Wednesday, November 25, 2015

National Ninja Day is December 5!

In a brilliant display of author marketing (not my idea), several of us "ninja authors" got together to capitalize on a little-known holiday called National Ninja Day.

The idea, in a nutshell, is to create a diversion in order to sell our books.

Our website is here.

Our Twitter page is here.

We got some press yesterday from Publisher's Weekly, here.

Corey Rosen-Schwartz ("Three Ninja Pigs") and I will be reading at Books of Wonder--info here.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cross it off the bucket list

Jen and I drove down to Atlantic City yesterday to see Dion at the Tropicana.

Dion is 76. His biggest hit was in 1961 ("Runaround Sue"). I told Jen, "Be prepared to see old people." 

When we walked in I snickered, "Oh, my God, look at all the canes and motorized wheelchairs. I think we wandered into a taping of 'The Price is Right.'" Then I looked down at our tickets to find our seats and neither of us could read the tiny print. Karma's a bitch.

The concert was fun. Dion's voice is still good. You know, it's rock'n'roll--he was never Pavarotti. The back-up band was solid--and their harmonies on "I Wonder Why" were spot on. It lasted over an hour.

And, you know, 70-year-old women dancing in the aisles? How often do you get to see that? Aside from "The Price is Right"?

An evening well spent. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Miracle of science

I had my best run of the year today--just a short loop around the reservoir in Central Park. I'm kind of excited about it because it has not been a great year for me, physically.

I've had a sports hernia for over a year now--pain in my lower abdomen when I run or do sit-ups--although no visible hernia. I kept thinking, "Oh, just suck it up and run through it; it'll go away eventually."

But it didn't go away. I got steadily slower and slower until finally I had to stop running completely a few months ago. I gained six pounds. I felt old.

Finally, when the pain subsided, I tried a slow trot for a few hundred yards. Then a teensy little jog with lots of stopping. Always resting for at least a day between jogs, and always being extra sensitive to any pain.

Today I ran at under seven-minute-mile pace for the first time in a long time. It feels good not to run like an old woman, you know? And the pain is minimal. My body is a self-healing miracle of science. 

Now I do have a hole in my back where my dermatologist sliced off a suspicious mole last week. So the part of my body that spent too much time in the sun as a young man is apparently not self-healing.

And I'm still six pounds overweight. miracle at a time.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

What always strikes at my heart is the juxtaposition between evil and goodness, between tragedy and joy. 

I read about a hundred innocent people in Paris being murdered last night.

Today I watched Iowa set the college wrestling dual meet attendance record. I saw 42,000 joyous people, celebrating together.

I saw photos of friends' kids on Facebook--smiling happily or sleeping peacefully or laughing carelessly.

It takes too much of my heart to try and reconcile the starkness of those alternate realities.

All I can think to do is to embrace the joy, and do my best to spread it to others. If there's more joy, maybe there's a little less evil.

A smile, a hug, a kiss, a high-five, a word of encouragement...the simple ability to treat others with respect, to say thank you, to be grateful, to put as much joy out there as you can.

What else can we do?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

10 questions in 1 minute

About a month ago I went to Little, Brown's offices to sign books in advance of the Texas Book Fair. The Marketing Director said, "Hey, while you're here, let's do a '10 Questions in 1 Minute' interview." 

I said "Okay,"

She said, "By the way, no one has ever actually done it in a minute. It's just a marketing hook."

The magic of marketing.

Anyway, it's not my best work, but there's a reason I'm not a TV personality.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Aw, man...

Why is it that when I really need something important I don't have any money?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My birthday present from Jennifer

No, not Dion.

Not Dionne.


Why is Dion on my bucket list? He's last in the line of the early icons of rock'n'roll that included Bill Haley, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers. He was on the 1959 Winter Dance Party tour; he's the only headliner that survived.

I was blessed to see Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the Everly Brothers in the '80s, when Chuck could still do the duck walk, Jerry Lee could still hammer out piano notes at full volume, and the Everlys were still pitch perfect.

I've never seen Dion. He's 76 years old. Will he be great? Will he be decent? I'll let you know.

I'm looking forward to it.