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Welcome Book Expo Friends

Marcia Clark (aka the Lead Prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson Trial) with her new book "Blood Defense".

Welcome to all our new friends from the Bookexpo America. My partner, Dr Sara Williams, and I had a great time participating as both educators and authors.

Pictured above is myself with Marcia Clark, infamous for being the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trials. I actually watched these trials live long ago while I was between jobs as an art director. I saw all the best highlight-reel moments live. I never imagined I’d meet Marcia Clark in real life. She was very personable. I’m eager to see how my mom likes her personally autographed book, Blood Trials.

We spent 2 whole days there and I think I could have spent a week. I was in book heaven. Especially when I ran across the Choose Your Own Adventure booth. I wanted every single book. (I saw people walking away with suitcases full of “free” promotional books.) But I limited myself to only 3. Back home I re-discovered that I have the #1 original publication in the series. The Caves of Time. I remember being in elementary school and waiting for the librarian to open the new shipment of books so that I could be the first to read the new Choose Your Own Adventure. Now I want to write my own Choose Your Own Adventure book for dreams. It may require a future licensing deal.

I got to meet many more publishers, distributors and authors, including another one of my favorites, Berkeley Breathed, and an autographed copy limited-edition preview of his new book Bloom County Episode XI: A New Hope.

We have big hopes for our future partnership with some of these new friends and associates as we seek a publishing deal for our own Dream Playbook, a book that has undergone almost 2 years of writing and testing, not to mention years and years of higher-level education (Sara has a PhD in child psychology) and life experience (my bicycle ride around the world, the ultimate example of making dreams come true).

Some other highlights include:

  • Penguin Problems. A book that scored high on my Jealousy Scale (I wish I did it first. So the more jealous I am, the better the book). It took me about 5 seconds to think, “Wow! I love it. I wish I wrote this.”
  • What do you do with an idea? This is another book that scores so high on my Jealously Scale that I think it actually made me angry that I didn’t think of this first. Thus my new Anger Scale. I imagine this book could have been called “What do you do with a dream?” However, the idea (dream) just came out of nowhere. So, I think I need to do a related book, but where the dream is an intentional creation. I’m going to call it: “The Day A Dream Was Born.”
  • Big Red and the Little Bitty Wolf by Jeanie Franz Ransom. Jeanie was an author that walks the talk and spent a lot of time to take us under her wing. Not to mention, her books are wonderful. I liked the role reversal in this book. And there is a couple pages of practical advice at the end for those dealing with bullying issues.
  • Backyard Ballistics: (Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices.) Wish I had this when I was a kid. My attempts at a bow and arrow, slingshot and catapult were depressing failure. I will be able to put this to use at one of my favorite NPO’s: Happen, Inc.
  • The Power of an Attitude of Gratitude. My nephew already picked this one as one of his favorites.
  • The Good Dog. By the creator of Blues Clues. We had a really insightful discussion about the diminishing word count of children’s books, perhaps related to the parent’s attention span and overwhelming responsibilities in daily life. These books are about 4x longer than average with over 2000 words. It’s nice to be able to live in this world a little longer.
  • History of Monster Movies. And  a fun meeting with the author/illustrator and publisher.
  • Time Travel with a Hamster. The kind of book I would have devoured as a tween, and may still do. Actually this book rose to the top of my pile. I love the subject and it’s wonderfully written. I can’t believe it is recommend for only 8-12 years old.

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Jason battling the skeleton warriors. Still from the 1963 movie "Jason and the Argonauts".

Jason and the Argonauts

The Archetypal Adventure

I recommend you read about the original Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts (or the illustrated kid's version) including the history, culture and the actual story. I've been collecting this info for years; and I find it fascinating how this myth has embedded itself in our culture. Or read about: What is an argonaut?

Welcome to The Argonauts featuring:

Scott Stoll's Bicycle Ride Around the World

Scott asked himself, "If I could do anything, what would I do?" His answer was to ride a bicycle around the world and search for happiness and the meaning of life. This was one of the first circumnavigations around the planet on a bicycle using only paper maps. Discover what happened during the 4-year journey. Read all about it.

Scott Stoll celebrating have ridden a bicycle around the world

Above: The map of Scott's quest. One of the first circumnavigations around the planet on a bicycle. Below: Re-imagine the journey in the best-selling independent book "Falling Uphill".

Falling Uphill, "Falling Uphill", Fall Uphill, Falling, Fall, Up, Uphill, Falling Upward, Faling, upward, Book, movie, album

Best-Selling Independent Book

Falling Uphill:

One man's quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle.

In one week, Scott Stoll lost his job, his best friend, his girlfriend and his confidence. Disillusioned with society, full of angst, a lost and wandering soul with nothing left to lose, Stoll asked himself a question: “If I only have one life, one chance, if I could do anything, what would I do?”

His answer resulted in a 4-year and 25,752-mile odyssey around the world by bicycle, seeking answers to the great mysteries of life, vowing to find happiness or die trying. The quest wasn’t easy. He was imprisoned, held hostage, mugged, run over, suspected of terrorism, accused of espionage, trampled, diseased, heartbroken—he nearly died a dozen times. But more importantly, in the most unlikely places, he also discovered the wonders of the world, kindness among strangers, the meaning of life, peace, love and — Yes!— happiness — in the last place to look — and much more than he imagined possible.

Re-live and re-imagine a journey around the world on a bicycle as a man stumbles through moments of pure survival and moments of pure enlightenment. More info. or Buy now.

Falling Uphill The short film: A montage of photos and videos from Scott's 4 year, 26,000 mile bicycle tour around the world. Previously a Youtube Feature Video and specially requested for the Boston Bicycle Film Festival. "I nearly cried watching this video. Just a normal guy and look what he has achieved." ~ Ingrid K.

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