Posts tagged ‘audience participation’

November 5, 2009

Gratitude Project, 2009

hair, makeup for photo shoot 146

My mom started something called The Gratitude Project last year in November. It was such a hit that she’s re-doing it this year – and you can be part of it! Check it out here, and bonus points if you can find my post.

From my mama’s blog:

Instructions: Posting is ridiculously simple. All you need to do is send your gratitude in an e-mail to You can write a line or two or three, whatever you like. You can also attach a picture or video. Then come to and see everyone’s posts. Put that e-mail addy in your address book. Please chime in! I can’t wait to hear from you!

Only she would say “addy” instead of address.

Also, she didn’t mention that the title or subject of your email will be the title of your post.

Anyway, I have a plan: see, yesterday my mom and I were talking on the phone about maternal guilt, which had been the topic of a trend analysis I did for school, and she said: “I never felt maternal guilt when it came to you. I knew you were so lucky to have me as a mom. Why would I ever feel guilty?!”

So I’m trying to one-up her by proving that, in fact, she is lucky to have me as a daughter. Because I am awesome. This is where you come in: as my readers, you (by the transitive property of BOOYA) are also awesome. Post what you’re grateful for at her Gratitude Project, and BLOW EVERYONE ELSE OUTTA THE WATER. Let’s be grateful for so many things that we will CRUSH ALL OTHERS WITH OUR HUMILITY. At the end of your message, just say “brought to you by The Beholder” or something that lets everyone know to give ME partial credit for your thankfulness.

In other words, find (and post) FIVE things to be grateful for every day. Or TEN! Or TWENTY! Oh man, people, we’re going to knock my mom’s socks off. Think of it as a competitive food-drive: if we post more than anyone else, we get (1) the soul-healing benefit of taking some time out of our lives to reflect on our blessings, and (2) the knowledge that our thankfulness is superior to everyone else’s. It’s like a two-for-one deal.


September 20, 2009

Shop To End SMA


Friends, I know I’ve been a spotty blogger recently and I can only promise you that classes are about to start for me, my manuscript will be handed in, and my life will settle down considerably thereafter. However, even if you’re totally fed up with me and my flakiness lately, please, please click this link and read about what you can do to help end SMA. From

Our daughter, Gwendolyn, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA Type 1. SMA is the leading genetic killer of infants. It is a terminal, degenerative disease that results in the loss of nerves in the spinal cord and the weakness of the muscles connected with those nerves. SMA impacts the ability to walk, stand, sit, eat, breathe and even swallow. The mind and spirit are no different from that of a healthy baby, but the body eventually fails. Typical babies with SMA Type 1 have a life expectancy of between one and two years and they require around-the-clock medical assistance and monitoring.

I had the honor of attending the same wedding as Gwendolyn Strong and her parents recently, and in that short time I could see how much power and vitality the Strongs impart on the world. Their last name is a fitting tribute to their bond as a family.

Anyway, I’m guessing that many of you read this blog while you’re idling around the Internet, pretending to be busy with other work (that’s when I do MY blog-reading, anyway). So today, read a little bit about Gwendolyn’s story on her family’s blog, then get shopping. You know you were going to anyway. Make those purchases count, people!

FYI, here’s what I’m going to buy through the only thing that has ever fixed my blemishes overnight, the hair treatment because it makes me look like I’m in a Pantene commercial, this gift set because I SWEAR by every single product in it and they’ve never been packaged together before, this because HOLY CRAP A MINERAL MAKEUP THAT HYDRATES OMG OMG I’M DYING WITH HAPPINESS, this because it’s hilarious, and this shirt because it’s classy with just a touch of trollop (which is what I consider myself to be). …and then I will be broke. But at least I’ll know that my dollars went to help end SMA.

Mostly because I’m nosy and want to know what you’re shopping for, you tell me in the comments what you’re going to buy through (make sure you include a link to the product) and I’ll give you TWO extra chances to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer this Wednesday. That’s serious, people.

April 14, 2009

The Beholder Playlist Project


Alright friends, this is going to require some audience participation. I know that many (hundreds and hundreds) of you read The Beholder and don’t comment, and that’s totally fine. I do the same thing. But today you’ll need to come out of hiding, for today marks the launch of…


dadadadadadadadadadadadadada (this is the sound of the drumroll) dadadadadadadadadadadadadadada…………………..

The Beholder Playlist Project!!!

Oh, the title of this post already says that. I guess that was anticlimactic, huh. Anyway as I was on my run today, I realized that I was SICK of my workout playlist. The songs just don’t give me the oomph I need to get through a tough workout…and not because they’re bad songs; I’m just too used to them now.


So here’s where you come in: Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite workout song. You don’t have to say anything else; it can just be the song title (so for those of you who read but don’t usually comment, you don’t have to make any pleasantries. This is as low-pressure as you can imagine). Try to limit yourself to a single song, because I want these tunes to be the cream of the crop.

Don’t work out to music? That’s okay too. Just tell me the one song that never fails to make you want to get up and dance. I’m going to take all of these songs and create an iMix on iTunes that you’ll be able to purchase if you like.

