Thursday, February 25, 2010

How to Make Luck

You would never believe the kind of luck that I’m capable of.

I know, that’s a strange statement, and not just because it ends on a preposition. But because it implies that luck is something achievable, as in Look at the Liquid Luck I just earned from concocting a super difficult potion in Professor Slughorn’s class!

But no, I don’t have any potions or magic dust or…wait, I do have magic dust, but that isn’t the point. The point is that you can create luck. Really. I’m not lying.

As a little kid, I used to win everything. And by that I mean EVERYTHING. Once, I even won a baby chicken. And before you ask: yes, it was the cutest frigging thing you’ve ever seen. And before you ask: yes, it was a strange contest. But it worked out because my dad was an entrepreneur who was always risking our life savings on some new business venture, and that month it was chickens. So we had lots, and my little prize fit right in. Until the cook got ahold of it.

Anyway, I’ve won many things in my life, and I’ve achieved some brilliant successes in the midst of serious downtroddenness*. But first, let me just show you what I’ve won lately.


Cristin Terrill, writer and baker extraordinaire, selected me to receive the following goodies from her new sweetie business, Sneaky Sweet :


Cookies win packaged

Vegan/Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, Butterfly sugar cookies, and Almond toffee. The were all deeeeelicious, but my favorite?


butterfly biscuits Aren't these gorgeous? Though they aren’t just a feast for the eyes, but an entirely too scrumptious party in my tummy. Sweet? Absolutely—and perfect for my notorious sweet tooth. But there was a very distinct flavor in them, something that reminded me of roses. Talk about a sneaky sweet—these aren’t your grandma’s cookies.

All of the cookies were gourmet in presentation, but utterly delectable like grandma’s favorites. So go check out her cookie website, Sneaky Sweet. And while you’re at it, check out Cristin’s writing blog, too ;) Thank you, Cristin for the amazing cookies!


But the luck doesn’t end there, folks. From the California Contest hosted by the  talented writer Courtney of  Southern Princess, I won the following:


Preunwrap southern princess prizeThis is what I saw when I pulled it out of the package. Check out that wax seal…too cool. And an unexpected bonus prize? OMG!!!


postunwrap southern princess prize

Here are my prizes unwrapped. I was expecting the Coach wristlet (SQUEEEEEEEE!) and the book. But Courtney surprised me with the beautiful teal scarf and the tiny red ruby slipper (for good luck? Yes!). What Courtney didn’t know was that I collect scarves. I love them. No, I LOVE them. Serious mind meld, people. And before I forget—I also won a $20 Amazon gift voucher which came through e-mail, so no picture. But, yeah, Courtney is so freaking awesome. Now Check. This. Out.


Coach wristlet win

*Sigh* I’m totally crushing on this beauty right now. It sleeps tucked under my pillow, where I can keep it safe and close to me. When I have nightmares, I run my fingers over the little Coach tag, and it soothes me. Thank you, Courtney. You’re solid awesome.


Next, I won this lovefest of a prize pack from Karen Hooper’s Loveapalooza contest.


Love prize

Not only did she send me this rocking book filled with questions for the game of loooooove (ooo lala), Karen also sent a box of chocolates to liven things up. Saweeeet. Unfortunately, when my husband and I went to enjoy the goodies, we discovered a bite taken out of every single one of the chocolates—no, don’t go sending hate mail to Karen. The chocolates did not arrive that way. My toddler got into them. But thank you, Karen! I adore this prize.


Finally, I won this precious I-should-probably-hermetically-seal prize from Heather of See Heather Write for her very first contest!

Anita Shreve win cover It’s beautiful enough like this, but check out the inside (drool. drool.)

Anita Shreve win autograph

Yes, folks, that the amazing Anita Shreve’s signature!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!! You have no idea how much I love Anita Shreve. Seriously. No idea.

Well, maybe you have some idea. But big huge thanks to Heather for offering such a fab prize! I was so jealous that Heather actually got to work with Ms. Shreve, but this definitely helped to ease my sinful coveting.


