Friday, May 14, 2010

Pay it Forward Giveaway

Hello, friends!!

First, THANKS for all the kind comments on the entry regarding color in prose yesterday! I'm excited so many people liked the idea. And YES, I hit 100 followers! *internet high fives all around* Thank you, everybody!

Second, a story -

I pulled the cash out of the bank envelope. A hundred dollars cash back, just like I'd...

Wait a sec.

Four twenties and a hundred? I checked my deposit receipt and blinked in surprise. It showed the amount I'd asked to be deposited.

Eighty extra dollars...

I've told you a little about my life, enough for you to know I'm pretty damn poor, right? Eighty dollars. SO much money. And in cash... untraceable, I said to myself. I kept seeing the little yellow Community Chest card from Monopoly.

I drove around the block. Take it back or keep it? My brain was yelling for that cash. But my gut and my heart were reminding me of KARMA... and I just couldn't in good conscience keep the extra money. It wasn't mine to keep! Before I could talk myself out of it, I went back to the bank and went in.

When the teller counted her drawer and realized I wasn't joking about an extra eighty dollars in my envelope, she looked at me, pale in the overhead fluorescents. Her eyes were wide. "Thank you," she said in a trembling voice. "You literally just saved my job." She went on to explain that anything more than a $50 discrepancy in a drawer was grounds for instant termination.

She also told me that she had never experienced a customer coming back in to give back money after a mistake had been made. She looked at me as if I'd grown an extra head. Grateful, but wary.

She thanked me again, and I told her if she really wanted to thank me, she should just pass the good deed along. She gave me a little smile and nodded. Who knows? It just might work.

End of the story. Well, that particular chapter, anyway. Or, perhaps it was a prologue? Because I'd like to announce my first-ever blog contest! Flourish of trumpets, please!

The B. Miller Fiction
Pay It Forward Giveaway

So... seems as if doing the right thing has gone outta style. I'd like to try to change that. And I'd like you to help me. First, let me tell you what the prize is ('cause I hate waiting, and I know you do too).

The grand prize for this giveaway is the winner's choice. EITHER a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble (or Borders, Amazon, etc - whichever you prefer) sent directly to your preferred mail receptacle, OR...

If you are a writer with published work available for purchase, I will buy your novel/story collection/chapbook, etc., up to a value of $25. I will also read your work and give a review on your chosen website, as well as a review and a plug on my blog, Twitter, and Facebook fan page. I will go to my local library and booksellers and ask that your work be stocked on my local shelves in Greenville, South Carolina. And, if you're willing, I will do a guest feature on my blog for you, complete with interview and links to your media.

Yes! You're smiling! I can tell! Awesome!

OK, ready to hear the rules?

This will be, like many contests out there in blogland, a multiple-entry contest. Here are the basic ways to get entries:

Comment on this post: +1
New follower: +1
Old follower: +2
Tweet or post on Facebook about this contest: +2
Follow me on Twitter (@bmillerfiction): +2
Become my fan on Facebook (see sidebar): +2
Blog about this contest: +3
Include this post in your sidebar: +3

This contest is called "Pay it Forward" for a reason. I want to support my writing community however I can, which is why my grand prize is one of your books. I'd also like to help some fellow bloggers expand their audience. So, if you go follow any of these blogs, you'll get +7 entries in the contest.

Kierah Jane Reilly
Curtis and Shane at Mooks in the Movies
Dawn at Through the Looking Glass

Write a story or a poem about paying it forward. Post it on your blog, with a link back to this entry. You'll get +10 entries.

Still with me? OK, last thing... do something selfless. Doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's something outside of your usual routine. Something you have to go out of your way to do. If the recipient of your good deed asks you how they can repay you, tell them to pass the goodwill along to someone else. Post about this encounter in your blog. Link back to this post. Make sure to let me know with a comment (or send me an email at millerb75 at gmail dot com). For this, you will get an additional +25 entries.

This contest will run until the end of the month. I will be announcing the winner on Tuesday, June 1st. I'm also working to get the WIP MS done by the end of the month so we will have cause for a double celebration! YEAH!

I will also be giving away a MYSTERY PRIZE for each additional 25 followers on my blog. Oooooo... You can't resist a mystery, can you?! :D

Don't forget to let me know what you've done to up your contest entries. Post them on this entry or email them to me at millerb75 at gmail dot com. Remember, if you don't let me know what you've done, you won't get the extra entries. If you have questions, comments, etc, feel free to drop me an email.

Good luck, friends! Oh... and have a fantastic weekend!


Mel Chesley said...

Good for you! Congrats on the 100 followers and kudos to you for bringing the money back.

Karma kills me. Instantly. I cannot do anything bad Karma-wise, it always comes back at me three-fold and in a frikkin' heartbeat. Keeps me honest. ;)

Oh... 3 for me, please. Old follower and commenting.

Natasha said...

You are a gal after my own heart. I don't go as far as actually telling people to pay it forward, but I do make it a policy to do small things to make others happy- even blogged about it a few days back

You can bet I will talk about your contest! And can I have three points - old follower, comment. Will friend you on Facebook too. I am pretty sure I will not win, but if I do, can I pick a US charity for you to donate the money to?

Anne Gallagher said...

Congrats on the hundred followers. Congrats on bringing the money back. You will have excellent Karma and will probably find #80- where you least expect it, returned to you. (Maybe you over paid a bill and they will refund you $80-?)

Great idea for a blogfest!

Wendy Ramer, Author said...

OK, I'm in. commenting = 1
old follower = 2
following Dawn at Through the Looking Glass = 7

On my way to the other points... stay tuned.

Wendy Ramer, Author said...

Oh yeah, and I already follow on twitter = 2

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is awesome! And you did the right thing in returning that money.

I've commented - +1
Old follower - +2
Contest in sidebar - +3
6 total

When I get a Twitter account, I'll do those as well.
And if I were to actually win, I'd say save the book purchase for October for me. CassaStar will be less than the gift card anyway.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

B. Miller, good for you!

And I'm an old follower, I'm commenting, I just found you on Twitter, and I tweeted!
7 entries

Sarah Ahiers said...

Yay! 3 entries for me! (though it may move up to 5 if i remember to get onto a computer that allows FB access

Megan Bostic said...

Great idea Becky. Once at the cash machine, it gave me an extra $20. I didn't even have to think about it. I went right into the bank and handed it to a teller. The look on her face was priceless.

But the money wasn't mine, and I DO believe in Karma.

Theresa Milstein said...

OKay, I think I have 9 points. I'm an old follower, I'll post this on Facebook, I've become a fan of yours on Facebook (feel free to do the same), and I'll put a link for the contest at the top of my blog.

Congratulations on your followers.

I would've gone back to the bank too.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Sounds like an awesome contest. I found my way here from Alex J Cavanaugh (+3 for Alex) and I'm now a follower (+1). Plus one for the comment...carry the two...divide by the answer to the life the universe and everything...I think I actually owe you two points, but I'm bad at math. LOL Great blog.

Dawn Ius said...

B, what a cool contest and I'm flattered you'd "pay it forward" to me! Thank you.

Dana Carey said...

That was a good story in more ways than one. Thanks for sharing. It serves as a good reminder....

And thanks for the contest.
Comment on this post: +1
Old follower: +2
Tweet about this contest: +2
Follow me on Twitter (@bmillerfiction): +2

=7 contest points for me!

Hannah said...

Wow, what a great contest! Put me down for 3!

You're awesome!

maepress said...

This is such a great idea! And how cool that you turned your luck around and were inspired to make this contest instead of keep the $80! Imagine, you'd just be ruefully sitting on it, probably feeling guilty, but instead you are inspiring others to do good. That just brightens my day. I'll link to it on FB and my blog but I don't really 'follow' stuff or do twitter, so I won't be entering the contest. But good luck, this is great!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

this is very kind of you.

-new blog follower
-twitter follow: @shootingstarmag
-follow "through the looking glass"

lauren51990 at aol dot com

Shannon O'Donnell said...

That is the BEST story! Good for you. It's pretty powerful to think of saving someone's job in this economy.

+1 comment
+2 loyal follower
+2 facebook fan
+3 sidebar

Have a great weekend! :-)

Hart Johnson said...

You're a good person, Becky. I always do the right thing where a PERSON is concerned, but I'm not sure where a 'bank' was concerned I would have thought through to the person behind the error...

I'm a loyal follower
facebook fan
twitter follower who tweeted this
was already a follower of Kierah and Dawn, and added your movie boys
You're in my sidebar

And then... this may or may not come through, but I love this theme enough that I've suggested to my writer's group at that we use the them in our July feature. We are a Democracy, so it needs buy-in, but I think unless there is a conflict I've forgotten, that there may be a cluster of drabbles (stories in exactly 100 words) on the topic. I will keep you posted.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it! I challenge the kids in my class to do one random act of kindness a week - no one is to know they've done it except them. Karma really does come back!

I'm an old follower so 3 pts for now. I'll come back when I've done other stuff :)

Curtis Hart said...

Hi there! I'm one of those movie boys :)

Thanks to those that started following us! Big thanks to Becky for including us as well. As an extra bonus, we will name a character in one of our screenplays after the winner. It can be a screen name, their name, or even just a name they really like!

Just to keep you in the know as it were, we have two screenplays in the works right now. One is an epic fantasy and the other a film noir style mystery!

This is going to be a lot of fun folks! Becks, you are such an amazing person, I love you dear!


Kierah Jane Reilly said...

I love it! Thanks for the mention :) Made my day! I'll have to post later with the numbers stuff - brain is too tired to do simple math right now. When I grow up, I want to be like Becky (although I'm probably older than you).

Weudel said...

So, here we go:
New Follower ('cause I just used your RSS until now): +1
Re-Tweet: +2
Facebook post: +2
Twitter Follower: +2
Facebook Fan: +2
Mooks Follower: +7

So, that's 16 and once I post this comment it'll be 17...

Roland D. Yeomans said...

My reward is simply reading your always interesting posts. I will post my PAY IT FORWARD blogfest entry tomorrow.

You didn't lose $80. You kept a woman's job -- and your honor. Wow, you're a wealthy man.

Have a surprisingly good weekend, Roland

lisa and laura said...

What a story! I love this. Just imagine how you might have changed her life!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Great contest especially considering the motivation. Comment and old follower +3

Added myself as a follower to Kierah Jane +7

Will gladly blog about this +3

and include in my sidebar +3.

Elliot Grace said...

...the contest is of excellent taste, B., but I'm still relishing in the fact that you returned $80 in cash. In this day and age, only a select few would've ever considered returning untraceable funds that have become so difficult to come by as of late. And of those select're now included:)

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous idea for a contest. Entries and prizes are about giving back. I love it.

And great story! I hope to have a pay it forward post before the end of your contest. You've inspired me, for sure!

Janet Johnson said...

Love the idea for a contest! Not enough people pay it forward. And great story. I will have to do a pay it forward kindness before the end.

In the mean time, I just followed Dawn at Through the Looking Glass (+7), New follower (+1), and Comment (+1). = 9 for the moment.

Arlee Bird said...

I think you're right about the Karma thing and it's good that you went back to correct the bank error.

I'll post about your contest on my Saturday May 22 bit when I do my recaps and all. I don't need to be in the contest--it's too complicated for me. But you know I've always been one of your supporters and I'm glad you passed the 100 follower mark.

Tossing It Out

Kierah Jane Reilly said...

Hey B! Finally got my numbers down:

Comment +1
Old Follower +2
Twitter Follower +2
Blog About Contest +3

And although I paid it forward with a chicken from God, it happened a while ago, so I don't think it counts! Oh well.

Thanks again B for the mention!

Unknown said...

What an awesome story about the money and a great contest! I will do my best to follow the rules.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Hey there, mentioned your contest on my blog today...hope it helps.

Don't have anything to enter yet, but wish all the best to everyone who takes part!

angelarene said...

This is a great idea!!! I will do my part!!

Candyland said...

Okey dokey.
New follower 1
Comment 1
Will be in tomorrow's blog post 3

Jessica Bell said...

Not entering, but plugging this for you today on my blog :)

Unknown said...

Not entering either (I think) but you've just gained a follower and I'm adding you to the contests-page on my Blog.

And way the go on the Karma points, my dear! Those are irreplacable and invaluable.

Natasha said...

I finally got down to blogging about this. And the post has a very touching thing that my six year old did. It wasn't me, so cannot count for the +25, but since it came from a child, it qualifies as priceless in my books!

Ginny the Sock Monkey said...

I am also now following "Through the Looking Glass" and have blogged about your giveaway at

10 more entries for me!

Will Burke said...

Great theme idea! +2, new follower & comment

Victoria Dixon said...

What a great testimony and idea!

Ella said...

Love you idea; What you did at the bank, you show of won an award!

I will mention you on my blog!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Are you still checking these comments? I posted about this today and joined in your contest myself, offering similar prizes. Also tweeted and now following you on twitter. (I had to join Twitter to do it but I WILL not join FB lol!)

Any way, your contest has inspired me so much. It's so supportive of the authors here and so I copied you a little bit. Well, alright I copied you a lot. Hope you don't mind :)

Angela Ackerman said...

This is a great thing you're doing, both you and Karen. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Daron D. Fraley said...

This is a great idea! I blogged about it and linked back.

I am getting 3 other authors involved, and giving away 4 signed books (one from each author) as part of this blog-hopping adventure. See here: if you are interested:

My points for this contest: Comment on this post: +1
New follower: +1
Follow me on Twitter (@bmillerfiction): +2
Become my fan on Facebook (see sidebar): +2
Blog about this contest: +3
Following the Mooks +7 entries
TOTAL: 16 entries


Taffy said...

Love your idea!
New blog, twitter, FB follower
Follow Mooks

So...18 points.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

What a wonderful contest! (and go, you, for bringing some civility into the world)

I'll be blogging tommorrow with my pay-it-forward story that happened just recently, and I'm a new follower (here+twitterland), and will tweet/FB the contest tomorrow as well, so ... total 19 entries.

Thanks for a great contest!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful idea for a contest! And thanks for sharing your story and for doing the right thing.

Comment +1
Old follower +2
Sidebar Love +3
New follower of Through the Looking Glass and Mooks in the Movies +7

Total = +13


cleemckenzie said...

I loved your story. I would have driven around the block a lot, but I hope I would have done the right thing as you did.

Love your contest idea and it's perfect timing for me. I'll see if I can follow the rules and WIN!!

Christine Danek said...

What a great story. Congrats on 100 followers. I total up 22. I will tweet now and blog about it on Monday.
Comment +1
Old Follower +2
Tweet +2
Follower on Tweet+2
Follower of the blogs you mention+7
Facebook fan+2
On my sidebar.+3
Blog about contest (monday) +3
Total 22

Have a great weekend!

Jolynn_Reads said...

Nice story, there should be more people in the world like you.
+ 1 new follower
+ 1 comment
+ 2 new Like on facebook
+7 new follower of Through The Looking Glass