Win A Boatload of Books From Logos Bible!

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I’m psyched today to give away a bunch of books from Logos! Here’s the details!

The Prize

NavPress Spiritual Formation Collection.

The winner will be chosen at random on September 19th and the collection will be sent to the winner’s Logos account. Don’t have an account? No problem! You can sign up for free here and download free apps to read your books on any device here.

How to Enter

Login below with your email address or Facebook account and follow the steps in the widget. That’s it! Each prompted action you follow will earn you additional entries. You can always come back and share a link to the giveaway with your friends for additional entries.

*Disclaimer

By entering this giveaway you consent to being signed up to Logos’ “Product Reviews” email list. You’ll receive emails featuring content written by me and other Christian bloggers!

Why You Should Take a Biography to the Beach

Theodore-Rex-Morris-Edmund-9780812966008It’s summer – and that means it’s time for summer reading. Eventually the water will get too cold, you’ll get sand in your bathing suit one too many times, the comfort of a beach chair or ocean-view porch will begin to call to you, and it’ll be time to crack open that book you’ve been saving for just this moment. Could there be a better way to spend your summer vacation?

Far be it from me to tell you to leave behind that spy novel or legal thriller that’s been unopened on your night stand ever since Christmas. But let me make an appeal that you add something else to your summer reading list: a good biography.

Notice I said a good biography. A biography, since it’s the story of a human life, ought to have a little life of its own. A bad biography kills its subject well before the last page. Don’t waste your time on one of those. If you pick up a biography that’s all dead, follow Miracle Max’s advice: go through its pockets for loose change, then sell it on Amazon. (If you don’t know who Miracle Max is, your summer movie list needs to include The Princess Bride. You can thank me later.)

But a good biography brings with it its own miracle: you get to live someone else’s life. You can experience things you would never otherwise experience, get tastes of both the richness and poverty of human existence that would otherwise never be yours. I’m convinced biographies can make us more faithful Christian disciples. The right kind of biography (or novel or history book, for that matter) will help you develop a kind of robust maturity that is vital for the Christian life. Here are three things you’ll develop from reading a good biography.

You will develop perspective. We make poor decisions when we evaluate life only through the lens of our own experience. Biographies help you see the consequences of a life lived with, or without, God. You learn that sometimes God calls his people to what give their lives to apparently hopeless causes (like eliminating the slave trade – see Amazing Grace below), only to let them glimpse the fruit of their labor in the last days of their life. You learn that perhaps God has a different, longer perspective on your current trials than you do. You see people who appear outwardly successful beyond belief lying on their death beds, alone and without God. These things help you see life from God’s standpoint. That’s perspective, and a good biography will help you develop it.

You will develop wisdom. Ultimately, of course, wisdom has to be anchored in Scripture and God’s perspective on life. But a biography, even one written by a non-Christian about non-Christians, will help you flesh out that wisdom. For instance, James tells us that jealousy and selfish ambition lead to vile and disorderly conduct (James 3:16). But what might that look like in real life? Open warfare or back room betrayals? Character assassination or quiet slander? And what kinds of things provoke men to jealousy? What inflames selfish ambition? Read Into Africa or Team of Rivals and you’ll get at glimpses of how human sins play out. Of course, biographies show you more than the dark stuff – you see humans, both believers and unbelievers, reflecting the character of God in a thousand ways: patience, generosity, courage, sacrifice, love. Seeing these kinds of things in another human’s life will make you wise.

You will develop empathy. If a biography is well written, you’ll find yourself caught up in the subject’s life. You feel pain at their sorrows. You feel joy when they succeed. Why? Because a biography helps you walk in someone else’s shoes – and as you learn to do that with an historical person, you’ll also grow in your ability to empathize with the person sitting across from you at the dinner table or talking to you over the checkout line at the grocery store. Empathy is rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep – and a good biography will help you develop empathy.

So now you’re convinced. What should you read? Here are a handful of my favorites. They’re all well-written, about fascinating subjects, and will keep your attention while helping you develop perspective, wisdom, and empathy. Dig in, and let me know what you think!

Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas – the life of William Wilberforce, a British statesman God used to help abolish the slave trade.

Into Africa by Martin Dugard – a dual biography of Henry Stanley and David Livingstone, African explorers.

