7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #77: Featuring Maggie Stiefvater

h1 August 24th, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Welcome to 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks, our weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on 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.

You know we really love featuring illustrators and artists here at 7-Imp, and we like to pride ourselves on featuring all different styles of art. And it’s not often that we feature art that hasn’t been created for a children’s book, though we love doing that, too. And I can’t remember that we’ve ever featured art like today’s — straight-up realistic portraits of animals, rendered in colored pencil. These are from artist, author, and musician Maggie Stiefvater, who calls herself an “equestrian artist…Suffice to say,” she writes at her site, “I draw and paint a lot of horses…I take my horse portraits very seriously. It seems to me that if you want an exact replica of what any horse looks like on a given day, there are plenty of cameras out there to help you with that. You need an artist only if you want to capture the mood of the day, the character of the horse, the feeling of the moment frozen in time. There’s a point where the camera just doesn’t cut it. That’s where an artist steps in.”

Here’s a bit from Maggie, whose first novel—an urban fantasy—will be released this October:

“What would I say if people asked me?

Well. I guess first of all I would say that, if cats didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have been able to make a living as an artist. Because cats in general and my evil cat, Moose, in particular made me a lot of money! I started out doing cat portraits and then Moose portraits, and slowly my naturally deranged personality took over and I did the Cat of the Old Masters Series. Each of those Old Master Cats was 2.5 x 3.5″, and I sold the originals on eBay for literally hundreds of dollars in some cases — it was very surreal!

Anyway, before I went full time as a writer, my main business was animal portraits in colored pencil. I have lots of boring credits to my name like internationally exhibited and collected, gallery represented, blah blah blah, but none of them really meant as much as that squealy e-mail from a client saying that I’d captured the essence of their furry companion.

Right now, it’s hard to reconcile my animal portraiture with my YA novel on homicidal faeries, Lament {illustrated by Julia Jeffrey}, but in the future I’d really love to do a graphic novel.”

Lament (Flux, October ’08), as Maggie puts it at her art blog, is about a musically talented high school girl who falls for an enigmatic boy who seems to know a lot about her. And, adds Maggie, it “sucks that he’s a fairy assassin.” There is more information about the book here.

Thanks to Maggie for stopping by, and we’ll close this part of the post with The Writer’s Cat:

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

Hey, remember last Sunday was my birthday, and Jules did that big awesome Post of Embarrassing Moments From Our Collective Past? It was so freaking awesome I forgot to do any kicks. So I actually have two weeks to work with here.

Zizu, one of my Pups. I like him better upside down, though - looks like a demented rabbit. Which is why I’ve renamed him Frank.1* That freaking awesome birthday post. Thanks again, Jules, and to everyone who joined in with comments.

2* The night before, I went to a party thrown by my upstairs neighbors. At midnight, they got everyone to sing “Happy Birthday” to me (very slow and minor-key, so it was kind of a birthday dirge – very appropriate for 35). Then Dana gave me two Pups. They’re these stuffed toys that also serve as muffs, and they are hilarious.

3* Other great presents: an original work of art by Princess Piper (thanks, Jules!); a beautiful necklace of green beads (thanks, Mom!); a super-comfy hooded sweatshirt-robe (thanks, Leslie!); and my own copy of one of my all-time favorite movies, Airplane! (Don’t judge! It’s funny!) (Thanks, B!).

Paper Towns. If you haven’t received an ARC yet, try complaining to Libby.4* B. also took me out for Thai food at a new yummy restaurant. And Dana baked me Key Lime Cupcakes. Oh my god, they were good. And then at work on Monday, my co-workers treated me to a delicious flourless chocolate cake. Ridiculously good!

5* Remember last week Libby mentioned in her kicks that she complained about not getting a review copy of Paper Towns on her blog, and the publicist from Penguin saw it and sent her one? Well, I followed suit and complained that I didn’t have one either. Libby let the publicist know, and now Jules and I have copies too! Thanks, Libby and Jillian!

6* I read a couple of classics that I really should have read a long time ago, and loved them both: I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier, and A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin.

7* Maybe the biggest kick of all: my husband is finally home from his summer theatre gigs.

