Then you decide you'd best turn the page, quick now, and not think on that little scene too much, because remember, you're Eustace, and this little piece of allegory is beginning to mirror your own life and self to a decidedly uncomfortable degree.
This is how I've felt each time I've read Jen Hatmaker's book 7. (That's right. I'm talking about it again. But wait! I've got another JH book to force on you now! Squee!) I read it and I laugh and I wince and I despair that I will never be a real agent of change, much less change myself. But after each reading, I rearrange and re-prioritize and change just enough few small things about myself and the way I live my life that when I look down, there's a new, thin layer of hideous dragon skin lying at my feet. The best part is that when reading the book, Ms. Hatmaker never takes a stance of "Here's how you suck and I'm awesome- too bad for you, huh?" She's very clear that she is no better and no worse than anyone, that we're all walking through this together, that we all suck, quite badly at times, together. (Somebody put that on a t-shirt. We'll makes dozens of dollars.)
And so it was, when I received an email from Jen Hatmaker (not a personal email; trust me, she doesn't know I exist, I'm just on her fun little email list), calling for people with blogs or websites to receive a free copy of her book Interrupted, I hesitated. I've shed quite a bit of dragon skin, thank you very much and yes you may pat me on my sanctimonious little back, but a lot of that has been me peeling my own skin away. I have yet to let Aslan have a real go to get the worst, thickest parts off, and I was scared that Interrupted was going to kick off that uncomfortable but necessary process.
Still, this is Jen Hatmaker we're talking about, and this is a book we're talking about, so I emailed the publisher: Sign me up!
Shortly thereafter I received a confirmation email and I squealed and my friend and fellow JH-acolyte Deanna squealed with me, and a few days after that I opened up the mailbox to find this book:
Book in hand, I spent the next 48 hours reading and pacing and reading and laughing and reading and contemplating calling a priest to perform an exorcism because GET OUT OF MY HEAD, JEN HATMAKER.
I loved this book. I want everyone I know to read this book. I need to read this book again and again, because dragon skin doesn't come off easy, you know; it clings and binds; it's tenacious. But I'm working on it. I'm working on it.
Now here's the fun part: I'm giving this book away. To one of YOU. And let me just say that my email from the JH merely suggests the possibility of giving the book away. I could keep it if I wanted to. However, it's well-established that I have a tendency to go all Gollum on books, and it has been pointed out to me that this is borderline unhealthy (by someone who no longer has fingers for pointing), so. It's yours.
Here's how we're going to do this: You're going to leave a comment on this post. That's it. You don't have to "like" anything, you don't have to sign up for anything, just leave a comment letting me know you want to enter the giveaway, and be sure to include some way to contact you: email address, physical address, post office box number because you're completely paranoid (hey, man, I understand), whatever. I'll do a random drawing on, say, July 28th, which gives you a good five days to enter. I'll also include a little something special from me in the package, because you're worth it.
I'm so excited!