7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #156: Featuring Susan Gal

h1 February 28th, 2010 by jules

Pictured here is Susan Gal’s Dog Gone, painted in 2009 (charcoal and digital collage). Some of you may remember this Poetry Friday post in which I shared two spreads from this debut illustrator’s first picture book, Night Lights (2009), which was met with more than one starred review. Susan—who began her illustration career as a poster and calendar artist, followed by animation work for Disney—is here this morning to say hello and tell us what’s next for her. Her second picture book with Random House will be released this May. It’s called Please Take Me for a Walk, and since I’ve got an early copy of it, I can vouch for its deep, deep charms. It’s a title about friendship and community, as seen through the eyes of a gregarious pup, and it’s cozy and fun. I said before, and I’ll say it again: Gal’s work to me is reminiscent of one of her idols, Ezra Jack Keats. (I also see online, as I compose this post, that Kirkus made the same comparison and also compared her work to Margaret Bloy Graham’s, though they add, “the images manage to be both fresh and familiar.” Graham, as you can see below, is another of Susan’s artistic idols.) Susan’s charcoal and digital collage spreads are warm and intimate. I love what I see in her two titles thus far and am eager to see where she goes from here.

Without further ado, here’s Susan to say hi and share a bit more art:

* * * * * * *

What a thrill it is to be invited to share my work with y’all. My name is Susan Gal, and I live in Berkeley, CA. I’ve been illustrating for over twenty years and finally made my dream come true of becoming a children’s author and illustrator. I’ve worked as a poster and calendar artist in L.A. and as an ‘in-betweener’ (the person who draws the drawings between key frames in animation) in Florida. I grew up in Southern California and love living and working in the Bay Area. I’ve never stopped illustrating and am fortunate to also be represented by Morgan Gaynin, Inc. in New York.

I’ve wanted to create children’s books since I was in the second grade. An author came to speak at my elementary school. His name was Al Perkins, and he wrote The Digging-Est Dog and Hand, Hand, Fingers Thumb. My teacher, Miss Bryan, had us students write and illustrate our own stories, and some of us were selected to show them to Mr. Perkins. Thanks for saving this news clipping, Mom! You can imagine my shock when I realized my publisher, Random House, was the same publisher as Mr. Perkins’!

I feel very fortunate to have my work published by Random House. I created two book dummies, and they offered me a contract for both books. My first book, Night Lights, was published November 10, 2009. While lying in bed one night, I noticed the street light outside my window and started thinking about other types of light one can see at night. I began writing down the names of lights and sketching how they might look. My friend, the painter Michael Tompkins, reminded me of the painter Georges de La Tour and the wonderful use of light in his paintings. I hoped to capture the luminosity of the different types of light.

The artwork for Night Lights was sketched in charcoal, then scanned on my computer. I layered with collage, working back and forth with the drawing. I tried to use my original sketches in the finish to keep the freshness and life of the initial drawing.

My second book is titled Please Take Me for a Walk. It will be published May 11, 2010. It was inspired by my best friend, my Boston Terrier Wanda Woo. She keeps me company in the studio during the long, lonely, laborious hours. Every day, with those big blue and brown eyes, she wills me to walk her. Those of you with dogs know the look!

I’ve also shared my studio with my beloved cats, Ivan and Otis. Sadly, both kitties have passed in the last year. Perhaps there is a story about my kitties, but I’ve been too sad to write about them for now.

One summer my studio was also home for the hissing cockroaches from my daughter’s science class. While fascinating to watch and hear their hisses, I could never quite bring myself to hold them. Despite the pleas from my daughter, they went back to the science room in the fall. Yikes. I think I’ll just stick with a dog for the time being, and share the studio with ‘imaginary’ friends.

To anyone out there that has a book inside of them …. just do it! I’m proof that with hard work and determination, you can make your dream career come true. When I get frustrated and creatively stuck, I turn to my favorite artists and illustrators, like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Mary Cassatt, Stuart Davis, David Hockney, Mary Blair, Margaret Bloy Graham, Miroslav Sasek, Roger Duvoisin, Ezra Jack Keats, Alice and Martin Provensen, and Eric Carle, just to name a few. Their work lifts me up and keeps me going.

A BIG thank-you to Jules for inviting me to share some of my work. Seven Impossible Things is a wonderful place to be inspired.

Summer Day, 2010, charcoal and digital collage

* * * * * * *

NIGHT LIGHTS. Copyright © 2009 by Susan Gal. Published by Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, New York, NY. All rights reserved.

All other images and sketches used with permission of Susan Gal. All rights reserved.

* * * * * * *

As a reminder, 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a 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.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1). I got my very own Blue Rose Doll, one of these gorgeous creations. Thanks, Farida! And I ordered two other dolls for my girls, and they’re beautiful. I’m eager to give them as gifts. But I must wait a bit on that…

2). I got a really random and very nice message from a Publisher’s Weekly ShelfTalker blogger, telling me how much she likes 7-Imp. Very kind.

3). I found this post quite moving. It was posted at the blog of someone I once worked with in Knoxville (whom I wish I had gotten to know way better while I was THERE. I’m a big goober like this sometimes). If I ruled the world, I’d make sure all the people in it read that blog and Adrienne Furness’ blog when all the people in the world wanted some really, really good personal essays. These two ladies write some of my favorite personal short (blog) essays: They are honest to the bone, sharp, insightful, genuine, and sometimes funny as hell — without being insufferably, psychobabbly confessional. (Sorry if I’m embarrassing you, Adrienne. But this is what happens when you’re talented.)

4). Hey, wait. Speaking of Adrienne, I enjoyed this post she wrote on the Oscar-nominated shorts. Don’t miss Granny O’Grimm. She’s a hoot.

5). I also really liked this video of a Taylor Mali poem that John shared here this week (typography is by Ronnie Bruce) — and the resultant conversations about that elusive trait called self-confidence that I had with friends this week, after sharing the link with them.

* * * * * * *

6). My four-year-old did an inadvertent flip off the back of the couch, and her wee bouncy bones ensured she was okay. Since the distance from couch to floor is taller than she, this could have been ugly. Instead, it simply scared the bejeeeeebus out of her, and she’ll likely not sit on the futon in that manner again.

When I ran around to the back of the couch—just a few steps, really—to see if she had, say, landed on her neck or Some Such Terrible Thought We Won’t Linger On Thanks Very Much, it was like I was running in slow motion. Ah, parenthood.

7). A surprise Smiths CD from my thoughtful husband.

Sometimes, I’ll jot down kicks during the week. If I don’t do this, I will forget them. My notes this week include this: “Illusionist.” I have no memory of what this is, though. That’s my mystery kick. I wonder what it could be.

Note: 7-Imp contributor, Steven Withrow, is writing a science fiction novel in verse for young adults, called The Feather of Memory. It will launch officially on Monday, April 5, and will run in free, weekly installments at featherofmemory.blogspot.com. Each installment will be illustrated by a professional artist. Neat, huh?

What are YOUR kicks this week?

31 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #156: Featuring Susan Gal”

  1. Granny O’Grimm! I love her and I’m scared of her, both.

    Glad your daughter was okay. My daughter’s friend broke her elbow falling off a sofa. (She laughs about it now…)

    The Feather of Memory sounds awesome.

    Some kicks:
    – My daughter’s family poetry contest that I mentioned on Poetry Friday was very cool. I liked that everyone participated.
    – Hearing my older daughter’s all-state band concert. She said her lips were so tired/swollen she could barely play, but she got her solos spot on.
    – I made some progress on my latest writing project. Excited about that! It feels like it’s coming together.
    – A friend asked if she could drive up and lead me in a personalized yoga session for my birthday and take me out to lunch. Looking forward to that!!

    Let us know if you figure out the illusionist!

  2. Love Susan’s pups! Nice to hear from her :).

    Yay for Taylor Mali! That video was too awesome, and the poem SO true. I second what you said about Adrienne’s blog. I love how she surprises me with funny zings when I least expect it. And I’m so relieved your daughter is okay. Scary incident!

    Have a great birthday, Tabatha!

    Le kicks:

    Hawai’i was spared, no big tsunami! Since my brother lives quite close to the ocean, we were worried. We can now focus our healing thoughts and prayers on the people of Chile.