7.5* Bonus Kick: This hilarious piece from McSweeney’s, “Jean-Paul Sartre’s Script for Without A Trace.” It makes me want to suggest we all get together and start Blog Like Your Favorite Existentialist Day. Anyone else? Just me? …Right, just me. Oh well, the piece is really funny.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

1). My conversations with Alkelda this week about motherhood, how it can be difficult sometimes to mother very young children, and the moments of frustration I had this week. She got it AND gave me good advice.

2). My husband and I finally finished watching “Spaced” this week, a British sitcom that didn’t last more than two seasons, BLAST IT. It’s wicked funny, and I want a third season, I tell ya. I’ve been recommending it to friends so much that I’m sick of hearing myself, but I have to share one moment of brilliance, the gunless gun fight.

The first person speaking here is Brian, the tortured artist living in the flat below Simon Pegg’s character. Brian works in anger, pain, fear, and aggression (I will give seven points to the next illustrator in our seven-questions-over-breakfast series who tells me his or her preferred media are anger, pain, fear, and aggression), and he has just gotten finished saying that it must be strange being a woman, what with all our power — that we are the true creators, the true children of nature, Gaia’s footsoldiers, and that all men do is destroy things…(there’s a colorful word at the beginning. Don’t say I didn’t warn you if children are near you.)

Did I already mention that’s comedy brilliance?

3). Looking at a bunch of art books with my four-year-old this week. Where has this book, pictured here, been all my life (or, okay, since 2003)?

4). My girls and I finished reading James and the Giant Peach. Then, we watched the 1996 movie, and they were promptly traumatized by Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge. Um, that last part is not the kicky part, but they managed just fine and made it to the end. My four-year-old was shivering whenever they were on the screen.

5). Having an impromptu, after-dinner dinosaur tea party with the toy picnic basket but REAL sugar cookies and strawberry Kool-aid — and the neighbor kid showing up, when we invited her, in the fanciest party dress she owns.

give me a break.6). I’m taking a child/parent music class (of sorts) with my girls. The teacher dumps out a bunch of percussion instruments every week, amongst other things, and my four-year-old always goes straight for—and gets excited about—the triangle. It cracks me up. And it’s totally decent, I must say.

7). My brave moment of the week: Not sure if this is a failure or a success. Both, I think.

Remember how last week Jama took care of a giant spider that scared the bejeeeeeesus out of her? Well, I have an awful, terrible fear of adult roaches (if it’s a smallish baby one, I’m not happy, but meh…I can handle it). So, there was this huge roach in my home this week. It crawled under one of my husband’s dress shirts on the floor. I did my horror-movie scream, the room spun a bit, I could barely breathe, the usual — but then I managed to throw a heavy book on it, and then I grabbed an old amp, of all things, next to me. I still wasn’t sure if the roach was dead, though. Those mother…uh…mother jumpers are hard to kill, and I knew it could have been safe under a shirt fold. I had to sit and try to gather myself and try to work up the courage to lift all those things up and investigate. Let me add that a big roach skittering across the floor anywhere in my vicinity is, to me, a level of hell Dante flat-out forgot to write about. I sat there, thinking of this blasted be-brave challenge, which was originally my own freakin’ idea…and what did I decide to do? Go ask my neighbor, who is not afraid of roaches (but her daughter is, so she understands my pain) to come over and help me.

My failure? I didn’t do it myself. My success, as cheesy as this sounds (and it also sounds like an excuse), is that I have a really hard time asking people for help. I think it took me just as long to work up the courage to ask my neighbor to lend me a hand.

What are your kicks this week?

32 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #77: Featuring Maggie Stiefvater”

  1. Oh my, those are some fabulous paintings. Eisha, those key lime cupcakes sound yummy!
    Jules, congrats on your be-brave moment. I passed up an opportunity to pet a madagascar cockroach yesterday at the zoo.
    My kicks:
    1. Being asked to mentor a middle school library media specialist who is working on her LMS certificate and needs 90 hours at an elementary school.
    2. The zoo with my oldest granddaughter, her mom, and Chuck yesterday. Such a great day and a baby elephant was born! A photo essay will be on the deo writer blog later today.
    3. Getting back to school, organizing the library space, talking with staff.
    4. Thunderstorms in the earlier part of the week, brought rain and killed the humidity.
    5. Ever growing list of conference attendees.
    6. Reading an Oregon historical fiction series and love how close the action takes place near my home.
    7. Hummingbird madness in our backyard.

