order of oddfish cover

The Order of Oddfish

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Joke Book, 90-Second Newbery Update, and Where Am I?

What is that cartoon above? A few months ago I was invited to contribute to a joke book for the 7- to 10-year-old crowd called Do You Smell Carrots?. The book is supposed to support California Bookstore Day, a celebration of brick and mortar indie bookstores stores as well as the physical beauty/fun/coolness of books. The book was only available at the indie bookstores participating, not at online booksellers or chain stores.

I was honored to be asked to contribute a joke-and-illustration in a book that also featured the likes of Lemony Snicket, John Scieszka, …. Here’s what I didn’t realize, though: almost every single other contributor—including bona fide artists—only used one page of the book, or a double-page spread max. For some reason I drew this excessively long meta-joke above (based on a conversation that my 5-year-old Lucy Momo and I had) and it took up 8 pages. Ay yi yi.

So, I’m back from my usual summer hiatus with several bits of news. First of all, good news on the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival front—the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is now a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Please support the 90-Second Newbery by donating to us here! (Contributions for the charitable purposes of The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival must be made payable to Fractured Atlas only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law).

Upcoming events! Live in the Atlanta area? This weekend (August 30-31, 2014), I’ll be at the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA speaking about The Order of Odd-Fish (with other writers Peter Lerangis and George Hagen) and doing a best-of screening of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. Details in the events sidebar.

Also, for you hometown Chicago folk, I’m once again co-hosting the annual Adult Spelling Bee at the Book Cellar with Robbie Q. Telfer and Kelsey Huff. It’s on Thursday, September 4 at 7 pm. This is the kind of bookstore that has a wine bar, and the spelling bee always a sloppy happy hilarious mess, so do come! Words will be misspelled! Prizes will be flung wildly about! Elementary school humiliations will be revisited! Register to compete at words@bookcellarinc.com or just show up and watch, it’s a good time. And heck, buy some books while you’re there at that worthy independent bookstore.

Ah! See how I brought it full circle, there? That’s true blogging mastery. I still got it!