Dear friends —

Some of you may know that I've been running a monthly contest through my LizNews email newsletter, to give away an early copy of my new book "The Signature of All Things" once a month until October, when the book comes out.

Each month I ask a simple question through the newsletter, and readers reply. I then choose the answer I like best and send that person a signed copy of my new book. Last month's question ("Who is your favorite heroine of literary history?") led to all of us having to read Jane Eyre!

This month's question ("What was your most transcendent moment in nature?") yielded a wonderful treat — thousands of beautiful stories of adventure, mysticism, dolphins, constellations, beaches, volcanoes and gardening. But my favorite answer by far came from LAURA BRISCOE, who spoke about a mystical experience she had once while collecting liverworts.

She had me at "liverworts", people.

You see, Laura is a bryologist (a scientist of mosses and liverworts) just like my character, Alma Whittaker. Laura wrote about a collecting expedition she went on once, where every time she thought of a particular strain of liverwort that she wanted to see, it would suddenly appear at her feet. To the point that she started wondering, "Who is searching for whom?"

Alma — who spent her life working at that intersection of the scientific and the divine — would have really dug that.

So Laura is getting her signed book in the mail this week! Hooray! A novel about bryology for a real live bryologist! What could be better? (Laura, if you find any scientific errors on the novel, DON'T TELL ME. Too late to fix anything by this point, as the book has gone to print. Lie to me and tell me I got it right. OK? Cool! Thanks!)

Thank you to everyone who participated in this month's contest — I loved reading your experiences. And as for everyone else…if you want to be eligible for NEXT MONTH'S contest (coming up very soon) be sure to sign up for my LizNews newsletter. You can click on the link at the top of this page to sign up, or go here, to my website, to sign up on the opening page:

Also, totally unrelated to the running of contests, I have something AWESOME going out in the newsletter tomorrow morning. Don't miss it. Sign up.

And please enjoy this photo of a nice liverwort.

Congratulations, Laura!


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall