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Each week I will pick 5 questions off of my author interview list to answers. In trying to figure out how to share more about myself I got to thinking that I would love to get to know the readers of my blog better too. I invite you to share your answers to these questions as well. You can share them as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post.
This Week's Questions:
What's your favorite season/weather? PC or Mac? When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"? Favorite music? Facebook or Twitter? What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?
What's your favorite season/weather? Fall & Spring - not too hot and not too cold. I love rain and wind.
PC or Mac? PC but that is probably because that is all I've ever had or used.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"? A stay at home mom and a teacher. Edit: Whoops! We did this question already! Thanks Jinky for paying attention! Here's a new one:
Favorite music? Anything quiet. I have a low noise tolerance when it comes to music. I'm always turning it down. I like "soothing" music. Too loud and my skin crawls.
Facebook or Twitter? I try to avoid both of them because once I get on I have trouble getting off. I've used facebook for a couple years but I'm slowly trying to figure out Twitter.
What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit? I don't watch TV (we don't even have cable or even an antenna). I love old classic movies and Disney movies but I'm not embarrassed by that. As far as books I'm slightly embarrassed to admit a few years ago I was completely obsessed with Twilight and read the series 5 times in a row.
Now it's your turn! Share an answer to one or more of these questions as a comment or post your answers on your blog and link up here!
Rosie Sprout receives a star from Publishers Weekly!
★ “An accomplished debut….Wortche possesses both a refreshing directness and a willingness to trust her readers... This impressive new author is well served by Barton (Mine!), whose digital classroom sketches convey a tumult of emotion and have just the right amounts of energy and vulnerability.” Publishers Weekly, October 24, 2011
Thank you, PW!
Rosie Sprout's Time to Shine by Allison Wortche, pictures by Patrice Barton, Alfred A. Knopf, on sale Dec. 13, 2011
MINE! was accepted into the Society of Illustrators Original Art Exhibit 2011! Many Thanks to the jury! I'm delighted and honored and... okay, I cried a little bit when I heard the news. :) I traveled to NY with my best friend and fellow illustrator Laura Logan for the opening... just WOW! And bonus! We met and had lunch with all the folks from Random House/Knopf that I have been working with - what a wonderful, fun group!! So many memories to treasure forever!
i have a bit of "free" time in between christmas gifts and custom orders so i wanted to try something a bit different. i am going to do a series (i hope) of 11x14 gallery wrapped canvases to be sold as ORIGINALS in my etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/enchantedeasel.
i thought it would be cute to kind of do a compilation of sorts on a theme for a child's room. yes, i will be doing boys too;) maybe a cute little astronaut/outer space theme or dinosaurs....
but my first one in this series will be called mermaid life with my sweet little maribel. this will look great in a little girl's room with ocean animals/beach theme. or maybe even in a bathroom. lots of bright, tropical colors are planned for this cutie:)
What a lovely week I had with my nephew and his family in France. They live just outside the village of Moisin in a rural area with several small farms and breathtaking views of the Jura mountains on one side, and the Salève mountains on the other. It was a trip long overdue. The morning after I arrived, my grand-niece, Camille, and my grand-nephew, Julien (who visited us in March), took me to the top of Salève where I was able to get a good view of the French alps and Mont Blanc.
Later that afternoon, I took a walk through the village of Moisin to the road that is a French part of the road to Santiago in Galicia, as I mentioned last week. The road goes up to a little chapel that the pilgrims visit, although I was too tired to walk up that far. Here are a couple of pictures of the icon marking the road, though:
I have forsworn visiting Boston since 2008. Details of those two trips are here and here
When I swooped in for CrimeBake in 2009 and 2010, I got off the train at Rte128 and never ventured out of the hotel. I was certain Boston had it in for me.
Today however I am back!
The reason I'm here, and the reason I may declare an end to my war with Boston is the Massachusetts Historical Society. If you're in the Boston area and you're not regularly attending their events, you're really missing out.
Tonight was a talk by Vincent Carretta on his new book PHILLIS WHEATLEY. Now, I'm sure you know Phillis Wheatley was an American poet working at the time of the American Revolution. You may remember she was the first person of African descent to be published in the Americas. You probably read some of her work in various anthologies in your American lit classes.
But did you know she was seven years old when she was taken from her home in Africa and sold in Boston? Did you know her name Phillis is that of the ship she arrived on, and her surname Wheatley is that of the family who owned her. I didn't.
That she was taught to read and write, that she was able to secure her freedom, those were all incredible feats in the 18th century. That she is a poet of amazing depth...well that's an incredible feat in every century.
And tonight, at no charge, the Massachusetts Historical Society sponsored a talk by the author of the first full biography of Phillis Wheatley, a book they also supported with grants. Of course I made the trip to attend.
In this ambitious book, richly and imaginatively illustrated throughout by Dave McKean, Dawkins sets himself the task of answering some of the really big question of life, exactly the sort of questions you hear from the mouths of children including “Are we alone?” and “Why do bad things happen?”
Over the course of 12 chapters Dawkins tackles these questions head on, also exploring key aspects of space, time and evolution along the way. He begins almost every chapter with examples of myths (from all over the world, from all different sorts of traditions) about the topic in question before moving on to explore the scientific explanation for the phenomenon under discussion.
This video gives a great summary of the book from Dawkins himself:
The Magic of Reality is no dry academic tract. Rather Dawkins takes on the role (almost) of intimate storyteller. He adopts an informal, colloquial manner focusing throughout the book on showing us what he calls the “poetic magic” of science, that which is “deeply moving, exhilarating: something that gives us goose bumps, something that makes us feel more alive.”
Dawkins’ friendly tone and his inclusion of stories about rainbows, earthquakes and the seasons make The Magic of Reality an eminently readable book, especially for readers with no or little background knowledge. There’s a lot of the pace, suspense and beauty you might associate with a great novel in Dawkins’ book. Indeed, Dawkins really seems to me to be trying to tell a story (albeit a true one) rather than simply sharing and contextualising a lot of scientific facts.
Perhaps a conscious decision to make the book read like a story is behind the decision not to include any footnotes, suggested further reading or bibliography. This I found frustrating; Dawkins’ succeeded in getting me curious, getting me asking questions about the issues he discusses, and although I would have liked to know more, he doesn’t provide any suggestion for where to go next. That said, the lack of references does help the book flow and feel quite unlike a hard hitting science book (though that is exactly what it is).
As a result of reading The Magic of Reality I got out our prisms and made rainbows with M and J - for them it really was magic to see the colours appear "from nowhere"
Dawkins’ storytelling approach also means that The Magic
As I stood in my driveway shoveling snow I thought: This never entered my mind as something I would be doing on Halloween.My short bird feeder is on the left loaded with snow, and in the background are 2 of our trees.Both of which I can normally walk under & like most trees still had their leaves.We skipped straight pass fall and into winter (and in the frozen land of Nador they were forced to
When I am visiting a school to talk about writing I nearly always get the question “But where do you get your ideas?”I reply that although getting an idea feels almost magical at the time, I can often trace the roots of it back to something I have read in the past.Often a long time ago.Display CommentsAdd a Comment
A book about a post-zombie-apocalypse world where the heros are bloggers? Yes, please. After the zombie apocalypse, bloggers became the most reliable source of news. Our main characters, Georgia and Shaun, are siblings who run a popular news site that earns them exclusive coverage of a popular presidential candidate's campaign trail. The only problem is that a terrorist is using zombies to sabatoge the controversial candidate's success.
Writing I loved the writing. Mira Grant completely committed to creating a unique post-apocalyptic world and provides an incredibly detailed description of the future. She has obviously done her research into politics and technology and used that to create a future where bloggers provide the most reliable news coverage using advanced technology. The political world is also fascinating and believable. Grant includes current controversial topics with imagined issues in a world populated by zombies (what happens to the death penalty when the dead come back to life?). We discussed this one on my book club board and some complained about the details and the politics presented in the book. I completely disagreed. I loved how Grant used what we have technologically now and added to it for a world that would need increased security and broadcasting capabilities. Some people expected the typical zombie book: lots of action, gore, etc. And this provides those, but it also contains a lot more plotting and world-building that isn't zombie-centric.
Entertainment Value If you like zombies and detailed world building, I think you'll like this one. I was hooked from the beginning. I loved the characters and really appreciated Georgia and Shaun's close sibling relationship (and I loved that a love triangle was not included). I highly recommend it and I'm looking forward to reading Deadline (the second book in the series) soon.
And it doesn't stand for Fie-on-you, National Novel Writing Month! It's for those of us who are already in the middle of a rough draft of a novel to try to FINISH it! See Shelley Moore Thomas's very funny post about that here.
My son and a zillion other people are participating in the lunacy that is NaNoWriMo (Yay, Eric! You can do it!! Here's a link to Eric's NaNo page for anyone who wants to cheer him on or see what his book is about). Good luck to you all.
October sure flew on by. Halloween came and went as I laid on the couch under a pile of blankets, nursing a 100 degree fever. So no Halloween festivities or spooky Halloween blog posts for me.
But my fever is gone and November is here. Instead of something spooky, here's a fox on his way to work. I hope you've had a good November so far. It's lovely and snowy here today. Things are looking up.
Full of the life's mysteries of the paranormals, you can't help but find yourself falling in love with Hunter's highly addictive series. It has everything you need from suspense to romance and even a little drama.
As Kylie still continues to put up with Miranda and Della's antics and constant feuding, she is still struggling to find out just what she is. Oh, and besides that? Kylie has now found out that she likes blood. No way can Kylie settle on being a vampire. She has also found out that she has been getting faster at running and the ability to hear better. She really can't settle on being a werewolf! That would be just horrid. Ugh, the worst!
In the midst of all of this that she is dealing with, Lucas has left camp, and even though he is gone, Derek can't seem to get over the fact that he thinks Kylie is still crushing on him. Hmm, maybe that's why Kylie has been dreaming on Lucas? Although, Derek doesn't know that. That's on the hush-hush.
Kylie has enough to deal with as it is, but now she thinks she's being followed. Actually, she knows it. Nobody seems to believe her though. The wolf that found her in the woods a coincidence? What about the things she feels passing her in the woods? Something's just not right in Shadow Falls. As Kylie gets closer to finding out just what she is, she's also getting closer to the mysteries lying in the woods.
October was a great reading month for me! My online book club's Fall Book Challenge started and I've been really motivated to finish this time. The challenge goes from October through December, and I managed to finish all but three tasks during October.
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott The Sweet Potato Queen's Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit Lost Memory of Skin Don't Sing At The Table Triangles The Poison Diaries The Girl With Three Legs Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide Children of Paranoia Sweetly Faith and Culture Lola and the Boy Next Door The Sky Is Everywhere The History of Love Godless: How An Evangelical Pastor Became One of America's Leading Atheists
Total books read this month: 15 Total books read this year: 95 Total pages read this year: 33,485 Money saved this year through buying used, using the library, and reading review copies: $994.61
As far as our life outside of reading goes, we had a good month. Puppies and kitty are all happy and healthy, we're both happy and healthy, and we even managed to work in a trip to the beach. I also got to see Crystal and Leah, so it was an all around great month for me. Sugar Bear finally set her wedding date in October - for next month! So we're in a flurry of wedding preparations right now. How was your October?
It’s time for another wonderful interview. This time the interviewee is author Lisa Wheeler. I had the good fortune of attending one of her recent Picture Book Boot Camps, a one-day inclusive workshop for picture book writers. It was a great experience. She really knows her stuff. She ought to, she’s had many books of her own published. The three pictured above are a small sampling of some of my favorites. Enjoy the interview!
Interview with Author Lisa Wheeler(11/2/2011)
Q. Why do you like to write children’s picture books and how did you get started?
LW. Like most writers, I’d been writing all my life. But it wasn’t until 1995 that I felt the desire to be published. I began sending my work out and gathering my rejections. It took nearly 4 years and 225 rejections before I ever sold a book. In the meantime, my writing had been improving and I was learning what makes a good children’s story. I’d had some success in children’s magazines and also did a freelance job writing very tight stories for the educational market. This was all a very helpful education. No one I knew had the internet when I began doing this. It wasn’t until 1997 that we decided to try it out. That was when I began meeting other writers, forming critique groups, and I learned about SCBWI. I do think I learned more in 6 months after joining SCBWI than I was able to find out on my own in the years prior to that. I sold One Dark Night—my first sale—on Oct. 30, 1998.
Q. I really like your book One Dark Night. How did you come up with the idea for that one?
LW. It’s hard to recall. That book started with wordplay and scribbles on a piece of paper. I was at work and on my clipboard I had written In a wee little house/in a wee little hole/lived a wee little mouse/ and a wee little mole. At the time I wrote that, I just liked the way it sounded and had no idea where the story would go. This was back in 1998, so I cannot recall how I figured out the rest of the story.
Q. You have written several books, any favorites?
LW. You know I can’t pick a favorite! The books are like my kids, if I pick a favorite, they’ll fight. My house would be full of imaginary fur and feathers. But like my kids, my books are each good at different things. For instance, my favorites to read aloud are Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum, Sixteen Cows, Jazz Baby, Ugly Pie, and the dino-sports series. The characters I like to spend time with are Sailor Moo, Cushion the porcupine, and Fitch and Chip. I think my funniest books are Turk and Runt and Spinster Goose. For each of my books, I have a different reason for it to be a favorite.
Here are a few more of Brian Wildsmith's ABC cards. I'll try to get the rest done by tomorrow. I also discovered that I have 20 more cards that have animals with their names on them, different from the ABC ones. I will save them for a future posting.
Aren't these great? That man sure knows his way around a paintbrush.
Do you like this type of post? Please let me know, I would love to hear from you and value your comments.
