Red Room hero, author and Arnold Palmer fan Chris Rodell has a great book out, "Use All the Crayons". It's 'The Colorful Guide to Simple Human Happiness.' He provided me with a free, authographed copy. It included a self-portrait. In crayons, of course. His hair is, ah, interesting. He has one square purple eye and one square red eye. Clean shaven.
I'd read the book when I received it, and have read parts again. Last night, after reading Chris' post about a fan letter, I pulled the book off the shelf and returned to parts again. Chris, in the books' introduction, writes, "Like a box of crayons, we are all born with an astounding range of color options, from Mauvelous to Tickle Me Pink. We can paint our lives as brightly or dimly as we choose - but through life, some of us lose or wear down some of our more dazzling colors, living each and every day as if it were either charcoal or lampblack."
Exactly, Chris. Each day, I meditate a bit, reaching for a mantra to restore balance and energy, reset my compass and direction, or just help me with the strength to cope.
But today, I'm taking Chris advice. I'm opening my box of crayons, and as I work like crazy, cope like crazy and write like crazy, I'm going to color like crazy.
I'm also going to adhere to tip #407: "Eat at least one ounce of dark chocolate each and every day. Nutritionists are calling it the new superfood. Do it while you can because, guaranteed, someday they'll turn on the treat and find something bad to say about dark chocolate."
See? Advice like that seems so innocuous because it's so straightforward and self-evident but it's those truths that we take for granted. Personally, I'm outraged that they might find something bad to say about dark chocolate but you know that Chris is right. They always do find something bad to say about the foods that give us joy. Look what they've done to eggs and beer.
Chris's book has 501 tips. His humor sparkles. He's pretty silly but sometimes profound and challenges our serious natures, a challenge I definitely need. His book helped me remember to sometimes think like a child and act like one, but always help others.
His final tip, #501 (in case you weren't reading closely) applies to everything but writers can certainly appreciate it: "Learn the fine art of knowing precisely when to quit."
That's exactly where I wrestle with writing - editing, polishing and second guessing myself.
Do yourself a favor and buy the book.
Now, excuse me. My crayons await.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com