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MWhere I’ll be:M

Birch Bay Public Market

Friday, May 10 through the end of summer, Cathy and I will be selling her hand-made soaps, lotions, and toiletries, along with my photography, note cards, calenders, books, etc.

Come see us!

Across the street from the C Shop

4825 Alderson Road, Birch Bay, Washington 98230


I had an automated blogroll here, powered by Google Reader, but Google, in its near-infinite lack of wisdom, killed Google Reader. Prior to this murder, all I had to do to put a blog on my blogroll (or to take it off) was to place it in a Reader folder called, appropriately enough, "blogroll" (or, of course, to remove it). I use The Old Reader now for following blogs, but it seems to have no way to something similar regarding the blogroll. If you know of a way to do this, please let me know.

The 5-Day Give Away, Version 09.09

All three of my readers have, no doubt, seen my half-witted tweets on this by now.

First I messed up the hashtag, then I asked for retweets on tweets that weren’t retweetable, but I’ll get it right eventually. Forgive me, I’m making this up as I go along. Also, you’ll see some API tweets from me as I use www.tweetlater.com to get some of these out. Sorry, but if I leave it up to me, it’s in trouble. Just for the record, I have a mind like a steel trap — anything that goes in comes out all broken and mangled.

Anyway, here’s the deal.

I have a conundrum. On the one hand, I want people to read my books. That’s why I write them. Yes, I’d like to sell them, and I do (sort of). But if I have to give them away, I will. So I’m sitting here thinking to myself “Self, how can I get my books to people, so they can read them?” And myself said right back to me “Give them away!” Ok, I can do that. Well, there are a couple of problems.

Problem #1: I’m perennially broke.

I can’t afford to just give all my books away, because I have to buy them, and that takes money, and I don’t have any because (yep, you guessed it!) I don’t sell enough books. You know the old stories about the starving artist in the garret? Yeah, that’s me. Ink smudges all over my fingers, scratching my freshly-sharpened laptop across the parchment by the light of a single guttering candle, uphill both ways in the snow, etc, etc, etc. Well, not really. I have a dead-of-the-night “day job,” and my wife works way too hard, and it’s been a long time since we had to go to a food bank.

Problem #2: Ok, I’ll say it — the people who seem to do nothing at all on Twitter except ME! ME! ME! stuff really bug me.

I don’t (as the commercial says) want to be that guy. Oh, wait. Food banks. Starving artists, and all that. Maybe I can run a backward contest! One where the real reward is one that someone else gives you, and my book is just the memento.

Ever win a sports award in school?

Did it mean anything to you? Well, yes, of course, but did it mean as much as that feeling you got, that feeling you strove so hard for that you cried? Or fought back the tears, if you were a blood-and-guts macho-man? Did the award mean as much as practicing so hard and so long that you threw up? I’ve been shooting high school sports for going on seven years now, and I see those looks a lot. I even get them in the shot, sometimes. The award, the medal, the ribbon, is just a memento, just something everyone else can look at and say “Cool!” and you can look at and remember.

Donate a big pile of food to a food bank, and you get the best reward automatically. Donate your time to one, and it’s even better. You don’t need a memento. You don’t need a copy of Cursing the Cougar or Other Loves on your shelf to remind you. But I’d be proud to give you one, anyway. And yes, I know, buying the books could well be cheaper. Go ahead. Spoilsport.

The details (as they exist now):
  1. Day One (Sep 1): One free signed copy of the title of your choice to the PHOTO showing the BIGGEST PILE O’ FOOD donated to a FOOD BANK.
  2. Day Two (Sep 2): One free signed copy of the title of your choice to the PHOTO showing the MOST TWEEPS VOLUNTEERING at a FOOD BANK.
  3. Day Three (Sep 3): The sprint! One free (etc) to the first PHOTO showing food donated or a tweep volunteering, after some random point at which I say “Go!”
  4. Day the rest of them: No idea. Reruns of 1 and 2? Funniest costume? Oldest tweep volunteering? Have any ideas? Email me. Better yet, tweet me, and include the hashtag #5DayGiveAway.

Remember, if there’s no “official” food bank near you, big churches frequently run one. Community centers and seniors’ centers, too, sometimes. Call around; you’ll find something.

The fine print:

First off, I’m running this thing. Sorry. My decisions are mine. If you disagree nicely, I may send you a book anyway, but if you get nasty, you can go sit on a tack. So there! Second, the photos have to be posted online somewhere I can see them without joining anything, or signing up for anything, or signing away my rights to anything (except offspring — numbers five and six are still up for grabs!), and you have to tweet a link to them, including both @LeviMontgomery and #5DayGiveAway in the tweet.

The bad news (you knew there was some, right?):

I’ll be doing this monthly, as long as my will and discipline hold out, but not always for food banks. Actually, I wish I’d thought of it sooner, but September’s really ought to have been school supplies. So maybe I’ll do that one next. Clothing banks, park cleanups, adopt-a-highways, whatever. I’m open to suggestions. December is taken; that’ll be the USMC Toys for Tots program.

I’m not taking donations for this, because I don’t want to try to keep any kind of accounting system, but if you want to help me be able to do it, you can buy a book or two (or ten, or a thousand, or…)

You can also copy and paste this to your Twitter feed:

RT @LeviMontgomery: A book a day Sep 1-5. YOU, a FOOD BANK, and a PHOTO. Please RT. #5DayGiveAway

Please help me spread the word. Can you imagine how sad I’ll be if I throw a 5DayGiveAway and no one shows up? Besides, this isn’t for me. This is for the community we all live in.


1 comment to The 5-Day Give Away, Version 09.09

  • Ben

    I’m considering getting into this, I’m not sure. Last time I threw myself into a project that required me to talk to lots of people, I had a blast, and it was quite successful. I could just ask people for food out on my walks with my dog or something. Sounds like a neat idea, and I can brag about it on my college application.