Sunday, October 9, 2016

Katie's book launch, and free Crocodile Knitting Pattern!

It's finally happening!
I'm publishing my book! Twisted Tales for Tacky Children is a collection of the silly poems, songs, and illustrations I wrote for my daughter, Millie.  For example, the crocodile on the cover of the book is from a song I wrote for her about a crocodile that loves eating babies, but hates eating vegetables. (He's wicked, scheming, and terrified of spaghetti squash!)
Want to make my little indie author dreams come true?  Click here and pre-order a copy. 

To celebrate the release of this book, I'm also publishing this free knitting pattern for a crocodile hat.
I hope you like this pattern, and if you're knitting it as a gift, you'll consider ordering Twisted Tales to accompany it! I need to sell 750 pre-order copies to earn a publishing contract!

Click here for the "Mean Old Crocodile" Hat

Friday, August 12, 2016

Focus Group Needed! (Bad news, you'll be paid in poetry and compliments.)

Hi Friends,

I've decided that 2016 is my year. I'm finally going to try and publish a book, and I need your help so that I don't humiliate myself on the internet. (More than usual I mean.)

I'm reaching out to you specifically to get feedback because you are my smartest, most creative, successful friends, and also you have the biggest boobs, and prettiest mermaid hair. 

Here is what I'm trying to do: 
I've found a company that is sort of a hybrid between self-publishing, a kickstarter campaign, and a professional publishing house. You can read more about the Inkshares process here.
The book I want to try publishing is a collection of children's poetry.  I think these poems will be successful because they are funny, and clever and will appeal to parents as well as children.  I've also created some brightly colored watercolor illustrations to compliment the work and make it more visually appealing.  (See the end of this post for a sample poem and illustration.) 
Through their crowdfunding platform, if 250 copies of my book are pre-ordered, it will be published with some light editing services included. My real goal is 750 copies pre-ordered, because at that level they will publish the book and also distribute and market it for me through national marketing channels. #nobodyhastimeforthatshit.

Why I need you: 
The biggest thing I need from you is feedback.  What should the book be called? What poems/illustrations should appear as part of my pre-order campaign? What poems aren't awesome enough and should be cut from the collection? 
I need you to read the book to your kids.  (If you have kids... I mean, you don't look as if you have had any kids, because you all still have the ass of a 23 year old.) But, if you do happen to have kids, please read them the poems I send you to them and tell me what they think.  

Further on in the process, I may need you to pretend to be random people from the internet and praise my book.  (But that comes later :)

This is an illustration from the book/a design of Millie's future tattoo

So, to recap, what I'm looking for right now is a group of kick-ass people that are willing to read through a maximum of five emails from me and give me your opinions on the poems and illustrations you prefer. I may include a short survey or other type of poll in these messages. 

If you are with me, please RSVP to me with the following pledge: 
I ________________, do solemnly swear to tell you the truth so you won't humiliate yourself with publishers and on the internet at large. 
I ________________, do also swear to try and read your poems out loud to at least one small human that I know personally, or one that happens to be sitting next to me at a sporting event. 
I ________________, finally solemnly swear to speak nicely about your publishing project on the internet, even if I am only doing it because I am your friend/relative, and because you told me I have pretty mermaid hair.  

Wow, you are the best y'all. (And, you really do have pretty mermaid hair.) I love you and can't wait to see who signs up for this team.


PS- Here is a poem- Enjoy!

How to Build a Campfire

Hello Campers! Gather round.
Lean your faces towards the ground.

Got your sticks?  Now take a batch,

Set them in and strike a match.

See that flame? Now ‘fore it’s dwindling
Cover it up with lots of kindling.
Then add logs---if you run out
Look for firewood in the house!
Take the tables and the chairs,
Take the tops off all the stairs!
Take your parent’s cupboard doors
Whatever it takes to cook some s’mores.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

One Year Later: Adeline's Birthday

Today is a day that I've been dreading. It's Adeline's birthday-- the one year anniversary of the day our second daughter was born and died.

We took the day off work today, just in case.  I didn't really know what to expect, but I knew myself enough to know that it would probably involve some ugly crying.  I was right. It's not even noon and I look as if I had a terrible shellfish reaction. If you see me around today, and I'm wearing giant sunglasses in the grocery store, do me a favor and just go with it. Trust me, it's not a pretty sight under there.

So much has happened in the past year-- sometimes I still can't believe it.  There's a lot that I want to say to all of you, but for today, I want to start by saying a few things to Adeline.

Dear Adeline,

Happy Birthday little one. I've been thinking of you a lot lately.  How are things up there in cloud city?  Please give Prince a high-five for me if you can. I know you're in good company, but I still miss you everyday. 

Normally, moms get to teach their little girls, but I've never taught you a single thing.  Instead, it's all been the other way around.  In the past year, I've learned so much from you. You've taught me to be more compassionate, more loving, grateful, and to write songs like a legit troubled troubadour. You've also taught me that life could be taken away at any minute, and so we cannot wait to stand up for the things we feel to be right. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you've made your mom a lot more bad-ass. Nice one.

I'll love you all of my life Adeline. I hope next year will be easier than this one, but I know that your good influence on me will last a lifetime. 

Love from,

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Stink-Bugs host swingers convention at Sean and Katie's Place

Our house is being invaded by stink-bugs.

Seriously, I think they must be having a convention or something.  Now that I think about it, it must be a SWINGERS stink-bug convention because I haven't seen any of them wearing clothes, and judging from their sheer numbers I'd say these little bugs are having a lot of sex.

So here I am, my walls crawling with hedonistic stink-bugs, having their stink bug equivalent of the "Naughty in 'Nawlins" sex festival.* ** I'm clearly grossed out because there are so many bugs, plus I'm a little concerned about Amelia being exposed to that kind of promiscuity at such a young age.  What's a mom to do?

* Yes. That's a real thing. I googled it.
** Sean, if you notice from our computer browser history that I've been googling "Famous Swingers Conventions" I don't want you to get the wrong idea. 

Enter the vacuum cleaner.  If you think I'm not using the hose extension designed to clean hard-to-reach corners to suck these little bastards off the ceiling, you're crazy.  Furthermore, if you think that, after disposing of these stink bugs, I'm actually using that vacuum extension to clean some hard-to-reach corners, you're also crazy.  I don't have time for that shit.

Besides, I'm too busy trying to think of a name for our stink bug convention, (Woodstink? Club Carapace? Stink-Bone?), and browsing Amazon for a book for Amelia that helps me tackle the difficult parenting dilemma of explaining promiscuity in invertebrates.

Monday, March 14, 2016

This Week in Photos, featuring Pitty the Zebracorn

Last Wednesday was Sean's birthday.  I cooked a giant dinner ("double meat lasagna," my insurance policy that Sean will never leave me,) and we had an exciting evening of pretending to be various zoo animals before Millie went to bed.  Currently, Millie's favorite zoo animal is a Zebra.  She loves Zebra's beyond the boundaries of what anyone has ever felt or known of love. But, even zebras can be improved. They CAN BE UNICORNS. That's right, you heard me.  And as long as we are making them into Unicorns, they may as well be pink.  Are they sparkly? ARE THEY SPARKLY?!! I can't even believe you had to ask that question.  Yes, genius. They are Sparkly.

Everyone, meet, Pitty The Zebracorn. 

 Vocal talent for Pitty is Provided by Sean. (Motto: Sean! I know it's my birthday, but I'm still about to get down on all fours and give this girl a horsey-ride to the bathtub!)

I'm sure you're wondering what else has been going on at Sean and Katie's place recently, so I've prepared this short photo essay for your enjoyment. 

The crocuses in my yard finally bloom

Causing me to end my 4 month long spell of weeping, this southern girl celebrated the return of warmth by throwing myself a couch party.  The main activities included ordering nursery plants online, and ordering heirloom seeds online. The main attendees were myself, rum, and diet-coke.  (I'm not sorry, Sean.)

Millie and I take the most epic selfie ever. 
A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away, my daughter is awesome.

Sean and I's love is perfectly encapsulated in a pair of ceramic coffee mugs. 

Thank you Stacy, for the most important gift we will ever receive. I think it is possible that this image will need to become the profile picture for this blog.

That's it for now.  We'll see you next week for Episode 2: Pitty the Zebracorn meets Moby Starfighter: Bathtub Whale.

Monday, February 29, 2016

This is Belring

I have HUGE news.  Millie has an imaginary friend!  He's a snow-monster named Belring, and he's awesome. I know what you're thinking "Belring is the best snow monster name I have ever heard." I know. She came up with it herself, and it was my proudest parenting moment to-date.  Belring apparently wears a tiara, and eats dog food, and plays the banjo. The other night, Sean and I followed Millie around with a notebook and asked her questions about Belring. We wrote down everything she said, and I've put this book together based on the information we collected. Literally everything in this book came from her imagination, not mine. 

*a note from the Artistic Director:  As Millie's mother, I also served as conceptual artist on this project. The way this worked is that I randomly drew very poorly conceived snow monsters and Millie shouted "No! That's not Belring!"  Until I drew this guy: 

Look at his awful face. I love it so much.
Finally, Millie squealed in delight.  Yes! She cried!  That's Belring!


Imagined By: Millie
Written and Illustrated By: Katie 

Do you know Belring?

He lives in the snow.

Belring wears a tiara.

Do you wear a tiara?


Belring eats dog food,
and watermelon.

Do you eat dog food?


Yuck, Belring. 

  Belring’s friends are Teddy Bear, Raccoon, and Madeline the Squirrel.

Do you have friends?
Oh, Good.

Belring plays the Banjo.

And he sings his ABCs. 

Can you sing your ABC’s?

Belring has parents.
Belring listens to his parents... most of the time.

Do you listen to your parents?

At night, Belring sleeps on the floor.

Do you sleep on the floor?

No, you sleep in a bed. 

Goodnight Belring!