But before I announce them...let's have a post. (Mwahahaha...that's my evil, I'm-keeping-you-in-suspense laugh. Is it working?)
I was at a bar with one of my friends Saturday night and we were talking about one of her friends. This person was supposed to be producing art work for a show she'd agreed to do, but said she just couldn't find the time to create anything. She works full-time, and has a side job on the weekends, so by the time she gets home from work most nights she's just too exhausted to pick up her camera, canvas, or whatever and create. She misses her art, but she just doesn't have time anymore.
And you know what I said to that? Cry me an effing river. (Was that harsh? Maybe. Harsh but true.)
Here is my reality: I have a full-time job, a part-time job, and two freelance commitments. I also have two dogs and am married to an 8-year-old (no, really. I bought him Transformers boxers for one of his stocking stuffers.) All of these things take time, and I am, quite frankly, exhausted most days. (And I don't even have kids, like I know some of you do, so my house is quiet most nights.)
But I still can't wait to write, every single day. I spend time at work thinking about my next plot twist. I doodle my signature during phone calls so I will be prepared for future book signings. I even (OMG I can't believe I'm about to admit this) hold "interviews" with myself in the car sometimes (Wow, I am a freak.) And it's all because I love to write, and I can't wait to live my dream.
I honestly believe that if you have a passion for something, if you really want to do it, you will make time for it. I'm up most nights until 2am or later, writing or reading. Other writers I've talked to are up at 5am banging out a few hundred words before their kids get up, or before they go to work. The point is, the ones who really care about it make it work. Maybe they steal 15 minutes here and there throughout the day, but they do it.
Now it might happen that you're in a slump. Maybe you used to write every day, but now you only write every other day, or a few times a week. One of my friends recently (as in, uh, today) recommitted herself to writing, and I think that's wonderful. If you're reading this and you've noticed that you've let your writing fall by the wayside lately, I want to challenge you to pick it up. Find little times when you can write. Skip an hour of TV to write instead. Stay up half an hour later and wake up half an hour earlier. Bring a notebook with you everywhere and write in line, at stoplights, or on the subway. Stop bathing. Do whatever you need to do - just write (although if you stop bathing, let me know so I can keep our relationship strictly online).
OK, but enough about that...it's time to announce the WINNERS!!!!! of my first-ever contest!!!!!!
I had quite a few entries, and almost everyone earned extra points! I took everyone's entries, including extra points and tweets, and put them in an Excel sheet. Then I went to random.org and had it pick a number for me, and that's how I picked the winner!
The prizes were signed copies of The Given Day by Dennis Lehane and The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve!
We'll start with The Given Day...let's look at how pretty it is:
OK, and the winner is....number 35!!
OK, for The Pilot's Wife, the winner is...number 42!!!
Oh, wait, we forgot to drool over the prize, didn't we?
OK, and number 42 is Carol from Carol's Prints!
I am especially excited to give this book to Carol because, before she even knew I was giving away a signed book, she left a comment on one of my posts (On Beginnings) which read:
And I LOVE Anita Shreve ... I am crazy jealous of you right now.So I feel like I made her verra happy.
Congrats to Carol and Tameka! You have 72 hours to claim your prize - just shoot me an email at heather (dot) trese (at) gmail (dot) come with your address and I'll ship your goodies out this week! And to those of you who didn't win...I really, really wish I had enough prizes for everyone, because people wrote some really sweet messages! But never fear because....
I am approaching 100 followers pretty quickly. Once I get there I will be hosting another contest, so tell your friends to stop on by!