"Muddling Through: Perspectives on Parenting." By Bil Lepp. Familius. 72 pages. $9.99.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Best known as West Virginia's biggest liar, Bil Lepp is now dispensing advice to parents.
Lepp has written an ebook titled "Muddling Through: Perspectives on Parenting," which recently ranked No. 2 in sales in its category at Amazon Kindle. A paperback version published by Familius will be available next spring.
The South Charleston resident is the five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars Contest and an occasional humor contributor to the Sunday Gazette-Mail.
Lepp and his wife, Paula, have two children, ages 12 and 8. He said he draws on experiences from his own family life to try and to help other families do a little better.
He begins each chapter with a humorous incident, then offers advice on subjects such as patience, having fun, traditions, the importance of reading, faith, fishing and other topics.
Lepp said he was contacted by Familius, a publisher in Utah, and asked to incorporate some of his tall tales into an advice book.
The storyteller tours the country speaking at festivals, fairs, corporate events, civic clubs, colleges and elementary schools. He has published 11 CDs of his tales, three books of humorous stories, one novel and a DVD. His first children's picture book, "The King of Little Things," will be published by Atlanta-based Peachtree Publishers in fall 2013.
Making cookies with children: It's all about having fun
Excerpted from "Muddling Through: Perspectives on Parenting" by Bil Lepp
Last Christmas I told the kids to head to the kitchen to make sugar cookies.
I have few rules for cookie making. No matter the season, I get out all the cookie cutters. My goal in making the cookies with the kids is to have fun. If they want to make a green and red jack-o-lantern at Christmas, that's fine by me. Mutant Ninja Star of David? I love it. Vampire Santa? Let it roll.
When we make cookies I keep in mind that we are not making these cookies to give to the queen or the president. We are making them to have fun, so it does not matter how they turn out.
My daughter was focusing on Santa-shaped cookies. She has an artistic flair and enjoys decorating. She will spend hours carefully administering colored sugar so that her Santas end up with tartan sweaters, argyle socks and plaid toy bags.
My son was cutting out dozens of little stars and arranging them in a careful pattern on the cookie sheet.
"What's that?" I asked.
"Orion, Taurus and the Pleiades," he said.