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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: surprises, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 13 of 13
1. Summer Projects

It's hotter than July here in Colorado, and it's not even July yet... I'm not such a fan of heat. But I will say that summer is good for writing for me, not sure why. Maybe it's the longer days, or that the sun kicks me out of bed earlier? In any case, I'm on a roll with writing, which is nice. 2016 is my year for holing up and writing some manuscripts, so let the words stack up, please.

One of my projects has me delving into music history a little, blues history in particular. So I'm listening to all kinds of oldies to get in the mood. And I also have some new music on the playlist-- this up-and-coming band Kaleo came across my radar. I was sure they hailed from the deep south, from some town in the Alabama or Mississippi mud, because that's the sound. Turns out Kaleo is from Iceland. I kid you not. Check it out:

I like being surprised, and I like it when the universe reminds me that not everything is so predictable. I try to use that little trick in my writing, too, when I think I can get away with it.

I'm not easily surprised anymore when it comes to books. I tried to think of an example, but can't think of a single book where a plot twist blew me off my socks.

Help me out, guys: any books that threw you for a loop?

0 Comments on Summer Projects as of 7/3/2016 1:53:00 PM
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2. #736-7 – Who’s There? and All Shook Up! by Alain Crozon

What is better than an Alain Crozon board book? TWO Alain Crozon board books! Originally published in France (Éditions des Grandes Personnes © 2013), Chronicle Books has translated the texts of Who’s There? and All Shook Up! for English-speaking children. Chronicle Books has made a specialty out of translating and publishing French children’s book. If …

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3. Happy Birthday Hamster – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Happy Birthday Hamster Story by Cynthia Lord Art by Derek Anderson Published by Scholastic Press, 2011 Ages: 3-7 Themes: hamsters, birthdays, friendship Opening Lines:  Best day, bake day, candles on a cake day!                         … Continue reading

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4. Bear With Me

PSbearPeepsqueak LOVES BEARS!  …. and so do I!! I LOVE toys!  I love weird toys, stuff animals, special teddy bears, and more. Having three grandsons gives me a great excuse to buy MORE toys!  I took a trip to the thrift store just this week to look for action figures!  I ran them through the dishwasher and stowed in my big toy trunk.  Three more trucks are sitting near the book-case in the “YaYa” room.  Its great fun!  On Tuesday I played “Superhero”!  My youngest grandson loves the stuffies!  Including my own little Peeksqueak plush by Merry Makers.  If you want to order one, you can go to the website, or call them.

retail orders online at http://www.merrymakersinc.com and retail and/or wholesale orders at 888-989-0454 or via email at [email protected]

They are a great toy company.  I want ALL THEIR TOYS!  ha ha!

You can also find Peepsqueak on his Facebook page.  I am going to have another book Give-A-Way as soon as the new toy gets here!  Peepsqueak and I are so excited!  I may also put it on this Word Press site so stay posted!


Filed under: Just for fun, Kicking Around Thoughts, Peepsqueak!, Surprises

1 Comments on Bear With Me, last added: 3/30/2013
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5. Santa’s Last Present by Marie Aude-Murail & Elvire Murail

5 Stars Santa’s Last Present Marie Aude-Murail & Elvire Murail Quentin Blake Pages: 32       Ages: 6+ Inside Jacket: Julian is almost too old to believe in Santa Claus. But since his parents talk about Santa constantly, Julian decides to write the big guy in red one more time . . . just in case. This [...]

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6. New Every Morning

My “Peepsqueak” book is all about working hard to achieve goals no matter what anyone says. There are many “Poo poo-ers” in the world. It can be quite an effort at times to move toward your dreams when there are those who stand in the way with puzzled looks on their faces or telling you how you should do some OTHER dream.

Sometimes you don’t even KNOW what you want to do.  Never fear!

There is a dream in all of us! There is something born into us that needs doing.  Many people never find that dream because it is too hard, to scary, or the Poo Poo-ers got the best of them.

“Peepsqueak” is also about brand new beginnings. He was born into the world on a brand new day. Each of us have that new beginning every morning when our feet hit the floor.  All kinds of possibilities are set before us!

This morning I met an older woman named Marion.  I was at my local coffee shop when she came up to me with a worried look on her face. She told me she missed her bus!  She had no idea what to do because her next bus did not leave town for 7 hours!   I suggested we walk over to the senior center across the park and ask around about other possibilities for travel.  During that time we got to know each other a bit. She lived in Germany for a while and traveled all over Europe with her husband. She had grandchildren and two kids.  As we talked more we realized she only missed the early bus and she could catch the second bus in an hour. (I also found out how cheap it was to take the bus! I might have to try riding the bus to see my sister sometime. It sounds like a new adventure!)

So Marion was my new twist in the day.  What did YOU do new today?  If you meet up with a Poo Poo-er, just smile, and KEEP MOVING!

Filed under: Peepsqueak!, Surprises

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7. History Lessons

We add to our history every day of our lives.  That history might not written on pages made of paper, but it can be found in our hearts.

Looking back on the events in our lives may help us to define who we are today or who we may become in the future. By tracking events, we may even see a pattern or a path.

Here is a picture of my 1 and only art gallery show at the Denver Children’s Museum. It did not draw big crowds, family members did not pour in to see it, but it was FUN!!!!  It drew in LITTLE crowds… tiny people.  All the art was about 18 inches above the ground!  It was all about “Fairy Tales”.  My painting was titled, “The Princess and the Pea”.  It is still one of my most favorite fairy tales.  This show was key in my journey to discover what I liked doing and that was illustrating for kids!

What history will you write on your heart today? Where is your path leading you?  Sometimes you have to rise above the mucky muck to find it.  The world is full of mucky muck, but there are always grand adventures around the corner!

“Let’s sit upon a cloud today or hop on a bird and fly away! “





Filed under: Kicking Around Thoughts, Surprises

2 Comments on History Lessons, last added: 3/13/2012
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8. A Package At My Door.

OOOOHhhhhh!  I love the UPS man!  . . . that is . . . well . . . you know what I mean.  I don’t actually KNOW him but I love when he brings me packages!  I LOVE surprises!!! (My husband drove for UPS once and I do love HIM! :0))

Today UPS brought me a children’s book I ordered.  Oh it is so cute!  It made me so happy!!!  Some folks get happy with diamonds or vacations on cruise ships.  I would be happy with a drawing board in every room in my house and piles of children’s books and art supplies scattered about!  Ha!  … Here are a couple of images of my new book.  I wonder if I will ever meet Peter McCarty?  I think I will look for him on Facebook!

Filed under: Just for fun, Kicking Around Thoughts, Surprises

4 Comments on A Package At My Door., last added: 11/11/2010
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9. Today’s the DAY!

Today is the DAY!  It only comes ONCE a year!  It’s the DAY all the leaves fall off our catalpa tree! My husband and I joke around about it each year.  Last night we had our first good freeze and PRESTO!  The leaves are falling falling falling!

That’s all I have to say about it!  (except I LOVE this day for no good reason!)

Filed under: Just for fun, Surprises

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10. A Surprise in the Mail

brennanclassSometimes things other than bills and junk come in the mail. This week I was pleasantly surprised twice!

First, by this package sent to me by Mrs. Brennan and her class at The Meadows School in Las Vegas.  Mrs. Brennan emailed me and asked if She could use my High Hopes Ant illustration for her class production. Their presentation was about  people who’ve overcome great obstacles to fulfill their dreams.

The production was really cute. The kids did a great job. I know because they also sent me a DVD along with the flier, card and pictures!

Thank you Mrs. Brennan and all your students who made and signed the card!


The second surprise in the mail was from my fellow Doodle Diner,  David Sones. In December he hosted a giveaway over at the Doodle Diner. He gave away one of these prints to those who visited and left a comment…. then he including his Doodle Diner friends as well! David is a  a very gifted artist with a generous heart.

Thank you Pickle Dog!

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11. Novel Writing: Willing

I'm taking a few posts to share some thoughts about novel writing. This week, these thoughts are going to come up close and personal. I've been fearful of moving forward with my current project. I'm writing a big fat sci-fi epic. I'm on schedule with my plan but a certain terror has formed in me. This story has turned a dark corner, and that is not a welcome surprise. I find that my character is in more trouble that I thought she was. I think someone close to her is going to die. Someone I really love.

It's awful. I'm at the place where I have to be willing to follow my character. I have to be willing to follow my story. A novel gains momentum at some point. The impetus for the story is like a reservoir of water that grew and grew and then broke the dam. I thought about so many what ifs and what might bes. The writing is letting the water flood move forward across the plain, but unusual consequences are resulting. Things are getting uncovered that I did not expect.

I had a good conversation about floods this week with Janet Lee Carey. Yes, part of the process is discussing the ins and out of what you are doing with other writers. It's an absorbing, wonderful thing to me. Non-writers would probably find it boring. I also had an online chat with Pink (guess who?) and then Judy Gregerson. All their thoughts are swirling inside me and helping me embrace the true shape of my story. I must be willing. Oh, brave new world.

I have to do a shout out here at the end. The talented Mr. Kevan Atteberry is a member of my picture book critique group and he has been honored. He is the illustrator of the 2008 Children's Book Council's Children's Choice Award, K-2, "Frankie Stein" written by Lola Schafer.

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.

2 Comments on Novel Writing: Willing, last added: 5/17/2008
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12. New England in mourning

I realize no one in libraryland watches football except us marketing types and advertising affectionados, but I can't help but comment on the game last night. Who would have predicted it?

Just goes to show--it ain't over until it's over (unless there's only 1 second left on the clock...). Remember the Giants when you're in a tough funding situation, hiring situation, or new board members who are flexing their board member-right to question everything.

Most of us here woke up still dumb-founded!

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13. "...when you live in a godless universe of pain. If the universe was ordered, Neil Armstrong should be the first Neil on Google."

The quote is from Penn's radio show. You can also get it free from iTunes (here's the URL).

Over at Time Magazine they have a round up of the top ten comics/graphic novels of the year. All good choices, although I was surprised by the appearance on the list of some fine reprints (Kings in Disguise, for example.). Still, it was nice for me to see Absolute Sandman on there, mostly because when I wrote it, in 1987-1989, it would have been unthinkable for Time Magazine, or any real-world magazine, to have devoted any space at all to graphic novels or comics on a Best of the Year list. http://www.time.com/time/topten/2006/comics/10.html

Locus's Recommended list for 2006 is up at http://www.locusmag.com/2007/2006RecommendedReading.html


It'll get to me, don't worry. It just tends not to be a very fast thing.

And no, I'm not going to be spending so much time in Hollywood, that's just where Cat and her office is. The joy of the modern world is that things can move around it very easily, and we decided that it's far better if letters and suchlike go to someone who can look at them that day and figure out what's meant to happen next, rather than be put in a box with my name on it under the counter at DreamHaven and wait for the next time I decide I need a haircut and go down to Hair Police and stop in at DreamHaven to sign stuff for them on the way home.


Lots of artists and possibly someone who isn't an artist drew Spider-Man covers for a good cause. Details and you can pick out the blogging not-an-artist at:


In honor of National Gorilla Suit Day, I did an artist trading card and thought you might enjoy it, a bit.Here's the url: http://www.mcmatz.com/2007/01/ebay_auction_at_4.html I will now slowly back towards the exit and fade away...--Madeline

Oh Mark Evanier and Don Martin, what have you wrought?

Dear Mr Gaiman, I've just finished watching the recording of the Cody's Books readings and Q&A session. I'd never heard you read your work before. It's distressing to find out that not only are you a fantastic author but you are also an evocative oral story teller. Surely you're not allowed to be both? On to my question. (I searched and couldn't find anything specifically on this topic but my apologies if I missed it.) As a writer, do you get a similar feeling of closure/reward/enjoyment when you've created the final climax of a story that you hope your readers will experience when reading it or do you always have one eye on the technicalities of writing? Thank you.Regards, Clare Milner

You're too kind.

And the only answer I can give is neither. Because you're not experiencing it at the same speed. There's a relief at getting to the end, but it's also the relief of getting to the end of something you've been working on for, often, several years. Which doesn't mean you're not affected on an emotional level by scenes or by what happens to characters, or that you don't feel what's happening while you write it. But a reader will read something in a few hours that might have taken you a couple of years or more to write. And that big moment of closure may have been followed by another six months of writing.

Neil,In a post a little while ago you mentioned the reading list John Crowley compiled - which looks absolutely fascinating. You said a couple of the books on the list were your favourites in the world. So that would seem to me a good place to start! Which were they though? Sorry if the answer should be apparent from elsewhere on the site but I couldn't find it...Best wishes
Dominic Hartley

They are Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay, a book I adore; and The Songlines by the brilliant Bruce Chatwin (do not write to me and point out that Songlines is factually dodgy sometimes. It's still an amazing book and Chatwin wrote astoundingly well).


Do you realise this blog will be six years old on February the Ninth? I've had some ideas of things that we could put up that would be fun and special to celebrate the birthday, but they may not be ready in time...


g'day mr. gaiman. or night. or whatever it is, where you're at.i've been going through your blog for a couple of days now... (...) here are a couple of questions that i sincerely want to know the answers to.with all the fame and joy you've attained from writing, aren't you afraid to lose it all in an instant? i don't want to be morbid and all, but with all the hard work you've put in to your works, are you afraid to die?sorry... i wanted to ask j.r.r. tolkien the same thing but he isn't around... you see, i'm scared of dying and i'm poor... what is it like for you who has all the things you've achieved in life?

I remember being scared of dying when I was on the plane from London to New York in mid 1988 with the first half of Dave McKean's Black Orchid art travelling in the plane cabin with me -- these were the painted originals, and there were no copies as Dave, barely out of art school, couldn't have afforded to get them all shot at that point. I was writing Sandman issue two or three back then.

And I knew that if the plane went down Dave would never have redrawn the Black Orchid pages, and it would never come out, and that even if the first couple of Sandmans came out no-one would have known where it was going or what it was going to be. I crossed the Atlantic sweating, mentally keeping that plane in the air all the way.

Nineteen years later, I'm remarkably sanguine about life and death. I'm really lucky, in that I've achieved an awful lot of the things I wanted to do, and some people noticed. If I died soon (something, I should add here, that I have no intention of doing; I like life and all the things that come with it), I'd leave a body of varied and interesting work and three amazing kids behind, and that's more than I ever set out to do or hoped for.

Does that help?

I'd like to ask a small favour of those of you who have read down this far. Would anyone reading this, anyone with a blog or a website that is, mind linking to the last post -- http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2007/02/and-in-time-it-took-to-say-that-neil.html -- with the link text Penn Jillette? Given Penn's recent rant about the power and ubiquity of this blog on his radio show, I'd like to mess with his head just a little and see if we can actually google-bomb it so that that entry shows in the top few entries if you google Penn's name.

And sshhh, don't anyone tell him. I want it to be a surprise.

0 Comments on "...when you live in a godless universe of pain. If the universe was ordered, Neil Armstrong should be the first Neil on Google." as of 3/13/2007 10:09:00 PM
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