Yesterday, Brandon (Faze2) was at the house and we started talking about trying to be artists, and fathers, and the million other things that the world calls people to be in a single life. And we talked about marketing. Because that's part of the equation. Past the ideals and the thrills of making something that asks you to try your best, there is the yearn to be heard. Now, Faze2 is rapping. I am writing. But the challenges, artistic and commercial, are the same. And Faze2 has a way of making me see how the victories are the same too. What will I take away? "Address yourself to that one person..." He says, and I am left wondering... Is this the same person I knew as a child? Who lisped my name? Who performed on the stairs? Who I watched pushed and pulled by adults things outside of his control? Yeah... How did things get reversed? I'm in wonder, because he has come out so strong, and has come so far on the way to finding his voice so early.

And then I check my email. And I get the good news. My next novel for children Shasha and Wally Watson Vs The Faker has been approved for the "Gold Seal of Excellence for Outstanding Independent Fiction" by the Awesome Indies Association. OK, there is a lot of hyperbole in there...

The seal is not the same as an award. It is the result of a three-stage review process by fellow writers. At this stage in my career, I am not sure it what it means in terms of sales, which are limited and hard-won. It is more about recognition. Indie Writers have to make their little books everything. It will be at least 2 years of work and reworking. So, when peers offer you that precious encouragement, it helps you keep the momentum! Thank you, AIA.

From the Awesome Indies Website: "Books bearing the pure gold AIA Seal of Excellence for Outstanding Independent Fiction are our top books. They have been reviewed by three or more editors who have agreed that these books are outstanding in their genre.

What makes a book worthy of the Seal of Excellence? It’s those that have something extra. Perhaps a strong voice, a new or bold approach, or just a great, well-written story. It’s hard to be specific about the exact qualities, but reviewers know a Seal-worthy book when they read it. One of our reviewers said this:

“To me, reading a fantastic book is like watching an incredible dancer. There are good dancers who perform the music with wonderful technique and accuracy, and I enjoy watching them (4 stars). But the dancer who causes me to live the music in such a way that I don’t realize I’m watching is the true artist (5 stars). An author who draws me into the story and lets me experience it through the actions and dialogue of the characters so that I have a sense of loss and maybe a little regret when I re-enter the real world – that is an author who writes one hell of a book.”"

Well, that's a lot! I can say that I think I wrote a solid book that will make you smile and has a few chills. I hope people enjoy it.