Sunday Sketches

One of the ways I hoped to get my (then-three-year-old) son interested in reading was to leave him little notes at the breakfast table. After all, what could be more fun than getting a loving note every morning from your dear ol’ Dad?

But, since I am incapable of doing anything in a small way, I took my note idea to the next level. It’s always fun to get mail, so I sealed each note in an envelope; printed my son’s name and address on the front; and, for that extra dose of authenticity, drew on a stamp. (“Celebrate Cows,” was the first subject.) “There!” I thought. “That will get my boy interested in reading!”

Not the first cow stamp, but a "rare reissue" for the collectors market.

Instead, it got my boy interested in stamp collecting. From the second note on, he carefully ripped the stamp off the envelope and stored it in a shoebox. The notes were glanced at briefly, handed to Mom to read aloud, and then discarded without a second thought. So while I’m pleased to report that my son – who is now five – reads with enthusiasm, my grand note experiment had absolutely nothing to do with it.

This stamp was issued the day after my son discovered that baths are overrated.
The boy soon became so obsessed with my stamps he needed a stamp to celebrate stamps.

The End of the Beginning is Near!

I haven’t written much on this blog ­­– or anywhere, really – as I have been spending the last couple of weeks noodling around with the WordPress tutorials. It’s been time well spent; I learned about making menus and submenus, posting photos, and discovering what a “widget” is. So while I have been lazy about posting, I haven’t been lazy in general.

I’m pleased to report that what’s included here is pretty much what I want on my Children’s Book Writer Website. (Not everything, mind you ­– that ridiculous football pic needs to be replaced with something more children’s book author-ish.  I’m also contemplating some snappier background images because “orange-ish” is not very snappy. These, however, are just details.) The written content is all there.

Look around. You’ll find my resume, a kid-friendly bio, a Q&A (because every single Children’s Book Author Website on the planet has a Q&A), a synopsis of my book, info on author visits, and a nifty little “email me” thing. I am also pleased to report that I managed to do all this with a certain degree of speed and competence.

So, woo!

The next phase is to get a more appropriate picture for the header. That’s Job One and I’m working on that. I am also on the hunt for an appropriate background image that is both copyright-free and just plain-ol’-free. I’m working on that, too.

Then there’s the title. “heylookawriterfellow” is growing on me, but it’s certainly not an easy title to remember. That being said, I can’t bear to settle for the straightforward yet boring “mikeallegra.” I just can’t.

In short, suggestions are welcome.

Nesting Instinct

Ah, it is starting to become clear to me now.

The first day I noodled around with this thing, I got set up, wrote a blog post, and chose a dull-yet-inoffensive orange-ish background color. I also learned how to put in a picture. It’s not a picture I intend to stick with; it’s not a picture that reflects the type of person I am (I haven’t watched a football game all the way through since the 1980s); but it is a picture and I put it in. Let us not lose sight of this achievement.

Today holds a bigger achievement: I learned how to nest submenus. Right underneath my “About Me” is an actual, honest-to-God, resume to prove that I am not a writing one-trick pony.

It is nothing short of a Christmas Miracle.

This site will be becoming more and more schizophrenic as the weeks continue – but this should be seen as a sign of progress. This blog, as it does now, will continue to chart my techie progress. The rest of the site, though, will become more kid-/school-centric in anticipation of future book sales and classroom visits.

Onward!