Sunday, November 14, 2010

Guest Post - Scott Nicholson and Kindle Giveaway Blog Tour

The Writing Life
By Scott Nicholson
http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/

If you read too many writing blogs, you might get the impression that writers sit around in coffee shops all day discussing “Bird By Bird” and the hermeneutic elements inherent in Wolfe’s Look Homeward Angel.

I don’t know how other writers do it, but I’m working by the seat of my pants. Butt in chair. Stealing moments that are probably better spent on family and community. But I reconcile it with the notion that I am sharing ideas that help us learn about the world—sometimes the message isn’t pretty, but we’re here to survive, not look good.

So as I sit here in my little in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, 12 miles from the nearest gas station, I can tell you what you support when you buy my books, and why I don’t “need” your money.

The two biggest purchases I’ve made in the past year are a beat-up 1985 pickup and a chainsaw. Sure, I’ve made a little extra money on books this year, but I paid down on the house and I gave a little away. I don’t really like money that much. The universe always delivers when an expense arises, almost in perfect concert with the need. In 1998 my son needed braces. At the same time, I won a big crash prize in the international Writers of the Future contest. My daughter will need braces next year. Disintegration became a Kindle bestseller. Who can argue with the synchronicity of such things?

What do I do when I am not writing? I cut firewood. I tend my organic garden. I save seeds, which is more than just a blooming sideline business—I have a mission of preserving rarer strains, particularly a few Cherokee varieties indigenous to the area that moved West on the Trail of Tears during the forced displacement of the tribe. I take care of my chickens. I don’t kill them, though I eat their eggs, but I feel that’s a fair trade for protecting them for all those beasties out there who like things that taste like chicken.

I work as a newspaper reporter and have won press association awards. I have a reputation of being fair and accurate. I respect the people I write about, even when I disagree with their positions. I go to lots of different churches but I am a small-T taoist. I’m a small-L libertarian, but my political and moral philosophy falls under what I call “compassionate self-reliance”—take care of yourself but do just a little extra for the next guy who might not be so fortunate.

When you buy my books, you’re doing more than just trading me money for my time and ideas and talent. You are investing in this approach. If I were whoring and doping and investing in polluting industry, I’d be ashamed to ask for your support. I am not arrogant or smug about it, but I try to do good wherever I go, as best I can.

Sure, sometimes I fall prey to ego or desire or fear. And when I do, it usually goes right into a story and flushes itself out. And I write the next sentence and turn the next page. I don’t know anything about the “writing life.” This is the only life I know.


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This week’s Scott special is As I Die Lying, 99 cents for a limited time.


Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Disintegration, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, Burial to Follow, and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX or Kindle 3, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing. Complete details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm

92 comments:

  1. I like "The Sixth Sense". I think the movies "Ghost" and "The Lovely Bones" is pretty cheezy. :)

    purposedrivenlife4you at gmail dot com

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  2. The Shining is one of my favorite books of all time. The movie White Noise scared me silly, although haven't heard many other folks talk about it. varbonoff22 at cox dot net

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  3. I love a good ghost story.

    bonnje@embarqmail.com

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  4. Scott, remember to oil the zerk for the sprocket! And count me in for the Kindle!
    Paul
    mrluckyATcharterDOTnet

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  5. I love a good ghost story.

    eddiem11@ca.rr.com

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  6. Okay, peeps, sorry for the confusion and thank you, Donna, for covering me on the wrong post I sent you! It's all good now, people! (The ghost posts above were for a different post...hopefully this will be the last glitch--yeah, RIGHT!)

    Scott

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  7. Great post! I love ghost stories!

    vicky.vak8(at)gmail.com

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  8. I am assuming my post got lost...lol!!

    Ghost rock. The rule the supernatural.

    nedsped at verizon dot net

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  9. Hmmm...not sure if my post got lost or not, but here is my favorite ghost:

    http://www.amazon.com/Georgie-Robert-Bright/dp/0374425396/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1289773756&sr=8-1

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  10. Hi Scott, I am still following you. Congrats on your news and hope you will sell a lot of books now. I have marked my kindle to win so don't forget. lol

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  11. Congrats..Great contest..

    monacart32 at hotmail dot com

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  12. That's a mean lookin' chain saw you got there partner. :-)

    randymir@gmail.com

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  13. "compassionate self-reliance", I really like that term, and that way of life.



    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

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  14. "compassionate self-reliance" - I like that, I wish more people practiced it.

