7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #111: Featuring Beppe Giacobbe
(And a Little Carin Berger)

h1 April 19th, 2009 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: See those cars, in-and-outing? I’m one of those, on my way to East Tennessee for a Very Exciting Day, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

This morning, 7-Imp welcomes acclaimed Italian graphic artist Beppe Giacobbe. Well, I wish I were welcoming him, but I wasn’t able to get in touch with him to see if he’d like to stop by, to say hello (in either Italian or English), and to show us some other art work — though I tried. Bummer. Because I love his art work, which is new to me and which I first saw in the new picture book by the award-winning and quite prolific author (AND poet AND essayist AND reviewer AND even more), Robert Burleigh, entitled Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep!: Listen to the City, to be released in early May by Simon & Schuster (Paula Wiseman Books). I can at least show you two spreads from that today. Here’s the other:

This tiny feature follows nicely upon the heels of my post from on Wednesday, partly about Lee Bennett Hopkins’ new title, which also celebrates city life. Clang! Clang!, written in rhymed couplets, invites us to a day in the life of a young boy who lives in a big city. It’s quite the onomatopoeic and musical celebration of everything from “Subway roaring / Riders snoring” to traffic and sirens and wrecking balls and jump-roping kids, what with your “blink blinks” and “ring rings” and “coo coos” and scritch-scratch-hopping. Giacobbe’s illustrations are wonderful — bold colors, robust shapes, distinct lines. Well, Kirkus calls it a “vivid sliver of city life.” Yes. That. That’s why they’re professional reviewers, and I’m not. They nailed it.

Even though I couldn’t reach Giacobbe to see if he could share more art with us (again, bummer…I love to feature international artists, in particular), I can direct you to his web site, for those interested in browsing further. Also, you can click on the above spreads to see them up close and personal. I’m going to promptly hit my library for the other picture book titles Giacobbe’s illustrated, as well as many of the other titles Burleigh’s written. Don’t you love finding new-to-you illustrators and authors? I do.

Anyway, as a reminder, our 7-kicks are 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. So, let’s kick it up. Absolutely anyone is welcome to list kicks — even if, or especially if, you’ve never done so before.

{P.S. Important copyright stuff: CLANG! CLANG! BEEP! BEEP!: LISTEN TO THE CITY is © 2009 Robert Burleigh, illustration © 2009 by Beppe Giacobbe. Published by Simon & Schuster (Paula Wiseman Books), New York, New York. Posted with permission of publisher. All rights reserved.}

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

1). So, yeah…My Very Exciting Day, as you read this now, is over. But, as I type this, it’s the end of the (work) week, and I’m getting ready to head to East Tennessee with my family for the 2009 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. If you are reading this and are not a library geek like me and Eisha, I’ll summarize: It’s a lecture given annually by an author, critic, librarian, historian, or teacher of children’s literature (from any country). The lecture itself becomes “a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature.” The person is chosen by the American Library Association, and different cities/regions of the country will bid to have that lecture happen in their area.

So, East Tennesse won the bid this year, and the presenter will be author Walter Dean Myers. And Yours Truly will be interpreting his lecture. Yes. I’ll be interpreting his amazing, brilliant words into American Sign Language. I. am. so. nervous. And very honored. And it will be hosted by the Langston Hughes Library of the Children’s Defense Fund Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, which is a beautiful place.

So, I’ll be back on Sunday to read your kicks, but right now I’m packing AND preparing for his lecture. (His son, illustrator Christopher Myers, will be speaking on Friday night at The University of Tennessee, but we can’t make that for different reasons, so let’s not even talk about that, thanks very much.)

2). There’s this singer/songwriter/musician named Amy Correia, who has released two CDs, the last one being too long ago, in my fan-girl opinion. Both CDs are really good. As one reviewer put it, I remember, she’s like the love child of Patsy Cline and Jeff Buckley. Well, she announced this week she’ll have a new CD this year. And a new song, “O Lord,” starts a-playin’ over at her MySpace site. And it’s goooood. And she re-worked, I discovered, an older song called “Devil and I,” which I highly encourage you to click on at that little MySpace radio thingy, especially if you like a good blues song.

That voice.

And one more thing: Speaking of Jeff Buckley, which I did above (and if you’re One Who Speaks Ill of Jeff Buckley’s Music, you best not mention that to me OR Eisha unless you want to hear an earful), Amy wrote a song years ago—a beautiful, heartbreaking, lovely piece of poetry—about his death, which is also click-able there at her MySpace radio. It’s called “Blind River Boy.”

3). Persian buttercups. I took this pic at my mother-in-law’s house. I had never heard of these flowers before. They’re exquisite. I want some.

4). I make it a priority (which I’m very lucky to be able to do, since I work from home) to curl up with my girls every afternoon and read — both picture books and novels suited to their ages. We finished Charlotte’s Web this week. The kicks at the warm, beating heart of this #4 here are two-fold: Reading to and with them is probably my favorite thing ever. Also: Charlotte’s Web is my favorite children’s novel. I didn’t want it to end. I also wept. WEPT, I tell you, when Charlotte said goodbye and when she died AND when her babies went flying into the air. I’m surprised my girls even understood me.

5). We then started this book. I’m sorry, but why didn’t this book make a bigger splash? My god, it is funny as hell and so well-written. It slays me every time. My five-year-old was laughing so hard (as was I) at the Frog Prince with the golden belt that she could hardly breathe.

6). My husband and I watched “Rachel Getting Married,” and it has—all the heavy moments and intense acting and sadness and recovering-addict arguments aside—a fabulous wedding with the best wedding vows I think I’ve ever heard (with the exception of my husband’s, OF COURSE). I almost want a do-over on my wedding vows. But just almost. (The movie also has great music, including a cameo from Robyn Hitchcock.)

7). Remember how I had a sneak-peek of new art last week from Julie Paschkis, since I always tell my favorite illustrators to feel free to stop by and share art any time? This week, I have a little bit from Carin Berger (interviewed here in February), who recently moved to Japan and who has a new blog. (Right now, Carin said, it’s her “madly posting…photos of Kyoto and our funky-in-the-best-possible-way house.” She’s got some great pics there; check this out.) Here’s what Carin said about the art: These are “some bits and pieces from the book I just finished right before I left for Japan. It is due out late next winter and is called Forever Friends and is a little parable about, well, friendship and missing a friend. It’s about a bunny and a bird who become friends and then the bird needs to migrate for the winter.”

Thanks to Carin for sharing. Her books make me happy.

I’ll be back on Sunday to read your kicks. Happy kickin’…

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

OMG!OMG!OMG!!! I am so jealous I cannot stand it. I was lucky enough to hear Walter Dean Myers speak once, and he is just such a lovely man. You MUST tell us all about it when you get back, J.

Anyhoo, my kicks:

Nothing with Strings by Bailey White.1* I finished Bailey White’s newest book, Nothing with Strings. It’s a compilation of the Thanksgiving stories she’s been doing for All Things Considered on NPR for the past several years. Funny, ’cause a month ago I was all “Why hasn’t Bailey White written anything in ten years?” and it’s like the book gods granted my wish. She’s just as good as ever. I miss her Mama, though.

2* Coconut ice cream from the Cayuga Lake Creamery. It’s maybe, seriously, the best ice cream I’ve ever had.

3* I had to work this Saturday, but that meant I got to take off Friday afternoon. It was such a beautiful spring day – sunny, upper 60s. I walked the long way home.

4* I got a much-needed haircut.

Seriously, watch this movie just for Brad Pitt’s hair.

5* The husband and I just watched Burn After Reading. Funny, but man, those Coen brothers do not shy away from the darkness.

6* …

Okay, seriously, I’m trying to think of my own kicks here, but I just keep coming back to Jules interpreting for Walter Dean Myers. I WANNA HEAR ABOUT THAT ALREADY.

And hey, what about your kicks? Do tell…

Julie: YOU GUYS! It’s late Saturday night, and I’m back. And I can share more later, but I have to share my special pic before this posts: This is me and my good friend, Rachel (who was my team interpreter), with Walter Dean Myers after his lecture! (I know it’s a bit shadowy, but you can click on the image to see it up close and personal and all-around better.)

His lecture was fabulous, and what an honor to interpret his words. Not to mention, afterwards Andrea Davis Pinkney just APPEARED and told me and Rachel how much she enjoyed watching the interpretation, which was too, too kind of her, and to ask a bit more about ASL and such. And when I saw her name tag, I was all, “ANDREA PINKNEY! GASP! I LOVE YOUR BOOKS!” (When I get excited, grace seems to flee.) And then my daughter, who seems to be always giving out flowers, totally handed Andrea Pinkney a little yellow wildflower. Dig it. More later…Just had to share my pic and a bit about my day full of specialness…

31 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #111: Featuring Beppe Giacobbe
(And a Little Carin Berger)”

  1. Oh wow, Jules!! What a surreal experience, and a great honor. Walter Dean Myers! Holy Moley. Anxious to hear more details! Lovely persian buttercup, too.

    Coconut ice cream! Yum. “Burn After Reading” looks intriguing. Eisha, no pic of your new haircut? 🙂

    These kicks have been floating around the last 2 weeks, since I didn’t really officially leave a list last Sunday:

    1. Won a copy of Falling Down the Page from Wild Rose Reader! You may recall that this collection includes a poem by the one and only Elaine Magliaro. I’m so excited for her.

    2. Received a very sweet poem via Jone’s Poem Postcard Project. Thank you, Savanah in First Grade!

    3. Beautiful sunny weather — tiny green leaves on the trees, cherry blossoms, and tulips.

    4. Went to Georgetown yesterday for some official cupcake research. Blog report forthcoming.

    5. Finally watching the “John Adams” mini-series and loving it.

    6. Going to Charlottesville to see my former neighbor in “Footloose.”

    7. Bo Obama.

    *going to check out Amy Correia now*

  2. Wow Jules, what a weekend! Lucky you to hear Walter Dean Myers!
    Eisha, I agree with your statement about the Coen bros… Burn After REading was one of the weirdest movies I have seen lately. Jama, lucky you for winning a poetry book.
    My kicks:
    1. Today’s featured illustrator. This Book would pair nicely with Benntt’s City I Love.
    2.Hearing from Adrienne that her postcard arrived. I have more to send out this week.
    3. The play is cast. Good group of kiddos.
    4. Planning the fundraising event for Bridget.
    5. My nephew is in San Diego and so far doing well. He returned to Navy work.
    6. Yard work..clearing out the ivy and laying down compost.
    7. Successfully prunely back the Japanes Maple.
    Have a wonderful week.

  3. Jules, I was SO excited about you doing ALS for Walter Dean Myers but also nervous with you, so glad I could breathe again and see the end of the story with picture and your daughter handing Andrea Davis Pinkney a flower. What can I say, I would never have lasted in the days of newspaper sequels when you had to wait on train platforms to see what happened to, say, Charles Dickens’s characters.I’m glad I can just be happy for you. What an astonishing event. Did anyone get a photo of your hands?

    And reading Charlotte’s Web aloud, too. This was the week.

  4. Jama, official cupcake research sounds like my kind of research. Glad you had a good week. I mean, two weeks.

    Jone, great news about your nephew!

    Jeannine, yeah…what I didn’t say was that I haven’t interpreted in FIVE YEARS, since my oldest was born. Hence, my anxiety. But it kinda all came back. It was like getting back on a bike, as a friend put it. And, to answer your question, a librarian friend sitting nearby snapped a pic of me interpreting for him (with both of us in the picture), but I haven’t seen it yet. I was sneaking in I’M-STANDING-NEXT-TO-WALTER-DEAN-MYERS-!! looks, and the person I was interpreting for got her to take a pic!

    Normally, interpreters can’t talk about assignments, for obvious ethical reasons. I can’t tell you that Suzy Q. Deaf Person in my hometown has a mental illness and that I went and interpreted a psychiatrist’s session. But these public events are okay to—and FUN to—talk about. I love saying I got to interpret for Walter Dean Myers, seeing as how he’s brilliant and a superhero to me. This is WAAAAAY better that my interpreting-for-the-founder-of-Amway story.

  5. Congrats on the translating going well Jules!

    Eisha, I can’t see how anything can be better than the lemon curd icecream I had a few weeks back, but I’m willing to believe your coconut icecream might be a contender.

    Jama, I’m with Jules – cupcake research sounds like the best kind of research.

    Jone, isn’t it great it’s warm enough to be outside in the yard? Glad to hear your nephew continues well too.

    1. Last weekend we went to north Wales where we stayed in a tiny village that had no television or phone reception.
    2. It was the sort of place that kindly supplies guests with maps of the local area as well as foolproof instructions for walks, so we enjoyed a beautiful hill walk in the unforeseen sunshine. The highlight was rescuing a lamb that had become separated from its mother. I never thought I’d be writing that!
    3. I heard my first cuckoo of spring this week.
    4. British asparagus has appeared in the shops again.
    5. Another spring vegetable that has cheered my week is chard, which arrived in my veggie box instead of the ever-present cabbage (hallelujah). I used most of it in a delicious chard, blue cheese and pine nut lasagna.
    6. Despite the recession, and a corresponding decline in the value of legacies left to the charity where I work, it seems that forgoing a pay rise means we will manage without any redundancies, which is pretty amazing.
    7. Today has been a pottering around the house day, with small chores like potting plants and cleaning the bathroom balanced by naps in the sun.

  6. Great artwork as always. (Even a non-English reader would come away from a 7-Imp Sunday post with a grin on his/her face.) I love onomatopoeia — maybe that’s just me? — so the Beppe Giacobbe spreads really tickled.

