Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures
THE BOOK HAS LANDED.
Once upon a time, Amber Dusick and I were in a blog contest together. I messaged her approximately two minutes after reading her blog and told her she had my vote. Then I wrote all of my closest friends and said, “Look, guys, I know this means I suck at competition and I’m doing it all wrong, but Amber Dusick is both funny and rad, and please vote for Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures.” True story.
The little flesh colored pixel up there? Do you SEE it? I laugh ’til I cry. Every time. You guys, it’s like she was there. (Psst… that zipper penis story has a happy ending. In case you feel worried or sad.)
The thing is, everything Amber writes is like she’s there. In my house. Writing about life with my miniature frat boys. The books. The studying. The brilliance. The all-nighters. The pee. The vomiting. You know? You do. Because Amber writes like she’s in your house, too.
So when Amber told me she was writing and illustrating a whole BOOK, I was ecstatic. Could. Not. Wait. to read it. And now that I have? Still ecstatic. It’s fantastic. Just like her blog, except more, which is what I’ve wanted from her all along. Balm for the parenting soul.
Amber agreed to answer some questions for us. An exclusive Amber Dusick interview right here. I sent her five questions (because she said no to my offer of five children), some from me and some from you. I hope you enjoy chatting with Amber as much as I do!
5 Quick Questions
an interview with
Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures
Question #1 from Mandy. How do you keep your drawings consistently crappy? Do you ever find them edging closer to good or amazing and have to crappify them? (Great question, Mandy!)
Amber: “If you look at my very first few posts my drawings were way, way more crappy than they are now. So you are right, I’m getting better and eventually I’ll be a master artist and my crappy pictures will look like photographs. That won’t be good. I’ll have to start drawing with my left hand or my foot or something to hide my skills. Or maybe get drunk first. Close my eyes even. Those are all crappifying options. Honestly, I’m drawing with my finger on the trackpad of my laptop and that is where the crappy comes from. Even talented artists find that method limiting. Also, I’m lazy and draw the minimal amount possible to convey something so that helps keep things simple. I have no time for unnecessary details or aesthetics.”
Question #2. I’ve asked the 5 Kids readers these questions, too, as part of our ongoing 5 Quick Questions series. Ready? Fill in these blanks:
- My fridge is the place where _____ goes to die.
Amber: “My fridge is the place where cilantro goes to die. Seriously, is there any recipe that calls for the ENTIRE bunch? I always have extra and it rots in the drawer and then I forget about it and buy a new bunch at the market. My entire fridge will eventually just be filled with black slimy cilantro.”
- Once, in the dark, I stepped on _____.
Amber: “Once, in the dark, I stepped on a bee. Okay, that is a lie. It wasn’t dark. I just wanted to tell you about how I stepped on a bee.”
- The last thing I cleaned up that was wet but not mine was _____.
Amber: “The last thing I cleaned up that was wet but not mine was dog shit. Honest, I took Crappy Dog out for a walk right before I sat down to answer these. And you thought I was going to say poop or pee from the kids. Nope. That was earlier today.”
Question #3 from Terry and me: I know you shy away from politics on your blog. Me, too. Usually. But this is an issue that’s incredibly important, and we’d be wrong to ignore it here. As you’re no doubt aware, we at the 5 Kids blog are working tirelessly to bring “rad” back into common usage. What’s your position on this effort? Yay or nay?
Amber: “You are right, I avoid taking a political stance. However, the term “rad” has appeared on my blog several times, the most recent one being in this post referring to stickers. Stickers ARE rad. So I’ll let you be the judge of my stance without making a public statement. Safer that way and will hopefully help me avoid angry and offended emails.
Question #4 from Robin and Nancy: Is it just us or does everyone feel like they know you and are best friends with you already? I mean, you wouldn’t know how other people feel, and we realize this makes us sound borderline stalkerish, but really. We’re your best friends, right?
(When I saw these questions, I was of the same mind. So I told Amber, “I don’t know about you, but I get it. There’s a weird, awesome friendship that’s forged online from shared experience. From the relief of telling the truth about parenthood… and the mess and the madness and the magic… and then having people come alongside and laugh with me. I envision us, tired mamas at the end of the day — you with wine, me with beer — clinking glasses through the computer screen in mama solidarity. Is it just me? How do you feel about this best friends stuff?”)
Amber: “Best friends, yes of course! I will never be one to downplay the “realness” of online friendships and community. There is definitely a feeling of camaraderie and it travels in both directions. I can’t tell you how many times comments have made me laugh or cry or just generally felt supported when I was going through a really tough week. There is definitely a real power of going through similar experiences in parenting and relating to one another. There is a BFF connection. Totally.”
And then Amber drew us this:
Which is it, exactly.
And brings us to Question #5. Other than BUY THE BOOK, which we are so doing, what is the #1 thing we can do to support your writing? You know, mom to mom. Friend to friend. Best friend to best friend.
Amber: “The main way to help is to spread the word about the book. Suggest it to other parents. Talk about it to people. And after you get it, writing an honest review on one of the online retailers is also hugely helpful. Probably best not to share that we’re BFFs in the review though. Might look biased.”
Thank you, Amber! And congratulations on an awesome book!