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1. School Visits Galore: Trondheim, Norway & Ellensburg, WA!

April is a busy month for author visits, but things were a little more exciting than usual this year with a long-awaited excursion to the Fagerhaug International School (FINT) in Stjørdal, Norway -- followed VERY closely by an excellent 3-day trip to nearby Ellensburg, WA. 

My 11.92 year-old daughter came along to Norway (via Iceland as you will see!), and the entire experience was second-to-none. A little tiring... because of the nine-hour time change and man those Kristoffersen's can stay up late :) but we were so pleased to be guests, teachers, and students for the week that a little sleepiness hardly seemed to matter. I love what I do in my work as a writer/illustrator (sometimes teacher) and experiences with people both near and far make me love it even more. Best wishes to all and please enjoy the following snapshots of our trip. Its not TOTALLY comprehensive, but it'll do!

6:45am in Reykjavik International Airport. Very slick -- and about 20 degree with blowing snow on April 1.

After an excellent 2-hour walking tour, we did some touring on our own including the climb up Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral for this most excellent 360 degree view of the city. 

April 2nd. We have arrived. Two thumbs up!

A few important names in the following shots. 1.) The Kristoffersen house. Our home base in Stjørdal and some most excellent hosts!

2.) The Stjørdal train station. Site of two departures into Trondheim -- the first on a VERY quiet Good Friday afternoon, and the second on a much more bustling Saturday at the end of our school visit week. Two thumbs up, again!!

3.) The Fagerhaug School. Our true destination and reason for the visit. Most of my time was spend with the upper and lower elementary school students at FINT, but the greater Fagerhaug Christian school houses many additional students k-10.

And finally, 4.) Litjfunnsjøvollen -- the original destination for our Easter weekend ski with the Kristoffersen family. As you will see below, even on April 4 the skiing was still excellent. Although reflected here at all, there were MANY people out n' about. Blankets spread on the snow. Little fire pits for warmth. Young. Old. Fast. Slow. All sort of folks. Really great!

About 3k up the trail at Litjfunnsjøvollen was a little warming hut/cabin with pancakes (svella?) and hotdogs for treats.

On Easter Sunday, we expanded out ski horizons just a bit more and spent half of the day on nordic skis and the other half on the downhill slope at Fagerlia. Much thanks to Maria for being our excellent guide and for all of the time she shared with Keeley on the entire trip. Tussen Takk!

Pretty typical of most breakfasts and lunches -- at least in our experience. Lots of open-faced breads with meats and cheeses plus a vegetable or two to snack on...

...and then there was the pretty obvious fascination with all things Salty Licorice. Hard candies, gummy candies, and as seen above, even a Salt Lakris sauce for ice cream. Pretty good actually!

Now for a little work :) Before leaving Winthrop, I had a few of our local elementary classes prepare "postcards from the Methow" so that we could bring along a little glimpse of our life at home to the kids at FINT. Everything from the wildlife that you see in these two examples, to a few recent experiences like last summer's wildfires and favorite seasonal activities (skiing, swimming etc.)

It was fun to share a few thoughts of home in this way...

...to assist in creating a set of Norwegian postcards to bring back home to Winthrop.

...and then to realize in our walking, and talking, and visiting, that certain things are similar and certain things are certainly different :)
On the workshop front, one of my favorite projects was the "alligator emotions" book that we constructed on the final day with the lower PYP (primary years program). After spending several other hours on drawing expressions and writing about a feeling, this final project combined things together AND drops a serious hint about my newest work in progress. Stay tuned for future posts about LATOR GATOR (Sterling Books, 2016)! Below: 1-3rd graders (and teachers) creating their very own "instant books" and alligator emotions.




For an earlier drawing workshop, we practiced some line variety and dressed up some pretty excellent owls!

Very near the school, a church in Skatval. And while we did have a few partly sunny afternoons, this about sums it up for most of our springtime weather near Trondheim. A little grey. Quite damp. Not BRRR! cold, but chilly enough if you didn't dress for it. 

In another "lay of the land" image here -- also just outside of Skatval. A still-frozen lake, a farm house, and the rolling hills and winding roads...

...quite near, in fact, the Kristofferson farm where I was testing out this small tractor in the sheep barn at about 11:45pm. Again, excellent hosts, and not to worry, I didn't have a key.

April 12: A few final shots from our Saturday return to Trondheim. LOVE the color on these old warehouse buildings on the Nidelva riverfront. 

One fine and awesome traveler posing near the Nidarosdomem Cathedral.

And the same said traveler playing detective in a local bookstore. You can't be a children's book author in a foreign country and not visit some local bookstores :)

And last, but not least, our final goodbyes to Niclas, Sarah, and Cherise (taking the photo) at the airport. 

***

THE END!

***
And now MANY fewer images from an terrific three days in ELLENSBURG, WA! With many thanks to Lincoln, Mt. Stuart, and Valley View Elementary schools for being so well-prepared for my visits and for perhaps tolerating a slightly baggy eye or two due to the change in time zones :)

Lunch with the super hero contest winners at Lincoln - photo courtesy of the Daily Record.

Positively PERFECT pajama designs from Mt. Stuart elementary!

And this is great! Also at Mt. Stuart. Each year they select several pieces of student artwork, frame them, and hang them in the halls. Its awesome! A lasting and colorful record of student creativity and art/design across many spectrums and over many years. Seriously, every school should have such a gallery!

The library aide at Valley View made these most excellent Practically Pefect Pajamas inspired sugar cookies too. A first in 15 years of publication :)


And finally, the sunset as I hit the road to return to Winthrop. The schools in Ellensburg really rocked, and I enjoyed meeting everyone who came with a books to sign and questions to ask at Jerrol's Bookstore on the final night as well. Thanks again to all and I look forward to coming back!

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2. All in a blur

Nine years, can you believe it?

Wonderboy and Rilla, June 2006

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3. MoCCA 2015 in Pictures and memories

The good news is that the 2015 MoCCA Festival moved to a new venue—Center 548 in the heart of Chelsea’s gallery district—and it was ideal! Windows, flattering white walls, three floors of comicksy goodness, tons of foot traffic, and a rooftop lounge where you could sit in the sunlight and  look out over the Hudson to the far lands of Jersey. And the panels held at the Highline Hotel wee a hop skip and jump away. It was smooth sailing!

The bad news is that MoCCA will never be there again(h/t Daryl Ayo) The building—once the home of the prestigious Dia Arts Center—has been sold and will be converted to condos, like everything else in New York. When all these people move into these condos will there be anything fun left to do in NYC except shop at the Stella McCartney store? I sure hope so. 

I’ll have  a more detailed report on the show for Publishers Weekly, but here’s a picture run down of the week.

One quick note: while today’s multi-faceted comics publishing world  doesn’t really lend itself to a “book of the show” Jillian Tamaki’s “SexCoven” in Frontier #7 was definitely the book of the show. It sold out on Saturday but you can order your copy here.

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My MoCCA Week kicked off on Thursday with a VIP party for Aline Kiminsky-Crumb with a performance by Eden and John’s East River String Band with special guest R. Crumb sitting in. But first I surveyed the Alt.Weekly cartoonists show downstairs which is amazing. This 30-year old Life in Hell strip by Matt Groening is as true today as it was then. The show is up until May 2 — see it! IMG_2914.jpg

It was a lively hoe down. Crumb plays with verve. And I can scratch that off my bucket list.

 

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The hallway to the restroom is an exhibit of original art from the LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM anthology. Art by Farel Dalrymple, Bill Sienkiewicz and more. I love this page from Carla Speed McNeill for obvious reasons.

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On Friday night I moderated a panel consisting of Daryl Cunningham, Penelope Bagieu, Nadja Spiegelman and Sergio Garcia Sanchez, shown above. It was a rather unattended event, sadly, but the panelists were great. Here Sanchez shows us someof his experimental comics which use space and storytelling in very unusual and beautiful ways. He teaches cartooning in France and I hope to have more with him in a few weeks. That’s Bagieu on the upper left, and she’s a pistol.

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After the panel, I trained over to the Productive for Drink & Draw Like a Lady. Every year there are more ladies! Seriously the place was jammed, and I saw a lot of names on tags that I knew from Tumblr and Twitter. This is the NOISIEST party I attend every year.

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Saturday morning I got into a cab with a driver who saw a bit of crosstown traffic and decided at Fifth Avenue that he wasn’t going to take me any further. “It’s a beautiful day! You’ll enjoy the walk!” he urged. For this I had to pay him $5. I got to the Highline Hotel—a former seminary which could easily stand in for Hogwarts—just in time to see Bill K. interviewing Scott McCloud. I know other people have better pictures of this, but it’s my photo essay! With these two smart people, the panel breezed by.

