The Great Giveaway

Here’s what’s included in THE GREAT GIVEAWAY!

By leaving a comment at the end of this post you’ll be entered in the giveaway! You don’t have to read the entire post to do that—but I think you might want to anyway! It’s funny AND you’ll find out what you’ll win in the giveaway! 

So here’s what happened. Two days ago (and yes even more than two days ago) I was having trouble focusing on writing. So, of course, that’s what I’m going to blog about. Right? Right.

But if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I like to do hands on stuff. I take (almost) all the photos for my blog andI act out what my fiction characters might do, like in this post. I end up doing some quirky things—like in this post when I tried to figure out who stole branches from my apple tree and in this post when I sent out messages in bottles (nothing back yet, by the way).

This is the photo I included in my last post. You may not have
even noticed the Lego house in the background!

My last post was no different. I wanted to have a photo that represented the different demands on my time. I decided I’d use a brass bird bell for Twitter/social networking and folded index cards for the WIP writing, the freelance writing, blog, etc. But what about my home demands? I decided I needed a representation of home.

I mean, home is one of the things I talk about a lot on this blog. And it’s important to me. I started looking everywhere in my house for a small house, a little representation of home I could use in my photo. Surely I had to have something! But, after half an hour of looking I came up empty handed. Nothing.

So I did what anyone would do. I went to Walmart. A mere 15-minute drive. And sure enough, I found one thing that would do (it wasn’t perfect but oh well): a Lego kit with a house in it. I drove home (I paid first—if I hadn’t this blog would’ve been about something entirely different. And I specifically remember paying because in front of me in line at the register there was a really weird, very pale guy dressed in camouflage buying ammo—scary and creepy, but again, another blog).

15 minutes and I was back home. And that’s when it hit me: “oh yeah, I need to build the house.” Another 20 minutes, which by the way would’ve taken any kindergartner 2 seconds to build—but unfortunately I’m fresh out of 5-year-olds in this family.

This little Lego guy shows how I felt after I built the house
and realized I’d spent an hour on prepartion for the
post; time I could’ve spent writing. The little gray&white
blocks in the middle of the photo are my attempt to build
a computer for the little wordsxo guy…
maybe she’ll get some writing done!!

So there I was, an hour into the latest blog-inspired adventure and (1) I hadn’t yet written the blog post about not being able to focus on writing, and—perhaps more to the point, (2) I hadn’t written any of my novel(s), which were still sitting in a pile on the kitchen table.

But, the good part (here’s where the giveaway finally comes in) was that I was left with a little Lego house and about 185 untouched Lego pieces still in a nearly-pristine box. And still no 5-year-old to play with them. So that’s when I thought what anyone would think: “Ah-ha! I’ll give it away on my blog!”

Followed quickly by: “But what if they don’t have kids? They won’t enter!”

And then quickly again by: “Ah-ha! I’ll include more stuff!”

Thus this giveaway was born! Which leads me (finally) to what is included in this great giveaway! If you leave a comment at the end of  this post (and you win), here’s what you’ll get:

1. The new-two-days-ago Lego Kit—includes one custom-built, designed by Lego built by wordsxo, home. All parts of the original Lego kit are included. Most (except the house) are in the original packaging.

2. A spiral bound 100% recycled acid-free paper notebook with Great Blue Herons (AKA: GBH; Scientific name: Ardea Herodias) on the cover. If you read my blog very often you know that I write and Tweet a lot about birds, and I love GBHs!

3. A teak cherry (thank you Erika!) bookmark with a cut-out GBH (see note above)….are we seeing a pattern here? It’s a really lovely bookmark, you’ll have to take my word for it!

4. A bag of “the caviar of Maine,” otherwise known as dried wild Maine blueberries. Not only are these incredibly healthy and chock-full of antioxidants, but they are incredibly delicious and addictive. I included these not only because they’re delicious but also because I write a lot about the state of Maine, and I think blueberries and Great Blue Herons and the beach videos I post every week really have kind of started to be a theme on my blog!