    My first exposure to Jeff Buckley was after “Hallelujah” was featured on The West Wing (and kicked up my heart rate). Having listened to “Blind River Boy,” now, I’m afraid you guys here are going to put another unanticipated dent in my Amazon budget.

    And I couldn’t help noticing the continued partiality towards rabbits here, with a continued deficit of ducks, but will let that pass for now.

    Jules, what a COOOOL thing to have gotten to do! Nothing even remotely in my range of experiences would come up to it.

    (While we’re on the subject, does this sort of interpretation work more like closed captioning — straight “translation” of the words — or more like SDH, i.e., do you include other bits like, “[applause]” and “[ominous footsteps]”?)

    I swoon for the Coen Brothers, Eisha — well, except maybe The Ladykillers — and loved Burn. Also, as I will explain in a little bit, I saw Bailey White a few nights ago.

    Some kicks:

    * Biggest one was The Missus’s scoring free tix to an otherwise sold-out David Sedaris reading on Thursday night. No other writer these days doubles me over in laughter like DS and the evening proved worthy, shall we say. I didn’t get him to sign any of his books, but it was tempting to ask him to autograph the recent New Yorker piece he did about author’s tours — particularly his visit to a Costco.

    (As an aside, Bailey White was in the audience. I did a double-take when I saw her there, but it turns out they’re great friends; years ago they used to tour together, but this was her first time as just a “listener.” Because they knew the audiences at their readings would be watching the one NOT reading, to see if s/he was appreciating the reader, they used to work on crossword puzzles during the other’s reading. Heh.)

    * Tweenbots.

    * The apparent conclusion to my not-quite-a-cold/not-quite-the-flu thing from last week.

    * Feeling all geek-heroic for getting an ooooold computer game working on The Missus’s PC for her.

    * Beef tenderloin. grilled.

    * Must confess, I also got caught up in all the Susan Boyle hooplah of the past week. Love that sort of story.

    Have a great week, everybody!

  7. JES, have you read Bill Peet’s autobiography? (It’s lavish with illustrations, and I enjoy giving it to children for their memoir assignments.) There’s a point early on when Peet has a melt-down about ducks while working for Disney. I’m sure it felt awful at the time, but it’s quite funny to read.

    My kicks:
    1. Jules interpreting for Walter Dean Myers. That’s fantastic!

    2. After yesterday’s gig, I can finally add Seattle Public Library to my resume.

    3. My new song seems to be working out well in storytimes.

    4. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.

    5. The white trillium in my shade garden have turned pink.

    6. I’m really pleased with the red-flowering currant doll I made.

    7. Someone wrote some nice things about one of my storytelling gigs on her blog.

    8. Sunshine! We have sunshine!

    (You say “Why stop at 6?” Today, I can’t stop at 7.)

  8. Farida, thanks so much for the tip about Bill Peet’s autobio! I found it in limited preview on Google Books, and read the part about having to draw all the frames in between the “main” frames of Donald Duck cartoons. It amazed me he was the ONLY one who ran off screaming “NO MORE DUCKS!!!” 🙂

  9. Emmaco, we can also say that “rescuing a baby lamb” has also never come up in kicks before. The trip sounds lovely, and I’m glad you’re having a good, restful day today, too. Also: Blue cheese and pine nuts=Yum. Your kicks always make me hungry.

    John, you know I’m on the side of Margaret the Duck…To answer your question about the interpretation, it was a hand-flapping American Sign Language interpretation, for the most part, and no, I don’t include every sound I hear, unless it matters. If folks are laughing at comments the speakers make, I usually include that. Oh, and yes applause, unless it’s really obvious. It also depends on your client and his/her preferences.

    And oh, I must explore the Tweenbots site. …And congrats on David Sedaris tickets! He was here in Nashville, and I succeeded in being frugal and saving money by not going, though it was a VERY hard decision to make.

    Farida, so glad the SPL gig went well. I’m sure they loved you.

  10. I love Beppe’s cars. Like, I want to drive one. Why do picture book cars come in such better colors than real ones?

    Jules, I have already conveyed my excitement over you getting to interpret for Mr. Walter Dean Myers. I’m looking forward to reading the speech when it’s available, too.

    Also, Rachel Getting Married made me cry from beginning to end. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it was just kind of intense.

    Eisha, When I went to see Burn After Reading in the theater, I was slightly uncomfortable more than once when I realized I was the only person laughing. Not for everyone, I guess, but I could not stop laughing every time Brad Pitt was on screen.

    My seven:
    1. The poetry postcard from Jone’s student. What a fun project! Aside from being a cool poem, my postcard was all decorated and bright.
    2. Finally reading Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr.
    3. Watching season one of 30 Rock, which, in sharp contrast to Rachel Getting Married, makes me laugh and laugh.
    4. Matter o’ fact, I had a bad day this week, which I solved by going home and watching 30 Rock for a couple hours straight. Talk about an excellent idea.
    5. We had a beautiful day here on Friday, and so a bunch of us from work went out for lunch to celebrate. It’s been a long while since so many of us did something fun together, so it was nice.
    6. I got to do more letter-writing this week.
    7. I also got out for several walks. It’s nice to have more time outside again.

  11. Greetings to all!

    Hope everyone is experiencing the glorious Spring weather that we are having here in California – it went from hailing on Monday to almost 90 degrees today. One has to make multiple wardrobe changes likes scenes in a play with all of our micro climates.

    Love the Italian graphic art – I’m a sucker for all things Italian, especially Italian cartoons like the characters drawn by Armando Testa, and PIZZA.

    Jules – I knew you would be spectacular with the signing, and hope to learn more about all that you do in that field. What a wonderful, well-deserved honor!

    My quick kicks:

    1) My boyfriend’s new business – he was laid off in Sept., and for the first time in his life, hasn’t been able to find a job. It’s been very difficult for him. So, this past week he started a consulting/recruiting business for computer Program Managers (his field) and is moving forward. I’m hoping that putting this out there will be a big cosmic push in a positive direction for him.
    2) The word “onomatopoeic”: I’m embarrassed to admit it, but didn’t know what that meant until today, so thanks for the new word!
    3) Buying MORE jewelry-making items at the big Bead Bazaar in Oakland with my friend Mary Ann yesterday – I now have plenty of incentive to get going on this, since I am almost broke from all the purchases.
    4) Finding a 1945 Winsor McCay “Little Nemo in Slumberland” book in an old bookstore. It’s my first original McCay – his art never ceases to amaze me.
    5) “Books”, by Larry McMurtry – a fun read.
    6) Getting to see the movie “State of Play” today. I LOVE anything with Helen Mirren.
    7) Hail followed by 90 degree weather – it’s never boring around here!

    Have a happy, kickin’ week!

  12. JES, I love the tweenbots! The video made me smile.

  13. I’ll be featuring stuff from the past few weeks, because I haven’t participated in a while.

    1. A couple of weeks ago I learned that our local big-name-theatre that brings in touring companies will be bringing in The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Spring Awakening, and Beauty and the Beast next year.

    2. We had several days of good weather this week, so I went on walks – around the neighborhood, to a restaurant, to the grocery store, etc.

    3. On a related note, I realized that if I walk for just ten minutes a day every day that’s more time spent walking than if I were to do twenty minutes three times a week. Ten minutes is more manageable for me because I’m easily fatigued recently (I think it’s allergies) and have been having some hip issues, so it’s good to feel like those won’t keep me from getting to walk.

    4. I’ve been doing ProBlogger’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog and I feel very good about it.

    5. I recently read The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One and it spoke to me very much. I now am much less overwhelmed by the many worthwhile things to do in the world and know if I take on just a few at a time, I can eventually get to all of the ones that capture my interest.

    6. I have a nice stack of non-fiction books to read from the library, and all of them excite me.

    7. I am at a place in life where if I need to fall asleep on the couch at 8:30 pm, I can do so and everything is just fine. (Likewise if, on a Sunday, I need to take a nap around 3:15…)

    So nice to read everyone else’s kicks! I hope you all have just as many or more to report next Sunday.

  14. Ooh, I love collage art! Carin Berget’s stuff is really cool, as is Beppe Giacobbe (and I just LOVE his name).

    Jules, congratulations! Yay! I know that must have been amazing — just amazing. And the Persian buttercups! Trés beau!

    I sent off another manuscript this week — and nine-tenths of the boxes are unpacked in my new place. Little steps and progress…

    We have sun this weekend as well — it was so exciting to just ramble around the park and WALK in it!

  15. Hello All!

    Jules, I can’t wait to hear more about the lecture. It’s great you had a chance to interpret. Do you find you get rusty if you’re not using ASL regularly? Two thumbs up to you for this amazing service.

    Here are my kicks.
    1. THRILLED beyond belief for Sara, awaiting the return of her husband from Afghanistan today. It makes my heart swell just thinking about it–his service, her sacrifice.
    2. We gave 5 performances in the last four days and closed the show last night It was a roller coaster ride and so much fun. I didn’t realize it until last night, but we put all this together in 4 and a half weeks. It’s all been a bit unreal.
    3. Poetry stretches lately have been a lot of fun. Jane Y. as always is amazing. I don’t know how she can churn out a poem so quickly.
    4. On Wednesday night I had a lengthy e-mail exchange with Arnold Adoff about his interview. He was determined to master sending me an attachment. Through all the difficulties of trying to figure out the technology he was funny and persistent.
    5. The Poetry Makers series is a lot of work, but so much fun. I am enjoying chatting with poets through e-mail and revisiting their work while I prepare the posts.
    6. Your interview with Laura Purdie Salas this week.
    7. After being sick through Easter weekend and most of the week, William is finally feeling better.

    That’s it for me. Have a great week all!

  16. Jules! JULES! I love the bit about Piper handing Andrea Pinkney a flower. And that you got to interpret with Rachel! What a perfectly awesome day.

    Jama, do you need a research assistant? Librarians are very good researchers. Just sayin’.

    jone, I’m so glad your nephew is doing well, and that your poem postcard project is apparently so popular.

    emmaco, you’re a hero! And that lasagna sounds like the best thing ever.

    JES, you saw Bailey White in the audience?! Did you talk to her? Is that how you got the story? I am so jealous I maybe can’t speak to you. But no, you shared the Tweenbots link so you’re forgiven again.

    Farida, congrats on the SPL storytime and the new song. By the way, not to tell you your business, but wouldn’t a Persian Buttercup doll be a pretty addition to your oeuvre?

    adrienne, I KNOW. Brad’s HAIR. And his ipod dancing. And that voice he does when he talks to Cox. He’s hysterical, and obviously had a very good time in that role. Also: sorry about your bad day, but 30 Rock does sound like the perfect antidote.

    Jill, I’m glad your boyf is landing on his feet. And that you’re getting so into the jewelry-making thing. Show us pics!

    Kimberly, I regularly fall asleep on the couch in the evenings AND take afternoon naps on weekends, and I see nothing wrong with it at all. And that book sounds intriguing – thanks for the rec.

  17. Hey, Tanita! You guys are almost unpacked already? That’s, like, superhuman. Best of luck with the MS.

    Tricia, congrats on the show – isn’t it amazing, after something like that, how FREE you suddenly feel with all that time on your hands? And I’m so glad about Sara’s husband, and William feeling better too.

  18. Adrienne, yeah, it’s an intense movie, but I was suprised at the joy in it, too. Again: That wedding. I loved those Neil-Young-wedding-vow-song-lyrics. And how about all that acting? Very well-done…Also: I’m ready for 30 Rock Season Two, as well! I need to get it already. What did you think of Story of a Girl? It’s on my list.

    Hi, Jill! I second Eisha’s recommendation for jewelry pics. And congrats on the rare-book find.

    Kimberly, hmmm. I agree. That book sounds good. Your description of it reminds me of a post that Jeremy, one of our readers, directed us to in this post I wrote. Jeremy’s friend talks about doing two-and-a-half things well in your life. Just that.

    Tanita, congrats on the manuscript, but you left out your very exciting kick-ass-Kirkus-review kick!

    Tricia, I have been feeling rusty, but it went well. In some ways, I don’t miss interpreting; in some ways I do. And I enjoyed yesterday, so now I’m totally confused as to whether or not I should ever take it up again.

    Yes, isn’t Sara’s news GREAT?!! YIPPEE! ….I’m so behind on your wonderful Poetry Series, but I know it’ll always be there and I can get caught up. I’m also glad William is feeling better… And I wish I could have seen your show.

  19. I am now singing Summer in the City. 🙂

    Jules: Congratulations! 🙂 I’m so glad that the lecture went well. Loading Amy’s site now to listen to her voice and her music as I type this response to you. I think we’ve talked about A Body Goes Down by Duncan Sheik, his tribute song to Jeff Buckley. Oh, the sadness! Then Charlotte’s Web – More sadness! Listening to Amy now – Have you ever heard (or heard of) Garrison Starr or Sarah Harmer? I just put Lulu on request at the library. How precious re: your daughter and the little yellow wildflower. That’s a picture, right there.

    That image of the bunny, bird, strawberries, and flowers is GORGEOUS, Carin! Ooh!

    eisha: We carried Nothing But Strings during the winter holidays, but I haven’t read it. Glad that you got an afternoon off; sorry that you had to work Saturday, though! George Clooney is one of those actors who, though I’ve barely seen anything from his extensive body of work, I respect him as an actor/director.

    jama: I had some vegetarian Vegetable soup the other day – one of my all-time favorite kinds of soup – and I tell you, alphabet soup will forever and always remind me of you now. Enjoy the poetry! I spoke of Poem in Your Pocket Day and National Poetry Month with two women yesterday, complete strangers, because one was reading aloud from a volume of poetry. How was Footloose?

    jone: Break a leg! When does the show go up, and what show are you doing?

    There are a lot of J-names in these parts. 🙂

    emmaco: Bird calls signify spring in such a lovely way. I don’t think I’ve ever had chard, only heard of it. SAVE THE LAMB! Yay! Precious, precious creature.

    JES: Glad that you are feeling better.

    S&S: Congrats on adding SPL to your resume! Hello to the pretty pink trillium.

    adrienne: Someone who laughs a lot in the audience (when it’s supposed to be a comedy, that is) really helps others loosen up, I think. Keep doing that. Story of a Girl is so good, isn’t it? Have you read Sweethearts? I love that as well. It’s going to be featured at rgz soon, and I’m so excited about that. Sorry that you had a bad day. I hope you are better now. I don’t want you to be sad.

    Jill: Yes to the wardrobe changes. I know exactly what you mean. Congrats to your boyfriend on his new business. Hope all goes well for him.

    Tricia: WOO and might I add a big HOO! I hope that you broke a leg each and every night. How was it? How are you feeling? What’s next for you? Glad that he’s better. Being sick is never fun.

    Tanita: Kudos on finishing the manuscript! Best wishes with the unpacking and settling in.

    Kiba: I want recaps of each and every show you see, naturally. 🙂 Yay for time management and walkabouts!

    Sara: Happy reunion. 🙂

    My kicks for the week:

    1) Making sure everything’s okay.

    2) Going the extra mile. Literally. Multiple times.

    3) Getting a callback for the commercial. Rocking the callback. Being put “on avail” and being told they were “seriously considering me.” Having patience – and staring at the phone, and jumping every single time that it rang. Hoping – hoping so hard that every pore of my body was filled with hope! Two days later, I was told they didn’t select me because they “went in a different direction.” Sure, I’m sad that I didn’t get it, but I know that I got close, and that helps.

    4) More auditions, alternates, and offers, leading to more waiting, wishing, and hoping. Please let me know soon. Please let it all work out.

    5) The ongoing show, the musical, is going well. This is our second weekend of shows. At last night’s show, I felt like the audience was really paying attention during my most difficult scene, which is a pretty intense twist of events. I think we kind of stunned them. Yay!

    6) For the show that’s in rehearsal. We finished blocking yesterday, then fit everyone in missing parts and pieces today. Hopefully, and with many thanks to a friend, I’m going to get my costume this week!

    7) Tomorrow. Tomorrow. I love ya, tomorrow. You’re the day that I audition for a feature film. A small (daughter!) role in an honest-to-goodness big-deal film. A role that sounds like it’s based mostly on matching someone to the guy playing the father – not that he’ll be there tomorrow, but the need for resemblance is strong, according to the casting call, so let’s hope they like my acting and think I look like him enough to pick me! (Of course, one of the calls asked for a totally different body type, so they could go back to looking for that, which is not at all like me, in which case I won’t be offended.)

    Signing off now to get ready for tonight’s show!

  20. Jules!!!! Honey. You rock the casbah. My lord, the company you keep!!!!

    And Adrienne, word on Rachel’s Getting Married. My skin hurt afterwords from holding it so tightly the whole time. And the tears. Sheesh…

    My kicks include:
    1. I am just really loving writing haiku everyday. It is better than prayer. Well, okay. I don’t pray much. Maybe it is prayer. Y’know?
    2. Finally finding a piano! We’ve been looking to replace the electric keyboard with a soulful piano for week after patient week. (How come nobody who advertises on Craigslist ever lives nearby?) and on Saturday we found The.One.
    3. Eating Sunday supper outside…
    4. Hiking today and discovering a snake eating a frog!
    5. A really great school visit last Monday.
    6. I won a copy of Laura Purdie Salas’ Stampede!! And it is SO.MUCH.FUN. And so tender and dear…
    7. I really really really love my Poetry Princesses. Sometimes, when we are exchanging all our emails, with both hard and joyous news, I cannot believe my luck. And then I think, we made this. We did this, for ourselves and for each other… And then I still can’t believe my luck…

    Happy week everyone…

  21. Jules, lucky you to have met Walter Dean Myers. I’ve heard him speak before. He is an amazing author and speaker. Ah! Charlotte’s Web–my favorite children’s book. It’s the kind of book you never want to end–the kind of book that gets better with every reading.

    Eisha, I love the Coen brothers’ movies. I watched Burn after Reading twice. I think it was better the second time.

    Oh…I’m a big fan of Carin Berger’s picture book art.


    1. My mother’s water was turned back on after major repairs because of a leak in the water main. She was so happy to return home after living with my husband and me for several days. She likes to be independent. She thinks she was a burden! And after all she has done for me??? It was nice having her around.

    2. We had the best Easter in years! Lots of great food and good conversation with family–and even though it was quite cool, the sun was shining.

    3. We celebrated the 60th birthday of my daughter’s fiance’s mother on Saturday. Again, lots of good food and good conversation–but with a different family. And I got to play with Jack–my daughter’s Yellow Lab!

    4. So many wonderful special posts for National Poetry Month! I can’t keep up with them all.

    It’s time for bed. That’s it for my kicks.

  22. Little Willow, I don’t know how you stand it, always putting yourself out there and having to wait around for casting people to make up their minds. How do you stay so sunny about it all? Also, I really want to make some alphabet soup now.

    Liz, I love what you said about haiku and prayer. On the other hand, I’m having a hard time seeing how finding a frog-eating snake is a kick. Maybe because it was too busy to bite you? Whatever, glad it made you happy.

    Elaine, my mom would be the same way. It’s nice when we can find opportunities to repay all those years of them taking care of us, though, right?

  23. Jules, that Stafford poem is beautiful. I missed it last years so thanks for linking back.

    Little Willow, chard is kind of like a big pak choi. I think I like the latter better as it’s easier to cook without any cutting involved! I hope your audition goes well today!

  24. emmaco: Thanks! I might be more adventurous if I had a stove that worked. 😉

    Liz: *curtsey for the Princesses* Enjoy the piano!

    Elaine: Hurrah for family, friends, holidays, poetry, and pets!

    eisha: I don’t know, honestly. It’s what I do. It’s what I love. I know plenty of folks that hate auditioning. I love it. I would audition every single day. Waiting is simply a test of patience. True, I’d like it even more if they said right then and there, “You have it,” or “No way.” 😉


  25. Eisha, YOU’RE asking to be an assistant? No, it’s like the other way around — I want to be YOUR assistant with all those cool projects you do at the library up there.

    LW, I loved reading all your kicks — and I really really admire you for doing everything you do, and remaining so optimistic with all the auditions and call backs and near misses, etc. I’m also happy you think of me while eating vegetarian vegetable soup! 🙂 “Footloose” was fantastic (I blogged about it last week).

    Liz, congrats on the piano!! And haiku is definitely a form of prayer.

  26. Little Willow, break a leg on that audition today. That is very exciting. And here’s to stunning the audience, too…

    Liz, how have I missed you writing haiku every day? I’m gonna have to fix that. And I’m reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally jealous of your piano.

    Elaine, happy to hear it all worked out with your mom’s abode.

    Emmaco, isn’t it? And after that, I got a collection of Stafford’s poetry from the library and was too busy to read it in time. I sense some irony here.

    I’m all behind that haiku as prayer notion, y’all.

  27. Eisha…

    I know it’s kind of creepy, but I really love seeing the food chain come alive. It’s so rare to catch it in action. Y’know??

    Speaking of which, the eaglets I’ve been watching are really getting big and are being fed by both their mom and dad RIGHT NOW. Talk about a kick…


  28. Jules and Little Willow, Story of a Girl was just lovely, so beautifully and believably written. I’m listening to Sweethearts in my kitchen right now, which is weird because I’ve met Sara Zarr/heard her speak a couple times, and she’s the reader. I’m totally sucked into the story, but, still, every once in a while, I think, “Hey, that’s Sara Zarr!”

    Little Willow, Here’s to waiting, wishing, and hoping.

  29. Ridiculously late this week, combination of AMAZING weather and lots of projects/to-do-list stuff, but I had to stop by to enjoy all the art and the kicks.

    AND CONGRATS Jules! Your interpreting for Walter Dean Myers’ lecture is a stupendous kick! Woot! Woot!

  30. Little Willow, I’m glad it makes you happy, and BREAK A LEG!

    Jama, see, all my research projects are completely cupcake-free. I’ve started to see that as a problem, but what can I do? Can’t get icing on the Gettysburg Address, you know? Doing research for YOU and your cupcake project would be a welcome change of pace.

    Liz… I’m trying… but no. Nope. Still gross.

  31. Jama: Thank you! Optimism is key. I just caught up on your blog. 🙂

    jules: You rock. Thank you.

    Adrienne: Again I say: Go Sara Zarr! 🙂 Hope you’ll join us at readergirlz in June when we discuss Sweethearts. I really, really want to have some meaty discussions about that book.

    Picture an endless field of dandelions and daisies. Those are my wishes, smiling up at the sky. Every time one gets plucked, another grows in its place.

    eisha: Thanks!!

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