And you’ll be rewarded for your effort!

Just for taking the time to leave your song in the comments of this post, you’ll be entered to win a gift certificate to iTunes that is equal to the value of The Beholder’s iMix (so if there are 60 songs on the list, your gift certificate will be worth $59.40). I’ll do the random drawing this Sunday, April 19th, at noon Central Time. Any comments received before then will be eligible to win!

So, to reiterate: leave your favorite workout song in a comment on this post. Even if you’ve never commented before. I know you’re out there (LINDSEY BONFIGLIO AND STEVE POLUCHA). And then you’ll have a chance to win a gift certificate from iTunes! Woo-hoo! Let the gaaaaames beginnnnnn!

To kick you off, here are the highlights from my workout playlist (although these won’t be on the iMix unless someone puts one of them in the comments):

  • SOS by Rihanna
  • Don’t Phunk With My Heart by the Black Eyed Peas
  • If U Seek Amy by Britney Spears
  • Renegade by Styx
  • Great Hosannah by Kula Shaker
  • I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry

Your turn!

March 19, 2009

And the weiner is………

Congrats to Andrea, the fabulous gal behind one of my fave daily reads, Bella Eats!!! She’s going to have a character named after her in Susan Wiggs’s next Lakeshore Chronicles book, A LAKESHORE CHRISTMAS, out this October! The most recent Lakeshore book reached #1 on the New York Times best-seller list, and this one will be no different. (Fans of the series, make sure you get your hands on it because Daisy’s got some HUGE shizz going down.)

Make sure you check out Andrea’s blog – she’s a fantastic photographer who makes amazing food, plus she and I have some strange separated-at-birth-type connections (I won’t enumerate them here; you should go to her blog and see if you can pick out the similarities.)

Even Barkis gets to be a part of this book

Even Barkis gets to be a part of this book

Dudes, aren’t you all feeling sad that you didn’t enter this contest? Yep. That’s right. Now why don’t you go give yourself a paper cut and pour some lemon juice in it. JUST KIDDING, there will be many more cool contests where this one came from…I just have to dream them up.

(Oh, FYI, I used RANDOM.ORG to pick out the winner…and my head almost exploded with blondeness. What happened to good ol’ fashioned drawing numbers out of a hat?)

March 12, 2009

The Beholder’s first-ever giveaway. And it’s a doozie.

How would you like to be a character in a #1 New York Times best-selling novel? This is your chance. My mother, Susan Wiggs, has agreed to name a character after you (or a friend, if you prefer) in her upcoming novel in the internationally popular Lakeshore Chronicles. And don’t worry, it’ll be your full name so you can have 100% bragging rights when the book is published.

You could be a character in one of these books!

You could be a character in one of these books!

I don’t think I have to tell you how big of a deal this is. Hundreds of thousands of people read these books – when they’re studied in English classrooms 100 years from now, they’ll come across your character and the teacher will be like, “[Your name here] is one of American literature’s most influential characters. Even more amazing is the way Susan Wiggs chose the name…”

To win the contest, post a comment here telling me: a) how you found The Beholder and b) your favorite part about the blog. Entries will be accepted until midnight (central time) on Wednesday, March 18. If you post a link to my blog on your blog or website, you’ll get two chances to win (make sure you say so in your comment and gimme a link!).


March 4, 2009

Good night, moon

I’m heading to bed (way too late!), but if you’ve got a chance, take a sec to tell me your responses to James Lipton’s 10 questions. Just leave your answers in the comments. Consider it a way to break the ice. Or to procrastinate. I’m planning on featuring my favorite answers right here, on this wee little blog!

Raise your hand if you love this book

Raise your hand if you love this book

Oh, one other thing – I’ve gotten a bunch o’ questions about the title of my blog. Sure, the name is pretty self-explanatory as a takeoff on the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But why did I choose it for the title? It’s pretty simple: it’s a way to remind myself that beauty (and by extension, value of any kind) is a completely subjective judgement. I care for many people, and their opinions matter to me – but at the end of the day, I’m the person who will choose how I feel about myself and my life. Sometimes you’ve just got to say to the naysayers in your head, “Eff you! I AM the beholder!” I hope some of you are reminded of that each time you type the address into your browser. (Although those of you with auto-complete probably only have to type “I am” + down-arrow, so…I don’t know what that must do to your mood.)

Check back tomorrow for my BIG project, plus probably some bitching and moaning about the 2-mile run/cross-training workout I’ll be doing.

March 3, 2009

Inside the Wiggs Studio

Just for fun, let’s play Inside the Actors Studio. James Lipton asks every guest on his show the same 10 questions.

James Lipton

James Lipton

Here they are:

  1. What is your favorite word?
  2. What is your least favorite word?
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
  4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
  5. What sound or noise do you love?
  6. What sound or noise do you hate?
  7. What is your favorite curse word?
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
  9. What profession would you not like to do?
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Read my answers after the jump, and then answer them yourselves in the comments! (Don’t be shy about commenting; I know there are a lot of you out there!)