Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Never Tell Me The Odds!"

by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

I'm sure you recognize the title of this post. It is one of my favorite movie quotes and is from the original Star Wars (now called Episode 4). C3PO has just told Han Solo the statistical probability of successfully navigating through an asteroid belt (a truly astronomical number) and Han snarls in reply, "Never tell me the odds!"

In my previous career, I toiled as an analyst for the State of California. I played with numbers and statistics every day and got to do fun things like budget change proposals and cost benefit analyses. Ah yes, Aunty loved to 'run those numbers' and make them yield answers!

Then I entered the crazy world of writing for publication, and numbers ceased to be my friends or even my friendly tools. The numbers I discovered in my pursuit of publication were not the answers I wanted to hear. "Never tell me the odds!" became my rallying cry!

If I had stopped to think about the odds, I probably would have never entered the Golden Heart. Only 70 entries were selected as finalists out of 1000. My manuscript had to be judged in the top 7%. YIKES! And yet all 20 of us Banditas beat those odds and went on to final in the Golden Heart in 2006!

A few days ago, our talented Bandita (and my wonderful CP) Jo Robertson beat some very significant odds and became a semi-finalist in Amazon's Break Out Novel contest. Jo's historical manuscript Frail Blood became one of only 100 entries out of 10,000 to be selected. Yes, Jo's manuscript is in the top 1%! I remember when we discussed whether or not she should enter the contest. Since there was no entry fee and the entries were electronic, I remember telling her, "What do you have to lose?" We did not discuss the odds!

But Jo's recent success and the many other successes we Banditas have had since 2006 led me to start thinking about the odds. I found some very interesting "food for thought" and I'd like to share a little hypothetical situation and the resultant numbers:

Let's pretend that there are 1 million people who decide they are going to write a romance novel for the very first time. (Yes, the number is probably much higher but play along with me for now.) Based on what Aunty has seen and read over the years, out of those 1,000,000 only 10% (or probably much less) will ever finish writing that novel. (It's a lot more work than most people think!)

So in our imaginary sample, we now have 100,000 finished (at least in the first draft) romance novels. Probably only 25% of those will ever be submitted anywhere. I'm not talking queries or partials here, but full manuscripts. And out of those 25,000 only half or 50% will be submitted to someone who even publishes romances (sad but true, I've read this on many editors' blogs)! Or if they do publish romance, they don't accept the sub-genre of romance the writer has written.

We are now left with 12,500 novels that have even a glimmer of a chance of being published out of our original 1 million hopefuls. Or slightly over 1%! Only 1 out of 100. So now you know, if you have ever finished writing a manuscript and submitted it somewhere, you are very special indeed!

But if you think those numbers are depressing, consider this. There were slightly over 8,000 romance novels published in 2007 (according to the ROMStat report in the Sept. 08 RWR). Now before you tell Aunty that 12,500 books vying for 8,000 slots doesn't sound that bad... REMEMBER: these are first time novelists. The vast majority of the 8,000 romances publishers will buy are written by existing authors. Someone with a 'track record.' Someone with a 'readership base.'

Aunty's best guess is that only about 5% of those 8,000 books published will actually be by first time authors. Those 12,500 hopefuls are vying for 400 slots. Yes, dear readers, only about 1/3 of 1% of those 12,500 writers will ever see their book published! But in the spirit of Han Solo, some new writers will fill those 400 slots. Someone will beat those odds!

Writing is definitely not for the 'faint of heart!' Nor is it for those who are intimidated by long odds. After all, 1/3 of 1% might be an abysmally small number, but it is still better than the probability of successfully negotiating an asteroid belt!

Have you ever done something even though your chances of success were extremely small? Run some numbers by us. Dazzle Aunty and the rest of the Banditas and BBs with your daring exploits!


limecello said...


limecello said...

... well this post just crushed all my dreams of growing up and becoming a (published!) romance writer. :P
I think the odds for my other dream of growing up to be a senator are even worse.

Haha. Umm... me? Defying the odds? Nothing really comes to mind... other than, my senior year of college, during my first quarter, I realized I was done. I was writing one honors thesis, but I decided since I had "nothing else to do" I would write a second one, for my other degree. So, between the first and second quarter that year, I came up with a topic, and advisers, and... did it. I completed both thes[es], successfully defended them, and graduated with honors and distinction. ;) And my parents were surprised I'd actually graduate.
I also was invited to participate in a research forum, on both topics. I now realize I should've done that, as both my abstracts were accepted... but instead I drove home to see my sister who was visiting :P

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Congrats Limecello!

