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    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Pink Hair and Jury Duty

    My friend Daphne, The Perky Pessimist, is the kind of friend who keeps you young in the best, non-night-in-jail kind of ways. A week ago, Daphne dyed some of her hair pink and posted the pics on Facebook.

    I loved it and told her so. A few days later, I somehow ended up with pink hair of my own through a blurred process that involved lots of laughter, margaritas, and some very strange smells.

    We started out by dying just the tips of my hair pink so I could cut them off if it was too much. The opposite was true. I loved my pink ends and wanted more pink. So Daphne obliged. We used a different brand of dye mistakenly labeled something innocuous like Sweet Ruby. Unfortunately, on me it looked like Bozo’s Wig.

    This time it was too much and I had Kory cut off a few inches of pink. But I still have a lot in my hair even though it doesn’t show up on camera too well. We discovered that the “food” setting on the camera works best for picking up paranormal hair. Just a hint for all you color junkies out there.

    I still forget about my pink hair and wake up every morning startled by what I see on the pillowcase or in the mirror. This is a nice break from waking up every morning startled by the number on the scale.

    When asked “Why pink?” I usually say, “I had to cover up the gray somehow.” But the truth is, it was time for something fun, and . . . I thought maybe the color would help me get out of jury duty.

    Yep, that’s right. I got the dreaded notice in the mail last month. I arranged for my mom to watch my kids in the morning and a friend to watch them in the afternoon so I could go have a fun day at court. I ended up in the jury box—much to my horror. Even worse, it was a criminal trial. Incidentally, you know that questionnaire they make you fill out? There’s no box to check for “Is your hair an unnatural shade and does that reflect your outlook on life?”

    For awhile it looked like I was going to have to resort to favors, bribes, and complicated scheduling charts to arrange for child care for the rest of the week. But, where my pink hair failed to get me off the jury, my conservative views on prior felonies did the trick. The defense sent me packing, and—forgive the cliché—I was one happy camper.

    Don’t get me wrong. I support and believe in our justice system, but, HELLO? Summertime! The kids are more than just home. They are black holes of summer boredom, restless energy, and brother-bating power. They managed to put my mom back on oxygen after she spent only a few hours with them. I’m not kidding. My boys are forces of nature not to be taken lightly or even approached without proper protective gear.

    So, I’m now off the hook in more ways than one. I’m relieved of jury duty and a pretty hip mama if I do say so myself.

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    And the Winner Is

    So last week when I announced my little contest, I didn’t know that we would receive our advanced copies of The Dragon and the Turtle this week. I thought I’d be telling the winner, “I’ll send your copy as soon as I can get one.”

    But on Tuesday our beloved UPS man delivered our first copies. I screamed. The boys screamed. The dog barked. It was exciting.

    After the screaming, I sat down and read the book to my boys. They loved seeing Roger and Padraig on the page after hearing about their many adventures in bedtime stories.

    Since then, they’ve been handing out The Dragon and the Turtle bookmarks everywhere we go. It’s pretty funny actually. They’ll go up to other kids in the store and hand them a bookmark. Sometimes they say things like, “This is from my grandma” or “My mommy and grandma wrote this book. For me.” Sometimes they just throw the bookmark at the unsuspecting child and run away. When that happens I feel compelled to explain, or maybe laugh, point, and say, “You’ve just been bookmarked.”

    So far, this family marketing thing is pretty fun, but I’m a little worried that we’ll end up traveling the country in a VW van, putting on The Dragon and Turtle Family Show in libraries, bookstores, and schools. My kids will suddenly sport bowl-cuts and bell-bottoms. My husband will start using words like “wholesome” and “groovy.” And I will take up playing the tambourine.

    Help! Help!

    Breathe in. Breathe out.

    Okay. Panic attack over. This is 2010 not 1970, and no one can make me play a tambourine and wear polyester if I don’t want to.

    I bet you didn’t come to this blog to read about my Partridge family nightmares. You probably want to know who won the contest. All right, without further histrionics from me, the winner is:

    Andrea Downs, who suggested I sign my name with the tag “Every day can be an adventure.”

    I loved this and have already used it when I signed some books for friends. Andrea is the brave mother of three boys and can testify that every day is an adventure. Unlike me, I bet she never hides from the day’s adventure under the covers or in the bathroom.

    I also must give an honorable mention to Corey White whose clever “May there be nothing rotten in your state, E. Denmark” cracked me up, but would go over the heads of most 4 to 8 year olds.

    Colorado Springs folks, don’t forget, Mom and I will be signing books August 14th at Mardel from 1 to 3 PM, and August 21st at the north Barnes and Noble from 1 to 3 PM. We’d love to see you and sign a book for you.

    I’m sure we’ll be giving more copies away in the future, so watch this blog and Mom’s blog, Dragon Bloggin'

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Win a copy of The Dragon and the Turtle!

    My husband took this picture at Colorado Gators when we visited the San Luis Valley a few weeks ago. It reminded me of the picture book Mom and I wrote together that will release August 10th.

    The Dragon and the Turtle is a story about the fun of making friends with someone who is different from you. Obviously the alligator and the turtle in this picture have worked out some system of friendship since they live in the same pond. I wanted to ask someone why the alligator didn’t attack the turtle, but nobody was around for me to question.

    Monkey and Chunky were a little reluctant to visit the alligator farm. They kept asking, “Won’t the alligators get us?” Kory and I wondered if they really thought we’d take them someplace where alligators roamed free in search of tasty little boys. Maybe we should stop threatening them with Death by Alligator when they misbehave.

    Once we got to Colorado Gators and the boys saw that all the animals were behind fences, they relaxed and had a blast. What is it about reptiles and amphibians that fascinates little boys? I could barely get past the smell.

    Mom and I hope the scales, claws, and tails factor will attract young readers to our Dragon and Turtle stories. We had two particular little boys very much in mind as we created the characters. And for you moms out there, you’ll be relieved to know this is not a scratch and sniff book.

    If you’re in the Colorado Springs area, we have two booksignings in August. The first is at Mardel on North Powers on Saturday the 14th from 1:00 to 3:00. The second is at the Briargate Barnes and Noble on Saturday the 21st from 1:00 to 3:00. We’d love to see you there!

    Which brings me to a dilemma that only occurred to me as we were arranging the B&N signing last weekend. How am I going to sign my name? I mean, I know no one really cares. Anyone standing in line to get their book signed is there for Donita K. Paul’s signature. I could sign my name:

    Your very own raving lunatic,
    Evangeline Denmark

    and no one would even notice. Still, for my own satisfaction, I’d like to have a cool signature line. Any suggestions?

    Hugs and kisses,
    Evangeline Denmark

    A little too touchy-feely?

    Your rockin’ friend,
    Evangeline Denmark

    A little too 1950’s?

    Evangeline Denmark

    A little too middle-schooler?

    See, I need help. Let’s make this a contest. Submit your suggestions and if I pick yours, you’ll win a copy of The Dragon and the Turtle. Next Friday, July 9th, will be the cut off for submitting your suggestion. Then I’ll pick my fave and announce it here on Breathe In Breathe Out.

    Don’t worry, I’ll have Donita K. Paul sign the winner’s copy too.