7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #63: Featuring Shadra Strickland

h1 May 18th, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Welcome to our weekly meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you — as well as our meeting ground for featuring the work of illustrators.

This week, we’re happy that Shadra Strickland has stopped by to share art work from her upcoming illustrated title, Bird, written by Zetta Elliott. Bird will be published this October by Lee & Low Books. This Publishers Weekly link tells us that the book will tell the story of a boy who struggles with his brother’s drug addiction and death through the support of his family.

Just in case you can’t read the text in the image above, I’ve made it a bit bigger for you here, and below that are three more images from the book:

You don’t want to miss the “info” page at Shadra’s site. Here’s how it begins:

On summer nights my family and I would sit around my grandmother’s kitchen table and tell stories. You wouldn’t believe the tombstone tossin’, out the window flyin’, coke-bottle throwin’, packin’ a sack and leavin’ kind of stories that swirled around for hours leaving us children wild with envy.

Over the years, my cousins and I competed, adding to the table gut-busting, big bone breakin’, down the stairs fallin; getting’ on a bus and goin’ stories of our own. When we were big enough we ran out into the world to collect more.

Shadra now collects stories in Brooklyn, and we’re glad she’s bringing them to life through her art. Here’s one more image from her site, which was recently re-designed, ’cause I can’t help myself:

There’s a lot more over at her site, including a sketchbook and even some lovely notecards. You can also access her blog via her main site. (For the record, she told me the Bird illustrations are house proofs, not printer’s proofs. I wish I knew exactly what that meant, ’cause then that might mean I’d be an illustrator myself, which I’d like to be if I had a single shred of artistic talent. But I think I get the general idea.)

Thanks, Shadra! What a great way for all of us to start our morning!

* * * * * * *

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

1* Oh, man. The art this week is awesome. It reminds me a little of E.B. Lewis, with maybe a pinch of Jon J. Muth, and a dash of something that’s all Shadra’s own.

Mmm… spinach.2* I finished two major headache projects at work.

3* My husband’s out of town for a couple of weeks working on a show, so I’ve been making and eating all the stuff that I love and he doesn’t, like sauteed spinach with garlic and lemon over pasta. Mmm.

4* I also splurged and got some goat cheese from a local dairy, which he does like, but whatever. It goes very well with sauteed spinach with garlic and lemon over pasta.

Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls by Lynne Jonell5* He did come home for a day to attend a faculty meeting, but came down with some kind of violent fevery stomach bug. Obviously, that’s bad, but the kicky bit is that he got over it fairly quickly, without having to go to the emergency room.

6* I’ve gotten lots of interesting-looking ARCs in the mail, like the new Emmy book by Lynne Jonell, and a graphic novel by Michael Hague, and the new picture book by Jimmy Liao.

7* Jackie’s post over at Foreword Magazine’s Shelf Space column about similarities between the nominated titles for the Cybils Young Adult Fiction award. I was on the YA Cybils panel, and read a lo-o-o-o-ot of those books; it’s hilarious to see them grouped by categories like “Girls Hit in the Face with Sports Balls” and “Aloe Used, Straight From the Plant”.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

1). Shadra’s art work.

2). Posts from this week — the Julie Paschkis interview and when people come along and talk about “crunchily thought-provoking” books with me and Eisha (I picked up that great phrase from one of those commenters, Lady S).

3). Getting tofu, vegetables, and fried rice for dinner and watching movies Friday night with my husband, including “Cloverfield,” because Eisha recommended it, remember?

4). My two-and-a-half year old drew on her windowsill à la Harold. Seriously, she loves him, and I think she was trying to be him for a moment.

5). I found out my Sawyer nickname is “Ferdinand.” Awesome. I don’t mind being named after one of the best picture book protagonists ever. (Thanks to Sara—I mean, “Moonbeam”—for the link.)

Speaking of Sawyer, part two of this kick is that, for probably only the second time this season, “Lost” made me care again last Thursday. During the other episodes this season, I’ve either been rolling my eyes, trying to stay awake, or both.

6). I had quite the migraine-filled week. Migraines are evil, I tell ya. Evil. I’ve had my brightness/contrast settings on my computer monitor at zero all week; that’s how sensitive to light my eyes have been, because of those migraines. So, the kick is that yesterday, my family and I visited the zoo on a gorgeous, windy Spring day. It did wonders for the slight funk I was in, caused by those awful headaches.