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I love all the details that the SOI staff puts into making MoCCA run smoothly, like this signage on 10th Avenue directing you to the venue.

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Inside I made a beeline to say hi to Seth Kushner here with his heroic wife Terra. Kushner fell ill after last year’s MoCCA and he’s still recovery from the leukemia that nearly took his life, but he’s leukemia free. It was wonderful to see him, and pick up his new comic, and I think his being there was the highlight of the show for a lot of people.

 

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Band photo with Dean Haspiel and Chris Miskiewicz

 

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A selection of books from Atlantic Press a UK based imprint that publishes experimental and student comics. The book in the foreground, Beyond the Wire by Alys Jones was my find of the show—using hand cut holes in the pages to show the claustrophobic and deadly world of the trenches of WWI.

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Steve Vrattos at the Fanfare/Ponent Mon table has a ton if imports from Knockabout and other UK publishers. While I was chatting with him, he helped someone pick up their first book by Jiro Taniguchi, so job done.

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I ran into Matt Loux and Abby Denson, one of my favorite comics couples, coming out of the elevator.

Oh yeah the elevator. It’s moot now, since the 548 Center is going bye bye, but getting up and down the floors was the one thing that might have been a hindrance for the venue. The elevator held four people and took 15 minutes to make a trip.  The stairs were super steep and narrow, and while they weren’t really dangerous, per se, let’s just say that if you had a little bit of vertigo, things become more challenging. But like I said, that’s all moot.

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After you managed to get up four flights of stairs you were greeted with this view on the roof top.

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Saturday night I went back to SOI for the Awards of Excellence presentation which were given this year to Greg Kletzel (above), Kris Mukai, Daniel Zender, Tyler Boss and Keren Katz.

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Here’s Keren with her trophy. (Keren is so talented and also one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, even in a business filled with nice people.)

This party had some free beer from Lagunitas and was so much fun. The patio was open, and after this long winter, just to be outside again was a joy.

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On Sunday I tried to take pictures like I always do. Alice Meichi Li

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Birdcage Bottom’s JT Yost

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Hic and Hoc’s Matt Moses and Sam Henderson

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And then I got distracted and stopping taking photos. As you can see it was a light, airy place. Too bad we’ll never be there again. Enjoy your $5 million condo that you visit once a year, oligarch.

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Javier Cruz Winnik and Sara Wooley

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Julia Gfrorer and Sean T. Collins. Later on we got a picture of Sean along with myself and Brigid Alverson, as shot by Johanna Draper Carlson for a Bloggers of the Aughts reunion.

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At Conundrum, Kat Verhoeven, Andy Brown and Joe Ollman take their band photo. Verhoeven’s Towerkind is just out and I talked to her about it for the PW podcast this week.

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The woman of the year, Jillian Tamaki.

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This is the Highline Hotel. Inside it was decorated with manual typewriters and dark wood fixtures  reminiscent of a century ago. When I leave New York, I want to come stay here when I visit, except rooms are $400 a night. Also you had to stand in line 20 minutes for a $4 cup of Intelligentsia coffee.  They were out of cold brew and pastries by the time I got there. The barista told me they’d had an insanely busy weekend.

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I checked out this panel with editors from various print and online magazines—the New York Times, Rookie magazine, Autostraddle and Tablet—and what they look for when hiring cartoonists. I took notes and will write it up in a bit.

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SeflMadeHero publisher Emma Haley and Dutch artist Barbara Stok.

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Ghetto Brothers, a true life tale of gang life in the South Bronx, was one of the lesser heralded books at the show, but I heard a lot about it on the floor. Here’s Benjy Melendez, subject of the story, and artist Julian Voloj. I think you’ll here more about this in the coming weeks.

 

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Calvin Reid and I did the Buddyback!

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Another view of that wonderful rooftop lounge as Brian Heater and Calvin confirm their world domination plans. Tears in the rain, baby

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For those who could not binge watch Daredevil, there was a water tower.

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The other Leigh of Top Shelf. I’m terrible with last names.

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At the end of the day I got to ride down in the freight elevator which is bigger than my entire apartment. Sad face.

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I left the show and walked over on the Highline with Marie Javins, Shannon Wheeler and Brian Heater. Here is their band photo.

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And we walked off into the sunset. Seriously, comics, rooftops, Highline, sunsets…this was all so wonderful and I couldn’t ask for better people to reflect on the show with.

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So yeah, MoCCA 2015 was pretty swell. I’m for Anelle Miller and the other folks at SOI will be able to wrangle a new venue for 2016, but I’ll always remember this one. It was a special time.

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4. Happy Birthday to my Mom!



Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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5. Why SpaceX photos aren’t public domain (yet)

Sometimes people who license their digital content aren’t really thinking it through. They may have something else on their minds or copyright nuance may not be their thing. I think it behooves us copyright advocates and activists to (at least) politely try to push the envelope towards more open content licensing. Here’s the example I enjoyed from today.

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This is interesting especially because Flickr uses Creative Commons licensing, but does not use CC-0 which is an intentional choice. Photos from cultural heritage organizations which are in the Flickr Commons have an additional “no known copyright restriction” option that is only available to specific accounts, not any Flickr user. There are many ways this specific issue can be resolved but just the fact that it’s generally a hurdle that has to be overcome indicates that there is still a good role for copyright reform advocates to play. More supporting links: Original article & SpaceX photos on Flickr.

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6. Kickstarter alert: Comic Book People 2: Photographs from the 1990s by Jackie Estrada

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Somehow I have neglected to mention until this moment that Jackie Estrada is crowdfunding a second book of photos taken at conventions over the years, this one focusing on the 90s.

The first volume was a roaring success. This second one (Despite not having me on the cover) looks to be just as good. And the perks are excellent.

This volume covers youthful looks for most of today’s superstars.

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That’s Frank MIller, Neil Gaiman, Bill Sienkiewicz, Bernie Wrightson and Dave Gibbons from 1991.

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And Chris Ware and the late Kim Thompson from 1993.

There’s also a very rare photo from an event that I didn’t think any photos existed for, the VERY FIRST Freinds of Lulu Meeting at the Cafe Lulu in San Diego:

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That’s Cat Yronwode, Lee Marrs, unknown, the late Kim Yale, Martha Thomases and Maggie Thompson. Veteran warriors all.

Anyway, this kickstarter is at the “halfway done 50% funded” spot, so it could use a little kick.

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7. Photo: {My Crazy Family By Marriage}

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We may be crazy, but MY GOSH we have fun!


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8. Photos from my NYC trip (includes #NY15SCBWI pics)

Simon & Schuster meeting about my illustrations in SEA MONKEY AND BOB (author: Aaron Reynolds)

I had SUCH AN AMAZING TIME IN NEW YORK! Huge thanks to the SCBWI Winter Conference organizers, volunteers and faculty for a fantastic event.

Eventually, when I get more free time (hahahah), I hope to post some highlights. The next couple of weeks are going to be superbusy for me so instead, I'm sharing some of the photos I took with my iPhone during my trip. 

Feel free to share or repost any of my photos; including a photo credit would be much appreciated (or tagging me). Here are some of the photos from my adventures in NYC, including after the SCBWI conference:

On Facebook:
Part 1: SCBWI-NYC - Part 2: SCBWI-NYC (cont’d)Part 3: Curtis BrownPart 4: Random House Children’s - Part 5: Simon & Schuster Children’s 

On Flickr:
Part 1: SCBWI-NYCPart 2: SCBWI-NYC (cont’d)Part 3: Curtis BrownPart 4: Random House Children’s 
- Part 5: Simon & Schuster Children’s 

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9. five Thursday moments

• Rilla came to me with a paper cut. Not that I’m happy she was hurt, just–it struck me so sweetly that she still comes to me for little hurts like that, still believes a kiss from mommy can help

• good IEP meeting—they all love him so

• cleaned up the side yard, threw out two bins of junk, pruned the pepper trees

• daffodils in the neighbor’s yard

• Huck wearing the old cloth barn on his head like a jolly little hat.
Hilarious! Also nice to see how beloved it still is, 16 years and 5 kids later

ikea barn and speckled band

Well, what do YOU wear to read The Adventure of the Speckled Band?

 

 

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10. Photo: Vancouver, You Have a Lot of Glass and Boats

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October 2013 – we’re in Vancouver, British Columbia. We flew into Vancouver the day before our cruise was scheduled to leave and we spent the day sight seeing. It was a GORGEOUS day and this is one of my favorite pictures.

One. Because there is so much glass! And boats!

Two. Because I think I look pretty good leaning up against that post. Note to self: wear dark clothing – it hides the chunky monkey.


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11. Photo: {Sexy Son}

blake-hat

Blake is so sexy. LOL

Bring on the girls!


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12. Photo: {My Work Peeps}

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I truly love the people I work with. Everyone has a sense of humor. Everyone takes her job seriously. We all work as a team.

I couldn’t ask for a better work family, truly.


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13. What recapping looks like

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That’s two viewings plus a bit of rewinding during the writeup. Today I discussed Billy Collins’s wonderful poem, “Marginalia,” with a small group of girls, and I when I got home and flipped open my notebook, I had to laugh at the way I wreck a page. That’s not a self-criticism; I’m used to myself now and the chaotic way my mind works as it wrestles a narrative into order. I write my novels the same way: a chunk here, a chapter there, jumping forward and backward in the story until the bones are intact enough that I can settle down and work on muscles, skin, heart.

 

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14. Photo: {Vancouver Pier}

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Kevin took this picture while we were waiting to board our cruise ship in Vancouver, Canada in October 2013. We were cruising to Alaska. And though I had to talk Kevin into this cruise it actually ended up being the best cruise we’ve been on so far. (And judging by my flushed cheeks, I was having a hot flash).


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15. Schmesolutions

January 1st
I’m going to blog every day this year!

January 3rd
Well, obviously I didn’t mean weekends.

January 5th
::mutter mutter:: Look, that Downton episode was over 90 minutes long. These things take time! A LOT of time. Like, I’d have had to start writing in 1924 to have a recap ready to publish by Monday morning.

January 7th
It’s ready to go live! Now I can get back to regularly scheduled blogging.

::small boy appears, wants to cuddle::

Hmm, maybe not quite yet.

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(Photo taken by Rilla on New Year’s morning. Thanks again for the excellent gift choice, Godmother.)

I’ll be running the Downton posts at GeekMom this year. Episode 1 should go live today; I’ll post the link here when it’s up.

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16. Merry merry

As of this moment, my 2014 Cybils work is done. Well, except for hauling a metric ton of books back to the library. Whew!

Since October 15th, I have read 79 young adult novels. Seventy. Nine. So now you know why this blog has been so quiet. But ahhhh, here I am, ready to settle back in and, you know, put the B in CYBILs. (Children’s and Young Adult Blogger Literary Awards.) Consider yourselves warned. :)

For now, though, today, the day after Christmas, I’ll content myself with a few thousand words’ worth of pictures.

christmas morningChristmas morning

birdbook20 Ways to Draw a Tree: the bird page

bongoboywatching TV with his new best friends

monopolyChristmas night: gaming like the olden days

Hope your holidays are happy and restful, friends. And filled with good books!

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17. December 2014, part the first

I know, I know, I go dark for almost two weeks and then suddenly, what, four posts in one day. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in (ye gods) nine years and eleven months of blogging, it’s: if you have something to write, write it, and if you don’t, don’t sweat it. And following a related-links rabbit trail on the Huck post this morning led me through many moments I’m glad I chronicled. So here’s an entry for the memory vault.

Of course the main reason for my silence has been my pile of Cybils reading, as we’re rapidly approaching The Big Discussion right after Christmas. I gave up maintaining my sidebar and Goodreads reading logs weeks ago, but after the madness is over I’ll use my Cybils log to catch up. If you are stuck for book choices I can make suggestions, boy howdy.

(I love this committee. It’s so good for mah brain to consume a megadose of YA fiction every couple of years. And my fellow panelists are so darn smart. It’s the book club of my dreams—fierce but fleeting.)

The other occupier of my time has been a glorious stream of company. :) ’Tis the season for visits from college friends. We had Kristen and her family for Thanksgiving (Krissy, did you get any good pix? Mine, not so much) and then a long-awaited, unremittingly delightful week with my friends Ron and Larry from Portland. I got to show them Balboa Park (the best part of San Diego) not once but twice: two long lovely afternoons there roaming through gardens and museums. One day with kids and one day without. Beanie and Rilla came with us to the SD Museum of Art, where the “Gauguin to Warhol” exhibit wowed us. I wasn’t surprised to be choked up by seeing a Frida Kahlo up close (Self Portrait with Monkey), but I didn’t expect the Jackson Pollock to move me the way it did. The scope of the thing, a whole massive wall of paint crammed with small stories.

Soon we’ll have my parents here, and Jane finished finals yesterday (with a paper on Prufrock, color me proud) and will be headed home in a few days. Fortunately she wasn’t planning on taking the train home today! Amtrak had to cancel the coastal train due to this crazy storm. Water, finally! More than this parched land can handle. Much worse in LA than here. We’re cozying up at home for now.

The other notable thing about our December is, of course, that it’s our biggest birthday month. So before I pour in a bunch of photos from Instagram and elsewhere these past few weeks, I’ll just leave you with this: Wonderboy is eleven now. Eleven!

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before the rain

umbrellaboy and during

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genius at work: the making of the annual grasshopper pie

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Rilla’s Stampy Longnose paper dolls

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shockingly, this did not end in a trip to the emergency room

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Museum of Man, Balboa Park

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the mischief corner

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“Roots + history,” swiped from Larry’s Instagram

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impossible yet true

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18. Sweet thoughts

DSC_1672Little bee, no swerving from your line when you deliver the goods back home.

A busy place with no door but when you enter you still use your buzzer.

Then back again from flower to flower, collecting the pollen that gives you power.

It’s home again, little bundles carried to feed the Queen


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19. SDCC 14: #comicsbeat #nycc legend of korra cosplay

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20. SDCC 14: #comicsbeat AWESOME HANNIBAL COSPLAY #nycc

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21. SDCC 14: #comicsbeat #nycc Barf & Lonestar cosplay

10727667 802862709777289 120051119 n SDCC 14: #comicsbeat #nycc Barf & Lonestar cosplay
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22. SDCC 14: #comicsbeat #nycc WOW this Cassandra cosplay overwhelms me! #doctorwho

1921918 319667858216731 579758054 n SDCC 14: #comicsbeat #nycc WOW this Cassandra cosplay overwhelms me! #doctorwho
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23. SDCC 14: #comicsbeat DRAGON BALL ADORABLE! #nycc

10729294 768022436577760 338159146 n SDCC 14: #comicsbeat DRAGON BALL ADORABLE! #nycc
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1 Comments on SDCC 14: #comicsbeat DRAGON BALL ADORABLE! #nycc, last added: 10/15/2014
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24. SDCC 14: #comicsbeat Dance magic dance! Stunning Jareth cosplay! #nycc

1516391 556798864419989 894031724 n SDCC 14: #comicsbeat Dance magic dance! Stunning Jareth cosplay! #nycc
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25. App of the Week: Brushstroke

Name: Brushstroke
Cost: 2.99
Platform: iOS 7 or later

code organa logoBrushstroke is a seemingly simple app that turns a photo into a painting. You might think to yourself, so what? But really, it’s a pretty powerful tool that gives teens, teachers, and librarians the chance to use a variety of effects on their photos and is a great way to start discussions on painting techniques, styles, how visual messages change as a result of visual choices, and even artists and art movements.

The way it works is that a user selects a photo from an iPad or iPhone camera roll or takes a photo from within the app. The next step is to crop the image if need be. After that, and I admit it took me a minute to figure out how to get from the crop screen to the painting screen – it’s the > on the top right (as you can see in the images below) – the image is rendered as a painting. In the photos below you’ll see the original version of the photo I painted on the left and the painted version on the right.

original photo of harry and lulu relaxing brushstroke painted photo of harry and lulu relaxing

Once a photo is turned by Brushstroke into a painting, a wide-array of painting styles are available to render the image in. Choices range from oil and watercolor styles to experimental and abstract styles. You can also add color filters; a canvas type such as primed, rough, canvas, stone, and so on; change exposure, brightness, and add a highlights; and add a signature to a painting. Brushstroke signature screenWhen adding a signature there are a few color choices available and as the signature is created it’s visible on the painting so it’s easy to tell which color will display the best.

After completing a painting it can be saved, shared via traditional social media channels, or even produced and shipped framed and ready to hang in a school, library, or teenager’s bedroom.

Teens who are interested in different styles of art can compare their favorite artist’s paintings to the styles they create with Brushstrokes. Teachers who are working with teens in art classes, history classes, and so on can use Brushstroke as a jumping off point in conversations about the ways in which different painting techniques can be used in order to send a particular message or create a particular emotion.

Turning a photo into a painting might seem like a simple idea. But in reality, to transform the photo into the style most appropriate for the image portrayed takes a lot of thought and trial and error. Critical thinking and problem-solving are a key part of the process.

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