I HAVE A CONTEST GOING ON that’s producing unexpected results.
For one, it’s making me feel like I’m a good human being.
Here’s what’s happening.
I’m giving away a $700 iPad to whoever tells me the best story that has anything to do with the books I write. The story needs to be true. I will double check the facts.
So far, I have only one contender.
I have several entries (the deadline isn’t until the end of September). But I have only one story worth an iPad. So far.
The contender knocked me back in my chair after I read it.
It not only says kind things about my books. It says kind things about me. And it piles them on one after another after another.
By the time I finished reading the entry I thought, heck, if I were a Catholic and I could pull off two miracles they could start calling me St. Stephen.
That’s not what I’m after, though I am certainly grateful for what I got. Kind words are always welcome.
But what I’m trying to get a sense of in this giveaway is
- where readers are finding my books
- what kind of readers are cracking them open
- how readers are reacting to what I say
- whether or not the books are making any difference in their lives.
That’s the kind of insight I’m hoping some of the entries will include.
Like most writers, I write alone in a home office. I rarely go out on speaking gigs because that’s not what I do. I write. So I don’t know much about how my writing affects people.
However, that encouraging article that left me feeling like St. Stephen was a wonderful boost to my spirit.
I wrote an email back to the writer saying, “I’ve never thought of the word ‘heartwarming’ as a word to describe what the heart actually feels like when someone says something kind to us. But it really does feel warm. It’s kinda like a hug. A spiritual hug that actually warms the chest cavity.”
“What you said to me,” I added, “is the kind of stuff I should be saying more of to others.”
So that’s what I did.
I wrote a letter to my immediate family.
I started it by saying “Hello Immediate Family.”
“I’ve been thinking today about what I love about my family. I thought I’d let you know, since it’s not generally something folks talk about very much.”
Then I devoted a paragraph to each of my family members: wife, daughter, son, daughter-in-law, son-in-law.
I told each of them what I love about them.
I’ve never done that before. Not in this way. I thought it might come across as a bit hokey. But the note was warmly received. And long overdue.
I did not expect my iPad giveaway to go in this direction. But I’m glad it did.
More entries are welcome, and will be appreciated.