7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #131: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Kevin Tseng

h1 September 6th, 2009 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Welcome to our kicks on this holiday weekend! We hope folks are around to kick with us.

I suppose this is the moment at the Mad Tea Party just after Alice “got up in great disgust, and walked off” and the Dormouse has fallen asleep instantly — just prior to being stuffed into a teapot, that is. This Mad Tea Party comes to us from freelance illustrator Kevin Tseng.

Kevin, who studied Biology and Fine Art at Washington University, has just written and illustrated his first book, Ned’s New Home (Tricycle Press, August 2009), about a friendly worm named Ned, looking for some new digs. He does live in an apple, so I figure decomposition is a harsh reality. I haven’t had the chance to read the book yet, but I invited Kevin to come share some of his art here on the first Sunday of the month when I like to highlight student or new-to-the-field illustrators.

Kevin says he’s a fan of the Alice books, and these images are from a few years ago — from his portfolio. Score. You know we love our Alice art. I love how the Caterpillar below can multi-task, what with his ability to cross his arms sternly at Alice and hold on to his hookah:

Ned’s New Home—rendered in cheery watercolors, as we can see below—is filled with “comic touches,” according to School Library Journal: “This reassuring tale will be appreciated by the read-aloud crowd while also supplying a subtle lesson in ecology,” the review added.

“I find inspiration in the whimsical, quirky, slightly odd, and somewhat cute,” Kevin told me. “Painting with watercolors is most pleasing, but some of my drawings also make their way into the vector world. I enjoy designing greeting cards, stationery, and other miscellany. Ned’s New Home, my first children’s picture book, was published in August by Tricycle Press/Random House; I am working on a second story that does not necessarily involve worms or apples…”

Here are some illustrations from the book:

These Mother Goose images below seal the deal, I think, if you hadn’t already noticed Kevin’s ability to paint warm, inviting watercolors for the wee’est of children. Wouldn’t you like to see him take on a nursery rhyme anthology for young babes?

You’ll notice above that Kevin says he enjoys designing greeting cards and stationery. Indeed, he once worked for a stationery company. Here are a couple of examples of some of that design work:

And, finally, this is Kevin’s zoo. I know a certain someone who would probably take a liking to this one. (As Jama puts it, “you just never know when you might need a good alphabet hit.”)

Thanks to Kevin for stopping by. I wish him the best with his book — and future titles. Again, here’s his web site.

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.

* * * * * * *

NED’S NEW HOME. Copyright © 2009 by Kevin Tseng. Published by Tricycle Press, Berkeley, CA. www.tenspeed.com. Images reproduced by permission of the author. All rights reserved.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

It’s very nice to pause this weekend and focus on some kicks. I had my first instance of a child screaming NO MOMMY, DON’T LEAVE ME!! or something similarly unsettling (as said child wept and clung to my leg) this week, which was not unlike a karate chop to the heart, when trying to drop off my three-year-old at her little play-school thingy. (Poor thing is still trying to get used to her older sister being off in Kindergarten, I think). Not to mention, worst of all, that I have two friends not doing so well in their battles against cancer — both with persistent tumors and one with a tumor in the brain that she was told was simply inoperable at this point. Very, very sad, and life sure is unfair to some people, isn’t it? These things remind one to count blessings/kicks. I hold these friends in my thoughts. Constantly.

So, let’s try to find some kicks:

1). Without question, my first kick this week is this:

You all know I’m a fan of illustrator Julie Paschkis. (I checked here the other day out of curiosity and noticed that she’s running neck-and-neck with Adam Rex for Most 7-Imp Visits, due to my nerdy fan-dom.) Well, as I was chatting with Julie via email last week, I told her that my five-year-old is, once again, obsessed with one of her illustrated books. A while ago, she never let go of her copy of Julie Larios’ Imaginary Menagerie. (I had told Julie Larios about this, too, and she said that her goal is for the books she writes to be loved so much that they end up completely in tatters. I love that, and that’s exactly what my daughter was doing.) Now, the current obsession is Paul Fleischman’s Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal.