So there you have it, my latest winnings. But I don't intend for the streak to stop there. What’s my secret, you ask?

(Drum roll, please)

The Big Secret

You must believe you will win. You must exorcise the internal dialogue about setting up false hopes and expectations. You must not be afraid of disappointment. So often, we temper our hope because we are afraid. But hope—belief, faith—is one of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself. You must be willing to feel the sorrow of rejection, but at the same time, feel confident that a win is imminent. Speak to the universe, and say I will win (or I will publish or I will find love, or I will find my keys, etc.). If you believe, truly believe, you tend to act in a way that will help you succeed, and thus the universe responds.


Things have a way of working out sometimes. Always? No. I won the chick, but I didn’t get calf.



I will publish. I believe.



*Yes, you have my permission to use this word now, as long as you always follow it with “Carol is brilliant.”


  1. Carolina, please stop by my blog when you have time. I have an award to share with you.

  2. Congratulations on your many wins and thank you for sharing the Big Secret. It is so easy to self-talk ourselves out of success. Your post is an inspiration. I will publish. I believe. And that Carol? She's brilliant!

  3. "So often, we temper our hope because we are afraid. But hope—belief, faith—is one of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself. You must be willing to feel the sorrow of rejection, but at the same time, feel confident that a win is imminent..." These are the strongest, and some of the most powerful important words I have read in a long time. Oh, and word or no word, Carol is brilliant.

  4. Great post. Love the last line. And, for the record, I do believe -- it's what keeps me going when my eyes are too blurry to see the computer screen any longer :)

  5. Patricia, thank you so very much!! What a wonderful award (I just stopped by your blog!) So kind of you to think of me. I will be sure to blog about it before I go on hiatus.

    VR, Thank you! So many great prizes...I was floating. You can imagine the squeals when each of them arrived (err...from me, not the postman). As for the post, thank you thank you. It's too easy to get discouraged in this business, but sometimes, a little belief, even if you're the only one who has it, can go a long way. So, yes, believe, believe. Thank you for your generous praise.

    Liza, thank you. I am touched by your kind words. Truly. This is how so many of your own posts make me feel, so I'm doubly moved. Again, thank you.

  6. Ah, well that must be why I never win anything! Lol! I'll try it next time :D

    Congrats on your lovely loot!

  7. Oh, Carolina - you ARE lucky! And how sweet (or crazy) of you to share your secrets. Fun, fun post. :-)

  8. Tara, thank you! And I'm so glad to hear it. It's far easier to give up, or to go to bed, or to flip on the tv...there is always something easier to be doing. And yet, few things better than working towards that dream.

  9. Merrilee, hahahaha!! No, you only win short story contest! Booooo! Hahaha! You're funny. But thank you. I did well for myself this time around ;)

    Shannon, you know, I hadn't even given that a thought. Doh! There goes my winning streak, now that the secret is out. Phooey. :)

  10. Congratulations Carolina. Fabulous prizes, fabulous words, fabulous lady. Carol is brilliant, Carol is brilliant, Carol is brilliant!

  11. Wow. You really are lucky. And that probably does have a lot to do with your Big Secret. So thank you for sharing it with us. :)

  12. You are just made of win, m'dear. Aren't you just working The Secret for fun and profit? ;)

    Couldn't have happened to a lovelier lady, either. I think I shall wallow in downtroddenness (Carol is brilliant) while you're on sabbatical, due to the lack of sparkling silliness in this little corner of the blogosphere. :)

  13. Your big secret is inspiring.

    And you are lucky. You have the Midas touch.

  14. Umm... Carol, can you please like buy me a lotto ticket and sent it to me in the mail? Please??? I promise to share my winnings with you. LOL.

    You lucky lady you! Congrats on all of your wins, but really you should share with all the unlucky out there. So quit being a contest winner hog! ; )

    "Carol is brilliant" - I think that and don't even have to use the word. : )

  15. Thanks for that cheerful post. I think I needed it today. "Carol is brilliant!" (You really are.)

  16. Hey, Carol!

    It's very interesting that you'd say to give myself permission to think something. It wasn't too long ago that I felt that it was okay to call myself author (even post it on my blog) though I am not published yet. I've worked loooong, hard and I feel I am sooo worth it.

