7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #83: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Lauren Minco

h1 October 5th, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Welcome to 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.

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so it’s time to feature a new or student illustrator. Today we welcome Lauren Minco, an illustrator who balances teaching, freelance illustration, and showing her work in galleries. Here are a few words from Lauren, and how about that mysterious mermaid above?

I currently live in Providence, Rhode Island, after graduating from The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Illustration. Actually, I thought I was going to study apparel design, but I quickly learned the summer before college that I didn’t really have a knack for it. I stumbled into Illustration, because I liked the endless possibilities and freedom it gave me in the business and art world. I paint with an acrylic/gouache hybrid and am getting ready for my big Fall promotion campaign.

I do freelance Illustration for various clients (mostly magazines), but I’m very lucky to show my work in galleries and teach Illustration at RISD Pre-College and Montserrat College of Art. I love working with the next generation of artists and it gets me out of the house, too!

On a more personal note, I love dogs, Disney World, and sushi. All those things came together when I went to Japan last year. I ate tons of wonderful sushi, saw the biggest dog I’ve ever seen (maybe it was a bear? A bear with a leash?), and enjoyed Disney Sea, the best amusement park I’ve ever been to!

Got more Lauren? you ask? Yes, we do. Here are two more of her illustrations below. And don’t forget to check out this page of her site for more art work.

Many thanks to Lauren for stopping by. What do you all think? I’m having trouble even picking a favorite of the three.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

Charlotte’s Web, probably the best American children’s book ever.1* I LOVE the art this week.

2* I know, I’m starting to get tedious about how awesome my job is, but this week I got to hold a handwritten inventory of his estate written by the Marquis de Lafayette. Also, I finally saw the manuscript of Charlotte’s Web. It’s handwritten in pencil, and the first couple of pages have sketches of Charlotte and the farm. I really, truly almost cried over that.

3* To celebrate my first new-job paycheck, I went into an awesome little indie music shop, thinking I’d treat myself to a new CD. Lo and behold, TV on the Radio has a brand-new album out: Dear Science. So I got it, and it’s awesome.

4* That reading by Charles Simic I already told you about.

Andrew Bird, who is awesome.5* It was kind of a rainy, dreary week, but this weekend is gorgeous and the leaves are starting to sport their fall colors. I love the cooler temps, too.

6* Today is my husband’s birthday, and to celebrate I took him out for sushi last night.

7* And then I took him (along with our friends the Poets Upstairs) to an Andrew Bird concert.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

1). I really don’t want to be one of those parents who goes on entirely too much about her children…but, people: My daughters keep growing up and growing up (in more ways than just shooting up — lordamercy, my four-year-old looks like she’s six), and I just can’t stop delighting in them. Sometimes I just stare in utter amazement. They’re so fun. And beautiful. And bright. To me.

Part two of this kick: I’m really glad I married someone who, once upon a time, was a scientist. When my oldest asked me why blood is red, all I could think was hemoglobin? But I said, “ask your father.” He explained it perfectly to a four-year-old — in detail but in a way that made sense. This he does casually over dinner. And then she asks about electricity, and all I could think was ah crap. “Ask your father.” The questions don’t stop: Meteors, the earth’s upper atmosphere, religion (ah HOLY crap). Seriously, yeah, I can handle the latter or at least do my best, but the rest? “Ask your father.” See, I’ve said before: He’s the better half.

2). The ever-thoughtful Adrienne got to hear M.T. Anderson speak, and she sent me, knowing full well my great devotion to his books, an autographed copy of Feed. Swoon swoon double swoon. What fun mail that was! Thanks again, Adrienne!

Part two of this kick: I’m re-reading Octavian so that I can start—one day before the year 2020—my ARC of Octavian II. Yeah, I’m slowly phasing out review copies, but like hell I’m giving up that ARC.

3). Make way, Traction Man! Mini Grey will visit 7-Imp this week. I loved reading her interview responses and look forward to sharing them.

4). I got some great compliments about my work from my co-workers this week. When you work virtually with people all over the country and you have no water cooler over which to meet face-to-face and read body language, those moments are extra important, I think.

5). My family and I saw some pretty creative scarecrows at Nashville’s lovely botanical gardens yesterday. It was a beautiful day, trying to be Fall, almost quite made it. And we began with a big ‘ol pancake breakfast at this place, which is such a beloved Nashville tradition that you know you’ll be in line outside for about an hour, waiting, but it’s worth it. (See! Pancakes, Jama!) Anyway, at the outdoor exhibit, there were fun, children’s lit-esque scarecrows like these guys, Scary Potter and Scary Poppins:

And there were some lovely and clever things like this rabbit scarecrow and Fairy Myst here, whose skirt is made of recycled cans:

And then there was the best scarecrow of all, and I’m not just saying that ’cause a friend from college made it (artist Alene Day). Isn’t it beautiful?

6). I’m very late in mentioning these, but Just One More Book!! hearts our blog and Elaine Magliaro also hearts our blog, and to them we say thank you and we heart you back, too. And, back at the beginning of September, Cheryl Rainfield nominated us for a Brilliante Weblog Premio Award, and we thank her as well. We’re probably supposed to do something for each honor, such as nominate further/pay it forward/etc., but we’re disorganized sometimes. Do not let our slacker natures be any indication of any type of ingratitude for the shout-outs. (In fact, I’m now wondering if we’ve missed any other nominations. If we skipped someone, we didn’t do it on purpose. Cross our hearts.) Thanks, you guys!

7). Beck has a new CD.

What are your kicks this week?

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35 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #83: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Lauren Minco”

  1. I should have been asleep hours ago, and should never have poured this large glass of wine…but I’m liking the kicks as an exercise in shared thankfulness.

    As an aside, you two could probably have an indie-rock blog that would rock almost as much as 7-imp. Actually you could just keep the name. Not that you’re looking for supplemental blogging projects…anyway, those kicks:

    1) Said goodbye to summer with another campfire and supper at the beach (78 degrees!). Still swam in the lake , but the water’s cooooold now. Writing kicks instead of blog post for posterity.
    2) My wife asked seven-year-old Ivy what she wanted to do in the afternoon: “Hmmm…reading, writing and drawing….but no school.” I take that as a sign that homeschooling is going ok. Blurred lines are good.
    3) Same daughter went off to her first Girl Guides camp this weekend. Yes, she sold all her cookies.
    4) I went exploring on my mountain bike at lunchtime yesterday and thanked all higher powers that I work from home.
    5) Rediscovered my camera and took a bunch of photos I liked, mostly of my little Ella (also four, and I’m blown away like you, Jules).
    6) Celebrated the wedding of two friends from work who married each other. Sadly, they also left the company…but no reason I can’t still hang out with them. Right? Sigh.
    7) Enjoying Everything on a Waffle, and a pile of new picture books.


  2. Happy Sunday, everyone!!

    I love Lauren’s work — such bright, vibrant colors and a story in every picture that makes you think. My favorite is the mermaid (I’m partial to blues and greens), and I’m wondering if that’s mermaid sushi?

    Happy Birthday to your husband, Eisha! And I almost cried reading about how you almost cried. E.B. White. Sigh. And I don’t know Andrew Bird’s music. I shall have to give him a listen.

    LOVE your scarecrows, Jules. Yay for pancakes and scientific husbands, and beautiful adorable little girls who fill you with wonder and love :)! Can’t wait to read your Mini Grey interview.

    My biggest kick this week is having my parents visit from Hawaii. I’m SO lucky that at ages 84 and 93, they’re still able to travel so far. We’ve been doing things like:

    1. Visiting our favorite pumpkin farm,
    2. Going to see “The Duchess.” (Keira Knightly is amazing),
    3. Ambling around the riverside town of Occoquan and feasting on giant sandwiches and homemade pie, and
    4. Seeing “Romeo and Juliet” in D.C., performed by the Shakespeare Theatre Company (I might blog about it since it was weird).
    5. Oh, I won a Cowgirl t-shirt in Mary Hershey’s September drawing.
    6. We also saw the infamous Mr. Donnelly yesterday. He seems larger than your average groundhog. My dad wants to eat him. And we’ve got beavers!!

    That is all. Enjoy the fall!!


  3. Jeremy, it’s funny you say that about music. When we first started blogging, someone suggested we blog about music, too. Anyway, I always feel so behind anymore on good music. Feel like I listen to the same people over and over. I told Eisha that I’ve always heard great things about Andrew Bird but have never heard him, so now I have another reminder to take a listen already. And, generally, Eisha’s always good for some great new music tips.

    {P.S. Lucinda Williams has a new CD, too!}

    Your kicks are always so lovely to read, Jeremy. #2 is particularly great. Every time I hear about the things homeschoolers do vs. public school (not to knock ’em) and the attitude homeschooled children have about learning, I am so tempted to look into it further. Since I worry sometimes that I wouldn’t have the patience for it, I almost want to plug my ears up and sing “lalalalala” when homeschoolers start talking, ’cause I always like what I hear and feel even more tempted. (Mature response, huh?) This is probably a sign I need to give it more thought.

    I also took a bunch of pics of the girls yesterday, Jeremy, what with their sudden growing-up, and found myself wishing I could take a photography class. And, by the way, your girls have wonderful names.

    Everything on a Waffle is one of my favorite books ever, Jeremy! Polly Horvath has a brand-new one, too {pictured here}, that looks very good; although I didn’t like her most recent novel, she generally rocks, I think, and has always been a favorite. Glad you’re liking Waffle. Are you reading it to your girls, by chance? I bet it’s perfect for a seven-year-old, though I haven’t read it in a while.

    Jama, it sounds like you’re having a fabulous visit with your parents. I snort-laughed at the notion that your father wants to eat Mr. Donnelly. I assume the animal’s still breathing. And, I ask you: What is better in October, when it’s newly-Fall, than visiting a pumpkin farm?

    Hope you continue to have a great time with their visit!

    Look at me rambling, and I haven’t even had coffee yet. I love reading everyone’s kicks.


  4. P.S. Eisha seeing the manuscript of Charlotte’s Web trumps all my kicks and, actually, any kick ever! Another reason to visit her, other than for her awesome company (and her husband’s, to whom I wish a happy birthday today)….


  5. P.S. again — I meant to say but then I forgot and I promise I’m going away after this:

    Jama, perhaps that’s Andersen’s Little Mermaid up there, who gave up her voice/tongue to get her legs and such?? I mean, there are sheets of music there. Who knows.


  6. Went to Minco’s website and fell in love with the lion and birds reading print. The mermaid one is rather creepy.
    Eisha, I think I would cry to see that original Charlotte’s Web manucript!
    Jules, you remind me that there too many books to read in the world, rereading Octavio Nothing? Did you know that Feed was banned from our middle schools last spring?
    My week:
    1. Anastasia Suen’s vist at our school was awesome. I wished she could have been there all day!
    2. After the day at school, we tried a new to me taqueria(sp) and chatted for a couple of hours. So fun.
    3. I made it through the week without taking a “I Really Need to Sleep” day from work. (saving for when the baby is born).
    4. This week, the library conference for both Oregon and Washington). Things have changed regarding my introducing Naomi Shihab Nye: a student is doing the intro, I am providing transportation for her on Thursday. (unless a baby is being born)
    5. I have 6 third graders signed up for the book club. I have no idea what I am doing. We are reading Because of Winn Dixie.
    6. A new do! I cut my hair yesterday after spending months growing it out. It had lost its sass.
    7. Naps and sleeping in this weekend.
    Have a great week.


  7. My favorite illustration is the third one, the girl with the red hair. She looks fun.

    Eisha, Wow about Charlotte’s Web. And happy birthday to your husband! I’m glad to hear you’re having the same perfect fall day there that we’re having here. I think I’m going to go pick apples.

    Jules, I love Scary Potter. Not as much as M.T. Anderson, but still.

    Jeremy, The more I study homeschooling, the more I wish that I had been homeschooled or that I had someone sitting around the house to homeschool. I’d say you are definitely doing something right there.

    Jone, WOOT to a new haircut!

    My kicks:
    1. This is the second of two days in a row with nothing planned. Is there anything better?
    2. Yesterday, I took advantage of the day to bake pumpkins and a chicken and had friends over for dinner. My house still smells all yummy, and I’m always glad to be able to share good food.
    3. Alkelda gave me a gift of this wonderful pinon coffee when I was in Seattle a few weeks ago, and then she gave me more when I saw her in Portland last weekend. It’s such a treat–I have a pot a-brewing right now.
    4. I got a lot of work done this week on some projects that were feeling kind of scary, like maybe I wasn’t going to be able to do them all. But now I know I can.
    5. This past Tuesday, my BFF and I went to a David Sedaris reading. He read all unpublished stuff. It was great.
    6. At the reading, I saw about ten people I know. I felt like a social butterfly–a bit unusual for me.
    7. And how could I forget? This should be #1: my father-in-law painted the molding on my front windows while I was away last weekend. My husband taped them up to be painted but then got too sick to paint them, and I’ve been too busy/unmotivated to take care of them ever since. I should remind you that my husband has been dead for over four years; I think the tape had been up a year longer than that. The nice, fresh paint and lack of tape is one of the more amazing things I’ve seen in a long while. And such a relief.


  8. Quickly, quickly now! I am getting ready for an event and will have to catch up on everyone’s kicks and the pretty pictures later. For now, I’ll quickly jot down my kicks from the past week:

    1) Unexpected call and interview, then
    2) Getting the job, which is today – I’m emceeing a local arts festival!
    3) Listening to stories of New Year celebrations (or the joy of sleeping in) from kids who celebrate Rosh Hashannah
    4) First meeting for the musical
    5) Overcoming anxiety
    6) Asking for assistance
    7) Planning ahead


  9. Jeremy, you flatter us. But in no way do I keep up with the new stuff enough to do an indie music blog. I just like what I like, you know? Also, I took the liberty of checking out your flickr photos, and that is one gorgeous tow-headed brood you have there. And I love their names.

    jama, NO! Your dad can NOT eat Mr. Donnelly! I’ve grown too attached to him. Congrats on having such a lovely visit with your folks, and on winning a cowgirl t-shirt!

    jules, see above comment to Jeremy. But you would absolutely love Andrew Bird. The concert was amazing – he plays all his instruments himself, so here’s what he did: he had some kind of recording/looping equipment up there on stage that he operated with his feet, so he’d play a violin riff, record it, then play it as a loop while he picked up his guitar and played that, while whistling, singing, and occasionally playing xylophone. He is so totally amazing. Come visit already, and I’ll happily show you the Charlotte manuscript. And speaking of your kicks, I am so glad to see Alene is just as talented and original as ever.

    jone, whatever happens with your hair, YOU will never lose your sass. How exciting to be counting down to baby! Plus driving Naomi Shihab Nye around should be pretty amazing.

    adrienne, I’m so jealous about M.T. Anderson, not to mention David Sedaris. That’s maybe just too much smart-funny-author-awesomeness for one month. And yay for your father-in-law – what a wonderful thing to do for you.