Catching the GR is pretty long odds. And so is actually getting accepted and making it through law school. (I won't scare you by giving you the percentage of people who pass the bar exam in California on their first try, but trust me, it's VERY small.) So I'd say you have quite a track record of defying the odds.

My 2 cents (current sum total of my bank account) are on YOU to be in that 1/3 of 1% who gets that novel published!


Helen said...

Well done limcello and well done for graduating with such honours.

Great post Aunty Cindy and firstly congrats to Jo and to all the other Bandits and writers who have stuck to their dream and written books I thank you all for the wonderful stories that I have read and have yet to read.

The odds are truly amazing as for me the only thing I can think of was when I won the Tafe Student of the year award, after we had finished our diploma everyone in the class was asked to nominate themselves for this award and actually everyone who had done the course that year at Tafe was asked to put in the paperwork to the teacher and they would complete them and put them in I had no idea how many did put the forms in and never thought I had a chance but there you go I won and was really shocked that I had.

Have Fun

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Helen!
Glad you enjoyed my little numbers game.

Were you the ONLY student to win the Tafe Award? Those sound like pretty long odds to me! Nothing like getting through that asteroid belt or winning the Lottery... But HEY! Somebody had to win it, and I'm glad it was YOU!

Thanx again for being such a loyal reader and BB!


PinkPeony said...

Congrats Limecello!
Thanks for the stats Loucinda. This is a great post. It's both discouraging yet it nurtures the seed of inspiration some of us need to plow through and finish the manuscript! I was an Econ major in college and I had to take the required stats courses, which I dreaded, so my hats off to you for possessing the ability to crunch those numbers and make sense out of them. I remember this econometrics course one quarter...nightmare! During my junior year, E.F. Hutton, the stock brokerage firm, was looking for one summer intern. My university did not have a lot of business related recruiters so everyone I knew in my major applied. I didn't think I had a chance since I didn't have some of the upper division courses that the other candidates had taken. I tottered into the interview in high heels and a suit..a big change from the Levi's and clogs I usually wore and nailed the interview and got the internship...which paid $4.50 an hour, lol!

Congrats Jo on the Amazon Break Out Novel contest. The number of writers that entered was mind boggling!

And yes, the CA bar exam is tough. but I've had more friends who passed it on the first go and a couple of friends who've taken it five or six times and never passed. Limecello, I'm channeling good karma your way.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I meant the post to be a challenge (like Han charging the Millenium Falcon into that asteroid belt) rather than a discouragement. :-) Glad you took it that way!

And GO YOU, putting on that suit and heels and nailing that interview for the internship!

That's the whole point, isn't it? Someone will defy those odds. Someone WILL win! Why not you?!?!

Most of the people I know who passed the CA Bar Exam on the first try were blissfully ignorant of how difficult it was. :-) I think Limecello is in Ohio, and I've no doubt their bar exam is equally daunting. But for someone who has caught the GR so many times, it'll be a 'piece of cake' for her!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Off to catch Craig Ferguson's monologue then hit the sack.

Catch up with everybody later!

Gillian Layne said...

The odds? Ha!

What are the odds my oldest daughter, who was scheduled for a very scary surgery to take a tumor out of her chest when she was three, would have another set of doctors walk in that morning and say, "We have another way to treat her. The scary surgery can wait." And twelve years later, she's still going strong.

What are the odds my heart would still pound and my toes still curl when dh walks in a room, twenty-one years later? (Ok, not every time...but trust me, often enough).

What are the odds someone would buy a random RT magazine, see a tiny little Avon fanlit romance contest add, and three years later have the best set of friends, scattered all over the world?

The odds? Ha! I dance upon the odds with gorgeous red sequins 4 inch heels from Tawny's launch party! ;)

Jo, huge congratulations!!!

Deb Marlowe said...

Gillian--you so totally rock! Keep those red sequins stompin', girl! That's exactly the attitude you need to succeed in this insanity-producing business.

AC--as an analyst, it must have driven you crazy when you first tried to make sense of publishing. Everybody's obsessed with numbers, but they are hard to find and sometimes impossible to interpret!

lime--have fun with the bird--and never let the numbers get you down! Go!

And MEGA congrats again, Jo! whoo!

Lois said...

Hmm, hate odds. . . but ah, just thought I'm mention that it's actually Episode 5, or Empire Strikes Back that the quote is from, when he's going into the asteroid field to get away from Vader. . . not that I've seen it zillions of times or anything. ;)


Christie Kelley said...

