Friday, January 7, 2011

Why I blog... and a Giveaway

I started this blog for two purposes:

1) Writing helps me process things. Having a blog gives me a think space where people can give me feedback on what I'm thinking. That keeps me thinking. Hopefully, my humble cogitations benefit my readers in some way as well.

2) Mine is the privilege of knowing many people. I like giving them occasional snapshots of what and how I am doing.

Usually, my posts are free-writes, the results of recent ponderings pounded out in one sitting with little (or no) editing. I never imagined... and still can hardly believe... that so many people would be interested in the thinkings and adventures of me.

But, as someone once said, numbers don't lie. In 2010, my blog received 16,314 visits, more than doubling the amount of visits it received per month from January to December. I know a lot of people, but there is no way I know all of you. So, both to thank you for reading and to find out a little about you, I have an idea.

Let's have a giveaway.

Some blog giveaways are for the purpose of gaining more readers, so the authors make rules about posting links to facebook and stuff before you enter. But my only intentions are already listed above, so there is only one requirement: Leave a comment if you want to be entered. Say something about yourself if you want to get acquainted a little. If you want to remain all incognito and stuff, just say something like "I want a shot at winning the book." Or something like that.


Yes, I said "book".

This one, to be precise:

Drops like Stars, by Rob Bell. I love my copy far too much to give it up, but I found a few copies for a wonderful price at Ollies. I hurriedly snatched up all the ones I could afford and clutched them to my heart. No, I'm not exaggerating. This book speaks to me so much that I just had to get one for a few of my friends. In fact, a few are enroute to some pretty amazing people as I write. If you don't get one, it's not because I don't love you... it's because, even though they were marked down, they still weren't dirt cheap and I just paid rent on my house and all that. You know what I mean. I hate money.

But back to the giveaway.

Here's what I said about the book when I was given mine:

Visually, artistically, the book is a treat. It gives wings to the soul-words it contains like notes to lyrics.

There's really no way to give you a synopsis of "Drops Like Stars", but these segments give you a little peak:

"Jesus doesn't give the story [of the prodigal son] the proper Hollywood ending

we've all come to expect...

...Some elder brothers never join the party.

Some fathers never throw one.

Some brothers never come back.

Some things never get resolved.

Lots of parties are missing somebody.

And when we try to resolve things 
too quickly or pretend that everyone
is there when they aren't or offer hollow,
superficial explanations... it's not honest
and it's not right and it's not real.
It's not how life is.


If we went to the ballet and
everybody in the audience was 
wearing snorkels or the musicians
were all red-haired banjo players
with no teeth or instead of being
handed a program we were handed 
a squirrel, we would immediately 
begin asking,

What is this?

But our real question would be,
Where is this? Where do we
put this? How do we place it?
Because our standard reference
points - the usual insulators -
wouldn't be there to guide us.

That's what happens when we suffer. We had things well planned out.
We knew what meant what. We had all our boxes properly organized
and labeled. But all that was disrupted when we began to suffer.

So there's "out of the box", which is often merely a variation of the same thing.
And then there are those who think and feel and live and create from a different place.
They've had their boxes smashed and their insulators dismantled until

they had no other option

but to imagine a totally new tomorrow."

That's just an introduction to a fascinating compilation of honesty, humor, photography, and quotes line this one by Abraham Joshua Heschel:

"Above all, remember that the meaning of life is to live it as if it were a work of art.
           You're not a machine.
When you're young, start working on this great work of art called your own existence."

So thank you for reading my blog. Do you want a shot at winning Drops like Stars? Just comment on this post, telling me so.

The giveaway will be open for a week. Next Friday, I'll enter the comment numbers into a random number generator, and post the winner. Be sure to check back next Friday!

peace & love to all,


Melanie said...

Do I want a chance at this book? Um, yes please! ;)

Josh said...

What can I say? You run a good blog and I like count me in. I haven't read much of Rob Bell, but I've heard enough about him to know that some people love him and some hate him. Which means he's probably on to something. Thanks for the traffic you've sent my way. I will now denounce my humble Mennonite inclinations, albeit temporarily, and boldly declare that I want to win.

Verda said...

Yes, please! I definitely want to enter for this book. :)

Renita said...

i definitely want to enter for this book

Lynell said...

Me too, Becca, me too :) Can't wait to see you soon!!!

Rebekah Miller said...

Hey, I would love a chance to read this book. The things you've said about it fascinate me.

Angela said...

I LOVE that book! I would love to win it!

deborah said...

Ok...I'm one of your blog stalkers coming out to say that I, like everybody else, would love to own this book. I like your blog and your style (very much) and even if I don't win Drops Like Stars, I will probably go buy it anyway :) Cheers! ...and keep writing

Anonymous said...

Manfred Nissley: I would like to enter this contest. The book sounds awesome and I know a certain person I would love to give it to for her 18th birthday.

writtendownbig said...

It feels a little cheap to come out of the wordwork for a giveaway, but now would be a good time to say that i enjoy your ponderings. I don't even know how I found you. Maybe from Anita Yoder's blog? Keep thinking....I like hearing your thoughts :)

Joycelyn said...

Glad we met. Love the chance to keep up with you a little bit, albiet rather impersonally. :)
Count me in. :)

mattyboy said...

count me in! since we sort of know each other already, here's a random quirky fact about me; I'm middle-born in a family of 7 children, and I'm the only one born in the 80's.

Karleen said...

Becca, It was good to see you a little bit last night. I'll enter for this giveaway. If I don't win I may just have to go buy the book myself. I'm always looking for new reads.

Donna P. said...

I stalk your blog because you write thought-provoking and somewhat random things. Please take the "random" as a compliment. I love random because its so outside the box. ANYway... I'll enter because books are treasures forever, a gift that lasts a lifetime. and I'm a fan of books. keep writing. -Donna

Anonymous said...

the books sounds good . . .
I like how your blog provokes me to think and also sometimes puts my thoughts into words. Neat when you see someone else writing, what was circling in your own brain, but not as well formulated. I love too how you're not afraid to write about sensitive, controversial issues that you are passionate about. - Rosanna King

Barbara said...

of course i want a chance :)

Rosalie said...

I can always use more books to read :).

Jordan said...

I love reading. As such, I would love the chance to get that book! Though I know you have stopped by my blog spot, if you feel like getting to know me, or having a discussion, drop by my blog...

Anonymous said...

I read your blog. You write some pretty crazy stuff sometimes. You have quite the way with words. Always have. Good luck.

Anita said...

A give-away? Wow, you're generous. ;)

BrandonMarie said...

Count me in. Deliver it to my door and we will sit for a spell. Always enjoy your pictures and reflections. Marie Mullet

Lori said...

Well, Becca, you already know I read your blog, but I'm unabashedly greedy when it comes to books, so count me in! I was in the audience for a Rob Bell interview, once. That should impress you if nobody else :) It was at Calvin College's Festival of Faith and Writing--an event you'd thrive on, I believe.

jasdye said...

loved the concert. what really stuck with me was the Anne Lamott quote, "The most powerful two words in the universe are, 'Me too.'"

And I've found those to be true, and resonant. When I talk about my un/under-employment and a chance to share, people felt that and shared and it sunk. Same with my depression. Etc.

chelsea said...

Very nice post!You're generous!

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