Tab’s Christmas Book

Every Christmas, my daughter and I collaborate on a children’s book about the Three Wise Men. She is the illustrator. I wrote it when she was three years old.

Today she is 16, and the book is 18 pages. So she has illustrated 14 pages so far, one a year since we began the project. The bottom right says “(P)AGE 3” etc., to capture the double meaning of how each page is a year in the process.

This whole thing originated one day when Tabitha’s mother showed me a drawing Tab had made of a bunny. She was two and half, and, to our surprise, it kinda looked a whole lot like a rabbit. That was the beginning of the realization that this kid had some serious artistic talent. (A few years later she grabbed some hot candle wax at church while bored and quickly sculpted a griffin with wings. I was stunned.)

Anyway, years before I saw the bunny, I had a children’s story in me I had always wanted to write about the Wise Men. It emerged after meditating on the bible story and being so intrigued by the fact that the smartest, most literate bible scholars in Jerusalem not only failed to identify the Christ child through their understanding of the Prophets, they actually used their knowledge to help Herod go kill him! (Go to Bethlehem, they told Herod. That’s where the Bible says the Christ child will come from.)

That bit of irony I thought would make a good twist for a story. And I kinda wanted to do the Dr. Seuss rhyming thing. So I wrote the first page of my story to include a bunny and used Tab’s early piece of art on (P)AGE 2. Since then, she’s illustrated a page of the story every year.

I’ve written a number of books and been involved in a number of creative projects, but this one I find extremely interesting and in some ways it is an idea of which I am most proud.

This video gives a glimpse of the book and Tab’s drawings over the years. As usual, Jaime provides the comic relief.

Reagan was something else

I came across this book yesterday on my library shelf. Ronald Reagan wrote and published it in 1983. It remains the only book ever published by a sitting President.

Crazy. I mean, it was on sale in the grocery stores.

I think we sometimes forget the courage and principles Reagan brought to the table. This book may end up being one of his greatest and most courageous efforts, written in the face of a hostile media and a scoffing left wing sophisticate culture. Truly, the man had guts.

Ghostwriting by Dean

I have made my living off and on the past seven years as a ghostwriter. Usually, a client has a great book idea in mind, has a lot of content they can talk about, but don’t have the kind of personality to sit down and write it all out. (One of my favorite quotes is: “The art of writing is the art of putting the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”)

I typically spend 10 to 15 hours interviewing them, recording the interviews, getting them transcribed, and taking those transcriptions and further research and turning them into a book.

Several of my book projects are featured in a brochure that was designed for me by my childhood friend, current close friend, and imagery guru, Rob Tipton. I turned the brochure into a website, Since the time the brochure was designed, I also have this project published by McGraw-Hill in the quiver.

Update on Old Money, New South

My book Old Money, New South: The Spirit of Chattanooga continues to sell well in the region. You can find it in Barnes & Noble at Hamilton Place, Winder Binder on the North Shore, and at All Books downtown.

For several weeks, when the book debuted in 2006, it was Barnes & Nobles’ bestselling book for the week—of all books, national and local. Rock Point Books named Old Money, New South its best seller for the entire year of 2007. I have sold out of two printings and the third is dwindling fast.

It’s great to see this book sell so well. (Several thousand were sold on a local level. That’s a big number. If it had a national appeal it might be a seven figure total). But ultimately this colossal project was a labor of love. Between you and me, I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I see it on the shelf.


Gordon’s promo video

This video I made for Gordon Wetmore, my recently deceased good friend, who wanted something to help introduce new prospects to his career in portraiture. As an added bonus, we used footage of him painting portraits of my two children.

For more on Gordon, see here.


My project got published by McGraw-Hill


McGraw-Hill has published one of my projects! Mike Egan is a client for my ghostwriting services. I interviewed him last year for many, many hours, transcribing his incredible insights and weaving them into an interesting read.

This book was actually released today (Tuesday, Sept. 13), and you can buy Your Stronger Financial Future on .

McGraw-Hill reported $6.2 billion in sales last year. Here is more from the publisher:

Is Social Security about to collapse? (No.) Is Wall Street totally corrupt? (Nope.) Did the government bailouts benefit only “insiders”? (Absolutely not.)Is the American Dream dead? (Not on your life.)

Myths, misconceptions, and misinformation perpetuated by politicians, the media, and other self-interested parties can have a devastating effect on your retirement portfolio. After all, if you’re working with the wrong information, how can you make the right investing decisions?

Mike Egan, a financial advisor for both individuals and corporations, has worked on Wall Street for more than 20 years. He handles millions of dollars at a time. He knows how it all works—and he’s here to tell you that a lot of what you hear just isn’t true.

In Your Stronger Financial Future, Egan busts the most powerful myths Continue reading “My project got published by McGraw-Hill”

A Warm Blanket for Rainy Days


About five years ago, I got a call from my longtime friend Doug Daugherty who asked me to finish a writing project he’d started 25 years earlier. He actually didn’t remember it, but apparently a lady had hired him to work on the idea of helping her write a book. Doug had written a couple chapters, but it sat there because the lady wasn’t sure what to do next.

This lady, Zella Dixon, didn’t have a lot to write about at that point, and she told God that fact when she felt this overpowering call to write a book. Add to this the fact that she is dislexic and Continue reading “A Warm Blanket for Rainy Days”

My Big Fat Greek 10 Years

I am celebrating ten years of becoming an Orthodox Christian (as in Eastern Orthodox, as in Greek Orthodox, as in My Big Fat Greek Wedding).

I joined the church two days before 9-11. That’s how I remember the date.

Back in those days, I would hang out a lot at Greyfriar’s coffee shop. (Okay, I would spent the whole day there every day.) I had many long conversations with Warren Caterson, a happenin’ Presbyterian youth pastor, then Urban Young Life Director (anybody remember the “Metro”?), then founder of the Urban Art Institute. Warren had joined the Greek Orthodox church in town and had fascinating insights on his spiritual journey.

Over time, he won me over to his way of thinking. Warren is quite the evangelist, but he pulls it off wearing Continue reading “My Big Fat Greek 10 Years”

Grandpa Howard Gets Around

Around 2003 or so I made it a point to travel to Inverness, California, just above San Francisco, where my 93 year old grandfather Howard Waite continued to live an interesting and productive life in an isolated cabin on the top of a mountain with the ocean on one side and Tomales Bay on the other. I brought my video camera along.

It’s one of those decisions you never regret. He died soon after. I shot about 5 hours of interviews, parts of which I plan to use in a family history of my mother’s side down the road. In the short term, I put together this fun 3-minute video to capture the lifestyle of a happening nonagenarian.