    Little Willow – I mean, yo yo, MC LW! Have fun at the arts festival, and congrats on getting an unexpected job!


  10. What vibrant paintings! I have to say, the mermaid one makes me uncomfortable for her – her poor tail! But I love the lion reading, the dad and little boy reaching for the star, and the couple in green with their glasses of wine….(i really liked all of it, but those in particular.)

    Eisha – so glad you are still loving your job – it sounds incredibley awesome. And happy birthday to your husband!

    Jules – what a great week! Your girls sound so fun and so interested in the world around them – that must be really cool watch them question things and want to learn. (I would be lost with the science questions too.) And those scarecrows are damn nifty.

    Jama – congrats on winning the t-shirt!

    Jeremy – I am in awe that you swam in cold cold October lake water.

    Jone – very jealous you get to drive Naomi Shihab Nye around.

    Adrienne – isn’t David Sedaris so fun to see live? I saw him once, and it was a very fun evening.

    Little Willow – belated congrats on the musical, and congrats on the current gig – I hope this makes you even more in demand as a performer!

    My kicks this week:
    1. Coming out from under a huge cleaning out clutter project and actually finishing it! (Its why I was MIA last week, too darn busy! But I did swing by and read everyone else’s kicks, cause it always makes smile.)
    2. A weeklong staycation where I walked the dogs a lot, caught up on emails, discovered all kinds of awesome new-to-me blogs, and did yoga every day.
    3. Buying, reading, and finishing Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight.
    4. My bf’s actual birthday was Tuesday, and among the many presents I got him, the one joke present wound up making him the happiest. It was an Office Space kit, complete with a jump to conclusions map and Initech coffee cup. Since he’s been having a very busy and intense time at work, this resonanted for him. After presents we did our favorite Thai takeout for dinner and watched Office Space, an evening made to order for him.
    5. My 8 year old nephew called from New Orleans and thanked me for the books I sent him (among them, Meet Wild Boars, and Pindulli.) Then, he asked me to send him harder books to read! Woo-hoo! I think he is becoming more of a reader!
    6. Finding this etsy shop with super cute and affordable bags: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5492449
    7. Going to the zoo with a good friend and seeing the new baby elephant Samudra. Also, hanging out with the polar bear siblings Conrad and Tasul, they were so beautiful. I have some pics up over at my place of the bears, and will put some up of Samudra soon.
    7.5 Obama is up to 50% in the polls. (Still holding my breath till November 4th though.)
    Have a great week everyone!


  11. Me too creeped out by the mermaid. I don’t like seeing her cut up like that! I am impressed with the artist’s mixture of sweet with horror though. Remarkable, really.

    My kicks:

    1.Raisin, cinnamon and walnut gluten free muffins for coffee break
    2. Crysanthemums
    3. Bob Marley music at the pizza parlor
    4. Our library just got Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Eric Puybaret. Awesome!!
    5. Getting back into Friday Poetry after missing all of September. I heart my bloggity peeps.
    6. The perfect weather this weekend.
    7. Mowing the lawn and spreading mulch & grass seed. This makes me happy.


  12. Eisha, that Charlotte’s Web thing must have been amazing. And Jules, the scarecrows are way cool. And congratulations to LW on the festival job. That’s awesome.

    1. The KidLit conference last weekend was excellent. I got to hang out with lots of other fans of children’s books and blogging – such a gift.
    2. The baseball playoffs have started.
    3. The Cybils have started.
    4. I’ve been in a little bit of a book funk lately, starting books and then putting them down after a few pages. Which was disturbing. But I just read Barb Shoup’s new title Everything You Want in less than 24 hours and loved it, and it’s helping me to get my reading groove back.
    5. I watched the old Disney version of Escape to Witch Mountain this weekend. I know it’s cheesy, but I still love it. It’s like a visit with my childhood self, you know, excited every year when it was time for Disney to show it as the Sunday Night Movie. And a little imdb digging revealed that the actor who played Tony will have some sort of role in the new movie that’s currently in production.
    6. Like Adrienne, Mheir and I are spending a weekend with nothing planned (well, except for watching the aforementioned baseball playoffs, and even those we can time-shift a little with the dvr). So nice!! We even cooked, which we hardly ever do.

    And that’s it. Happy Sunday, all!


  13. Jone, ditto to what Eisha said about your everlovin’ sass. And I’m also VERY JEALOUS you get to drive Naomi around, and did I miss which daughter is having the baby next?? I hope you and Laini are resting up after your fabulous conference. Good luck with the book club. You’ll figure out what to do. I have no doubt.

    Adrienne, I know. Those homeschoolers. I hear their stories and think, now that’s the way to learn, especially now that so many other children do it and they’re not all isolated like people think they are. And I didn’t even think about the notion that, absent of any online reading programs, reading is perhaps less of a “chore” to them than non-homeschoolers, as Sherry Early wrote in that Horn Book article (here). Of course, I’m speaking generally here, before any public school advocates give me what-for.

