The pink started here:
My dear husband, for reasons yet unknown, picked out these shades for the lights in our apartment living room. In most apartments here, the lighting fixtures are not included, and since we’re here for a limited time, we didn’t want to spend a lot on them. We have no pink in our house otherwise, so I can only guess he was asking for a dose of color in our lovely but very white white white apartment. Reactions from guests have ranged from: “Fresh! Modern! I love them!” to “Hmmmph. Why? Why?”
I felt the need to echo the pink somewhere else, so recovering our pillows was my first thought. Finding fabrics here has been tough, so I hit up the thrift store, bought old white cotton tablecloths and turned them into something that works.
First I doused the tablecloths in a good strong brew of coffee (no, I did not use the good stuff, honey). Then I broke out a favorite childhood toy.
I love these stamps. I used Deka fabric ink that I found at the local art store. I’ve used Deka ink before, a long time ago, which was more like a gouache consistency. This was different, more gel-like.
You may recognize this shape from another project using dishwasher gel.
Now the pink feels at home.
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Puppicasso is in a state tonight. A state of the union.
He tells me not to disturb his viewing of the speeches. He watches the Presidential teleprompter readings and claims that the SOU is an amazing workout video… way better than Puppi-90-x.
The squats he does every time the house applauds totally keeps his quads firm.
And don’t get him started on how the Republican Rebuttal Response shapes his rebutt.
He is exhausted now. He uses a faux fur pillow chair to support his chin.
Glad this workout only happens once a year.
|Make your dreams come alive |
with Dain Fagerholm's Daydreamer Pillow Cover made from 100% spun polyester poplin fabric, a stylish statement that will liven up any room. Individually cut and sewn by hand, the pillow cover measures 16" x 16", features a double-sided print and is finished with a concealed zipper for ease of care. Does not include pillow insert.
|©2013 Dain Fagerholm|
Daydream in style with Dain Fagerholm's Gem Creatures!!Throw Pillow Cover made from 100% spun polyester poplin fabric, a stylish statement that will liven up any room. Individually cut and sewn by hand, the pillow cover measures 16" x 16", features a double-sided print and is finished with a concealed zipper for ease of care. Does not include pillow insert.
Daria Snadowsky on Daria Snadowsky:
Some measure out their lives in "coffee spoons,"
Others in Judy Blumes . . . .
1988: Peter Hatcher from Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing became my first literary boy crush.
1989: Blubber marked the first time my friends and I ever saw the word "bitch" in print. We were so stunned and delighted by this novelty that we kept passing the book around to each other under our desks during class, with the famous "bitch page" doggy-eared.
1990: I polished off Are You There God? It's Me Margaret in two hours, and for me, that event was no less than a religious solemnity. It seemed that the book was "happening to me" as I was reading it. I felt so much more grown-up by the time I reached the last page.
1991: Then Again, Maybe I Won't was my introduction to the adolescent male psyche. I was grateful it explained the mystery of why boys would sometimes bring a book (as coverage) with them to the chalkboard.
1992: There is no way to exaggerate Forever's influence on every aspect of my high school life. (It was also around this time I first watched "The Thorn Birds"--that the Richard Chamberlain character was called "Ralph," a name which figures rather largely in Forever, made him all the more enticing.)
1993: I was too young to read Wifey, but I tore through it anyway. It shattered my fairy tale fantasies of "happily ever after," which is probably a good thing in the long run.
1998: I had the honor of reviewing Summer Sisters for a local magazine. It was wonderful to be able to rave about Blume not just to my friends but also to the general public.
2006: Since I knew I'd be dedicating Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Delacorte, 2007) to Blume, I mailed her a partially-edited version of the manuscript. I didn't expect to hear back since she's so busy, but I did! Last May she emailed me that she read Anatomy, thought it was "so good," and enjoyed it so much she "had trouble putting it down." :-)
What made you decide to write for young readers?
