Sunday, August 30, 2009

Make a Wish

Very good friends of my family know that my nephew, Wil, has just left for his two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After a two-month stint at a training center where he'll be learning Spanish, among other things, Wil heads off for areas in El Salvador, San Salvador West and Belize.

My oldest brother Sterling, Wil's father, wrote these words in the final days before Wil's departure last week. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Make a Wish
Sterling Wright

“Good point. Hey, look, it’s 11:11. Make a wish!”

I don’t know which of my children introduced the practice of wishing when the clock showed all ones. Like wishing on a star or over a burning birthday cake, the clock wish has been a harmless habit in my household for many years.

At this particular 11:11, my son Wil and I were leaving the parking lot of Lowe’s, the back of the minivan filled with materials we needed to get his room ready for its next occupant. The combination of a beautiful day, a minivan, and Lowe’s turned my mind back to the first time Wil and I were in this parking lot. It was a sunny day in March, 1990. I was an exhausted father who needed to stop for a box of nails. Wil was a quiet newborn taking one of his first rides in the van.

He was so new and quiet and I was so tired that I forgot he was with me. Only when I looked in the mirror after getting back in the van did I remember – with more than a little shock – that I had the baby that morning. He looked at me without judgment or complaint. He was simply waiting for me to tell him what I bought.

When he was six or so, Lowe’s expanded from an over-sized hardware store to the man-malls that we know today. It wasn’t too far from the church so we went window-shopping while my oldest was at Mutual. The store had only been open for a couple of days and it had that new store smell. It took over an hour to visit every aisle. Wil wanted to know what everything was and how it worked.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that we have made hundreds of trips to Lowe’s together. Wil still wants to know what things are, how they work, and what they are used for. The big difference is that I can no longer get away with vague or fabricated answers. “It makes water better to drink” doesn’t cut it any more.

There were no questions today, just two men getting the job done. As I got ready to pull out of the parking space, Wil said, “I just realized that this might be the last time we go to Lowe’s together before I leave.”

By the time anyone reads this, my only son will be in the Mission Training Center getting ready to go to El Salvador. Those of you who have sent missionaries into the field know how the date creeps up on you. It is down the last aisle of the store by the drywall and lumber. Then suddenly it’s right in front of you. Then you are driving home from Lowe’s alone.

I turned to grin at him and we shared a realization based on my home improvement track record. I gave it voice. “Son, this might not be the last time you come to Lowe’s with me today."

“Good point. Hey, look, it’s 11:11. Make a wish!”

I wish you were six again.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The world is full of amazing people, like this one

You may have seen this email that went out earlier today regarding my Christmas Jars survey.

Shortly after the e-mail was sent, I received this note. What a sweet reminder that the world is full of some amazing people. This is one of them. This person did all of this on their own with no help from me or my publisher. And obviously they're not done yet!

(name withheld)

"After I read the Christmas Jars Reunion advance copy I had a very unusual experience."

"I closed the computer and paced around the kitchen just kind of listening.  Had a
really weird feeling. I ignored it for days even though it was keeping me up at night and waking me up in the middle of the night.  I've never really had that experience where I thought I heard God speaking to me.  So....wasn't really sure what was happening.  I told my mom and she said, Dear, you have to listen when that happens. So I did..."

"I emailed my family and asked them to help me find 1,000 people to fill empty jars. I didn't want the jars back, I just wanted to introduce 1,000 people to the tradition and have them experience what it was like to do a jar.  Of course, it's May and we don't have much time, they thought I was crazy but agreed to help me.  I've had so much going on around here and several times decided I couldn't do it but then some other sign would show up and that voice would get a little louder and I would continue."

"Long story short, as of today, we have given away, 500 empty jars and I have all the names and locations written in a little book. Those jars are located in:

North Carolina
South Carolina
New York
Washington (state)
New Jersey


Not done yet!"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jason's Cheesy Web Videos - Episode #15


In case you missed it on Facebook or Twitter, the winners in the free book contest were Shawn Neagle and Molly Edwards. Congrats!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Win a limited edition advance copy of Christmas Jars Reunion

I've been thinking for weeks how I wanted to give away a copy of CJR. Then like a bolt of lightening, or bad pizza, it hit me! So there are two ways you can win:

1. "Follow" me on Twitter at and I will randomly pick one "follower" and mail them an ARC.

2. Send a picture of you (family, pet, whatever) posing with, holding up, tossing in the ocean, setting flame to, admiring or ripping up any one of my previous books. Tag me in it (on Facebook) and I'll let my kids pick the most creative picture. Be creative! Winner gets an ARC.

Deadline for both will be Monday, August 10th. Winner announced Monday night or Tuesday morning.

Good luck! You could have an advance copy of the new novel within a week!