Friday, August 27, 2010

The Happy Book Shake Up: Phase II Begins!

The Big Shake-Up & A Fresh Start

I've decided to really shake things up here at The Next Chapter: The Happy Book edition and I'm excited about where it's taking us!

As of today, everyone who would like to can join us in playing through The Happy Book by Rachel Kempster and Meg Leder! Every Friday I'll pick a random page in the book and that will provide our focus for the week (Thanks for that great idea, Helen!) Then in true Next Chapter tradition, on Fridays we will share our thoughts and experiences on our blogs, using the Mr. Linky (just as you see below) to add a direct link to your post so that we can all visit one another.

The Big Next Chapter Shake-Up

(Now, really that should be a dance move!)

  1. For Everyone Who Would Like to Play! Everyone is welcome to join us in working through The Happy Book starting today! If you are a new participant (i.e. not in the mail-around), please sign up using the form in the upper left-hand corner. Even though it may take you some time to get the book, in the video I explain what you can do, starting today. (Mail-around folks, you do not have to sign up again. New people, please do)
  2. For the Mail-Around Circles: If you are already signed up for The Happy Book Mail-Around, you should have received an email from me asking that you reconfirm your interest in participating. For reasons explained in the email and video, you must confirm by September 7th in order to stay in the mail-around circle. (I think I say the 3rd in the video but I said the 7th in writing, so the 7th it is!)
  3. For the Mail-Around Circles: The first circle to get their book back to me will win Your Creative Spark. Yep, every single person in the circle!
Happy Book Posting

For this week: If you feel like posting and making a start, feel free to introduce yourself and/or share what's been making you giggle with glee! For the bright sparklers that have been doing just that since January, you can lead the way!

Next Friday: We'll share the results of our first assignment (I give the details in the video). I have been smiling about this one since I opened the book and saw what we were doing. This one is a beauty!

New to the Next Chapter? If this is all sounding a bit confusing or if you have any questions at all, check out the FAQ. If you're still stumped, please leave your question in the comments. That way I can answer and clear it up for anyone that might be wondering the same thing.

Okay, this is feeling better already! Sometimes it's good to shake things up. I'm so excited to play our way through this delight-full book and connect with all you awesome people while our four Happy Books continue their world travels!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Next Chapter FAQ

Can I still join?

You are always welcome. You can join at any time.

How much of a commitment is participating?

It's entirely up to you. There is no pressure to participate. You can post once or every week. You can visit a few other blogs, all the other blogs or none. You can write a paragraph or an extended post. Whatever you are called to do is just right.

What's a direct link and how do I post it?

When adding your link to each week's secret, you want to use a direct link. A direct link is the address that takes you directly to the relevant post instead of to your blog generally. For example:
To get that url, click on the title of your post and see the new url that appears when you're looking directly at that post.


There’s no hard and fast rule about when to post. Each Friday I will put up a post and create a space for you to leave a direct link to your post. In my experience, the closer you post to the Friday, the more likely people will come and visit. But remember, everyone has their own rhythm. This is supposed to be fun and inspiring. So find what works for you.

All the links are gone. What's up?

On occasion, Mr. Linky hiccups and for a time the links appear to disappear. It usually only lasts a short while and they are all back, intact and ready for more additions. If this happens, come back a bit later to check the status. If after a few hours it hasn't resolved, feel free to let me know, and I'll contact my hero, Mr. Linky.

How do I put up a badge?

If you're using Blogger, the easiest thing to do is:
  • Add a Gadget in your Layout.
  • Choose Picture.
  • Add the address for the badge you want:
  • Add the address:
For direct HTML, please email me for the HTML code. I haven't yet figured out how to post it without it simply giving you the badge itself.

Do I have to go to everyone's blog? I'd love to but there's just so many people participating!

Not at all. This is meant to be a joyful adventure, not a chore. Let's drop the pressure on ourselves and each other. Drop in and visit when you have the time and don't be hard on yourself when you don't. When you do have a chance, consider a mix of old friends and new faces so that our community can continue to grow with support and connection.

