Friday, May 27, 2011

Nedbery


I have a pretty cool announcement that I don't know how many of you already know, but now that I am about to blog about it, I guess you could say it is officially official.

I have signed with New Growth Press to publish my second book/first novel! It's called Clay. I think the title will stick. The title of my first didn't. Over the next couple months I'll be keeping you posted on the progress. I'll probably also post excerpts for you. I love feedback!

- especially while I'm hacking away at it in hopes to make it Newbery caliber. I confess I dream to win this award. I confess I have little hope in succeeding.

However, I was able to entice the world famous and close friend Elizabeth Northcutt Williams to take a picture of me for the jacket sleeve. Not bad if I do say so myself.

I am also harnessing the karma of past winners by reading through as many as I can this summer. Last week, I began this undertaking with The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois (1948), The Giver by Lois Lowry (1994), and Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji (1928).

I recommend them all - the Balloons and the Giver, with more gusto. However, the Pigeon book (it is seriously about a pigeon) did have a few meaningful moments for me. I've quoted them below for you (in case Gay Neck never makes it around to your reading list).

Most portions have to do with courage and fear. (You can tell what I'm needing right now.) Here you go:

"You must know, O Jewel amongst hunters, that no animal, nor any man, is attacked and killed by an enemy until the latter succeeds in frightening him. I have seen even rabbits escape hounds and foxes when they kept themselves free of fear. Fear clouds one's wits and paralyses one's nerve. He who allows himself to be frightened lets himself be killed." p. 55

"Here let it be inscribed in no equivocal language that almost all our troubles come from fear, worry and hate. If any man catches one of the three, the other two are added unto it." p 128

"Infinite courage is in all life. Each being that lives and breathes is a resevoir of infinite courage." p 172

"May the north wind bring healing unto you,
May the south wind bring healing unto you,
May the winds of the east and west pour healing into you.
Fear flees from you,
Hate flees from you,
And suspicion flees from you.
Courage like a rushing tide gallops through you;
Peace possesses your entire being,
And serenity and strength have become your two wings.
In your eyes shines courage;
Power and prowess dwell in your heart!
You are healed,
You are healed,
You are healed!
Peace, peace, peace." p 175-6

PLEASE SEND ME YOUR FAVORITE NEWBERY RECOMMENDATIONS!

I will also receive your prayers!

Thanks.



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Not Fade Away...a Dave Dave Original

video

I don't know if this is funny because I'm Dave Dave's daddy, or because it's funny.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kentucky Derby 2011


Another Kentucky Derby has come and gone. This year, as in years past, we mixed mojitos, fixed Texas caviar, and watched the greatest two minutes in sports. Lia tried this new artichoke dip, that was new, but the big difference this year was that we decided to invite some of Lia's coworkers and their young families to join in the festivities.


Mary, Ellen, and Meredith work with Lia. Their husbands were out front playing cornhole. Out there, the competition was tight, but as it turned out, not photo worthy.


Ashley is not a newbie to the Kentucky Derby mojitos. She and Blake are mainstays, in fact. But she got in not because we love her, but because she also works with Lia. Blake and I were also playing cornhole. We were also not photo worthy.


The kids had a giggle-fest in the backyard. Anna Rose instigated it by making "underwear soup". I'm not sure I can explain. But it does probably explain why Anna Rose's underwear is on the ground instead of on her booty. Someone must have considered this photo worthy.



And now, for the actual race. It was won by longshot Animal Kingdom. The horse was chosen by none other than my son David. He is here celebrating a well-deserved victory. He'll be buying my lottery tickets for now on.


Monday, May 02, 2011

Love and Hate



Lia loves Spring. She has opened the windows and filled our house with flowers. She spends her free time with her garden. She spends her free time at night, reading about gardening. She spends her morning thinking about what she can do in her garden later that day. You get the picture. The woman loves growing things.

I wouldn't say I hate Spring necessarily, but I have a hard time loving it. I've discovered I have a hard time loving something I'm allergic to. Like cats. I don't like them so it's a good thing I'm allergic to them (if I wasn't, we'd own one, I'm sure). So allergies are not all bad. I'm getting off track.

I'll stay off track. Here are a few photos from the Lillie's Friends race last week:



That's me, celebrating my third place finish! Brian Amrich is in the background eating a well-deserved donut. He finished first in the unofficial yet prestigious stroller division. Below is a better picture of him, Erin and Emerson (the winning rider).


The thing is Spring is beautiful and it makes my eyes water, not to mention that it also makes me sneeze and itch all over and feel sick and want to die. Besides that, Spring is great.


(my kidsz have turned into thugz)

Lia asked me two days ago when I was going to finish landscaping around our play set. I almost cried. But I set right to work. "What's wrong?" she asked. "Oh," I said, "I couldn't think of a reason to put it off."


We went to a Delane and Elyse Clark's farm to feed goats. Dave Dave liked the horses better than the goats.


I've been thinking about love, lately. It's Spring after all. I sort of have this idea that you show someone how much you love them by doing things that you hate to do. So I've been doing a lot of yard work lately.

This morning I had a little epiphany. I realized that love doesn't always have to be like that. When Anna Rose wants to show me love she picks a flower from out in the yard and says, "Here, dad, you can have it." "Thanks," I say. Inside I'm saying, "If she makes me smell this thing, I'm going to sneeze." But also inside I'm saying, "I'm glad my little girl loves me." So anyway, back to the epiphany. Here it is: I realized that sometimes I should allow myself to love Lia the way I want to love her.


Easter at the Ericksons. Anna Rose got a Zsu Zsu pet in her Easter basket because she loves them.

I mean, don't get me wrong, it's important to figure out (try to figure out) what it is that Lia really wants. I think that's great. And I also think it is important to show her that I love her by slaving away in the yard. But I think, in addition to these, I should give myself permission to buy her this dress that I know she will look drop dead gorgeous in, even though she told me she didn't really think it was her style.

Because love needs to just come out of you sometimes. I need to stop worrying about how it's received. Sometimes you just have to do it because you feel it.


Cheesiest picture of all time? Yay or Nay?

Same goes for Spring. I am going to love it because Lia loves it. And I'm going to work in the yard because I know Lia will appreciate it. But I'm also going to take my Claritin and secretly hope for summer to come and not feel bad about it.


Sunday, May 01, 2011

My Kind of Mustache

Lia refuses to let me grow a mustache, and for good reason: they look bad on my face. I mean bad. Not bad meaning good, but bad meaning bad.

She says they scratch her face. She also says that they erase the little handsome-ness I do possess and replace it with a major overdose of shady-ness. Two decent reasons, which is why I do not grow a mustache even though I am so attracted to the idea of them. I mean, come on, mustaches are cool...at least that's my idea of the people who can wear them well.


The truth is I wear them poorly. Even my wife looks better in one than me. After this picture, she told me to get this one off my face immediately.



So I did.