An anniversary contest

Two years ago, JustFrances.com entered the blogosphere. Can you believe it!? In that time there have been 572 posts, the writing of which have provided me with great deal of enjoyment and comfort—and have hopefully provided you with some entertainment, too.

As my life continues to change and my readership continues to grow, so has this site. It can be difficult knowing what to write at times because it’s no longer ‘just about me’—there’s an actual audience to consider, too. And more and more, that group is consisting of people I’ve never met. So, I created a short survey to see what people liked and what they wanted more of. The results so far have been positive and encouraging which is awesome! The survey is still active (through February 17), so please feel free to add your input if you haven’t already.

And to show that I’m listening (and to celebrate my second anniversary!) I’m holding a fun contest. The winner of this amazing contest will receive an original swirl drawing, custom made by me for you. Yay!

Here are some samples of the swirls. Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions.

  

  

Entering the contest is as easy as plopping some words into the comment section below as a ‘mini blog post’ for my entertainment. You can share a joke or some inspirational quotes; a short story or memory about your childhood or some silly thing we got up to together; a rant (or rave) about work or life; or just about anything else you think will make a good blog post. As you can see from this blog, the style and tempo of your post can be anything you want!

[If you’re a blogger, you can write a post on your site (but it must be obvious that it’s been written for my entertainment!) then share the link with me in the comments below.]

Now for the fine print. (Sorry, can’t miss that part!)

  1. Entries can be up to 500 words.
  2. The deadline is midnight GMT on February 19, 2012.
  3. One entry per person; you don’t need to use your real name, but you do need to use a valid email address.
  4. If you are using someone else’s work (quotes, jokes, etc.), please be sure to give credit where credit is due!
  5. The winner will be announced on Just Frances the morning of my birthday (February 21) and will be contacted through the email address used to enter. (I promise not to spam you!)
  6. The winner will have the option of choosing one (1) 5.5” x 8.5” drawing or two (2) 3.5” x 5” note cards. (Further details of your options will be explained to the winner in the email.)
  7. If your comment is caught by my spam filters or is deemed by me to be spam or inappropriate (profanity and/or anti-social comments will not be accepted) your entry will be automatically disqualified.
  8. If you are my Mom or Dad, your name will not be entered into the drawing because you can have a swirl drawing anytime you want (just ask) so it’s not fair for you to win. But you can still entertain me with a post!

So that’s it I think. You are welcome to tell your friends about the contest or to link to this on your blog or Facebook or Twitter or whatever. I mean, it would be great to have more than three people participating!

Just Frances continues to be a place of enjoyment for me. I know that posts may be a bit sad and reflective at times, but it’s helpful for me to get those thoughts out there. And the act of getting those sad thoughts out there releases my soul  a bit so that I can enjoy life—and therefore have happy posts.

And, of course, knowing that there are people out there reading—and supporting me—helps. Thanks for all of your support over the past two years! And happy blogging to you!

7 thoughts on “An anniversary contest

  1. My story is an example of how I talk weird and say things sometimes that make people wonder if I’m rude or just weird.

    Not long after we first moved to our neighborhood, some neighbor/friends asked us if we wanted their rabbits. Their daughter had kind of out grown them and they thought our family of 6 kids would be interested. Jeff and I went over to talk to them about it and to see if it was something we wanted to do. I was very curious about how hard they were to take care of and worried that it might be too much for me and the children. I was worried that the rabbits wouldn’t last long at our house. So I ask Sherrell and Stacy, “Are the rabbits hard to kill?
    I wish you could have seen the looks on their sweet, tender faces. They hadn’t known me very long, therefore they weren’t used to my particular brand of talking. I imagine they saw me running around trying to round up the rabbits for dinner. Luckily Jeff saved all of us by interpreting my weird way of talking and explained to them, “What Amy means is, are they easy to take care of, she doesn’t want to accidentally kill them. “

    They were so relieved that I wasn’t just interested so that I could practice my hunting skills.

    We didn’t end up taking the rabbits. It would have just been too much if one of them did die. I’m sure they never would have believed any explanation after that.

    I am entering this contest because I honestly want one of those swirl drawings. I want to frame it and hang it in my house. Love you.

  2. okay then here’s my entry.

    my daughter’s favorite books are the frances books about a little badger called frances. she has all of them and when i read them to her i think of you, my friend frances. it makes me smile because frances in the book sings made up songs and i used to like it when you broke out in song and everything you said was sang instead of talked.

    i tell my daughter (and wife) about my awesome friend frances that i used to have a crush on and how used to sing and how cool you are and my daughter wants to grow up like that now. she doesn’t want the name frances though because she likes her name too much.

    congratulations on 2 years at this blog. i am glad you arehappy in scotland.

    these books
    http://www.ocelotfactory.com/hoban/frances.html

  3. For your entertainment: a bit of the best poet in the world!

    Where the Sidewalk Ends
    by Shel Silverstein

    There is a place where the sidewalk ends
    And before the street begins,
    And there the grass grows soft and white,
    And there the sun burns crimson bright,
    And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
    To cool in the peppermint wind.

    Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
    And the dark street winds and bends.
    Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
    We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
    And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
    To the place where the sidewalk ends.

    Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
    And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
    For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
    The place where the sidewalk ends.

    —-

    I want to win this contest because I think that your swirls are really pretty. I don’t know you but I like to read your website even though I never comment. I am a subscriber if that gives me extra points!

    I found you first on your widowhood site because my cousin is a widow and I am really happy to see that you are doing so well. My cousin and her kids are surviving well like you, also.

    Thank you for letting us strangers share your life!

  4. Ephemeral, ephemerality, ephemeralness…

    F.M.R.L

    Let us roll the syllables across our tongues and relish the warm caress of truncated eternity as it penetrates the lingual epithelium of our consciousness.

    Is there any context in which the use of the word is not tautological in the most fundamental sense?

    Lust, Passion, Love, Life…

    The opportunities for nihilistic angst are almost ubiquitous and therefore far too mundane to be anything but tedious.

    Ozymandias made soap opera for the plugged in generation.

    Eternity then, the more counter intuitive and yet spiritually sane option, will always be the place to find me.

    He who binds to himself a joy
    Does the winged life destroy.
    But he who kisses the joy as it flies
    Lives in Eternity’s sun rise.
    (William Blake)

    Aside from all that tosh, congratulations on 2 years in the blogosphere and happy birthday when it comes!

  5. I used to be so clumsy as a child that I was always falling over. My mum even said that I could fall over a blade of grass. So, to try to cure me of it, she sent me to ballet lessons. From age 6 or so. In a little blue leotard with a tiny frill at the hips. And little flat flesh coloured ballet shoes – probably with elastic straps because it took me a long long time to learn to tie shoe laces, let alone ballet ribbons.

    I persevered for about 4 years. I did manage to learn to stop falling over my own feet but I was never what you would call graceful. My feet were too flat for that and I was a pleasantly chubby child, definitely not a willowy sylph.

    I took it up again when I was 16 or 17, and persevered for another year. By that stage I was well into my puppy fat, and because I was a few years older than the other girls in my class, I was even more galumphing (or so I felt). I enjoyed it a bit more second time round, and I even appeared in a ballet show (3rd wave from the left, as I remember – complete with a proper tutu!).

    And now I dance tango. Seems although I may not be willowy and graceful, I do have fairly natural rhythym (great word without any vowels btw!) and a degree of musicality.

    Entertained yet?

  6. Ok, I thought I would just ramble here a bit. I am not a writer nor a blogger. I received a nice email this morning from my friend Joy. Last week I had mailed her a cd that I had compiled. It was called: Keep ‘er Steady, Cowgirl. I got the notion last summer to put a cd together. I used to make my own ‘mix tapes’ all the time and share them with friends. Anyway, a few songs were sticking out to me so I found a few more along the cowgirl theme and this cd was born.

    Joy is a friend from ‘the Homeland’ and lives on a ranch and has always ridden horses, and shared her horses with me as we were growing up. I have now lived on the Wet Side for nearly 25 years and in those years, I found another horsey friend, who (whom?) I have always referred to as ‘Cowgirl.’ Anyway, Joy and Cowgirl were the inspiration for the cd. I had lunch with Cowgirl last week to give her a copy and she loved it. The email this morning (from Joy) said she loved it as well. I was so happy that someone liked what I had created.

    Joy’s mom, who I always called ‘Mom’ too, is a yodeler, and the cd included a couple songs with yodeling. (ie Jesse, the yodelin’ cowgirl, from the Toy Story movies) It was so fun to put together and to share with others.

    I have another ‘mix tape’ in mind for which I am still looking for songs to include. It is already named: Beyond the Beer Barrel. Intrigued? Stay tuned. Actually, if you are interested, you will have to ask, since I am not planning to start a blog to blog about it.

    I have no idea how many words this is, but since I am musing on horses and cowgirls, I will share my ‘guilty pleasure.’ My fav tv show is the Canadian ‘Heartland,’ about a teen girl ‘horse whisperer.’ Bein in my 50s, it seems sappy to like a teen show, but my fav character, next to the horses of course, is the Grandpa, Jack. I guess I love the show because there has always been a bit of cowgirl in me, after all, I was a horse thief as a child…

    All true.

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