Why aren't people coming to my blog?

Sometimes it can be a simple, technical thing such as not posting a direct link to your post with Mr Linky. If people come to your site and can't find your Next Chapter post, they'll likely just leave. If that's not it, it can help to visit other people's blogs, find ones you really relate to, and connect through leaving comments. Try not to take it personally. Sometimes, it's just a busy week.

If your question hasn't been answered, feel free to email me at jamie (at) openthedoor (dot) ca.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Happy Book: August 20

This video absolutely made me giggle with glee! And sometimes, you just need a giggle!

Where We Are & Where We're Going

Our Happy Book Adventure has been on my mind over the past couple of weeks. The pace of the books is slowing down considerably and one book is in fact at a standstill. Danette has been absolutely awesome and instrumental in connecting with people, making sure they have all the information they need, encouraging everyone to keep up the energy and the momentum but at this pace, the books will cross the finish line in 2012... for Christmas 2012!

Now, we have done a powerful job so far. The books have traveled to the UK and Australia, across Canada and the US. There have been cookies and connections and smiles and gifts. We've received so many messages that the books are becoming more beautiful all the time, that people are generously sharing their art and their creations. These are treasures - and the journey we're on is to be treasured too.

So, how do we sustain the energy and pick up the pace? I'm weighing the options and have something in mind, but I'd really love to hear your thoughts. I'll gather everyone's input and give it a think and next week I'll let you know the direction we're headed.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and input, for the joy you share each week and the happiness you spread. You are beautiful and a blessing in my life.



Let's check in with the whereabouts of our Happy Books:

Bliss: The Bliss book is on its way to bkobe in Minnesota!

Giggle: Pink Heels in Michigan is about to receive the Giggle book!

Mirth: The Mirth Book is in Maryland with Angela Raincatcher!

Glee: Update coming soon!

What made you happy this week?

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Happy Book: August 13

Now you might have already seen this on my site but this video's take on finding joy with your own company is so beautiful and precious, I don't want anyone to miss out. When you you really loved being alone?

The happy journey continues! Where are the books this week?

  • Bliss: Heather in Winnipeg has sent the Bliss book to bkobe in Minnesota!
  • Giggle: Boho Mom in Ontario has sent the book to Pink Heels in Michigan!
  • Mirth: Angela Raincatcher in Maryland has the Mirth book!
  • Glee: Getting close to solving the mystery of Jalynn in Georgia and the missing Glee book!
Announcement: Now, my friends, there's going to be a bit of a shakeup coming. I'm still working out all the details but you can expect some news about our mail-around very soon. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, what made you happy this week?

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Happy Book: August 6

Did you watch the video? You're smiling now, aren't you? And probably singing to yourself too! And how many Happy Books do we have? 1... 2... 3... 4... Happy Books travel galore. Now it's your turn... 1... 2... 3... 4...

Now, let's see where our books have traveled to this week:

  • Bliss: Heather in Winnipeg has the Bliss book!
  • Giggle: Boho Mom in Ontario is ready to send the Giggle Book to Pink Heels in Michigan!
  • Mirth: The Mirth book is with Angela Raincatcher in Maryland!
  • Glee: Fingers (and now toes) are still crossed that we hear from Jalynn in Georgia where the Glee book has been sent!
Let's share our happy:
  • Everyone's welcome to write a post about what made them happy this week and share it in the Mr. Linky below.
  • Come on by our Vimeo group to share a video of what makes you happy! It doesn't have to be perfect or edited or even have sound! Whatever makes you happy is just right. A moment of home video? Perfect. Your cat purring? Purrfect.
  • Or if photography's more your thing, catch a moment of happy and share it at our Flickr group called Share Your Happy. Come see what people are sharing! There's family and inspiration boards and rainbows and stars and pie!
  • And remember, you can absolutely get yourself your own copy to work through while waiting for the mail-around book to arrive!
What made you happy this week?