  2. Eisha, it sounds as if you had lots of special birthday celebrations this year. At my age, I try to let the annual event pass by with little fanfare.

    Jules, I don’t ever think I’ve seen a roach–but I’ve seen a few millipedes in my house this summer. They freak me out!!!

    I can roll up most of my kicks into one super kick: My husband and I had a wonderful week vacationing on Westport Island, Maine. Two couples–who are very close friends–joined us for part of the week. We had great weather, fine wines–including some outstanding champagnes–lots of good food, including Maine lobsters, and lots of laughs.

    We found a fabulous Italian restaurant in Boothbay Harbor–thanks to my friend Clare who read about it in the Boston Globe a couple of weeks before our trip. The chef comes from Milan. My husband and I also ate at a small inn that has an organic farm. We had dinner on the screend porch overlooking the garden and pond. Lovely.

    I went to Edgecomb Potters (http://www.edgecombpotters.com) to buy a wedding present for relatives, birthday presents for my nieces, a couple of pieces for my daughter, and a gift for myself. (I buy myself a piece of the beautiful pottery every year.) I love shopping there–every piece of porcelain is handmade and unique and the glazes are gorgeous.

    On another note: I received an email from a well-known poet who is compiling an anthology and asked if I might have some poems to send him. As soon as I returned home on Friday, I headed for my computer to look through all my poetry files to see if I had some poems that might meet the requirements for the kind of poems that will be included in his book. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll like at least one of the poems I send him.

    Have a great week. The sun has been shining here since our return from Maine. What a relief from the constant rain and gray skies we’ve experienced most of the summer.

  3. Whoah, am I really first? No way. As soon as I hit publish, I’ll see at least two other comments. Anyway, I jumped the gun and wrote my kicks last night. Here they are:

    The abbreviated version:
    1) Wedding
    2) Eric Herman/Recess Monkey
    3) Randy Kaplan
    4) Voice lessons (mistakenly typed as “Vice lessons” for a moment)
    5) My new dress as a sewing project
    6) Co-class parent this year: this may not be a kick as much as a brave thing of the week– nay, year.
    7) Mary Poppins

    Eisha and Jules, congratulations on being squeaky wheels and getting review copies of Paper Towns. Now, watch the whole Kidlitosphere send up a howl to see if it works! Jules, I am enjoying our conversation. Eisha, that’s great that the birthday vibes are still going strong a week later.

  4. I knew it! That tricky Elaine got the #1 spot! Best wishes, Elaine, on the poetry anthology.

    By the way, I can’t believe I forgot to include this kick: I won the weekly bookbag for the grownup version of the summer reading program. I’d only submitted one sheet of books, and thought I was going to have to keep submitting for the remainder of the summer, but lo and behold. I got the call. Okay, it’s just a bookbag, but it’s a nice bookbag, with a watermelon slice perched atop a bunch of books, plus top and side zippers. Here’s a link: http://www.spl.org/default.asp?pageID=audience_current_adult_summerread

  5. Hello folks! I had a hectic back-to-school week, but am thrilled to be starting up for fall.
    Kick #1 – That amazing Jane Yolen interview. It was one of the most inspiring pieces I’ve read in a while.
    Kick #2 – I went to D.C. on Thursday to defend my teacher preparation program for national accreditation. At the end our our hour on the hot seat we received a unanimous vote for accreditation. In the next week or two it will be official.

    After kick number 2, I hardly need any more. Have a great week all!

  6. Elaine, welcome back! It sounds like your trip was wonderfully relaxing and lots of fun.

    And big, big congrats on the anthology news! I wish you the best.

    Alkelda, I just went and left you comments at your post. I’m glad the voice lessons aren’t really vice lessons. Though our vices do make life interesting, I suppose we hardly need lessons in acquiring them…glad you had such kicky kicks this week. That photo of you all is great….oh, and hey, bookbags are always good. Can we ever have enough?

    Tricia, that is great news on kick #2. CONGRATS! That’s some fast work there — the end of the hour? Awesomeness.

    Hope things settle back down at school, though I remember the excitement of the first-week-of-school as a school librarian. My mother-in-law just retired from teaching and was REALLY ready to do so, miserable most days at work. But when the first week of school rolled around here just last week, she was bummed about not being there. There’s just a certain thrill about that first week.

  7. Hi, Jone! Your comment was snagged by spam, and I just saved it from its prison. So, Alkelda, Jone was actually first!

    Jone, being asked to be a mentor is a high honor, indeed. And I love hummingbirds (and learned more about them after finishing The Underneath). Looking forward to your post about the zoo, though d’oh! I always go to your other blog first as a default…I gotta get in the habit of going to deo writer first.

  8. Yea, Tricia! That’s awesome. I’ll bet you came armed to the teeth with information, all cool and collected and fierce.

    Jules, your bravery knows no bounds. I have a wasp’s nest that needs taking care of—do you do those too??? I don’t mind cockroaches, but wasps? I’ve been attacked twice in my life by wasps and one hand still has the scar. So maybe we could work out a trade—I’ll squash roaches–hundreds if need be— and all you have to do is one nest. Whaddya think?

    Eisha, that McSweeney’s satire totally made me laugh. You are not alone.

    My kicks include finally getting to a farmer’s market for peaches. I was dying for truly good peaches, and I have some now. And a place to go back to each week for more.

    Also, started watching Slings and Arrows. The duel was the best! I knew I was memorizing Shakespeare for a reason-so I could pretend I was part of this show. Eisha, you asked last week and I never answered: I’m not in a play; I’m just doing this for nerdy fun.

  9. Funny, my girls are beyond terrified by Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge in the movie. We bought the book a few weeks ago, so we’ll see if they inspire the same horror in print.

  10. – Babies! 8 months old is so much fun!
    – Books for babies. Sweet and simple.
    – Etsy. Buy handmade!

    Thanks, ladies!

  11. jone – good call on not petting the cockroach. That’s just gross. Yay for thunderstorms and hummingbirds!

    Elaine, goodness, your vacation sounds divine. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you on that anthology, too!

    Alkelda, I’m jealous you guys have a grown-up summer reading program. Free bookbags rule! I would totally take vice lessons, by the way. I figure there’s always room for improvement.

    GO TRICIA!!! You rock.

    Sara, you just made me crave peaches. I may have to get out of my pj’s and go to the farmer’s market too.

    Jeremy, you and Jules have me thinking I need to check out that movie again. It’s been too long.

    Mindy, yay for your 8-month-old! And Etsy is totally addictive. I love how creative and crafty other people are.

  12. Having two blogs splits my personanlity but I want one for personal and one for the life in school.

  13. Eisha, Key Lime cupcakes sound like the best invention ever.

    Jules, I don’t really freak too much about insects but hate cockroaches. Before I left Australia I was spending time trying to convince myself they were just harmless insects but didn’t fully succeed, so I’m with you on the terror of trying to figure out if it was under the shirt or not!

    Jone a baby elephant at the zoo is one great item for the list!

    1. Today we went to Oxford and had a great time wandering around looking at lovely old buildings (highlight: Merton college’s old library – there were pew-like shelves with desks attached from the 16th century!).
    2. Despite steady rain in the morning, the weather turned fine once we got to Oxford – I think I’ll have some great piccies
    3. I have been on an ebay shopping binge. It started when I had trouble finding older British books like Sayers in charity shops that I knew should be pretty common over here, and soon turned into multiple parcels of books.
    4. And an Amazon parcel of books has been dispatched a couple of weeks early due to the early release of Brust’s Jhegaala (I’d accidentally put them all in one package) so I’ll be happily drowning in books soon.
    5. I bought a basket for my newly serviced bicycle
    6. It’s a long weekend here – current plans for tomorrow include sleeping in.
    7. I’m just about to go take a homemade pizza out of the oven

    Bonus kick was Zoe naming me in her list last week! I’m glad if my kicks help alleviate homesickness Zoe, any Aussie lurkers feel free to so the same for me 🙂

  14. Maggie: I love cats, so I found the famous paintings with cats adorable! I’m looking forward to reading Lament.

    Eisha: Sounds like you had an awesome birthday and an awesome week! Enjoy Paper Towns. Welcome back to your husband. Hope all of his gigs went well and that he has great gigs in his future. Thanks for the WoaT link. Hilarious! I do so love my WoaT.

    Jules: The impromptu tea party sounds fantastic.

    Jone: Say hello to the beautiful hummingbirds for me.

    Elaine: Good luck with your poetry, picks, and publishing!

    Congratulations, Tricia!

    Mindy! Hi!

    emmaco: Enjoy the rain (if possible).

    My kicks for the week, in order of appearance:
    1) Dance audition
    2) Commercial audition
    3) Being offered a part in a play – which I accepted!
    4) Film trailer audition
    5) First rehearsal for the play – which opens in two weeks!
    6) Knowing what to pursue, what to consider, what to turn down, and what to do
    7) Getting an audition for another play (tomorrow night)

  15. I too had a scary spider encounter this week. I found a spider lurking on a burp cloth in the back pocket of Ruby’s stroller whilst out on a walk. I threw the cloth onto the ground and immediately felt guilty that maybe the spider did not survive the fall, but that’s the risk bugs take when they decide to live on my baby’s stuff. So there!!

    My kicks this week:

    1. Finding out that John Green has a new book coming out because. . .
    2. . . . “An Abundance of Katherines” is quite possibly one of the funniest books I have ever read. I actually laughed out loud when reading it which is unusual for me. I finished this a couple of weeks ago, but decided it could be a kick holdover.
    3. Miss Judy, our babysitter. After a first-day hunger strike, Ruby is thriving at Judy’s house. It’s hard enough being a working mum, let alone when you think your children are unhappy. Thankfully, all is right with Ruby and Miss Judy is just wonderful.
    4. Cy’s new favorite movie is “Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”. Such a great movie for little kids. It’s so much fun to hear him giggle throughout the movie, and if you listen closely, you might hear me giggling too. A lot.
    5. My Kitchen Aid Mixer. If I didn’t have this, making homemade pizza dough would be so daunting. I have a batch rising as I type. And it’s bright orange – GO VOLS!
    6. My Lift-O-Matic Advanced Drying Rack (http://www.homeclick.com//web/catalog/product_detail.aspx?pid=196955). That’s just a fancy name for an outside rotary dryer. I’m English – we like to dry our clothes outside, and after 9 years of using an electric dryer, I am doing just that. I am hoping to cut down on utility bills and stop clothes from shrinking – don’t you just hate that? Also, there’s nothing quite like seeing baby clothes drying on a line in the garden. Good grief – now I sound just like my mother.
    7. I have been asked to join the International Education Committee for the community college where I work. Somehow, word has gotten out that I worked for four years in the study abroad office at the University of Tennessee, and that I might be of some use. I am really excited about this opportunity as I not only believe strongly in international education, but I might be able to convince more faculty to use the library. No-one can resist a charming English accent. . . .

    Loving the artwork this week, as always. Thank you to Jules and Eisha for finding and sharing such wonderful illustrators.

    ps I want some Key Lime cupcakes too!!

  16. Hey guys, thanks for the feature!! Love you guys as always!

  17. Mmm, peaches! And, ick, cockroach! I am (alas!) too familiar with them from my years in a grad student apartment in LA to be that terrified of them any more, but it took a good long time…

    Tricia, congrats! and good luck, Little Willow, with all the great auditions.

    kicks are brief this week as it was very busy (see Tricia’s comment) and not all that kicky, alas. But I did manage to read Paper Towns (staying up way past my bedtime to do so) and it was definitely worth it. And I am pretty sure I’m ready for classes tomorrow. So that’s all good!

  18. emmaco – ooh, Oxford. That’s like holy ground to me, what with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and the His Dark Materials books and everything. I’m jealous, as usual, of your adventures.