I was still in my early twenties when I started Anatomy of a Boyfriend, so I felt qualified writing for teens since those adolescent years were still fresh in my memory. Oddly enough, a lot of the reader emails I've received lately come from adults who stumbled across the book in Target stores (Target is currently shelving the book in the "Bookmarked Breakout" section, not the young adults section). So maybe the story has a wider appeal than I imagined.
Could you tell us about your path to publication, any sprints or stumbles along the way?
I finished the rough draft in mid-2003, and I began querying agents through Writer's Market shortly thereafter, right as I was beginning law school. An agent accepted me several months down the line and submitted the manuscript to more than a dozen publishers. It was universally rejected--apparently, 599 pages is a bit too long. Instead of ending his representation, my agent graciously allowed me to take my first summer after law school to halve the book's length. It was this new, shorter draft that was bought a few weeks later.
Congratulations on the publication of Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Delacorte, 2007)(excerpt)! What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?
Thank you! I remember my first hall meeting during freshman year of college--we were introducing ourselves and discovering that almost half of us had boyfriends from high school. Then by the following semester, almost everyone had dumped or been dumped by her high school sweetheart. So I wanted to focus on that part of a girl's life when she's simultaneously excited for and scared of how college will change things. In the book, Dominique, the protagonist, says, "I used to think of college acceptance letters as emancipation proclamations. Now they're like divorce papers."
I also wanted to do a straightforward, nonjudgmental treatment of the emotional roller coaster of love. I resent that all of the words associated with romantic love are so pejorative. We're often called "nuts," "obsessed," "head over heels," "infatuated," and "addicted."
Why is love saddled with such negative words considering that any one of us, no matter how brainy, sane, or logical, can feel this way? Anatomy of a Boyfriend concerns a girl whose intelligence is above average but still longs uncontrollably for her knight in letterman jacket. Her behaviors may seem crazy, but in truth what she's experiencing couldn't be more natural and human.
Could you briefly describe the story?
Seventeen year old Dominique can't wait to graduate from high school and go pre-med. She's rational and level-headed and never had a serious crush before. However, during winter break of her senior year, she meets shy but dreamy fellow senior Wes. For the first time in her life, all of her priorities become completely reordered, and she finds herself thinking about him every minute of the day, reading into every little thing he says or does, and desiring to be his girlfriend more than she wants to be accepted into her first choice college. This is the story of Dom's emotional and sexual journey through the euphoric highs and hellish lows of first love. It also follows Dom's transition to college as she tries desperately to keep her relationship with Wes intact.
What were the challenges (literary, research, psychological, logistical) in bringing it to life?
The biggest logistical challenge was juggling literary revisions with the rigors of law school. Luckily, I was able to schedule all of my classes on Mondays through Thursdays, so I had three-day weekends to devote to the book.
One of the many aspects of this book that I appreciated was Dominique's smart, sometimes clinical, sometimes vulnerable, always real voice. Could you give us some insights as to how you came to know this character?
Thank you, again! We see Dom before and after she falls under love's life-altering spell, and every emotion she experiences I've endured as well. Before I had ever been in love, I was so impatient with my girlfriends who wouldn't stop "obsessing" over their (ex)boyfriends. I kept telling them, "Just get over him! He's not right for you! How can a smart, sensible girl like you act this pathetically?" Then when I finally fell for a guy, I found myself guilty of everything I had railed against. For the first time ever, I identified with Scarlett O'Hara, Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary and a host of other characters from literature whom I had initially written off as unrealistic, clingy, selfish dopes unworthy of carrying a novel.
So although Dom and I differ in most ways, I understood her plight all too well. I just tried to express it in Dom's uniquely scientific, analytical voice. More than anything, I tried to make her sound honest. That's what I appreciate most about Blume's characters--they are always very straight with the reader about everything they are going through, even if what they're feeling, be it spite, jealousy or hate, isn't all that complimentary.
What is it like, being a debut novelist in 2007?
I'm lucky we have email and MySpace to make direct communication virtually effortless. I feel much more connected to readers and writers than I probably would have ten years ago.
Growing up in the eighties, I rarely sent fan mail to authors because it was too time-consuming to find the address, write out a letter, and schlep it to the post office, especially since there were no assurances that the author would ever receive it, let alone respond. Now I rarely read a book without emailing the author afterwards.
What are some of your favorite recent reads?
Nine Wives by Dan Elish (St. Martin's Griffin, 2005). It's about a thirty-something musician/legal assistant in Manhattan who's raring to get married, but his standards are a tad skewed. It's perfectly written, highly thought-provoking, and totally hilarious. Elish actually spoke to my fifth grade class back in the eighties about his middle-grade book, The Worldwide Dessert Contest. I remember him describing how arduous and frustrating editing can be, and knowing that comforted me during my own revision process.
What do you do when you're not writing?
Praying for "The Wonder Years" to be released on DVD.
I’m sitting in a hotel room in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We arrived a couple hours ago and just came back from eating tacos and hot green and red chili. But I’ll blog about that once we’ve finished our time here. Over the past few days we were in Oklahoma and Amarillo, TX, so I’ll catch you up on that. Karen helped out with today’s blog. She wrote the section on Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo, TX (below, in a different font).
OKLAHOMA CITY LOOKED OH SO PRETTY
We arrived in OKC from Dallas on Thursday evening. There, we stayed with our friends Rich Schwab and Margaret Mantooth Schwab. They were incredibly nice to us, and took the day off on Friday just to drive us around. Thanks, Rich and Margaret!
First stop in Oklahoma City, I was interviewed on “Read All About It,” a state-wide show about books and authors that's produced by the Metropolitan Library System for Cox TV. Now, I can’t say I’m used to being interviewed on talk shows, but boy-oh, this was fun. First, they put make-up on me (not sure why—isn’t the pasty-white look in?), then I hung out in the green room with other guests, including some way-cool local librarians, one of whom was doing a review on the novel Rules by my friend Cynthia Lord. Then they called me to the set. I was on for about eight minutes, interviewed by BJ Williams, the show’s producer and host. We talked about Lemonade Mouth and the tour, etc., etc. I think it went well, but who am I to say? It was my first time. I’ll get a copy of it whenever I can. :-)
Thanks to BJ Williams and Cox TV! Hats off to "Read All About It" -- what a wonderful way to promote books and reading!
Best Of Books
Later that afternoon we stopped at Best of Books, a terrific store in Edmond, OK, where Julie Hovis and Kathy Kinasewitz, the co-owners, were great to my family and me. The store has been in business for years, and it’s carved out a niche as one of the few independent booksellers in the area.
While there I ran into an old friend from Massachusetts, Meredith Pearlman, who had made the drive from Tulsa to see us--she moved to Oklahoma only three months ago. It was so great to see you, Meredith!
We made a stop at the memorial for the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995. It was very moving. They have a place for kids to leave messages in chalk. Evan, Lucy, and Zoe each left one.
Uh-Oh. Oil Trouble!
We were driving around the city when suddenly a light started flashing on our car’s dashboard – it was an oil can. Uh oh, oil trouble. So we made a quick detour to the local Honda dealer, where Stephen Sponsler did a quick diagnosis – we were almost completely out of oil! Yikes! We must have a leak, but it must be a slow one because after he changed the oil he didn’t see the car lose any more. So, new strategy: We’ll check the oil every 500 miles or so!
While we were waiting for the oil situation to get resolved, we stopped into a local Barnes and Noble, where we met Chuck Ackerly and Dean Kraushaar. A cool way to spend the pit stop!
IN AMARILLO, WE GRABBED A PILLOW
On Saturday (yesterday), it was goodbye Oklahoma, and back into Texas. We arrived in Amarillo where, in accordance with the old classic song, we grabbed a pillow.