So, after it occurred to me to share this with Julie P. while I was chattin’ it up with her, she sent Piper a note that said everyone who makes books hopes for readers who care, and she sent her this postcard-sized piece of art above.

Yes, I got all teary-eyed. Illustration Junkie here.

She also wrote, “I hope you to get to wear lots of different kinds of shoes in your life.” I love it.

2). Eisha is my true-blue source for adult fiction recommendations, and remember a couple weeks ago that she recommended I am One of You Forever by Fred Chappell? I started reading it the other night. She wasn’t kidding. SO GOOD.

3). John pointed this out to me, thinking that surely I was already reading an early copy or something. NO, I HADN’T EVEN HEARD OF IT! Must add it to the holiday wish list.

4). One of my posts from this week ended up in American Libraries Direct. My full name (not just “Jules”) was even listed as author. I don’t know how these things happen, but it was kinda neat to see, since thousands of librarians read that weekly.

Hey, wait… Thousands? Now I’m weirded out.

Nah, seriously. That’s just fun.

5). Mo Willems has created a commemorative poster to celebrate the Carle Honors this year (at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art — a place I HAVE, TRAGICALLY, NEVER VISITED). He says posters will be available through the Museum for “40 smackers.” Another item for the Christmas list. My girls just need that:

(Can you spot the Pigeon?)

6). My sixth kick is that I just saw—when linking to Adam Rex’s blog above—this. That’s from the upcoming Mac Barnett title Adam has illustrated. That’s the book that Adam promised us—when he and Mac visited in July—would make our heads bleed rainbows.

7). Hey, wait. Kick #1 is really this. I’m just saving the best for last:

It’s my husband’s birthday weekend! And cake will be had. Happy birthday to the best person I know (and 7-Imp’s tech support)!

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

Sunshine by Robin McKinley. As Neil Gaiman says on the cover, “Pretty much perfect.”1* Ya’ll know I loves me some Alice art. I especially love that first one, how the March Hare and the Mad Hatter are just chillin’, you know, shootin’ the breeze. And I love how Ned is managing to hold an umbrella in one of the spreads from Kevin’s new book. Although, I’d like to see an explanation for the suitcase…

2* Jules, I’m so glad you’re loving I Am One of You Forever. Call me when you’re done – we can quote our favorite bits to each other. And it just so happens that I am currently reading the sequel, Brighten the Corner Where You Are, and so far it’s just as good.

3* I’m also reading, based on the recommendation of two friends, Sunshine by Robin McKinley. Oh. My. Lord. How did I miss this when it came out? And why isn’t it as well known and beloved as those OTHER vampire books? It’s fascinating, with a very complex mythology and alternative-history, plus compelling characters and lots of danger. Oh, and the main character is a baker in a coffeehouse, so there’s lots of descriptions of yummy food.

4* My husband decided to buy himself (and me) an early/late birthday present (early because his b’day isn’t until October, and late because we won’t get to use it until November): tickets to see the Donmar Warehouse production of Hamlet starring Jude Law, which is moving to Broadway. WOOT! Doesn’t it look great?

Jude Law, suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

5* Beautiful, beautiful, early-fall weather all week. Highs in the 70s, and all-sunshine (except for one really good thunderstorm). Perfect.

6* I did something really stupid last weekend, and I was in a real funk about it. I gave some money to a woman with a sob story, and I’m sure I was scammed. But I told a couple of friends about it at work, and they made me feel better.



What are YOUR kicks this week? Anyone around?

27 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #131: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Kevin Tseng”

  1. Hi All,

    As usual, my late owl tendencies have me blinking at this computer screen when I should be in bed. However, I missed kicking the last few weeks and wanted to put my gratitude out there.

