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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Florida,Blizzards,and Nasty Cheese ~Oh My!!

I have been most impressed with a talented writer who also happens to be one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world currently.  We know him in my house as the writer of the hugely funny & quite addictive series of books known as "The Diary of a Wimpy Kid".  Jeff  Kinney is a man I highly respect & praise.   The fact that he has a HUGELY popular and successful series  (not to mention 2 major movies) that does not have one wizard, werewolf or vampire is amazing.  For those seem to be the latest rage and craze right now. 
The topic of choice is one of  most painful of childhoods each person must wade through while growing up.... the awkward social skills one has to endure throughout Middle and Jr. High school.  And I will throw in my disclaimer right now.. "No I do not think that Jeff Kinney is a dumb ass"!  In fact, I praise his abilities to wade through unrecognized dreams and circumvent those dreams into another reality.  He has managed to make his dreams a reality by what i call "the Florida trip from Texas through Detroit travel plan".  My college roommate continuously reminded me that if I ever had to get from Texas to Florida, then I better pack a cute swimsuit and a warm sweater and gloves. ..cause my butt would inevitably end up in Michigan accidentally before I got to my destination.  And the sad truth is she was pretty correct on that.  It isn't that I have horrific compass skills.. But more in the fact that I always manage to make a fairly simple situation all the more difficult. 

Mr. Kinney dreamed of becoming a comic book writer.  I fact, he doodled all through his classes.  The problem lied in the fact that no one would take him serious or give him a chance at comic stripping.  Unlike his character,Rowley, whose "Zoo Y Mama" strip was selected for the school newspaper; Kinney could never catch a break.  So he did what other deadend dream holders would do.. He got into computer software design.  He has designed the hugely popular Poptropica gamesite.  That is where his initial fame & wealth occurred. 

Now this is the kicker.. he decided to take his characters & doodling that he started while in the freakin' 7th grade to self publish a cartoon/fictional kids book .  I remember back to my 7th grade yr. and unfortunately recall the very difficult and excruciatingly painful yr. in which I had my own mom as a teacher.  And this was NOT  homeschooling..This was out in front of everyone you knew and didn't know.  She claims that it was one of her most diificult yrs as well.  The fact that we both survived should go down in the record books.. Cause believe you me.. it was touch and go for most of the yr.  The 7th grade has to be one of the weirdest for practically everyone.  I don't believe anyone escapes without scrapes, bruises and scars.  Who among us can honestly say "7th grade"  w/out wincing and swinching their eyes?  A liar is who I daresay.

So not only did Kinney earn bouckous of dinero designing a computer site known around the world, he has also acheived his dream by taking doodles he probably got in quite a bit of trouble w/from his teachers in school and  mixed them with terribly embarassing memories and used them as ingredients for a guide book to help this generations kids succeed hopefully better than ours did. (Yes.. that is a long-ass sentence and I'm sticking to it). And the icing  on this  concoction are the movie deals.

What I wouldn't give to figure out a way to squeeze some success from my own dumbass ways.  What kind of concoction could I possibly come up with?

I will also say that Mr. Kinney is one of the nicest people.  He took time out of his very busy book launching  event for a one on one special meet and greet w/my kids, a very special friend and myself.  He was very encouraging and insightful in his advice to the kids.  And I will always be grateful.  (And I have never in my life seen such a HUGE amount of pre-event books he had to sign before the hundreds that were also waiting for theirs as well).  That man has endurance!!

Oh yes.. and what dumbass moment did I fulfill on this outing?  I actually managed to come home with the  dreaded "cheesetouch" from Rowley.  And the 3rd graders  back home Loved the fact that I had the real deal!!  Anyone else have a Cheesetouch moment while growing up?  Haven't a clue what I'm talking about?  Read the book!!  You'll be glad that you did..

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