Tuesday, November 05, 2013


Last night we were walking on the beach. It was windy. It was cold. It was already getting dark! My phone rang. It was Rubin calling to tell me we had had offers from my favorite publisher on two–– count 'em––two books. This doesn't happen every day.

One of the books is by Cynthia Rylant, and I'm to illustrate it. The picture above is the sample I did that Cynthia was asked to approve. Time went by ... more time went by ... and finally she allowed she was crazy about it.

The sketch below is from the other book––one I'll both write and illustrate. It's a book about saying hello.

Right after my phone rang Tom handed me the car keys and walked on. I thought I'd go back and sit in the car to talk––the wind made it so hard to hear. But instead of walking all the way back to the car, I just walked up into the dunes and asked Rubin to repeat every word over and over. Then I made him promise to email me when we hung up in case I had heard wrong.

When we finished our phone conversation, I headed up the beach after Tom. I kept walking and walking, thinking surely I'd run into him walking back down the beach. After 40 minutes he texted: "I'm almost to the car." I called him right away. "Oh no! I have the keys. How did we miss each other? I'm at Lincoln. I'll start running." I can walk faster than I can run so I walked really fast but it still took me a half hour to get back to the car.

By that time, locked out of the car, Tom had staggered down Taraval and collapsed onto a stool in front of the fireplace at The Riptide. He was drinking a glass of wine and watching the game when I stumbled in the door. What a sweet place––though probably any joint would have seemed sweet after my phone call and rather long walk.