    Little Willow, BREAK A LEG!!! Goodness, you’ve only got two weeks of rehearsal? Luckily, you’re superhuman, so you’ve probably already memorized your lines.

    Hi, Maggie! Thanks for being our feature-ee.

    Libby, thanks again for hooking us up! Have a great school year.

  19. Zoe, sorry your kicks got sucked into spam, too. I just saved them.

    More from me later. I need to get caught up on reading kicks, but I have chocolate chip cookies to make with the girls. I look forward to reading kicks later…

  20. Well, that didn’t take long.

    Sara, sorry about a life of multiple wasp attacks. What’s up with that? I would take care of the nest for you, even if I *were* afraid of them.

    And, Emmaco, yes, that roaches-are-harmless argument does not work with me, and—frankly—when I’m in the middle of hyperventilating over one, I kinda wanna smack people who say that condescendingly. We are sisters in Roach Phobia, since you knew to use the word “terror.” That’s exactly what it is. I know I’m bigger, I know I can squash them, but their very appearance makes me hyperventilate; the way they skitter terrifies me; and their stealth scares the bejeeeebus outta me. I hate stealth.

    Eisha, I also love that McSweeney’s satire, and I, for one, would join in Blog Like Your Favorite Existentialist Day. I pick Beckett.

    Sara, sorry if I’m being dense, but what is Slings and Arrows. Did I miss or forget something?

    Jeremy, please do report back.

    Mindy, 8-mos-old seems like forever ago, and my youngest is only almost-three. Enjoy every moment (though it sounds like you are).

    Emmaco, enjoy drowing in books AND sleeping in. Does it get better than that?

    Little Willow, I had a feeling you’d like the cat portraits today. And, if you don’t mind telling, what’s the production you’re about to begin rehearsal for?

    Zoe, I am currently reading an ARC, as Eisha pointed out, of John Green’s new book, and it’s just the kind of unputdownable book I’ve been hankering for lately. When I’m done, I’m happy to send you the book if you want it.

    (Eisha, I keep meaning to ask if you are finding it unputdownable, too, so consider yourself asked.)

    Back to Zoe…Congrats on Judy, your drying rack, and especially kick #7. That’s very cool. Also: I love anything with Wallace & Gromit in it, and I haven’t even THOUGHT to show that movie to the girls. I should, especially around Halloween.

    Hi, Maggie, and thanks again…

    Libby, good luck with classes tomorrow, and thanks again for our ARCs.

    Thanks for coming to kick with us, everyone.

  21. Jules: I forgot to say: Bonus points for Ed Grimley picture!

    Libby and eisha: Thank you! 🙂

    eisha and Jules: It’s a one-act comedic play, taking place during lunch break at a high school. It’s fun and funny.

  22. Well, I thought I heard about Slings and Arrows here…Eisha, could it be you or someone else in kicks one week?… but maybe it was elsewhere in Blogistan.

    It’s a Canadian TV series (quoting Wikipedia here) “set at the fictional New Burbage Festival, a troubled Shakespearean festival similar to the real-world Stratford Festival.”

    Anyway, a black comedy filled with Shakespeare. Deelish.

  23. Sara, it may very well have been something someone here talked about, maybe even Eisha. Most days, especially at the end of each day, I can’t even form the words I’m looking for (I’ve said before, I think, that I used to think the phrase “Mommy Brain” was sexist, but there really is something to it — at least if you’re the kind of mommy who stays home ALL DAY with your children), and I’m pretty sure I have premature onset of Alzheimer’s….but oh my, now I sound really disrespectful to people who really have Alzheimer’s. But anyway, yeah, all that rambling’s to say: It may have been mentioned here.

    More importantly, it sounds awfully good.

  24. Qua, qua, qua, Eisha.

    Zoe, I just requested An Abundance of Katherines from the library, and I’m looking forward to it.

    Here are my kicks, later than everyone else:
    1. Seven of Nine and the Doctor singing a duet of “You are My Sunshine”
    2. watching a 105 lb. French Mastiff puppy chase butterflies
    3. a dinner date with my three-year-old, his face when the hibachi chef began to spin the egg on the grill and then as he attended to every move of the hibachi chef, and when he let me have a taste of his food and insisted on feeding it to me with his chopsticks
    4. a couple solid chunks of time to myself for working on an important project
    5. an e-mail from one of my former students, saying that she is in Sudan and will be staying there to work– I’m sooooo proud of her!
    6. my mother-in-law made carob brownies for us– Oh, yum!
    7. homemade creamy polenta– hit the spot tonight!

  25. Zoe, An Abundance of Katherines is totally hilarious, and Paper Towns will not disappoint either. I woulda saved you some cupcakes, but… no, I couldn’t, they were too good.

    Jules, I finished Paper Towns within 24 hours of it arriving in the mail, if that tells you anything. I think I might love it as much as Looking for Alaska. And Beckett! Good one. I’ll be Camus. We can do a co-review that way. It’ll be… well, we’ll probably lose our whole readership, but it’ll be fun for us.

    I’ve never seen Slings and Arrows, but I totally want to now. It sounds hilarious.

    Kathe, I can only imagine how cool hibachi must be for a 3-year-old. And you’ve piqued my interest with that 7 of 9 and Doctor duet thing – must be in the new season, which I’ve only seen two episodes of. Jealous!

  26. Love the idea of a fairy assassin so must. . .get. . .that. . .book. (Damn, why didn’t I think of that?)

    My kicks for the next two weeks in Scotland:

    1. High tea at Rufflets Hotel with friends, though if it doesn’t stop raining, we can’t be in the garden.

    2. Finishing going over the copyedited mss. for the 4th Pit Dragon book (yes, I love work, so shoot me!)

    3. Going home on September 7 and hugging my daughter and granddaughters.


  27. Jules, you sound lots more scared than me over the cockies (aka roaches) so you were very brave for not just abandoning the whole pile of stuff and jumping out the window. The reason I’m trying the convince-myself-they’re-harmless thing is that so many other things in Australia aren’t harmless that it seems stupid to be scared over cockroaches rather than something poisonous! But I’m glad I get to give myself a break from the convincing while in the UK 🙂

  28. Hi, Kathe. Glad you got some time to yourself this week — and had such other kickin’ kicks. I am hoping for a day myself this week in which my mother-in-law whisks my girls away so that I can get caught up on work.

    Eisha, I hear ya. If I didn’t have kid-interruption, I probably would have read Paper Towns that quickly. It’s so freakin’ good so far.

    Jane, no, we will surely NOT ever shoot you for writing great, fabulous, excellent books.

    Emmaco, roaches (or, uh, cockies, which to me sounds like a WAY more fitting name) = evil.

  29. KITTIES!

    I’m totally a day late, and it’s all because my BFF and I spent the day making peach jam yesterday, which was pretty kicky. Not only did we make regular peach jam, but we also made this peach jam to which one adds some Godiva chocolate liqueur. It was so ridiculously good that we ate some hot out of bowls instead of canning it. Mmmmm.

    Eisha, I’m glad you had a good birthday, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of Paper Towns.

    Jules, Every time someone mentions James and the Giant Peach, I have to go and grab a copy so I can read the scenes where the earthworm and centipede fight. I love that book.

    Tricia, Good for you–WOOO!

    Little Willow, Wow to all those auditions and rehearsals and the good kind of being busy.

  30. Adrienne, I love it when people come kickin’ on non-Sundays.

    Mmmm….Godiva chocolate liqueur.

  31. Huh, wow — I just realized that the book I’m reviewing and the artist here are one and the same. WOW.

    Some people can just do freaking EVERYTHING, huh?

  32. I just realized that Jane Yolen said that she thought my book sounded cool (paraphrasing). I can DIE happy. Jane, I LOVE you! Your short stories are amazing — can I tell you how many times I reread HERE THERE BE UNICORNS?

    Insert more humiliating fangirling here. Siiiiiigh.

    Oh, and thanks, Tanita! Art and writing uses the same part of the brain, though, so it’s not as amazing as if I could do something like . . . say . . . write AND balance a checkbook.

    Which I can’t.

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