Linking up with Kelly and everyone!
First, I want to thank all the lovely people who’ve commented or participated in the Giveaway. For more details, see #7! When I left my primary job two months ago, I knew I was starting a new season, one that would be better and soul-satisfying. But like every change in season, there are some transitions that make it hard: summer gains you beach days, but all the blooms have died; Fall becomes cold; October gives way to dead trees; and up here in New England, at least, once winter rolls around, we’re like, “Oh, God, when is it going to snow?” And though I’m incredibly happy and thankful for this amazing gift of time, I’ve had my moments of wondering if it was all worth it. But good thing I’ve been assured is coming; I have a chance at something else; and the kind words from some recent comments and messages remind me that yup, this is my purpose, the season God wants me to live. So thank you for brightening my day.
I was eyeing the cans of pumpkin at the grocery store the other day; and my Facebook timewarp thingie reminded me of the Nov. 6 two years ago when I dropped (what is now) an entire shift’s pay on Christmasy treats. So it makes perfect sense that we are in what a friend of mine called the “Eating Season.” Yup–from the Halloween candy we bought and had to finish because only one kid came to our door to the seasonal treats to the “I just have to make sure I take advantage of however long Dunkin has pumpkin donuts or the Big Y has apple cider donuts on sale,” it has been time to gorge. My pants don’t like it very much, but that is why there are empire dresses and tights.
It is also novel writing season (any fellow NaNoWriMos?)…you know, I almost typed NaNoWinos, which for many of us is also the truth: very much a drinking season, too! 😛 So far, I’ve hit my daily goals with a few hundred words extra, but then again, this weekend I have my first afternoon shifts and sweet husband not-at-work, so we’ll see how I do. Also, if you all want suggestions for acts of charity, and you see a person squirming and insanely typing and a near-empty coffee cup at a cafe or something, it would be so lovely if you offered to watch his or her stuff/seat so the writer can go to the bathroom! I seriously would put such a person in my acknowledgments should that manuscript ever get published.
It is also Remembrance Season. Special shout-out to all the Veterans, in particular my Dad and dear family friend, Dave (Vietnam). Regardless of what anyone thinks about the politics, to serve in such a capacity, sacrifice of yourself (and all the families who’ve sacrificed), and come home–possibly to a critical crowd, well, that is truly honorable. I salute you armed forces, and your families. Thank you for your service.
And of course, it is also Thankfulness Season. I remember one year writing an “I’m thankful for” status update nearly every day in November. But this card has been going around, and it is so, so true.
Which is why, after some basically fruitless investigation of Thanksgiving picture books, I am nearly ready with a little manuscript about giving thanks always.
Tis the season to b charitable, too. Some simple efforts: coat drives at the parish, food drives at the community bank, the coin collectors in front of the grocery store, and book drives at Barnes and Noble stores. That last one…it’s really nice for individuals to purchase new books for children in need, but dang if the company could just for once agree to match the dollars spent, so it’s less of “we got the credit, and the money!” Just, no.
Also, people much smarter than me have written articles about how to check that your charity goes to good causes, and there are so many, I’m going to refrain from links, but tell you to GoodSearch it instead.
Finally, I’ve lost the link, but I read a really thought-provoking article about clothes donations. The person was a sorter and pointed out that too high a percentage of the items given away maybe should have been thrown away instead. So my personal challenge this year is to try to budget for buying “new” for giveaways if our “good, but gently used” pile is low.
I have two sets of prizes, and many ways to get entries to win. **UPDATE** If you have done any sharing, please send me the screen grab or something.
For the soon-to-be or already-engaged couples, the “Bridal Bundle.” Bridal Bargains was a great, compact resource when making so many decisions during wedding planning. The Knot Guide for the Groom is a fun little guide with mainly practical tips that helps a guy feel invested and informed (it’s his wedding, too!), and not too much stereotyping. For a Catholic wedding guide, everyone gets the recommendation to check out Stephanie Calis’s Invited.
**UPDATE 2** Still no takers!
And for all the single ladies out there, I have three books for ya: The Closet’s All Mine: From a Seraphic Single by Dorothy Dummings (McLean), How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul: 21 Secrets for Women by Jason and Crystalina Evert, and The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide to the Single Years by Emily Stimpson.
**UPDATE 3** I have some entrants who already read all of these. So, if your name is called, I’ll get in touch about some alternate prizes. My husband and I have an entire 4×4 shelving unit full of all our faith books. 🙂
To get one of these fine books, you can
- Comment which bundle you’d like = 1 entry
- Friend me on Facebook (just message me, too, that this is from the blog) = 2 entries
- Share this giveaway blog post on social media = 3 entries per unique social media forum share
- Share another blog post from me on social media = 5 entries per unique social media forum share per post
- Write a review of my novel for teens, Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean, and send me the link = 7 entries
- Write a review of the novel and share it with others = 10 entries, plus one extra for each social media venue you share it with
**UPDATE 4** Giveaway runs through MONDAY, November 9 at 5 pm EST. On Wednesday, November 11, I’ll announce the winner. Good luck!