    My cousin’s house recently appeared in an episode of “Lost.” He posted some pics on FB showing how they changed some things to make it look more like California.

    Saw Arlo Guthrie and family in concert. His children and grandchildren were up on stage, singing several of Woody’s songs newly put to music. Amazing to witness the preservation of a folk tradition through several generations of musicians.

    My 13-year-old great-nephew just got a FB account. His updates read like text messages, and I’m having fun getting to know him better.

    My lawn and gas grill have miraculously reappeared, which is to say, the snow is MELTING!

    The last NE snowstorm missed us. Phew!

    Serious cupcake research. Yum.

    Happy March, everyone. 🙂

  3. Sorry I didn’t tell you that I enjoyed Susan’s art! I meant to comment on her wonderfully expressive dogs and great composition.

  4. I love Susan’s dogs! They are so sweet! And the illustration for Night Lights is stunning.
    Jules, am happy daughter is okay! Your new doll from Farida is sweet!
    Tabatha your daughters poetry contest is indeed very cool!
    Jama, am so glad that Hawai’i was spared yesterday and your family was safe as well. Amd now prayers for Chile and still for Haiti. I cannot imagine. Having lived in Portland most of my life, I missed the California quakes that were big.
    My kicks:
    1. That my family, and others were spared the tsunami yesterday.
    2, Chuck and I attended our first mtg. to become volunteeers at the animal shelter by our house.
    3. The weather. Spring is in bloom in PNW.
    4. My writing retreat last week. Why I was absent. Blogged about it at Deowriter.
    5. Hosting Poetry Friday…fabulous entries this week.
    6. Haiku published at haikuverymuch.com
    7.Looking forward to Tuesday and Cat in the Hat Day, community readers at my school.
    Have a great week.

  5. De-lurking myself to suggest that maybe your mysterious “illusionist” note was in reference to animated film based on a Jacques Tati script that’s coming out soon-ish? (http://www.patheinternational.com/en/fiche.php?id_film=577)

    And as for my kicks:
    1. The snow (in Texas!) only lasted a day and the sunshine is back in full force.
    2. I finally got my hands on this year’s Caldecott AND Newbery winners, and loved The Lion and the Mouse.
    3. Angel food cupcakes with chocolate frosting and strawberries.
    4. A long coffee date with a new friend.
    5. I got to sleep in (at least a little) EVERY day this week due to a sort of random confluence of events. And boy, do I love my sleep.
    6. Tests in two of my three classes this week, and both went smoothly.
    7. Cherry almond smoothie for breakfast as soon as I get myself out of bed!

    Love that boston terrier illustration especially!

  6. Emily, YES! Thank you! It was this, which illustrator Kelly Murphy had posted on Facebook and I watched and got all smitten over earlier this week. I jotted down “‘Illusionist'” but then had a brain cramp:

    I can’t hear it now, as I’m sitting at a computer with no sound, but I assume the sound works for everyone else.

    I don’t know what the hell that talented man is saying, but just look at that animation — and those beautiful colors!

    Thanks again, Emily! And thanks for de-lurking. What are you studying? Oh, and I had #4 this week, too, which was nice. Nice to cyber-meet you, and thanks again!

    Jone, I am relieved that your family and Jama’s family are okay and that the tsunami wasn’t as dangerous as expected. ….Spring! I’m ready for the warm weather, too, and congrats that you’re getting some. We’re evidently having the coldest winter on record or something unfortunate like that. Have fun on Tuesday, Jone….

    Jama, your Taylor Mali post was good, too. Meant to link to that. This is what happens when you’re typing close to midnight. May I be your cupcakes research assistant? Glad you’re not getting any more snow. You deserve to be warm. I hope the dripping in your home has subsided, too?

    Did your cousin get to meet any of the cast?

    Tabatha, is your birthday soon? Sounds like you’re going to have fun when it gets here, thanks to your friend. ….Love “The Slobbering Eek Meets the Globbering Zeek”!

  7. First, I so much agree with you about Adrienne and her honest, fine writing at her blog that I’m having a hard time not yelling AMEN! at my computer.

    Second, my husband is making biscuits as I type.

