Saturday, December 08, 2007

Wildest Christmas Wish Ever

People are confiding their wildest wishes and dreams to me. These wistful secrets cram my website inbox and what tales they tell! No, I haven’t taken a side job as a Fairy God-Mother. It’s because I’m running a Wildest Wish contest on my website (www.kimstrickland.com) as part of an AuthorBuzz web-promotion for my novel, Wish Club. Giving away five copies of the book was a requirement for participating in the ad campaign. Turning it into a wish contest was my idea of a good marketing tie-in for a book that’s about making wishes come true.

This morning I sat staring at the jam-packed inbox on my computer screen. It thrilled me that so many people had taken the time to enter, but it simultaneously exhausted me as well. The task seemed insurmountable, but I had to begin. I started reading, thinking, I’ll just take it a few at a time.

Immediately, I was hooked.

People confided their wildest wishes. I was amazed at how open and honest they were. (And just in case you’re staying tuned out of some sort of kinky, prurient interest, I can tell you right now you might as well tune out.) The wishes were not what I expected, nothing at all—and certainly nothing kinky or prurient. They were all so simple.

Most asked to win the lottery or had other, similar money-themed dreams. Others struck a strong emotional chord and I found myself in tears after the fourth or fifth one. Hopelessly addicted now, I sat in my chair until I’d read every single one.

My tears didn’t come from pity. I want to make that point absolutely clear. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I didn’t feel compassion for those who seemed to be going through inordinately huge struggles. I did. I do. The reason I began to cry was because I’d had the audacity to think I’d been having a bad day.

I was in my grumpy place. My jet-lagged, exhausted, haven’t-started-my-Christmas-shopping, my-Christmas-Photo-Card-from-Exposures-came-back-blurry place.

It occurred to me as I read, so many people were wishing for things I take for granted. A family vacation every year. Being able to go out to eat and not worry about the cost. To see children they hadn’t seen in years. I was reminded, vividly, how truly blessed I am. Some wishes were heartbreaking—sight for a blind child, to get out of a wheelchair, to be able to trade places with a sibling with cancer. I don’t think I’ll be capable of having a bad day again.

My wish is that I did have a magic wand, one I could wave and make everyone’s happiness come true. I wish this year, just once, Santa could turn real and deliver wealth and health and happiness to everyone. I want to tell the contestants I wish I could send each one of them a copy of my book (but then I think I’d be wishing to win the lottery myself.) I want to tell those that don’t win, if they buy only one book this year, buy The Secret (or maybe Conversations with God.) (Of course, if they buy two books this year, they should buy The Secret and Wish Club!) Because as corny as it sounds, I really believe we all have the power to make our wishes come true.

I hope in some small way, by writing down a wish and mailing it to some strange (and I mean strange) author that maybe, just maybe, a few people have begun the process of making their dreams real. It’s Step One of The Secret. It’s the first step for the women in my book.

Soon, I’ll mail out copies of my book to the winners, but I’ve decided to keep my Wish Contest going. Award a book a month or something. It’s not much, I know, but until I get that magic wand, it seems like it’s the least I can do, and it’s the best way I know to consistantly remind myself to count my many blessings.

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