7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #126: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Emilio Santoyo

h1 August 2nd, 2009 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: These are artist Emilio Santoyo’s boys of summer. Emilio, a freelance illustrator and designer from California, is visiting this morning, as it’s the first Sunday of the month when I like to shine the spotlight on student illustrators or illustrators just moving beyond student-dom.

There is a certain manic energy and seeming spontaneity to Emilio’s work that drew my eye. And with such bright, happy colors, too, which kind of wink at us beneath his edgier pieces. Emilio graduated from the Art Center College of Design in 2007. Since then, he has been doing freelance illustration and design for small and big clients.

“Projects I take on,” Emilio told me, “can be as small as contributing a weekly comic for a newspaper, new product for my online store, to working on a full-blown commercial for a bank. I love new challenges, and that’s what keeps me moving.” Check out Emilio’s derby:

Here’s a bit more from Emilio:

A lot of my own personal work has to do with experiences and the memories we are left with. Memories are never clear, and when we wish we have a camera, there isn’t one to be found. Even a camera cannot be trusted to capture a memory. Photographs are sometimes false representations of events. People pose; people see the camera from the corner of their eye and change what they were doing to become more photo-ready. All we have is what we remember at that moment. Memories are never clear, backgrounds are forgotten, and people are turned to blurs and background shapes. These are fragile moments in life that shape us as human beings into what we are. All we have is the friends we remember were there by our side and small details, like the bottles that were shared and the posters we had on our walls.

And here are some more of Emilio’s pieces. This next one, the zombie marathon, is for all my YA zombie-lit readin’ friends. These are zombies (in sportswear), so if you’re eating one impossible breakfast with your kicks as you read this morning, don’t say I didn’t warn you about missing limbs and disembodied torsos and stuff.

We’ll close with a VW tower, some wrestling bears, and nothing less than an ox house. To explore further, here’s Emilio’s site. This is the link to more of his art, and here are some of his comics. Thanks to Emilio for stopping by, and we wish him the best of luck.

As a reminder, 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is 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.

All illustrations © 2009 by Emilio Santoyo. All rights reserved.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

1* Emilio’s art! It makes me incredibly happy. I love the VW tower, and the bicycle parade, and the padded person on the flying bike. And never before have I understood how incomplete my life is, given that I don’t already own a stripey-sleeved racing jacket that says “dang” on the back.

Lips Touch by Laini Taylor2* I just finished an ARC of Laini Taylor’s latest Lips Touch. Oh. My. God. That book rocked. Seriously. Read it. Well, if you’re into teen fantasy, that is. Otherwise, weep for what you’re missing.

3* I went to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. I met a friend from work, and we strolled around in the sunshine for about an hour looking at pretty vegetables and flowers and herbs. I got some lovely little dark-greenish tomatoes that I’m very happy about. Seriously, you guys, growing up southern I didn’t realize how spoiled for tomatoes I was. You wouldn’t believe what they try to pass off in the grocery stores up here – mealy, tasteless, boring things that barely qualify. But if you can catch ’em during the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it season, some of the homegrown heirloomy ones are delicious, with that rich earthy tangy goodness that tomatoes are supposed to have. Num.

4* I have a supervisor who protects her staff, and sticks up for them when she thinks something isn’t right. She is fierce and fearless, and I am so lucky. I also plan to stay on her good side, ’cause dang

5* I also have a very good new friend with a high tolerance for my spazitude. And a dear old (as in time, not age) friend who has a high tolerance for me sending ridiculously late birthday presents.

6* Um. Wait a minute, back in a sec…

…Okay, sorry. I got so excited about those tomatoes while typing kick #3 that I had to stop and go make a pasta salad. It was everything I had hoped for.

7* Speaking of impulse control, and my lack thereof:


I know, right? Is there a 12-step program with my name on it yet? But, you guys, look! They’re so CUTE! And they were on SALE! And I wore them to work with my magic dress and (aside from the first-day blisters) I felt totally fabulous. And total strangers were all “I love your shoes!” everywhere I went. Isn’t that worth $15 and a bit less space in my ever-shrinking closet? How can it be wrong, when it feels so right?

BONUS KICK: I finally got the King Khan and the Shrines album, What Is?! and I cannot stop dancing.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

My kicks this morning are on video, which is a surprise for Eisha. She and I talked recently about how it might be fun every now and then, if we can think of a good reason why, to do back-and-forth video-blogging. The problem, though, was that I didn’t have the proper technology. But it turns out that we now own the necessary firewire cable that makes it happen.

Caveat: This video is far from clever or funny or REHEARSED. It’s downright clumsy, my friends. And I’m not going to make a habit of kickin’ this way. I just wanted to surprise Eisha and let her know: I can make videos now! So, I pulled my Tenniel tea-party print from off my kitchen wall and set it up behind me so that it would look 7-Imp’y.

