A few days before I was surprised by flowers from cdnkaro (Karo! They are still blooming! And they are still magnificent! They live next to me here at my writing desk and I'm gazing lovingly at them right this second), I received an e-mail from Melanie at Is This the Middle?. She asked me, in part, if I'd be willing to give her my mailing address as she had a book she'd like to send to me - a book by a North Carolinian (Melanie resides in North Carolina)...one that reminded her of me.
Since I know for certain Melanie is not a stalker and is, in fact, a lovely person and fabulous, funny, and, often, poignant writer, I gave her my address and looked forward to what she might send.
On Thursday, the Melanie Love arrived in the form of this book:
Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh.
Have I told you lately just how much I love Melanie? I do.
I literally couldn't wait to crack it open. The front cover artwork had me at hello and the inner flap artwork enchanted me even more. Before I'd even taken off my work clothes, I sat down and immediately began to read.
The writing is as delightful as the art and each page has given me great joy. I felt honored and humbled by Melanie's gift.
I must confess though, when Melanie first asked me if she could send me a book, I felt guilty for giving her permission to do something nice for me...to spend her hard earned cash on me. While I was pleased that she wanted to, I felt as though the gift should go to someone even more deserving.
Enter My Alien Body.
Shortly after receiving the gift, I posted to Facebook about my continued virtual friend love and Alien Body commented that she loved the title and would have to check it out.
Immediately, an idea was born in my head.
I love Alien Body as much as I love Melanie. I respect both of them so much as women, as writers, as friends. What if I finished reading this lovely gift from Melanie and then sent it on to another blogger I loved? What if I didn't hoard the love and shared it instead? That would alleviate my guilt and still allows me to appreciate the love and support from Melanie while shipping it off (keeping just a bit of it myself in the form of acknowledgment) to someone else.
If you know me at all, that idea makes all the sense in the world.
I pitched the idea. Alien Body readily agreed to supply her address to me privately. Melanie soon chimed in that she too loved the idea.
And so The Sister and Brotherhood of the Traveling Creative Is a Verb Book has been born.
Of course, since the idea started with Melanie's generosity toward me, I feel adequately justified in establishing a couple of arbitrary rules.
1) The book must get passed on to a fellow blogger of the recipient's choosing once it's been read. If your potential recipient will not swear upon blogging death to send it on, pick another blogger.
2) The next recipient must post the state/country/province in which they live - whatever is most comfortable for the blogger - and a link to their blog on a page I will create specifically for this purpose.
That last one isn't about page views. I want to "meet" the bloggers the people we each think are deserving pick. I want to track the travels of the traveling book so that Melanie and I can both see the impact she and I have had on a world of writers and artists - both women and men.
I'm so excited about this idea I am now going to start my own contest - my first - to spread the love even further.
Are you interested?
I can't buy copies for everyone in my feed - whether you read me in return or not - but I'd love to pass on a copy to 3 of you - randomly selected - who comment on this post affirming your interest in receiving, reading, and passing this book along. [EDITED TO ADD: You are under no obligation to purchase copies but only be willing to pay for postage to send on the copy you receive].
What say you?
I am not paid for this post. All 3 copies of the book Creative Is a Verb will be paid for - gladly - by me. All winners will be selected randomly on Monday, March 19, after 5 pm MDT. You have one week to respond. Are you in? I hope so.
PS Please let me get at least 3 comments *laughing*.
PPS Alien Body is excluded from this contest as she is the first recipient of my own beloved copy.
PPPS I have never won this kind of contest. My luck is terrible. When a fellow blogger recently ran a similar contest, she received 4 responses for 3 prizes. Guess who didn't win? That's right! Me. I hope that, by offering my own contest, someone who feels as though they "never win anything" will win my prize.
PPPPS If you are the recipient of one of the copies I purchased and sent, the above rules apply.
PPPPPS I don't have anything else to add. The 5th post-post-post-post-post script is in homage to Alien Body.