    Third, my son is home for a visit and has given me lots of hugs.

    Fourth, a surprise chance to have lunch at a Lebanese restaurant with my ultra- fun and smart cousin.

    Fifth, my first Skype visit to a school AND an in-person visit to the RIF headquarters with little green army men cupcakes.

    Sixth, began reading An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor.

    Seventh, an incredible book club meeting where we overflowed our space, had to break into two groups for discussion, and got to hear the inside dish on the Caldecott, Newbery, Siebert and Coretta Scott King award committees. Our book club leader, Susan Kusel, is beyond awesome.

  8. Jules, I don’t think my cousin got to meet the cast — just the set designer people.

    As for cupcake research assistant, let me see. Do you lick the frosting off first, or just bite in? Do you prefer frosting over cake, or love them equally? I hope you understand that I must be profoundly scrupulous when pre-screening candidates. 🙂

    Dripping has subsided for now. (Knock on soggy wood.) Thanks for asking.

  9. Sara, those are good, rich kicks. I am eager to get my library copy of Altar. And now I want biscuits for breakfast. Or cupcakes.

    Loved seeing your RIF pics on Facebook, Sara. That Carol. She seems to spill forth awesomeness.

    Jama: I dive right in. And I love them both equally. If the right frosting is paired with the right cake, one should not win out over the other. Right? (You’re the expert here.)

    Did I pass?

  10. Thank you for sharing Susan’s work! I love the loose charcoal lines and bright colors!

    I’ve been reading the inspiring 7-imp for quite a while but haven’t commented before. Thanks for al these wonderful interviews, Jules.

    1. My friends visiting Chile are fine. That sounds selfish when others aren’t- but, you know…
    2. I’m reading a great book, Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
    3. Went to an art opening and talked to some old friends.
    4. My friend Sam Kirkman’s Illustration Friday posts. http://samkirkman.blogspot.com/
    5. Had a good art sale this week (to help pay for my husband’s dentist appointment!)
    6. I got Adam Rex & Mac Barnett’s book Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem from the library. What a wacky fun book!
    7. My one year old pup is starting to act more like a grown-up instead of a little terror. Yeah!

  11. Love the dog themes underlying what Susan Gal selected to share, and the wonderful (exuberant, woebegone, soulful, don’t-mess-with-me-now) personalities that come out of her charcoal work. I think every dog-related painting or etching or watercolor (etc.) should start with charcoal; it’s like the shagginess of the medium fuses with the shagginess of the subject — the one was made for the other.

    (And while we’re on the subject, one of my kicks this week was The Missus’s telling me one of the reasons she loves me: “Although I think you didn’t know it before, you’re really an animal lover.” This remained a kick for me even after the slight letdown when she clarified that she meant “lover of animals.”)

    That photo of Al Perkins and Susan (& classmates) was terrific. Says so much about the time, the locale, and the people in it. Did you get how the shutter snapped just when Perkins was talking specifically to her — capturing the sort of “Hey, Mister, she’s not the only kid here!” looks on the other kids’ faces?

    She better turn that picture of the dreamy little pig into a story!

    Jules, one of my favorite things about the Taylor Mali video was the coincidence — that Jama was posting about something else about him at the same time as you saw the video at my place. (I think the gods may have invented coincidence to get our attention when we think they’ve abandoned us.)

    I hadn’t heard about Chomet’s Illusionist project, but oh my gosh — finding out that the ghost of Jacques Tati has been working with the Triplets of Belleville guy just sets my anticipation racing! I looked around the Web a little just now and found one site which posted the same video (the only one yet available, apparently), and included this comment on something I wondered about, too: “Making conjuring magical in a toon — where there doesn’t need to be a trick, anything can be drawn — is no mean feat.” Cool!

    Beyond the animal-lover comment I mentioned earlier, some other kicks:

    * Writing something SHORT and then sending it out, instead of just posting it to the blog. Of course, if it doesn’t “take” in the outside world it’ll end up on the blog anyhow. :))

    * The sense of touch. Highly underrated if you ask me. (Er, not that you did.)

    * The quiet anticipation that builds, and builds, and builds, when the house is filled for an entire chilly Saturday with the aroma of brewing homemade pasta sauce.

    * The Indiana Jones movies. Although I’ll never get over the cast changes from one to another.

    * People who take deep, heartfelt compliments just right.

    * And hardly least: Margaret Atwood, in person living up to all expectations (which is saying something).

  12. I’m running short on time (I should be moving into the grading papers and designing amazing lesson plans phase of the day) so I’ll jump right into my kicks:

    1. Hissing cockroaches. Had a bunch in my classroom for years. They are cool creatures, but enough was enough.
    2. Homemade bread made with my grandmother’s recipe. Is it cool enough to cut yet?
    3. Looking up from the computer and seeing my grandmother’s picture. 🙂
    4. Apple crisp. With heavy cream.
    5. Getting back to swimming after a couple of crazy weeks.
    6. Baroque Sunday on the radio.
    7. Tomorrow is March!

  13. Jules — predictably (you know how it is), I’ve been following the various links in today’s kicks, and came to your friend’s Artemis Church blog, where I read about her acting, and her visit to Tallahassee, etc. She mentioned a short film by a director friend of hers, called “Gina, an Actress, Age 29″… which I then had to track down. (Well, really, “had to” is a bit of a stretch…) Long story short: have YOU seen that film? Can it possibly be a coincidence that the clown — a secondary role, to be sure — leapt off the screen at me? I kept thinking, “Wow, where do I know her from…?!?”

    Ha — worth sticking around for the credits! She wore the big shoes like she’d been longing for big feet all her life. 🙂

    (If you have no idea what I’m babbling about, the film is viewable for free, supposedly by the first 1000 visitors, at a site called The Auteurs. You have to register to see it, and sit through a trailer and/or ad. It’s here.)

  14. Nice to meet you, too, Jill, and thank you! I visited your site and love that you wanted to grow up and be a hermit. Thanks for sharing Sam’s work. Love that Billy Twitters and the sharp minds of Mac and Adam.

    John, I laughed outloud at that “slight letdown.” Oh, what a well-placed dash can communicate, huh? …I figured you’d be interested in that Illusionist video. Oh, how I hope it gets released in the States. …I’m still psyched you saw Atwood speak.

    Oh, and yes, that’s Eisha’s short-film acting gig. She does Bitter Clown well, huh? She’s always proud to say she has an IMDB entry, ’cause of that. …That’s a great short film.

    Mary Lee, words cannot express how ready I am to see March. …I do not think I could be in a room with cockroaches, even if caged.

    Between you with your apple crisp and home-made bread and John’s home-made pasta sauce, I’m hungry again.

  15. Hi everyone,

    There is nothing better than sweet illustrations of dogs. Wando Woo is precious inspiration, and makes me miss my little Sheltie. Thanks to Susan for her art.

    Jules, I love the beautiful Farida-created doll, especially the blue color. Thanks for the Artemis Church post — I really liked what she said about friendship.

    Tabatha, Happy Birthday!
    Jama, so glad your brother is okay in Hawaii. I have a friend in Maui and am grateful she is okay, too.
    Jone, yay to volunteering at the animal shelter!
    Emily, glad you de-lurked; thanks so much for the Illusionist link — Tati is one of my favorite actors/directors, especially his movie “Play Time” which I have mentioned here before.
    Sara, hugs AND biscuits? Wonderful kicks.
    Jill, another Jill on 7-imp! Welcome. Glad your friends in Chile are okay.
    JES, LOVE your choice of the word “shagginess” to describe the use of charcoal in Susan’s art. Perfect.
    Mary Lee, the words “hissing cockroaches” scares me to death, so I’m skipping right to the apple crisp, which sounds much safer and quite tasty.

    My kicks:
    1) Having a nice dinner last night with my boyfriend, and trying out Mick Fleetwood’s own wine label — pretty decent Cabernet for a rock star.
    2) Meeting a fascinating set and costume designer for the S.F. Ballet on the subway train. So humble and kind, when she has every reason to be tooting her own horn loudly, as I later learned from a Google search.
    3) Another fascinating chat with a client’s client — a 90 year old former actor who swam with Esther Williams and was friends with Mae West.
    4) Tea with a friend in S.F. on a rainy Friday.
    5) New online friends.
    6) Charlie Patton’s music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGsAh2jx6JA
    7) Strong coffee in the morning.

    Have a great week, all!

  16. Susan’s illustration of the terrier on the bed – the moonlight and the dog’s pink tummy – is sigh worthy. Thanks for sharing Jules, and glad to hear your ‘impromptu gymnast’ landed safely. Adore the felty blue rose girl; since we seem to like the same collectibles you might enjoy illustrator Andrea Brown’s adorable felt dolls. http://www.etsy.com/shop/AntheaArt?section_id=5740084
    (I just ordered the Obama family and the Soul Singer – oh, that hat!)
    Looking forward to Mr. Winthrow’s installment novel! And I always enjoy the 7ITBB kickline.

    My kicks this week:

    1) Watched DVD of Tarsem film “The Fall”; it has to be one of the most beautiful films ever made. Plus, the stunning locations are all real (no CG effects). About a Scheherazade type-tale told to a child (played by the most endearing little girl.) OMG I love this film.

    2) rainbow over the ocean yesterday.

    3) cleaned my office (surfaces reappeared I haven’t seen for months.)

    4) did 1st draft of Chap. 66, finished/critiqued. 2nd draft underway.

    5) another poet asked me for my artistic opinion. was flattered. hope I helped.

    6) the Olympics.

    7) Went to California Readers award luncheon, honoring the wise, accomplished, Susan Goldman Rubin. She told anecdote about when she was a beginning writer and determined to study as many books as she could. She’d take her three kids to the library where they were each allowed to check out 10 books per week. She’d let them each choose one book a piece, then she’d use their 27 ‘leftovers’ for herself – for her author’s homework. Ha!ha! Loved that story. (She did read all the books to her kids, so it wasn’t total exploitation.)

  17. One of my favorite things about the kicks is all the wonderful links! I look forward to coming back through and visiting them all.
    Jules, my b’day is March 6th. This seems to be a very busy birthday time!

  18. Jill, thanks for the music! Listening as I type. I figured you’d like Susan’s art, what with your love for dogs and your beloved Skye. Glad you had a very good week.

    Denise, you could call her an impromptu gymnast. Or a monkey on crack. I choose the latter most days. …Thanks for the link. Very lovely dolls there. …Thanks for the link to “The Fall.” I’m gonna watch in a second. You gave it such a good review that I’ve gotta see it. …I like that story about Susan. I once got scolded by a librarian (“scolded” with a heavy sigh and a mean comment about her having to check out so many books to me) for maxing out two library cards with 50 picture books. I left the library crying. To quote the profound, mid-’90s bumper sticker: Mean people suck.

    Tabatha, happy birthday early! Celebrate all month.

  19. Oh, Denise: I see it’s only a trailer. WOW, it looks good. THANK YOU. Will add to the queueueue!

  20. Look! Look! I’m in two of Jules’ kicks! And that is a nice thing you and Sara say about my blog. Sometimes I wish I could make a living somehow writing very short personal essays, but then I don’t know how I’d feel about leaving the library, so I basically have the best of everything.

    This is backwards, but I have to look at more of Susan Gal’s art. I missed Night Lights somehow. I was sorry to hear of Susan’s two cats passing this year. It makes me want to go sit with my two.

    Jama, WOO to serious cupcake research. I recently restocked my cupcake paper supply and have been feeling ever since that I am pretty much duty-bound to make some cupcakes to celebrate.

    Sara, Susan is really awesome, isn’t she? I wish I lived closer so I could be in that book group.

    I am glad all around for the reports that everyone’s people in Chile and Hawaii are okay. That should be first, not last. It’s so hard to organize my thoughts when reading so many kicks at once.

    My kicks:
    1. A Town Called Panic, which I went to see on Friday night (trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3uG8LLuVPQ). Very absurd. Very funny. Highly recommended.
    2. We had a snowstorm! You’d think that would be kind of a bummer, but the snow needed sprucing up around here, and it was a nice excuse to slow down.
    3. I also took some time to go outside and play in all that nice, new snow.
    4. Fresh-baked soft pretzels. Mmmm.
    5. Crystallized ginger.
    6. I filled up the trunk of my car with stuff to go to Goodwill. Now I just have to take it there.
    7. Practicing my piano every day.

  21. Adrienne: Fresh-baked soft pretzels — yum yum yum! I should practice my piano too! Maybe we could play a psychic duet.

    Jules: I like your very fair approach to frosting and cake. You’ve passed the first round of screening!

  22. Well now, that Panic trailer was very entertaining, Adrienne. It also made me think (logically or not) that an animated short of Cowboy & Octopus would be mighty grand.

    Congrats on what looks like a pretty snowstorm (from your blog snowpeople pics). I hope you warmed up with hot chocolate.

    Jama, bring on round two!

  23. Super-fast-fly-by post! Howdy to all Imps and illustrators, puppies and pretzels, cowboys and soldiers.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Healthy friends
    2) Free fruit and foodstuffs
    3) Honoring memories
    4) Receiving more submissions for the Smile giveaway (the deadline is tonight, February 28th!)
    5) Televised trumpet
    6) Commercial shoot
    7) Stocking up

  24. Yay! I made the kicks! That’s a kick. I’m pretty tired (and look how late I’m coming in), but I’m glad to say that barring any surprises I don’t want, the class auction project is finally drawing to a close. I need to get a few more things from people, and then I’ll put the whole thing together, bring it into school, and be DONE with it. I’ll post photos of the whole project after it’s submitted and I can exhale.

    Have a satisfying week, everyone. Blessings, Farida

  25. Nice to cyber-meet you too, Jules (and glad I could help with the mystery note–there’s nothing worse than knowing you know something and not being able to pull it from your brain!)

    I’m studying library science (well, we call it a Master’s in Information Studies, but I’m going be a librarian, so same difference 😉 )

  26. Oh, I love all the links and stories here! And Susan’s illustrations are making me swoon.

    My kicks:
    1. Spending time with my 18 month-old nephew, whose sunny personality and penchant for plaid make me want to move to Dallas immediately.

    2. Getting far enough along in my thesis-writing that it seems I am finally going SOMEWHERE. I feel lucky to be writing about something I love.

    3. Having four full days in Portland, with lots of pancakes and book-browsing.

    4. Finding the pop-up version of Saint-Exupery’s “The Little Prince.” Not my favorite text translation, but it’s gorgeous.

    5. Buying Gary Cooper stamps at the post office.

    6. Showing a Monty Python sketch to my composition students and watching them crack up.

    7. Cadbury Creme Eggs — as many as I can justify eating.

  27. Sorry to be late again. It was a busy–and wonderful–weekend.

    I’m glad your daughter wasn’t seriously hurt. We never stop worrying about our children–even when they’re thirty!


    1. Four generations of our family gathered at my mother’s house on Friday to celebrate her 92nd birthday.

    2. A pizza party at Bertucci’s hosted by Grace Lin and her husband-to-be on Saturday–the night before their wedding.

    3. Grace’s wedding on Sunday. It was one of the loveliest weddings I have ever attended. Lots of beautiful handmade decorations and homemade desserts…and lots of charming people. My husband and I had a grand time.

    I posted some pictures from Grace’s wedding at Wild Rose Reader this morning.


  28. Hi, Little Willow. I love it when you swing by and leave kicks — whether they’re super-fly-by or longer.

    Hi, Farida. Glad you’re almost done. I bet it’s beautiful and made with care.

    Emily, sounds good. That’s my MS degree: Information Science. Are you focusing on children’s librarianship?

    Hi, Julie. Nice to meet you. Pop-up Little Prince? Hmmm….That would be interesting to see. Who published it? ….Pancakes and Cadbury Creme Eggs: You’ll fit right in here.

    Hi, Elaine! Happy birthday to your mom, and thanks for sharing the pics. Glad you had a happy weekend.

  29. The pop-up is Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the text is unabridged. It really is a delight!


  30. […] Gal was honored with a beautiful write up in the literary blog “Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast,” and the varied content of the post is phenomenal. Featuring the blogger’s impressions of her […]

  31. […] 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #156: Featuring Susan Gal February 28th, 2010 &nbsp&nbsp by jules […]

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