Also: I’m capable of talking. I just knew if I talked in this video, I’d never stop rambling. Seriously.

Notes on My Kicks That I Can’t Help But Add:

1). Admiral Adama is my new hero.

2). Oh yes I found someone local who teaches very fabulous and affordable art lessons to children. I want to hug her for doing this.

3). With the help of her sister who all stealthy-like brought her over to my house when she was in town this week by telling her that she was picking up something like Avon (whew, that was a long dependent clause), I surprised an old high school friend, Tracy. Tracy is a Stage Manager at a theatre in Wyoming, and she’s so wonderful and so funny that when you hang out with her you think your stomach might pop from laughing. I miss her, but I was so happy to see her. We are pictured above, re-enacting how surprised she was when her sister and I tricked her, because we are Goof-Asses With a Flair for the Dramatic.

4). You know how many author-illustrators have talked about Ruth Stiles Gannett’s 1949 Newbery Honor book, My Father’s Dragon, in my seven-questions-over-breakfast interview series? A lot. My interest was piqued. I finally read it.

5). Eisha’s gifts are always fun, but when she sends Gimme! Coffee from New York, the package is particularly fun and aromatic to open. She also makes the BEST mix CDs; there IS an aesthetic to it, you know? Seriously, she should start charging people for these works of art.

6). I mean, really, you guys. I’m so excited about a new project in which Eisha and I are involved. More later.

7). Well, that goes without saying.

Bonus Kick I Didn’t Have Time For Because the Song Was Too Short:

I mentioned recently that I couldn’t find some orange felt for some storytelling I did. Farida sent me some, as well as two different shades of purple and a color called SPICE! I’m tempted to eat the beautiful spice-colored felt for dessert. Thanks, Farida!

What are YOUR kicks this week?

* * * * * * *

Song credit: Sam Phillips. “Is That Your Zebra?” from this CD.

36 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #126: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Emilio Santoyo”

  1. OH MY GOD. Jules, for real, that is the best thing ever. I hooted through the whole thing. And it made me miss you so bad!

  2. No, Sam, that is not my zebra, because I don’t own a zebra. If you happen to find a cat or an otter in need of a home, though, please feel free to send her or him or them my way. Thank you.

    Hi Emilio! It’s toasty hot. I think we skipped spring altogether and went straight into the hot hot heat of summer, which is sad, because we kind of need spring for a multitude of very important reasons. Best wishes with your illustrations. I think it’s great that you work on such a big variety of projects for different clients. I applaud what you said about memory, and about photographic posing.

    Speaking of zombies, have y’all seen the cover for THE NEW DEAD anthology? It’s fantastic, because it is absolute perfect for what it is: a zombie anthology. Look:

    eisha: I have Taylor’s two fairy stories just waiting for me to read them. I know it’s one of those things (two, in this case) that I’ll read when the time is right for them, and for me! I love stories with fairies, as you know, and I look forward to Lips Touch as well. Tomatoes are yum. Your supervisor sounds as if she deserves and upholds that position. Cute shoes.

    Jules: That video is great! Thank you for preparing, making, editing, and sharing it. Thumbs-up for the backdrop. 🙂 Your note re: talking made me crack up. I hope the munchkins enjoy the art class(es) and that this secret new project rocks for all involved. Hi, Tracy! Glad that the surprise worked out. Yay, Farida, for sending over the pretty felt.

    My kicks for the past week:

    1) Last Sunday at the actors’ studio
    2) The first readthrough of the new play
    3) Encouraging friends to audition
    4) Gathering and posting the Art Saves contributions (and finally making my own)
    5) Gathering at a friend’s house
    6) Again, doing what needs to be done
    7) Planning ahead and hoping, always hoping

  3. The New Dead cover

  4. *thunderous applause*
    You do know, Jules, that the whole holding-up-signs thing began with Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues?” Love you and Tracy and the matching blue eyes. 🙂

    Eisha, Queen of Shoes, I bow down to you. $15 is such a steal! Yum on the pasta salad with heirloom tomatoes! :9

    Sorry, no kicks today. I’m battling the return of the kitchen ants. They’ve developed a tolerance for Windex! Exterminator Eisha, any advice?

  5. OK, how much do I love the way you look at the camera and beam after each kick? And DANG! your hair is so swingy. I just cut mine all off. Because it does not swing. But I love it—it’s all sassy in the back and my hubby keeps commenting on my neck. 🙂

    Eisha, I want to read LIPS TOUCH so badddd!

    My kick is that I’m home from a fabulous family vacation, I’ve enjoyed my time away from the blog, and I’m ready to get back to work. Oh, and my angel of an agent sent me the best gift ever—a custom-made book that she photographed herself. I’m going to have to do a video of it, I think.

  6. Thanks, E. Glad you were surprised!

    Little Willow, that is a good cover. Sorry you couldn’t get it to show up in your first kick. My husband will probably want that. He likes his zombie lit, especially if it’s the post-apocalyptic kind.

    There was little to no preparing for that video, by the way, Little Willow, which is pretty obvious. Hee.

    How was the actor’s studio??!

    I seemed to have missed your Art Saves contribution and will have to hunt for it.

    Jama, yes, when I told my husband about my video kicks, he said, “you did use ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues,’ right?” Alas and alack, I don’t own that on CD. Oh, and I don’t know why my eyes appear blue in that photo, but they do. They’re so not blue. But, yeah, my eyes look like they match Tracy’s. Go figure.

    Sorry about the ants. Maybe Eisha will have briliant advice. I got rid of ours this summer by finding the source, the mystery sweet spot they were after, but it took me a while.

    Sara, I’ve missed your blog. No pressure, but I did. Glad you all had a great time. What a kind agent you have!

  7. Actually, I think he already OWNS that book, Little Willow. Didn’t you say it was brand-new, though? I think he’s had that since Christmas. Am I thinking of something else? I’ll have to figure this out.

  8. jules, I was surprised, and delighted. And did I ever tell you that I met Ruth Gannett? She lives around here, and is involved with (board member? volunteer? I forget) one of the libraries I interviewed for before I finally landed my current job. And yet I still haven’t read that book. But you gave it a thumbs-up, so I guess I better.

    Little Willow, that is a creepy-awesome cover. As always, busy-bee, break a leg and keep those theatrical kicks coming.

    jama… sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have any more ant-defying tricks up my sleeve. Might be time to call a professional. Good luck!

    Sara, welcome back. I think your new hair is adorable.

  9. Eisha, that’s pretty great. Did you see this recent post from Betsy?

    Here it is.

  10. p.s. Everyone, the lyrics to the Sam P. song are “why, where, when, who, how” (though I probably have the order wrong), and, yes, it’s called “Is That Your Zebra?”


    I’m really going away now.

  11. No! I hadn’t seen that. And the experience was similar for me. I was there for my day-long interview and presentation, wearing a suit and suffering from a hideous stomach bug and trying to figure out if I even wanted this job and if not why was I here exactly? And I was introduced to this lovely, tiny no-nonsense older woman in a flannel shirt and jeans, and it took my nerve-shot brain a few seconds to connect the name I’d just been told with the image of those book covers. I think I probably said something fawning and embarrassing, like I usually do in those situations.

  12. Glad you liked the felt, Jules! And Eisha, those are lovely shoes. I’m glad to see the video, Jules. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d love to hear your voice someday. 🙂

  13. Hello, all! Happy Sunday!

    I love the derby dinosaur.

    eisha, I’ve never really liked tomatoes, but maybe that’s because I’ve always gotten them from the grocery store. I keep meaning to go to the farmer’s market here. Now I have further incentive. Also I completely envy you those shoes.

    jules, what a fun video! I like your smiling and thumbs-up.

    LW, it is my zebra. (I also take donations of white bengal tigers, pandas and penguins. Black and white animals. And manatees. And luna moths.) Yay for you encouraging friends to audition.

    jama, the most successful remedy I’ve found for ants (and it’s relatively pet-safe!) is mixing a bit of dish soap with water, and then spraying it on them. If you’ve got a trail, spray it all along the trail. This does two things: drowns the ants because the soap eliminates the surface tension that’d let them make it through the water, and also erases the trail they leave behind them to let other ants know where to go. It takes a few days of vigilance, but eventually you get them all.

    Sara, the gift from your agent sounds amazing.

    Here’s my kicks – two weeks’ worth, as I was away last week:
    1. I had a lovely wedding, on the beach, with beautiful weather and good company and delicious food and it was beautiful.
    2. That was followed by a lovely (and cheap!) honeymoon. We stayed at my husband’s (oh that’s weird to say) family’s beach condo, and his moms (he has two, the one that gave birth to him and the one his dad married later) had left us a beautiful gift basket, a refrigerator full of fancy food, and some wine and sparkling cider.
    3. The return trip home was easy.
    4. Sad is that my mom hurt her back a few weeks ago, but the good that came of it was that it meant she, my brother, and my dad spent some extra time here in town waiting for her to be ready to travel (and giving her a chance to see her old chiropractor a few times).
    5. A friend dropped by Thursday to pick up a script and then when I spontaneously invited him to come to lunch with my family and myself, he said yes. He hadn’t seen my family since before they moved away, so it was nice for them to get together with him.
    6. My sister, who was away on an internship for six months, is back in town and we’ve been spending boatloads of time together and bonded over a shared love for Project Runway.
    7. The show I’m rehearsing is a very brief ensemble piece. We get through the work we’ve set aside for rehearsal pretty quickly, and then we spend time after that just sitting around bonding, which I think is important for building chemistry.