    I love Kevin’s soft watercolor art, especially the happy Humpty Dumpty!

    Jules – so sorry to hear about your two friends. Will keep good thoughts for them. And I hope that Ada has a much less stressful week coming up – she’s too sweet to be sad.

    Kudos to you on the post in American Libraries Direct, Jules! How cool is that?!

    Happy Birthday, Blaine! Many woots for the day.

    Eisha – I have had “I Am One of You Forever” on my book list for over a year, so now I must get it and read it. Jude Law as Hamlet? That will be fantastic! Wonder who plays Queen Gertrude? I am going to see “Wicked” next month, after hearing raves about it for what seems like years.

    Okay, my kicks:

    1) Filed my fictitious business name and published it in the paper on Friday. Will spill about the name once this is going somewhere (Jules – ignore my last email – I decided to take the plunge before I lost my nerve).
    2) Watched two of the best movies I’ve seen in awhile – “City Lights” (thanks for the reminder to watch it again, JES) and “Play Time”. The latter is even timelier now than it was in the ’60’s when it was made. Both are brilliant.
    3) A friend of mine from college is here from Memphis with her boyfriend, and we’re going to Napa on Tuesday! Can’t wait to see her.
    4) This amazing artist – it’s hard to imagine that this is for real – carving something from a grain of sand?! It’s a long video, but very inspiring:
    If you don’t have time to watch it, here’s his website: http://www.willard-wigan.com/
    5) September! This is Book Month around here – 3 book fairs and a giant library book sale. My favorite month.

    Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!

  2. I have so many kicks this week. Highlights include:

    1) Auditioning (including an audition for something that, even if I don’t get the role, I was extremely happy with my performance, and the fact that I got this audition is a really big deal to me)
    2) Outfitting
    3) Filming and getting featured
    4) Visiting and being visited
    5) Offers and attempts
    6) I think Jason Robert Brown commented on my book bag post at readergirlz.
    7) Being alive. On this day, many years ago, I decided to come into the world early. Yes, I’ve been stubborn and determined since day one to do things my own way. Though I initially scared my mother and doctors, all was well, and I’m so very glad to be here.

    Hello to Kevin Tseng! Thanks for sharing your vision of Wonderland with us. That is the most adorable March Hare I’ve ever seen in modern interpretations of that scene. The sleepy Dormouse also makes me want to say, “Awww.” I like the Cheshire Cat’s gradual disappearance. Good luck with Ned’s New Home. I think Lowly Worm would appreciate that story. I really like the cow jumping over the moon, and am very impressed with the design work – so intricate!

    Jules: Thinking of your friends and their loved ones. Have strength and share strength. Happy birthday to your boy, Blaine! The pointy shoe art is so cool, as is the story it accompanies. Do you know about Mo Willems’ forthcoming book series which stars a CAT?

    eisha: I expect a full recap of Hamlet after you see it in November. If not within a post here, then just email me. Hamlet is my favorite of Shakespeare’s tragedies.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LITTLE WILLOW! Woo hoo! I wish I had known and I could have put it in the post!

    So glad you had such a good week with good performances and auditions. Everything’s comin’ up Little Willow!

  4. Oops, Jill. I had to go save your comment from spam.

    I’m so sorry I didn’t answer your email in time. Doh. I hope to get to email today. Anyway, congrats on filing the name. That is great news!
    Have fun with your friend, and thanks for the Willard Wigan link. Seems like I’ve heard about him before. I’ll watch that later. (I love those TED talks.)

  5. Oh, my word. That pointy pencil shoe. Joy! Love Kevin’s alphabet, too, even though I’d have to arm wrestle Jama for it.

    Eisha, Hamlet. So green with envy here. Greeeeeeen.

    Happy Birthday, Little Willow! The world needs more happy stubbornness like yours.

    My kicks are that my son loves college—we delivered Cheerio treats and a bike to him yesterday—and my daughter found a place to live in Dublin and saw a double rainbow from her window. Plus, a book launch for me with lots of friends coming by to comment and Jama to make soup!

