Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oh yes, I'll wear the mantle proudly {giveaway}

Last night I did one of those things I do that may seem, well, kind of geeky and weird to you. I don't do it often because it's a little geeky and weird to me too, but I enjoy geeky and weird sometimes.

Last night I went to a book reading. At Talbots. (Geeky) Alone. (Weird)

But the author who was reading her work was one of my favorites--Kelly Corrigan. For a long time I've listed her memoir, The Middle Place
over on my sidebar. This is a book that has impacted me so much, not because I could relate to her story, but because the way it's written makes me relate to her story.

She is an amazing writer. The kind of writer I'd like to be when I grow up. Real. Honest. Vulnerable.

And a couple of weeks ago, when I found out she had a second book coming out I preordered it that day, received it a week ago, and read it in one sitting. So when I found out that Kelly was going to be in my neck of the woods I announced to my family, "I am going to see Kelly Corrigan!" And for the next week or so I continued to announce, "I am going to see Kelly Corrigan!"

Thank goodness my family understands my propensity for geeky and weird.

Last night was the big night and I almost chickened out. I mean, it takes a certain amount of guts to walk into a store all by yourself to possibly meet a writer you admire more than just about anyone. (We'll get to the meeting part in a second.) But Maggie pushed me to it when I expressed some doubt.

"Mom, you've been looking forward to this for a long time now. And besides, you like these things. You should go."

So I went.

I'm so glad I did because the event was really nice . . . fun even. I mean, how often do you walk in Talbots and someone immediately puts a glass of wine in your hand? Like, never. So it started out great. And then got even greater when they announced that everything in the store--everything, girls--was 20% off just for that night. Hello? Twenty percent off is my new best friend.

But the best part was seeing Kelly and hearing her read. I did not meet her, although our eyes met at one point and we smiled at each other, but I just could not go up and meet her. Here's why.

Remember the scene in "Notting Hill" where Honey, the crazy red-headed sister of William (Hugh Grant's character) meets Anna (Julia Roberts) for the first time and she gawks and gapes and then says, "I absolutely and totally and utterly adore you and I think you're the most beautiful woman in the world and more importantly I genuinely believe and have believed for some time now that we can be best friends"?

Yeah, well, I was totally afraid that would have been me last night if I had actually met Kelly Corrigan.

So I kept to myself.

I may regret that someday, but for today I'm O.K. with it. I just don't trust my blabbering mouth sometimes.

Alright, you've patiently read through this post, and now I'm going to give you the opportunity to get your very own copy of Kelly Corrigan's book, Lift. Remember the 20% off discount that Talbots was offering last night? Yeah, well, I just couldn't resist. But what I haven't told you yet was that they were also giving away a copy of Kelly's book with any purchase over $100.

What I won't do for my readers.

Since I already had a copy of the book, I'm offering my free copy to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me either a) what book you're reading right now or b) what author would you make a complete fool of yourself in front of. I'll announce the winner on Friday.

(Make sure I have an email address for you so I can contact you if you win.)

Now, go make it a good day!



  1. Oh, Shelly, we MUST talk more often! Kelly is my friend. I mean, my real live friend. We went to high school together. Her stories in The Middle Place are about the kids I went to school with : ).

    Last night, we had Upward Awards and the Franklin PTA meeting and I needed to drive kids for Campus Life and Hal had a haircut scheduled. I was so, so sad to miss Kelly at Talbot's. In fact, had I talked to you yesterday, I think I would have changed my mind and gone with you! And I would have introduced you to Kelly (who is so down to earth) and we would have laughed because we all would have been gushy.

    Ahhhh, the best-laid plans of mice & men, laid too late!!

  2. i just read Look Again by Lisa Scottoline. Very good book so much so that I have just mailed it to a friend to enjoy.

  3. I love this story! Way to go for being a geek :)

    Right now I'm reading through the Mitford series by Jan Karon. A few people have mentioned them to me, and I finally started reading them last week. They are really great books, fun to read, and I love the characters!

    Lift looks like a wonderful book. I am expecting my first baby in August, and I already have a feeling that this book will make me cry. A lot.

  4. Shelly,
    I am reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (which you loaned me) after having just finished Help (which you also loaned me). The next book on my list is Recipe for A Perfect Marriage (which you also loaned me). Do I get points for this since we obviously love the same books?

    I would make a fool of myself in front of Harper Lee. Not only is her book my favorite, but I am also named after her.

    I love when you mentioned that scene in Notting Hill. That is hilarious. I can't see you making a fool of yourself like that!

    If you don't choose me because you know that in a few weeks I will have no time to read and you don't want to put me through that I understand. I will just borrow your copy later :). Now I also want to borrow The Middle Place. In time, right?


