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Blog: Bit by Bit
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I'm working on a few different projects at the moment, all in progress, all squeezed in whenever I have a few minutes free. Here's where I was at the beginning of the week:
I'm glad to say that I'm pretty much done with the "I Choose to Fill Myself with Positive Energy" text design for the April free printable (for subscribers to the Floating Lemons monthly newsletter of course!), and I'll reveal all when the time comes. Meanwhile ...
I went a completely different direction with my Jelly assignment for MATS Bootcamp, and have managed to totally confuse myself. Should I go with something more along the lines of last weeks sketches, here, or stick to a slightly more geometric rendering of jelly moulds, as above? argh. We shall see. I may have to sketch a lot more jelly before deciding.
Meanwhile, here's the progress on a sketch I'm doing that will, perhaps, end up as a Thinking of You card up at the Two Smiles for HP (Hewlett-Packard) site.
I drew it, scanned it in and decided to experiment with some brand new digital pastel brushes that I purchased from Kyle T Webster. Oh my, I love them. Now that I've been deprived of Corel Painter (it just will not work since the last OS update and I don't want to invest and buy the upgrade only to discover that doesn't work either. I was, needless to say, hugely disappointed) these, along with his real watercolour brushes, are making digital painting a delight once more.
Here's a quick peek at what I've done so far ...
I'm using them exactly as I would my pencils on paper and there are layers and layers of colour being built up. Still have a way to go as yet, but I'm quite pleased with the way it's turning out so far.
Back to work! Wishing you a wonderful day loving what you do and doing what you love. Cheers.
By: Anastasia Goodstein,
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Tablets are everywhere these days (but unfortunately HP couldnât handle all the competition. Despite their huge marketing push with stars like Lea Michele and Russell Brand behind them â literally! â HP discontinued the device after less than... Read the rest of this post
On Tuesday I'm going down to Florida for LeakyCon 2011, and I am PSYCHED . . . to speak at Lit Day, to see the Wizarding World theme park for the first time, to party with Harry Potter fans, and because my hotel has a croquet court! (For the reason I'm obsessed with croquet, hit the "Frog" label on the right.) This obviously requires a game of Quidditch Croquet, which in turn requires the establishment of rules for Quidditch Croquet; and I propose the following for discussion/comment:
- Play shall generally proceed as in a standard croquet game, with the wickets in a figure-eight configuration, and in order of the colors on the post; but with the following exceptions:
- The black ball shall be the Bludger, and the yellow ball shall be the Snitch.
- Neither the Bludger nor the Snitch can play until all other balls have passed through the opening two wickets.
- -- The Snitch shall go first, and the Bludger second.
- -- They should both start at the opposite post from the rest of the players.
- The Bludger does not have to follow the standard course and try to go through wickets, but rather should spend its time trying to knock all the other balls (besides the Snitch) as far off course as possible.
- -- If the Bludger touches another ball (a roquet), it gets only one additional hit, instead of the standard two.
- ---- If necessary, an additional limitation can be imposed on the Bludger, that the player controlling it must play one-handed and/or with his/her less dominant hand.)
- -- If another ball (besides the Snitch) touches the Bludger, it gets three additional hits, instead of the standard two.
- The Snitch also does not have to follow the standard course and try to go through wickets, but rather should travel consistently up and down the midline of the course, from post to post through the center wicket.
- The Snitch does not want to strike or be struck by the other balls.
- -- If another ball (besides the Bludger) touches the Snitch, it gets four additional hits, instead of the standard two.
- -- The Bludger is not allowed to hit the Snitch, and if it does, its turn is over and it misses its next turn.
- The game concludes when a player successfully completes the course, passing through all nine wickets and touching both posts (the opening post twice, at the beginning and end);
- -- OR when the Bludger has knocked into all the active balls (besides the Snitch) twice (a scorecard may be useful here) and reached the closing post before anyone else;
- -- OR when the Snitch has successfully completed thirteen post-to-post-through-the-center-wicket crossings of the court, including at least three where it was not struck by any other ball (ditto on the scorecard), and reached the closing post before anyone else.
This allows the Bludger and Snitch to behave as they do in Quidditch, but gives all players an incentive to win. (I chose thirteen post-to-post perambulations for the Snitch because it would take a long time to reach, I hope, and thirteen is a good wizarding number.)
Thoughts? Suggestions? And if you're going to LeakyCon -- who's in?
It takes a village (to raise a safe teen driver. MediaPost, reg. required, profiles American Family Insurance's latest campaign which focuses on collaborative prevention between parents and teens. Plus Clean & Clear sponsors Jason Priestley's... Read the rest of this post
Leaky readers will already know this, but for others who might be interested, I'm delighted to announce I'll be half of a keynote conversation at the upcoming LeakyCon 2009 near Boston, on Friday, May 21, discussing the writing, editing, pleasures, pains, and nature of YA literature with John Green. Yes, that John Green, the brilliant author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and
In other words, everything ever in the history of the world! AND the results of the great Socks vs. Underwear debate.
I had the great pleasure of being a guest on PotterCast this week for a live discussion of The Tales of Beedle the Bard at Books of Wonder. You can listen to the audio here. Thanks as always to the PotterCasters for having me on the show!
During the discussion, I start to
My Terminus speech is now online here: A Few Things Writers Can Learn from "Harry Potter"
Also, I was talking with someone at Terminus about good books on writing, and I realized these are my four all-time favorites:
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. This will teach you how to write a clean, strong sentence and paragraph, and once you master those building blocks, you can build essays,
This quarter's Carleton College Voice includes an interview with me by the lovely Danny LaChance '01. The picture above was an outtake from my photo shoot with the equally lovely Metin Oner at the Cloisters.
The hat I'm wearing in the picture on the Carleton page has been lost to me, alas -- a sincere "alas" there, as I really loved that hat: pink wool, with a flower. So I'm grateful to have a
In that order:
I am going to be a keynote speaker at Terminus 2008, a Harry Potter convention in Chicago, Illinois, August 7-11 (Tamora Pierce is the other keynoter). This page has the official description of my speech, but I think in practice I think it will play out as "Ten [or some other number] Things Writers Can Learn from the Harry Potter Series," as that's a talk I've looked forward to
Nomadica asked me what I thought about J. K. Rowling's Dumbledore revelation. In answer I'd like to quote a wonderful comment on the Leaky Cauldron from a person calling himself TrustSnape, which to me perfectly captures (a) why it was such a great announcement for her to make and (b) why it wasn't included in the book text itself (emphasis below mine):
I'm 52. Been gay all my life. The thing is
There has been much discussion of late on "Why Harry Potter?" -- why did these books break through, when so many other books haven't? What makes them special? Why does everyone care? I wrote out my theories for child_lit today and cross-post the message here.
1. Relateability. In Book 1, J. K. Rowling is a genius at getting you to sympathize with Harry -- first through showing you the Dursleys
(This cartoon of Harry drawn by my friend Jeremiah, who has an excellent webcomic called Five Bucks to Friday.)Do we need more spoiler space? Here:
First the news: The first of the "Today Show" interviews with Jo yielded some wonderful tidbits on the trio's future careers, what happened to Luna, and
Iâve spent a good deal of the last two days reading comments on various websites about Deathly Hallows and talking to friends about their opinions. And while I really, really, really donât want to debate here or apologize (in the rhetorical sense) for every plot point readers dislike, Iâd like to write a little
Exactly 24 hours from the minute I'm writing this sentence, people will rush toward boxes, grab bound stacks of paper from them, and read as though nothing else on earth mattered. And while Muggles (and Roger) may scoff at the term, it truly is a magic moment: a reunion with old friends; the beginning of a great adventure; an experience shared with millions of other people around the world, when
I was (very briefly) a guest on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" this afternoon, discussing my role as continuity editor and two errors that can be found in the series; the audio is not yet available, but should be up here shortly. In the meantime, if you seriously need an AALB-HP radio fix, you can listen to Arthur's NPR interview from Weekend Edition Saturday, available here. (Fun fact: He received
Well, no, not really. But I am quoted (and indeed called "a studious 28-year-old") in a Time magazine article about some of the behind-the-scenes logistics of the seventh Harry Potter book:
Harry Potter and the Sinister Spoilers
with an accompanying graphic breakdown of the path the manuscript traveled:
The Saga of the Seventh Manuscript
I was amused by a comment on The Leaky Cauldron saying
Scholastic just posted the deluxe-edition art for Deathly Hallows online.
Isn't it amazing???
For more information, see the Scholastic press release or the Leaky Cauldron.
In case you haven't heard . . .
I love big Harry Potter announcements because they turn all of us into crazed English teachers. "Hallows": Verb? Noun? What's the significance of the article "the"? If we diagram this title -- or better yet, anagram it -- what will it reveal? (Anagrams for the last two words of this title include "yellow dahl hats," "hallway shed lot," and "lewdly oath