    To top it off, Liz’s All the World showed up in my mailbox. I defy anyone not to feel connected and joyful after reading it. Yowza, it deserves all those starred reviews.


  6. So glad your children are doing great, Sara. …All the World is beautiful. For sure. Liz and Marla will be here at 7-Imp this week. It’s been fun to work on their interview. Very fun. And a great story behind how those two got paired up on this book.

  7. Happy Sunday!

    I’m swooning over this whole post — Kevin’s art is lovely. Is that apple pie and a snail licking his chops?! 🙂 And Ned with his suitcase and the big pear. Adorable. Alphabetica! Eeeee! I SO needed that hit today.

    Poor Ada. So sorry to hear about your friends, Jules. Sending healing thoughts and hugs. That’s very cool about your post being included in ALD! Happy Birthday, Blaine!

    Eisha, you always get to do the coolest stuff. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about the Hamlet performance this fall. Jude Law = Hottie.

    Happy Birthday, LW! We’re all SO glad you’re here, too. You are a constant source of light and joy in the world. Congrats again on getting that audition :).


    1. Pointy pencil shoe by Julie. Utter, amazing coolness.

    2. Going to Kristy Dempsey’s booksigning in Alexandria today. The bears are so excited because they love ME WITH YOU. I think Sara’s going, too.

    3. Speaking of Sara, Operation Yes launched this week!! Yay!!

    4. Just saw “Babette’s Feast” and loved it. I know, I’m extremely lame for not having seen it way before now.

    5. Hood River Cherries. OMG. Simply. the. best. DH said they’re worth moving to Oregon for.

    6. Celebrated our 31st anniversary with a scrumptious dinner (French country cuisine). Also heard from one of our wedding guests (there were only 40) via FB. She’s now in Japan and it was so good to hear from her after so many years.

    7. Beatles week on VH1! Had never seen the Anthology video before. Just saw “Hard Day’s Night” again the other night. Still a classic. Still drives my inner groupie wild with joy.

    *Bonus Kick: Dylan’s releasing a Christmas album in October. It’s all for charity, Feeding America and other international orgs. And it cracks me up that he’s considering being the GPS “voice” for two companies. Hey, I’ve never had a GPS system, but I wouldn’t mind hearing him say, “No direction home,” or “Turn right, Jama.” 🙂

  8. Jill, holy crap! That Willard Wigan is unbelievable. And CONGRATS on the new top-secret business venture, whatever it is.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LITTLE WILLOW!!! How are you celebrating? Congrats on the filming and the excellent audition, and on the author comment, too! It really has been quite a week for you.

    Sara, HUGE CONGRATS on the book launch! And is there room at your daughter’s new place for me? I just want to see if Irish rainbows are any better than ours. Surely they’re more likely to have the pot o’ gold at the end, right?

    Happy Anniversary, Jama! Agreed, “Hard Day’s Night” is awesome, and hilarious. “He’s very clean, isn’t he?” And OMG if Bob becomes a GPS voice, I may have to trade mine in.

  9. I really like Kevin’s Cheshire Cat, and I do want that note card for my very own.

    Jules, Oh, I am sorry about your friends struggling with cancer, and I’m sending positive energy for them and you and poor little Ada still adjusting. I also hope Piper gets to wear lots of different kinds of shoes in her life; what a wonderful blessing–I must remember it!

    eisha, I have to read that Sunshine book. Besides your recommendation, WHAT A COVER. Also, I’m totally with Jama–I heart Jude Law and will be looking forward to your report.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LITTLE WILLOW! I am singing you a song from here and wishing you something wonderful, like angel food cake topped with strawberries.

    My kicks are all going to be one BIG kick this week, which is that a bunch of friends came over yesterday and tore down this shed in the backyard that I’ve needed to get rid of for years. I had to ASK for this help, which is not something I normally do, and everyone came through and was was so kind, and I did the best thing I knew how to do, which was made them a most excellent lunch. And, WHEW, what a relief to have it done. I like to be as independent as I can be, but my life has been such that I know how much depends on all the wide circle of people I know and love. I am just so grateful for them, and all of you here, too. I believe I will celebrate by drinking coffee and reading the newspaper.

  10. I love Kevin’s nursery rhyme work. Jules, that pointy pencils is sooo fabulous and the quote about wearing different shoes in life, wow! I do a lesson with shoes and books to demonstrate we have different kinds for different days( an idea I read somewhere). Hope Blaine’s bdayis fab.
    Eisha, hope your hand is doing better. Going to have to borrow Sunshine which reminds me that my fave tv vampire is back on tv as a doctor Alex O’Loughlin.
    Jill, thanks for the movie recommendations.
    Little Willow, happy birthdya. Enjoy!
    Sara, happy to hear your son is liking college. And Operation Yes will be one of my posts this week at “Check it Out”. I love the book.
    And Jama, where did you have those Hood River cherries? We have feasted on them all summer.
    My kicks,
    Oddly, I am loving the rain that is here this weekend.
    School started and while I am feeling overwhelmed, I am excited.
    My second poem was features at Four and Twenty this week. One of for poets from the journal to be features (http://www.4and20poetry.com/).
    I love reading everyone’s kicks each week!
    Have a great week.

  11. Jules: Thank you! I’m hope hope hoping that I hear from the recent auditions. One thing that I filmed in late August might air as early as TOMORROW, but I won’t know until I watch and see if they included it now or are waiting until the fall to air it. Hopefully, you can see me in that. What I filmed this past week will air in a few months’ time, and you should be able to see me in that.

    Sara: So glad that your family is prospering, and that your book launch soared (with soup!) I like the sound of that: Happy stubbornness. Thank you!

    jama: Gracias. That’s sweet of you to say. I wonder if a big soup company will ever make a variety of alphabet soups, each one in a different font. Can you imagine? (ComicSans? No.) Happy anniversary!

    eisha: Thank you! I love the month starting off like this. I treat my birthday as my New Year’s Day.

    adrienne: That sounds tasty. Please, have a slice for me!

  12. Jama, tell Kristy hi! And happy anniversary again. One can never hear that too much, right? And I’ve never even heard of “Babette’s Feast,” so I’m extra lame. Will have to look that up.

    I never even said that you all can color me jealous, too, for Eisha going to see Hamlet on Broadway. SCORE, e.

    Adrienne, I knew you’d appreciate that stationery. Thanks to you and everyone for good thoughts about my friends. One is a former colleague, who has a son not much older than Piper. Not that this is harder than any other kind of cancer situation, but I don’t know HOW you can hear that your cancer is inoperable anymore AND have a child to tell that to. Or find out you might have to say goodbye to the child. I mean, I just can’t. even. imagine.

    That is one wonderful great big kick, Adrienne. I wish I could have come to help, just to a) help and b) have some of your good lunch.

    Jone, congrats on the poetry again, but that link is broken. Wah. I wanna read it! Can you re-send the link? It didn’t have a “www,” so I tried adding it, but it still doesn’t work.

    LW, send us those links so we can see you in action! And, you know, my husband said something similar about his b’day yesterday — treating it like New Year’s Day. I like that notion.

  13. As others have said, that opening illustration is great. My favorite thing about it is the way the hare has just carelessly adapted to the presence of the suddenly-there dormouse/cushion at his elbow. My favorite among the nursery-rhyme ones is the cow and the moon. The latter looks like he’s caught on-camera in the middle of the word “…yoooouu…,” as in “What in the blazes are yoooouu doing up here?!?”

    Jules: Interesting that Piper has so many Julies she’s a fan of, hmm? Coincidence? Naaaahh…

    I get forwarded copies of all the email directed to the non-profit poetry press whose board I’m on. Consequently, I, too, receive ALA Direct. But the last issue I have a copy of is the one dated 8/31. AND I CAN’T FIND THE REFERENCE you mention. Help?

    (And I’ll be thinking about your friends, too, although it sounds like you’ve got them pretty well covered.)

    Eisha: “I did something really stupid…,” in my book, never should precede a story in which the speaker treats someone else humanely. (I soooo wish there were more of such stupid doings to encounter every week.) So glad your friends bucked you up about it.

    Some great kicks from everyone else this week, too…

    Jill: The “Play Time” you mention — is that the Tati film? I love Jacques Tati! And I see that Willard Wigan has done the tea-party scene, too! (Currently picture #8 here.)

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our favorite diminutive representative of genus Salix!

    Sara, it looks like your kicks might’ve gotten truncated but I have to say, if so, you couldn’t have chosen a better way to end a kicks list. 🙂

    I’m with Eisha, Jama: I love the talking-GPS feature of my Blackberry but my loyalty would crumble if with some other system I could hear directions begin in that gravelly voice.

    Yo, Adrienne (which makes me laugh now that I’ve type it, although you must’ve heard it a thousand times): that’s a terrific way to spend a day with people!

    Some kicks from here…

    * Worked at a benefit yard sale yesterday, and snarfed up best-of CD collections by Three Dog Night, the Eagles, and Eric Clapton… and a 7-CD set, “The Classic Sixties Collection.” I know what I’m gonna be listening to for the next month or so.

    * Saw The International last night, with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts. Not bad — especially the shoot-out at the Guggenheim (which, per the special features, they had to, um, like, build as a set). (I really like how Daniel Craig has done the James Bond thing, but still think Owen deserved a shot at that. Talk about a world-weary face, especially when his characters get beaten up and shot at a little.)

    * Ergotopographs. Although I wish I could add: WF^^^.

    * I haven’t read any of the Twilight books (although I did read and like The Host). Still, it’s hard not to be cheered if their influence may have helped make Wuthering Heights a recent best-seller.

    * The Missus was out of town for an overnight business trip this week. Per se, not a kick. But rather than try to wrestle with the issues of “what to do with the dog” (who or which she normally takes to work w/her), I opted to take a no-particular-agenda day off from work. Felt guilty about doing nothing of much consequence for, oh, maybe 10 minutes total.

    * 1950s B-movie dialogue.

    * The word “insouciance,” which — like “languorous” — just feels in the mouth like what it means. Sort of like conceptual onomatopoeia or something. (And I swear, I have never partaken of any hallucinogenic substances.)

  14. Happy Birthday, Little Willow! Have a great day!

    JES, yes, “Play Time” is the Tati film (I should have mentioned that). I must admit not having heard of him before, but now I want to see “Trafic” and all of his other films – he’s a genius in my book. Tati and Chaplin have that physical comedy down to a science.

    And I love the word “insouciance” and “languorous” also – words are kind of like hallucinogenic substances to me! Nothing better than a word high!

  15. Hurrah for all the great kicks and birthday wishes! I’m just checking in briefly as my 6 year old is literally pressing against my arm, restless because it’s a rainy Sunday afternoon and just the two of us. I hope I will get some me-time today. That would be a kick.

  16. *squeals!!!* Thank you, 7-Imp, for introducing me to Kevin Tseng!!! *more squealing!!!*

    Jules, that postcard from Julie P. to Piper is so cool. And awww, re: Ada. I am praying for your friends!

    Happy Birthday, Blaine. :o)

    Eisha, thank you for always recommending good books. Re: Sunshine, you know you had me at BAKER IN A COFFEEHOUSE, right?

    Jude Law as Hamlet?! And you get to watch?!

    Jill, I’m wishing you all the best for your business!

    Little Willow, Maligayang Kaarawan. That’s how we say Happy Birthday in Filipino. :o)

    I really want to see some of your performances! *begs for links*

    Sara, congratulations on the book launch!

    Jama, wow, you had a really great week. You totally deserve it. Happy Anniversary again!

    Adrienne, I too wish that I had been there to help and to eat that most excellent lunch.

    Jone, I think I forgot to tell you that I really liked your first poem in Four and Twenty. I read it over and over and over and over and over again.

    John, I really love how you really love words!

    Farida, have a great Sunday!

    My kicks:

    1. Chenxi and the Foreigner by Sally Rippin, which is a gripping YA novel set in 1980s China (the events leading to the Tiananmen Square Massacre). It’s one of my favorite reads so far this year. I had the honor and privilege of interviewing Sally as part of her recent blog tour.

    2. Friday night, I watched the Jabbawockeez (the winners of season one of America’s Best Dance Crew) live right here in Mania. They are excellent, smart, passionate, and sexy dancers.

    3. Saturday night, I was playing games at an arcade with my family. It had been a while since I had last played some arcade games. I had fun and even won a basketball, pencils, and an adorable teddy bear as prizes!

    4. It’s a three-day weekend here too!

    5. I am collaborating with PaperTigers.org for their October issue, which will focus on Filipino children’s and young adult literature. I am so excited!

  17. Too many excellent kicks to respond to! I haven’t got an organised list this week – a leisurely bike ride this afternoon and yummy salmon fillets for tea will have to suffice.

    Jules, you’ve have had an illustration rich week! I’m so sorry to hear about your friends.

    Eisha, I love Sunshine so am pleased to hear you’re enjoying it. And though it’s always horrible to think one has been scammed, like JES I think it’s better to be the sort of person that gives and is occasionally conned than the sort of person who never gives at all for fear of scams. So your kick can also be that you’re a generous person.

    Happy Birthday Little Willow! I hope there is some yummy cake or another nice treat featuring in your day!

  18. This is it: http://4and20poetry.com/ I hope it works this time. There is no “www” in front. Tarie, glad your enjoyed the first one.

  19. Jules and Tarie, I am pretty much perpetually cooking, so if you ever happen by, there will doubtless be something to eat.

    JES, Even I use Rocky as a reference to help people remember my name, so I’m okay with it. (People are forever calling me Audrey or Andrea or any other name that starts with an “A.”)

  20. Jone: Our local Whole Foods (Fairfax, VA) was selling Hood River cherries for the last few weeks. None today, though *sigh*.

  21. Hello kickers! I’ve missed a lot in the last few weeks, including birthdays (Eisha happy belated), the Kindergarten launch (congrats to you Jules), amazing artists, and more!

    I’ve missed you all and missed your lists that make me oh so happy to read. Here are my recent kicks, not all from the last week.

    1. I celebrated a birthday a little over a week ago (8-29) and got so many Facebook birthday wishes that it made my day! My blogging friends are the best!
    2. Two weeks of classes are under my belt and I have amazing students. They’re doing some great book reviews on the Open Wide, Look Inside blog.
    3. Counting the days to Kidlitcon 09 in October.
    4. Still getting fresh, yummy veggies at the farmer’s market.
    5. Making molasses cookies with William.

    I sent a note to my poetry peeps (the poetry princesses) a few weeks ago that began “Damn cancer!” I’m sorry to hear about your friends, Jules. I’ll keep them in my prayers.

    Happy birthday Little Willow!

    Have a good week all!

  22. John, you know I love words, too. Did I tell you that I ran the Pivot Questionnaire by my five-year-old, since Adrienne said she’d really be interested in her answers, and her favorite word is “crestfallen”? And that’s because when we were reading one day, we read that word and I paused and said I just loved it, even though it means a sad thing, and so my point is: I hope to pass on a love of words to her, too, and it seems I might be. Woot for that!

    A no-particular-agenda day off from work is a good thing. Congrats.

    Hi, Farida! Hope you got that you-time.

    Tarie, the Sally Rippin book sounds great. Will add to the TBR pile, and I’ll have to go see that interview. Congrats on the Paper Tigers collaboration, too! They rock.

    Emmaco, just two kicks from you is plenty, since your kicks are always rich and interesting and fun.

    Jone, thanks for the link.

    Tricia, we missed you. So glad you’re enjoying your students. They’re lucky to have you.

  23. Thanks everyone. 🙂

    Happy Birthday to me!

    edit: being admin means you can embed videos in your own comments. w00t!

  24. Blaine: I hadn’t heard that song before. Happy birthday to YOU!

    Jone: Congrats on being featured at Four and Twenty! I hope that the excitement trumphs the overwhelmed feeling, and that things settle down for you soon, with the excitement continuing on. Thanks.

    Jules and Tarie: RE: Links: Remind me and I will, if and when such things are available. I’m sure fans of the shows will put things on YouTube, so I’ll have to look there. Bug me next week and I’ll tell you if what I’m hoping runs tomorrow night does run, and I’ll point out if you can see me at all.

    Tarie: Great minds think alike. I always treat my birthday as the start of my new year, because that’s what it is, really. Nice to have a day of reflection and of looking forward.

    JES: I need to find a way to work the word “ergotopography” into conversation. Perhaps I can use it in the same breath as “academician.” (Watch me as I pull a white rabbit holding a calculus proof out of my hat!) I’ve been telling Twilight fans to read Wuthering Heights since Twilight first came out. I’m not a fan of either book – my favorite character in WH = the moors – but I feel like they go together well.

    Thanks, Jill!

    Farida: I hope you had a fun rainy day, and some quiet time.

    Tarie: Sounds like you’ve had a fun weekend. Good luck with the PaperTigers collab! Thank you. Ooh, tell me how you pronounce Maligayang Kaarawan so I may say it correctly.

    emmaco: Danke. Hurrah for leisure; I hear that’s nice. I hope YOU had too many excellent kicks to list! Yes, I was offered treats. Thank you.

    Adrienne: You ought to carry around a picture of Rocky the squirrel and see if anyone gets it.

    Tricia: Happy belated birthday! Oh, I’m sorry that I didn’t have that marked on my calendar. I hope you had a wonderful day. Best wishes and healthy thoughts for the poetry princesses. I’m pleased to hear that your friends and students are making your days so full.

    All of you reading Sunshine and other vampire books: What can I do to get y’all to read The Shadow Saga books by Christopher Golden? Hmmm….

  25. Little Willow, mah-lee-gah-yahng kah-ah-rah-wahn! :o)

  26. Wow, all of Kevin Tseng’s artwork has a lovely, ethereal, nursery-ready quality to it, but the greeting cards and candles (and the alphabet!) were very, very cool.

    Happy Birthday, Blaine!

  27. Anti-kick: I’ve been without internet at the apt. since yesterday morning! I’m at Barnes & Noble now because the husband and I were going stir-crazy without the ‘net, and I’m just now reading all your loverly kicks.

    Adrienne, my goodness, woman – do you really think you’re supposed to be able to pull down a whole shed by yourself? Let friends help – they like to do it for you, just like you like to do it for them.

    jone, congrats on the lovely poem!

    JES, is that “working from the mountains?” Love it! And I loved that whole article – the obstetrician one and the bath were the best. Also, I’m deeply jealous of that ’60s CD set.

    Farida, I hope you got some Farida-time too.

    Tarie, I just found out about Jabbawockeez fairly recently, and they are indeed fun to watch. Also, thank YOU for the book rec – that sounds fascinating.

    emmaco, your very presence is a kick to me. No need for a list.

    Tricia, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! I’ll have to check out that blog.

    Blaine, way to rock the admin privileges for good rather than evil.

    Hey, Tanita!

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