Fun Friday Finds (Or Who Says Friday the 13th Ain’t Lucky?)

Today was very lucky for the person who won Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Messages from Heaven. I threw all those names into Random.org and randomized away until this name popped up: STACY!

I sure hope you enjoy the book, Stacy. And for the rest of you non-winners, I have something that will make you feel so much better, you’ll laugh right out loud. (Stacy, you can read it, too.)  It’s Colin Nissan’s “The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do.”

I came across Colin’s article over at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and seriously, I could spend the entire day there, reading stuff and laughing out loud. But then I’d be breaking one of Colin’s rules and never get to writing better than I normally do.

I may not get to that point, anyway. But at least now I feel pretty good about blaming McSweeney’s.

 

Heaven on My Mind

I mentioned earlier in the week about Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Messages from Heaven being a national best-seller.

I’ve been thinking about that all week…I mean, there have been a ton of Chicken Soup books, and they all follow a similar format. They’re feel good books, nice little stories to ease what ails you. And yes, it’s always been a fairly lucrative franchise. But still. National best-seller? What’s so special about Messages from Heaven?

I’ve decided that it has to be the subject matter. Perhaps we hunger for more than material comforts; we want to know that there’s spiritually more, more than mortgage payments and careers and cars and closets of shoes.

Or maybe it’s as simple as reassurance. Maybe we just want to know that love carries on.

If you happen to be awake late tonight, you can hear Amy Newmark, coauthor of the book and publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul. She’s the featured guest on George Noory’s Coast to Coast AM show, and starting at 10 PM Pacific Time (1 AM Eastern Time) to midnight, she’ll be discussing Messages from Heaven.

(You can click on this link to find the radio station in your market that carries the show.)

And now, maybe you’re wondering, too. What is so special about Messages from Heaven? So I’m going to give you a chance to win a copy. Just leave a comment and let’s see…I’ll draw a random name on Friday week. I’m limiting it to US residents only since I’m mailing one of my copies, but you know it’s available just about anywhere, right?

It’s a national best-seller after all. Which kinda gives me a hopeful feeling about this old world and the people in it.

Book WINNERS!

Happy Smiley Monday to y’all! As promised, I threw all the names into Random.org to find a winner for Ruth Kaiser’s The Smiley Book of Colors, currently appearing on the web in a WOW! blog tour.  So if you’re not the winner, zip around and try again to win this super adorable picture book! And don’t forget, you have another chance to win if you upload any Smiley pics you may have found for the Smiley Treasure Hunt. (Don’t forget to put WOW! in that title line!)

Oops! Almost forgot to announce the winner. DORAINE! Send me your address (to cathyhall55 at hotmail dot com) and your lucky grand will be learning and laughing in no time!

 

 

AND, here’s another bit of winner news. Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Messages from Heaven is a national best-seller! I can’t say I’m surprised–and not just because my story’s in this one. All of the stories are immensely moving and so full of hope. I’ll have more news about Messages from Heaven later in the week, and an Easter surprise as well.

But for now, it’s back to work, and fingers crossed, winning! (Uh-oh. I just went all Charlie Sheen on y’all. Sorry.)

Messages from Heaven

I think of myself as a pretty down-to-earth person. Well, except when I’m in my own little world, writing about wild, little imps and zombies. Possibly Bigfoot–though really, I could be right about Bigfoot. Anyway, the point is, in the real world, I’m sort of a cross between somewhat open-minded and cynical.

So I was not expecting to ever see my sorely-missed but definitely-departed friend. It was such an unusual and intense experience that I wrote down everything I could remember. And when Chicken Soup for the Soul had a call out for stories of “signs from beyond, amazing connections and love that doesn’t die,” I knew I had to send in my story.

I received my copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul Messages from Heaven in the mail last week. And the very first copy went to the husband and daughters of my sorely-missed friend. I think they liked the story, although they sounded a bit teary.

Of course, I understood completely. I can’t read that story without tearing up, even after all these months. Because sometimes, things happen that we can’t explain–and the world, and how we see it, is never quite the same.