Sunday, July 23, 2017

Indoor rock climbing

It was rainy today, and it didn't seem worth it to rent a car, so we stayed in Manhattan. It was a toss-up between hitting golf balls at Chelsea Piers and indoor rock climbing. Samuel broke the tie.








Monday, July 17, 2017

Ten Tiny Toes: the board book


The board book version of Ten Tiny Toes is slowly coming to life. My editor at Little, Brown asked if I'd like to approve the final version before it goes to press.

I said no, but send it anyway because it will make me smile.

It did.

For context, a board book is a smaller and sturdier version of a picture book. Think Very Hungry Caterpillar. A baby can chew on it without anyone freaking out.

Ten Tiny Toes was published in 2012 as a picture book. It was my second book, and I was more excited about it than my first book, because, I figured, anyone can get lucky and write one book. You gotta have at least two books to call yourself an author.

When I got the email from my agent that she'd sold Ten Tiny Toes, it was the first time I felt like, okay, maybe I'm actually going to be a children's author after all.

It was a big deal that Marc Brown illustrated it.

When asked in an interview about the inspiration for Ten Tiny Toes, he said:

"Well, I can't speak for Todd, although I do know that he has kids. And from what I can tell, he's a really good dad, because his feeling about babies and children and parenting comes through in such an honest and heartwarming way. I read it to a group of teachers out on the West Coast, and people were sobbing in the audience when I read it, they were so moved."

It was a big deal that I could literally walk into any Barnes & Noble in the country and see it.



But mostly it's meaningful to me because it's about Samuel and Ethan, and how much I loved them as babies, and how much I loved watching them grow up, and how much I will love them forever. It's my love letter to them, in a time capsule.

I'm anxious to see it as a board book, and I hope lots of babies chew on it.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Rye Playland 2017

It wasn't on the Summer Bucket List, but the weather was nice, it was close, and we hadn't been there in a long time.

We started on a twisty coaster called Super Flight that you ride standing up.



Then we braved the old wooden Dragon Coaster, which is only two years younger than the Coney Island Cyclone.



Ethan and I rode the Log Flume.



Samuel was traumatized on this ride at age three and has never gone on it since. Here's the traumatic moment immortalized on a Father's Day mug.



But we digress. We rode Starship 2000 (a spinning g-force ride), the Yo-Yo (flying swings), the SkyFlyer (an upside-down spinner), a haunted house ride, the Playland Plunge (just me and Ethan again), and one more trip on the Dragon Coaster before heading home. Fun to ride the big-kid rides, fun to see toddlers and little kids having fun (alternating with meltdowns), fun to eat chicken strips and cotton candy.



Despite being a hot, sunny Sunday in mid-July, the park wasn't that crowded. 

I love the fact that it's historic (opened in 1928) and that they've maintained many of the original buildings and several of the original rides. It's cheaper and closer than Dorney Park or Six Flags, and although it doesn't match those parks for thrills, it's a throwback to simpler times.

Speaking of throwbacks to simpler times...


Saturday, July 15, 2017

A teeny little sliver of a smile

My heart is the emotional equivalent of Mosul. It's war-torn and full of wreckage and devastation and smoldering ruins.

But it had a teeny little sliver of a smile this week. I know that's a mixed metaphor. I don't care.

Who knows? Optimism and pessimism and an open heart and it's good to hope but don't hope too much and it all blends together and it feels kinda good in a teenage scary butterflies kinda way that overpowers the jaded, I-will-die-alone-and-unloved kinda way. A teeny little sliver of a smile that starts in my heart and makes its way down to my toes and up to my face and it sneaks out, peeks out to the world, and I'm not gonna try to pretend it isn't there and I'm not gonna try and squash it, because I'm pretty f-ing thankful to have a sliver of a smile in my heart right now.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Flowers in the window boxes...again


The Spring flowers looked magnificent, but they were more expensive than the building anticipated, and they didn't last as long as we hoped.

So our flower boxes sat naked for the past month while we came up with a new plan.

Voila. The new flowers were delivered yesterday. They look great. All is well again.

No, this is not about my life.


Okay, maybe the part about sitting naked for the past month.