I woke up this morning and turned my head toward the window.
What a great surprise. I hadn’t heard the forecast so I had no idea this was coming. Turns out these ice crystals boded well for the rest of the day.
For those unfamiliar with my “real job,” when I’m not drinking beer, I’m saving the world. By day, I run the Responsible Purchasing Network, a North American association of institutional purchasers working together to define and procure socially responsible and environmentally preferable goods and services. Following on the good luck portended by the unexpected snow, today in the office I brokered a deal with a partner to provide a significant windfall of financial support for our work. Sweet.
And the day got better.
The snow kept coming and looked beautiful from the window of my ninth floor office as it settled on the town of Takoma Park. But it got heavier and wetter as dusk arrived, just in time for my brief scooter commute home. I ride a Honda Metropolitan. It’s like a weed-wacker on wheels. Slush covered snow makes just about the worst possible road conditions for riding a scooter. But, save for one mildly-dangerous-out-of-control swerve at the beginning, I made it home without incident. Lucky.
But the biggest surprise was waiting for me in the mailbox, and it wasn’t the new issue of Super Street magazine, a subscription to which mysteriously started appearing in my box a couple months ago addressed to an unfamiliar name.
No, what really threw me was the package from my publisher New Society. Inside an express package was a folder containing two certificates, two medals, and a hand-written note of congratulations from my publisher.
What the heck? It appears I’ve received two awards for my book Fermenting Revolution.
My interest piqued, and suspecting that this might just be some kind of bogus marketing scam, I googled “Independent Publisher Book Awards.” Apparently my publisher submitted my book on my behalf and I really have won something here. It turns out there were 2,690 books submitted and there are 65 categories of awards and each category has a Gold, Silver and Bronze winner. Hmm, some quick math needed here. Maybe everyone wins something? Nah, it works out to three winners for every 41 books submitted. Earth-shattering? No. But at least it seems legitimate.
I received a Bronze in the “Business/Career/Sales” category.
Hunh? The business part I kind of get, since the book essentially shows how breweries are setting the example for how to transition toward sustainable production. But “Career/Sales?” Whatever. Seems like the “Most Likely to Save the Planet” category would have been a better fit. Seriously, they have a category titled that, and another category for Peacemaker of the Year. Okay, this award system actually seems kind of cool.
So how about the gold? It was awarded for being an “Outstanding Book of the Year.” Wow, that sounds a little more meaningful. The website says there are twelve categories for Outstanding Book and the winners are chosen from the entire pool of 2,690 books reviewed – which means that as a Gold winner, Fermenting Revolution was one of the twelve best books of the entire lot. Well hey, that’s not too shabby!
But the category I won is called “Business Breakthrough of the Year.”
Hunh? A Bronze for “Business/Career/Sales” and a Gold for Outstanding Book of the Year in the “Business Breakthrough of the Year” category.
Apparently Drinking Beer and Saving the World is a good career move. Weird. But hell, I’ll take what I can get and I sure hope they’re right!