    Bonus Kick: LW put up my Art Saves contribution!

    Here’s to a good week for all of us coming up!

  14. Happy Kick-Day everyone! Love the happy colors in the art, especially the bicycles. The bear on top of the ice cube is pretty awesome too!

    Eisha – cute shoes! They remind me of Briar Rose.

    Jules – Your video-kicks rock! Your happiness comes across loud and clear, no talking needed.

    LW – break however many legs necessary for all your upcoming auditions this week!

    My kicks this week:

    1. That my geriatric dogs (oh, ouch, hurts my hurt to say that, but they are) survived two days of 106 degree heat. Heat wave all this past week, luckily the BF can leave his office and work from home if need be, so he was able to get home and keep them hydrated and repeatedly hosed down. Phew!
    2. Heat wave is now over.
    3. A hug from an overjoyed client.
    4. Having a job I love.
    5. Reading pure bubblegum fluff on Monday, the last day of my 4 day weekend.
    6. Work party last night at my boss’s house. Great food, great people, and there was even karoake! (The highlight for me was an 8 year old singing Love Shack. Very funny.)
    7. Since the weather has cooled, today the BF and I are going for a motorcycle ride up to Mt. Saint Helens. I am looking forward to cool air on my face, and breathtaking scenery.

    Have a great week!

  15. Emilio, your illustrations are grooooooovy. And I don’t like zombies (I like living things only thankyouverymuch), but I really like your zombie illustration!

    Jules! You are very cute. Any chance you can treat us to a video of yourself say… every week? Yes?

    Eisha, purrrdy shoes. 😀

    Kimberly, congratulations and best wishes!!!!!!!

    Little Willow, break a leg this week. 🙂

    Jama, I loved your post last week on the food in The Secret Garden. *droooooool*

    Sara, aww, I wish I could see your awesome new haircut.

    Hi, Farida! 🙂

    I just have one main kick this week:

    I’ve been reading good Filipino YA books in English. The one I’m reading right now is Playing It Safe by G.T. Los Banos. It’s about the subtleties and subtle ties of studies, sports, and love on a college campus.

  16. Nope, I’ve got this one: http://www.amazon.com/Living-Dead-Stephen-King/dp/1597801437/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1249231628&sr=8-1

  17. Just touching base quickly, ’cause typing stuff in via a little Chicklets-style phone keyboard does not predispose one to lengthy ruminations. (Whew. That took a lot out of both thumbs right there.)

    Love the Sunday art artwork as always. Methinks Emilio has a glorious career ahead of him. The wrestling bears? A complete story there, with the background bits – the brass knuckles, and the folding chair (which I suspect had recently seen action as a weapon).

    One big anti-kick at the moment: no Internet service at home (and hence the Web-by-phone thing right now).

    My real kicks this week were all going to be 7-Imp-related, as this is a year since I started visiting here. Alas, I can’t go back to collect (or link to) all of ’em under the circumstances, but among them were these:

    * The Off-Beats video which E&J made in college;

    * the names Sam Phillips and Neko Case;

    * the phrase “the librarian is stabby”;

    * 7 Kicks Sundays, Pivot Questionnaires, and Poetry Fridays;

    * a whole bleepin’-amazing gallery of bleepin’-amazing authors and illustrators;

    * the love and companionship which y’all show one another here, like, all the time; and

    * the simple fact that it seems impossible (!) to leave this site in a bad mood, ever — thoughtful, yes, and sometimes meditative, or saddened by someone’s unhappy news, or worried, etc. But never feeling resentful or mean or any of those other emotions which so many sites with long histories seem to foster eventually.

    This is such a great place, and I’m so happy to have found it!

    (OTOH, under the tech limitations of the moment, I haven’t been able to see Jules’s entry into full-blown video blogging. Which might come to give me pause :). But for now, as I say, thanks!)

  18. Farida, did I ever tell you the story about meeting Robin Brande in person for the first time? She said she was surprised at my accent, and I started rambling about how everyone is always so surprised to hear I’m from the South, that my accent sounds more Northern and that I always says it’s because all my relatives live up North and say things like, “we loves you guys and we love you, Joooooooooorlie,” blah blah blah and on and on and on I went, and she looked at me, when I was finally done, and paused and said, “No! You sound so SOUTHERN!”

    Kimberly, ah, what rich kicks. HAPPY WEDDING! CONGRATULATIONS! And all that time with your family. How wonderful!

    RM, glad your dogs survived the heat wave, glad it’s over, and have fun on your ride today. BE CAREFUL! I am obligated to say that. Also: Thank you for putting “Love Shack” into my head. Really. It got rid of the other brain radio song I didn’t want there.

    Tarie, glad you’re reading good things. I hope that, if your book venture pans out, you’ll keep us updated!

    My love, thanks for clearing that up.

    John, I’m going to CRY! THAT’S RIGHT! It’s been about a year since you started visiting. (Is it exactly one year ago?? I’ll have to go look that up.) You know how I feel about your readership and your comments. I won’t say it again, since I’ve told you a bajiillion times. How kind of you to list seven things you love about 7-Imp. For my part, I’m terrifically flattered, especially since you make blog-reading and blog-commenting an art form.

    And, if I had thought of this myself, having you as a reader would have been one of my kicks. And YOUR BLOG, too, which is also an invigorating place to visit.

    You’re not missing much with my lame-tastic video.

    Good luck getting your Internet connection back.

  19. Jules, I think you’ve set a new standard for kicks with your video! Very cool. And a great bunch of things in your lists as well.

    Eisha, it’s just not fair you live in a different continent or else I could sneak in and steal your shoes (you have small feet, right?). And your tomatoes, though I’d leave the rest of the pasta salad for you.

    Little Willow, I’ve been enjoying the art saves compilations!

    Kimberly, congratulations on being married! I’m glad the wedding and honeymoon were lovely.

    RM Preston, in the current climate we’re so lucky to not only have a job, but have one we love! Something I forget sometimes on those days when things get tiresome.

    JES, I agree, this site is instantly cheering.

    1. I harvested my first ever potatoes this week! They are Edzell blues and tasted very yummy raoasted for tea. The rest are still growing in the potato barrel, which was an unwanted gift for a colleague. There are photos up at my blog.

    2. I am also enjoying experimenting with the bread in Artisan bread in five minutes a day (a birthday gift). It’s no knead and the dough can be stored in the fridge for two weeks. The bread has an excellent crust and today’s batch featured a very nice crumb as well. Yum!

    3. The first blackberries are ripe!

    4. We went for a nice afternoon walk around the river this afternoon

    5. Found a café that we like in Cambridge that is not only not a boring chain but serves yummy food at reasonable prices (for the centre of Cambridge, anyway)

    6. I finally made it to our local farmer’s market. It was small but had some good stalls so we came home with veggies, weird shaped chillies, chilli sauce, rabbit pie and freerange duck legs.

    OK that’s it for today, but I think purple potatoes are really worth about 10 kicks!

  20. John, I just figured out this morning how to search comments, so I hope I got this right:

    ** Your first comment ever…
    ** Your first listing of actual kicks, though I think you left comments at kicks-posts before that…

    Did I get it right?

    Emmaco, I’m flying over for dinner. I wish. The New Thing I Learned from You Today: Edzell blues and the fact that there are “special interest” potatoes.

    Oh, and I’m sorry to sound like a doophus, but there’s really rabbit pie? That’s not just something Beatrix Potter made up?

  21. Summer Greetings, All!

    First off, Jules, that was a FANTASTIC video! It was both clever AND funny, and of course I loved the background music, considering my title as Co-Biggest-Sam-Fan-Ever. I do want to hear that Southern drawl on the next one, however.

    Eisha, I do love a good heirloom tomato. The ones in the grocery store should hide under the counter in shame. And King Khan? LOVE the vintage funk sound! I note that they have an album called “Spread Your Love Like Peanut Butter” – I want that one just for the title!

    LW, I am always fascinated by your kicks – how in the world do you do so much? You would make an excellent life coach – your positive enthusiasm is infectious.

    Jama, if the Queen ant ambles by, give her a whack and that will take care of her obsequious little followers, who will no longer know what to do with themselves (yes, I have done this before, with malicious glee). Otherwise, I have used Terro ant killer with success.

    Sara, would love to see your agent’s custom-made book. Sounds very cool.

    Kimberly, Congratulations on your wedding! How wonderful.

    RM, it must be amazing to have a job you love – I hope that happens to me someday.

    Tarie, here’s to good books, and lots of ’em.

    JES, Happy 7imp Anniversary! Your posts are one of the many reasons I visit here, and I join you by including 7imp in my kicks list.

    Other kicks:

    1) Attending the play “Private Lives” by Noel Coward – I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. Now I want to see/read anything and everything he wrote.
    2) Making a list of potential names for my future book-related business – kind of stressful but fun at the same time.
    3) Having a delicious dinner (lobster ravioli on a bed of smoked salmon and pasta) with an old friend from high school.
    4) In the spirit of great videos, this one made me smile for a long time after watching it. I think this couple will be together forever:
    5) Finding out about this poet, and reading as many of her poems as possible. I plan on ordering one of her collections soon: http://www.poetseers.org/nobel_prize_for_literature/wislawa_szymborska/library/the_joy_of_writing

    Have a great week, everyone!

  22. Rabbit pie isn’t common, but it is still around as a traditional country meal. I don’t eat much meat but the combination of environmentally friendly + free range and local lured me in. This pie has leeks and potatoes in it – I’ll report back next week!

  23. Jules: Thanks. I posted the last few contributions to Art Saves yesterday – including one from Cecil! – to wrap things up. The studio was very nice.

    Jules and Blaine: The New Dead is coming out in February 2010 from St. Martin’s. There was a signed, limited edition hardcover from Subterranean Press, but that sold out and was only available through SP.

    Jama: Tell the ants to go to their own picnic!

    Sara: That is sweet. Welcome back.

    eisha: Thanks. I just had a disappointment this morning – a locked door to a studio that was supposed to be open for business – but I’m taking it as a sign that I wasn’t meant to take classes there.

    Kiba: I met a friend’s husband yesterday for the first time, and since his name matches your husband’s name, I told them about you two. Have fun with the zebra. As long as I get the snow leopards and the clouded leopards, that’s fine. Sending healing vibes to your mom. When does your show open?

    rm preston: Thanks. Hugs to your puppies. I’m glad that they have such attentive and considerate humans. The work party sounds like fun, especially the karaoke!

    Tarie: Thank you. Enjoy the books.

    JES: Happy kicks anniversary!

    emmaco: Thanks for checking out Art Saves. I plan on making a little gallery of the thumbnails and adding it to the archived July 2009 issue at the readergirlz website. Bread sounds delicious.

    Jill: Huzzah for Private Lives! I’ve read it and seen the film, but I’ve never seen it live on stage. Thanks for the kind words. You just have to make stuff happen, and enjoy everything that you can, that’s all. That wedding’s entrance dance was so joyous.

    Everyone: What I’m listening to right now as I type this post: Like Breathing (…and now another version with actual staging.) If you don’t have the time or inclination to listen to the entire thing, listen to the last ten seconds, to that powerful four-part harmony. Oh, belting, you make me so, so happy.

  24. You know, there is a spot on the wall above Cy’s bed that would be perfect for Emilio’s derby or the VW tower. I love the colors – such a pick-me-up.

    Eisha – Love, love, love those shoes!! And $15 is a downright bargain for such beauties.

    Jules – yay for the art class. Knowing how crafty and creative your girls are, they will have a blast.

    Kimberly – CONGRATULATIONS!! A wedding on the beach – bliss.

    John – I may borrow “the librarian is stabby” for a sign on the reference desk when I am feeling silly.

    emmaco – I have only been back 3 weeks, but I am already missing Sunday walks in England. The humidity in Tennessee does not make for good walking weather.

    My kicks this week:

    1 – Jules’ video. I giggled, a lot. What a treat.
    2 – Cy’s first day of kindergarten went very well. He had such a great time that he was disappointed he doesn’t get to go back until tomorrow.
    3 – Cy now has some kicky new kicks. He chose a pair of black Converse All-Star hi-tops which makes him look more like Richie Cunningham than ever.
    4 – After watching HP6 last week, I just had to re-read Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. I was up way past my bedtime finishing of the lat book. I had forgotten how exciting that book is – I think I held my breath for the last 100+ pages even though I knew what happened.
    5 – Discovering new music and rediscovering old classics through Pandora Radio. While typing this, I have heard Roger Miller, James Brown, The Weary Boys and Fats Domino. It’s like having a mix tape without a track listing so you don’t know what’s coming next.
    6 – I’m going back to work tomorrow after 9 weeks off. I have a new boss (who happens to be Fred’s old boss) and probably a whole new job description, which I am excited about.
    7 – Hearing how much my husband loves that Ruby looks just like me.

    Have a great kicky week.

  25. Posting incredibly late here but the big kick is that I finished my very first 5K yesterday!!!

    So – caveats: I didn’t run the whole way which was a huge bummer. Oddly, I didn’t even run as far as I normally do. Not sure if it was because it was morning (I run at night) or that i was just super nervous or something like that. I also missed the 5K turn (there was nobody there! It was just an arrow spray painted on the road!) so I ran an extra half mile which was quite demoralizing on multiple levels.

    But I got through it and at least I know it is possible now. I think my final time was around 40 minutes which wasn’t completely horrible but I did get passed by guys running the 10K which was pretty hard to bear.

    I swear I had some kind of “this is your first time just keep moving” zen chant going in my head for the final half mile when those guys started showing up.

    There is another one in three weeks and I think I will do it just to do it now that I have an idea of what the whole thing is about. Plus it’s a fundraiser for the local humane society and that’s where we got our dog from so there’s a big good kharma thing going on.

    It was really hard though – way harder than I thought. But at least I signed up and ran and got my ribbon. And that’s really something.

  26. Colleen, that’s great! Big kudos to you for going for it! I was hoping that you would let us know how it all turned out. Happy news!

  27. My favorite kick this week–
    1) I now have my own copy of Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard!! A serendipitous find in an unexpected place (grocery store) at a price I could afford–instead of having to wait! Can’t wait to share this with grandsons and kids at school!
    Pretty quiet week–so other kicks are:
    2) The A/C was working at school when I went back to work Weds.! In fact it was already turned on:)
    3) Budget cuts meant our students didn’t get “early back” couple of weeks (boo), but the good part for me was the chance to concentrate on paperwork I needed to clean-up and organize. At this site there has always been classes during my after & before school weeks.
    4) After having fun reading Betsy Bird’s posting on Ruth Stiles Gannett. discovered that my daughter is currently reading these to the five year old and they are loving it!
    5) Seeing a couple of teachers I’ve known a long time at school–teachers only have to show up two days before, so it was nice that these were a couple of the ones that came in early.
    6) Still some time to read just whatever I want before the exhaustion of the regular work year sets in!
    7) What JES said! Fun video Jules!

  28. I am getting in late. Just got home from Idaho. The art of Emilio’s looks fantastic.
    Eisha, love the shoes. The vidoe rocks, Jules. And I can see that everyone else had great kicks this week. It is weird to be writing so late in the day.
    My biggest kick is that I found out that I have two poems being published to an online journal, Four and Twenty. To have one is fab but to be selelcted for a “poem of the week” out of the group is really, really, really fab.
    That’s it Survived the 107 heat wave this week. Have a great week.

  29. Zoe: Nice kicks, Cy! I am glad that he’s enjoying kindergarten so far. I love mix tapes. I hope you have a happy homecoming at work.

    Colleen: I am so proud of you. Congratulations. Best wishes for the next run, and the next, and the next. Be safe when you run at night. (I know you are. I’m just a worrywart.)

    Andrea: I’m picturing you reaching for apricots and surprising yourself when you grabbed Grumpy Bird instead. Of course, that’s not how it happened, but in the animated cartoon mind realm, it’s amusing.

  30. Jill, thanks for the poem. I will have to read it later when I can focus better. And if you’re feeling brave, maybe you could bounce some of your book-business names off of us one day. Woot!

    Little Willow, thanks for the music.

    Zoe, Ruby DOES look a lot like you! And I hope you enjoy work with a new boss. Piper starts kindergarten next week. We did the school-supply shopping thing today, and DANG I get misty-eyed about it all. I’m glad Cy had a blast.

    Colleen, CONGRATS! You rocked it.

    Andrea, thank goodness they had that A/C on for you. And Grumpy Bird=wonderful. Let us know how the grandkids like it.

    Jone, congrats again on your poems getting published. That just has to be exciting.

    Little Willow, perhaps we can start a Worrywart Club.

  31. Kimberly! CONGRATULATIONS!!! And everybody, go look at how pretty she is in her beautiful dress!

    rm, your poor dogs! And poor you! I’m glad you all survived, and hope the ride was fun too.

    tarie, I know! Jules is totally cute, especially when she gets out of sequence and cracks herself up towards the end. Also: YAY for good YA books!

    JES! You total sweetie-cakes! Thank you for all the love, Right back at ya. And thank you also for visiting nigh on every week, with your wonderful links and encouraging words and general awesomeness. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

    emmaco, I DO have smallish feet – and I also happen to remember a certain pair of green shoes you mentioned here once upon a time. That street goes both ways, is what I’m saying here. But hey, anyone who can grow purple potatoes in a barrel is probably MAGIC, so you can just wish up your own flowerdy shoes.

    Jill, would that you could have been here this afternoon as I had my second helping of pasta salad while grooving to King Khan. We could have thrown down our forks and done the pony together! And did you just say you had ravioli on a bed of MORE PASTA? You are my hero!

    Zoe, your Cy has excellent taste in footwear! I’m so glad he loves k-garten already. And good luck with your new/old job and new-ish boss.

    Colleen, I am bowing to you right now. You may have just trumped Jill as my new hero. (No offense, Jill.)

    Andrea, thank goodness for AC! I’m glad you get to ease in to the new year. How cool to find Grumpy Bird in a grocery store! And the whole Ruth Stiles Gannett thing, too – lots of serendipity around you this week.

    jone, whoa. Two poems! That’s outstanding. Congrats – can’t wait to read them.

  32. Hey all, I’ve been slackin’ on the kicks, even though it’s been fun to check in and read. Jules, my girls adore Gannet’s dragon books…reminds me that I need to order them again…and also that I still owe you a book! Still will, even if I’m superslow.

    I love, love, love the art this week. Almost too cool for words.

    1. Last week I met one of my oldest and dearest friends at a little town almost halfway between us for his birthday. We rode our bikes that evening and the next morning, and sandwiched in a great session at the pub. No kids or spouses…everyone needs a break like that once in a while.
    2. Garden goodness…we’re pulling potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, raspberries, spinach, lettuce and chard out of the garden these days. Tonight I pulled out a huge armload of swiss chard, chopped it up and bagged it for the freezer.
    3. Blasting heat, which is almost too much to be a proper kick. It’s been between 90 and 100 for weeks, meaning that we basically live at the beach, which is where we’re all happiest. If only we’d get some rain to put out the forest fires.
    4. My girls had very successful summer classes this week: art for Ivy and Irish dance for Ella.
    5. The Hobbit, which has been wonderful to read to my girls every night this week.
    6. My brother-in-law and his significant other came to visit this weekend, which was great for its own sake, but extra great because he has the best wardrobe ever and left me a giant bag of his cast-offs…seriously, his discards are better than my “nice” clothes.
    7. Shout out to Tanya at books4yourkids, who is celebrating her first blog-birthday. Although I’m a devoted reader of 7-imp, I don’t follow a lot of other kid-lit blogs. Her reviews (250 this year!) have given our family so much pleasure, tipping us off to dozens and dozens of incredible books we wouldn’t have otherwise heard of.

  33. I’m late again!

    Eisha, supportive supervisors are worth their weight in gold, platinum, and diamonds!

    Jules, I’ve been learning how to make videos, too. I made one in celebration of my 40th wedding anniversary, one of our 40th high school reunion, a Poetry Friday video–and now I’m working on a special 1964 BFHS yearbook video for many of my closest friends who attended high school with me. We’ll be holding our 45th reunion on August 23rd.


    1. Learning how to make videos with text, pictures, music, transitions, and effects. What fun I’m having! Unfortunately, it has taken time away from my blogging. But summer is the slow season for kidlit bloggers anyway, right?

    2. Last Thursday evening, I went out with ten of my closest friends–women that I met in elementary school and high school–to celebrate the retirement of one of us. We had dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant. I had a delicous four-course meal for $25!

    3. This weekend I baby-sat for my daughter’s cat Rudy. He is the cutest, most personable cat. He gives hugs. I’m sorry that she’s coming to pick him up today.

    4. Having pizza and Mojitos with one of my nieces and my mother Friday night.

    5. My husband rode his bike for Team Daisy once again in the Pan Mass Challenge to raise money for the Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He told me this was the best he has ever done in four years–and he’s 63 years old!

  34. Jeremy, I was JUST telling someone that I missed your kicks, but I’m glad you’ve been doing well. I might have to check out Tanya’s blog way more often. Thanks for the link. My husband really wants to read The Hobbit to the girls, but we might wait till the three-year-old is bigger. Glad you’re enjoying the beach.

    Elaine, I’ve seen your PF video, and it was fun. Also: GO, MR. ELAINE!!!! WOOT! That is great news.

  35. I love the picture, Julie! It was so great to see you and finally meet the girls. They are ADORABLE! I’m late for work on my first day back, but quickly, here are my kicks:

    1. Flying home to Nashville…even though it was all kinds of muggy, I love Tennessee!
    2. Seeing my freee-und Joooolie and her two adorable girls. And birthday cupcakes!
    3. Seeing many old friends in their kick-butt production of HAIRSPRAY at the Cumberland County Playhouse.
    4. Crazy Bread. I haven’t had it in forever.
    5. Seeing my BFF Mary Leigh in person, even if it was only for a couple of hours.
    6. Playing with my nephews, especially my punkin-headed 3-year-old nephew Sterling. We met at PetSmart, where he and I visited all of the animals, and then he wanted to stay with me and go to his Aunt Robin & Uncle Steve’s house. He is too precious.
    7. Fitting 3 giant containers of Trader Joe’s coffee in my luggage and getting it home along with 6 pounds of various nut goodness and 4 boxes of cheap whole-wheat cous cous. Trader Joe’s rocks!

    It was a great weekend…and now, back to work! XOXOXO to you, sweet Julie! We must visit again soon!

  36. Usually I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, quite nice post.

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