Hunting Eichmann by Neil Bascomb. After WWII, Adolf Eichmann, one of the men guilty of masterminding the Jewish Holocaust, escaped capture – until a young Israeli agency named Mossad took up the trail…

Churchill by Paul Johnson or Franklin and Winston by Jon Meacham. Churchill is…well, Churchill. You can’t go wrong reading about him, and these two biographers do an excellent job.

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin’s insight into the all-too-human relationships between Lincoln and his cabinet is fascinating. Here James’ rivalries and selfish ambitions played out on a national scale!

Seven Rules For When You Meet A Pastor’s Kid

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Seven Rules for When You Meet a PK

I am a PK (pastor’s kid). With that comes a certain set of expectations, especially from people in the church or who know my parents. Since my dad is fairly well-known, the awareness and expectations are heightened, but really they’re the same for every PK in their individual context. Expectations make for awkward interactions and introductions. Any PK will know what I’m referring to. For the rest of you, here are seven simple rules to follow when you meet a PK.

1. Do not ask us “What is it like to be the son or daughter of …?”

How are we supposed to answer that question? Could you easily describe being the child of your parents? Unless you’ve had multiple sets of parents you don’t really have a point of comparison which makes this a tricky one. Remember, PKs are normal people with a different upbringing than you. Please treat us that way. We think of our parents as parents, nothing more.

2. Do not quote our dads to us.

This is really and truly annoying because it comes across as one of two things. Either you are proving your piousness by being so aware of the utterances of the beloved pastor, or you are being condescending and holding our parents’ words over our heads. Three points for you for remembering the sermon! It is neither impressive nor appreciated.

3. Do not ask us anything personal you would not ask of anyone else.

If, perchance, you have gained some knowledge of a PK through a sermon illustration or book or hearsay, it is best to keep it to yourself. We don’t want to talk to you about prom dates, football games, fishing trips, car wrecks, or anything else if we don’t know you. To ask a question based on knowledge that you gained in an impersonal manner makes you look like either a stalker or a reporter. Both are creepy.

4. Do not ask us anything about our dads’ positions on anything.

“What does your dad think about …?” is a question no PK wants to answer—not about politics, the roles of women in the church, predestination, the use of drums in the worship service, spiritual gifts, race, the latest Justin Bieber incident, or anything else. We have opinions and beliefs, though. And we like to converse. So you could ask us what we think, like a normal person.

5. Do not assume you can gain audience with the pastor through us.

That’s what the church secretary or the pastor’s assistant is for. Please let us be his children. We usually don’t have the ability to make a meeting happen, and we almost never want to. We don’t get paid enough.

6. Do not assume that we agree with all the utterances of our fathers.

I know it’s hard to believe that any child could grow up to disagree with her parents, shocking even, but it does happen. It is not kind or safe to assume that our parents’ positions are ours. And when you find out we don’t agree, please refrain from being shocked or offended. We’ll let you disagree with your parents if you let us do the same.

7. Get to know us.

This is a good rule for anyone, but it especially pertains to PKs. Just as you want people to value your opinions, personality, and character quirks, so do we. More often than not you will get a surprise. Wow, that PK actually has a sense of humor! Who knew PKs could be so fun? Wait, he said what? Leave your assumptions at the door and let us be us. You’ll probably like what you find.

For more on the uniqueness of growing up as a PK and working through its challenges, check out my book, The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity. (David C. Cook, July 2014)

It’s Time To Get My New Book, “Twists and Turns”!

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Today is the day! My latest book, Twists and Turns: Short Stories About Strange Situations officially releases today!

This book is a little different from my other books. This is not a Christian book, per se. The short stories don’t deal with Christian themes. Rather, in this book I let my imagination wander into all sort of strange situations. I write about:

  • The Stormtrooper school of marksmanship.
  • The real story of Edmund Pevensie.
  • What really happened to Major Tom (from “Space Oddity”).
  • The “ordinary” poker game which ended up being anything but ordinary.
  • The woman who hired a hitman, only to discover that he was non-refundable.
  • And many others.

Here is what some kind reviewers have said about the book:

Strangely hilarious. Or hilariously strange. I can imagine Jack Handy enjoying this book.

I read this in bed after my wife feel asleep. I had very little expectations. I woke my wife a couple of time when I laughed out loud. Some of the stories are just bizarre without much of a punch, but most left me either scratching my head or laughing. Both reactions are fun!

While I was given the expectation that this wasn’t going to be about happy endings, I am glad to say that after every short story, I laughed. Some endings were most unexpected which was a very good thing. I won’t go into particulars since that wouldn’t be fair to future readers. All in all, its a great read when you want to be able to stop and start your read along the way. I’ve not had a book like this before.

