Everybody's Favorite Book

Pie! Oh, My!

Cath Carroll, the charming  proprietor at Celebrate Picture Books, reminded me that today is National Pie Day.

In honor of this occasion, I give you a character from my new picture book, Everybody’s Favorite Book:  Behold Everybody’s Favorite Villain, Corky!


Corky, in case you don’t know, is part robot, part dragon, and part pirate, making him a Robo-Dragon Pie.

Corky is holiday-adjacent.

Heck, Corky should be the holiday’s mascot.

So be sure to cut yourself an extra wide slice of the sweet stuff today.  Let’s make Corky  proud.

Family and/or Autobiography, On Blogging

A Holiday Vaycay!

It’s the time for giving, getting, and being various shades of merry!

For some, it is also a time to mess up a Target Portrait Studios photo shoot in order to show off a pair of Christmas socks.

Exhibit A.
Exhibit A.

For me, it is a time to shut down the ol’ blog until the new year.

I’ll be back soon! And don’t worry; I have some big things planned for January:

  1. New resolutions (and a lament about the only resolution I didn’t manage to pull off in 2015)!
  2. A new doodle contest (with a twist)!
  3. And a somber tale about my family’s funniest funeral.

Until then, have a wonderful holiday season!

Family and/or Autobiography, On Writing

Block Party

Blocks!Always be careful what you wish for. Last year, when I secretly decorated the house for Christmas (as documented in a recent issue of The Boston Globe Magazine) I was filled with a sense of personal triumph.

Ha HA! I thought. The house is decorated exactly the way I like it!

Little did I know that last year’s bit of derring-do would lead to a new family tradition: I am now The Official Holiday Decorator. In other words, my wife no longer cares where the carolers go.

So while Ellen educated young minds and Alex nursed his post nasal Niagara Falls, I set up the village, manger, Santas, sleds, fake packages, and our ever-growing platoon of Lenox snowmen.

I decided that my new decorating responsibility also included throwing out all the holiday doodads that sprinkle glitter over my freshly vacuumed floor. Which reminds me:

Dear Extended Family,

If you send me a card with glitter on it, it’ll go in the trash before it gets out of the envelope. Merry Christmas!

Your pal, Mike

Long story short, decorating is a big job, but I do enjoy it. And, once in a while, a holiday decoration can create some fun, unexpected puzzle time.

BlocksEllen bought these blocks at a post-holiday sale last year. She packed them away before they could properly go on display so I didn’t know what they were supposed to spell.

Blocks 2“NOEL” seemed like a logical place to start.

Blocks 3But the end result left something to be desired.

I could also spell out “SILENT.” But, what was left didn’t make much sense.

Blocks 4It did, however, fill my brain with amusing images of a tow truck driver who moonlights as a mime.

This one captures the spirit of a contemporary Christmas…

Blocks let's own itThis one not so much…

Blocks silt town It does, however, conjure up images of a charming fishing village — like Cabot Cove, but without all of the serial killing.

By this point I had figured out that the blocks were supposed to spell “LET IT SNOW,” but I no longer cared. I was having too much fun.

Blocks o lint stewMmm! Just the way Mom used to make it!

Blocks toilets nowI support this cause.

And then there’s this one:

Blocks stolen witI often feel this way when I need to write an amusing blog post the morning after I spend half the night decorating the house.

I better go sleepy now.