    Anyway, yes, that was a super nice thing for your father-in-law to do, and I’m glad you have no-plan days here this weekend. I’m re-discovering what that’s like — on purpose. And ooo ooo! I want to hear David Sedaris read here in Nashville, but we’re trying to save money/watch the budget by not going. It’s tempting, though…and Robin Williams is coming, too. Dang.

    Little Willow, hope you continue to enjoy those rehearsals. And emceeing, too. Can you play some Jane’s Addiction for ’em?

    Eisha, Andrew Bird sounds wondermous. And you know I’d be visiting RIGHT NOW if it weren’t for the aforementioned watching-the-budget bit. One day….one day. Me, you, the manuscript of Charlotte’s Web, and that Gimme! coffee joint (did I get the name right?)…

    Welcome back, RM! We missed you last week. What a great book-dealing aunt you’re being, and what a nice birthday your boyfriend had ’cause of you. As for 7.5, I’m still holding my breath, too, and will continue to do so ’til this is all over. I’ve never been so scared of an outcome I don’t want. Seriously, SERIOUSLY, I’m gonna consider moving to Canada if Palin gets anywhere near the White House. And I’m going to find it hard to sleep at night for fears of the future of my children. Seriously.

    Sorry, I try not to get sidetracked on politics at the blog, but ah screw it anymore. I’m truly frightened.

    Cloudscome, aw Manfish is so good! I love it, too. What a very yummy and sweet-smelling week you had, what with muffins cooking and crysanthemums growing.

    Jen, I’m screaming AMEN at your book rut. I’ve been like that, particularly with adult fiction. I’ve gone through a small stack of adult fiction novels that I just couldn’t get into. But I started Don DeLillo’s Falling Man, and I’m enjoying it. Whew.

    I’ve never seen “Escape to Witch Mountain.” I need to fix that. …Enjoy your no-plans weekend, Jen!


  14. Eisha, I meant to say: “Me, you, the manuscript of Charlotte’s Web, and that Gimme! coffee joint (did I get the name right?)…PLUS, we could drive up to visit Adrienne, too!”


  15. Three cheers for Charlotte’s Web and scarecrows! What great kicks everyone has this week.

    1. The two-and-a-half day conference I planned went off without a hitch this week. I HATE this job, so I’m glad to have it out of the way. I know what kind of work Jone and Laini had to do to pull off Kidlit 08, so kudos to them again. The posts about the conference have been great fun to read.

    2. I got new glasses on Friday. They look great, but I feel perpetually drunk in them. They are progressive bifocals (no line) and I haven’t figured out how to use them yet. From what I’ve been told, it will take me three or four weeks to figure this out.

    3. We went to the State Fair Friday night and had a blast. Pics on the blog if you want to see some cute animals and one handsome boy (my totally unbiased opinion).

    4. For the first time EVER I won a water gun game at the Fair. I let William pick the prize, so he now has an enormous (almost three feet high) green gecko.

    5. Cybils, Cybils, Cybils. I LOVE watching the nominees roll in. I can’t wait to see the slate of titles we end up with in NFPB.

    6. Two amazing poets I have written quite a bit about this year wrote to ask me for my address so they can send me their new books to review in the coming year. What fun that will be!

    7. This weekend I made homemade mac and cheese, grilled vegetables, and artichoke and spinach soup. Mmmmm ….

    Have a great week everyone!


  16. Eisha – I just heard TV on the Radio for the first time yesterday, and I loved the song. I may have to check out the album. I just got paid too, and I treated myself to the latest Giada DeLaurentis cookbook.

    Jules – What is it about age 4? Cy also seems to have grown up overnight. We haven’t hit the “why?” stage yet, and I hope that Fred can step up and answer those questions. If not, I’m calling Blaine. And those scarecrows are fabulous BTW.

    Adrienne – I am very envious that you got to see and hear David Sedaris in person. He is hilarious and my husband is an avid collector of his books.

    My kicks this week:

    1 – My library director approved all 20 of my first set of book suggestions for the library. It is so reassuring to know that I understand the needs of the library. And it’s just as much fun to spend other people’s money on books, as it is spending my own.
    2 – Having a 10 minute discussion with a student who was so befuddled and bemused by the concept of challenging and banning books. She kept repeating “why?” Banned Books Week rocks.
    3 – Cy has a new musical hero. Forget Johnny Cash, this week he is all about Bo Diddley!! We found this clip on youtube and he watched it seven times in a row, that first time. Now he gets out his guitar to rock along with Bo.
    4 – I was called “the children’s lit” librarian by a student the other day (my official title is reference librarian). She wanted me to recommend a great children’s book author for an author study, and quite happily listened to me gush about Kevin Henkes for several minutes. It made my day and reinforced my belief that I will work in a school library someday.
    5 – The local school librarians came for a tour of our new library, including the four media specialists I interned with last fall. It was such a joy to see old friends.
    6 – Old Navy had an awesome sale this weekend, and I got some great deals on pjs and socks for the kids, as well as work clothes for me. I love Old Navy.
    7 – I have been invited to be a member of a panel of recent graduates discussing library school programs at the Nashville Public Library later this month. That should be fun.