I’ll leave this post open for comments for two weeks, until September 15. Then on Friday morning, September 16, I will assign each comment a number, and I’ll use a random number generator to pick one of you as a winner! I’ll announce the winner on my blog!

Oh, and one more thing. I didn’t get paid for mentioning any of the products in the giveaway. Nor did I get any of the items for free. 

Finally, if you’re already one of my loyal blog and/or Twitter followers: THANK YOU, I LOVE YOU. If you’re new to wordsxo, welcome to my blog, it’s nice to meet you! I hope you’ll come back for more adventures with me! 




  1. Okay. Put me in the pot for the drawing. My son is a Lego maniac and I love the sound of those blueberries. take care.

  2. Julia, this post had me laughing out loud, especially when you mention the part about “what if they don’t have kids!”

    I may have not kids, but I have a husband who LOVES Legos. Who says you need to HAVE kids to have kids? 😉

    It’s interesting that you ended up choosing Legos and then realizing you’d spent time that you could’ve spent writing. It’s almost like a mini-metaphor trying to speak to you. Next time you’re having a hard time writing, think of the Legos, how they’re all shattered pieces, but they eventually come together, one by one, to become a whole. It’s just like writing. We don’t have to do it all at once…just piece by piece 🙂

  3. Oh my gosh… I was CRACKING UP pretty much on every other word. Your endeavor that took far longer than you’d hoped, the crazy guy at Wal-Mart, examples of your other blog-inspired adventures … You are a hoot! Your Lego computer monitor is pretty darn good, too, I must say.

    And did I not tell you that kidless families almost always have husbands who love Legos (Natalia – I can relate). Tee hee.

  4. After yesterday’s post, I was in suspense about what you would do today. And you didn’t disappoint. I LOVE this giveaway!! And the whole funny adventure of how it came to be.

    I’ll also really-really-really want to win so please put me in the drawing. I love the heron notebook and the *teak* heron bookmark. I want those badly! The Lego kit would be mailed to my little grandson in New Mexico and the blueberries would be devoured by moi.

    Thanks for the fun post and the fun giveaway! You always give me so many reasons to be glad I found wordsxo.

    ~ Milli

    P.S. The house you built to symbolize home is adorable and so is the computer you built for your Lego writer!

  5. Erika Marks says:

    Oh my gosh! Tell that isn’t one of Chris Becksvoort’s beautiful cherry bookmarks!? I would recognize it anywhere (having a collection myself!)

    I love that you went and bought Legos! Have I ever mentioned my trick of puzzles to gain focus. My daughter went through a huge puzzle phase and I’d join her (and she’d out-puzzle me in a second–the kid is FAST!) but I loved the exercise and the way it truly allowed me to focus AND let my thoughts wash away–if that makes any sense.

  6. Cynthia Robertson says:

    You have me cracking up! This post is hilarious. Did you drink too much coffee this morning?
    Hey, aren’t ALL people in Maine pale? Just sayin’.
    Very manic and funny, Julia. 🙂

  7. Pet says:

    I was going to read you anyway – it is always fun – but having an economic incentive helps 🙂
    Then having two Lego freak boys makes one particularly aware to the ever present Lego word at our home.
    In case it helps in the random lottery, if I were to win – remember my two boys – I would provide you a US address where we’ll be for Christmas. Doesn’t that melt the Christmas heart of the random numbers generator? 🙂

  8. Ann says:

    Julia – I LOVE it! I understand the distractions…and if I win the house is going on my DESK and I’ll send you a picture of MY desk….since I’ve seen yours.

    BTW – my desk is 2 days old now. Hubby and I have two matching writing desks in the study!

  9. CMSmith says:

    I’m happy to see you are spending your writing time productively these days, Julia.

    I wish I would have known you needed Legos, I have tubs of them in my basement.

    I want to come over and waste, I mean, spend time with you.

    I’m not even going to tell you how much time I spent on my video yesterday for today’s blog. The sad part is, I think most people never click on videos.

    What the heck. I’m going to keep cranking them out. Too fun.

  10. E.J. Wesley says:

    Love the Lego house, Julia! The blueberries sound yummy too. 🙂



  12. JM Merchant says:

    This post has made my day Julia 🙂
    Just wanted to let you know that, so don’t worry about putting me in the draw, international postage is too much of a headache!
    Jo x

  13. I have five year old, therefore, I throw my comment I to the ring. Can’t believe you bought Legos! Hilarious.

  14. Darian Wilk says:

    Lol, I loved this post! I was literally laughing out loud. It was like you were writing about me, as that’s about the amount of focus I’ve had lately!

    Oh, but I’m not entering the drawing (so tempted to though). It just doesn’t seem right entering when I’m a lurker lol.

  15. Loved your story — you are one hands-on lady. What a fun giveaway!

  16. Oh! My son LOVES Legos… guess I’m “lucky” that I have kids for this giveaway? LOL. Funny post!

  17. Thanks for all the Day 1 Comments & Entries!! Glad you enjoyed the post 😀

    SouthMainMuse, Happy to see you; love the Lego maniac sons (used to have one of those guys, too 🙂

    Natalia, What a great way of looking at the Legos–good thing I didn’t think of that or I’d have kept thme 🙂

    Melissa, Glad you like the computer–aren’t I creative, haha! Happy to entertain 🙂

    Milli, The Lego house was a zillion times easier to build than our usual overwhelming house projects… glad you love wordsxo! 🙂

    Erika, Embarrassed to say I don’t know/haven’t heard of Chris Becksvoort–now I know! LOVE the puzzles idea, thanks! 🙂

    Cynthia, Never ever enough coffee in the world, but sometimes I hit it right with the humor… as for pale in Maine? Touche 🙂

    Pet, Love those boys who love Legos; cross your fingers for the random number generator! Thanks for reading wordsxo 🙂

    Ann, I would LOVE to see your desk; that’s so sweet that you two have matching desks! Isn’t working at home great? 🙂

    Christine, Yes, aren’t I so productive? Maybe this is what some of us are reduced to with the empty nest… toys and distractions. Wish you COULD come over! 🙂

    EJ, Glad to see you! And thanks for the kudos on the house 🙂

    Sara, Right back at you, friend! xo, Julia 🙂

    Jo, Awww, you’re so sweet to worry about the postage…. we’ll see…. 🙂

    Hallie, LUCKY…. to have a 5 yo! Of course I bought the Legos–anything for my blog readers! 🙂

    Darian, Glad to provide a good laugh! Sorry you have as much focus as I do… as for not entering you? OF COURSE YOU’RE ENTERED, you left a comment!! Thanks for reading wordsxo! 🙂

    Amanda, So glad you enjoyed my story; yes, I definitely love to act out stories, apparently ANYTHING to keep me from writing those WIPs *these* days! 🙂

    Kate, Happy to see you on wordsxo! You are WAY lucky to have kids for this giveaway…. glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

  18. Brenda says:

    Your post had me smiling the whole time! I spend a lot of time with Lego when I could/should be writing. In fact, my 6-year-old is currently coveting the Lego Death Star for Christmas, which has something like a gajillion pieces. Thank God my husband has the patience and skill required for these things! I have clearly enough Lego of my own not to want to enter the drawing (and international shipping), but I wanted to pop in and say I loved your post and your Lego house!

  19. This post is hysterical. I love that you went to Walmart and bought a lego kit to construct the house to represent the demands on your time. Classic!

  20. This is a great giveaway! I used to love playing Legos with my sister. And I’m not above playing with them now! 😉

    Happy Friday, Julia!

