The Stamp Act

Celebrate stamps

And the Celebrate Stamp Saga continues.

Are you not familiar with the Celebrate Stamp Saga? Well, it all began when I was forced to draw a “Celebrate Cats” stamp.

The recipient of that cat stamp was the nine-year-old son of blogger extraordinaire Jilanne Hoffmann. The young man enjoyed my doodling efforts, I’m pleased to say, and, as a thank you, he sent me a hilarious, hand-drawn comic book and a “Celebrate Falling” stamp.

I was impressed and grateful. So I sent him a thank you note with another stamp drawing, “Celebrate Comics.”

In response, he has drawn a few more stamps that Jilanne recently posted on her blog.

You get the picture, I think; I have just gotten myself entangled in a Celebrate Stamp Cold War. I suspect that I am outgunned.

But it aint over yet!  Watch your back, Hoffmanns. A Celebrate Stamp drone attack will be coming your way when you least expect it!


On an entirely different note, April is National Poetry Month!

Though I am not terribly well-versed (Ha!), I do sometimes give the rhyming thing a go. For example, thanks to Vanessa Chapman and her inexplicable love of seagulls, I was forced to write an ode to head lice.

I also bang out a couple of couplets in the comment sections of other blogs. At Catherine Johnson’s place, for example I penned this little gem:

Master Sculptor, bearing chisel,
Stopped his work to take a whizzle.
And so the marble had to wait,
For Sculptor to evacuate.

Wait! Where are you going? There’s more!

This next poem is out of season, but, hey, why not? In December, Sarah Wesson hosted a contest, asking her readers to write a poem. After a little cajoling on Sarah’s part, I wrote the following to the tune of Jingle Bells. Please feel free to sing it out loud at work:

Writing Christmas cards,
To those who do not care,
Like stupid Uncle Ted,
Does his still live there?
Oh, wait, I think he died,
Killed by a crazy tramp,
Gee, that really made my day,
I saved myself a stamp!

See how I brought the post back around to the topic of stamps? Pretty good, eh? This is why they pay me the big bucks!

But, seriously, Hoffmanns, you guys are going down.

Rhyme Time

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Neither did I! That’s why I’m writing about it now!

I’m a little bit troubled that I am so late to this particular party. I really should have known. I work at a school and schools live for these kinds of distractions.

Furthermore, my brother-in-law is a pretty famous poet named Philip Memmer who’s won lots of awards and has a new book out and everything. (It’s OK if you’ve never heard of him. I hadn’t heard of him either until I started falling in love with his sister.) His poetry is great, even if it doesn’t rhyme – and it doesn’t, which is still kind of a shame.

I have written a number of picture book manuscripts, but only one of those manuscripts, Donut Run, is in verse. The process was both painful and long. I worked on Donut Run on and off for about two years before I finally considered it good enough to start accumulating rejection letters.

So, to celebrate National Poetry Month while I still can, I thought I’d post the first few stanzas. And, since you know what a comments section is for, consider this an invitation  to have at it.


My mom loves to cook, she just doesn’t know how.

She often fries up the wrong parts of the cow,

Or the lamb, or the fish, or whatever’s on hand,

And makes a concoction that no one can stand.

But she hit a new low on one snowy day,

When she piled our plates high with pig snout soufflé.


My dad took one look. He then rose from his chair,

And made up a lie just to get out of there.

“A meeting!” he shouted. “Oh, my! And I’m late!”

I’m really so sorry. Those noses look great.”

Then, Dad, with a satisfied smile on his face,

Ran right out the door straight for Ray’s Pizza Place.


“More for us,” Mom shrugged, as she reached for a bite,

She nibbled a nostril and then turned chalk white.

“Oh my! This is awful! Don’t eat this, it’s bad.”

Then she gazed at my plate and saw that I had.

Empty! Amazing! The plate was licked clean!

Mom looked, but the dog was nowhere to be seen.


“That’s right,” I announced. “I ate every bite.

I deserve a dessert! You know that I’m right!”

For dramatic effect I leapt to my feet.

“The badder the meal then the better the treat!”

My Mom understood. She just nodded and said,

“You’re wanting that donut the size of your head.”