Fascinating post, AC! And congrats again to Jo!!!!

I think I'm glad I never saw those numbers before I was published. I knew the odds were not in my favor but I was determined not to give up. Truly, I think that is the key to your post. If you want something bad enough, you have to defy the odds and chase after it until you catch it.

So for all you aspiring writers: Defy the numbers!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Good morning from the Washington Romance Writer's Retreat!

Congrats on the bird, Limecello!

Great post, Aunty. I have to say that I recognized that quote immediately, both source and character. :> How's that for odds? Grins.

I think defying the odds is such a mind over matter thing. I'm also with Gillian on the ways in which I still do:

I still get the pitter-pat-wow with my husband. We're only on 10 years (Hey, April 24th is this week, so OFFICIALLY 10 years!!) but I think that's pretty odds-defying. I also met him after I was 30, and had kids after 35 - also odds defying. Grins.

Now if you REALLY want odds-defying, it's genetics....and the fact there have been no girls born in my DH's family since 1867. None. ALL boys. Even the original immigrant waaaaay back in the 1600's only had one girl out of 11 kids. Now that is truly odd, and odds-defying.

I've gotten jobs when I "shouldn't" have, and won things and defied the odds in other ways of that nature. I'm a firm believer that if you can dream it, you can do it.

So, like Han, I guess I'm one to say "Don't tell me the odds..."

Louisa Cornell said...

I think we need to calculate the odds that any of us are going to get the GR away from Lime for more than a day or two at the time!!

Okay those are some daunting, depressing numbers there, Aunty! SIGH!!

Then again, I can't tell you how many American opera companies I auditioned for before Europe every became a possibility for me.

Over 500 singers from all over the world - 12 spots open to study at one of the most prestigious music schools on the planet. Auditions alone are by invitation only. I sent a tape with no HOPE of getting an invitation. I spent money we didn't have on a ticket to go to the audition once I beat the odds and got the invite. And when they posted those 12 names at 1 AM after all the auditions were over, my name was on it.

Fulbright scholarship auditions - musicians didn't just have to pass an interview and all sorts of other hurdles. Once they made the cut they had to audition in New York to have any hope of a Fulbright. THOUSANDS of musicians sent tapes. A hundred or so got invites to New York. Only 20 were singers. Of those 20 TWO of us were from the same school (USM)from the same voice studio with the same voice teacher. Both of us named Pam (she was Tall Pam and I was Short Pam and we were the best of friends)What happened? Her scholarship took her to Italy, mine took me to Austria.

Gillian, I smile every time you talk about your DH. She really is NUTS about the guy, y'all.

And I have to agree that one little e-mail from our local bookstore owner about the Avon FanLit event started this whole writing thing for me after YEARS AND YEARS of putting that dream aside. And I have some fantastic friends all over the world because of it.

Lets just hope I haven't used up all my luck finaling in the GH twice!

Beth said...

AC, I am so NOT a numbers person! If I want to do something, I just do it *g* I may not always succeed, but at least I've tried

I didn't think about how the odds were stacked when I decided to be a romance author, I just told myself that it would be hard and would take a lot of determination but I wouldn't give up no matter what. Luckily, it worked out!

Gillian, you just keep stomping on those odds! Love how you think :-)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Morning all,
(Aunty yawns expansively)

WTG, Gillian on stomping on those odds!!! Overcoming medical odds always gives me a special thrill, so give your daughter a BIG HUG from me! Doctors may THINK they know it all, but they don't.

Keep those spiffy red stilettos handy because I think you have a lot more stomping to do!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

You're right, the lack of concrete evidence drove me bonkers for awhile. I was firmly in the mind-set of "if you do A and B, you will eventually get C." HA! In publishing, you can do A, B, W, X, Y and Z and still never land anywhere close to C. :-P ARGH!

BTW, Jo is in Florida for a few days visiting family, so she doesn't know she's missing all this fun. hahahahaha!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Lois,
You're right, Empire Strikes Back IS episode 5. SHEESH! I can't keep them straight since they stuck those prequels on and renumbered everything. :-(

I remember the first time I saw it... opening week, middle of the day. My friend brought her 3 year old (no sitter) and from the moment that creature attacked Luke and drug him to the ice cave (5 or 10 minutes in?) her son crawled in her lap and refused to look at the screen. Of course, she could hardly see either for the cringing toddler clinging to her neck!



Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Christie,
You are sooo right, DEFY THOSE NUMBERS!

Actually, my example is pretty simplistic since it assumes ALL variants are equal, which of course they never are. ;-) In truth, the odds that some manuscripts will be published is close to 90% while for others, the chance is probably ZERO. But since you never know which is which, you can't let anything stop you from trying!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I LURVE the way you think, Duchesse! If you can dream it you CAN achieve it! And what great examples you've provided.

Ah genetics! I am soooo fascinated by that subject. Genetically speaking, the odds of us even being here are close to IMPOSSIBLE. But here we all be! LOL!

We want a FULL REPORT on the retreat when you get home!


B.G. Sanford said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Lady Hot Dayum,
You are the walking, talking epitome of defying odds! There must be more published authors in the world than professional opera singers, by quite a bit, I'm thinking.

1/3 of 1% probably sounds way better than anything you've already faced and beaten in the past! LOL! But with two GH finals under your writing belt, I'm thinking your odds of being published are getting better every day. You are far from "running out of luck" m'dear. You are just building up a head of steam as you rush for the final goal of selling!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Beth, sometimes NOT knowing the odds is better.

As you pointed out, you knew it would be hard and would take a lot of work. So you weren't kidding yourself, but you weren't scared either. Just get in there, do all you can, and KEEP GOING! That's what defying odds is all about.


Kirsten said...

AC, what a great post! My husband was so proud of me when I made my book deal that he went around talking to everyone about odds. My YA is coming out in hardback, and he had heard something somewhere about how few books come out in hardback. So he was bragging up and down the block about this -- I think he compared the odds to the odds of a kid playing football and ending up in the NFL.

So now I think of myself as an NFL player. Which would REALLY be defying the odds, since I duck anytime a ball heads in my direction! :-)

Pat Cochran said...

My proudest achievement is being the grandmother of Ashley, Taylor, Paul, Julia, Scott, Mason, Abbey, Sadie, Tristan, and Jude. Followed by being selected to fill the school board position of an outgoing member, being honored for 25 years of volunteerism by our school board, represented our school district in a national competition, had two volunteer
awards named for me, and I nabbed the GR once! (I actually turned
down the school board position
because I wanted to be the one who
would care for our 1st grandchild!)

Pat Cochran

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL Kirsten!
I'm picturing you in football cleats and shoulder pads jogging out onto the field!

I like your DH's NFL analogy. Plus, we Banditas and BBs make a formidable team!

Can't wait for the release of you YA! We'll be having another MASSIVE par-tay in the Lair... Is there any other kind?


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Wow Pat!
What are the odds of having two awards named after you?!?! AMAZING accomplishment my friend. And those 10 wonderful grandchildren?!?! Aunty is sooo jealous!


Suzanne Welsh said...

Afternoon, Cindy and everyone!

Crawling out of the coffin to say hey!

ACK....Statistics! First thing to start my day? Do you HATE me, Cindy??

Actually, I find the numbers fascinating, once someone else has done the math! And I think JO's news is like the coolest thing ever!!

Okay, something that I beat the odds with, huh? Hmmm...okay.

In 2002 Harlequin ran a contest for their Intrigue line. They wanted the first chapter from an unpublished author. I just happened to have one for my manuscript KIDNAPPED. So, thinking, "what the heck?", I mailed that puppy off. (There was no entrance fee and the thing didn't need a snyopsis, something I had yet to really master.)

A few months later I get a registered letter stating I was one of 3 finalists. It had a whole list of things I had to do, (notarzied statement that the work was mine, publicity photo, bio...) and send back to them in 10 days.

So I sent it back pretty sure I'd taken third.

Two weeks later I got another letter telling me I'd won...OUT OF MORE THAN 700 entries!!

Alas, they didn't buy the manuscript, but that same book and its sister book, HUNTED, were double Golden Heart Finalists in 2006...and let me meet some of the greatest friends in writing a girl could have!

Anna Campbell said...

Lime, AGAIN???!!! Congratulations on your academic achievement! Amazing!

AC, what a great post. I think persistence puts you in a better position against those odds, myself. Because then you have to knock out the people who submitted once or twice or even more and then got discouraged and gave up. I'm sad to say I know lots of aspiring writers who do that - and as you say, it's often a shock to people how much hard work this business is!

Hmm, aside from publication, a short story of mine once placed third in a contest with 5,000 entries. Which is pretty cool when you do the percentages - .0006% chance of placing, I think!

