Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's the Little Things

Admittedly, there are times when you have to take a leap of faith.  Sometimes, you just have to jump.  But other times...well, other times you don’t necessarily jump—more like you get pushed.  Life can be a bit of a bully that way.  Everything comes at you at once, and you find yourself in a free fall.  These are the times when you realize who really cares.  Sometimes they catch sight of you in the moments before your fall, and they rush to prepare a soft place for you to land.  They do this without speaking a word.  They do it without expectation. 

This week, my youngest has been having severe asthma problems.  Every day this week he has had to be picked up early from school because, despite his medications, he simply can’t get enough air.  He went to the doctor yesterday.  We are heading there again today.  Even as I type this, I know that prayers, good thoughts and intentions, and blessings are being said for him.  The people in my life, and on my blog, are just amazing like that.   

This morning, I had to get gasoline before I began the 1.5 hour trek to get all the kids to school and/or bus stops.  I was in a hurry, and I ran out without breakfast, and without preparing a drink to take to work.  (I refuse to spend $1.65 for a soda in the machine!  Besides, I didn’t have any cash on me.)  When I got to work, I found a stray packet of water flavoring in my desk drawer.  SCORE!  That got me through the morning.

When I rounded the corner at work, a friend asked, “You can eat bagels, right?  Someone brought bagels.  They are in the kitchen.”  BREAKFAST!  I couldn’t believe my luck. 

A bit later, when the school called, I hurried to call his doctor.  The nurse told me they had JUST had a cancellation and could get us in.  WIN!

With all the doctor’s appointments and emergency school runs this week, I had not found time to get groceries.  As a result, things are pretty “Old Mother Hubbard” at my house.  I wasn’t quite sure what to do about dinner.  In fact, it has been weighing on me all morning.  Takeout is rarely an option—besides being stupid expensive, it is also problematic due to all the food allergies in our house.  As I pondered this, the phone rang.  My mom had just been to a big Grand Opening Sale at a local store and got some good deals.  “I picked you up some—“ she began, then rattled off enough food to feed the family until the weekend.  YES!

And, just now, as I heated up some leftovers that I had stashed in the office ‘fridge, my dear friend popped her head in, “I am running out, do  you want anything?”  I thought of my now-empty glass at my desk, and nearly cried.  “Caffeine?” I whispered, almost afraid to hope.  She would laugh if she read this, because I am sure she didn't give her act of kindness a second thought, but for me it meant a lot.  The little things always mean so much more than you realize.    

In a bit I will leave to meet my son at the doctor.  I am worried.  So, here is hoping for a bit more good news, just one more blessing. 

Have you ever had a day when it felt like something was watching out for you--whether God, the Universe, or friends, or family? 

World Book Night Book WINNERS!

As promised, here are the winners of the World Book Night Book Giveaway:

1.  Lauren Gilbert
2.  Janie Franz
3. Sheena-kay Graham

Also, because there was a lot of sharing going on, I decided to give away several additional copies of the book.  So emrose415 and mittensmorgul, you get a copy, too.  To receive your copy, please email me, within the next seven (7) days, at gingerlovinmind (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know the address where you want it sent. 

I appreciate everyone who shared and spread the word.

So, 'fess up, what how did you celebrate World Book Night?


Monday, April 22, 2013

World Book Night Give Away: A Handmaid's Tale

April 23rd is WORLD BOOK NIGHT.  This is my second year as a Book Giver, and I am getting excited about the idea of handing over free books, with no strings attached, to unsuspecting people.  As its website explains, "World Book Night U.S. is a celebration of books and reading held on April 23, when 25,000 passionate volunteers across America give a total of half a million books within their communities to those who don’t regularly read. In 2012, World Book Night was celebrated in the U.S., the UK, Ireland, and Germany and saw over 80,000 people gift more than 2.5 million books."

I am proud to be a World Book Night giver again this year, and I will be giving away "The Handmaid's Tale," by Margaret Atwood.  To celebrate, I will be giving away three (3) copies of the book here on my blog.  If you are interested in winning one of the copies, all you need to do to enter is to share this post on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr and then let me know in the comments below.  Three winners will be chosen at random, and I will announce the winners on April 24th and you will have one week to email me your address for mailing.  Any unclaimed books will be donated to the local shelter.
If you haven't already read the book, here is the teaser from the World Book Night page:

 In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once a scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force for the mature and adventurous reader.
I gave away several books on my blog last year, and I also handed out free copies on my lunch hour to strangers walking around downtown.  It is amazing the suspicion that free things evoke in people.  So many seemed scared to accept a free gift.  Some refused it.  Others, however, lit up when I approached them.  Maybe I was the first person to acknowledge them, to actually see them in a long while. 

So many people seemed to walk with their heads down, reluctant to make eye contact, their hands preoccupied with electronic devices or stuffed defensively in their pockets.  Just getting them to look up took and engage took a herculean effort.  But when they finally did slow down and look up, they seemed eager to talk, to receive my gift and to give back with their time, their own stories, a few even gave hugs--so desperate for human contact. 

See, it isn't so hard, this give and take.  We just forgot how.  We have to relearn--to start somewhere. 

This is my somewhere. 

So take a minute to enter, chose a book to curl up with tomorrow to celebrate World Book Night, and add a comment to share how you plan to celebrate World Book Night and the gift of reading!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Winds are Changing

One for sorrow, two for joy...
The winds are changing—and I am not just talking about this freakish Oklahoma weather.  I mean my life—my direction.  I am finishing up a longish short-story.  It has a sort of Southern Gothic feel, which I had been wanting to try, and it also allows me to indulge in my fascination with creepy nursery rhymes, crows, strange people, and small towns. 
Once it is completed, and fretted over, and polished, I will go about all the little details required to make it available on Amazon.  But, before then, I will be launching the new website.  I wanted a place to share some short stories, house my blog, share links to others stories and books available for purchase.  Basically, I wanted a home for my writing life. 

Being a nosy sort, I wonder what people like on a website.  Personally, I like the snippets and bits of the writing life.  I like a glimpse into the process, into the inspiration, into the wins and almost-wins…and the losses that feel like will keep us forever rooting in “what if” only to turn into an even greater opportunity.  I like photos and drawings, quotes and songs, and I like to feel like I am there as the art emerges.

I love it when writers share things, like J. K. Rowling’s handwritten notes to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  Or when Neil Gaiman gives me a peek at his new book covers, or his lovely yet ailing cat, Princess, or his take on the writing life.    I guess I just like to feel included.

What about you?  What do you like for writers to share on their website?  What interests you?