7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #112: Featuring Wendy Wahman

h1 April 26th, 2009 by jules

Dog-lovers might be particularly happy this week to see that we have a visit from artist Wendy Wahman, who has mostly done editorial art in her career but is now venturing into the world of children’s books. Don’t Lick the Dog: Making Friends with Dogs, which will be released at the end of this month from Henry Holt, is—for all intents and purposes—a how-to manual for children about approaching and interacting with dogs, but it’s way more fun and funny and snazzy (or “jazzy,” in the words of Kirkus) and playful than your typical manual. I could have really used this as a kid and, actually, even now, as I found the tips helpful myself: Now I know what to do if a dog, for one, is grumbling at me and wearing that “ugly wrinkled frown” face.

I’ll let more of Wendy’s art work from the book speak for itself here. (You can click on each image to see it larger and in more detail.)…

This is Wendy’s first children’s book. “I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember…I didn’t speak outloud to anyone outside my family ’til I was about six or seven. I made up stories when I drew, and drew all the time. Still do.” Over the years, Wendy has worked as a “janitor, a vet tech, a dog trainer, a security guard with a big red doberman, a graphic artist, a technical illustrator, a newspaper illustrator {for the Seattle P-I} a toy designer. Now I make my living as a freelance illustrator. It’s nice to sit down.”

Wendy—a “passionate, passionate dog person”—and her husband, Joe, live with two cats and three poodles. “I poodle. I love my poodles and spend all my money on them. As my husband pointed out while doing the taxes, now if I could just find a way to write off bullysticks and agility classes.” Her six-year-old poodle, Andy, who is afraid of children, inspired the book: “Most dog bites happen to children between the ages of four and nine. Dogs and kids do not naturally go together. Or at least not all of them.” As she notes in this Seattle P-I article, she is not a professional dog trainer but simply wants to teach children and adults the basics about approaching dogs. Wendy’s already working on her next book: “Basically, similar message — safety with cats this time. It is a non-rhyming prose poem. Softer, gentler pace than the dog. It walks on little cat feet.”

One of Wendy's pen & ink editorial illustrations

One of Wendy’s pen-and-ink editorial illustrations

Here’s a bit more from Wendy, after I asked her to talk a bit about her work and the book:

“I work in Photoshop, drawing with the lasso tool and using a Wacom Tablet. I also draw with pen and ink (actually, a Japanese brush pen), but not so much anymore. I divide the two styles on my website…I did the first dummy {for Don’t Lick the Dog} in two weeks {with} many more revisions after. Many. Laura Godwin, the publisher, is very patient perfectionist. She has been a great teacher for me and also sent me a really lovely cat book by Doris Lessing when I was feeling grumpy and uninspired around the cat book.

The cat book. I did not want to do the cat book. There are no fast rules on how to be safe with a cat. I struggled and struggled. I re-tweaked and re-wrote for almost seven months…I told Laura, I hate it and want to start again. She said, okay…I thought for about a week, procrastinated for a few hours on a Saturday, sat down, and wrote it in two hours…I hope to finish up the illustrations by the end of April so maybe it will be out Winter ’10. Maybe. Publishing is so slow; it makes me squirm with impatience. I worked for a daily newspaper for twelve years. Fat happy job: Three days a week, drawing pictures and doing maps. I loved it and loved the people. The P-I was closed March 17th after 146 years in print…

I don’t generally talk much about my work. Or books I read. I just go there and float and experience and think and go. I am not a super analytical artist. Actually, I love the happy accidents.”

Here are some early spreads from the cat title:

Many thanks to Wendy for stopping by!

What in the what-the are the “7 kicks”? you wonder. They 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: DON’T LICK THE DOG: MAKING FRIENDS WITH DOGS © 2009 Wendy Wahman. Published by Henry Holt and Company, New York. Spreads posted with permission of Wahman. All rights reserved.}

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

Eisha’s travelling this weekend, everyone, so I’m going it solo. (But she’ll come and leave her kicks today, I’m sure, in the comments.) And I think that Spring Fever’s hit everyone, so will folks be around today? I hope so. If not, I hope you’re at least outside in the sunshine.

1). I don’t think I listed this last week: When my family and I went to Clinton for the Walter Dean Myers Arbuthnot lecture, we got to spend some time with a good friend. She lives on what she calls a “farmette,” and it was beautiful, and she has lots of goats, which the girls really dug. There are many things I love about Rachel—who is pictured here, who has precisely seven SKERJILLION talents and seriously if you ask me to name them we’ll be here ALL WEEK, and who played “Simple Gifts” on a bowed psaltery when I walked down the wedding aisle almost ten years ago. But here’s a new thing I learned, which I’m adding to the list of Things That Make Rachel Like No One Else You’ll Ever Meet: She puts on what she calls her “goat coat,” this big, puffy winter coat that her goats love, for some reason; goes into the goat’s pen and curls herself into a ball on the ground with her back facing up; sits quietly and patiently for as long as it takes; and the goats come to her, one by one, and stand on her back.

2). Fuse’s picture book poll results, which are sending me to the library LOTS to get some of the forgotten—and not-so-forgotten—classics to share with my girls.

3). Long conversations with a new friend.

4). Listening to the singular rhythm of my girls playing together, their tacit agreements on the rules and rhyme of their play and the dialogue that swirls around it. It’s the sympatico of sisters, made all the more apparent when the five-year-old is off at school and the wee one is playing—with more stops and stutters and silences—with, say, the neighbor.

5). I read “Jabberwocky” for the first time ever in their short, little lives to my girls. I even got to dig out my groovy version illustrated by Graeme Base. Unfortunately, my husband missed this moment, because he was working very hard to save my computer’s hard drive, which decided it had had enough of me and stormed out of my life, grabbing the car keys and leaving for good. But…

6). He saved all my files! Every. single. one. My blog files but, more importantly, my WORK FILES! He’s brilliant, I tell you. Brilliant! And he only said “MOOOOVE!” once. (Seven points for any other nerds who get that SNL reference.)

7). Getting a mammogram, which I had to do for the first time, is not necessarily a kick. No worries here; I didn’t think I even needed to get one and I was right and I’m perfectly healthy. But when you’re sitting in a room full of elderly women, as I was that morning, who really and truly have a reason for needing to be there, hearing their conversations about cancer and having beaten it—or not—and their long lives and their ailments and aches and worries and fears, it makes you count your blessings. Or, er, kicks.

Bonus: Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels. Trippy, you guys. And so good, too. (And I’m just now seeing the man’s face in the bear in that cover art, since the barcode of my library copy mostly covers their faces. Ooo, that’s creepy-good, that detail is.)

Note: For other fans of Walter Dean Myers — A webcast of his lecture from last week (including the honorable and fabulous Marian Wright Edelman’s opening remarks) is now available.

What are YOUR kicks this week? Anyone around?

37 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #112: Featuring Wendy Wahman”

  1. Hey, dig it, I’m first.

    Jules, sorry you had to post solo and REALLY SORRY about your hard drive troubles. But dude, I am so glad you managed to save everything. Once again, Blaine saves the day! What do other bloggers do when they don’t have in-house tech support like we do?

    Also, I am SO VERY UNSPEAKABLY GLAD your mammogram turned out okay.

    Also-also, that thing with Rachel is just hilarious.

    My kicks:

    1* Ooh, that art! I absolutely love the cover, with that kid’s tongue all stuck out.

    2* Work was good this week, in a busy-but-productive way.

    3* One of my co-workers is getting his master’s degree, and for his thesis he interviewed two more of our co-workers and myself on using image databases. He took us way up in this gorgeous old building on campus that I’ve always admired but never had a reason to enter, where we had a lovely view of the lake, and we basically geeked out for a couple of hours about user-driven tagging vs. controlled-vocabulary subject headings. The sort of thing that is only interesting to library types, but that I find very interesting indeed.

    4* Another one of my co-workers gave me a couple of DVDs of old Cornell films. We’re thinking of doing some Youtube videos to promote our collections, and might use some of this footage. Ya’ll, these were hysterical – there’s one from 1966 made by the Cornell Library to teach students how to use the card catalog that’s a total stitch. And some of them are disturbing, like the one from a Spring Carnival sometime in the early 1910s-1920s (it’s silent) that shows students performing in blackface. Don’t think we’ll be using that one…

    5* I’ve been doing some brainstorming about stuff we can do with the various family members who are planning on visiting in the next few weeks, and you guys! There are so many cool things here that I haven’t done yet, and now I have very good incentive. Things like the Corning Museum of Glass, and lake cruises, and hiking some of the waterfall trails.

    6* I missed posting in the actual post today because B. and I were traveling to NJ to go to Ikea (again) to buy more bookshelves (yes, again. I know, we have a problem.)(Okay, seriously, is there a 12-step program for bookaholics? Ya’ll seem like you might know.)

    7* It just so happened that three guys from the production team on the show B. designed in South Korea last fall were in NYC, so we took a little detour to have dinner with them.

  2. Jules, happy that the mammo turned out well. Eisha, I have a postcard and no address to send it to.
    Those illustrations are a kick. Happy, happy, happy.
    My kicks:
    1. Great rehearsal with studetns yesterday, So patient as we figured out blocking!
    2. time with college friends: lunch, pedicure, drive to Hood River (an amazing sleepy town) for dinner with anouther college friend…5 of us yakkin it up!
    3. Dogwood blooms.
    4. Seeing Bridget at her “fatten Bridget Up before Her First Chemo Treatment” gathering.
    5. The amount of items for the auction! I hope we raise a lot of money.
    6. Fingers crossed but I think the district heard and listened to the librarians about the importance of maintaining our own budget (even if it is cut)
    7. Have you seen Andi’s baby quilt for the auction? It is amazing! On her Sandy Cove blog.
    Have a great week.

  3. Guys, I so appreciate you doing this every week, hard drive troubles or no. Even when I feel I have nothing to say, I love to read what’s going on with you and everyone we know, as it were. 🙂 Happy Sunday.

  4. Well, heck. I just posted and my post vaporized. Weird. So, here goes again:

    Jules — that goat story just makes me want to sing!!!
    Eisha — I think the self-help cure for bookaholism is to, um, go to Ikea and get more bookshelves. So. At least you’re on the right track…

    My kicks:

    1. My new desk chair from… yes… Ikea! No more stiff, sitty-up vibe in my awesome writing space! No sirree-bob! Comfort!

    2. The migration. Honestly, there are so many birds in Austin, TX right now that there is a sort of din all the time.

    3. I finished a revision. Which means I’ve now finished two manuscripts I’ve been working on since October. Which, I realize, equals 7 months on about 550 words. Which we won’t dwell on. I’m finished, I pressed send, they’re out of my hand. Ta-ta, little words. Ta-ta.

    4. Rununculas. I’m sort of addicted to these flowers right now.

    5. My small one had a doozie of a bike crash on her way to school this week. Her dad had to bike her right back home and tip her into the bathtub, ’cause of all the blood and gravel and such. So, kicks? She was wearing her helmet… she kept her teeth… and the wounds on her nose, lip, elbow, hip and knee are just skin deep. Phew.

    6. I really needed my yoga this week and it came through for me like it always, always does. When I stand up after savasana, I have a whole new perspective on life. Which is pretty cheap and miraculous if you think about it…

    7. You know I looooove my family but this weekend they went to a friend’s cabin for a dad-daughter weekend and I have been here in my own time and space for TWO WHOLE DAYS. Two whole days. Two whole days…

    Happy week, you all…

  5. jone – I just emailed you my address. Thank you so much for the reminder. And I’m so glad rehearsal is going well, Bridget has amazing supporters, and your district paid attention.

    tanita, thanks for dropping in even when you don’t feel so kicky.

    Liz, I’m so glad your youngest’s injuries were minor. And congrats on the manuscript! And YAY Ikea!

  6. Hey there! I have my whole family home this weekend, so that is my kick for the week, month, and year. Plus, four birthdays this month, a homecoming, a possible exchange semester to Ireland, beautiful weather, cupcakes, cute golf clothes, some pinot noir, a five-mile walk, and plans to go to Croatia this summer.

    Jules and Eisha and all the Kicks players: I’m so thankful for your goodness each Sunday. Reading your witty, grateful, lovely words makes my week start and end well.

  7. Sorry I’ve been absent from the Kicks for a few weeks. We’re looking to buy a house (fun but stressful), and weekends tend to be peak time for working on that. Anyway, it’s great to be back! I love Wendy’s pen and ink editorial illustration. And Jules, I’m so glad that you and your hard drive are ultimately healthy. I do agree that it’s good to have a reminder from time to time to focus on the good things in life.

    Here are a few kicks:

    1. I watched two come from behind wins for the Red Sox against the Yankees this weekend (with one more game to come). My blogging does suffer a bit during baseball season, but I can’t regret it.
    2. I just read Silksinger, Laini Taylor’s second Dreamdark book, and it is wonderful.
    3. I’m in the middle of three whole weeks without any travel or visitors. This may be the longest such stretch of the year, and I’m enjoying every recharging minute of it. (Not that the guests aren’t wonderful when they come, but I need the mental space to recharge, too. I know that you all understand, especially Liz in Ink, given her Kick #7 above).
    4. Mheir and I went out for fondue last night. We ate too much, but the flaming chocolate turtle dessert fondue was amazing.
    5. The blog that Pam Coughlan, Susan Kusel and I are working on with PBS Parents is finally launching. We’ll be doing a “soft launch” (where we tell our friends, but PBS doesn’t publicize it yet) this week, and then officially launching May 6th.
    6. I scaled back my weekly blog newsletters from weekly to bi-weekly, and it feels like a step in the direction of balance. Which was supposed to be my word of the year.
    7. I’m finally reading Neal Shusterman’s Unwind, which I’ve wanted to read since long before it even came out. I finally just reserved it from the library, and it came within a couple of days. A reminder of the wonder of libraries.

