meeting one of my favorite writers + a giveaway

I won (!!!) a Goodreads copy of @christina_write's new book. It arrived in time for the event Wednesday at Trident!

I don't remember when I started reading Christina Rosalie's blog, but I do remember falling in love with her writing. It is rich enough that you can feel sticky little hands and the bite of Vermont winters and the warmth of a hot mug in the early morning. It is artful, beautiful, honest, and resonant. So when she launched a Kickstarter campaign to write a book, I knew I had to be a backer.

Over the following two and a half years, I followed along on her blog as she worked on the book, juggling it with her family, a return to school for a master's degree, and a new job. I continue to be impressed with the way she pursues her passions with gusto, and with her bravery to share the messiness of life. And I cheered her on September 4 when A Field Guide to Now was released.

I had my fingers crossed for a book event in Boston, and my wish was granted. In late September, Christina had a reading at Trident on Newbury. Ian and I headed straight over after work. "That's her!" I whispered as we sat down at a table, as if it wasn't obvious. She and I had chatted, off and on, via social media, and I was a full of nervous excitement to meet in person an internet acquaintance that I so admire.

a field guide to now @ trident
photo by Hilary Hess

"You must be Anna!" Christina said with a gracious smile. It is a lovely realization that someone you admire so much is just as wonderful and thoughtful in real life.

Christina read a few selected chapters from her book—there is something magical about listening to an author read her own book. Each chapter is an essay accompanied by an invitation in the form of an activity, question, or assignment. She paused at the end of each chapter to let us soak in that invitation, and even had paper and pens for us to make our own lists after reading "At Home in the Moment." (Mine is still tucked away in my purse.)

a field guide to now @ trident
photo by Hilary Hess

After the event, Christina was kind enough to spend time talking to Ian and I about the book, her family, life in Boston versus Vermont, and visiting Montreal.

That night, I devoured her book. It's a focused collection of her beautiful writing with an open, honest, and inspiring look at how to live life intentionally. I love the way Christina takes the everyday and turns it into something evocative and weighty (this is also why I love Ted Kooser's poetry). She offers an important reminder that significance isn't found through doing what the world would consider big and successful things, but through living life intentionally and fully. It's the sort of book you read over and over. To savor each essay, to examine the art she created to accompany them, and to take up the invitations that close each chapter (I'm particularly excited to take on bread making). It strikes me, over a month after my first reading, how quickly I have lost focus on the present, and on being intentional. How human it is to let the busyness of life sweep us off course. I know I will turn to this book again and again to recapture that focus and inspiration.

a field guide to now @ trident
photo by Hilary Hess

You may be wondering why I had not finished the book before Christina's reading. Despite my horrible luck with contests, I won a GoodReads book giveaway, and received my copy just in time to get it signed Trident. So I decided to pay it forward. I picked up a second copy to share with you, and Christina generously has offered a postcard set to accompany it.

a field guide to now postcard 12 pack giveaway

To enter to win a SIGNED copy of A Field Guide to Now12 gorgeous postcards featuring original artwork from the book (delivered with a handwritten note from Christina), leave a comment about something that inspires you by Sunday, November 18 at 10pm (EST). I'll select a winner at random and announce here on the blog Monday morning. Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed.