Get Your Mother's Day and Father's Day Gift Idea WRITE here!


Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just around the corner. This month’s writing recipe is the perfect tribute to parents who might be famous to their children, but not to the rest of the world. In case you don’t know, the good-looking couple in the picture are my famous parents!

Inspiration for the structure of the piece comes from a lovely picture book called You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax? Even if you don’t have baseball fans in your home, it’s a delightful read with wonderful illustrations.

you never head of sandy koufax.jpg

Here’s how the book begins:

“You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!

You gotta be kidding! 

You never heard of Sandy Koufax?!

He was only the greatest lefty pitcher who ever pitched in the game of baseball.”

And here’s how my piece begins - you’ll see right away that I’m writing under the influence of the picture book:

You Never Heard of John Nelson?!  

You gotta be kidding!

You never heard of John Nelson?!

He is only the greatest dad in the world.

And then I go on to tell anecdotes showing why my dad is the greatest dad in the world. Here is an excerpt from my piece:

Back when John was a kid, his mom took him to see the Glendale Philharmonic.  My grandma said, “Johnny, listen to the concert.  At the end, pick an instrument.  That’s what you’ll play.”

Dad picked trumpet. And never looked back.  From that fourth grade moment, he began a love affair with music.  It’s part of his being.  Like breathing.  Today, at 83 years old, he’s still doing gigs in his retirement home for all the residents who remember dancing to Harry James and Benny Goodman.

From a very early age, John Nelson knew he wanted to be a lawyer.  He felt it in his bones.  I grew up believing everyone loved lawyers because my dad was the most ethical person I’d ever met.  During my sophomore year at Occidental College, I heard a lawyer joke for the first time, and to my shock, realized that some folks thought lawyers were crooks.  I believed they were saints.

All the way through the rest of the piece I borrowed opening phrases like the following to get me started with each section:

  • Back when Sandy was a kid,

  • From a very early age…

  • It didn’t take long for

  • One day,

  • Turns out

  • Not to mention, …

  • Then, to make a long story longer,

  • Meanwhile,

  • Then,

  • If you ask me,

  • Who was John Nelson?

  • John was the guy who…

  • And what a thing of beauty that was. (This is the last line of the picture book - I used it in my piece, too.)

You can read my complete piece HERE - feel free to use it as a sample if you’re a teacher.

Basically, just insert the name of your mom or dad, and then tell us what makes them famous to you. Use the sentence starters listed above, or make up your own, as needed.

If you ask me, there’s nothing better than giving a loved one a written tribute like this piece.

I better get busy writing a sweet piece about my mama, too!

Always writing,