June 11th, 2021

Hello Toucan Nation! I hardly no where to begin. As you all know, launch day has come and gone and in a matter of days, I sold out of the softbacks. I am absolutely thrilled beyond words. So, I immediately ordered the hardback version through my publisher, Parson’s Porch. Once again, using a different format, this was sent to the distributor. I can announce today that the hardback edition of The Sneezing Toucan is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online retailers! However, I do not have my copies yet and anticipate them arriving next week. Many of you have already pre-purchased some copies and just as soon as they arrive, I will be sending them on their merry way.

As a reminder, if you didn’t see the launch live, you can view it on Youtube and just look for The Sneezing Toucan. There have been well over a 100 views and I hope if you haven’t already, leave a comment and as Harper says, mash the thumb. I don’t expect to have a million views anytime soon, but you gotta start somewhere. I was so happy to distribute copies of the book to all the drawing contest winners in Nebraska and North Carolina. If you didn’t see this already, here is a picture from Dixon Road Elementary. I hope in the Fall when school starts again, I can make it to the other schools that participated and meet those great kids and their incredible teachers.

I have a new book project in the works and will share that with you at another time. Some of you may know that I have a few more books already lined up in the queue and I believe many of you saw the “easter egg”, as it’s called, on the boys bedroom wall. I am in hopes that sometime this year, that project will start and a new book launch would take place in the near future.

On the poem side of things, I do not have anything new. So, how about helping me out and letting me know if you would like me to create something special for you or a loved one. Maybe there is a significant birthday or anniversary to celebrate or what about a new baby or a wedding? I would love the opportunity to write for your special occasion, whatever it may be.

In addition to all the poems I have written, I have also dabbled in song writing. I wrote a Christmas song a few years ago in Sylacauga, Alabama, titled Life Interrupted. It was composed and performed by Chris Phillips, the Music and Worship leader. Chris is a phenomenal singer and composer and it was a joy to hear him sing that song. It was awesome every Sunday singing in the choir under his leadership. I met Rocky Lucas there as well as Joe Swindall and the two of them played gigs all around the area. Papa Joe passed in 2017 and Rocky lost another great friend and award winning songwriter, Troy Jones in 2020. Rocky wrote a moving tribute to him that included the sentence, “I will see you when I get there.” Those words hung on me for days and I wrote a song titled When I Get There to honor their memory. I sent the lyrics to Rocky and he went to work on composing the music. I simply cannot wait to share that with you here.

My apologies for the delay in getting this out, but I was really hoping the hardbacks would be here and we could celebrate a lot sooner. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Life interrupts us all. Sometimes the interruption causes great joy and happiness and other interruptions are tragic and filled with grief. We all respond differently and for me, I respond by writing. It could be a poem or a children’s book or even a song. I believe we all have talents and abilities, God given gifts, to use for helping one another. I never set out to be a writer and certainly do not claim to be a good one. I just write in response to a movement of spirit and my hope is that however you are called, when that spirit hits you, that you will respond.

Till Next Time,

Jim

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