7). I finished the ARC of poet Beth Kanell’s The Darkness Under the Water, to be released this Fall by Candlewick. I have been reading this story for a looooong time now. In fact, I—ahem—broke one of our rules and read the manuscript of it (though I knew that it had already been lined up to be published, which makes it slightly different from an unpublished manuscript, I think). By the time I was finishing it, the author had sent me a bound ARC of it, which was easier to carry around than 199 pages of paper. Anyway, it’s a beautifully-rendered, haunting, and lyrical coming-of-age story, set in 1930, about a time in Vermont’s history in which the lives of Native Americans were threatened in the name of “improving” the Yankee population (the Vermont Eugenics Project, it is sometimes called). Told through the voice of one Molly Ballou, aged sixteen, whose family is of Abenaki heritage, it’s ultimately a triumphant story of transcending hardship and discrimination, and it’s quite elegantly told. (I’m telling you this now, because a) it really was a kick, but b) I don’t expect to be this articulate about it, come November, when it’ll finally be published. I don’t have the best memory.)

Ooh, and it wasn’t ’til just now, when I put this image up, that I noticed the face on the cover — not Molly, but the face in the water. Cool. I’m slow sometimes.

What are your kicks this week? And how about Shadra? Beautiful art work, huh?

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34 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #63: Featuring Shadra Strickland”

  1. I LOVE the outline of Charlie Bird’s hands over the boy’s hands. That’s an amazing juxtaposition, and it’s really true of anyone who plays music — you’re walking in the outline of someone who went before. Very, very, cool.

    Not a lot of minorities become illustrators, for some reason, and when I see another one, I’m always happy. Art can be seen as a dodgy profession for anyone, but for someone who may be told by the powers that be that they have to work twice as hard as anyone else to just break even — it can seem like insanity.

    It’s always a kick to see people embrace the insanity and make art anyway. Thanks for the intro to another amazing artist, and I hope we see tons more from her.


  2. Oh that art–particularly the one with the graffiti, the colors there are amazing. I must read Bird when it comes out.

    Eisha, Your poor husband with the sickness! At least he recovered quickly.

    And yay to getting to eat your favorites for dinner. It sounds GREAT, particularly the goat cheese. Yum.

    Jules, I hope those migraines stop plaguing you. They sound awful.

    Cloverfield surprised me with how good it was, although it also made me a little seasick with that hand-held camera business.

    I have been absent a couple weeks, and I REALLY MISSED the kicks. (I read the Great Cilantro Debate of a couple weeks ago a few days after it happened and was particularly sorry to have missed it. I used to be a cilantro-hater, but now I am a cilantro-lover, so it’s a topic I love talking about.) Anyway, my seven:

    1. This is the biggie. Yesterday I was in a total panic because a state senator was visiting our library, but then said state senator gave the Children’s Room FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. Let me say it again: FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. I have to keep repeating it because it hardly seems real, like maybe I dreamed it and it didn’t really happen, but I think it did. Wow. I was just like, “Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you.” We are using the money to create a special space I’ve been dreaming about for a couple years that will be for the 4th-6th grade crowd. And other stuff. So awesome.
    2. The plants I grew from seeds are all #alive and growing.
    3. The plants I bought at the greenhouse and the public market are all still alive and growing.
    4. A friend mowed my lawn for me, which left me more time to fuss over the plants in #2 and #3.
    5. My BFF came over Friday night to help me build more trellises for my plants. We laughed and laughed and felt very empowered. (We’re empowered to a point that is perhaps dangerous, but, well, why not?)
    6. Last night was a friend’s daughter’s dance recital, which was awesome good fun.
    7. I managed to secure free tickets do a speaking engagement Art Spiegelman is doing at the central library in Buffalo this Thursday. I KNOW! I’m so excited.

    So, really, good week.


  3. TadMack, I also hope we see more from Shadra. Know how I found her? She left a comment at the Kadir interview, I think it was. I clicked on her name and got all wow’ed by what I saw. You’ll see at her site that she has another book coming out (June?? I think) — but in Korea. Don’t quote me on this; I might have it wrong, but I think that’s the case.

    And I’m looking forward to seeing Zetta’s text, too.

    ADRIENNE, NO WAY! $50,000? That is great. CONGRATS! Not only did you survive the fret, but a great reward came after.

    Art Spiegelman, too. And BFF empowerment. Very good kicks.


  4. I look at those illustrations for BIRD and am thinking I could promote it and Bud, Not Buddy. I like pairing picture books to chapter books. The art work is fabulous.
    Eisha, I might just have to make that dish and bring to book club tonight. I am thinking over a bed of quinoa. Yummy!
    Jules, I hope your migraines go away, they are nasty! OMG, eugenics? You really must get to the Love Curse…by Gantos.
    Adrienne, Congratualations on getting $50,000 for your library. How wonderful.
    My kicks:
    1. Laini Taylor visited fourth and fifth graders this week at school. It was amazing! I have a whole new appreciation for her book. Will post today.
    2. Chuck and I picked up the grandaughters yesterday and took them out for late afternoon (4PM) ice cream. Just in time to spoil their dinners! Wil post about that on my personal blog.
    3. Dinner with daughter and son-in-law and granddaughter last night: fajitas! Fresh Rhubarb pie.
    4. Being told by a staff member that I am not allowed to retire in 7 years. (It is actually the earliest I could retire)
    5. Reading the essays from students to win a signed copy of Laini’s book.
    6. The weather! From a cold spring to hot summer in one day. In the high 90’s this week.
    7. Chuck worked on the vegetable garden bed this week, how sweet!
    Have a great week.


  5. I really like Strickland’s illustrations. Thanks for the introduction! And way to go, Adrienne! By the way, my Sawyer nickname is “Playdoh,” and I’m not so thrilled. That Sawyer couldn’t con ME with a nickname like that. Hah!

    My kicks:
    1) I think I might just finally be getting over my nasty cold in time to get on a plane.

    2) Plants! They’re thriving. Hurrah. I bought a Disporum smithii (also known as “fairy lanterns”) to plant in memory of my great-nephew.

    3) I just received Forever Rose, the last Casson family book from the library.

    4) I splurged and bought Stephenie Meyer’s The Host rather than waiting for it through the library. I liked it well enough. Buying a new book was such an indulgence!

    5) I’m not allowed to post them to YouTube, but my husband’s renditions of the two tulip root children stories he told to my daughter at the Tulip Festival are finally on video! Maybe I’ll transcribe them. But I repeat, I’m not allowed to show them. Not fair, is it!

    6) I think I will have some very good news to share soon about the next progression in my storytelling career.

    7) As sad as it will be to travel for a funeral this week, I am glad that I will get to spend time with members of my husband’s family whom I know mainly through email.

    Blessings to all for a safe (yet interesting) healthy week!


  6. Another Sunday — boy does time fly!

    Shadra’s Bird book looks really interesting, and I love the kites picture! Sorry to hear about your migraines, Jules, I mean, Ferdinand. It’s so cute that your daughter is channeling Harold! And Eisha, are you teasing me with that spinach salad? Yum!! So healthy, too! (I noted absence of cilantro.)

    My kicks:

    1. Really enjoyed some of the original poems posted for Poetry Friday — by Sara, Laura, Elaine, and Liz!

    2. LOVED the Julie Paschkis interview. I want her to adopt me so I can be surrounded by beautiful art all the time. I bet even her pies are beautiful.

    3. Someone I really admire has said yes to an interview!

    4. Saw “Georgia Rule” last night. It was a good emotional roller coaster, complete with a Dylan song and Dermot Mulroney. LOVE DM.

    5. Had dinner at a (new to us) Korean restaurant. Bee bim pop! I’m getting in a Linda Sue Park kind of mood.

    6. Five deer lying down in our back yard the other day. Two were licking each other’s necks and faces. So sweet.

    7. My lemon herb plant is still alive!!

    Have a great Summer Blast Blog Tour kind of week, everyone.

    Yours truly,
    Milquetoast


  7. Oh, Alkelda, I’m so sorry about your great-nephew. Take care. And hey! – my Sawyer nickname is Playdoh too. Nowhere near as cool as Ferdinand, is it?

