Tuesday, September 30, 2008


So I finished the artwork for WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON right under the wire...okay, I bent the wire a bit, so I had to get the art there as soon as possible. So, I decided the fastest way was to jump in the car and bring it to New York, NY myself.
Handing the art in was strangely anti-climatic, perhaps because my brain was a bit numb from the two month intensive creative purging. But a pleasant stroll in Central Park with Alvina and chat with Hans Christian Anderson helped.

Well, it helped enough that I could be fairly coherent during a little audio interview Little, Brown will put on their website as a promotional for the book. At least I think it was coherent. I realize I am not the best judge.

But I do know, the thing that most cured my mental blahs was this:

YES! My elusive half-moon cookies, called in NYC-speak "black and whites." To me, they will always be half moons and they will always be my remedy for lethargy. For as soon as I ate one (or two) I felt ready to go again.

Which is good, because I am now doing a three-week marathon of school visits in Texas. Yes, three weeks. I had to bring my bunny slippers so I could make my hotel room feel like home.

Sequel sketches

Some sketches from the proposal for a sequel to What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? that I'm working on...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Publication Story of WABI SABI, Part 2

Last week I started the story of how Wabi Sabi came to be here, and this week I'll pick up where I left off, which was after Ed Young sent the project to Andrea Spooner.

So, you're probably wondering how it went from Andrea to me. Andrea was intrigued by the project and brought it to our editorial meeting. She said she knew it needed work, but wanted to know if others agreed that there was something there. I was immediately drawn to the concept of wabi sabi and volunteered to read it. I absolutely loved the idea of the story, and along with the other readers, agreed that there was definitely something there, but that it would have to be revised before brought forward to our acquisitions meeting. Some time went by, I think a month or so, and Andrea brought the project back--only it hadn't yet been revised. At the time, Andrea was taking on many more managerial duties (due to our publisher being on maternity leave) and hadn't yet found the time to work with the author on a revision. She felt bad for holding the process up and asked if any of us would be interested in taking the project on and working with the author to get the text to where it would be ready to bring to the next step.

Without hesitation, I THREW myself at the opportunity. From the first moment I heard about the project, I had loved it, and I also jumped at the chance to work with Caldecott Medal winner Ed Young.

So Andrea passed the project on to me and made the introduction with the author, Mark, and Ed. Ed later told me that as soon as he heard my name, he realized that it was familiar because Roni had at one point recommended that he send the project to me--so, he said, perhaps it was meant to be. I like to think so! Although part of me thinks that if Megan hadn't had a second child, I would not have been the editor of this book.

I worked with Mark on revising the text--tightening it, making it more accessible and child-friendly, working on creating more of a pattern with his use of haiku in the text. And when I thought it was good enough to bring to our acquisitions meeting, I brought it back to editorial meeting, and everyone agreed that it was ready.

I was a little worried about how it would be received at acquisitions meeting, but I knew having Ed Young attached gave it an immediate advantage. I just needed to frame the project in a way the committee could understand in terms of today's market, and so I compared it to Zen Shorts, by Jon Muth, which is one of my all-time favorite books. The two are actually very different in tone and storytelling, but both explain a different Asian philosophy in a child-friendly way.

Wabi Sabi is about a cat who goes on a quest to discover the meaning of her name. She asks many different creatures, and they answer in a similar way, by saying, "That's hard to explain." But, as it was with Mark in Japan, they all offer the cat a little tidbit, a poem, a thought. Snowball the cat tells her that "it's a kind of beauty," and goes on to tell her this haiku:

An old straw mat, rough
on cat 's paws, pricks and tickles...
hurts and feels good, too.

Rascal the dog tells her this:

Poor Wabi Sabi!
As simple as a brown leaf.
So ordinary!

And so on. What I love about this book is that gradually, as a reader, you start to understand what wabi sabi is alongside the little cat. For me, it was the moment Wabi Sabi holds a bowl of tea:

A warm heavy bowl
comfortable as an old friend--
not fine, smooth china.

For others, this understanding might come earlier, or later, but I have no doubt that every reader, young and old, will gain some understanding of what wabi sabi is after reading the book. I think it is probably impossible to fully understand wabi sabi without years of studying, but the author's hope was to start a dialogue about it, to stir up some thoughts about what it means.

I also think the concept of wabi sabi is very much alligned with a child's aesthetic; children's very much appreciate beauty in the imperfect, in nature. One example I gave at the acquisitions meeting was going to the zoo with a friend's daughter who was about 2 years old. We were by the polar bear's tank, and this majestic bear swam back and forth, pushing off with his giant paw against the glass (it was actually a little sad, because the bear was "pacing" which I hear is what they do when they're depressed?), but all the little girl cared about was picking up rocks and leaves from the edge of the walkway.

The project was enthusiastically accepted at our acquisitions meeting, and so we moved forward with refining the text even more, and working out the format and the production details. But little did I know that my wabi sabi adventures were only beginning, and the events that were to follow were to give me an even stronger understanding of just what wabi sabi truly means.

To be continued yet again!

P.S. Libby asked in the comment section of last week's post what I think would have happened if Mark hadn't known Roni. I think that if he had been dedicated to getting published, he would have--it was a unique concept that I'm sure would have really struck someone along the way. But would it have ended up with Ed Young illustrating? I can't guess.

P.P.S. And Christine, you're right about Peter Brown, here's the story of that acquisition! (although I have to add that Peter and Tracy are no longer dating, but both are very happy.)

Edited to add: Jump to Part 3!

Blogs We Heart

The Blue Rose Girls were very flattered to hear that a Motherreader has given us an I *Heart* Your Blog Award! Thanks Motherreader, we love your blog too! In the spirit of passing on the love, here are some of our picks. Of course there are many more we love... here is just a sampling:

ANNA: Shelftalker: A Children's Bookseller's Blog is written by the book buyer (Hi Alison!) at the Wellesley Booksmith here in the Boston area. Her writing is warm and funny and she always has something interesting to share (and she loves Project Runway as much as I do, what could be bad?).

LIBBY: A Crowe's Nest
I agree with Anna about Alison! My pick is a new blog from writers', agents', editors', and, sometimes, marketers' points of view. Yes, I'm biased -- the blog was started by my agent -- but even if it hadn't been, I'd find all these different perspectives fascinating....and for anyyone like me who adores Asian food but can't get it where she lives, chez pim has foolproof directions for making Pad Thai, Pad See Yew, and other delicious things from panzanella to pop tarts.

GRACE: Greetings From Nowhere and Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup
With my huge deadline, I stopped reading blogs for a while but am thrilled to be catching up again. I love Barbara O'Connor's blog--her writerly day-to-day happenings make me feel like we're best friends...though I never comment so maybe that makes me a stalker? Yikes! Anyway, Jama's blog always makes me smile. I always go there when I feel a little blue--she always has some sort of yummy food picture or recipe that is a great pick-me-up.

ALVINA: I, too, had stopped following blogs for a while, because of multiple deadlines at work (and still going!), but a relatively new one I love is Justina Chen Headley's Wordlings by Justina. Justina recently moved to Shanghai, so it's been great to follow her travels there and drool over the food.

ELAINE: I’m a faithful reader of quite a number of blogs. My two absolute favorites are Seven Impossible Things and The Miss Rumphius Effect. Jules and Eisha of 7-Imp have some wonderful blog features--including their “Kicks of the Week,” interviews with authors and illustrators, and great reviews of picture books. Tricia of The Miss Rumphius Effect, an educator like me, posts about using literature across the curriculum, has some excellent thematic book lists, and challenges blog readers with her “poetry stretches.”

Here are rules for those chosen: 1) Add the logo of the award to your blog, 2) Add the link of the person who awarded it to you to your blog, 3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs, 4) Add links to those blogs to your blog, 5) Leave a nice warm message for each of your nominees!

Friday, September 26, 2008

POETRY FRIDAY: After Apple Picking

Here's some Frost for an autumn Friday. Do you think this is Robert Frost’s autumnal version of his well-known classic Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening? (I've got rungs to climb before I pick, rungs to climb before I pick.)

After Apple Picking
By Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.

You can read the rest of the poem here.


At Wild Rose Reader, I have a short acrostic for autumn. It’s all I could manage. I’ve been too busy watching news programs and reading political blogs lately.

Tricia has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

this is what I painted one day:

I'm THIS close to quitting making books. Drama. I'm sick of it. I'm going to be a painter. And yes, I did say I'd stop posting... and this is my way of "not" posting... by posting.

p.s - the painting isn't done yet. 5 gold stars if you guess who it is and what movie she's acting in! This is part of my new "drama movie" series.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

finally finished

It's done! I've finally finished the art for WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON. I can't believe it. I almost feel like there is a part of my brain missing now, I had gotten used to the constant pressure of creation. It is very strange. I think I might be babbling incoherently...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Artists I've been admiring

I've been building a new web site for one of my books coming out next year (What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?) and looking at some other illustrator sites for inspiration. Just thought I'd share some of the great sites I've come across (and artwork that makes me drool):

Susie Ghahremani- Love the art and the site! The design of her web site is so seamless with her aesthetic, and I love all the patterns...

I've also always loved Jen Corace's art, and her web site is just as great. Nice and simple, but again really representative of her art style. She's got a great dress up video game that reminds me of playing with paper dolls.

Trish Grantham also has a really impressive site and really graphic, fun artwork. I love the floating clouds on the home page.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The publication story of WABI SABI, Part One

As promised, I'm finally writing about Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein, illustrated by Ed Young. Some of know may know some of this story--this book has had a long, crazy path to publication that I felt it was worth sharing. I may be remembering some details wrong, but this is the beginning of the story to the best that I know it.

I'll start with the man behind it all, the author, Mark Reibstein. He grew up in the same town as Roni Schotter (children's book author of Hannukkah! and Passover!), and his family was extremely close to hers, and he was thus exposed to the children's book publishing world.

Mark spent some time living in Japan, and while there he was introduced to the concept of wabi sabi. He asked many people about it, and they all paused and said, "That's hard to explain." but they would offer a poem, or a photograph, a small description, and gradually, Mark began to piece together the meaning of wabi sabi.

So, what is wabi sabi? Well, as I understand it, it is a Japanese philosophical belief in finding beauty in the imperfect, the unexpected, in simplicity and modesty. For example, a old, cracked clay tea cup is wabi sabi, but a fine china cup is not. Fallen leaves in muddy water is wabi sabi. A scruffy, multi-colored cat can be wabi sabi. Mark actually named his cat in Japan Wabi Sabi!

And so, Mark was taken by the idea of wabi sabi and started thinking about writing a children's book about this. Many years passed, and when he finally wrote the text, he showed it to Roni; she loved it and volunteered to introduce him to another local children's book author/illustrator who she thought might be interested in illustrating the project--Ed Young. At the time, Mark really wanted a Japanese illustrator for the project, and also, with life in the way (his teaching, his family), ended up putting the project aside for a bit.

A few years later, Mark was at a local book festival and looked closely at Ed Young's books and realized that he was actually the perfect illustrator for the book after all. He asked Roni to make the introduction, and thus began Ed's involvement in the project. Ed was immediately intrigued and told Mark he would like to illustrate it. He told Mark not to worry, that he would find a publisher.

He showed it to various publishers with no success--at the time, the text was very rough, too long, a bit convoluted. Nobody was seeing the vision for it. And then one day, Ed was talking to fellow author/illustrator Molly Bang, and she said, "Send it to Andrea Spooner. She likes challenging picture books!"

And so he did...

To be continued!
Edited to add: Jump to Part 2!

Friday, September 19, 2008

POETRY FRIDAY: Home by Bruce Weigl

Although nearly everything is still growing green around me, there is that “autumn is nearly here” feel in the air. Fall is my favorite season so I welcome it with open arms--even though it signals the coming of cold days, long nights, and the eventual cocooning indoors for a few months.

As summer finally cedes to autumn, it often evokes my most robust childhood memories of collecting chestnuts, scrunching through fallen leaves, the scent of burning leaves, school harvest sales, and my maternal grandmother’s enormous pans of apple squares that she baked with fruit from the trees in her yard.

by Bruce Weigl

I didn't know I was grateful
for such late-autumn
bent-up cornfields

yellow in the after-harvest
sun before the
cold plow turns it all over

into never.
I didn't know
I would enter this music

that translates the world
back into dirt fields
that have always called to me

You can read the rest of the poem here.


At Wild Rose Reader, I have reviews of three children's books that contain poetry about autumn and Dappled Apples, a picture book written in verse.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Author Amok.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Huh? What? Why is she posting this?

first day of school

I still have not finished the paintings for WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON, but I stopped for a school visit in Rome, Georgia.

The school put me up in this gorgeous B&B, The Claremont House, so with the break in painting and the beautiful room it was a nice change. I was a bit nervous, this would be my first school visit of what is scheduled to be a very hectic presentation year for me. I wondered if I'd be rusty and, since the school year had just begun, if the students would be ready for me.
But I shouldn't have worried. The Darlington School, under the direction of the lovely librarian Ann Glass (whom I mistakenly and repeatedly called Ann Darlington) prepared the students so well that I was amazed. The school had made the day before I came into an author appreciation day with activities based on my books. They wrote and drew season haikus, like in my book OUR SEASONS:
stretched their imagination with UGLY VEGETABLES
and shared their fears like OLVINA:
That's only a sampling of what they did. They also made origami, kites, soup...so by the time I arrived, the students were excited. And it showed--their enthusiasm washed away any rust I might have had and it was a wonderful visit. I think it was a great way to start of my school year!

Thank you, Darlington School!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Maurice

Maurice Sendak celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday with a benefit in New York, so they ran this great interview with him on npr last week. The original broadcast was a few years ago, but still worth a listen here.

There is also a great interview with him here, in the Herald Tribune. Interesting that after so many accomplishments he still worries about being a "mere illustrator":

"Sendak is pleased with the coming birthday celebration, just as he is about his awards and honors, but in the end, he maintained, they don't add up to much. They 'never penetrated,' he said. 'They were like rubber bullets.'

It's not that he isn't grateful. 'They made me happy, but at a certain point in your life, you see through them,' he said. 'You don't mock them, you don't hate them, you feel sorry for them' - tiny, inert emblems that just aren't up to the task of answering pressing questions about meaning, soul-touching greatness and durability."

Its comforting to hear his persepective. Its easy to get caught up in looking for some kind of validation of your work, but I think the key to achieving greatness in this profession must have to do with how much you can engage with your own creative process, not what other people think of it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What is the first book you "read"?

Author/illustrator Tom Lichtenheld sent me this video recently that a fan had sent him--it's an adorable girl "reading" (perhaps by memorization) his book What Are You So Grumpy About?:

If the video doesn't work, you can view it here.

Alison Morris posted this discussion on her Shelftalker blog back in February, but I thought I'd reintroduce it here. 

The first book I remember reading was Whose Mouse Are You? by Robert Krauss, illustrated by Jose Aruego. I have it memorized to this day--I'll sometimes recite it at writer's conferences, so perhaps you've heard me talk about this before. ("Whose mouse are you? Nobody's mouse.")

One of my favorite picture books that I edited that best lends itself to this type of memorization/reading is Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith. It has such a wonderful rhythm and repetition. Th daughter of one of the authors I work with once recited it to me while visiting the office. It was SOOO adorable.

So, what is the first book that you or a child you know "read"?

P.S. I had originally planned on writing about Wabi Sabi today, but as the pub date isn't until October 1, I thought I'd save that for next week. But in the meantime, check out Betsy Bird's wonderful review of it here

Friday, September 12, 2008

POETRY FRIDAY: Hunger at Camp Jaslo

Here is Hunger at Camp Jaslo, one translated version of a poem written by Nobel Prize winner Wislawa Szymborska. It doesn’t read exactly the same as Starvation Camp at Jaslo, which was translated by Joanna Treciak and is included in the book Miracle Fair: Selected Poems by Wislawa Szymborska. I do believe both versions get the poet’s point across.

Hunger at Camp Jaslo
By Wislawa Szymborska
Translated by Grazyna Drabik and Austin Flint

Write it. Write. In ordinary ink
on ordinary paper: they were given no food,
they all died of hunger. "All. How many?
It's a big meadow. How much grass
for each one?" Write: I don't know.
History counts its skeletons in round numbers.
A thousand and one remains a thousand,
as though the one had never existed:
an imaginary embryo, an empty cradle,
an ABC never read,
air that laughs, cries, grows,
emptiness running down steps toward the garden,
nobody's place in the line.

You can read the rest of the poem here.


At Wild Rose Reader, I have an original poem about chocolate pudding and a link to a Szymborska poem I posted yesterday in remembrance of September 11, 2001.

Jennie has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Biblio File.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Making a press release

I've been busy brainstorming ideas for ways to get the word out about What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?, my craft book that comes out next spring. I'm no marketing genius so I've been reading up on the subject and putting together my take on a press release (still a rough draft). What do you think?

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Devouring

Well, it's officially Fall--okay, it's NOT officially Fall, we still have over a week of summer, but in the world of publishing, Fall starts on September 1st. And with Fall comes a new slew of books being published, and of course I'd like to talk about some of them on this blog.

I'll start with one I've mentioned before: The Devouring by Simon Holt. This book is a bit of a departure from the other books I've edited. Rather than being literary fiction, this one is more commercial fiction--which is not to say it's not well written, because it is. But it's definitely more plot driven than the books I normally acquire. The Devouring is young adult girl-oriented horror. It's gross, it's scary, it's fun. It's a popcorn flick. It remind me of some of the books I loved as a kid--Stephen King, Christopher Pike, Lois Duncan. It's Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Exorcist meets Scream. Get the picture?

The plot: Teen-aged Regina (Reggie) loves all things horror. She even works at a horror/mystery bookstore. One day, while sorting through a new shipment of books, she finds what appears to be a journal. She takes it home to read it, and discovers that it's about demonic creatures called the Vours who feed on people's fears, and on Sorry Night, the longest night of the year (the night before the Winter Solstice), they are able to devour people's fears, inhabit their bodies, and banish their souls into an alternate world called a fearscape where they are doomed to live with their greatest fears. Reggie isn't sure if the journal is fiction or real, or just the ravings of a lunatic, but when her younger brother Henry starts acting weird, she starts to realize that there may be some truth to the journal.

If you like horror, check out The Devouring--but you might want to avoid reading it around Sorry Night!

The Devouring just pubbed on September 1st, and has already gotten two great reviews. Kirkus called it, "A scary yarn spun at breakneck speed, perfect for those chilly winter nights."

And as a side note, I was shocked to see the cover of the UK edition. Check it out (beware: it's pretty gross! I could barely look at it):

Okay, and now let's look at the U.S. cover again:
Can you believe this is the same book?! And what's more shocking is that the UK publisher chose to tone down the horror elements in their edition. And yet they're using a cover that screams HORROR! So interesting. I'll be curious to see which edition is more popular.

There's a great website for the Devouring at www.theDevouring.com. Vote for your fear! Mine was "Real World Terror" which is currently winning by a landslide. 

There are at least two more books in this series, the next one coming out next Fall. And last but not least, props go out to my assistant Connie who was the lead editor on this book. She did a fantastic job. 

Saturday, September 06, 2008


I'm writing a book based on a real person who lived a long time ago. There are lots of descriptions of her when she was a child. She shows up in other people's letters and diaries, ships's logs (and there are descriptions of life on those ships, too). This book is about her childhood.

But as she got older, things changed. She never married, and the references in the letters and diaries got fewer and fewer, and less and less detailed, until, in the last twenty-seven years of her life (she lived to be almost 90), they stop. This really bothered me a lot. I found her in censuses, so I knew that at the end of her life, she was living as a lodger, in two rooms -- and this, too, seemed horrible. I pictured her in some kind of slum, all alone.

I could NOT stop thinking about it and it made me really sad, so sad that I started to wonder if I wanted to write the book at all. Did I really want to spend so much time being so unhappy?

Then, I looked at the census record under a magnifying glass until I could ALMOST read her address and google-mapped it, trying variations on the street name. FInally, I was spelled it correctly and found the address! B is where she lived, A is where her sister-in-law and neices lived; that park was there in those days, and then (as now) B had a view of both the park (called "the Hoe") and the ocean.

And since it's in England, the old houses on that street are still there (I also saw some of the whole street after the blitz: all Georgian houses, built in around 1805) -- I think this one was hers:

From behind the house -- or maybe her own windows if she lived on the top floor-- she had a view not only of the park but of something like this:

Not too shabby! Knowing that she was in this beautiful place at the end of her life has lifted a huge weight from me and from this book, too. I kept telling myself that I didn't NEED to know about all that to tell the story of her childhood, I tried not to think about it -- but I couldn't stop. I guess I've become kind of obsessed by her and her family and finding out as much as I can about them all. Now, I can let it rest for awhile (at least until I am researching the next books in the series) and concentrate on the story of her childhood. I hope I can do justice to it.