    I'm happy to support your lovely lifestyle in exchange for some good reads, I think it's a fair trade.

    I'm glad serendipity works in your favor for unexpected events, it sure doesn't for me. I'd like to have enough money in the bank to not have to worry about car repairs and to be able to help out loved ones. Unfortunately, we're not there yet.

    lorraine_lanning[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  15. Please enter me.
    chey127 at hotmail dot com

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  16. No time to chat today... But don't think I didn't notice the rather, ahem... phallic chainsaw photo. My, aren't we proud of out shiny and deadly tool? It's a big 'un, but could we be, i don't know..., compensating for something else, perhaps?

    And a horror writer with a chainsaw... They say writers write what they know. You big, MANly buzzsaw-welding horror writer! Where ARE the bodies buried???

    CHEERS!

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  17. Are the blog gremlins invading Tourville?

    Anyway, I like the chainsaw pic. I visited NC in September. The mountains were beautiful.

    Write2Bev@gmail.com

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  18. If i ever get to charlotte or myrtle beach, i may just have to stop by and say howdy! good post btw. spvaughan@yahoo.com

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  19. I'm glad you don't eat your chickens. Do you sell those seeds of yours online anywhere...?
    teawench at gmail dot com

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  20. My wife and I just started to get into gardening this year. We ended up with more tomatoes than Ragu would need for the year, not enough squash for more than a couple of meals, and a moderate amount of various peppers, cucumbers and lettuce. next year - less tomatoes and more squash. :)

    calseeor (at) gmail (dot) com

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  21. If writers can't sit around in coffee shops all day discussing “Bird By Bird” and the hermeneutic elements inherent in Wolfe’s "Look Homeward Angel," what on earth do I have to look forward to, you dream-crusher?

    Twitter: MachineTrooper

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  22. Ok, seriously now, was that post supposed to bring tears to my eyes? Awesome, we are trying to teach our children about "enough". We have been fortunate and are quite conservative to be certain that we don't overspend or live beyond our means. We have gotten to a point in society where we "have" to have things we don't "need". We teach our children to serve others, but also teach them that sometimes others need to be taught to do for themselves. Ok...I could go on forever on that. Thanks for a great post and for making me go back to center myself and my thoughts!

    Have I mentioned how much I have been enjoying your book tour...I am pretty sure it has been more than a kindle experience! Thanks for your insight!!

    Cici
    cicistheories@gmail.com

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  23. Another insightful posting... going to be sad when this daily Scott-read goes away...

    Armand Rosamilia

    armandrosamilia@gmail.com

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  24. Bev, yep, it's purty all year round here! Sandy, I am about 2 hrs from Charlotte.

    Cici, tell the kids they don't need much!

    Teawench, not at the level of selling seeds right now--still at "swap" level. There's a whole big learning curve to it that has been lost in most places. Part of it is I am morally offended by corporations being about to patent plants and seeds and hybrids so that we may lose our ability to feed ourselves without permission. That's not wacko paranoia stuff--it's already difficult to get corn seed that isn't genetically modified.

    Eric, every year is different, so just keep doing it!

    Scott

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  25. I like the creepiness of ghost stories ....Tiffypoot @ (aol.com)

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  26. That is a nice looking chainsaw.

    Monster's comment, "My, aren't we proud of our shiny and deadly tool?", really struck me as funny. I love that turn of phrase.

    Thanks for the contest,
    Greg "The Undead Rat" Fisher

    theundeadrat (@) gmail (.) com

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  27. Don't have much to say today, so I'll just say hello!

    gem.wood@gmail.com

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  28. i approve of the chainsaw purchase

    bunkercomplexATgmailDOTcom

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  29. LOL, it's getting late - my brain is dead.
    Hopefully tomorrow will be better!
    I like reading your posts.

    email in blogger profile.
    js22 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  30. How touching, I wish all authors I support by reading their books is as great and generous as you are.
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

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  31. Thanks for the chance to win!

    kt1969 at comcast dot net

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  32. Love it!

    josephafisch@gmail.com

    Joe F.

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  33. Its not beat up....its a classic! i.pearson@comcast.net

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  34. My husband says cutting firewood is very theraputic.

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

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  35. For those who say "life" gets in the way of their writing, they need to make writing part of their life and it'll get done along with all of those other life items.

    dwdorow@gmail.com
    ThrillersRus.blogspot.com

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  36. Very nice and humbling post, Scott.

