Friday, November 25, 2011

Update on my Face

Scott and I pushed through the halfway point of No Shave November. This was taken on the Ides of November after celebrating Thanksgiving with the College Life Troupe.

I cleaned up the beard a little for Jed and Cecilie Macosko's 10 year Anniversary Party. What a great night. It was like Wedding Reception rewind. The love power point (except with photos of the kids). Dancing without the Chris Brown song. The bouquet toss but everyone was included (Victoria Secret gift card...for both the women AND the men! Ha!). Jed singing his engagement song "Cecilie Macosko Do You Like that Name?" A classic.

It also gave me the excuse to wear the old tuxedo. Then, yesterday, Lia and I were doing ourown Turkey Trot around the neighborhood when she turns to me and says, "You know Ned, you actually look kind of handsome with a beard." What?!? This coming from the lady who has gone on kissing strike because of my scruff! Well, all that's to say, even with the surprise compliment, the beard will likely be gone by the end of next week. It was fun. And itchy. And it's made me realize that I dribble when I eat soup...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fun Little Blurb from Summit's Enewsletter

Fifth Graders Learn Firsthand about Writing

Summit Parent and Author Ned Erickson is writing a children's book and recruited Fifth Graders for feedback. He talked to students this week about the project and their involvement. “This has been a great opportunity for the children to interact with a published author and be able to see the writing process in an authentic situation,” said Teresa Tsipis, Fifth Grade writing teacher.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Clay in Review

Today, I met once again with the delightful 5th Graders at Summit School. And the reviews are in!

Below are a few examples. They also did some marvelous illustrations for me. Here are a few of my favorites (I didn't know they'd bleed through, sorry) :

"But there was one thing he would always do: whistle. Clay whistled everyday. It made the nice days nicer, and the dreary ones tolerable, so there was never a reason not to. Over time, Clay had acquired quite the repertoire. He could cheerily, cheerily, cherrio, chee like the robin; and wheet, whittle, wheet, wheet like the house finch; and sip, sip, sittle-diddle-dip-pip, sawheet like a sparrow. He could even sing the tur-a-lee, chir, chir-a-lee of the bluebird."

“But the clay gets a purpose,” Clay explained, not entirely sure what he was saying.

“Purpose! What do you need a purpose for?” cawed Craw. Then, turning to his fellows: “Do you hear that, chaps? This clay wants purpose.”

The murder laughed again.

“Let me level with you,” Crick crowed, “purpose is overrated.”

“You get a purpose, all the sudden you have responsibility,” agreed Craw.

“Right now, you have no responsibilities. You are free as a bird.” Crick flapped his wings. “The minute you get a purpose, you’re not free anymore.”

“Who in their right mind would trade freedom for purpose?” asked Craw.

“I don’t know. Maybe this clay is crazy,” cawed Crick.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” cackled Craw.

“Crazy as a canary,” cackled Crick. “Come all this way just to get thrown in the fire.”

“Brave the cold just to get himself burned!”

“You’re lying!” shouted Clay.

“Not this one,” she said, guarding her package with her hands.

As it turned out, the object was not a figurine. It was a box. A small one, meant for jewelry or something like that. The knob was made to look like a bouquet of four roses – purple red, pink, and white. Each stem twisted around each other before traveling to the four corners of the lid, then down the side to where they curled into spirals that became the box’s feet.

Clay changed his mind. This was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

Clay grasped but there was nothing to grasp. What made matters worse, when the branch broke, rain-shrapnel cascaded in a flurry and sheered off his right foot! He lost balance. His left foot slipped. Clay dangled by a hand. A wet one. It was losing its grip.

Bricks screamed, which did not help.

Desperately, Clay lunged for another handhold, but no vine was within reach. He could stretch his arm to one, but then it would be too thin and weak to do any good. Clay’s foot skated as if the branches were made of ice. He slipped to fingertips.

He made the mistake of looking down again.

He gulped.

just as he was about to retreat from the window, he caught sight of the teacup the lady of the house had gathered in her hands. It rose to her chin, the steamy aroma spreading her lips in a soothing grin. Her fingertips went pink. Delight filled her eyes; Clay saw it just before she closed them.

Now that was a purpose, Clay thought to himself.

The fact was Clay couldn’t stop staring at her. She, the teacup, was so simple yet so beautiful. She was milk white with a rim like a halo of gold. And she was thin, much thinner than Clay ever dared become; though there was no doubt she was stronger than Clay had ever been.

Are you all right? the teacup asked.

“Huh?” said Clay, lost in the slender curve of her handle.

You don’t look so well.

“Oh,” he said, noticing that the fall had transformed his body into a wad. Embarrassed, Clay hastily reformed into an even mini-er mini version of himself.


I wish I had time and space to show you more. Anyway, here are some reviews. Most were favorable. Here's one that wasn't:

"The book couldn't keep me until the end. Things just kept happening and it got boring. I thought the ending could be changed where Clay got turned into dust. The reformed then turned his arm into an AK47 and got revenge on the people who hit him with hammers." Alex

Fortunately, most were like Ashley's:

"This is one of my favorite books I have ever read!" Ashley

Here are a few more:

"I think that you should keep the end of the story, that is my favorite part."

"It was a good book. My favorite character was the potter. I liked how you said his eyes glistened like thunder and lightning or something like that. In my opinion, the best scene was when the potter found Clay."

"I liked the book Clay because it explains all of the little details. You held my attention throughout the whole book because every character had its own personality. It was very interesting. I liked the part when Clay met Ned because it was funny and sad at the same time."

Thanks everyone. I'll keep all your input in mind as we plunge into editing. And thank you Summit for providing me the opportunity to have target audience participation!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Yes, another wonderful Halloween has come and past. This year we went theme-less. We've never gone theme actually.

Theme, however, this year seemed to be en vogue. The Andersons, around the corner, went Wizard of Oz. The Macoskos went Smurf. The Logsdons went Star Wars.

We went...well, Dave Dave went Dinosaur.

A-Ro went Pirate Princess.

Lia went as a Chinese Masseuse. Somehow she avoided getting pictured. I went as a Wedding Singer (ironically, I happened to lose my voice earlier that day). Fun was had by all.

On a sad personal note, this year marked a turning point in the Erickson household. For the first time, our children are hording their candy. Looks like from here on out, Lia and I are going empty handed...It was good while it lasted.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

No Shave November

Scott Siegler, one of my new favorite peeps, introduced me to one of his November traditions: NO SHAVE NOVEMBER. According to him, everyone in Connecticut does it.

Who knew?

I mean, I knew of course that Connecticut people are brilliant and burly, but I didn't know that they adopted a month to put it on display. Then again, why wouldn't you?

And so, on behalf of Scott and the rest of the people of Connecticut:

Men and women, boys and girls, you are all cordially invited to participate with me, Scott, Connecticut, and friends in NO SHAVE NOVEMBER.'s for the kids.