My other books are also on sale today, for only 99 cents. Get them while they’re hot. You can get them at the links below:

Edmund Pevensie: Raw and Uncensored

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How would you feel if, for your entire life, people judged you based upon a single event which took place in your childhood? How would you feel if a well-known author wrote ridiculous, sensationalized books, in which you were portrayed as a buffoon of epic proportions? How would you feel if your siblings consistently took the credit for your accomplishments? My guess is that you would feel like me. You would feel cheated. You would feel a little bit angry. You would feel like you had gotten the short end of the stick. They say that time heals all wounds, but it certainly hasn’t healed all of mine. However, for the first time in my life, I actually feel the liberty to speak freely about what actually did and did not happen to me and my siblings. Given the fact that all my siblings have now gone to the great wardrobe in the sky, I now feel the freedom to set the record straight, and I intend to do just that. My hope is that setting the record straight will also give me closure on some of these events.

It all started during that infernal summer when we stayed in that infernal house which contained that infernal wardrobe. Contrary to the romantic pictures painted by the delusional, money-grubbing, Mr. Lewis, the house was a disaster zone. Honestly, I would have rather stayed in war-torn London than spend the summer in that house of horrors. The professor, who owned the house, was most certainly insane. He would often stroll about the house wearing nothing but a pair of briefs, and as he strolled about the house, he would have deep philosophical conversations with invisible people. If any of us tried to interrupt the professor’s philosophical conversations, he would scream, “Don’t interrupt the Dufflepuds!” I can only assume that my parents didn’t do any sort of background check on the professor. If they had, I’m quite certain they never would have sent us to live with him in the first place. Mrs. McCreedy, the housekeeper, was quite fond of cats, and had managed to collect twenty or thirty by the summer of our arrival. The moment you stepped into the house, you were assaulted by the overwhelming aroma of cat pee and musty books. She was much more concerned with the well-being of her cats than with our well-being. If we so much as shooed one of her cats away, she would fly off the handle, screaming at us and calling us names.

In an effort to distract ourselves from the half-naked professor and the crazy cat lady, we constantly played games. We played card games, trivia games, dictionary games, tag, cricket, kick-the-can, and hide ’n seek. It was during a game of hide ’n seek that I discovered the world within the wardrobe.

I know, you always thought Lucy discovered the world of Narnia. Unfortunately, that was a clever little lie invented by Mr. Lewis in order to boost book sales. Mr. Lewis, ever the marketer, was well aware of the selling power of an adorable little girl. Shirley Temple was taking the box office by storm, a fact that most certainly was not lost on Mr. Lewis. The simple fact is, most people would rather read a book, or watch a movie, or listen to a radio drama, in which a cute little girl is the hero. It’s hard for people to get excited about a surly pre-teen.

But I most certainly was the one who discovered Narnia. And yes, it is true that the first person I met in Narnia was the witch, but, honestly, I had no idea she was a witch. I mean, it’s not like she was wearing a name tag! She seemed like a very nice person who just happened to have unusually pale skin and be obsessed with the color white.

***

YOU CAN READ THE REST OF THE STORY IN MY BOOK TWISTS & TURNS: SHORT STORIES ABOUT STRANGE SITUATIONS, WHICH RELEASES TOMORROW!

The Joy of Self-Publishing!

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If you have been paying attention to me over the past several months (in a normal, non-creepy, non-stalker way), you know that I’ve been doing quite a bit of writing and publishing. In January I published Untamable God: Encountering the One Who Is Bigger, Better, and More Dangerous Than You Could Possibly ImagineIn early March I published The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Thoughts on Following Jesus, Amish Romance, the Daniel Plan, the Tebow Effect, and the Odds of Finding Your Soul MateBoth books have been really well received, garnering over 125 four and five star reviews on Amazon.

Now I’m getting ready to publish a collection of short stories entitled Twists and Turns: Short Stories About Strange Situations.

The only way I’ve been able to publish so much in such a short time is through the joy of self-publishing.

In order to get a book published the traditional way, I would have to go through numerous “gatekeepers”. Those gatekeepers would normally include both an agent and a publishing house. The only way an agent and a publishing house would agree to publish a book is if they were certain they could make enough money on sales in order to pay everyone involved in the publishing process. That includes the agent, the editor, the graphic designer, the marketing team, the sales team, the distribution team, and numerous other individuals.

My recent books probably wouldn’t have been picked up by traditional publishers. As most of you know, I tend to see the world through a rather strange lens. My collection of essay in The Inmates Are Running the Asylum are in the vein of David Sedaris and Dave Barry. It definitely is not Tim Keller, John Piper, or David Platt.

Twists and Turns is another book that falls outside the norm for Christian publishing. In fact, the stories aren’t Christian stories at all. Rather, each story is the result of me asking a rather strange “what if?” question.

    • What if an interrogator suddenly lost his nerve in the midst of a crucial interrogation?
    • What if everything we’ve been told about Edmund Pevensie and the world of Narnia is a total lie?
    • What is the real story behind Major Tom (from the song “Space Oddity”)?
    • What if someone wrote into an advice columnist, asking for advice on whether or not he should murder a person?
    • What if a hard core rap artist was someone totally different off stage?

In the past, the only way I could have published this collection is if I was a big-name writer. But now, thanks to the wonder of self-publishing, I can make these stories available on Amazon, and anyone with a computer, Kindle, tablet, or smartphone can read them.

The primary reason I’ve done well in self-publishing is because I have a lot of wonderful friends. These friends have proofread my books, reviewed them, recommended them to others, and provided feedback for how to improve. You don’t need a million fans in order to succeed. You just need friends who enjoy the things you create. Thankfully, I’ve got lots of friends.

I hope you’ll consider buying my latest book when it releases on May 9th. I hope you’ll also consider publishing your own work. It’s a ton of fun.

I Need 50 People To Help Me With My New Book!

TwistsAndTurns

Over the last several months, I’ve been working on a collections of short stories. This collection of stories is entitled Twists and Turns: Short Stories About Strange Situations. These short stories are not Christian stories. In fact, they don’t even deal with Christian themes. Rather, these are short stories about strange situations, the kind of strange situations only my strange brain could come up with. What sorts of strange situations?

– The Marlboro Man gets a modern, updated image makeover.
– The real story of what happened to Edmund Pevensie.
– The woman who discovered that you can’t recall a hitman.
– The kid with the unstoppable karate move…which turned out not to be unstoppable.
– Martin Luther King Jr.’s other dream.
– And many more.

The book officially releases on Friday, May 9th. I need fifty people who are willing to read a digital copy of the book and then post an honest, no holds barred review on Amazon when the book releases.

Could you help me out? I would be really grateful. If you’re willing to help, simply fill in the form below. THANKS!

An Interview With Gloria Furman About Motherhood, Ninja Turtles, Burnout, and Crayons In the Microwave

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Gloria Furman is a mom, pastor’s wife, author, missionary, and ninth degree blackbelt (actually, not sure about the last one, but it wouldn’t surprise me). She recently wrote a book entitled Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are FullShe was kind enough to answer some questions about motherhood, ninja turtles, why she didn’t include 3-D pictures in her book, and why I should let my kids put Crayons in the microwave.

1) I haven’t read your book yet, mainly because I’m a guy, and it seems like it would be a little bit creepy if I was reading a book about motherhood. Or perhaps I’m just a terrible sexist. Either way, what is the main point of your book, and who is your intended audience?

The first intended audience is busy moms – and then anyone who wants some ideas on how to encourage the moms in their life. The main point of the book is how an eternal perspective changes the way we view motherhood.

2) Did you consider including any of those “Magic Eye” 3-D pictures in your book? If so, that might be a turn off to me, because I never could make the picture pop out, no matter how much I crossed my eyes.

I didn’t think about Magic Eye, but I did wonder if “Scratch N Sniff” pages would be helpful. I thought the sensory experience would really drive home my points about motherhood in the trenches. I had all kinds of scratch n’ sniff possibilities—juice box left in the car for a week, rotten strawberry in the couch cushions, all varieties of diapers, etc. But the publisher declined because this creative educational device isn’t cost effective for a trade book. Who knew?

3) To the best of my knowledge, you live in Dubai. To the best of my knowledge, Dubai is not in the United States (yet!). Based on your experience in multiple cultures, are there any challenges for Christian moms that are uniquely American, or Western? 

Answering this question succinctly is kinda tricky. When we moved to Dubai (which is in the United Arab Emirates next door to Iran and Saudi Arabia), our oldest child was a baby. Our three younger children were born here in the UAE. So, raising my children in a global city in the Middle East is certainly shaping my own perspective on motherhood challenges. Sometimes I don’t even know how my perspective has been shaped by this place until I am standing in an aisle at Target disoriented by culture shock.

There are lots of challenges I could pick from, but one issue that comes to mind is food and faith. So much could be said about it, but here’s a quick summary: I wonder if this is a relatively new challenge for Christian moms in the West. It used to be that I was only talking with my local friends about their religious diets. According to certain religious laws they can only eat particular foods prepared in a certain way. Their diet is one of the labels they wear. If the food laws aren’t followed then they feel embarrassed, guilty, and dirty. (For example, I had to reassure the guests at our daughter’s birthday party that the marshmallows were made of fish gelatin and not forbidden pig gelatin.) Of course, I am delighted to get to speak with women about faith and food from a Christian perspective (ie. Deut. 8:3, Matt. 6:25, Matt. 15:11, Acts 10:28, Rom. 14:23, 1 Tim. 4:8, etc). And in our church, when a woman is a new believer from one of those religious backgrounds then I expect that the topic of food laws will come up often. But nowadays it seems like I am having that conversation with more and more Christian women from the West who are having faith crises over their diet.

4) Do you often find yourself saying crazy things to your kids? It seems like at least once a day I find myself saying something like, “No you can’t stick Crayons in the microwave!”

You know, you could let your kids put crayons in the microwave if the crayons are grated on a cheese grater first. Your kids will think you’re crazy cool like their chemistry teacher. Just don’t put the cheese grater in there, too. I do say weird stuff to my kids. But I think what’s weirder is the stuff they say back. One of my kids told a visiting pastor who was our houseguest, “Be careful in this bathroom. Some people in this family don’t flush the toilet.” The other day I had to send one of my girls to the bedroom to “think about what she had done wrong” and she called out from inside, “Yeah, I’m alone! But I’m alone and free!” (Thanks, Frozen.)

5) What advice would you give to a mom who knows she wants to pursue Christ in devotional times, yet is also in complete and total burnout mode? And by burnout mode, I’m talking, her son has the stomach bug and is vomiting everywhere, her daughter just remembered that she needs an organic, gluten-free, vegan snack for school tomorrow, and her dog just destroyed her best piece of furniture.

This is more an encouragement than it is advice, I guess. And I know it sounds backwards to say this, but I think burnout mode is one of the tenderest times when a mom can have communion with Jesus. We only think we want to look back on long day and say, “Nailed it! High five, Jesus. You and me make a great team with you being such a good cheerleader and all.” No, what we really want is to humbly trust in our loving Father who ordains all things, consciously give our burdens to Jesus, and walk by the Spirit who empowers us to walk in the good works God has prepared for us. Fellowship with God in the midst of burnout mode is an opportunity to say and believe: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36).

6) When do you find time to write? Do you agree with Bill Cosby, that having kids causes brain cells to be destroyed? It seems like writing, taking care of kids, and being a pastors wife could be a bit tough.

What if instead of cells being destroyed, Mommy Brain is where your brain cells mutate into something more powerful and awesome? For example, turtles in a sewer are boring. But turtles who come into contact with radioactive goo and grow up to be teenagers… now that’s something special. Before I had children I didn’t have to use my brain for creative problem solving… like how to close a travel crib without using directions or dynamite. I also didn’t have to think about how I would talk to my children about how babies are made. And tell them about the persecuted church. Women have to flex their brains in different ways after they have children.

I find time to write because I find it be helpful and healthy for me. I guess I write all day long in some form or fashion. Before I had a smartphone with a notes app on it I would keep an index card and a golf pencil in my pocket. When the kids are in bed I have time to sit with my laptop and write full sentences.

7) Do you think that at times, Christian moms place unreasonable and unbiblical expectations on themselves? For example, feeling like all their kids need to be able to read Latin by age seven. Or something along those lines.

Even among moms who aren’t believers they can feel unreasonable pressure to have to be “the best mom you can be.” But it seems like the kind of pressure that a Christian mom places on herself has a spiritual spin: God is perfect so he demands motherhood perfection, therefore you have to be the best mom you can be. Also, the women in my faith community seem to be able to swing this particular expectation, so in order to keep up or fall in line with what is “biblical,” then I must, too.

One troubling thing that I’ve heard regarding unreasonable expectations is calling them “failures” that are accompanied by “guilt.” I’m not comfortable with putting things like human frailty and unreasonable expectations under the umbrella of things that require atonement. Do we really want to imply that things like failing to teach kids Latin have separated us from our Maker so that the sinless Son of God had to hang on the cross and suffer the wrath of God to atone for that sin and bear away that guilt? We need to be very thoughtful when we talk about expectations and striving for excellence in motherhood.

