Friday, October 30, 2009

Win a visit from me to YOUR hometown!

Are you ready for me to visit your hometown? Take you and a friend to dinner? Come by and visit your work, church, school or book club?

Entering is easy:

1. Write on a postcard just ONE thing you're thankful for (family, country, fried Twinkies, etc.) and mail it to:

Jason Wright
PO BOX 669
Woodstock, VA 22664

2. Enter up to TEN times per household with something DIFFERENT written on each stamped postcard. (postcards must be received by Wednesday. November 25th)

3. Watch us online as we pick a random winner on the evening of Thanksgiving, November 26th.

How easy is that?

The winner and I will schedule (at our mutual convenience) a visit to their hometown (continental US only).

I'll also take the winner and a guest out to dinner at the restaurant of their choice and pay a visit to their work, church, school or book club.

Good luck! I'll be watching for your postcards in the mail.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Christmas Jars Book Giveaway

So here I sit in my office trying to ignore the flu-like symptoms I brought home from Seattle. Across the room I see my private stash of Christmas Jars (sans dust jackets) and I get to thinking: What better medicine than giving away a book?!?

I'll send a signed/personalized copy to the first person who correctly guesses how many agents originally refused to take on Christmas Jars.

What's your guess? Winner named on Wednesday night.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Unfortunate update about Christmas Jars Movie contest

Bad news: Smarty pants attorneys have suggested I shouldn't run the "Win a Walk-on Role Contest" until we have a location and approximate shooting schedule. So in the meantime, please stay tuned for a supergroovyawesome replacement contest...The wheels are already spinning!

Oh, and if you see an attorney on the street, kick him or her in the shins for me!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Operation 1,001 - Empty Jars to Christmas Jars

(Well, she did it! My dear friend Laurie Paisley, without poking, prodding or help from me, met her goal of placing 1,001 empty Christmas Jars on counters all across the country. With the support of friends and family, Laurie spearheaded the effort to not just find homes for 1,001 jars, but to place at least one in every state! Below is her account of the journey. I know you'll enjoy.)


October 14, 2009

I stand here in my kitchen as I did five months ago, wondering what just happened!! Five months ago I had this incredible feeling to share the Christmas jar tradition with a 1,001 people. Today I mailed jar #1,001!! 

If I’m honest....I never thought I could find 1,001 people to fill an empty jar by Christmas! I don’t know 1,001 people!! I have an amazing family, incredible friends and very patient co-workers at Barnes and Noble. 

They’ve all had to put up with me since I discovered the book, Christmas Jars, by Jason F. Wright, four years ago. I say “put up with” because they have endured thousands of conversations I’ve had with friends and customers and every year they’ve helped me achieve numerous sales goals for the book. Of course I’ve dealt with a lot of jokes, eye rolling and “whatevers” from them too! However, everyone of them has a jar! Each year I promise them I’m going to move on to another book, but somehow it always comes back to “the jar”.  

May 4th, 2009 - Journal Entry
Wow! I just finished reading the advance reader copy of Christmas Jars Reunion. After finishing, I got this ridiculous idea that I could collect and distribute 1,001 empty jars by December. I’ve really tried hard to dismiss the idea but for some reason it continues to linger in the back of my mind. It’s like a very loud voice or an overall incredibly warm feeling. This is something that has never happened to me before. 

I finally sat down at the computer and fired off an email to my family requesting their help in gathering 1,001 jars.  As usual, they are willing to help, however, like me, they have their doubts about the lofty goal. My sister said it best, “Laur, You’re always getting me involved in these crazy ideas of yours, but I’ll help!"

May 5th, 2009 - Journal Entry
This crazy idea is keeping me awake at night!  I’m not sure where to begin. To make myself feel better I went to Walmart and purchased 48 mason jars!! Then off to Office Max to purchase labels that will go on the bottom of each jar - . Now if I can only find someone to give a jar to I’d be on my way!

May 12th, 2009 - Journal Entry
Jars #11-15 found homes today. Jar #15 went to the 10 year old boy next door.  We sat on his steps while I explained the Christmas jar to him.  He asked a lot of questions and we agreed to donate his jar together.  He immediately ran upstairs and brought down his piggy bank and emptied it into the jar and it was 3/4 full!  He was so excited he asked his mom how much money he had in his bank account.  I told him he could only put change in the jar and he responded, “I’ll take the dollars and turn them into change so I can put it in the jar”! What a kid!

May 22nd, 2009 - Journal Entry
I had my first argument with a very good friend over my Christmas jars project.  I got a very nasty email from her. She assumed that because I was tracking the jars by putting a number on the sticker on the bottom of the jar that I was going to get some kind of credit if the person receiving the jar sent a note to Jason.  She gave me a lecture that giving was supposed to be anonymous - to which I responded that the Christmas jars were given that way.  Anyway, 60 jars friend down! Oh, I’m no longer putting numbers on the bottoms of the jars....just tracking them in a little black book!

And so it went over the next few months. As more and more people asked for jars and books I started to realize how far reaching this project could be. How much fun would it be to get a jar filled in all 50 states?

Once again, I don’t know people in all 50 states so I again requested the help from friends and family!  The response was amazing and we soon had all 50 states with a jar along with Italy, Ukraine, Thailand, Canada, England, Taiwan, Ireland, Holland, France and China. Most went to American families living in those countries.

