches and finger exercises to get ready for the incessant refreshing. I just LOVE the excitement of announcement day! Best of luck to all who entered–may they be official Ruby Sisters or Ruby Sisters in spirit.

  14. Fun post, Anne Marie! Your # 4 (Review editor/agent sub list) is fantastic advice. Editors/agents really do take note of that GH ribbon. Finalists should also get their one-line pitches ready for Nationals, as at cocktail receptions and in elevators, editors/agents really do say, “So tell me about your GH book.” And if finalists already have the ms out on submission with agents, definitely drop a casual e-mail to the agents saying, “BTW…this ms just finalled in the RWA Golden Heart.” This is a great time to build buzz and a sense of urgency about your ms. Good thoughts to all those waiting!

  15. Rita Henuber says:

    What Fun!
    In less than 48 hours we will be squeeing, clapping our hands, bouncing in chairs, sipping chanpagne and eating chocolate. Yes, it is hard to be a writer.

    • Yes, how we suffer for our art – eating chocolate and drinking wine while we work. So, so hard.

      On a side note, I just got back from the dentist (talk about a way to kill time) and he asked if I was a teeth-grinder (this was before he looked in my mouth). I said “no.” He said, because a lot of creative people are. I told him, but I write romantic suspense — I get to write about romance AND killing people. What better therapy? No need to grind my teeth! (Except when waiting for an important call, of course! Hah!)

  16. Does biting your fingernails to nubs count as something to do to pass the time?

    If so, I’m right on schedule….
    ::rolls eyes::

  17. Hi!
    What a fun post!! Thanks so much. I had put the Call Date out of my mind-denial/nervousness I suppose. I entered the Rita with my GH winning book, and I’m curious to see how it does. I like all the suggestions, but I especially think stocking up on chocolate is a great idea for whatever happens. LOL Meanwhile I’m going to keep busy working on the next book and the other dozen things on my To Do List. Friday will be here before we know it. Good luck to everyone and remember entering these contests and submitting to editors are huge accomplishments in themselves.

  18. Excellent advice. Planning the dress? A must. And best to do it with a friend so they can repeatedly tell you how fabulous you look in that style, that texture, that wonderful color on you. 🙂 The only thing I would add to the list was the need to buy a bottle of Channel #5. It was good enough for Marilyn, it is good enough for us. And for that matter, watch all her movies. They will tell you *exactly* how to act in front of a camera and rock a room!! LOL


    Jacqui Jacoby

  19. Hmmmm….

    I guess I’m sort of trying to pretend it’s not coming up. Not easy, being the person hosting the blog on Friday! But I’m just working as hard as I can, hoping that if my name gets pulled out of that hat on Friday, I’ve got lots of new material to sell. I’ve got a chapter meeting on Thursday, which should help pass that last night.

    Now, I *do* have plans to reward myself if I get the call. I’m going to get a haircut! A GOOD one! If I don’t get the call, I’ll still get a haircut, but it’ll be at a cheaper salon.

  20. Shea Berkley says:

    Although I’m no longer eligible, I’m excited for my friends who’ve entered the GH and Rita this year. It’s always fun to read the call stories.


    I never need an excuse to do some personal pampering, but if I did, this would be the moment. Good luck everyone!

  21. Anne Barton says:

    Chocolate. Fun post, Anne Marie!

    The day job really keeps my mind off of the waiting . . . evenings are a different story!

    More chocolate.

  22. LOL! This is TOO cute!!!

  23. Liz talley says:

    Great suggestions, Anne Marie. I’m trying to pretend it away. I’m entered in the Rita this year. I have a sliver of hope bit that’s it. I’ll probably try to keep myself really busy that day writing. But that massage sounds good too.

  24. Kate Parker says:

    Sounds like lots of people combined #1 and #10, just like I am. I’m planning to celebrate with a peanut butter cup ice cream from Dairy Queen. And since the 25th is on Friday night this year, our DQ in the back of beyond will have 50 cars and 200 people milling around in a parking lot built for 20. If I final, I’ll be the first GH finalist to become road kill the day of the announcements. But with my peanut butter cup ice cream blizzard, I’ll go with a smile on my face.

  25. My time here is almost done (boo!), but I really enjoyed killing time with you all today. I hope each of you hears some amazing news soon… whether GH, RITA, or THE Call! (Or, for those of you who have already had an amazing call… hope you get the NEXT great Call.)

    And don’t forget the Ruby Cyber party on Friday! 😀

  26. Diana Layne says:

    too cute! I didn’t enter this year so I don’t have to worry though. 🙂 Good luck to everyone who entered!


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