It’s Snot Fair! A joke book for your (inner) fifth grader. (Click to win one!)

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We found out that kids are checking out my books electronically at school through this really cool subscription program called Epic. I’ve been hopelessly out of touch because I’m still in the “I like paper books” camp. You know what this means? Parents don’t buy my books. Kids do.

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Because of this new found fact, I decided to write the most kiddish joke book I could. In fact, it’s all about farts and boogers and slime and guts.

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Your fifth grader will love it. And your sixth grader and your three-year-old and your husband too.

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It was a blast to illustrate. I constantly had to ask myself questions like: Do I really want to go there? How can I illustrate frog guts without it being completely disgusting or maybe it should be completely disgusting? What’s the best graphical way to illustrate a toilet? Seriously.

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I think this is my favorite spread. I pull this one out at parties.

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I put a really nice note at the back asking kids not to read it too many times because we all know what it’s like to sit in the car and be read jokes  aloud to over and over and over and over. In fact, just don’t leave this book in the car. That’s a bad idea.

But here’s the deal. I need some reviews. If you’ve already purchased this book (Thank you! You are awesome!) please go to wherever you bought it from (amazon) or (barnes and noble) and leave a review. Preferably a good one but I like honesty too so let it rip.

If you haven’t bought one you can leave a joke in the comments and I will pick one random commenter (or maybe not so random because your joke is so funny) to mail a paper copy to! If you don’t want to take your chances on winning a free book but you really really need this book for your kids or whomever for Christmas, please rush out and buy it! It helps me pays my bills and I am eternally grateful!

Slow Living Part 3: Slow Working

sneak peek into next book

Speaking of Slow Living, I think this might apply to work too.  I think I am the slowest worker ever. My mind goes a million miles and hour but I can never seem to make those ideas happen as fast as I want them to. My actual productivity during the day-to-day is always about half of what I expect it should be. Everything I do takes forever!

For example, I’ve been working on my latest book, “Happy Birthday Little Hoo” for about two years now and poor Little Hoo is getting older than my illustration of him. If I don’t hurry up and finish this book he’s going to twenty before I’m done. Just kidding. But it feels that way sometimes.

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This slowness could be attributed to a few things. I often put my books on the back burner in favor of quicker jobs that pay the bills right away. I have open-ended deadlines on my books and I don’t get paid when I finish them. I make quarterly royalties that add up over time instead. In the long run the books actually make me more money than my small jobs but I always forget about that because I’m living paycheck to paycheck and I’m more concerned about the short term. It’s silly Brenda-style accounting that makes no sense. But basically it works out that the squeaky wheel jobs get worked on and since my books don’t squeak at me they get worked on the tenth of never.

Another reason I work slow is because I have to go with the natural rhythm of my creativity. Creativity is something that can be frustratingly fickle. Many times I find myself doing methodical, boring work instead being creative because my brain just isn’t in gear. Sometimes I think I get stuck in that plodding-along boring mode because I’m focusing my energy on household chores and making sure my loved ones are taken care of, which is important too. It’s all a big juggle. And I’m lucky that I even have the choice to do either.

Back in the beginning of the year I went to a doctor for a real physical, something I don’t think I had done since I was like eleven. I got all my blood work done and all my levels came back amazingly healthy. (Thank you regular yoga routine!) This was great news because I was worried I was pre-diabetic and probably had bad cholesterol and who knows what else could be wrong. I’m at that age where people start comparing ailments when they get together at parties so I was expecting something bad coming. Turns out I’m healthy and I don’t need to take any medication for anything EXCEPT that I am alarmingly low in vitamin B12. I don’t know why. I guess it’s common in women my age and my doctor made a note for me to get my thyroid checked this year, which I totally intend to do.

I sat on that bit of information for six months. I don’t know why. Laziness probably. Just this month I finally bought a bottle of vitamin B12 at our local drugstore and started taking them. And guess what?!!! I’ve illustrated four pages in two days. More than I’ve done all year! Pathetic I know. But maybe I was just stuck in a brain fog and I didn’t even know it. The doctor said that was the usual symptom of low B12.

So the message of this post is sometimes work is slow. Sometimes that’s for good reasons and SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO TAKE VITAMINS! Who knew!

We’ll see if it sticks.