    YET! I still feel that I can't call myself that until I am published. Kinda like a doctor calling himself a doctor before he earns his certificate?

    Yet! I considered myself as someone who loved to draw and would flush and shake my head if someone called me an artist. I've been drawing longer than I have been writing, and I've taken on the title of artist so many years ago.

    Why not author now? What do you think?

  17. Luck is a Lady all right, and she's got a winning attitude--congrats!

  18. I'm going to print off this post and rub it all over myself. We'll see if the luck sticks. :)

  19. I JUST discovered Anita Shreve's Body Surfing and read it a couple of weeks ago. (My review tomorrow) But because I posted it as my "recently read" I found out through another blogger, maybe you, that The Pilot's Wife is at the same beach house. Check, on my list of two reads. (pretty cool of Anita to do that with her books)

    I believe I'm going to win everything. MOst of the time I don't BUT at least I believe. ANd yes Carolina, I too will be published. Not just someday but soon.

  20. Hey Girl! I am so glad you loved your prizes! You have been lucky lately.... ;o)

    I am with you on the belief system. I am cheerful, yes you know that, but like you I hold that same secret. I believe in the good things. I see the sunny side and I bask in the sunlight. But I know that clouds come in, rain falls, and I slip in the mud. But I enjoy the shade, relish the cool drops of water and laugh as I sit on the ground surrounded by soft wet earth. It is all in the perspective and we often lose perspective. Thank you for a post that reminds us to create a little luck and to believe in its power.

    Of course you are brilliant! Now make sure that email is working during your hiatus... ;o)

  21. I am so rubbing my arm against yours in July so some of that luck will jump over to me :-) Oooooo but I DO already have some of your magic dust :-) It sits nice and pretty on my desk!

  22. Ah! Carol IS brilliant! Congrats on all your wins. There really is something to the power of positive thinking. And luck is self-made. Great post!

  23. Those are awesome prizes. Congrats on all the goodies. And glad you like the one I sent. :)
    Keep thinking positive. Soon we'll all be celebrating your book deal. ;)

  24. I like the gluten free recipes for sweets. My skin breaks out if I eat wheat bread or flour with gluten. Its hard to find gluten free bread that's good.

    Stephen Tremp

  25. Elizabeth, it's hard. I've felt the same way. It's sort of like the difference between a novel and a manuscript, I guess. Truly, just because it hasn't a cover, doesn't mean it's not a novel, right? But the market sees it differently. But, I think if you've written something, than you've authored it; therefore, you are an author. So, there you have it. You are an author, dear.

    Tricia, thanks honey! It's all how you look at it, right? ;)

    DL, let me know how that works out for you ;)

    Girl with One Eye, oh I loved that book!!! And yes, how clever to set it at the same location, yeah? she does that with several of the books, I think. I can't for the life of me remember which of the titles, but if I think of it, I'll let you know. I have all of her books, and could tell you each of the stories, but can't seem to tie them to their titles. I'll definitely stop by to check out your review. BTW, You WILL be published. I look forward to reading your bestseller.

  26. This post is awesome! Good luck with your querying and thanks for following my blog.

  27. Courtney, what a beautiful approach. You know the old song: Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, don't mess with Mr. In-Between!" :) It is so easy to get discouraged, but I love coming across people like you with a smile on her face that warms the souls of all those around her. You make everyone feel lucky.

    Sara, you got it girl. We'll just latch arms and sprinkle the magic dust all over the place ;) Well come away with book deals, for sure.

    Nisa, thank you!! You are a dear.

    Karen, that is a dream I hope hope hope to see come true. We will celebrate yours as well, and we will see your mermaids come to life. Who do you think will play them in the movie adaptations?