Paul Gravett has sent out an email with SOME of the amazing events for the month long Comica fest in the UK. The party kicks off tomorrow with an opening night hoedown, and then things unspool fats and furious — among those appearing Hannah Berry, Warren Ellis, Lenny Henry Richard McGuire and more to come!
Comica 2011 opens this Thursday November 3 with the launch party for the fabulous new-look Nobrow magazine, now double-sized and double-covered to give you one half by 30 cutting-edge illustrators, the other half of two-page comics, the whole thing on the theme of The Double. There’s a tie-in exhibition at Dreambags Jaguarshoes, 32-34 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, London E2 8DA throughout the Festival and continuing till sometime in January. More…
On Friday November 4th, Hannah Berry will be appearing from 6pm at the private view of her first selling art exhibition at the lovely new Trochrome Illustrators’ Art Gallery in Putney at 965 Fulham Road, London SW6 5JJ. Come and see the original pages from her Jonathan Cape graphic novel Britten and Brulightly. The show continues till the 20th. More…
On Saturday November 5th, we’re working again with Birkbeck University who are generously hosting a second completely free full-day Comica Symposium. Accessible, mind-expanding presentations by academics and practitioners alike, including American guest Kent Worcester, plus Karrie Fransman, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, Simon Grennan and more. I’ll be there to chair one of the sessions. Transitions II is organised by Tony Venezia and to book your free place simply contact Tony Venezia: antoniovenezia_2[at]hotmail[dot]com More…
So did you enter this year? On Sunday November 6th, The Observer will finally reveal the winner of this year’s 5th Graphic Short Story Prize. You can read the winning story in The Observer’s Review section and both the winner and runner-up online. There’s also the chance to see the four-page stories by the winner and some of the finalists in Foyles Bookshop Café in Charing Cross Road from Monday November 7th for two weeks. And to celebrate these first five years there’s a totally free downloadable eBook of around two dozen of the best entries entitled Shorties. More…
The fun doesn’t end there. Solipsistic Pop launch their fourth fantastic number on Tuesday November 8th and the new Comic Gosh!p reading group at Gosh! reconvene on Wednesday November 9th. Frederik Peeters talks with me and
Florence Parry Heide died this weekend. The New York Times obit on her cites.... "Her best-known book, “The Shrinking of Treehorn” (1971), was about a boy whose parents paid little heed to him, even as he began getting littler and littler, unable to reach familiar shelves, watching as his clothes seemed to grow on him. Its comic, macabre plotline appealed to the artist Edward Gorey, who illustrated it and two sequels, “Treehorn’s Treasure” (1981) and “Treehorn’s Wish” (1984)." She authored tons of books for children including the classic Some Things Are Scary and my childhood favorite, You and Me.
I won't even try and do justice to this book except to quote a few lines and show a few pictures and then send you over to Curious Pages, where Lane Smith asked Ms. Heide the question about Treehorn... Florence, just what in the heck were you thinking?
Something very strange was happening to Treehorn. The first thing he noticed was that he couldn't reach the shelf in his closet that he had always been able to reach before, the one where he hid his candy bars and bubble gum.
Status Update: Monster App still on schedule (there's no schedule so I'm right on time)
Just Another ARTIST???!!! What kind of a statement is that?
Remember back when you were in junior high and you started making really bad copies of spider man or (insert cool character here) and because it sort of resembled what you were going for you thought you were an amazing artist? Your friends who had quit trying to draw were now propping you up - "awww WICKED"..."dude that's bad". Fast forward to high school and you were determined to draw in art class amongst the stoners. It didn't take long for you to get their attention: "Dude that's bad ass....draw Eddie from Iron Maiden on my Jacket." Your head was completely filled with hot gasses and arrogance as you headed off to college. Even though your teachers bathed you in beautiful images from working professionals you weren't that impressed. Caught up in the grandeur of your graduating portfolio you excitedly started marketing your work. When assignments didn't actually flood in you got the first twinge of insecurity but you shrugged it off. After a few years of struggling to keep freelancing you gained a partial attitude overhaul. Humility was still in short supply but you started giving a few nods to other artists. 5 years in and you put yourself near the top shelf of illustration talent. 7 years and you still grossly overestimated your skills. 10 years - the internet was bringing more and more amazing artists to your attention. 15 years you realized you're just another set of hands. 18 years you start to feel lucky to be an illustrator. 20 years and you know you're lucky! Being able to do what you do while there are so many artists much more talented and capable than you roaming this little rock. Fear sets in when you realize...you might not be keeping up. Embarrassing, but this was me.
Become a "WHOLE" artist: Work hard Have heroes Open mind Listen Engage
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