If you read my newsletter, you know my family made the Summer 61 list for a season of stay at home adventures. We have already gone swimming(#8), eaten peas off the vine(#21) and thrown a frisbee(#19) to name a few.
So I was super excited to interview my friend Mat Hudson about his summer essentials, book recommendations for kids with adventurous imaginations and tips for tackling a big creative project. We got into so much good stuff over dinner and a game of bocci (which I won) that I'm making this a 3 part series.
Mat is truly a family friend and unbelievably nice guy. He visits me at the Farmer's Market, stays up late drawing with Steeb and will play trains and superheroes on the floor with Franklin for much longer than I can ever manage.
He is committed to kids and creativity. For years he worked in the schools as a literacy advocate and reading tutor. Now he runs the Builders Club at the library, helps organize art shows with the make.shift gallery and writes books for kids.
Mat is running a Kickstarter campaign right now to pay for an editor and first round of printing for a new chapter book called Hazel which he will finish writing and illustrating this summer. Watch his video, support the work and read on to get inspired for summer adventures of your own.
What's on your summer to do list?
Make breakfast on an open fire as many days as possible.
Oh, what do you like for breakfast?
Eggs, usually 3, scrambled or sometimes over easy. 4 or 5 pieces of bacon. coffee. I mix in some vegetables, but not as often as I should. I'll be staying with my brother in Michigan for a month while I write the rest of Hazel. His backyard is surrounded by trees right against the river and I plan to cook breakfast outside every day I can.
Hazel takes place in the Pacific Northwest in the summer, what is a summer activity you have embraced since living in the PNW?
Late night bike rides to the beach with friends and new friends, not usually with enemies…To watch a the sun set or sit around a fire with a Rainier in your hand. I love those conversations you have around a bonfire when you can't really see everyone's faces.
You work at a thrift store now, what would be the ultimate toy to find for yourself on the shelves?
Talk Boy, I got one for Christmas when I was a kid. Macauley Caulkin used it in Home Alone 2. It was expertly designed and marketed to us through that whole movie. You could record voices and speed them up. I would love to have that again.
What toys never go out of style for adventure?
These are all things Hazel takes with her and you can carry in your backpack:
- Compass, even if you don't know how to use it it gives you a feeling of safety.
- My grandpa always gave us Rope. He showed us how to make swings and zip lines.
- Cameras, instant ones are even better than digital for kids. The photos are precious but you don't need patience.
Mat's Kickstarter campaign needs to be fully funded by July 9th so if you want to be a part of his summer writing adventure, don't delay. Donate today!