“A Curious ABC’s” was my first book. Each page is an actual acrylic painting (Yes, REAL acrylic paint – not Ipad acrylics). I had finished a few “serious” paintings and decided to take a break with something fun. I am not sure why I found a kid slouching at his desk “fun,” but it turned out very amusing once I added the line: “Avery is Amiable….”
To make things more interesting, I added A words with a different pronunciation: “Except when he’s NOT, which is Almost Always.”
Although there is no set formula to this ABC book, I tried to do something with each letter that would cause a kid to pause and say: “Hmmmm….”
“A Curious ABC’s Volume 2” was inspired by Shel Silverstein, who was a master at funny illustrations and quirky poems to go with it. I am no Shel Silverstein (I have more hair and less talent), but I am proud of some of the weird and amusing characters in volume two. One of my favorites is the letter “C” because Capybaras are so strange. A Capybara looks like a huge, fat, hairy footrest with tiny feet. One look at a Capybara and you will immediately wonder: “WHAT IS THAT THING?” or, “What was God thinking when he made that?”
Answer: The Circus, of course!
In America today, going to a psychologist to cure an unhappy life is about as common as taking aspirin for a headache. That is fine and dandy for a few sessions (barring those with serious mental conditions) but any more than that seems like a waste of time/life. I know a guy who spent four decades in therapy blaming his father, his brothers (and countless others) for his problems and where did it get him? After all that time lying on a couch, complaining to his Shrink, he was still as miserable as ever.
I wrote the story of Rosa Lee to remind folks of what Aristotle once said: “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” This is America, after all! Why sit around and complain about NOT being in paradise, when you can go out and build it for yourself?
A few years ago, I was standing in a very long line at airport security, waiting for my turn to have my entire body and all my belongings radiated (x-ray). The line was held up because a few people in front of us had multiple alarm-setting-off items in pockets they forgot they had. The most suspicious of them was a seventy-year-old woman who tried to smuggle a bottle of peanut butter in a secret compartment on her wheelchair.
As the rest of us stood there because we didn’t have a choice, I turned to the person next to me and said, “Do you remember when we could just walk to the gate without being searched and seized?””
“Yeah.” She said, glumly. “Seems like that was forever ago.”
Before 9/11, we could walk, run, crawl or break dance to the departure gate with any/all our relatives, friends, enemies and casual acquaintances. We could pick up a few hobos, belly dancers, and condiments on the way and no one would care. But now? Now, a bottle of our favorite sandwich spread is prohibited from accompanying us to the gate.
“Hannah’s Day of Revelations” asks the question: “How many foolish things do we do, and allow to go on, out of fear?”