This project has more than exceeded my expectations. I have met some amazing people, I have reconnected with many of my high school friends who I haven’t seen or talked to in 27 years, and I have heard so many “thank yous” from so many people.  I can sit back on Christmas Eve and smile knowing that so many people will be receiving a jar! I won’t need any Christmas present this year...mine came early. It came on October 14th when I mailed out jar #1,001!

I’ve learned that you can do anything you set your mind to.  No matter how mind boggling it may seem at the beginning, if you can dream it you can achieve it.  It just takes a little bit of heart, some passion for the cause and a lot of determination!!

Now......I’m not focusing on the 1,001...but "the one"...the one jar I plan to give away this Christmas that will change someone's life!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First TV piece of the fall

It's exciting to see the movement beginning to find its way back onto TV this fall. Check out this story from my recent visit to Idaho.

How's your jar coming along?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Win a copy of Christmas Jars Reunion on CD

My good friend, Al, is producing a commercial for my two new books and needs your brief opinion.

Call 801-876-0180 and follow the recorded directions. You simply state your first name, city, state and how Christmas Jars has impacted you.

It only takes a few seconds and if he uses your comments you'll receive a copy of Christmas Jars Reunion on CD.

Good luck! And thank you...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wright Words: Life at 37,000 feet

My latest syndicated column. Hope you enjoy!


Wright Words: Life at 37,000 feet

There are two questions I field more than any other. The first is predictable: “Can you help me get my book published?”

The easy answer is “Maybe, but I probably won’t. I don’t need any more competition than I already have." I kid, I’d be happy to help. As long as your book is gut wrenching memoir of a karaoke singing llama.

The second question: "Is it hard being away from home so often?” I wish there were an equally satisfying answer.

I’m the definition of a frequent flier. And by ‘flier’ I mean as a passenger on airplanes, not in the cockpit. And by ‘frequent’ I mean I can reenact the Delta safety video verbatim. You’ve seen it; it’s the one that features a redheaded super-model flight attendant with a no-smoking finger-wag that should merit a PG-13 rating.

Traveling can be brutal. The good news is my wife has me trained to pack and live from a carry-on, even on longer trips. The bad news is they still make me check the bags under my eyes at $15 a pop.

Maybe some of you are airport rats, too. You know that traveling as much as we do has ups and downs. For me the downs are easy to name: Kodi, Oakli, Jadi, Kason, Koleson.

Unfortunately it is my beautiful bride of sixteen-years, Kodi, who tucks my four children into bed more often than I do. She's the one who gets the last hug of the day from my two girls who no longer need assistance with jammies or tooth brushing, but still crave a moment or two every night to be reminded how much they are loved.

Kodi is also the one who enjoys the sweet and innocent cheek kisses from my five-year-old son who’s smack in his ‘dad-is-my-hero’ phase. If you’ve ever had a five-year-old boy who behaves as though his biological father might be Evil Knievel, you know just what I mean. My kid once demanded a DNA test.

Then there's my two-year-old. While I'm fussing with the thermostat in a concrete hotel room somewhere, my wife is snuggling next to our youngest as he drifts into sleep. I imagine him gripping one of her fingers with his left hand, his own little security system to ensure she doesn't escape too soon. Only when he's breathing deeply and lost in the land of baby boy dreams will she gently pry her finger from his and shut the door behind her. Those are sacred moments.

How about the pros of living at 37,000 feet? Those are just as easy to enumerate and one of them might be reading this very piece: You. I love meeting readers across the country, and I fully appreciate that being a writer means I need to connect with readers as much as possible. For me there isn’t anything more exciting than walking onto a stage with 800 people waiting to hear you tell a story. Or sitting at a rickety table in a mom & pop bookstore and having a reader tell you their book moved them to do or feel something entirely new. It’s magic.

I once drove with my good friend Mr. Please Kill Me Now Sore Throat over seven hours to a January signing in a North Carolina town so small the entire population showed up. All seventeen of them. They gave me a key to the city and put me on the ballot for mayor. It was certainly a trip I’ll never forget. Not necessarily for the day itself, though it was perfectly charming, but for the genuine thank you note I received from the bookstore owner. I’ve never been thanked with such sincerity. It would have made missing the nighttime routine at the Wright house a bit easier to swallow. If I could have.

Then there was the recent trip with a first time flier in her mid-fifties. She talked from takeoff to touch down to ease her anxiety. I'm embarrassed to admit that I passed most of those three hours trying not to be annoyed: Doesn’t she know I have episodes of ‘24’ to catch up on? Yes, that was a con. But when we landed and she took my hand in both of hers and thanked me for making her flight so comfortable, well - that as a pro.

A few days ago I got my first glance at my fall tour schedule. It was hard not to notice how many nights I'd be spending alone in a hotel with scratchy sheets and $3 bottled water. But it's easy to see that in places like Salt Lake City, Boise, Indianapolis, Sacramento and Portland, I'm going to meet the kindest, most amazing people who've also made a sacrifice to be there that night.

As I shake their grateful hands, stand in their photos and sign their books, I will sometimes picture my wife at home snuggling with my sleepy two-year-old. I'll miss them all, but I'll thank heaven above she's home to do it so well.

Then I'll look back at someone who took precious time from his or her own busy life to share a moment with me and offer thanks for taking time from my family to be there in their hometown.

Yes there pros and cons to living at 37,000 feet. But I wouldn’t change a thing. That’s life. That’s my life.