  5. Doesn't sound like any of these comments are actually asking for your book giveaway so I will. I just finished The Help. I saw it on your page too. I don't know if I would go gushy over the author. I would just be tongue tied. But I loved the book--am still thinking about it. I used to have the opportunity to meet very famous authors on a regular basis. There would be a line of people waiting to gush and get their autograph and act like they were best friends, just the way you describe, and I would watch from the corner because I absolutely could not think of a single thing to say after saying, "Nice to meet you I loved your book" which is what everyone else was saying. One exception stands out. I was standing near Lisa Beamer right after Let's Roll came out, next to such a line of people, and she turned to ME during a short lull and said "How's Kristen?" -she had been my daughter's high school small group leader in youth group many moons before. Authors are just people.

    Carol T

  6. I'm reading "A Separate Peace." The author I would make a complete fool of myself in front of is Shelly W.

  7. As I've said a thousand times before, my husband makes me laugh.
    Every. Single. Day. (and he just did!)

  8. I'm so jealous about your little night out with one of your favorite authors - even if you didn't "meet" her. I totally get that. I've done similar things only to get there and realize that I can either enjoy it for what it is or make a blubbering idiot of myself!

    I want to win the book! See what you can do... Just kidding.

    I don't think I'm reading anything right now, oddly enough. But I love Kristin Hannah and would definitely make a fool of myself if I had to talk with her. "Hi, um I love you, I mean, I love your books. I want to be you, um I mean like you...."

  9. If you give the book to Carol, I'll borrow it when she's done:) At the very least, I have an author to read when I'm done with the pile next to my bed. I just started the latest Francine Rivers book, which I am excited about because I heard her talk about the process of writing it last fall.

  10. Oh, Shelly! I have made a fool of myself in front of SO MANY people I admire. It's kind of my thing. :)

    I recently read Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist and really liked it. I'm not sure I'm convinced I would be best friends with the author, but I absolutely want to write like her when I grow up.

    I'm so glad you went and had so much fun!

  11. I just started The Postmistress by Sarah Blake, I heard it's supposed to be amazing!

  12. The last book I read was A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I did love the book and also loved The Kite Runner, but don't think I would make a fool of myself in front of him...now Nicholas Sparks, maybe! He's cute!

    Linda-Do you really not know what Talbots is?!

  13. I understand the part about playing it safe and not introducing yourself. When I met Beth Moore, all I could say was, "You're so tiny. You're so tiny..." Hmmm... not "love your studies, God's used them to change my life, thank you" or "so great to finally meet you," etc, just "you're so tiny"! Strange, but that's what happens when you're starstruck a little, I suppose!

    Oh, and I'm not ordinarily up this late, but I can't sleep, so I finally got up!

  14. I just read "day after night" by anita diamant (author of The Red Tent). It was really good! After reading this post about The Lift, I found Kelly Corrigan's video poem, "transcending" and was about crying at work! Went and downloaded both her books to my nook and cannot wait to read them!

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. oooh, and she is coming to Houston's talbots in april! I may have to go see her too! :)

  16. I'm just a little confused because here, Talbot's is a clothing store. So they are having book readings? Can't be the same Talbots. But I would totlally go to a book reading where I could buy clothes too. : )

    I would love to read this book. I'm currently reading "The Storytellers Daughter" and it's pretty heavy. But good.

    YAHOO- I'm gonna win!

  17. Right now I'm reading Still Alice, a beautiful book about the toll early-onset Alzheimer's takes on a whole family. Amazing.

    And I've already made a fool of myself in front of my all-time favorite author, Madeleine L'Engle, including gasping sobs and tears. Surely I get extra credit for that?

    Amy D.

  18. Shelly - your transparency is one of the things that makes you so like-able!

    Although I'm not familiar with Kelly, I AM familiar with Talbots - love that place! I made a visit to the Talbot's outlet in Park Ridge last month and used some Christmas money, which was fun. Found some wonderful bargains. I don't think that going to Talbot's alone is ever geeky - I prefer going alone so I can take my time :)

  19. You should probably read "Still Alice" next, as Amy suggested! I've heard it's really good. You may need it someday.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Isn't it great when our kids encourage *us* to step beyond our fears? Love that. I'm glad you went.

    I'm currently reading "Thin Places" by Mary DeMuth. It is her memoir. May I just say I feel the same way about her memoir as you do about Keely's memoir. I can so relate to so much that has happened to her, good and bad.

    The author I'd make a complete fool of myself if I ever met is a tie between Terri Blackstock and Brandilyn Collins.

    Forgot my email on previous post of this :) mtaylor918@bellsouth.net

  22. I just finished reading "Still Alice". My sister has Alzheimer's and a friend thought our family should read this. It is amazing.
    It is so sad. My husbands father had alzheimer also. We cared for him.
    My sister is now in a nursing home.
    She use to call me and say, "I have this problem you know." She could not remember what it was called. We would talk about the weather and she would repeat herself again.
    I miss her.

  23. "She just had to ask me to leave the loo" is my favorite part when they meet! :)

    And let's see- I'm reading about 8 books right now- predominantly a Lysa TerKeurst devotional with a sprinkle of Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

    And be flustered to meet? Hmmm.There are so many. Maybe I should go to Talbots and search for some. Sounds like an awesome night!

  24. I am currently reading "The Memory-Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards. To be honest, I've started it twice and I have to say I like it better already the second-time around.
    Can't wait to read "Lift!"