7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #161: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Adam Gudeon

h1 April 4th, 2010 by jules

Well now, what a beautiful day it is in my world, and I fervently hope it’s beautiful in yours, too. No matter how you celebrate it, happy Easter to my dear, sweet readers. (Yes, I mean that “sweet” business. I can say without reservation that no one’s ever been mean here at 7-Imp Camp and that you all are not only mighty well-behaved, but also collectively one classy bunch.) And happy Spring, too. Do you see here in the illustration to the left that we’re all having some pancakes for breakfast this morning? Did you bring your forks?

I do hope that at least a few of you take a break from egg-hunting today to come see the work of brand-new author/illustrator Adam Gudeon, whose first picture book is scheduled for release in Fall 2011. That’s right: It’s the first Sunday of the month—and BOY HOWDY, HOWDY BOY I never thought March would end, what with Tennessee’s freaky-long, freaky-cold (for us) winter, but I digress—and it’s on these first Sundays that I shine the spotlight on a student illustrator or someone otherwise new to the field. Adam is brand-spankin’-new to the field, and it looks like the field will benefit from it. He’s here to show us some art work, tell us what he’s up to, and tell us how he got to that place. I thank him for stopping by. (Oh, and I thank him truly and madly and deeply for the kind comments on 7-Imp below. We can’t move forward till I express that gratitude. Okay. Done. Now Adam gets the floor.)

* * * * * * *

As a devout follower of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, I’m so pleased to be contributing here. The best blogs can be a source of much inspiration and information, and 7-Imp has been all that and more for me as I began my quest to get my first picture book published.

Beginning last winter, after an enormously prolonged deferral, it was time to make haste in pursuit of my longstanding desire to write and illustrate books for children. Preparation included a self-designed and -administered master’s degree program of reading thousands of books to my children Ezra and Iris, since they were born 10 and 6 years ago. Ezra and Iris, in turn, serve as my mentors and advisors. Their art is a primary influence on mine. Daily, Ezra’s creative output ranges from the absurd to the sublime or some combination thereof. Iris’s drawings have a lightness and charm that I aspire to.

My sister Karla, having landed book deals, showed me up-close and personal that it can in fact be done. Karla and I are now a long distance two-person critique group. {Quick Editor’s Note: Karla has been featured at 7-Imp previously. See here. I had no idea they were siblings. Pretty cool, huh? Okay. Onwards and upwards then. Back to Adam…}

As I began to make images of a girl and her cat using the patinaed papers from used tea bags, ink, and gouache, I learned of a workshop called Children’s Book Boot Camp. CBBC is given by the wonderful author, illustrator, teacher, and advocate, Pat Cummings (patcummings.com — Pat’s site is a great resource for children’s book-related events). When I sent Pat my images, she informed me that I would need a viable book project to join the program. I wrote Me and Meow immediately, sent it to Pat within a couple days, and was accepted into the workshop. CBBC took place over three Saturdays. As part of the first Saturday, Pat and peers critiqued our dummys. For the second and third Saturdays, an art director and editor from major publishing houses visited and critiqued. My dummy was brought back to both publishing houses, and Me and Meow was bought by HarperCollins. Now I am privileged to be working on finals with the amazing editor Maria Modugno and art director Martha Rago.

During and following my relatively short trajectory to publication, I am so enjoying meeting my colleagues and the many aspects and challenges of creating picture books. I am keeping one statement pinned to my board from Jane Yolen’s talk at the SCBWI winter conference. It may not be the most profound item on her long list of sage advise to authors and illustrators but it is certainly to the point. It was ‘#5 B.I.C. (Butt in Chair) H.O.P. (Heart on Page).’

Here below are some of Adam’s sketches from Me and Meow. I thank him again for stopping by and bringing pancakes, and I wish him the best of luck. I’m looking forward to his 2011 title. How ’bout you?

All images used with permission of Adam Gudeon. 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. New folks are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1). Have I ever told you all that you people who come here every week a) make me smarter and b) bring some wicked lovely entertainment to my life, what with your collectively good taste and Sunday recommendations and all? Case-in-point: Weeks ago (at this kicks-post), author Denise Doyen recommended the movie, The Fall. She linked to the below trailer, and I was immediately interested in watching it. Well, holy wow. Saw it this week, and it is as beautiful and stirring and well-done as she said. Seriously, people. I might just have to watch it again really soon, and there are few movies I’ll do that for. I already thanked Denise, but I thank her again here, ’cause that movie improved my quality of life is what it did.

(Note: To see a crystal-clear and all-around much better version of this same trailer, go here instead — and click on “trailer.”)

1½.) The second movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony (while we’re on the subject of that wonderful movie — you did watch that trailer, right?).

2). My kindergartener has her first loose tooth. As in—get this—the grown-up tooth is already behind it, bullying it around, poking it in the back, calling it a dork, and telling it to shove off already. And that one valiant baby tooth is still hanging in there. More information than you wanted to know about my daughter’s dental anatomy, but here’s the kick part: I know we all lose our teeth, and I know it once happened to me, but when it’s your first child…I dunno. There’s this whole new sense of wonder and excitement about it. I do have This Thing about loose teeth, though, and when it gets excessively wiggly, I have to leave the room. And when it finally comes out any day now, I’ll have to be on the other side of the house. I am not even exaggerating. Makes me woozy and weak in the knees, it does.

3). I’m reading The Secret Garden to my girls — the Inga-Moore illustrated version. (Candlewick released the paperback version of this in February.) Yes! You may remember that this is my favorite thing in all the world — reading good books to them. So, pretend this is kick #1. Oh, but The Fall was so excellent. Let’s pretend it’s #2 instead.

4). Just LOOK at the new issue of The Bluegrass Special. There’s this huge wonderful feature on Alice. And they’ve once again included some of my 7-Imp content, which is flattering. Very.

5). My family took good care of me this week when I was sick. I think we’ve taken good care of each other. We all (well, almost all, knock on wood) got the nastiness, you see. It made its rounds at our home.

6). Seeing an “artists in action” program at my daughter’s magnet school for the arts, in which students of all ages performed in groups in the gym. They opened with middle schoolers playing simple classical guitar pieces. They had dance. They had more classical guitar. They had more dance. They had an eighth grade rock band that played U2’s “New Year’s Day.” I am not even making that part up. Isn’t that freakin’ COOL? It was hard not to get up and dance.

7). The way the kindergarteners during said assembly—and only the kindergarteners—swayed their arms to the rock music. You know. Kinda like you’re swaying a lighter at a Skynyrd concert? Can you even believe they were doing that? Cracked me UP. How do they KNOW this stuff? Brilliant.

* * *

What are YOUR kicks this week? Anyone around? If you’re eating Easter candy instead, by all means, just come back tomorrow. Mmm. Cadbury creme eggs.

33 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #161: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Adam Gudeon”

  1. Hello, Happy Easter. I’m eating easter eggs and typing at the same time because you know, I can multi-task 🙂

    So it’s been a good week I would say and I think my kicks are going to revolve around food mostly.

    1. having lots of eggs to eat for sunday breakfast/lunch/dinner
    2. having the family round for a joyous, delicious sunday roast, gammon today.
    3. having the gym open today so I can work off the two past kicks
    4. seeing old friends again as they are back for dinner. great food, great company.
    5. relishing in watching LOST as i realise we are but 6 episodes away from THE END.
    6. reading Greg Mortenson’s Stones in Schools because it’s just so good.
    7. having a customer tell me off for not reading Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea first, just made me laugh.

  2. Happy Easter!

    I love so many things about Adam’s feature here–the frog on ice skates, that orange cat sticking his head out from behind the tree, his self-designed master’s course.

    Jules, I love going to kid performances like that, and HOW COOL that they’re doing these things in your daughter’s school? I couldn’t have stayed engaged in school the way I did if we hadn’t had our pretty-stinking-good-for-a-very-small-town arts program. A friend of mine just spoke to the board of our city’s school district a month or so ago emphasizing the importance of all students having access to art education throughout their school experiences because, currently, they don’t, which is shocking and horrifying in a city this size (that is also pretty freaky arty).


    My kicks:
    1. Being here for the kicks after missing a couple (or even a few?) weeks due to my (wonderful) travels.
    2. Speaking of art education, I went to a really interesting session at the PLA Conference about what storytelling does for our brains. They had a social worker who was really getting into the whole brain-science and developmental aspects of it. It was fascinating and reaffirmed my dedication to making sure children and teens have access to lots of stories.
    3. Also, guys, last Sunday and Monday, I got to hang out with Farida and her family! For her birthday and everything. It was a such a wonderful time. I now feel like I should just be able to pop over for coffee any old time, except for–SIGH–the West Coast is awfully far from the East Coast.
    4. I did have a wee bit of trouble getting home, in the form of a canceled flight, but it didn’t turn out so badly. My co-children’s-librarian even took some personal time to come get me at the airport. I am blessed with friends.
    5. I am blessed with family, too. I’ve gotten to spend some good time with my mom, dad, and father-in-law the last few days. That’s been nice.
    6. Yesterday and Friday, it was over 80 degrees here. And sunny. This does NOT happen here at this time of year, and, oh, it was wonderful. I spent a lot of time outside both days, and suddenly everything’s blooming. Today is cooler, but still in the 60s and sunny. Usually on Easter, all the girls are running about freezing in their Easter dresses and hats, so this is a nice change.
    7. This was really the previous week, but my presentation at conference went really well. We had over 200 people, and no one threw anything at us. It was great! Overall, it was a beyond-my-expectations wonderful trip, and, as ever, it’s good to be home with the cats and back into my routines, too.

  3. Hey, you guys! Long time no see! How’ve you been? I’ve missed you!

    I know it’s been a long, LONG time since I kicked with you guys. Sorry to have disappeared on you. I don’t know how much is generally known about my situation, but this past winter was pretty rough. But spring is here, the sun is shining, and I’ve got kicks aplenty to share:

    1. Family. Last weekend I went home to TN to celebrate my nephew’s 3rd birthday and my mom’s birthday too (she’d kill me if I told you the number, but it’s a milestone). My sister flew in from CA, too, so I got to hang out with her a lot, which is one of my fave things to do.

    2. Old friends: I got to hang out with Jules for an evening of yummy food and fabulous conversation.

    2. Old friends, part 2: I also got to see a friend that I’d lost touch with when she moved to CA a few years ago. She’s back in TN now, only 2 blocks from my mom, and just as awesome as ever.

    3. Old friends, part 3: someone I used to work with, but got laid off last fall, has finally found a new job! I’m thrilled for him.

    4. New friends: I’ve been spending a lot of time with a new friend I made quite randomly a few weeks ago. He’s a great person: generous, funny, and smart, and he’s been exactly what I needed right now.

    5. New music: also, he’s a very talented singer/songwriter/musician, and you guys should check him out. He does live webshows almost every Sunday (including tonight).

    6. Old music: Led Zeppelin’s “Rain Song.” LOVE.

    7. Work: the next exhibit (on Mark Twain is gearing up big time, and it’s kicking my ass. But I think I’m nearly on top of it. Wish me luck.

    Happy Sunny Sunday, ya’ll! And for those of you who do the Easter scene, Happy Egg Hunting too!

  4. I love, love, love this new artist. What a kick..the way the pages are done are exquisite. And the advice from Jane Yolen: Butt in Chair AND Heart on Page. I have heard it said the BIC but not HOP.
    Jules, what a wonderful week you had. I am with you on the wiggly teeth. I hate when the kids at school want to show me theirs all proud! Glad you are feeling better.
    Lucky, I think you just gave me permission to read Stones in School w/o reading Three Cups of Tea which I have tried but cannot get into.
    Adrienne, glad you had a good time in Seattle, sorry the weather wasn’t terrific.
    Eisha…So sweet to hear from you. It sound like winter was truly a suckfest but I hope spring will blossome for you. I love Led Zepplin! You rock.
    It hasn’t been my best week. I wrote about it here: http://tinyurl.com/yct5avf #APRPAD The weather at the coast wasn’t much fun or cooperative and the asthma didn’t make me feel like I wanted to bundle up to do anything. My spring break does end up on a happy note as we will spend Easter with family and the grandgirls. Hooray for that!
    I think one of the biggest kicks for me this week was figuring out how to write posts and schedule their publishing. Simple but it will help me line up all the fabulous student poems for the week. And I can’t wait to show the students the comments they are getting. It will boost thei self confidence.
    Have a great week…cough, cough.

