Marla Cooper

Win a Free Book Filled with Nothing

UPDATE: The response was so great that I decided to give away all five books! Congratulations to the following winners. Send your address to marlacooperauthor @ gmail.com to collect your prize.

  • Green Stripey. Kathy Gonzales
  • Red Literary. Marcy Konecny
  • Japanese. Katharine Kan
  • Be filled with joy. Kim McMahan Davis
  • The Kiss. Beth Peters

Lately, we’ve been trying to reduce our household book collection to only what will fit on four bookshelves. Seems reasonable, right? I mean, surely our gradual accumulation of books wasn’t infiltrating every corner of our house. Right?!?!

[Quick deep breath before I continue…]

I’d been fooling myself into thinking that we didn’t have that many books. Just the four bookcases full, plus a few stacks hidden away here and there. I mean, there’s a shelf full in the kitchen, but those don’t count because they’re cookbooks. And there are some stacked on my desk, but those are for reference. And as for that pile of mysteries hidden away in my bedside table, they’re required reading. Who could blame me?

The idea of going through all the books at once Marie Kondo-style stressed me out, so instead, we took the Kaizen approach of selecting a few each day so as not to alarm our inner book hoarders into thinking we were doing anything out of the ordinary.

We did a pretty good job, too. By the time we carted our haul off to Half Price Books, we had eight boxes full—enough to stock an entire fifth bookshelf.

But the one stash of books that I didn’t touch were my blank books. I’ve grown my collection steadily over the years, and their blank white pages represent pure potential: Lists I’m going to make. Books I’m going to write. Dreams I’m going to pursue.

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My shelf full of blank books. Some of which are written in. Most of which are not.

The problem is? There are very few that I’ve actually written in. The one with colorful geometric patterns is full of notes from different writer’s conferences. The red one is waiting for me to resume the fun doodles I stopped doing in it about 9 years ago. The spiral-bound one on the right says “Writer” on the front and is full of great ideas that I will probably never get around to writing.

At this point, though, the number of un-written-in blank books exceeds the number of things I need to write in blank books. I use cheap composition books for my morning pages (thank you, Julia Cameron!) and I use my laptop for keeping track of plot ideas.

But I still believe in these books’ potential! I think they’re begging to be of service. They’re all, “Hey, Marla. Don’t you want to write something profound in us? No? Okay.”

And if there’s one thing I learned from gradually clearing out our book stash, it’s: baby steps. So I’d like to pass one of the books below on to someone who will fill its pages with brilliant ideas. Or random thoughts. Or knock-knock jokes. I’m not here to judge.

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Leave me a comment below with which book you would like and what you would write in it. (It doesn’t have to be deep; I’m just curious.) I’ll draw a winner on Thursday and announce it in Friday’s post. (

Don’t want a book? Say hi anyway. I like hearing from other book addicts.

Your choices are:

Green stripey. Unlined pages, magnetic closure.
Red literary. Unlined. Has the heft of a hardcover classic.
Japanese. Unlined. Covered in pretty paper. Sparks  joy.
Be filled with joy. The only one with lines. Opens flat for easy jotting.
The Kiss. Cover artwork by Gustav Klimt. Larger, unlined pages.

Good luck!


new-marla-mugshot2xMarla Cooper is the author of TERROR IN TAFFETA, an Agatha and Lefty nominee for Best First Mystery and book one in the Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries. Her second book, DYING ON THE VINE, is set in the California wine country and comes out April 4.

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52 thoughts on “Win a Free Book Filled with Nothing

  1. I’d like the Be Filled with Joy or Japanese to keep a stream of consciousness list of who dropped by, what’s going on etc., (not the dental appointments listed on my calendar but the dates & moments of my everyday life!) Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I adore blank journals and am drawn to browsing in that section at Target and Hobby Lobby whenever I shop. I would love to win Be Filled With Joy and use the journals for taking notes on books for my reviews. Of course I probably have enough blank journals to last another couple of years but that hasn’t slowed me down from collecting them 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the green stripey one ! I always carry a notebook in my purse , you never know when something will strike you as interesting , or you might need to remember later ! It’s also perfect for when the grandkids are with me, they write notes, draw pictures , all little memories I can read later ! kathambre@yahoo.com

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh my gosh, I love this post. When I was keeping a journal, a lifelong habit that I had to quit when I began writing mysteries (because something had to give), I was very serious about acquiring just the “right” new blank book! It must have taken great strength to whittle down your collection, so applause for that.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Loved the blog post. I use journals near each phone in our house. When you have to jot something down such as a phone number or tracking number of a package or someone’s name or an addressd, these work great. A slip of paper would be lost and tossed in most cases and this is such a neat way to save info. I always date each entry and make a note about it. I cannot begin to tell you how many times this permanent record has helped me.
    Any of the notebooks would be perfect as I have none ahead. I do like the Asian inspired one and the one that lies flat with JOY on the cover with the elastic holder on it very much. Thank you.
    Cynthia

