Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. --David Beckham (as quoted on the underside of an iced-tea bottle I drank Saturday night--no, I am NOT kidding you)
Aura: That's impossible.
Zachary: Seems like a lot of impossible things are happening. We may need to redefine that word.
--SHIFT, Chapter 10
Like Zachary's luminous advocates, Fictitious Delicious, I'm having a hard time writing a Team Kilt/YA Crush Tournament wrap-up post. I'm still processing what exactly happened over the last month, how a near-unknown guy went from last seed to giving Jace Wayland, the God of Crushes, a serious run for his money.
--The final tally was 53-47%, 24,250-21, 385, for a total of 45,635 votes--amazing numbers that show just how loved these boys are. I'm still grinning from the fact that this many people got that excited over books. Also: previously in the tournament, the most any other character had gained against Jace was 35%. Late at night, the other side called for more votes to keep Zachary below 40%, but Team Kilt BOWS TO NO ONE. They took their opponent's challenge as their own, and actually closed the gap as the night wore on. No. Fear.
--Many, many prizes were given away. See below for details.
--Another $275 was raised for the Tartan Army Childrens Charity, bringing the tournament total to nearly $1500. Sweet! I'm leaving the donation form up until the end of the month, so if you enjoyed our little show, please consider giving $5-$10 to help the weans. Also, $1 of every purchase of Keeley Brothers merchandise (basically, my entire markup) will go to TACC.
--I posted several SHINElines and a couple of impromptu teasers. The teasers (#1 and #2) are here on the blog, and I'll post the full complement of SHINElines on Wednesday as a separate post, since this one will be pretty long.
--Zachary and Logan popped in for a Twttier chat at 2am, and Aura stopped by around 6am. Of course the first question she was asked was, "What does Zachary wear under his kilt?" *facepalm* Y'all have a one-track mind, and that track leads straight to UTK.
--Because Zachary received 5,000 votes, I will write the lyrics to "Forever," the song Logan sings to Aura in Shadeas she pretends to sleep, the night before his testimony. Look for the lyrics (and possibly some music!) in time for the release of Logan's short story "Bridge" in the Enthralled anthology September 20.
--Because Zachary received 10,000 votes, the names of every member of Team Kilt will be printed in the acknowledgments of SHINE, coming May 1, 2012. If you voted for Zachary and want your name included, please email it to jeri AT jerismithready DOT com with the subject line "Team Kilt Final." Let me know how you want your name to appear.
--Because Zachary received 20,000 votes, I will fly to Minneapolis for Team Kilt Con, which will include a booksigning and hangout with the wonderful people who made it happen. (Note: this was originally the prize if he won, but I changed the rules once he reached 10,000 votes in less than twelve hours--we needed something to keep us going through the stratosphere.)
While it might not be impossible to express how it's made me feel (I'm learning not to use the "i" word except to refer to exceeding the speed of light), it's pretty close. So instead I'll try to thank all those who made it a Summer to Remember.
Of course, my biggest thanks goes to Amy and Jen at Fictitious Delicious. I posted before the final round how incredible they are, but at the time I hadn't seen nothin' yet! During the final round, they hosted a Team Kilt slumber party, complete with trivia, prizes, kilt avatars, music videos, movie clips, "kiltifying" by request, and so much more! I missed a lot of because it was going by so fast and I was always preparing the next SHINE snippet or teaser. And they were nice enough to let Logan and Zachary crash the party with a 2am chat, even though they're boys.
If you have time for some fun, you should visit FD's Team Kilt Hub, where videos and avis and poems and all other goodnesses are collected.
Thanks next to Karen (@teamsheltie) at For What It's Worth book blog. She coordinated a massive giveaway hop, giving Team Kilt something to look forward to at each voting increment, as well as a chance for other bloggers to contribute prizes of their own. See her wrap-up post for a list of her own prize winners. (I assume the other bloggers will contact their own winners.) Karen was also a cheerleader without peer.
Thanks to the Team Kilters who stayed up all night or got up early in the morning, all around the world (keeping Team Jace awake as well!). I'll try to list everyone, but I want to single out a few people:
--@MarissaOdom for her hilarious rhymes and knock-knock jokes. Seriously, there were moments when she was all that kept me awake and going.
--@BrookeWorm33 (Brooke Reports) for...well, everything. The giveaways, the crack-me-up tweets, the Irish/Scottish kilt avatar. I've said it before, but it means a lot coming from the CEO of LoganLove, Inc.
--Stacey at @PageTurnersBlog for many, many giveaways and retweets.
--Samantha Stoner (@lilsammis) who donated to TACC and was a huge presence on Facebook
--One my favorite author friends--and brilliant new critique partner, Frankie Diane Mallis (@frankiediane)--for her insatiable Zachary addiction and a wonderful manuscript of her own to distract me from the tension of the early rounds.
If I missed anyone, please let me know in the comments. I scrolled through the Team Kilt hashtag as far as I could (which made me a little teary-eyed, I confess) to gather usernames.
Thanks to YA Sisterhood for dreaming up this idea and then executing it so beautifully. It became so much bigger than any of us expected, but they rolled with it and kept it fun.
Special thanks to Cassandra Clare and Team Jace, who showed phenomenal sportsmanship even after they discovered they'd have to stay up all night to fend off the Pictish hordes. The fact that Cassie brought out "the big guns" incentive package showed a respect for Team Kilt that warmed my heart and pumped my pulse.
(By the way, Jace fans? YOU'RE WELCOME! It was Team Kilt's tough reputation that got you those teaser scenes and awesome giveaways. So when you're reading the DSCS, think of Zachary. Or wait--don't. That might disrupt some sort of space-time continuum of fiction.)
Even special-er thanks to my family, who didn't tell me I was crazy for caring about this. My husband was especially amazing, making sure I got enough to eat and drink during that last round (he was away on a business trip the night of the Tod matchup, sadly. I think I had popcorn for dinner that night).
As always, I have to thank music, in this case Frightened Rabbit, a band from Glasgow who are my new obsession. I played their latest release, Winter of Mixed Drinks, approximately fifty times in a row this last week. I also saw them open for Death Cab for Cutie Sunday night, in one of many weird serendipities during this tournament. Like Team Kilt, they are bold, hardworking, and kick an unexpected amount of arse.
Speaking of which, the last YA Crush Tourney giveaway. At the concert, Frightened Rabbit sold an EP CD that is not available for download or sale anywhere but at their US shows. Because I love them so, so hard, and because I'm a little addicted to giving stuff away, I'll send one of my spare EPs to someone who comments on this post by 11:59pm Thursday, August 18.
Aw, hell, I'll throw in a CD of Winter of Mixed Drinks, too.
Here's a bootleg video of them performing the first song on the EP, "Scottish Winds." Seems a fitting way to end this all--with music, a killer accent, and a wee dose of profanity.