    Happy week, all! It’s great to be back.

  8. “Listening to the singular rhythm of my girls playing together, their tacit agreements on the rules and rhyme of their play and the dialogue that swirls around it. It’s the sympatico of sisters…”

    This is beautifully written, Jules. I eavesdrop on my girls sometimes and feel the same way about their playing, but wouldn’t have been able to articulate it so wonderfully. And it’s a great kick. Also, loved how you wrote about your reflecting on thankfulness in the waiting room — fits right in with the kicks for sure.

    Eisha, I want to hike waterfall trails with you.

    Liz, I cringed at your #5. Glad she’s ok. It seems like injury season at our house lately.

    Cool art this week (again, of course). We’re not dog people at all, but this looks like good sensible stuff. Would be great to see a companion book targeted at dog owners who assume you’ll enjoy their Rottweiler charging at your toddlers in the park while they call sweetly from the distance, leash dangling in their hands: “don’t worry, he’s fine, he’d never hurt a flea.”

    Quick kicks:
    1) Great in-laws. Mine are visiting right now, and although I do get antsy with people in my space, they’re wonderful.
    2) Mountains to climb slowly (and descend quickly) on my bike.
    3) Ivy joined a group of “Fiddlekidz” who get together once a week to play fiddle tunes — my kick is seeing her beaming and eyes sparkling after the first session.
    4) New viola!
    5) Two great friends in town to go for beers with.
    6) Metallica.
    7) Crisp with ice cream, made with cherries and peaches from last year’s crop.

  9. Happy Sunshine, Everyone!

    Jules! So happy you are healthy! That’s at the TOP of the kicks.
    Eisha: If you find a cure for bookaholism, please don’t tell me what it is! At some point, I will simply need a furniture specialist to figure out how to turn my books into chairs, tables and a bed (without damaging them, of course) thereby giving me plenty of additional room. Problem solved, right?

    My kicks (sorry, but a crazy work schedule this past week kind of shortened my list):

    1) Getting a GIANT work research/writing project finished for a new client – whew! I can breathe again (until the next one…)
    2) Getting my yard looking almost worthy of Spring
    3) Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.” (C.S. Lewis)
    4) Quint Buchholz!! Jules/Eisha if you ever run out of illustrators to interview, please talk to this jewel of an artist/children’s book illustrator. He’s from Germany, but many of the books he has written or illustrated are available in English (“The Collector of Moments” is beautiful). I just had 2 of his book-themed posters (which I LOVE) framed for my “library”. They make me so happy to look at. Here’s a couple links:
    http://www.quintbuchholz.de/ (his website)
    5) This happy place – love this blog, you two!

    A Rilke quote to send you all into a beautiful week:

    Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.

  10. Eisha, no problem to go solo (when bookshelves call, they call loudly), but it’s never the same without you. And congrats on being the first kicker. One day I’m gonna forgo kicks just so I can pretend to be a reader who leaves kicks. It just seems like fun and an experience I should have.

    I’m glad you had such fun with your geeked-out library talk. And, hey, I was talking to your mama this week about her upcoming visit. I’m so jealous, but you all will have so much kickin’ fun.

    Jone, hope the budget doesn’t get cut after all, and kudos to you all for supporting Bridget during this scary time. No, I haven’t seen Andi’s quilt for the auction, but I’ll go look. Thanks for the heads-up.

    Hi, Tanita! Yes, I guess it might be kind of amazing that the post is up, but my husband is a computer-saving genius. Take THAT, hard drive. I can’t believe he saved ALL my files. I mean, I know I keep saying this, but at first things looked bleak and he only got some, and then by Saturday night, after not giving up and repeated attempts to coax the sick hard drive into giving files over, he had them ALL. Woot!

    Liz, sorry your post vaporized. Spam didn’t even have it in its clutches. Weird. ….So glad your wee one is okay. I have discovered that my five-year-old nearly passes out at the sight of even just ONE drop of her own blood—I mean, the child turns ghostly white and gets very weak—so a bad fall like that…well, I hope we avoid ’em. CONGRATS on your quiet time. Most excellent.

    Sara, happy birthday to the entire Holmes’ clan! You are having one ecstatic month. Croatia? That’s great! IRELAND, too! So many “!!!!”s here, but they’re warranted.

    Welcome back, Jen! We missed you, but I figured you were swamped and/or travelling. Congrats on all the progress with the PBS Parents site. That will be wonderful to see. Fondue=Mmm. And enjoy your travel- and visitor-free time.

