This post is dedicated to Trixie, Debbi Michiko Florence’s dog. I’ve met Trixie, and she’s a sweetie. She’s also amazing–I’m always impressed at how clever she is when she helps Debbi pick a winner in one of their giveaways. You can see Debbi and Trixie together, at Jama Kim Rattigan’s celebration of National Dog Day. You can also watch Trixie here, as she picks ME to win a copy of Gabrielle Zevin’s All These Things I’ve Done.

I was curious. Would my cat, Lacey, be at all interested in helping out the way Trixie does? I was pretty sure she wouldn’t actually carry the winner’s names over to me, but I thought maybe she would bat around the paper with the winner’s name. Or at least sniff at it. She does a lot of sniffing.

I decided to try an experiment, following Debbi & Trixie’s steps as closely as possible, with the entries for Martha Alderson’s new writing book, The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master. I have to admit, I was a little tremulous–Lacey would have to clearly pick out two pieces of paper, without knocking them all under the bookshelf or something, where I’d never get to them and never know who had won.

Really, I needn’t have worried.

First, I put all the names on a piece of paper, folded those, and set them in a circle. I was working on the idea that maybe we’d go with the first two names Lacey batted out of the circle.

My son went to check if the cat was ready. You can see she was raring to go.

To get the full sarcasm of that last statement, go back and look at Trixie on Debbi’s blog, waiting so eagerly for Debbi to let her pick, then do the comparison. Yeah.

Basically, it was Kitty-Drawing fail. Lacey was so uninterested that she jump right out of the circle, over the pieces of the paper. You got it. Without picking one. So quickly that we were unable to get a photo.

Plan B.

First I needed to get the pieces of paper into a smaller space. A reachable-by-paw-while-being-held space.

I had reached the obvious conclusion that Lacey, unlike Trixie, needed a little help. (Note: No kitties were harmed in the making of this blog, only a small amount of kitty pride.) So, together, neither of us knowing which name was written on which piece of paper, we chose two winners.

Lacey and I (and my son, the photographer) say congratulations to:

Jennifer Fosberry and Suzanne Morrone, send me an email at beckylevine at ymail dot com, with your snail-mail addresses, and I’ll get your copies of The Plot Whisperer out to you. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask Lacey to drive them to the post office!

Everybody else, you’ve got lots more chances to win. Martha has posted the schedule for the rest of her blog tour here, and there are more giveaways to come! And, Debbi, if Trixie has any tips for Lacey on doing this drawing-thing right, feel free to share.

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