Joseph A. Pinto

barflypoet & author of dark fiction

I won my six-figure deal last week.

My contract signed inside my daughter’s preschool classroom of all places.  Her teacher asked if I would participate in Read Across America week, and I agreed.  It was a tough crowd; preschoolers know what they want and when they want it.  Straight shooters, these preschoolers.  Rougher and more critical than any literary agent or editor I’ve come across.

I settled into a rocking chair set solely for this purpose. Looking up, I saw their tiny faces scrunched before me.  Scrutinizing.  My daughter’s included.  Interested neither in adjectives nor metaphors, sentence structure as useless to them as a wrapper with no candy hidden inside, they waited.  Give them what they desire; magic! And you had better deliver in its telling…

Carefully and reverently, I opened the tome upon my lap.  “You can think up some birds…”  I began, my mouth dreadfully parched, fingers trembling upon the book’s gleaming surface.

Excuse me, where’s your hair?”

Along my brow broke a bead of sweat.  My eyes flicked away from the tale for a moment; trepidation mounting.  Confidence shaken.  I tremulously stumbled, “Umm…that’s what you can do.  You can think about yellow or think about—”

Athena’s daddy, I asked where’s your hair?”

All eyes…all narrowed, measuring eyes…upon me.  Did I mention they were a tough crowd?  I reached into my back pocket, pulled forth my last vestige of hope then extended a sealed fist to my diminutive blond heckler.  “Take this,” I croaked, engulfing his open palm.  “It’s my last hair seed.  Grow this for me so one day I can plant it back on my head.”

Silence. What had I done?  Awful, black tombed silence.  Time stood still.  Then an eruption of unearthly shrieks.  Earsplitting giggles.  Tiny bodies jumping in delirium.  My daughter beaming.

Give them what they desire.

“Think!  Think and wonder.  Wonder and think,” I proclaimed, nailing each verse to perfection, my inflection as never before.  Enchanting the room.  “How much water can fifty-five elephants drink?”

Magic.  It had better be in the telling.

I finished my book reading, ears humming to the roar of joyous children.  My goddess rushed to me and wrapped her arms around my neck.  “Thank you for reading to us, Daddy.”

I won my six-figure deal last week.  Signed and sealed forever in my heart.

2013-03-07 13.24.29

43 thoughts on “My dearest THINK

  1. Nikki says:

    This made my morning. Most excellent, sir!

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Nikki! 🙂 Thank you very much! I hope my story keeps the smile on your face just a little bit longer today!

  2. Joe, I had my first Mothers Day assembly at my son’s school today and I cried, then I got to work, read this and cried all over again. And I also giggled at how predictably unpredictable kids are with their questioning. Woe betide the man who tries to dodge that question haha! Such a beautiful post and I’m sure that Athena was as proud as punch to have her wonderful daddy reading to her class x

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Linzi 🙂

      Well first allow me to apologize if I caused you to smudge any of your paperwork with your tears lol 😛 I’m sure you were beaming at your Mother’s Day assembly as well 🙂

      Yes, when I was asked “where my hair was,” it took all I could from both choking & roaring with laughter! 🙂 And then I thought, “why isn’t this being videotaped” lol

      It was such a special moment for me. I push with my writing so my daughter will have something to look back upon one day. All the hours I spend behind my keyboard paid off in this one moment, and it provided me with all the fuel I could ever need to keep grinding. 🙂

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hey Lisa, thank you very much!! Glad you enjoyed!

  3. Angela says:

    That was so wonderful…give Athena a hug for me

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Angela!!! Long time no see or hear! lol We were just at the hospital within the past 2 months, I believe (my memory is shot lmao). I hope you’re doing well 🙂 Stacey, Athena & I were looking for you but I don’t believe you were in.

      Please stay in touch! Thank you for the kind words…so happy you enjoyed my little story 🙂

  4. Meg Mims says:

    Oh, YOU BETCHA that’s a tough crowd!! Preschool to 2nd grade. I love reading to kids – you can tell when they’re enraptured and when a book falls flat… forget wordless books, too. No can do! They want it all!! LOL Great post!

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Meg, I appreciate the kind words! It was a joy doing the reading, especially knowing my daughter was part of it. Put a lot of things into perspective for me 🙂

      Don’t be a stranger; come visit again! 🙂

  5. Thomas Brown says:

    Magical, Joe. 🙂

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Thanks very much Tom! It certainly was!

  6. Sounds like a great experience Joe, you must be very proud 🙂

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      It was wonderful, Nina 🙂 I was and still AM very proud. Being able to read in front of my daughter just validated all the things I work so hard to achieve 🙂

      1. And it should! I’m very happy for you, Joe. It’s clear to anyone who reads your blog that making her smile means the world to you. 😉

      2. Joseph Pinto says:

        Thank you very much Nina 🙂 Yep, her smile makes all the difference in my world 🙂

  7. zkullis says:

    Joseph. My first reaction to the opening line was, I’m sure, what you were hoping for. I was ecstatic that you had landed such a killer deal and very happy for you. When I reached the end of your post, I was even happier for you.

    Sounds like Daddy is just as proud as his Goddess daughter is of her Daddy. Way to go man! (six figures indeed)

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Zack! 🙂 Sure, both my wife & myself would love a six figure deal! lol But money comes and money goes; what I got last week no one can take away. That’s the fire that keeps me chuggin’, my friend!

      Thank you for the kind words & your support!

  8. mari wells says:

    This is the sweetest and funniest thing I’ve ever heard. Thank you for sharing it. Kids these days, where do they come up with their questions.
    I’m sure Athena will remember the day you made her friends laugh forever.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hey Mari! 🙂 lol I have to admit, I thought for sure the kids would zero in on the tattoos along my arms…but no, they played dirty and went with the bald scalp lmao!

      Thank you for your support; I’m happy you enjoyed my story 🙂

      1. mari wells says:

        It was a wonderful story. I’m sure they would have gone for the tattoos next but they loved the hair answer.

      2. Joseph Pinto says:

        Thank you Mari. Oddly enough, I was all prepared for peppering over my ink. They zigged when I thought they zagged! lol

      3. mari wells says:

        Children do that..

  9. Daemonwulf says:

    This was a truly enjoyable post. Thanks for sharing your fantastic experience, Joe. I am sure there will be no deal ever inked that will surpass this one. 🙂

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Thanks for reading Daemonwulf; I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 Yes, I am one rich man 🙂

  10. legendsofgreenisle says:

    Love it! Student teaching 9th graders this semester has been an eye-opener for me. I love all 90 of my little “chick-a-dees.” It will be hard leaving them to teach college students. 🙂

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      9th graders? I give you loads of credit! I barely got by the preschoolers lol Seriously though, it was a wonderful experience for me 🙂

  11. Alexis says:

    They are our toughest critics, but they reward us the most. Lovely story. 🙂

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Alexis 🙂 Thank you very much! Tough critics, but honest critics 🙂

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Lisa! Thanks for reading…and thank you for the kind comment 🙂

  12. Hunter Shea says:

    That’s what life is really all about.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      You know it, Hunter!

  13. Robyn Lee says:

    So very heartwarming Joseph – no better 6 figure deal than this ~ I love your daughter’s name — and know her spirit is just as beautiful ~ Best, Robyn

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Robyn! 🙂 Thank you very much! I’m glad you enjoyed it…and yes, my Athena certainly acts as an Athena should lol

      Please visit again, as I will with your site as well 🙂

  14. LeeAllenHoward says:

    That was sweet and made me smile! 🙂

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hey Lee, thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it!

  15. melissajanda says:

    What a sweet story! Thank you for sharing! Very rich is the man who knows where his true treasures can be found.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Melissa 🙂

      Thank you very much! And you’re welcome lol Oh yes…my daughter provides me with priceless treasures each and every day 🙂

  16. Maggie Mae says:

    ❤ this!! The emotion is expressed so clearly and fun danced around the intimidation. Super cute! Lucky daughter.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Maggie! Thank you very, very much!! Nah, I’m a lucky dad…my little girl steals my heart away

  17. Bat Hughes says:

    Inspiring — you captured the magic here. A tough crowd, indeed. Thanks for the mood-lift.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hey Bat! Man, thank you so very much! A crowd like that can make you sweat bullets…I think I did okay, though 😉

      Thank you for taking the time to read!

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