    Jeremy, I’m so glad you appreciate that child-kick. I’ve been marvelling at it all week. Sure, they also argue and fuss, but the neighbor-kid’s been coming over to play more, when the oldest is off at her Parents Day Out two days a week. And sometimes my three-year-old just stands and stares at her, like: You’re not playing the way my sister plays. The girls have these impressive rules about playing—all implied, mind you—that only a parent would recognize, hearing it all the time, as I do. And they provide dialogue for each other. If the five-year-old is, say, pretending to be a stegosaurus, she might say: “Let’s go to the valley! Say: Okay.” And that means the three-year-old is supposed to say, in character, “okay.” And she totally does. And even that has evolved in complicated ways. Of course, I try this on my husband. “I really don’t want to mop the floor. You want to do it. Say: OKAY.”

    Anyway, I’m rambling. I laughed out loud, Jeremy, when I read that about dog owners needing a book. Some of us were over at Adrienne’s WATAT recently, discussing this very topic.

    So many of your kicks are deliciable, Jeremy. I want some of that crisp. How’s that viola? And Ivy at Fiddlekiz — yay!

    Jill, for whom I wrote kick #3! I love that Rilke quote — it instantly improved my day. Why am I not surprised you like Rilke, too? ….Congrats on getting the research project done. And thanks for the illustrator links. I’m looking forward to exploring…

  11. Jules – The Lewis quote in my kick #3 was for you, too – sorry, probably a bit oblique! And Rilke rocks! (clearly, I’m not a poet).

  12. Hello All! LOVE the artwork. I now must get a copy DON’T LICK THE DOG.

    Here are my kicks for the week.
    1. Classes are OVER! Yes, I have lots of grading, but the heavy-duty stuff is done.
    2. Met a local teacher who reads my blog for coffee. What fun! I can’t wait until we meet again.
    3. William made his first communion today. It all went beautifully, except for the part where he swallowed the wine, made a horrible face, and had the first few rows in audible giggles.
    4. William wanted a treat for his special day. He didn’t ask for cookies or cake, but gougeres! They were heavenly! The kid has great taste (if you don’t mind me saying).
    5. This week’s Poetry Makers. I’m actually going to be sad when April comes to an end. I must pay more attention to poetry outside of this month.
    6. Don’t know how I missed it, but I wrote my 1000th post sometime this past week. I can’t believe I’m still here and still writing.
    7. Avis Harley sent me two signed poetry books as a thank you for her feature. One was for me and one was for William. He proudly carried it to school three days in a row. I’m sure he gloated quite a bit over it!

    That’s all for now. Have a great week everyone.

  13. Welcome to the world of children’s books, Wendy! Best wishes with your forthcoming release. I like how the sound-words accent the actions and the text. I love the picture of the dog and cat in the sun. Hello to your household of dogs and cats.

    Safe and happy travels to Eisha! Hurrah for productivity. Congrats to your master co-worker. Speaking of waterfalls, I saw pictures of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater a few days ago. Wow. As for the bookshelf addiction – would you really WANT to be cured of that? 🙂

    Jules: Wikipedia is, at times, a laugh riot. Exhibit A: The entry for bowed psaltry reads, “A bowed psaltery is a psaltery that is played with a bow.” It goes on from there, of course, but how’s that for an opening line-slash-definition?!
    I love the anecdote about the goat coat!
    Kudos to your husband for saving your files.
    YAY, healthyogram! I’m glad that you are healthy and well.
    “Say: okay.” = Hilarious!

    jone: Thumbs up for a great rehearsal. Wishing you a great show. Keeping Bridget in my thoughts.

    Tanita: Have you seen any pretty castles lately?

    Liz: Rock those words. Hello to the birds! Healing thoughts for your munchkin.

    Sara: Big smiles for your family reunion, and all of the upcoming gatherings and celebrations!

    Jen: Welcome back! The Dreamdark books are in my to-read pile. Enjoy the stretch of you-time and home-time. Please email me the link when your new blog is up!

    Jeremy: Kids say the darndest things. Hello to the new viola, and to the Fiddlekidz!

    Jill: RE: “Happy Sunshine, Everyone!” Oh, I like that greeting! Congrats on the completion of your work project and on attacking that yard. Thank you for the beautiful quotes.

    Tricia: Woo hoo! Have fun grading and getting all of that done. Congrats on your 1000th post, and smiles to William.

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Movie audition
    2) Loaned costume
    3) Pointe shoes
    4) Being comfortable
    5) Sneaking into the dress rehearsal of a playwrights festival (It runs this weekend, so all of the performances conflicted with my performances of show #1 and rehearsals for show #2!) and surprising friends
    6) Hitting, knowing, owning that note, that moment, that song
    7) Vegetarian pride

  14. Hey ya’ll…
    Thanks for all the well-wishes for my wee wild one…

    Jules — don’t let your little one ’round my little one ’cause blood is sort of a common occurance.
    Sara — !!!! Whoa, girl. Are you floating? You’ve got a lot of goodness going on…
    Jeremey — my eldest plays the fiddle. There’s nothing happier…

    LOVE all the kicks, friends…

  15. Jules, your friend sounds so cool. I just booked chose a B&B because the owners have a pet goat that apparently likes to jump in guest’s cars so I am very admiring of the goat coat. Your description of your daughters playing is wonderful – even if it made me remember how much I’m missing my sisters!

    And I’m trying out that providing dialogue trick sometime soon on recalcitrant family members and colleagues.

    Eisha, there’s nothing like visitors to make you pay attention to the cool stuff in your local area. Your youtube idea sounds great too!

    Jeremy, I had to go look up crisps and they sound like a fruit crumble, YUM.

    The gougeres sound fantastic, too, Tricia!

    My kicks:

    1. All of a sudden the bluebells are properly out, and the woods at work smell and look beautiful
    2. I saw two common snakes! (Snake identification is easy here in the UK as there are only three types, one of which is very uncommon)
    3. After belatedly realising that May starts very soon I’ve finished organising our holiday to Scotland next week – the UK is an expensive place to travel around but I have managed to get some bargains
    4. Although my potatoes have shown no signs of growing, my sweet pea seedlings have settled in and are putting out little tendrils all over the place.
    5. I had a victory in something I’ve been working on
    6. I’m enjoying the BBC’s North and South tv series, and impressed with the amount of brooding Mr Thornton manages to inject into one glance.
    7. Random morris dancers in town yesterday, which is surprising as we aren’t a cute little town with thatch roofed cottages and a village green, where one might expect such things

  16. Just stopping in for a quick hello. It’s been a crazy busy Sunday and too hot to boot!

    I just gotta say, once again, Hooray for Blaine and saving all your files, Jules! And so glad your mammogram was okay. Two big Phews right there.

    Eisha, I have three Ikea bookshelves within four feet of where I’m sitting at this very moment. There’s no such thing as having too many bookshelves.

    Happy to hear the Small One is okay, Liz. And congrats on getting your revisions done!

    Gougeres sound very interesting, and I’m arfing in approval of Wendy’s art this week!

    TTFN! 🙂

  17. Right away, Jules, I thought, “ANOTHER book for me!”

    And I did totally walk by those dogs on their side of the road yesterday. It was all eighty of the sunny degrees it was going to my head.

    Eisha, I’ve been in denial about needing a new bookshelf for a year or so now, but I’m starting to come around. The piles of books on tables must end.

    1. It was 70 degrees and sunny on Friday.
    2. It was 80 degrees and sunny yesterday.
    3. It’s in the 60s today, but sunny!
    4. I finally got a new mailbox. It’s just a black metal deal, but I am very proud of it.
    5. My father-in-law installed the aforementioned mailbox. He helps me with so much all the time. I’m very lucky.
    6. I’ve been doing a lot of other household chores the last few days, so I’m a little worn out just now, but I have that happy I-accomplished-important-stuff feeling.
    7. In between the work, I did some visiting, and that was good, too.

  18. Tricia, mmm. I’ve never had gougères, but they sure do look good. Everyone’s kicks are making me hungry today. Congrats on William’s special day!

    Little Willow, I didn’t even notice that profound Wikipedia statement. Very funny. …Glad you had a good week.

    Emmaco: New Thing I Learned From You This Week (or, well, that I will learn, after I go look it up): Morris dancers. Congrats on your sweet peas, sweet pea.

    Hi, Jama!

    Adrienne, I knew you’d show those dogs. I knew it.

  19. Thank you thank you, Jules, what a wonderful story you wrote about my story. And thanks everyone for the kind and welcoming comments. Happy pups and happy kids,

  20. Jules, I know what it feels like to have a computer hard drive crash! Mine crashed so totally that I couldn’t even boot up my computer. It cost us about $3,000 to retrieve everything on the hard drive. You’re so lucky that your husband was able to save all your files.

    I’m just going to list two for the week–because they’re such good ones.

    1. After weeks of below avereage temperatures and lots and lots of rainy days–we’ve had two perfect days with sunshine, no humidity, and temps in the low to mid eighties. I even sat outside in shorts today and read SPANKING THE DONKEY by Matt Taibbi. The man cracks me up.

    2. Yesterday, my daughter asked if we could look at wedding gowns at the French Bridal Shop–which is in the city where I live. Well, we hadn’t planned on it–but she picked out her wedding gown and we ordered it! The gown wasn’t anything like what she had in mind. It’s absolutely gorgeous–and looks great on her. My baby is going to be a beautiful bride!!!!!

  21. […] Here today: http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=1658 […]

  22. Sara, YAY for homecomings and cupcakes and travel and pinot noir and birthdays. What a kickilicious week!

    Jen, YAY for being home without company and the PBS blog and Silksinger (I loved Blackbringer).

    Jeremy, YAY for violas and Ivy’s fiddle group and great in-laws. You can come hike waterfall trails with me anytime – I’m getting goosebumpy just thinking of the photos you’d take.

    Jill, YAY for Quint Buchholz (I gave my husband a copy of Collector of Moments by him a few years ago – so beautiful!) and book-lovers and getting work done and off your plate and most especially for that BEAUTIFUL Rilke quote.

    Tricia, YAY for William rockin’ his communion and having such good taste (I’d never heard of gougeres, but they sound so delicious) and the semester’s end and poetry.

    Little Willow, YAY for vegetarianism and nailing the song (love your description) and great auditions and POINTE SHOES!

    emmaco, YAY for sweet pea tendrils and morris dancers (really?!?) and victories and travel bargains and the BBC.

    jama, YAY for crazy busy Sundays and Ikea bookshelves (woot!) and your sweet hello!

    adrienne, YAY for finally having some warmth and sunshine up in here and getting odious chores done and helpful father-in-laws.

    Wendy, no, thank YOU!

  23. And Elaine! YAY for shorts weather and reading outside and finding the perfect wedding dress on a whim.

  24. Wow! Love the artwork and the concept for Don’t Lick the Dog. Its going to fit right in at this dog-dominated household.

    Jules, I too am so happy for you and the saved files and good mammogram!

    Eisha, you live in a pretty cool place – the waterfalls sound awesome.

    Jone – I got my poetry postcard this week and love it! (I also love knowing you live nearby! )

    Liz – healing thoughts for you small cyclist.

    Jeremy – love your photos, as always. And as a responsible dog owner, those other types bug the blazes out of me too!

    Jill – oh my. Thank you so much for the links – Dancing on a River took my breath away – looked like my parents (who have been gone many years), in motion and in spirit, and brought back some good memories – so nice to be caught out like that.

    LW – Go go go! Hope you nailed and landed that movie audition!

    Emmaco – Scotland? Color me so very jealous!

    Adrienne – congrats on a productive week!

    My kicks this week:
    1. Getting the vegetables, herbs and first flower installments planted this weekend. I love working in the yard and garden – it make me feel connected to the earth, my roots (pun intended), and to me.
    2. Biked to work for the first time this year on Monday.
    3. Watched Memento with the BF last night. What an amazing thriller! (we’d never seen it.)
    4. Reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman, which gave me a good dream last night – I was in charge of setting out all the candy in Candyland for the kids – very cool job.
    5. Got my “i love you” cards and now I need to start figuring out where to leave them. (See http://www.iloveyoucards.org for info. Its a very cool project, and the cards are free.)
    6. Chopped all my hair off Saturday and I really like it.
    7. BBQ with the BF and the dogs. Ahhhh, Sunday.

    Have a great week everyone!

  25. It was a busy day! I’ll check in tomorrow and read everyone’s kicks. Now, I’m off to bed.

  26. I didn’t realise Morris dancing wasn’t well known in the US. I’d seen the dancing before in Australia at festivals etc, must be all the British ex-pats. It is very interesting to watch a troupe who are dancing well because they crack big sticks together with perfect timing. The ones yesterday were more capering about with bells and sticks. But they also had a Fool with some sort of animal tail on a stick!

    Morris dancers remind me of Pratchett’s Lords and Ladies.

  27. In case I haven’t said it lately, I sure do love reading everyone’s kicks…

    Wendy, thanks again for stopping by.

    ELAINE! That is too, too exciting. As the mama of daughters, should one or both of mine ever choose to get married, I’ll be all tears all the time. But happy tears. Can we see a pic of the dress?!

    RM, What a good week you had. I’m intrigued by the iloveyoucards. I’ll go look at that link in a sec; right now, I’m on a computer w/out Flash or something.

    Farida, I can’t believe I forgot to list the Unnecessary Children’s Book Sequels as a kick. Yesterday’s post was so fun to read. That Sam Riddleburger.

    Emmaco, I love bells. Bells factor prominently in the lyrics of my favorite singer-songwriter/musician. I think I would like Morris dancing + bells, too.

  28. Jules,

    I don’t have the dress. They had to measure Sara for it. We may have to wait up to six months for it. I guess it’s a good thing we went shopping early.

  29. The dog book looks great! A really good idea. We had a toddler over the other day and she’s accustomed to big dogs at her own house, and really knew how to behave around ours. It makes such a difference. Also: been meaning to read Tender Morsels forever. I too had not noticed the man’s face . . . until NOW. Maybe I’ll read it next. Every single time I finish a book it’s so hard (and fun) deciding which will be the next “lucky book”!

  30. Laini, let us know what you think of TENDER MORSELS. We’re hoping to maybe co-review it soon, which = us running our mouths about what we loved—and/or maybe would want to change—about a book!

    I know what you mean about starting a new book — it’s one of the best things ever. All the expectation and potential.

  31. Jules – I love that image of your littl’uns playing together. Cy and Ruby play quite well, but Ruby is not quite old enough to accept instructions. Actually, I think she’ll be the one bossing Cy around.
    Eisha – I love, love, love IKEA. And IKEA bookcases. And dressers. And benches. If IKEA ever comes to Nashville, I’ll be in trouble.
    Wendy – I love the artwork and appreciate the tips. When you had a big old softie of a golden retriever like we did, it’s difficult to remember that not all dogs like being climbed over.

    My kicks this week:
    1 – The British music scene is thriving and I am loving these tracks: Marmaduke Duke – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8ascp99iis and La Roux – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ1Mi77nogQ.
    2 – We rented “Tell No One”, and boy, do the French know how to do thrillers. Of course, I am a huge Harlen Coben fan, so the filmmakers had wonderful material to work with.
    3 – Seth Rogen’s laugh.
    4 – I baked a Double Chocolate Banana Bread that was fabulous.
    5 – Despite being evacuated, our family in Myrtle Beach are safe and sound and did not lose anything to the fire.
    6 – Fred was super sick last week, missing a whole week of work which he has never done in the 13 years I have known him. But he recovered in time for the weekend and spent much of it playing with outside with the kids.
    7 – As much as I love working with college students, just directing them to the appropriate database can get pretty boring, so I love it when I get asked REAL reference questions. Makes me feel like a true reference librarian.

  32. Zoë, PLEASE tell me how to bake Double Chocolate Banana Bread. PLEEEEASE! We’re finishing off some banana bread w/chocolate chips around here, but I must learn how to make it doubly chocolate-y.

    So glad Fred feels better and that your family is safe. Thanks for the music links, too. Will explore later.

  33. I just got Lulu Atlantis from the library!

    Zoë: Hope he is resting up and feeling 100% now. Double Chocolate Banana Bread sounds delicious.

    rm preston: Thank you! It’ll be great if I hear from them. I’m trying not to hold my breath because they are conducting interviews in different cities for who knows how long, and I’d pass out waiting… but I can hope! Hurrah for tasty treats-to-come in the vegetable garden. I love Stardust the novel. I have yet to read the GN or see the film. I like Neverwhere even better than Stardust, I think. I enjoy Gaiman’s works. I can only imagine how brilliant a Neil Gaiman/Christopher Golden collaboration would be. Have you checked out Prince of Stories?

    eisha: The pointe shoes have been worn, and the ribbons frayed; I wish so much that they could tell me the stories of the dancers they’ve supported and the stages they’ve graced. I am not a truly trained ballerina, so I can’t go en pointe in them and dance as I don’t want to hurt myself, but perhaps someday. (I did, of course, try them on, go up once, squeal like a child, then drop back down. How could I resist?!)

    emmaco: Go dancers!

    Adrienne: Enjoy the weather, however it fluctuates, and say hello to the mailbox.

    jules: Let’s make this week better! And the next better than that, and the next…

  34. LW, let me know what you think of Lulu! I want SOMEone else I know to read it, though I think Adrienne is. I looked up some reviews of it the other day, ’cause I was curious, and I think it was Kirkus who said: It’s basically too WEIRD to be cutesy — that it has cutesy underpinnings but the weirdness trumps the cute. Which is what I love about it. It could have been waaaaay too charming or cloying, and it totally isn’t.

  35. Jules: I am going to start reading Lulu today.

  36. Jules: Update: I am halfway through Lulu (I started reading it before work) and I think it’s purdy darn cute so far!

    You have an email with a different kind of update. 🙂

  37. […] wisdom and practical advice when I started my card business. I met her through a friend. My mentor, Wendy Wahman, was key in helping to encourage me to never give up. I met her working at the library reference […]

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