When I am not writing books I’m usually making a lot of noise.
I mean, music.
I’m half of a duo called “Hot Tamale.”
Yes, it takes two of us to make one hot tamale–and one decent song writing team.
Craig Reeder and I write music about everything from falling in love on a Greyhound bus (if you’ve ever ridden the Greyhound you know the bus is more smelly than romantic) to watering okra (somebody had to write about it).
We recently wrote a song that covers a life from age 5 through, well, the end.
Then we decided to make a video. It was harder than we thought. We begged everyone we knew for photos and Craig put the whole thing together.
The girl standing in front of the lighthouse is me at 19. The woman dancing with her new husband is my daughter, Josie. The older couple walking along with their arms around each other is my parents.
The voices you hear are mine and Craig’s. We are both playing guitar–but if a lick sounds really good, Craig is definitely the one playing it.
My sister said, would you like a free trip to Italy?
I said yes.
Then she made the same offer to my brother, Chris.
He said yes too, so Claudia took us to Italy for twelve days.
We stayed in Vicenza, which is near Venice. We saw snowy mountains, men skulling gondolas around canals, we ate gelato and more pasta than you can shake a stick at (why would you shake a stick at pasta?).
Claudia and I practiced our very bad Italian. My brother only speaks English and German. Fortunately many Italians speak English and German too. Not to mention Italian.
This photo is one of my favorites from the trip. The stone lions are guarding a fountain in Bergamo. I think the dog is pretending to be a lion too.
If your sister ever says, would you like a free trip to Italy? say yes.
So many of the characters I write about begin as real kids in my real neighborhood. I get to know most of them because of The Front Porch Library, the very local kid’s lending library that now fills all of what was my dad’s house until he passed away.
Our Tallahassee public television station, WFSU, did a piece about the library for their “Local Routes” show. Click here to watch the segment and meet some of our kids and volunteers.