  17. It looks like the Bo Diddley link doesn’t work (I’m no good at this html stuff), so you can check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBAJXyF1HVc. It’s worth watching just for The Duchess. She is MY new musical hero.


  18. Third time’s the charm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBAJXyF1HVc


  19. Another wonderful big ol’ heaping batch’o’kicks. (I’m not sure about the two of you starting up an indie-rock blog, but you could easily open up a chain of IHOKs. Heh.)

    The mermaid, well, yes, I can see how it might have made people a little nervous. And I too think it’s sushi-ish (say that a couple times fast).

    BUT… (a) It also reminded me a lot of the Dali “Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory” — the one where he took the objects in the more famous melting-watch landscape and separated them out into slices. (b) I wondered not just about the mermaid but about the setting. What were those big curvy things at the bottom of the picture…? Oh, I realized, they must be scales. And then I saw the piano, and the score, and thought scales. And then I grinned.

    Kicks, let’s see…

    (1) Took stepkids out for stepson’s birthday dinner — also sushi, it so happens! And for a change, moderated my intake of warmed sake so the evaporation of fumes inside my head didn’t threaten to flatten me.

    (2) Guilty Pleasure Department: watched “Miss Congeniality 2” with The Missus last night. Froth? Yes. But damn, Sandra Bullock is cute.

    (3) Making Up for Guilty Pleasure Department: followed “MC2” with “300,” which we’ve had for ages. Thought- and conversation-provoking movie.

    (4) Found out the Yorkie apparently recognizes my whistle. Was on the floor playing with her, she wandered off, after a few minutes wondering what was up, I whistled — and she came charging around the corner of the sofa, LEAPT onto my chest, and started with this frantic face-and-beard-and-neck-licking routine which took me about 10 minutes to clean up afterwards, especially my glasses.

    (5) FSU-Miami 41-39. (!)

    (6) The cocoa-and-chipotle rub which The Missus concocted for the fish I grilled last night.

    Thanks as always for the great Sunday art and the kicks that go with it!


  20. P.S. Oh, and hope this doesn’t cross any boundaries, but I thought the SNL version of the VP debate was absolutely one of the show’s finest moments (well, 11 minutes’ worth of moments).


  21. I have a little time to read everyone’s kicks. I would comment on them, but what I can I say but “Wow!” “Cool!” and “Neat!”? Okay, a few things: (1) Jules, I didn’t know Lucinda Williams had a new CD out, and I will rush to iTunes to check it out. I do wish/hope that it’s more country like Car Wheels on a Gravel Road and less wah-wah overly reflective like her last two. 🙂 I applaud your husband’s acumen for explaining science in a way that is clear and accurate to a four year old. Eisha, I surely wish I could see the E.B. White manuscript. I am so glad your job is going well.

    My kicks:

    1) First and foremost, the Robert Plant/Allison Kraus concert exceeded my already-high expectations. I loved it! So did the Seattle P-I: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/pop/381468_plantkrauss03q.html

    2) It’s been slow-going, but I recovered enough from a nasty bout of laryngitis to be able to perform for my two gigs this weekend: my first Pierce County Library gig, and a birthday party.

    3) It was a hard decision, but I opted not to attend the Neil Gaiman reading last Friday because of the slow recovery. I sent my husband in my stead, and the friend who had picked up a ticket for me had actually picked up a signed copy of The Graveyard Book for me as well. (Thank you, El Jope Magnifico! My family shall make your family dinner.)

    4) I received a little hanging dream-fairy in the mail from HipWriterMama. What did I do to deserve it? Nothing, I tell you. HWM is the topp.

    5) I’m rereading the Ellen Emerson White books that were rereleased in August, and were updated from the eighties to the 00’s in order to match with Long May She Reign. The books are: The President’s Daughter, White House Autumn, and Long Live the Queen. The covers are great: each one is evocative of a famous painting. Here is a link to the covers: http://angieville.blogspot.com/2008/06/ellen-emerson-white-covers.html

    And here is the post abot the books by Liz B. (where you can see the original covers): http://yzocaet.blogspot.com/2007/08/ellen-emerson-white-presidents-daughter.html

    I’m going to stop at five, and hope the links don’t send this comment into the spam folder….


  22. I’ve had a madly busy week and have been catching up on sleep and fighting off a cold today, so no list, but thought I’d pop in to ogle the art and enjoy the lists. And there are so nice things mentioned already! Love the pics and the scarecrows.

    Eisha and Jules, you do such a great job talking up your job and kids that it seems only natural they’re in multiple weeks 🙂

    I really have to get around to trying out some of the music everyone talks about here, I’m totally stuck in a rut in my listening habits.


  23. Tricia, oh my oh my, William has gotten so big! I hope that sheep didn’t actually bite him. What great pics! Congrats on your conference being over; I’m sure you did a fine, fine job. And mmmm….artichoke and spinach soup sounds good. You have piqued my interest, ’cause I’m very picky about soups, and that actually sounds good to me.

    Zoe, can I thank you enough for that Bo Diddley link? That was awesome. Did the girls in the audience ever stop squealing once, during either song? I don’t think so. Cy has just kickin’ taste in music. Congrats on #7. Maybe we can hook up while you’re in Nashville. And I’m so glad you’re out evangelizing children’s lit in your library, ’cause you know what you’re talking about. Anyone who studied under Jinx does, I say.

    JES, “IHOKs”? Huh? Am I being dense? Please explain. …I love that Lauren’s work made you think of Dali. I hope she’s reading…..I can’t remember how long you’ve been reading our blog, but Eisha and I have been known to speak in “300” talk. There’s been a heavy dose of “Spartan!” this and “tonight we dine in hell!” that and “to the cliffs!” here and “Haa-ooh! No fear threatens an imp!” there at 7-Imp. Don’t even get us started again. …and your Yorkie kick was very fun to read.

    And, JES, yes, the debate parody was a hoot — heaven bless Tina Fey (and I’m so glad to see SNL ratings go up, ’cause I’ve always been a fan, that person in the room who never agrees when everyone else says it’s a “bad season,” no matter what season it is) — but the “Lawrence Welk” and Mark Wahlberg skits made me laugh so hard I thought I’d soil myself.

    Alkelda, what a lovely gift from Vivian. How sweet! I’m glad you’re feeling better and that your gigs went well. And I’m still jealous about your concert-going.

    Alkelda (and Zoe, too), yes, spam tried to eat your kicks for dinner. So sorry. I was out all afternoon or I would have saved them earlier.

    Emmaco, feel better soon, and thanks for visiting. It wouldn’t be the same without you.


  24. Oh, man. I don’t know but I’m thinking just reading all these kicks might be the pinnacle of my week. And it wasn’t a bad week either but you guys are just really seriously living — and noticing as you do….

    So, I’m just gonna list two tonight:

    1. All ya’lls kicks.
    2. Our amazing block party that, I think, was probably the first annual. I love when community just happens. Like we can’t really help ourselves…


  25. I must be having a mermaid night. Earlier tonight, I saw this in a line-up of recycled costumes: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7599047 I can’t remember who pointed out the visual pun on scales, but right on!

    Jules—Kids ask such challenging questions! When my older son hit a “why” phase when he was two, we quickly realized that the majority of his strings of “why” questions eventually ended with this answer: “I can’t answer that. You should ask a meteorologist.”

    Zoe—My kids are really into Johnny Cash. A couple weeks ago, my three-year-old revealed that he recognizes Johnny Cash’s voice, even if it’s a song he hasn’t heard before.

    Alkelda—What a bummer that you missed Neil Gaiman.

    My kicks:

    #1 World Vegetarian Day! Woohoo!

    #2 At home, we eat primarily meatless because I prefer to eat vegetarian, but my husband and kids are meat-eaters. Well, we were talking about this over dinner, and my older son commented, “I like meat, but not from people.” So now I know that at least one of my sons draws the line at cannibalism.

    #3 As I mentioned last week, Samuel and I are reading Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Well, Chapter 5 inspired us. After complaining about their dinner of tongue pot roast the night before, Ramona and Beezus have to make dinner for their family. With the exception of using banana yogurt instead of buttermilk to make cornbread, we thought their dinner sounded pretty good. So we made Beezus and Ramona’s dinner, and it was delicious! Here is what we made: chili yogurt chicken thighs (We added a bit of salt and garlic to Beezus and Ramona’s recipe, since in the book the “chicken did not taste as good as the girls had hoped.”), peas (on the side instead of in the chicken dish), rice, carrot sticks, and baked pears (fresh instead of canned, with spiced sugar instead of apricot jelly).

    Here’s a recipe for our version of Beezus & Ramona’s Chili Yogurt Chicken Thighs:
    Ingredients: 6 chicken thighs (remove the skins or buy skinless; boneless is optional), 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, a dash or two of black pepper, a little garlic
    Prep: Mix all ingredients in a glass baking dish. Bake at 350 for about one hour. Serve with rice and peas.

    #4 This: http://gawker.com/5059074/the-theme-to-shaft-ukulele-style

    #5 My family pulled off our first ever kid birthday party. Samuel turned 5 and got to invite 5 friends. We survived the three hour kid-vasion.

    #6 For his birthday party, we asked Samuel if he wanted to ask his friends to bring a little money to buy chickens for Heifer International instead of presents (http://www.heifer.org/site/c.edJRKQNiFiG/b.2667525/), and he said, “Yes! I like chickens!” After he thought about it for a couple seconds, though, he asked, “Will I still get presents?” When I said he’ll still get presents from family, he was even more sure about the chickens. He raised enough money to buy three flocks of chickens!

    #7 This is a totally dorky kick, but it made me so happy: our county recycling pick-up just added #3 to #5 plastic. Finally! You have no idea how jealous I am of you guys on the West coast!


  26. Hi, Liz! Block parties are so fun. What a great idea for early Fall.

    Kathe, that’s great about Samuel’s fundraising/chicken-raising. Very, very cool. As well as your Ramona and Beezus dinner. I’m also glad to hear he’s not into cannibalism. And, no, I don’t think your last kick is dorky. Our county doesn’t even PICK up recycling. Isn’t that silly? But this is one reason we got a house with a garage.

    And, Kathe, that Gawker kick makes me SO HAPPY! What a great way to start a week. And I didn’t even KNOW there was such a thing as a ukelele orchestra.

    John, I took those SNL videos out. I had no idea they were making everything funky, in terms of the comments that followed. I guess the blog’s template didn’t like those particular embeddings (is that a noun?). Thanks for the tip!


  27. Jules — you’re welcome about the video embeds… I think WordPress may use different templates for comments than for main posts, so even though something works just fine in the main, it strangles the comment. 🙂

    Anyway…

    IHOK = International House of Kicks. I probably shoulda spelled it out at the start!

    If I ever saw you & Eisha cutting up 300-style it probably went right over my head. I suspect it’s like those of us who’ve memorized the Monty Python or Seinfeld scripts (or — do you know them? — Firesign Theatre)… everybody else just sort of scratches their heads, attributes the line to a temporary blip in the transmission, and moves on.

    As for Lawrence Welk… I used to majorly heart the Lennon Sisters. But after just watching that video I’m not sure I could ever watch the real thing again w/out squirming in my seat.

    Kathe: the ukelele version of “Shaft” was stupendous!


  28. I KNOW, John! Oh wait, I’m screaming in enthusiasm, but I’m not clarifying about what….That Shaft video is just great. I posted it as a note on my Facebook profile (and attributed it to one of our readers, I promise), and others are enjoying it, too. It’s fabulous.

    International House of Kicks. I like it.

    I even remember Bobby and Sissy (sp?) from The Lawrence Welk Show. For some reason, I referred to them as “the saucers,” according to my mother.

    Anything Kristen Wiig does, John, cracks me up (she was the sister with the forehead). Did you ever see “Walk Hard” with John C. Reilly? She plays his first wife, and in those movie bios about famous musicians, it seems the first wife is always saying, “you’ll never make it,” so she does that a lot in the movie, and it’s very funny to me. She was also that dim-witted assistant/secretary/whatever in “Knocked Up” and stole the show, I thought.


  29. Jules, thanks for the kind words (here and on my blog). Like I said, we’re in the honeymoon stage with the homelearning…ask me again in the dark days of January. And yes, a photography course would be wonderful — it’s really become one of those lifelong-learning sorts of skills, I think.

    Too cool that you’re a fan of Everything on a Waffle, too. I’m pre-reading it, but I think Ivy will like it. My initial objection was that it’s yet another story that starts with missing parents. Surely there are other ways to introduce tension and hardship without choosing the most trauma-inducing plot mechanism ever invented for children. Anyway…thanks also for the tip-off on her newer books…I’ve got The Trolls on hold as well. Cool to find out that she’s from BC too…a local who got a Newberry Honor!

    Adrienne, thanks for the encouragement. Homelearning wouldn’t be right for everyone, but seems to be a great fit for us.

    Eisha, I was sorta kidding about the music blog, but I do like seeing the music references showing up here. I did try my own music blog at one point, but let it lapse…takes time I don’t have. And thanks for the nice words about my three two-heads.

    rm preston: for pure bragging rights, I should have also pointed out that we’re in Canada, northeast of Seattle. However, I may have already stretched the truth by referencing “swimming”. More accurately, running in, taking a few quick strokes, and getting the h*ll out. Luckily it was warm enough on the beach to make it tempting. This week, not so much.


  30. Love the new Traction Man book, as you probably already saw.

    Jules: Sounds like you have a budding scientist on your hand. I hope you’re feeding her well (books as well as food, that is).


  31. Walk Hard: nope, haven’t seen it, but I suppose I have to now. Hey, anybody who knows Bobby & Sissy (or whatever) well enough to give them a collective nickname deserves to have her movie recommendations taken seriously!

    But “the saucers” went right over my head. (Which is a sentence I don’t think I ever imagined writing.)


  32. JES, you make me laugh (with you, not at you).

    I have no flippin’ clue why I called them “the saucers” — I don’t think my mother ever understood it either.

    Jeremy, The Trolls is great, too. I love Horvath. Except, well, the last one. Meh. Otherwise, she’s one of my favorite authors.


  33. I got to meet M.T. Anderson this weekend also and he signed two of my books, Feed and Octavian II which they had for sale there. Best day ever!


  34. Excellent, Jess! Have you started Octavian II yet?


  35. […] 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #83: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Lauren Minco October 5th, 2008 &nbsp&nbsp by Eisha and Jules […]


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