Helen, congrats again on the TAFE award! Fantastic stuff!

Jen, congrats on beating the odds with that internship!

Anna Campbell said...

Gillian, beating the medical odds? Now, that's serious stuff! I'm so glad you and your daughter did! Hey, I was just thinking about Fanlit this morning and thinking what great friends I made out of it too. And isn't it fantastic to see so many of the alumni published now? And winning contests and pursuing their writing careers and dreams? Bloomin' fabulous!

Oh, Jo, meant to say my congratulations to you! That's an amazing achievement, Bandita!

Anna Campbell said...

Deb, I don't think the numbers ever tell the full story and they certainly don't with publishing. But I still find them completely fascinating!

Lois, you gave me a giggle! Obviously you don't know Star Wars very well at all!

Jeanne, that no boy thing is amazing!

Hey, Louisa, one of my Fanlit buddies! I love your singing stories. And you're right, the chances of making it in any art form gives you scary statistics. As somebody said, "if it was easy, everybody would do it!"

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, I had to laugh that amongst all those amazing achievements, you included nabbing the GR! Way to go!

Christine Wells said...

Wow, Aunty, I'm so impressed with your 'running of the numbers'! It certainly does NOT pay to think about them before you start a book, does it? And isn't it FANTASTIC about Jo? I'm thrilled for her.

I can't think of anything else where I've had a go against all odds, but I would like to say, in case anyone is discouraged by these figures, that I've noticed from the experience of people I know, that if they are targeting the right subgenre (one that editors are actually buying now) most people with talent eventually sell. It might take a long time, but it does happen. So hand in there all our AYUs!

Woohoo, limecello again! Congrats on the bird!

Christine Wells said...

Sorry, that was HANG in there, not HAND. Sorry, it's 6am here and I'm half asleep!

PJ said...

Terrific blog, AC! We certainly have a lot of odds-defying people in the lair today. I've loved reading everybody's stories!

I'm with Louisa on calculating the odds of getting the GR away from limecello. I'm thinking they aren't so great. lol

Gillian, you keep on stompin', girl and I love that you do it in style! I'm so happy your dd hasn't had to have that scary surgery.

PJ said...

I've managed to defy the odds a few times. First, when I was in my early 20's I was driving my firebird (with 2 passengers) on a two-lane highway and was passing a car when just ahead a big car turned onto the highway coming toward me in my lane. The car I was passing was able to swerve far enough to the right so I could straddle the center line but the car coming toward me made no attempt to avoid me. He wiped out the whole driver's side (this was before air bags) and sent the car careening toward two teenagers walking along the side of the road. The state trooper said a couple more inches to the left and all of us in my car probably would have been killed and he had no idea how I kept control of the car and managed to avoid the kids walking. His exact words to me were, "You sure beat the odds on this one."

PJ said...

I began my banking career in the south back in the day when all the banks were run by men and women were expected to be tellers, secretaries or, occasionally, new accounts clerks. I started at the bottom, worked my way up to Asst. Branch Manager and was on the team that opened two new branches in town. When I found out a third branch was being planned I wanted to manage it. I knew the odds were severely against me but I really wanted the opportunity and was confident in my abilities so, with my late dh's support and encouragement, I went for it. It took four interviews with the local president before he finally (reluctantly) decided to give me a chance. I later discovered that he planned to let me get the office up and running (the grunt work) then replace me with a more suitable male manager. What happened? By the end of the first month of business we were the fastest growing branch in our company of 700+ branches, I was featured in the company-wide magazine and the President of the company personally traveled to our city to congratulate me. That local management position eventually led to a terrific opportunity with the holding company and none of it would have been possible if I had backed away from the odds rather than do my best to defy them.

Oh, and in case you're wondering what happened to that local President who had planned to use me then toss me to the side? He got fired.

Kate Carlisle said...

Wow Aunty, you're really smart! :-)

I figure it's a good thing my ears used to start buzzing when anyone talked about the odds of getting published. What would I have done if I'd paid attention to them? It's not like I would've given up writing. I couldn't. I had no choice but to keep going.

Glad I did. Same goes for everyone here. :-)

Congrats, Limecello!!

Wow, PJ, you've really beaten the odds in your life. You rock!!

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, wow! You have the most fascinating life! Those are two amazing stories and yay, you!!!

Joan said...

The odds? Ha! I dance upon the odds with gorgeous red sequins 4 inch heels from Tawny's launch party! ;)LOL, I want this on a T-shirt, Gillian!