    -Jesse
    conrad.jd (at) gmail (dot) com

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  37. It seems to me you are one of the lucky ones who get to live exactly as they please.

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  38. Congrats, a great contest, and enjoying the interviews.

    bookwormreviewed at gmail dot com

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  39. Scott, love the chainsaw pic. Another insightful post. Thanks for sharing.

    dlmartin6@yahoo.com

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  40. chainsaws rock. mrcorbin at gmail dot com

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  41. I'd love to win a Kindle!

    Email address is in blogger profile

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  42. Hmm. Hmm. That chainsaw, Scott! Okay, Monster A Go-Go said it all, thank god, so I don't have to.

    "As I Die Lying" is worth a lot more than 99 cents, believe me, but hey, GET IT WHILE THE SALE LASTS. It's a crazy, funny, dark, fascinating book!

    Christa
    cpolkinhorn@msn.com

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  43. Scott, you sound like my kind of people. Sure wish I could visit your corner of the Blue Ridge.

    dulcibelle [at] earthlink [dot] net

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  44. Gardening is good. Saving seeds is very important. There is a reason for every plant. Except maybe dandelions (*LOL*). kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com

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  45. I'm like you, in that I don't like money all that much. That might change, however, if I got to know it better. :)

    therabidfox[at]gmail.com

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  46. I could use a new chainsaw myself. :)

    -Neal

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  47. I would LOVE a Kindle DX. Thanks for the opportunity to win one! :)

    P.S. Click on my name for my contact info. ;)

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  48. Please enter me in the giveaway. bkhabel at gmail dot com

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  49. Funny how "The Secret" really works. We get just what we expect, somehow.

    inannajourney at gmail dot com

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  50. Thanks for the insight in your life. I liked how you brought up how when we buy your books they help support your life and this is how your life is, not the life of a druggie. I hadn't really thought of buying a book as supporting the author's life. I know that you buy the book showing your support of the author but I never really thought of how the author got the money and used it. And thanks for your view of money.

    jessangil at gmail dot com

    -Jessica

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  51. Scott, I thought the early comments about loving ghosts were actually responding to the sight of you with a chainsaw--maybe a prediction about the outcome of you wielding one!

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  52. "I don’t know anything about the “writing life.” This is the only life I know." - i like that!

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  53. I have to write when alone. Which sometimes is impossible but have to make time.

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  54. I can't say that I am nearly as self sufficient as you, but I applaud those that can do it.

    Wakincade AT gmail DOT com

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  55. Please enter me in the giveaway.
    cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

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  56. I enjoyed the post and the blog tour. I look forward in reading more posts.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

    (my internet is acting crazy, I apologize if this posts twice)

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  57. Scott, I love the picture you painted about the writing life. I would love to sit around all day in a coffee shop, just writing and drinking java, but that's not my reality.

    Margay1122(at)aol(dot)com

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  58. I love the way you think of things and live your life!
    candace_redinger at yahoo dot com

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  59. Scott you hit it on the head. It's butt in the seat and practicing your craft.

    dalelmurphy(at)gravesidetales(dot)com

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  60. I would love to win!
    blue_krista83@hotmail.com

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  61. Awesome post.

    Too many Americans are obsessed with "more" and are not content with "enough." My husband and I are striving impart these ideas to our children. It's always good to support those who try to do good and aren't just seeing dollar signs. :)

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  62. Like your philosophy. We all have more than we need and seem to be acquiring more. Finding the balance between what we want and what we really need isn't easy. More power to the person that has achieved that.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

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  63. People like stuff...so much so we don't really think about whether we need the stuff, or just want it. Although...sometimes it's both a need and a want...like a kindle... :D
    Your life, outside of the hectic world of author promotion, sounds idyllic!

    jamesemr (at) gmail (dot) com

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  64. Thanks!
    Emily ebdye1(at)gmail(dot)com

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  65. sounds like time well spent :) I hope to one day have a place in the Blue Ridge mountains. I am getting closer. I have gone from the coast, to the RTP and now I am in the Triad. Only 90 more miles and I'll be there .
    The seed thing, kudos!

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  66. enough money to meet needs. Sounds like a good plan to me. The weary writer still traveling around the blogoshere :)

    deedeekm@gmail.com

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  67. It sounds like we have a few things in common. We heat with wood which we grow here. I admire your drive to save seeds. Our garden is primarily grown from heritage seeds. Anything we can do to thwart Monsanto is OK by me. I think the seeds are as important as the legacy of writing. Keep it up.

    byonge@lonepinetv.com

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  68. Great post!

    nmreviews@gmail.com

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  69. I've been trying to make it to all the stops on the blog tour, but I seem to have managed to miss a few...

    bluefrog62@yahoo.com

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  70. @Estella your husband is right!

