Before I started this blog, I was convinced that it was the perfectly wrong thing to do. Here I was, running a bricks-and-mortar store where I get to have face-to-face conversations with all of the wonderful artists who visit Castle in the Air. What sort of online experience could hope to match that?
While there isn't anything that can truly compete with real world friendships, it didn't take long for me to see that the store's blog was putting me in touch with all sorts of people whom I would never get to meet otherwise. Alongside our Online Shoppe, the blog lets people from around the world get a taste of what we do at Castle in the Air, and we can get to know each other through email or through visiting each other's blogs.
Someone who understands this power of the Internet to bring artists together is Lisa "Oceandreamer" Swifka. For three years now, Lisa has organized One World-One Heart, an annual festival that takes place across any number of blogs. Participants simply list an item they'd like to give to a lucky reader, then go and enter similar drawings for prizes at other participants' blogs.
For our entry, we're giving away a signed and numbered copy of Castle in the Air, the first book from my publishing company, Dromedary Press. The story in the book was a surprise gift from my husband on our first wedding anniversary (the paper anniversary). It tells the tale of a queen who has countless suitors, but pledges to give her heart only to the one who can build her "a castle in the air." While Duncan was secretly writing the story, I was furtively painting a picture for him, a picture of a queen waiting to meet the one who would sweep her off her feet.
When we exchanged gifts and saw how well they went together, Duncan and I decided to celebrate by combining the story and the painting into the most romantic little book. We engaged letterpress printer Richard Seibert and bookbinder Victoria Heifner to create it in limited hardcover and pamphlet editions. The forty-page book includes the full-color image of the queen and five line illustrations of the marvelous castles proposed to her.
Do you want your very own copy? We sell them at Castle in the Air as well as through our Online Shoppe, of course, but we're giving away one copy of the Castle in the Air hardcover to a lucky reader -- it could be you!
All you have to do to enter the drawing is to leave a (non-anonymous) comment on this blog post. You don't have to be a fellow participant in One World-One Heart, you don't even need to have your own blog -- the festival is just about getting people to say hello and get to know each other in this brave new online world. We'll draw a winner's name at random on Thursday, February 12 and announce it here!
To learn more about One World-One Heart and see who else is participating, please visit Lisa's blog.