My editor emailed with more good news.
TOTAL CONSTANT ORDER was selected as a "VOYA Editor's Choice" Book for 2007.
That night, I took my niece to the Dade County fair. Cassie had won a red ribbon for her puppet of Jane Goodall (perched inside the sprawling Expo...on display beside the other celebrity puppets, including Jimmy Carter and Miley Cyrus.) We combed the booths--past The Hurricane Center where I picked up a poster of cloud formations.
"My uncle chases tornados," I told the guy behind the counter.
He rolled up the poster like a treasure map. "Is he crazy?"
I scooted past a robot on stilts (He danced a little salsa for us), and the Siamese Fighting Fish in glass jars, past the salad shooters and karate demos. When I was Cassie's age, I won a blue ribbon for my oil pastel rendition of "My Favorite Place in South Florida" (The Seaquarium, complete with a killer whale splashing in a pool).
We held hands on the Swings. The DJ blasted, "Love in This Club."
"Are you going to write another book?" Cassie asked me.
"I'm working on it," I told her.
"A book for kids?"
"Big kids," I said.
She smiled. "Excellent."