Tag Archives: writing

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

cat in hat

Today marks the 110th birthday of the greatest English-language author of all time. Some of you were probably thinking that title belonged to Shakespeare or Dickens, but part of my definition of a great author is the ability to understand them. I need help understanding Shakespeare, but I’ve been able to follow Dr. Seuss since before I knew the alphabet. The man was a genius.

The story of how Theodore Geisel became famous as a children’s author is interesting and not well known. A writer and advertising cartoonist, he was challenged to write a children’s book by the editor of Houghton Mifflin’s children’s division in response to a well-publicized 1954 Life magazine article on children’s illiteracy, which criticized Dick and Jane style books as too boring to interest children in reading. Geisel’s challenge was to use no more than 225 of 348 words on a standard first grade reader’s list. He nearly succeeded, taking nine months to use 236 words to create The Cat In The Hat. The rest was history.

My favorite Dr. Seuss books are the ones with moral lessons:  How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1957) on the commercialization of Christmas; The Lorax (1971) on environmentalism; The Sneetches (1961) on racism; The Zax (1961) on stubbornness; and What Was I Scared Of (1961) on fear of what’s different. If complex, controversial topics like these can be turned into memorable stories that I can share with my children, perhaps that means we are making them more complicated than they really are.

I’ll leave you with just a few of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes (there are so many). Enjoy, and Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

“If you never did you should. These things are fun. And fun is good.”

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

“Sometimes the questions are complicated, and the answers are simple.”

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

“The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house,
All that cold, cold wet day.”

“Today I shall behave as if this is the day I shall be remembered.”


Who knew books have interior designs?

The editing stage of the book is complete!  I’m now in the middle of design…the cover is on the “About the Book” tab and working on “interior design”. That includes everything from font type and size to paper color (there are more choices than ‘white’!). I had no idea how many decisions go into creating every single book that gets published. It’s like building a house (what light fixture? what faucets?). The scary part – the marketing plan – is next. Once design is done the book goes to the proofreader for final spelling and grammar checks, and then off to the printer! Books should finally be available early September, exactly 3 1/2 years after I started this journey. I’ve often been grateful we don’t have the power to see the future. I suspect if we did, most of our endeavors would never get started if we knew what was ahead of us. But in spite of the work (and the fear), I have learned much from writing this book and my life has been enriched. I have faith that each new step of the journey will provide more of the same.

“Little by little one walks far.”  –Peruvian proverb


Hello world!

I have a blog!  I just entered the 21st century, a decade late maybe, but I guess better late than never.  Know how there are two kinds of people, those who embrace new technology and those who go along kicking and screaming?  I’m in that second group.  A colleague’s wife who has decided to begin a writing career was my inspiration to start this blog – check out her blog:

http://annamongan.com/

I never thought I would have a blog or a Facebook page, but then I never thought I would write a book either.  Apparently you can’t publish a book today without having an online presence.  Given my day job and busy family life, I didn’t think I had time.  But in the end, I didn’t really have a choice.  The book is a gift to me, not really mine even though I did technically write it.  The idea was handed to me, and I realized it was an idea that needed to be shared with others.  Other than that, I have no idea where this journey will end.  But faith has brought me this far, now nearly 3½ years after I received the idea-gift.  I have gained tremendously from these last three years, with a deepening of my faith and a wonder at the amazing world we live in.  I’m looking forward to learning from an online group of people, interested in some of the same questions I am.  So hello world, I look forward to this leg of the journey!

“Be who you are, because those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.”  –Dr. Seuss