I don't really think about the odds in anything I do. For me there is ALWAYS this kernal of hope that whatever I am seeking CAN be mine.

Sometimes you get great, unexpected, wonderous 19 of the most talented, wonderful ladies coming from all over the world to form an incredible force called the Banditas.

So, now...I'm off to buy my weekly lottery ticket. Somebody has to win...might as well be me :-)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Sorry to throw statistics at you so early in the day. :-) But thanx for crawling out to join us!

HOORAY for you on defying the odds in the Harlequin contest! And I have this feeling that you'll soon be going on an all out number stomping fest with your "Lacy Morgan!"


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

.0006% is pretty heavy odds! Way worse than .33% (1/3 of 1%).

But you are right, persistence pays off! You can never beat the odds if you don't try. Those who do keep trying have a HUGE advantage over those who quit. ;-)

When I was first promoted to analyst, there were 5 other co-workers who had been on the job longer and were also hoping to be moved up. Only ONE of the 5 congratulated me, and the woman who raised the biggest stink had never even tested and tried for the promotion! DUH! Did she really expect upper management to hand it to her on a silver platter without her even asking?!?! I always think of her when someone says to me, "I'm gonna write a book someday, when I have spare time."


Helen said...

What wonderful stories everyone has the impression I am getting is if you really want something

Have Fun

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Good Morning, Mme!

I'd say studying law and passing your bar exam were pretty odds defying feats!

As I mentioned earlier, my post was a pretty simplistic example. We all know there are sooo many variables in the publishing scenario. Once a writer reaches a certain level of skill and keeps submitting a quality product, the odds of them selling are much, MUCH better than .33%!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...


That car accident story make my palms sweat! HOW SCARY!!! For the state trooper to comment on you beating the odds shows just how AMAZING it was that everyone survived! ACK!!!

And WTG on your career! So glad that jerky manager got exactly what he deserved. :-P I LURVE when karma like that happens!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL Kate!

Sometimes covering your ears and singing "LALALALA!" is the best way to cope with ugly odds. Of COURSE you couldn't give up! And NOW you are a NYTimes Best Selling Author! How bout THOSE odds, baby?!?!


Suzanne Welsh said...

Thanks, Cindy. Lacy Morgan has been getting some good loving, (pun intended), so I'm keeping my fingers crossed you're right!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

"Sometimes you get great, unexpected, wonderous 19 of the most talented, wonderful ladies coming from all over the world to form an incredible force called the Banditas."You said it, Joanie T.!!! Those were some kinda crazy odds, but we ALL beat 'em! And I know YOU and the rest of our AYUs will join the .33% very soon. You CAN do it, and we'll all be cheering and popping the cyber-bubbly when you do!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nice summary, Helen!

Forget the odds, GO FOR IT!


flchen1 said...

WOW. Well, AC, even huger congrats to you and the Banditas for successfully beating the odds! Zowie! ;)

And congrats on the GR, Limecello!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

DITTO what I just said to Joanie!

YOU CAN make it, and Lacy just might be the one to take you over the AYU fence.

We've got plenty of bubbly on ice waiting for the celebration!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx Fedora!

Care to give me a hand calculating the probability that someone will charm the GR away from Limecello? We may need a bigger calculator. Mine only goes to 8 digits. :-P


Pat Cochran said...

Thanks, Aunty Cindy and Anna, for
the kind words.

Congratulations to all! It takes
determination, devotion to your
"calling," and sometimes a guardian
angel(s) to see you through to your
goal! Sometimes those guardian
angels live in a Lair!

Pat Cochran

Gillian Layne said...

You guys are sweet. :)

Louisa, I know all those dear animals you've devoted your life to have you to thank for beating the odds! You're amazing!

PJ--that car story gave me chills. By the grace of God...

Hey Aunt Cindy--what are the odds we'll get another sneak peek at that new soon-to-be-released book of yours??? *W*

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Tee Hee, Pat!

I'm not so sure any of the Banditas are angels, but Sven's massages are definitely HEAVENLY! ;-)

Thanx to you and ALL the BBs who came out to have fun with numbers today!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Gillian Layne said: "Hey Aunt Cindy--what are the odds we'll get another sneak peek at that new soon-to-be-released book of yours???"Thanx for asking Gillian! The odds are 100% if you join my Yahoo Newletter Group. LOL! (check for the link on my website: And if you join before the 26th, you'll be in a drawing to win one of three gift certificates!