And one GOOD thing about being so obsessed is that just as imagining her miserable was making ME miserable, picturing her in this beautiful place makes me happy. Someday, I'll go there and see it for myself -- maybe I'll even get to stay in her house. It's now a hotel. In fact, if anyone publishes the book, the advance can fund the trip and further research!

Friday, September 05, 2008

POETRY FRIDAY: To the Light of September

September is my favorite month of the year. The beginning of the month is touched with tinges of summer--but without the oppressive humidity and searing temperatures. The nights are comfortable for sleeping. Even the crickets seem to strum their songs more loudly. By the end of the month, autumn has taken hold. There’s a slight chill in the evening air…and the leaves of some of the broadleaf trees have started to change color. Early fall is a glorious time here in New England.

Here’s my poetry selection for the first Poetry Friday in September:

To the Light of September
by W. S. Merwin

When you are already here
you appear to be only
a name that tells of you
whether you are present or not

and for now it seems as though
you are still summer
still the high familiar
endless summer
yet with a glint
of bronze in the chill mornings
and the late yellow petals
of the mullein fluttering
on the stalks that lean
over their broken
shadows across the cracked ground

You can read the rest of the poem here.


At Wild Rose Reader, I have Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes.

I’m doing the Poetry Friday Roundup at Wild Rose Reader this week. Click here and leave a comment and the URL of your Poetry Friday post.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I am beginning to suspect I might be a really boring person. I can eat the same thing, do the same exercise routine, listen to the same music over and over again and not get sick of it. As I get down to the last two painting of WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON (and I am really feeling the burn!), I realize I have listened to the same two Feist albums for a month straight. The neighbors must be so annoyed.

But that is why when Alvina showed me this I was extremely happy. Or maybe my days of isolated nonstop painting are causing me to develop euphoric lunacy...


This one ain't coming off. Consider this my last post for a while. I think that there are a lot of people in publishing who are hypocritical. It's fine to make trashy teen books full of sex without consequences, but god forbid anyone post a painting of a nude figure. It's fine to have books about puberty for children... just as long as no one actually looks at any of them and notices that there are nude figures drawn on the inside.

What's sad about the video above is that it's clearly one woman doing the complaining... and she got what she wanted. Even if the rest of the darn city thought the statue was beautiful, they became the unimportant voices. I think that's sad.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

EGGS for president!

Libby alerted me to this great little audio postcard that aired on NPR's All Things Considered last week. A 4th-grade class in Denver decided to have a book election instead of a political election in honor of the Democratic Convention. Eggs by Jerry Spinelli had the most supporters so far, beating out Warriors, Frindl, and Harry Potter! Then again, we know how the tides can shift...

Listen here!


show dog

Well, I had a fun weekend + labor day working. I won't get into how horrible it was. The customers are REALLY getting on my nerves--rude, stupid, etc. Nobody, for example, seems to use whole sentences anymore. They just shout stuff out... as if I"m not worthy enough to get a whole sentence. GOSSIP GIRL! or BATHROOM! Jesus.

I've been really thinking hard about health insurance vs. no health insurance. Do I REALLY need it? I have managed to go over 100,000 worth of dr visits and tests within 2 years--spinal tap, 3 skin biopsies, nerve and muscle biopsy, at least 8 MRIs...and I've had more blood taken than a war victim. BUT... I still have no treatment. So what's the point???

I'm happy to see that the others had a good time though!

Anyway, I've spent a lot of time putting up my book Show Dog online. You can read it in its entirety here--



Trip to Montreal

This weekend we had a little BRG get together up in Montreal. Sadly not everyone could make it, but we did manage most of the group:

Montreal is a beautiful city, the weekend was full of wandering down charming cobblestone streets and catching up on all our current and future projects. We had the privilege of getting a sneak preview of the art for one of Grace's upcoming novels WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON (she posted about it here) that is INCREDIBLY beautiful.

While I didn't get any pictures of any of that stuff, I did document our other main activity: eating. Lots and lots of eating. I think Alvina has some better 'before' pictures, but this is what our table at an all chocolate restaurant looked like after we descended... we managed to consume an order of chocolate fondue, profiteroles (chocolate covered cream puffs with hazelnut ice cream), whiskey chocolate pudding, raspberry cheesecake and two different kinds of thick old fashioned hot chocolate.

Breakfast the next day was strawberry pavlova (hand made by Grace), chocolate croissants and brioche.

Sigh, good times. And yes I will be going to the gym today.