  21. Lisa Ahn says:

    Julia, you are HILARIOUS! I love the description of the Walmart trip and Lego construction. (Looking forward to that ammo blog as well.)And to think, the only things I do to escape my writing woes are chase after my kids and puppy. (The kids LOVE Legos. The Puppy hasn’t discovered them . . . yet)

  22. Thank you to all entries and comments!

    Brenda, I remember those huge Lego kits! My son, now a young adult, used to LOVE those! He and my husband would spend hours putting them together, together! Good times, great memories! Thanks for your concerns about international shipping! 🙂

    Leah, I know, right? What’s so funny about the crazy trip to Walmart and constructing the house is it seemed so very necessary at the time… 🙂

    Mahesh, I love the kid memories of Legos — mine with my brother and mine with my kids, too. So I undertand! As for now, I’m afraid if I keep the kit I may NEVER finish a WIP! 🙂

    Lisa, Glad you enjoyed the post! I’ll share a secret: you have no idea how much I’d rather be chasing kids and a puppy than these crazy adventures — of course, they’d have been right there with me! 🙂

  23. Ado says:

    Hi J:
    Coming in late here as I’m just back from the beach.
    Ok, I’m not into giveaways but yours is adorable so I’m in. I want that teeny house.
    You know – you’ve been on my mind a lot lately – the whole empty nest thing. I am really thinking about what you must be going through (probably selfishly because I dread it in my own future and Ella’s only 6). And you saying you’re “fresh out of 5 year olds” and then going and building that tiny Lego house – priceless.

  24. Hi Ado! The teeny house is pretty adorable, I’m not going to lie! And I’m also not going to lie about the empty nest — it’s not my fave. Still, good friends like you who understand, make it a lot easier! Welcome back from the beach & have a good start to school! xo Julia

  25. Lisa Carter says:

    What fun, Julia! And we get the chance of great gifts all because you were procrastinating?! If only my procrastinating were so productive… 😉

  26. Great idea, Julia! I love grab bag giveaways. I also love that it took you 20 minutes to build a Lego house. I’d probably take just as long building a house out of blocks, but you’re right, kids are so much faster.

  27. What a great post, Julia! I always take my own blog photos, too, but as of yet I haven’t gone shopping for props. Love the Legos (and I’m the mom of a 4-year-old).

    Look forward to reading more of your posts.

  28. Lisa, Yes, my procrastination has led to many things, but perhaps none as beneficial to others! Too funny! Glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

    Jen, Yes, the Lego house was challening… mostly in remembering my way around the directions! I always want them to look JUST like the pictures in the instructions! Plus my hands are so much bigger than a 5 year old! 🙂

    Laura, I can highly recommend props and character-action as blog activities — they’ve been quite fun for me! Glad to provide a fun post with gift potential. Thank you so much for your entry and your visit to my blog! 🙂

  29. Tia Bach says:

    This was too much fun! I love your pictures, and knowing you took the time to do the Lego house (while discussing focus) made me laugh out loud. Thanks!

  30. Tia, Glad you enjoyed the post & photo — and happy to give you laugh! Thanks for the entry into the contest! 🙂

  31. K13 says:

    Great post and great lego skills!! My son would certainly love them and well, I’m a notebook addict, so I would enjoy that! This is my first visit – got here from a Twitter RT (from Beth Hoffman!) Hope your writing mojo returns quickly for you!!

  32. Aisha says:

    Oh cool! Enter me! Enter me!!!

    LOL @ the little lego guy wringing his head- I too have spent hours on a blog post and then thought, WHAT AM I DOING? Yet it doesn’t stop me from doing it again!

  33. K13, Glad you enjoyed the post! So happy you found my blog through Beth Hoffman’s RT — she is so sweet! My writing mojo has been great ever since I announced the giveaway. Must be good karma! 🙂 Thanks for your visit to my blog!

    Aisha, You are entered!! Yes, the little guy seemed to express those exasperated feelings very well, LOL. Exactly: WHAT AM I DOING? Oft been said whilst sitting at the laptop! 😀

  34. Susan Okaty says:

    I read this when you first posted it, but I checked back and realized I never left a comment. Oh, no. I nearly missed my chance for those Legos!

  35. Susan, Glad you got your entry in! You never know when you may need some Lego inspiration; look what it did for me, LOL!