    Stephen, wow! I would be so sad with that allergy. Bread is right up there with sweets for me. When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I used to drive to work an hour and a half each way, and I would devour an entire baguette on the drive. But how wonderful that you can get gluten-free products now! Definitely try Cristin's cookies. They were quite nice!

  28. Jonathon, thank you kindly, sir! And you're welcome. I enjoyed your latest post as well. I saw your fab comments on my CPs blogs and had to check out your blog!

  29. So aren't you the lucky one! I feel lucky, but not in that way. I once won a package of American Cheese as I was checking out in a grocery store, except it was in Canada and I don't think they called it American cheese but processed Cheese slices. I would have rather won your butterfly cookies. I do believe that I'm going to win the lottery one day. That's why I keep buying those lottery tickets because I know I'm going to win someday. Well, you just keep winning and send some of that luck my way.

  30. I want to be you!

    Congrats on all the goodies :)

  31. Arlee, how very cool to win cheese! I love cheese. But yes, I have a strong sweet tooth, so I too would probably opt for the cookies ;) For your sake, I hope you do win the lottery. I just blew a bit of magic dust your way.

    Wendy, likewise, my dear. I would love to be you ;) And thank you for being so sweet.

  32. Woohoo! Congrats, Carol! I love blogs with positive attitude. I never win anything (ha) but that's ok, someone once said to me, "You were a winner before the game even started." Awwww...

  33. You got some loot!! That's so awesome!! Congrats!! And those cookies look un-freaking-believable. I think I'll make cookies today.
    *note- mine won'nt look like those*

  34. Okay! I'm gonna do it with you! We will publish. I believe. I believe Alexandra and Carol and Sara, cps extraordinaire, will all publish very soon.

  35. You do have fabulous luck and I concur, luck will enter if you give it space. Congrats on all your treats~!

  36. Lindsey, that is definitely a wonderful thing to hear! You are a winner in every sense of the word--publishing will be merely be the outward symbol for the winner inside you always have been.

    Tiffany, Mmmm...cookies. My daughter made some last night that are now my new favorites: white chocolate chip with dried cranberries and walnuts. They are sooooo delicious. Happy baking!

    JennyMac, Oh I love that: "Luck will enter if you give it space." Well said! Never say, "I'm not lucky," as we generally meet our own expectations. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  37. Alexandra, I am LOVING this. We need to make it our new mantra: We WILL publish. In fact, let's put it to song. How about a little Queen. Instead of "We Will Rock You," we will sing "We will, we will, Publish! Publish!" :) And soon soon soon!!! By the way, did you get my present yet? :)

  38. An nspirational post Alexandra.
    The power of positive thought is an amazing thing.
    I like Carolina's idea of putting the mantra to music too!
    This is my night for quoting Dr Who: they had a resolution brought about by the power of positive thought too - it was powerful enough to save the world and that really would be worth seeing.

  39. Ok, this is hilarious....because you may not know it yet but you just WON something on my blog last Friday and I was stopping by to tell you when I read this post. Irony? I think so. Or maybe just a little faith-hope!

    Email me your info at wardkristi (at) hotmail (dot) com when you get a chance and I'll get your package to you!!!


  40. Jemi, you're so adorable!!

    Elaine, that's a fab quote!" It was powerful enough to save the world..." Yes!! Now THAT is positive thinking.

    Kristi, holy catfish! You just made my day. I can't believe it. I mean, I can believe it, because I believe, but, oh you know what I mean! hahaha! That's just brilliant. Love it! Thanks so much. Yay!!!!!! I cannot wait to get it!!

  41. those butterfly cookies look delicious! And I LOVE that book, The Pilot's Wife. A great read.

  42. passport in my pocket, oh they were!! I feel so lucky. Just love Anita Shreve, too. I have all of her books. But I can be kind of obsessive like that. Once I find an author I like, I'll read everything they've written.

  43. marvellouslly, I think thats the way to be, always looking up life with a positive sense. You are wright, you have a lucky charm and your angel is always walking along with you. Congratulation. I love you from Ecuador


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