off to mexico

max and i had a fantastic time at knott’s berry farm (an amusement park just north of disneyland). never had to wait in a line more than 10 minutes. rode everything we wanted, many rides two times. max got his courage up and went on two rollercoasters he would not have gone on in the past. here’s a pic of me and max on a milder rollercoaster (one where i could whip out my camera and take a pic while we were on it — which says something):


this morning i’m back in the office for a half day of catch-up. then, this afternoon, max and i head to mexico for parts of three days. here’s the story:

several months back, i was asked to share a devotional at a zondervan sales conference. after i shared, out of an tiny old testament passage about mother eagles, i was given one of those great backhanded compliments. i was told, “that would make a great children’s book!” which was nice to hear and all, but, at the time, i wondered what it meant about my devotional thought!

anyhow, a couple months later i was approached by a developmental editor in the kids book division who hadn’t been there, but was told about the “book idea”. we met on one of my trips to grand rapids, and he asked me to propose the book.

two weird things color this: first, that developmental editor is no longer there. so i’m not even sure who i’ll be submitting this thing to. second, i learned that, for children’s books — especially picture books, like this would be — you can’t just submit a “sample chapter”, since each page only has a few sentences. i have to write the whole book for the proposal. of course, it will only be about 1000 words.

when i was considering this thing, i thought it might be fun (as well as a neat differentiator) to have max (my 9 year-old son) co-author the book with me. max is a great writer, very creative, and can stay focused. he’s also a very spiritually sensitive kid. of course, he’s ecstatic about the idea, and has talked about “our book” all the time since i first mentioned it months ago. we knew we wouldn’t get it done at home. so we’re borrowing a little beach-front condo owned by some nice people in our church (the condo happens to be in mexico, just over the border from where we live – about a 40 minute drive from here), and we’re going on a writing date. it’s a working trip, i keep telling max. and he says, “i know, dad.” we have our main character’s name picked out: eddie the eagle. and we went to barnes & noble and read through a half-dozen picture books for kids about the age we’re targeting, to get a sense of how many sentences they put on a page, and stuff like that. this thing might never get published, but we’re takin’ a stab at it.

7 thoughts on “off to mexico”

  1. great picture! i haven’t been to knott’s since i was a kid and lived nearby.

    i think the process of writing the book with max is a great thing. even if it doesn’t get published, the time you spend together, and working on something so special, will be priceless. enjoy it.

  2. Marko — Thanks for sharing this great story (and for the awesome action photo). I think it’s amazing that, as a dad, you are not saying to Max, “You’re too young, you can’t do it” (as we so often hear adults say to young people) but rather, “You can! Let’s do it together!”

  3. You’re such a cool dad. Looking svelt too– are you losing weight? Have fun in Mexico! (you should pick up fireworks and have a little post-4th of July celebration).

  4. Yeah lol, any book with ‘Eddie the Eagle’ as its name or hero figure will definitely NOT sell this side of the pond!

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