Far, Far Away

I won a book!

Shauna Niequist was giving away twenty copies of her Dad’s new book, Simplify. (Her Dad is Bill Hybels.) She asked her readers to respond with a comment to her blog. I did that–and was one of twenty names chosen.

Laura told me that it could have been a random choice, but I am believing that my comment touched something in Shauna. It was somewhat calculated to do that–to stand out and touch a heart string.

So, the next thing I notice is a Hobbit Fan Contest–to win a trip for two to New Zealand. And of course, I’m in. I signed up and started earning “coins.” I studied for a quiz by reading the book and watching the movies again, including the special features. (It didn’t help.) Then I “liked” the contest on Facebook and signed up for a Twitter account so I could “like” it there too. I even learned to tweet and asked my friends to retweet. (I think I had three or four friends who knew–or guessed–what to do.)

Bxp_l8TCAAA9fBRI even whipped up a Hobbit outfit for Kellen before I read in the rules that no family members could star in the video. He would have been such a cute hobbit. (Oh, well, Halloween is coming.)




And this week, I learned how to work I-Movie to put together the required two-minute video. I’d come up with what I thought was a brilliant script, but executing it was more difficult than I expected. First, Laura and Taylor went on vacation so I was unable to rely on them for help. (Laura did help with filming some footage, but when we re-read the rules, what she’d taped wouldn’t have qualified.) Then I thought I found a budding young videographer to help me, but that didn’t work out either. So I was on my own with my I-Phone, I-Photos and I-Movie.

I obsessed about this for about a week and spent hours trying to pull this together. I know there’s not much chance of me winning the contest, but I just couldn’t let go of it until I tried. I generally enjoy the challenge of learning new things on my computer–though I’m constantly frustrated at how hard it is for me, say, compared to the average 20 year old who learned this stuff in middle school. I really think Peter Jackson should give me about 1000 “coins” just for trying so hard!

So, I will try to include my paltry video in this post. Please tell me that you think my argument is compelling, even if the video is less than stellar. “Sacrificing” my daughter to Middle Earth seems like evidence of great fan-ship to Tolkien and The Hobbit. (Though admittedly, that is not the whole story. I’m pretty sure that God was orchestrating the circumstances and the young man in the story had great influence in the outcome. But the fact remains, the initial pull to go to New Zealand was from the fantasy of the movies.)

If only I can figure out YouTube tomorrow, I will send my video off into cyberspace and lay this to rest.

And then, maybe I can get back to putting the words of the book into practice: Simplify! This little contest was definitely a crazy detour from that path.

Still, if I win…..

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