Karen wrote the next part:
Camping in Palo Duro Canyon
KAREN: On Saturday night we went camping in Palo Duro Canyon, near Amarillo, TX.
It was a wild experience. First, we set up camp at the bottom of the canyon (the 2nd biggest in the US)! We spread out our tent on the hard red dirt covering all of the ants and other variations on bugs. The minute we got there, we were all being eaten alive by bugs. I could tell right away that I could never have been a cow girl. Even though I’ve camped in the past and loved it, I was already dreaming of a comfy bed in the air conditioning. Lucy, Zoe, and Evan were complaining about being bitten, Mark was complaining about how hot it was (it was 7pm), so I knew it would be a long night especially when Mark announced to the kids that if they see a Rattlesnake, don’t try to poke it with a stick! Rattlesnakes, no one prepared me for this!! The kids started to freak...who could blame them? Next we had dinner, no fire of course because we were too hot and would have roasted even more. Who told me that it cools down in the desert at night??
That evening we went to an amazing musical show called “Texas” in an amphitheater actually in the Canyon. It was all about Texas history, songs and there were even fireworks!
I liked the show so much, I even started thinking it would be fun to be a real Texan. I was amazed at how the Texan settlers could live here! Ok, so I could make it one night, why not?!
I was up all night listening to various interesting sounds of wildlife. While the family snored happily, I kept thinking of all those Rattlesnakes. I swear I heard some close by slithering. Mark thinks I was imagining things, but I DON’T THINK SO!! The next morning Mark admitted that the park ranger warned him that there was a “bumper crop” of Rattlesnakes in the canyon this year. Enough said!!
The next morning, getting up at 7 am with 3 hours of sleep and all wet because there was a lot of dew all night (so much for comfortable sleeping in the dry desert), we rushed to pack up camp, eat and dress to be presentable because in one hour we were going to be interviewed by the Amarillo NBC TV station at Barnes & Noble! Can you believe this? The only time in my life that I was a actually going to be on TV is after spending a night camping full of dirt and bug bites…so much for any beauty rest! I’ll let Mark tell you the rest, I’m fading from exhaustion!
(I just re-read this and although it sounds like I had a miserable time, it was a great adventure I wouldn’t have missed. We really are having a great time. Our next camping trip might include bears. I’ll let you know if we go do it and I don’t chicken out!)
ANOTHER TV INTERVIEW!
MARK: Jeez, I can’t believe I’m still typing. This was an action-packed few days! So, in Amarillo, TX this morning the local NBC-TV affiliate (KAMR) was there to interview us! They have a weekly series on families doing stuff together, so our trip kinda fit in. (Note, this gig was due entirely to the amazing promotional efforts of my friend Tyler Jensen who, out of sheer kindness, sent out a funny email to media outlets all over the known world, telling them about our road-trip. Thanks, Tyler! You da best!) for the interview, Evan stole the show when he described the camping experience and gave an enthusiastic, detailed tour of the van. They loved him so much they ran out of videotape filming him. No kidding!
The series runs every Friday, part of the local evening news. Our story is scheduled for four Fridays AFTER this Friday. Faith, the local news anchor (she was the one doing the interviews!) promises to let me know when it runs, and how I can get a copy of it. I’ll get the word out when I have access to the video. :-)
KIMBERLY WILLIS HOLT
We were very lucky to meet up with Kimberly Willis Holt and her husband Jerry for coffee. Kimberly is the New York Times bestselling author of such books as When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, My Louisiana Sky and Waiting For Gregory. Such nice people! We ended up chatting for quite a while. :-)
Finally, here’s a picture of Samantha Adkins and Cassie Mason, two soon-to-be high-school seniors who we met in Amarillo. Among other things we talked about Harry Potter and his unknown fate—which will be known later this week. Nice to meet you, Samantha and Cassie!
Next stop: Santa Fe!