December 26, 2011

My Christmases

It was fun having a Christmas book. It was especially fun giving away books to people I met... most notably to people who touched my life.

Greg, a plumber from Seattle got the first signed copy in November.  He saved my neck with a truly heroic effort to unclog my sewer line (on a Saturday no less).  His ingenuity and hard sweat saved me what might have been a $10,000 sewer line dig. Whew!  Merry Christmas Greg!  

My dear neighbor Carin got the 2nd signed copy.... she's been my neighbor the longest and is a totally amazing person.  She's got many amazing stories to tell.

Mark of Atlas Masonry in Seattle got the next signed copy.  In December Mark did a miraculous job on restoring my broken down chimney to it's original 1926 glory.  A kindly modest man who astonished me with his ability to lift 500 pounds of brick and cement up 35 feet onto an icy roof.  He got the next signed copy. 

And of course all the family got signed copies.

Overall I don't care much for Christmas. It has painful memories for me. I hate malls. But the closest I got to the spirit of Christmas this year was actually on TV.  It was a news feature about homeless families living in motels.  It broke my heart to watch.  

The humanity of simple love - owning nothing - and having nothing but one another to cling to seemed to originate directly from the pen of Dickens' Christmas Carol.  I gave a copy of my signed book to the local TV book drive.  So maybe that helped.  I hope a needy child might have received my book.

Merry Christmas All - and to all a good night!

:0)

December 23, 2011

A Christmas present to myself...

john nez step by step, john nez step by step

Part of my Christmas present to myself is to work on things I like.  So I was happy to take on this little project. 

Once again, the step by step reveals everything!


December 20, 2011

Even Bambi likes my book...



Even Bambi likes my book! Awwwwww...

In keeping up to date on the grocery store updates, I'm sad and delighted to say that 'The 12 Days of Christmas in Washington' is all sold out. The store manager called and there aren't any more available. 

I guess readers will have to beg Santa online if they can't live without a copy. 

:0)

December 15, 2011

It's always flattering to be a 'Cover Boy'


What a nice surprise I had this morning. Opening up the big envelope on the porch, what should I find but two copies of the January edition of High 5 Magazine!

It's always flattering to be a 'Cover Boy'.  And it's always a guarantee that anything I get to do with High 5 will be fun, fun, fun. A great magazine with a great purpose.

Thanks, High 5!

:0)

December 12, 2011

Adventures in Book-signing


It just so happens that my new book is on sale in the local supermarkets!  That's a first for me.  So you can only imagine my secret pleasure in watching the book sales as I drop by every few days for groceries. (at Metropolitan Markets of Seattle - Seattle's best grocery stores)

On the first day I discovered the books well hidden, down in the gift section.  The merchandise guy said, "Oh yeah, we've sold 18 in the last week!".  I suggested they move them up closer to the cheese.  

On my next trip to the store, as fate would it have it, I ran into the kindergarten teacher who taught my children. Appearing out of nowhere, I pounced upon her, no doubt causing some small alarm.

I said,"Have you seen my new book?". Of course it sounded crazy.  New book?  Here in the cheese aisle?  I left her dazed and strode over to grab a copy.  I opened it up showing her my name on the title page... along with the dazzling full color artwork.  

Mrs. H. was dumbfounded... and I was a tad apoplectic with a mixture of pride and embarrassment.  It's hard to achieve such measures of minor fame in the cheese aisle.  But one does what one can in the children's book industry.

December 9, 2011

Yodelaheehooo!



Yodelaheehooo!

Here's a snowy holiday scene from Leavenworth... the alpine village of Washington.

I turned down an offer to driver over the snow covered 5,400 foot Steven's pass to do a book signing. I guess my author's vanity is not large enough to brave driving 150 miles over a slippery mountain pass.

I'm a prairie chicken.

December 5, 2011

A Fun Book Signing at Costco




It was fun signing books at Costco. People say the oddest things.  Some sample book dedications I carefully printed out were: 

Most touching dedication - *For Us - Tilly & Buck - Kids at heart (a sweet retirement home couple buying the book for themselves)

Most problematic dedication -*For Gazakial, Ebrahen, Tonny from the Kindsdales and also from the Brenners - Micaella, Sabrasina & Rorry - Merry Christmas and we're sorry about what happened at the lake last summer, it won't happen again. 

Most unexpected comment -*D'ya know where's the dog food at?

The most interested person was a russian woman who made it obvious that writers and artists were important people. She had me write down the name of an earlier book 'Cromwell Dixon's Sky-Cycle' because she was impressed by the artwork and storyline. I was struck by how foreign families seemed the most interested. I had the impression that reading and learning were things of great value to them.

I started out with 100 books and nearly sold them all.

:0)

December 2, 2011

Costco is Book Heaven...


I had a great time signing a giant pile of books at Costco.  It was like being in book-maker heaven... surrounded by gleaming piles of my brand new book.  

In the first 10 minutes I signed more books than I have signed in the last 20 years.  It was fun, but a little nerve wracking.  I get nervous writing on greeting cards... so signing a book is even harder.  I'm always afraid of misspellings or messing up.  My handwriting is so awful from years of drawing.  I did block printing and didn't make any mistakes.

It is amazing how many unusual names kids have these days... that makes things a bit hard.  It was fascinating to watch people milling past. 

And while signing books I got my tires rotated and I also bought boxes of my favorite hard-to-find Milton's crackers.  Honestly, does life have any more to offer?