Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Come on, get happy with Gretchen Rubin...plus a book giveaway!
**Giveaway is now closed**
Gretchen Rubin is the best-selling writer whose book, "The Happiness Project," is the account of the year she spent test-driving studies and theories about how to be happier. She is a bestselling writer with four published books. Before she became a writer, she started out in law and was a clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She was raised in Kansas City and now lives in New York City with her husband and daughters. She's also close with her parents, sister and in-laws. Her hobbies are reading and writing, along with helping people organize their closets.
Today, Gretchen has come to talk to us about what makes her happy, amongst other things. Reading her answers to our questions made us happy. For those of you seeking happiness (or those of you who are happy already and just want to be even happier), Joseph Papa at HarperCollins has one copy to give to a lucky reader in the US or Canada.
To learn more about Gretchen, follow her on Facebook and Twitter. You can also read her blog. Sign up for her free daily e-mail, "Moment of Happiness," as well as her free monthly newsletter.
MP: What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing "The Happiness Project"?
GR: There is so much fascinating material on happiness; it was hard to limit myself and to find a structure that gave shape to a vast quantity of information and ideas.
MP: How do you like to spend your time when you are not writing?
GR: Reading. Reading, reading, reading.
MA: How did you feel when your book became a huge hit that inspired project groups and even became an answer on Jeopardy?
GR: It has been enormously thrilling to see that the my work resonates with so many people. It makes me so HAPPY!
MP: While you were working in law, what triggered your desire to become a writer?
GR: At some point, it became clear to me that I'd rather fail as a writer than succeed as a lawyer. I was working on a book in my free time, and I thought, "You know, some people write books for a living. For them, it's not a hobby, but a career." I figured I just had to give it my best shot.
MA: After writing your book, what is another thing you could have added into it, but didn't get a chance?
GR: There's so much material I didn't get to include! That's one reason I love my blog -- I have limitless opportunities to write, there. So I've been steadily covering new ground ever since the book came out.
MA: Have you come across people who refuse to buy into the concept of happiness? If so, what have you said to them? (Or what would you say if you came across said individuals?)
GR: Yes, I have. I always say, "You reject the possibility of 'happiness,' but do you think it's possible to be 'happier'?" Usually, they admit that yes, it's possible to be happier, and I say -- "Well, that's what a happiness project is all about. Tomorrow, next month, next year, what changes can we make to be happier."
MP: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
GR: Right now, I'm obsessed with the sense of smell, so I'd love to go to Grasse, which is the perfume capital of the world. Actually, I know it used to be the perfume capital of the world, but I'd have to do some research to make sure that it still is!
MP: Now that you live in New York, what do you miss the most about Kansas City?
GR: The enormous grocery stores, with huge selection and wide aisles. In New York City, real estate is so precious that grocery stores are very cramped.
MA: What is your favorite thing about summer?
GR: I'm always cold, so I love being able to leave my apartment without hat, coat, mittens, long underwear, etc.
MA: What is the funniest thing you ever did about something that made you happy?
GR: The thing that made me laugh the hardest was when I froze my daughter's cereal for April Fool's Day (for my "take time to be silly" resolution). She was so puzzled when her spoon wouldn't go in. It was truly hilarious.
Special thanks to Gretchen for visiting with us today and to Joseph for contributing the book for the giveaway.
How to win "The Happiness Project":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)
Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What is something that made you really happy during this past month?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.
US/Canada only. Ends July 18th at midnight EST.