    TadMack, good call on the “walking in the outline” observation. It is a cool image, isn’t it?

    adrienne, I’m curious as to how someone becomes a cilantro convert. It just tastes so bad. But I’m THRILLED about the senator’s generous gift to your library. You can really accomplish something awesome with that amount.

    Jone, I’ve done rice and angel hair pasta, but I’ve never tried it with quinoa. Let me know how it turns out. But don’t squeeze the lemon juice over it until you’re just ready to serve – otherwise the spinach turns brown. And Laini’s event sounds fun – I bet she does a great class visit.


  8. P.S. Congratulations, Adrienne, on that generous library donation! Wow!


  9. Oh no, Jama – Sawyer calls you Milquetoast? That’s none too cool either. But yay for deer sightings and Korean food!


  10. Hey! I’m not trying to drive traffic to my blog (or rather, not more than usual), but I had to share this blog post because it’s got photos of my shade garden, and I just love my shade garden. I love the plants in it and I love it that things are finally growing there after years of plants just dying. (I figured out that it was all the roots from the trees that had to be cut down prior to our moving in to put in b/c of the sewer pipes that had to be put in.) Anyway, here’s the link: http://saintsandspinners.blogspot.com/2008/05/sunday-garden-stroll-shade-plants.html

    I love trillium! I’d like to compose a song/poem to trillium that’s like Gillian Welch’s “Acony Bell.”


  11. Alkelda, no way did you just mention “Acony Bell.” Do you know that’s one of my favorite songs ever ever and that, seriously, I tried to convince my husband that it’d be a great name for a girl. He looked at me like I had a bad scalp infection. He might be right on that one, but I just love the way the flower sounds (its name, that is), and I think that is one of the world’s most perfect little songs.

    Now you’ve made me wanna hear “Time (The Revelator)” again — not that that song’s on there, but that’s probably my favorite Gillian CD and it’s so freakin’ good.

    Anyway, thanks for the link. Will go look.

    By the way, Alkelda, I thought you had already gone to the funeral. So sad. That’s been on my mind this week. How does someone deal with losing a two-year-old?

    Jone, great that Laini came and spoke. And if you were my librarian, I wouldn’t want you to retire either.

    Jama, your interview kick is nice and tantalizing. We’ll have some interviews here this week that make me very excited. It’ll be an all-interview kind of week here.

    And the deer! I love love love seeing deer. Most gorgeous animal.


  12. In fiction, jules, no one minds if you name your character Acony Bell. Just saying. Writers rule the world! Mwahaha!

    Eisha, that spinach is making me drool. How can someone not like spinach, with garlic even?

    Wow, the kicks are good today. 50,000 dollars. Plants that live, and author visits (I read Laini’s blog account of her visit to Jone’s school and it sounded intimidatingly awesome. Like I wouldn’t want to follow HER as a speaker! Claws and pink wigs. Wow.)

    My kick today is tame, but satisfying. I have a caramel latte in my hands, and I’ve started on my revision after several days of anxiously avoiding it. It feels good to be using every inch of myself to really work, you know? With the help of caffeine, of course.

    LOVE the illustrations today. I’m with TadMack on the awesomeness of those hands.


  13. Hello, Shadra! Kudos for your art. The kite picture jumped right out at me.

    Eisha: Pasta is yummy.
    I’m glad that he’s feeling better, and I hope that his project is going well.

    Jules: Sounds like a fun, comfy Friday.
    Migraines ARE evil. ((comfort))

    My kicks o’ the week:

    Kicking off my Mary Janes to put on ballet slippers
    …and tap shoes
    …and jazz shoes
    (Remember when I said I reached out somewhere? I asked a dance studio if they needed teachers, and it turned out that they needed a substitute for four classes!)

    Bonus #1
    …and bonus #2
    …and bonus #3
    (Good things come to those who don’t expect them.)

    Talking animals
    (The animated cast of Prince Caspian.)

    One more, since y’all seem to like this part of my life: Thanks to coupons and common sense, I acquired $100 worth of groceries and toiletries yesterday for $30. WOO HOO!


  14. 1. Adrienne getting $50,000 for her library. Awesome.
    2. I’ve been prepping for the SBBT, and I’m stoked about the answers I received from Laurie Halse Anderson, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Charles R. Smith, Jr., and John Grandits.
    3. New custom-mixed foundation means no more red face (as long as I wear it). You should see how much green she had to mix into it!
    4. I bought a copy of “The Language of Flowers” for $3 at a used bookstore yesterday. Ranunculas means “You are radiant with charms,” which is what I should be sending to Jules and Eisha.
    5. I completed a draft of a new Jane poem on Thursday. Finally, some progress.
    6. New ARCs from Candlewick look awesome.
    7. I got to hang out with David Lubar!


  15. Alkelda, I had no idea what trillium was, but now I understand your enthusiasm. Those fairy lanterns are lovely too. I wonder what they mean in Kelly’s book?

    Sara, a caramel latte sounds EXCELLENT right now. Enjoy!

    Kelly, you hung out with David Lubar? That’s seriously awesome. And thanks for the virtual flowers!


  16. Wow, Shadra’s site looks like it could keep me busy. Not that I NEED more internet sites to marvel over, but hey.

    Eisha, you’ve always acted like your husband is the bee’s knees, but not liking sauteed spinach with garlic and lemon? Madness.

    Jules, sorry to hear about the migraines. I’m glad the zoo helped.

    My list doesn’t have anything in it like Adrienne’s FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLAR donation, but I’ve still had a good week.

    1. I saw a crane (albeit from a distance) at a nature reserve in Yorkshire this week! These birds are very rare in the UK, so this was a treat (as was getting to go on a site visit at work!).
    2. I found out that cuckoos over here sound like cuckoo clocks! Luckily I figured this out in my own head before asking if anyone else could here the clock.
    3. Our visitors are back with us so we visited Norfolk over the weekend. It was chilly but still interesting to see a new part of the country. I loved the houses with sea stones all over the outside of them. I haven’t uploaded any pics yet but they can be seen in a blurry fashion here.
    4. We visited a 17th century country house, Blickling Hall. It had a long gallery full of rare books (unfortunately they weren’t open on display, but they still looked lovely) and great gardens that included woodland walks. Also, there was a cool display in the old kitchens with voice recordings from servants who worked there in the 1930s.
    5. I got to eat fresh crab, which I’ve been missing.
    6. Today I bought asparagus and strawberries that had just been picked from the farm, and they made part of a yummy dinner and dessert.
    7. And following the local produce theme, I had a great chicken and asparagus pie for lunch at a pub so old that many people were in danger of hitting their heads on the ceiling (ha, the advantages of being short).


  17. Jules & Eisha,

    That’s some WOW art this week!

    Eisha, that pasta sounds interesting–except for the goat cheese.

    Jules, your daughter may be a picture book illustrator in the making.

    I haven’t even thought about my kicks of the week yet. Hmmm…let’s see.

    1. Aniticipation is fun. I’m looking forward to Wednesday evening and the spring meeting of our reading council. I invited Janet Wong to be our guest speaker. I’m looking forward to seeing her again.

    2. Grace Lin is coming to the dinner, too–so is my daughter, one of her best friends, and my good friend Brad. (I met Brad in 2001 when I participated in the first annual Summer Poetry Institute for Teachers at Boston University, which was sponsored by the Favorite Poem Project and the BU School of Education. Brad writes great poetry–and has had some of his work published in journals. We get together a few times a year to critique each other’s poems.)

    3. I finally bought myself a new digital camera. I broke my first one last fall.

    4. I cleaned a lot of clothes out of my bedroom closet–good stuff I just don’t wear any more. I’m giving it to VVA.

    5. I had a wonderful Mother’s Day dinner with my husband, daughter, and mother at my favorite restaurant last Sunday. We sat at a table next to one of my best friends…who was there celebrating with her husband and son. We all had a grand time!

    6. I’m really enjoying Sherman Alexie’s book THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN. I had to put it aside for a couple of days–and hope to finish it this evening.

    7. We had a terrific dinner with friends and a couple visiting from Germany at a lovely Italian restaurant in the North End of Boston Saturday evening. Then we went to a cafe for espresso, gelato, tiramisu, and cannolis. The North End was really rocking. I guess lots of families were in Boston for college graduations.


  18. I posted at Check It Out about Laini’s visit but here is more at her blog:
    http://growwings.blogspot.com/2008/05/careers-in-measuring-moth-tongues.html


  19. Sara, you know I’m drooling over that latte. Have fun writing. And if I ever write a book or novella or poem or song lyrics, I’ll name my protagonist Acony Bell. No, wait, not the latter, since Gillian Welch already did that.

    Kelly, thanks from me, too, for the virtual flowers. I am really looking forward to your interviews — not only because of the people you’re interviewing, but also because you do them up so well. So thorough. Always.

    Congrats on getting more writing done, too.

    Elaine, what a nice Mother’s Day you had. I hope you have a great time on Wednesday evening. Oh, and I still really wanna read Alexie’s book. I haven’t yet.

    Thanks for the link, Jone.


  20. Little Willow and Emmaco, I had to release your kicks from spam. For some reason, it snagged them.

    Little Willow, AW, MAN. I WANNA SEE YOU TEACH TAP. And do you know I’ve always wanted to learn? Congrats on the sub-teaching job!

    Emmaco, as usual, what good visiting and what good eating. Your kicks always delight the senses.


  21. Little Willow, now THAT’S an awesome job! Congrats on having the moxie to just walk on over there and ask. And, of course, on the expert grocery shopping. Still waiting for you to write that book…

    Elaine, oh! Dinner in the North End! And cannolis! You’ve just made me miss Boston so bad!

    emmaco, I know. He’s a good man, but sometimes he is just plain wrong. He doesn’t like asparagus, either. Your dinner/dessert sounds delicious to me, though!


  22. Adrienne: THAT. IS. AWESOME. Wowza. Congrats.

    Jules & eisha: Thanks! I feel as though I was in the right place at the right time, because even if nothing else comes of this, what were the odds that they’d need someone to sub when I inquired out of the blue?

    Jules: Tap is fun at any age. Yesterday’s dancers ranged from age 3 to age 6. The kids paid attention to me and totally did what I asked. Yahoo! (Note that I prefer teaching/choreographing/working with older kids, teens, and adults, but I can totally work with little ones.)

    eisha: Spooky ate asparagus. (Then again, she ate almost anything.)

    I just polished off some “light” chocolate soymilk. TASTY!


  23. Oh thanks and thanks and thanks. 🙂 I’ve been cleaning house today and thinking all the while about what I’ll need to investigate and figure out and it’s going to be so cool. It’s nice, too, to know that someone thought I had a big idea worth supporting.

    Alkelda, I am so behind on things–I didn’t realize your family lost someone, and a little one besides? I am sorry. That is hard.

    But your garden is beautiful. One reason I like working with plants is because there’s something about watching and participating in their life cycles that I find profoundly comforting. Like the way you realized those buried roots were causing a problem for your plants, things almost always happen for a reason in the garden, even if it takes a while to figure out. That is comfort, even if I have a hard time believing it to be true of the larger world.

    Eisha, Asparagus? Really? He doesn’t eat asparagus? Someone must have made him eat some really bad asparagus when he was a child or something. Personally, I don’t believe in not liking a food (except Miracle Whip, which a.) isn’t food, and b.) is disgusting), which is how I became a cilantro convert. I have a couple friends who are mad about it, and being someone who likes to cook her friends’ special favorites whenever possible, I would make things with it from time-to-time and I’d eat just a little and be all I-just-can’t-like-this about it. Then one day I had cilantro in some salsa, and, I don’t know, it’s like a switch went off or something and I was like, “OMG, this is AWESOME. WHY did I think I hated this?”

    Sara, Yay to those revisions. Some of us (I even dare say, MANY of us) are anxiously awaiting that book. :)!

    My Sawyer nickname is Skeeter. What could he mean by that?


  24. Hi everyone! Thanks for the wonderful comments about “Bird”. It’s super encouraging!

    My kicks for the week are as follows:

    1. going to the Ezra Jack Keats Award ceremony to celebrate “the bean” and his fabulous accomplishment (who was also featured on 7-Imp)

    2. scoring a free ticket to the Guggenheim to see the Cai Guo-Qiang exhibit with “the bean” and Taeeun Yoo.

    3. discovering $40.00 worth of change in my apartment and COINSTAR after having misplaced (“lost” is such a dirty word) my ATM card,

    4. buying the latest edition of FADER magazine with Aaliyah on the cover post-mortem

    5. finsihing BLINK by Malcolm Gladwell as a follow-up to his first book THE TIPPING POINT…really smart and interesting stuff. Though I responded to THE TIPPING POINT a bit more, both tickled my nerd button.

    6. finally nailing down a color scheme for my best friend’s wedding!

    7. exhaling on Sunday morning with a wonderful feature on 7-Imp 🙂


  25. I am just bowled over by all these kicks. The art work, the spinach, the $50,000, the Gillian Welch. Bowled over, I tell you. There’s nothing like a lot of gratitude to make a gal feel grateful….

    Here are mine:

    1. All these kicks.
    2. Nobody came to work on our house this weekend. Peace and quiet.
    3. It’s officially swimming season.
    4. I spent a lot of sweet good time with my girls this weekend.
    5. They love listening to Buddy Holly and Fountains of Wayne as we drive around town.
    6. Peanuts in the shell.
    7. This week I gave up thinking I had to be productive every day when there are about 6,000 events at school and so, instead, I went to the 6,000 events and I ENJOYED them. Productive is overrated.


  26. Shadra, thanks for kickin’ with us. And, Liz, I’m cheering for your kick #7. So true.


  27. Chiming in late, after a weekend away. It’s great to have everyone else’s kicks already here to read. Eisha, I do that, too. When Mheir is out of town, I eat things that he would just as soon not have. Glad that your husband recovered quickly from his illness. Jules, I love that you love having your daughter write on the windowsill, because of Harold. And I love that she did it at all. Very cool! Sorry about the migraines, though. Adrienne, that is SO SO cool about that $50k for the children’s room. Here are my kicks, in no particular order:

    1. I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning last night, because I simply couldn’t stop reading until I had finished I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming (adult mystery series – this is the ARC of the next title – Kelly H., you should check this series out).
    2. We went to a friend’s wedding this weekend in LA. It was a beautiful wedding (though on a very hot day), but the real bonus was being able to spend time with friends, including a friend we hadn’t seen in 10 years, but have thought of frequently, and a friend’s wife who I never really knew before, but is a kindred spirit).
    3. While in LA, we wandered into this quirky little gift shop, and there I found a display of Laini’s Ladies, by Laini Taylor. It was so fun to be able to say “Hey, I know her”. I bought one, too, and have it in my little reading study now.
    4. I finally got to meet Rick Riordan this week, at a local signing, and he even mentioned meeting me on his blog. (I think this makes him the most famous person who knows who I am, if that makes any sense). But the event itself was inspiring (as Vivian also noted of the one that she went to), giving you hope for the future of kids who love books.
    5. Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester just through a no-hitter in Fenway Park, the first by a left-handed pitcher since 1956. And just watching the crowd and the team’s response – everyone so excited, and Jon so happy – it was a beautiful thing. Watching Jon with Terry Francona afterwards brought tears to my eyes. The only way it would have been better is if Mheir had gotten home from work early enough to watch. And thank you NESN for covering every second of the celebration.

    And honestly, those last two are quite enough for the whole week, so I’ll stop here.


  28. Jen, thanks for visiting. I love it when people leave kicks on Monday (or any other day of the week).

    Glad you had a good trip and got to meet Rick. With five kicks that great, who needs seven?


  29. Shadra is just getting better and better! She’s one of those people that I think and hope we’ll be seeing more and more great stuff from.
    I’m so glad to see her get some well deserved showing out., so other people can find out about her. And not only can she make beautiful, moving artwork, but she’s one of those people that makes you feel good just to be around! And she can dance to the Go-Go!


  30. Kudos to Shadra! I too loved the little girl surrounded and swirled away by kites and the jazz ilustrations. One thing I love about Shadra are the facial expressions and the body language of her characters, amazing I say! I too trust to see more of her work for years to come!


  31. […] was a really exciting post that got deleted from my last blog. Here is the link to Bird’s feature on the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast […]


  32. Oh, Shadra this is your best yet! It’s beautiful, congratulations! I’m honored to be on Lee & Low’s fall list with you!


  33. […] Shadra Strickland, who visited 7-Imp over a year ago and who was earlier this year named the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator of 2009, […]


  34. […] {Zetta Elliott’s} Bird, Our Children Can Soar, {Renée Watson’s} A Place Where Hurricanes Happen, {Jerdine […]


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