Sunday, September 16, 2018

Anyway, the thing is, what I really mean: Bernie Taupin's worst lyrics

Someone saved my life tonight, Sugar Bear.
(And then he rhymed it with "Didja dear?")

So excuse me forgettin'
but these things I do
You see I've forgotten
if they're green or they're blue
Anyway, the thing is, what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen
(This is an example of gotta-hand-in-these-lyrics-in-an-hour.)

So where's the Shoorah she sang
You know I hear it again my friend
Where's the Shoorah, she came upon it
Waiting to sing her back
'Cause she likes to sing about
Where's the Shoorah she sang
(Such a great melody. Kick-ass choir doing the back-up. Elton sings it with such devotion it makes you want to believe in God. But if there is a God, why would he allow lyrics like these?)

And now she's in me
Always with me
Tiny dancer in my hand
(I'm picturing Elton having just swallowed Tinkerbell, then spit her out in his hand. But surely that can't be what he means. Can it?)

Mars ain't the kind of place to raise the kids
In fact, it's cold as hell
And there's no one there to raise them
If you did
(I like the "If you did" at the end, just to put an exclamation point on the badness.)

Okay, out of my system. I can go back to bashing Bob Dylan.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

A lot going on

I was in Cayman this week for work. I thought the hurricane was coming the first day...

But it cleared up enough to go for a run on the beach. Afterwards I sat on a lounge chair and looked at the stars. A semi-cloudy night in Cayman is still better for star-gazing than a clear night in NYC.

My co-workers are unimpressed by giant lizards lurking near the office, btw, but I had to take a picture.

I was visiting the Cayman and UK offices to signal the end of my all-consuming project of the past six months: launching our new office and studio in NYC. I was in charge of everything from finding the space to negotiating the lease to choosing the decor...

It turned out great, and I was able to bask in the glory for about 24 hours. Then--new projects. A year at a startup is like five years at a large company. 

On the book front, Three Grumpy Trucks is off to a good start. How to Become a Knight is finally appearing face-out at some B&Ns. Ten Tiny Toes board book (released in March) is still plugging along. Three books in a year; can't complain about that.

Most important, I'm back home in NYC. Jo and I had dinner in Little Italy and talked wedding plans.

We will be married at the Turtle Pond in Central Park. These are our body doubles, for context...

Our reception will be here, at Nomad Rooftop...

There's a lot going on. I hope I don't drive Jo crazy.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sitting on the sofa at 1 AM

I'm blessed
Don't care who knows it
I'm blessed
Don't question, don't oppose it
Got a girl
so beautiful she knows it

Life is long
at least if we're lucky
Sometimes great
sometimes downright sucky
But today
I'm blessed
I'm blessed
I'm blessed
Screw the rest
I'm blessed

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Book update and readings

I am reading Three Grumpy Trucks at Books of Wonder (Upper West Side) on Saturday, September 8 at 11:30 am.

Books of Wonder is one of NYC's classic children's bookstores, having been around since 1980. The new UWS store opened about a year ago and is a nice addition to the neighborhood's other great bookstores, including Bank Street, Book Culture, and B&N (and soon, the revival of Shakespeare & Company). I'd like to support it, hence my first public reading of Three Grumpy Trucks will be here. 

Here is more information about the event on the BOW website.

Here is the link to the event on Facebook.

I have a second Three Grumpy Trucks reading at Powerhouse on 8th in Brooklyn on September 23. I'll do a separate post for that as the time nears, but here is the link to the event on Facebook.

I'm hoping to schedule a few more readings this fall.

How to Become a Knight, meanwhile, is available in most B&Ns...though you may have to seek it out in the Author A-Z shelves. It's also available on Amazon. No readings planned at this time, but I'll read it at BOW and Powerhouse if they carry it.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Waterskiing in Connecticut

We missed having mountains in the background like in Colorado. But the water was warm and smooth, and the sun came out.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Wouldn't it be nice?

Nice to be in Coney Island on an August evening.

Nice to eat corn dogs and onion rings with this cute, smiley girl. Where do you find a cute, smiley girl who likes corn dogs and onion rings? I am counting my blessings.

Nice to listen to the Beach Boys. (All two of them, lol. But the back-up singers were great too.)

Nice to imagine the future, just the way Brian Wilson wrote it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

How to Become a Knight

How to Become a Knight is out today.

This is my fifth book. Publisher is Sterling, which is owned by Barnes & Noble, so I'd hoped it would get lots of in-store promotion. However, my editor left mid-project, and the editor who replaced her also left. 

There are five copies spine-out in the A-Z shelves at the Upper West Side B&N, so I'm not optimistic that this is going to be my break-out best seller.'s like complaining that your Porsche has a nick on the bumper. I'm proud of the book, happy that it's in stores.

About six months ago the editor sent me the first galleys and asked me if there was anything I wanted to change.

I thought about it for a couple of days, then said yes: I wanted to change the dedication. My original dedication was 100% sincere at the time, but it no longer felt right.

I have always felt loved, every day of my life, since the day I was born. I never appreciated it more than I have over the past 18 months.

Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

7 days in Durango

Last time I was in my hometown was 2014. A lot of water under the bridge.

This was Jo's first visit, and her first time meeting my family. She passed with flying colors.

I don't want to get all maudlin about it, but it was my family that got me through last year. Everything I know about love...and now having them meet Jo...

Enough. To the photos.

My advice: Have good parents. Have good kids. Love as if life is short.