Dec 16, 2013

ITSB Contest Findings - and Winner!

Hi, guys,

The contest for the advanced reader copy of INTO THE STILL BLUE is now closed. I’ve ready every entry, and I want to thank you for sharing your lives with me. You’ve made me tear up and laugh. More than anything, you have made me so proud to be Team Human!

Here’s what you reminded me of:

You love your families and friends. You play Uno with your kids, and sew amazing dinosaur sweaters for them, and take the time to record their lives in pictures and scrap books. You love them unconditionally. You try to make your parents proud by doing well in school, and you listen—really listen—to your grandmothers. You love your husbands. You shout your love for your roommates to the world. You drop everything to help a friend who needs you. You are sounding boards and shoulders to cry on.

Kindness matters to you. You cheer up coworkers and even strangers. You shovel your sidewalk and then kindly do the same for your elderly neighbors. You open doors and help people who slip on ice back to their feet. You adopt pets from shelters, and tip your waitresses big.

Education is important! You’ve aced tests, sacrificed to go back to school, stay in school, pay for school. You’ve graduated with honors, or just managed to get a diploma while raising kids and holding down a day job.

Your own health and well being is a priority. You’ve run 10ks, and dropped lbs. You’ve won archery competitions (Perry says great job!) and worked at eating well. You quit smoking!

You are citizens of the world. You work in soup kitchens, collect coats and cans, and donate to charities that help people who need it.

You are artists and writers! You’re NaNo winners. Draft completers. Musicians. Painters. Playwrights. Creativity is important to you.

You are brave. You face your fear of spiders (which I TOTALLY get.) When your safety is threatened at home, even if it takes you five years to do it, you leave. You put yourself out there, when it wasn't easy. You know when to stick with the tough stuff when it would be so much easier to quit.


Again, thank you!

WINNER: Our winner, who was selected randomly from almost 700 entries, is Molly Jane Karp. Congrats, Molly!


  1. Humankind is capable of the very best, from the biggest to the smallest of actions and gestures. If only we all focused more on that! Pay it forward and be kind, life can return plenty of good stuff too!

    1. I think pay it forward should be the motto of everyone's life!

  2. Ok, so this totally made me cry! is that sad? I think not! It just shows that we as humans can truly rise above and beyond. I love it all. Amazing! And, as Pili says, pay if forward!

    1. I couldn't agree more, Brooke. The answers that flooded in on twitter, here and on Facebook blew me away! <3

  3. Wow! I needed to read something like this! I've had a rough few months and this reminded me that humanity is awesome.

  4. I got me a signed copy of book #1 from a great talk you gave at Tri-ValleyWriters. Looking forward to adding book #3 to my collection (really my daughter's collection, we share).

    BTW. You have a typo on sentence #2 of this post. "I've ready[sic] every entry..." You can edit this bit out of my comment before posting. ;)

  5. Kind of irrelevant to this blog post, I wanted to share this comment (and I'm Team Human right there with you! :)).

    I just read Under the Never Sky yesterday and I really enjoyed it. Perhaps because it was so fresh in my memory, when I watched a documentary called Blackfish about the 2010 death of Seaworld trainer Dawn Brancheau today, I immediately saw a connection. Just like Dwellers suffering from DLS because of their lack of true environmental stimuli, orcas held in captivity are showing more aggressive tendencies than they ever would in a natural environment. Might be true for all life, don't you think? That kind of captivity, whether it's the deceiving depths of the Realms/Pods or the glorified swimming pools that bear no resemblance to marine creatures' natural habitats, is all-around subversive for everyone and everything involved. Is a Seaworld show and its addition to the economy worth an orca's or a human's well-being/life? Have we become too mired in our Realms that we don't see the faults in this unnatural process?

    So, to bring some mild relevance to your blog post, I'd just like to say that we're better than this. I pray we never become too captivated by the Realms that we lose our humanity.