    @Jessica I was going to mention the rock-star bestseller life but I don't think many writers live that way. Even the Big Names seem to be kind of stable about this stuff, perhaps because it doesn't make for good TV.

    @Byonge I see a resurgence of seed savers--partly by necessity and partly through the understanding of tradition. Funny how "traditional farming" is now considered putting a ton of petroleum products and poisons on your depleted soil, then EATING what comes from it!

    @bluefrog, don't worry, i think I missed a few stops myself!

    Scott

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  71. So many times people don't know the difference between need and want - it's good when they do. :) lydiao AT sbcglobal DOT net.

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  72. nice to see authors have real lives beyond the computer screen :)

    stephanie(.)pridgen(@)gmail(.)com

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  73. Speaking of the writing life, I remember when I started in this business to realize the dream of not going to a day job and then spend a part of my day crafting stories, the rest watching TV, sleeping, reading, hanging out with friends.

    *ahem*

    Though I write and publish fulltime, my life is far from that. Sure, I still watch TV, read, see friends (rarely), sleep, but I work pretty much around the clock writing books or publishing them, or arranging deals to move the most copies possible.

    Writers don’t talk, at least not in my circle. We communicate now and then, but we don’t sit around talking about books in general, or how we’re approaching our latest tale while sipping tea and wearing turtlenecks.

    The writing life, if it is to be defined, is an incredibly lonely one, where it’s just you, your keyboard, a few coffee breaks and a head full of make-believe people who strangely resemble different facets of yourself.

    There are days when I long for companionship, and there are days when I just want to be with my imaginary friends.

    The trick is balance, but I’m still searching for it.

    Coscomentertainment [at] gmail [dot] com

    www.canisterx.com

    POSSESSION OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIE FIGHT NIGHT (and others) for just TWO BUCKS at the Amazon Kindle store. Grab your copies here!

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  74. i'm invested in your approach :)
    emily_erickson@yahoo.com

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  75. I Loved Hearing About your life.sounds like a good One to have.
    sasluvbooks(at)yahoo.com

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  76. Enjoying the tour and your wide variety of topics.

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  77. I enjoy the posts about your life which include things outside writing.

    andrea.infinger@gmail.com

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  78. What a great post! I love your attitude on life and money. I wish I was as optimistic about money as you seem to be. We never cease to be struggling to make ends meet. It doesn't help that I'm just coming off of a 2 year unemployment stasis. I'm so happy to be employed now and in a few months money issues will no longer be an issue!

    Keep doing what you love. It seems to be working for you!

    thecozyreader @ gmail.com

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  79. @Scott, yeah my gardening groups are always talking about that GMO or whatever corn. It kinda scares the crap out of me, too, which is why I've started getting into the seed saving thing, too. Now if I could just get a decent harvest, I'd be set!

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  80. wish you were my neighbor! seed saving is something i've only thought about briefy to date. i'm still learning as i go...
    hancoci_s at msn dot com

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  81. I just want to hug you for this, “compassionate self-reliance”—take care of yourself but do just a little extra for the next guy who might not be so fortunate." Very Pay It Forward (which I loved btw) and my philosophy when I can untangle myself from the emotional tentacles of my immediate surroundings. Depressed, Bipolar people have a very special power. They don't know they are doing it either.
    OK I will shut up now.

    nedsped at verizon dot net

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  82. nice post, Scott.

    dreamer dot ima at gmail dot com

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  83. Great post about enjoying the simple things in life. How lucky to have things fall into your lap when you need them! :)

    I'm at sweetbrier at shaw dot ca if I happen to be a lucky winner. :)

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  84. Thanks for the lovely post, Scott!
    You can reach me at luvpinkpanther@gmail.com

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  85. 89 entries! Awesome. Good luck, everyone and keep following. We're alllllmost done!

    Don't forget Cursed! available from me and JR Rain.

    Scott

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  86. Your life sounds just the way I'd love mine to be, tucked away from this whole too fast world.
    Wonderful post!
    Count me in for a Kindle! ;)

    LaQuiet(at)gmail(dot)com

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  87. Man, I love scary and I'm loving this tour.
    dorcontest at gmail dot com

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