Monday, March 12, 2012

A Gift, An Idea, and An Offer for Something Free (ish)

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) 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 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.


spacklefaced belfrybat said...

server issue, working on it now, image back up shortly

Gaelyn said...

I love this idea. Also, when I pass books on to friends I ask them to write on the inside cover before passing on again. Hope this enters me as #2 comment.

I guess all this book reading is what has delayed posting. ;)

alienbody said...

Squeeeee!!! I {heart} this idea more than you know! I know, I know...I can't be part of the contest, but I do so love the idea of passing along the love. I've even got someone in mind already - as soon as I make her double pinky swear to pass it along.

You could even design your own bookplate for it, something we all sign stating where it has been? There is a website called BookCrossing that does something like that. I can't wait to follow the adventures of The Sister and Brotherhood of the Traveling Creative Is a Verb Book Club!!!

ps You are awesome
pps Like...covered in awesome
ppps As in, abounding in awesomeness!

Unknown said...

Oh, heck. There is this HUGE and yet DELIGHTFUL lump in my throat. The idea is so wonderful and so much what blogging is about for our gang. The sisterhood-of-the-traveling BOOK, for Pete's sake! That book is magical, and the idea for a book plate is very cool, too. I may just have to do some skipping for delight today, ladies. Big Bloggie Hugs to all!

cdnkaro said...

This is such a fantastic idea- I love it! I don't know that I could commit to buying 3 copies, but I'll play if I can do just one:) This is such a great way to spread bloggy love!

Just Jane said...

Gaelyn: Yep! You are entered into the contest :).

cdnkaro: No purchase necessary! If you are a winner, you'll need only pay for postage to send the book on to someone else.

Melanie and AB: Thank you for the gift and for inspiring me to pass it on!

Margi said...

Well of COURSE I'm in! I have lots of writer/blogger friends that would lovity-love-love (quoting my inner Word Nerd) to read this book. Hook a sista up! :-)

Bon said...

I *love* this idea.
As a student my funds are a bit ~ahem~ non-existent. But I am more than happy to ...hmm... pimp doesn't seem to be the right word but I cannot think of one that fits right this moment.

Might've crossed the Too Much Caffeine barrier. :)

At any rate, I will be superstoked (<- it is a real word) to chat this whole idea up.
Let a girl know.


Just Jane said...

Yay! Bon - the only financial commitment to receiving the book is paying for postage to pass the book on to someone else when you've finished reading.

brenda said...

Your excitement is contagious. I think I'm going to buy it. I so love it when I find magical and inspiration books like this.. sometimes we just need a little something rekindle our creative flames. Off I go to find it. Thanks much..

Julie DeMille said...

I'm in! I LOVE the title of the book. And the idea of a traveling book club-genius! What a great way to strengthen the blogging community. (I recently had a sponsored contest and for days had only 3 entries. Finally after much pleading and begging, I got 7. One of the entries was my mom and another, my sister.)

Bon said...


To paraphrase Katt Williams: Mama can do that, all day, every day.


Lucy said...

So, I I think I get it, if I win, I get the book, I read it and I send it to a Bloggy friend? I can do that!

TangledLou said...

This is such a great idea. Those are some kind and generous bloggy friends you have, Jane!

@NativeMikeAdams said...

:-) A reading pay it forward club...very cool!

Masked Mom said...

Count me in. Even though, I have to say, "knowing" all you fantastic and generous bloggers seems like a pretty good prize all by itself!

Bon said...

Hi. I'm Bon. I live in Kyle, TX.

I have a little blog, "The Process", wherein I ponder the intricacies of life, liberty and the pursuit of words.

Some weeks ago, I entered the contest of one Infinitely Wise Jane.

And I won!
*cue squeeing with delight (again)*

As per the contest rules and Jane's request, I am posting a link back to my own contest and where I live (see first sentence.)

There are absolutely no words for how awesomely cool this is. I cannot wait for a chance to share some bloggy love. :)