On a related note, I think as Christian moms we should spend more time wringing our hands about the things that separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, which are, precisely, nothing.

3 Ways to Support an Author You Like

origin_3192488394This post is self-serving. Many of you know I have a book releasing in July called The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity, so yes, I am giving you pointers on how to support me. But I’m also asking you to support Stephen Altrogge, who has written several books and is nice enough to let me blog on his site. And these tips apply to any author, whether they are a NYT best seller or a self-published specialist in something. You might also find it to state some rather obvious ideas. Ok, but are you doing them? These three simple actions can have a remarkable collective effect on the success of authors and their books.

1. Buy their books

Thank you, Captain Obvious, you say. But think about it. You can borrow books. You can go to the library. You can have good intentions. But actually purchasing the books is the best way to support an author. It really doesn’t matter from where you buy from either. In these days of e-commerce, every sale drives more sales, bit-by-bit. The Amazon ranking goes up, more people see the book, more purchases are made, and the author gets his or her royalty. Buy the e-book, buy the print book, no matter – this is the single best way to support authors and books you enjoy.

2. Write reviews and rate the books

Aside from buying this is the most powerful tool you have to help authors. We live a day when customer reviews are enormously powerful. Think of apps like Yelp that help you determine where you will or won’t eat. The star rating and the reviews on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Goodreads are equally as powerful. If a book has ten ratings we think the author’s mom and siblings rated it. If it has twenty-five his college classmates joined in. But if it has fifty or one hundred? Those matter. Add your voice and help the book get noticed. Major e-commerce sites have systems that rank books more highly and publicize them better if they get more ratings too, so you are doing more than offering an opinion. You are creating leverage for that book.

3. Talk about it

Two facts hold true for book sales. First, the greatest obstacle to an author having success is lack of awareness by readers. Second, the greatest incentive to buy a book is a recommendation from a trusted source. If you talk up books you overcome the first obstacle by being the trusted source. Think back to a book like The Help. The author, Kathryn Stockett, wasn’t well-known. The publisher didn’t invest big up front (If they had it wouldn’t have done anything; publishers can’t make small books big, but that’s an issue for a different day.) What made that book a national phenomena? Conversations which became purchases which became reviews and more conversations. Talking is exponentially powerful when it comes to promoting books. You can talk in person or you can talk on Twitter or Facebook or your blog. Just talk. 

photo credit: gilles chiroleu via photopin cc

The Idea That Will Make Me A Millionaire

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I have a business idea that is going to make me millions of dollars. If you promise not to steal it, I’ll share the idea with you.

It goes like this. I’m going to gather all the living authors of parenting books together into one room. I’m talking Dr. Spock (is he still alive?), Dr. Phil, the people who wrote those What To Expect When You’re Expecting books, Paul Tripp, that lady who sneaks vegetables into her kids desserts, and every other parenting author. Then, I will invite parents throughout the world to attend this gathering of authors. And here’s the real kicker: I’m only going to charge one dollar per person. One dollar! How will I make millions of dollars if I’m only charging a dollar per person? Because every parent in the world will come. I’ll probably need to rent out a couple of stadiums, because this is going to be bigger than the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and Taylor Swift combined. How do I know every parent will come? Because I’m going to offer every attendee the opportunity to slap every parenting author in the face. Repeatedly. With something cold and wet, like a piece of fresh salmon.

Genius idea, am I right? I’m going to be filthy, stinking, diving-into-giant-piles-of-dollar-bills, rich. I’m finally going to be able to do what every rich athlete does: buy his mom a house. Granted, my mom already has a pretty nice house, but that’s beside the point. The first rule of getting rich is that you always buy your mom a house. I’m pretty sure that’s in the rulebook they hand out at gatherings for rich people.

Now, if you’re not a parent, my idea might sound somewhat insane, and perhaps even a bit pathological. After all, slapping is a tactic usually reserved for terrorists, guys who ask women if they’re pregnant, and people on the verge of a nervous breakdown. To the non-parent, the idea of slapping someone probably sounds a bit extreme. And you’re absolutely right; my idea is insane. But what you don’t understand is that every parent is insane, and would jump out of their suspenders at the opportunity to slap a parenting author in the face.

READ MORE ABOUT MY BRILLIANT IDEA IN MY BOOK THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM…