Ever notice how angry people seem nowadays? Like big mad. Triggered by the smallest provocation, raging on the road, even cursing out service workers for making a mistake on an order. I could go on and on. It’s all hit a tipping point. But in addition to some serious therapy, I think what the world needs is a piñata.
Yes, a piñata.
I know it’s a bit strange, but hear me out.
Over the past few months, I’ve attended parties that included piñatas. And these weren’t all kids’ birthday parties either. But these gatherings all had one thing in common: a big, colorful piñata. A colorful piñata we were not just gonna hit, but absolutely destroy.
Me when I get in front of any pinata--get that blindfold ready!
And I must say, the act of taking a swing at one is immensely satisfying.
Then I thought about a podcast I recently heard about this festival in Italy called The Battle of the Oranges. The citizens of Ivrea gather oranges, and each winter for three days, they throw the oranges at each other. Like a water balloon fight, but more bruise-inducing. And why do they do this? The villagers seek catharsis, which means “the process of releasing.”
This is a way for everyone to let out all pent up negative emotions, angst, and resentments. The local leaders plan around this event, including clean ups after the fact, making this well-organized chaos. And people can decide not to partake if they choose.
As author Jon Mooallem describes, the residents “would throw the oranges very hard, very viciously, often while screaming profanities at their targets or yowling like Braveheart, and they would throw the oranges for hours, until their eyebrows were matted with pulp and their shirts soaked through.”
At the same time, this battle was healing, as “they would also keep smiling as they threw the oranges, embracing and joking and cheering one another on, exhibiting with their total beings a deranged-seeming but euphoric sense of abandon and belonging — a freedom that was easy to envy but difficult to understand.”
I think this tradition is brilliant. We all need our version of The Battle of the Oranges. While throwing citrus fruit can get a bit sticky or even cause real damage, hitting a piñata is way, way more manageable. But it still gives us that much-needed release.
Feeling in a funk? Frustrated with someone in your life? Fed up with the indignities of adulthood? Take a bat or a stick, hang that piñata, and as it swings in the wind, give it a good, hard whack!
I also think piñata companies need to get on this and market to adults. There’s a whole bunch of us ready to let out a lot of repressed energy, especially after these past few years.
So next time you hit up a piñata shop (there are a bunch near me in Santa Ana), get yourself a “just because” piñata. Get yourself a “just in case” piñata for the tougher weeks. It’s calming. It’s cheaper than therapy.
And the best part? There’s no birthday party required.
We’ve officially reached our stretch goal! Yay!
That means everyone who has ordered a book (Worker Bee Package or higher) will get a free bookmark set with their shipment when the book comes out.
Barney Smith from Story Comic interviewed Jon and me about our campaign. You can click here to listen to us talk about how we made it happen and the process of developing Three Bee Honey.
Also, our stickers came in. You can check out our unboxing video here. They are super cute!
If you want a sticker set and a print, be sure to put in your order before August 19th, the day our campaign ends!
Top: Finn likes to lay down right in the middle of my younger son’s army guy set up.
Middle and Bottom: In this heat, the pets like to sleep under or near the fan to stay cool.
The Brooklyn Public Library, in partnership with the Seattle Public Library, is combatting the recent wave of book censorship with a program called Books Unbanned. This program will grant access to audiobooks and eBooks to teens and young adults living anywhere in the U.S.
Sadly, books are being banned all over the country, even in California.
But we have the tools to push back on this rampant censorship and protect everyone’s right to read. If you know a teen or young adult who would like a Books Unbanned card, please share this resource with them.
That’s all for now, but I will get in touch again as the campaign winds down with last minute updates. We greatly appreciate your support!
Feel free to share or forward this newsletter (or the campaign link) to anyone you think would enjoy it. :)
Game nights are underrated. And maybe….just maybe…they are the antidote to the distractions and disconnect we’ve been struggling with during these past few years.
Plus, I love board games with family and friends. But it’s not for the reasons you may suspect.
I couldn’t care less about which game we’re playing.
In truth, it’s all about the experience we have as a group. We ditch the small talk and get into teams (or play for ourselves). It is a change in the predictable routines and long-established roles. We avoid safe topics and get real, really fast. Some of our favorite games lately have been Telestrations, Catan, and our newest one, Klask from Denmark (my husband and 12 year old son are tough to beat in this one). We also enjoy the classics: Uno, Poker, Spoons, and Scrabble.
[me as soon as we sit around the table and open the game box]
This holiday season, I had the chance to play multiple games with people, and I learned so much about them in such a short span of time. I learned who is extra competitive and well….extra.
[It’s me, fam--I’m the problem]
But I also learned who is pensive, who is quiet and sneaky, who is quick to make jokes, who likes to troll, who is earnest and honest. In the game, children and adults are equals. We lovingly roast each other, practice cooperation, and develop strategies. We laugh (a lot), we express our honest emotions, we encourage each other, and best of all, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We create memories and inside jokes and leave us smiling long after the games are put away.
[My face when things start getting real around the table]
Can it get a bit chaotic and a little dicey? Sure. But it’s real. It disrupts the tendency to stay comfortable. Plus, I think more authenticity is good in our world.
So next time you are at a gathering or just home with your family, take a break from your devices and play together. The box you open will also come with great times and golden memories to feed your spirit.
“Every day is a new life to a wise man.”-Dale Carnegie
We all have bad days. We stumble, we get hurt, we make mistakes, we get rejected, and we fail. But it’s never the end. I love this quote because it reminds me that each new day brings new possibilities, and new paths to meet our potential, as long as we don’t give up.
[Lilo celebrated her 1st Birthday on Christmas Eve; Finn and Amelie investigating a worm --yikes!]
Recent Read: Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson
This book is deceptively simple, using the allegory of mice looking for cheese to illustrate humanity’s aversion to change. It’s a quick read--I read it in one day. However, it applies to all aspects of our lives and resonated with me. It cautions against sticking with what is familiar due to fear of the unknown. We never have everything figured out. No matter how old we are, our “cheese” will be moved by forces outside of our control, and we must adapt. There is so much out there, so many possibilities for our lives. We just have to be willing to take risks to discover them. Even if we fail, we learn. So our efforts are never in vain.
My husband (and creative partner) submitted our THREE BEE HONEY Graphic Novel project to Pitchfest, hosted by Kids Comics Unite. Some time had passed between our submission and the awards announcements (plus I’ve been super busy), so I kinda forgot about it. When I saw the runner-up winners, I was in awe of the talent behind all of the entries. To my shock, we won third place! It was definitely an exciting surprise. You can see our pitch here, if you're curious. We get so few wins as writers and creatives, so we have to celebrate them whenever we can.
After years with no fruit or a few tiny offerings, our blood orange tree came through this year with TONS of fruits! I’ve been making fresh orange juice, and Jon made marmalade for our close family and friends. It is delicious. There’s nothing like fresh fruit from a tree!
That's a wrap for 2022, but stay tuned for some updates in January. In the meantime, feel free to reach out and say “hello!” :)
Have a Happy New Year!