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Green stripey or Red, I’m starting to make “Memory Books” for my 2 kids. Not the typical memory book or scrapbook, but more like a periodical journal with funsies. “Today on our way to the Costco Dean said, ‘xyzpdq,’ It made us all laugh.” Lame example, but you get the idea. I am going to insert some pictures and possibly magazine ads or articles, do-dads and things from that moment in time. I’m thinking that I’ll have everyone write something at different times. My grandpa used to ask, “Does that make me a nut?” Well, it might sound nutty, but I think it will be fun for my kids when they are older, especially after I’m gone.

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  7. This is so neat. Thank you for the chance at the Japanese journal. I like to have something at hand always. When cogitating on a subject I like to have something handy for my thoughts. Such as a post I read. Or stopping in at the antique shop . That sort of thing & taking notes on the history of an item. [No. I don’t buy. I just like to look & learn.],Or take notes when dropping in & visit a class at the Community college & take notes on the subject

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I would love Be Filled With Joy. I live with chronic pain from osteoarthritis. I would write down the small things that bring me joy and happiness each day. Then on really bad days I can go back and read what I’ve written. It would be filled with hope and happy thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I need to go through my books. Maybe a shelf at a time to unload a few of them. It would probably be just a few. I have too many I wouldn’t want to part with. But I’m likely to die in an avalanche of books in another few years. 🙂

    Don’t enter me in the drawing. I write everything in my computer these days.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Blank books are wonderful, so full of potential — journals, ideas, recipes, addresses, quotes — I could go on and on. I love the Gustav Klimt, The Kiss, notebook. Thanks so much for the giveaway

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  11. I love journals and look at them all the time at stores. I use them to write down scriptures, take notes from books that like a bible study and I use them to take notes as I’m reading. Then I can go back when I do my review to use things from my notes. I love the Red Journal.

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  12. I love the Japanese notebook – so pretty. I have been wanting to start tracking three positive things that happen every day. I read that doing this daily helps us to be more intentional about to seeing the positives in life!

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  13. Be Filled With Joy (lines!) sounds good to me. I am a teacher and I love having a place to write down things! Things like important dates to remember! Thanks for offering this!!

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  14. would love the red one..I write down how I’m feeling each day as I go through some personal changes after 43 yrs of marriage..being alone with a downs daughter is challenging, but I’m making it work..thx for chance

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  15. First choice is the green stripey one because, colors! Second choice would be the red one. I like to draw free form figures and color them in. It could also be a tarot journal. Or a list keeper. Or, I have no idea what else. Thanks for the chance.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I’d love the Japanese one; the pattern is very similar to one I’ve used to make some handbound book earrings (I make the teeny-tiny books with hand-sewn signatures)

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  17. I would be happy with any of them. I love blank books. I think the one filled with joy would have to be my favorite though. I would use them to write reviews in to be typed up or to write my plan of action.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. What an amazing response!! Thanks everyone for your interest, and I wish I could give every last one of you a blank book! I was at a librarian tea today, so didn’t get a chance to reply to everyone personally, but I’ve been inspired by all your ideas. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

    Like

  19. Hello, lovely lady!

    I feel compelled to weigh in on the blank book party. My favorite would be The Kiss because, well. . . Klimt! Plus, it’s unlined and larger than the others, which makes it better for sketching.

    Lately, despite my propensity for writing and a fervent belief since first grade that I lack any and all artistic potential, I have begun to doodle more. In turn, my doodles have become sketches, and then I find myself intentionally sitting down to draw! Weird.

    So, your book would gift me with practice space. Email me, and I’ll send you scans.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. My daughter has always been an avid journal fan. She loves to jot down recaps of our vacation trips. They are so fun to review years later. This week she broke her wrist so there won’t be much journal writing as it was her right wrist. A new journal would cheer her up. Magnetic closure one would help with only one “working” hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I get your blank book stash. I watercolor just for fun (read between the lines: I’m very *very* amateur) but, point is, I love it. And even though I haven’t had time for painting lately, I’m happy every time I look at my excessively large collection of blank heavy paper. Just knowing it’s there and ready for me is wonderful. Good luck with the book reduction!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Marla! I’d love to win the striped journal to record all of the books I read for cozy mystery challenges I do every year. Thanks for a chance to win.

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