  5. Adam’s work rules!

  6. Hi, everyone. And EISHA! Eisha’s here again!

    I guess I should have mentioned that I’ll be out today for my own Easter brunch and egg-huntin’ and candy and such. I’ll try to quickly check in to see if spam ate anyone’s kicks, by chance, but I’m not even 100% sure I can do that. But I’ll be back later. Hope everyone has a great day.

    To those of you who were here earlier: Oops. That “more” tag is important, huh?

  7. Happy Easter Sunday to everybody who’s celebrating it that way, and Happy Easter(ish) Sunday to the rest of us!

    Hey, love Adam’s work! I think my favorite little detail is in the ice-skating scene: that frog is really doin’ it in style, isn’t he?

    Jules, I’d completely forgotten Denise’s recommendation of The Fall. Thanks for the reminder (and the link to the high-def trailer, which also had much better audio) — it is now enqueueueueued, as you would say.

    The 7-Imp Alice posts transferred really well to The Bluegrass Special — so cool!

    Adrienne + Farida: now, that’s a kick of a real-life pairing, eh?

    Eisha! Just…….

    And just like you to drop by, plant your little exploding links to extreeeeemely cool music which has taken me, like, a half-hour to listen to (so that’s where Jules picked up her habit!), and then — presumably — wander off again. Grrr.

    How cool that you’re doing the Mark Twain exhibit!

    So sorry about the asthma, Jone. Hope you whip it soon.

    I’ll throw in some other kicks in a couple minutes, but I want to start off with a couple specifically related to 7-Imp:

    * I’ve won a free signed copy of Shark vs. Train — just for having subscribed to Chris Barton‘s “Bartography Express” newsletter!

    (I signed up for that last summer, right after reading here about The Day-Glo Brothers — another and very different genius concept of a book, and based on the response to it I’m hardly the only one who thought so!)

    * The second 7-Imp-related kick isn’t really directly connected to y’all. But The Missus shared a link with me that immediately made me think: If I don’t share this with them on Sunday, I should be jailed.

    The link is to the page reporting results of the 4th Annual Washington Post “Peeps Show”: a spring-season contest for which artists (or not) build dioramas featuring… Marshmallow Peeps. Whether or not you go to read all the text, though, I’m telling you — you have got to take a look at the gallery of finalists and semi-finalists (which this year includes a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!).

    And if you don’t feel up to looking at all of them, be sure to check out the videos of the five finalists (including the winner, a take-off on the animated UP called EEP). I think my favorite was the “Making of a Masterpeeps” scene, depicting a little art class with three Peeps artists painting their versions of the same nude Peep model — with Peep-styled versions of classic paintings on the walls, and even a Peep skeleton for the artists to use in anatomical studies. Ha!

    (Between the Peeps versions of scenes from kids’ books, and the general appreciation here for the work of artists, I just HAD to share all that.)

    …Whew, okay, that’s almost enough excitement right there. I’ll just throw in a couple of other quick ones.

    * This NY Times article on literature and brain science: Why do people read and appreciate fiction? Is is something in the way our brains are wired?

    * A friend who lives in Texas told me this week about a billboard or sign she’d seen on driving by a roadside store of some kind — probably Old-West souvenirs and such. It asserts, “in letters larger than an El Camino,” COWHIDES SPELL ROMANCE. Ha!

    Have a great week, everybody!


    P.S. Did I say…… Eisha?!

  8. Happy Easter! I’m rushing off to church and such, but wanted to make a quick stop by to wish everyone a great day.

    I’m having a good weekend because my college team made the NCAA finals, and the Red Sox are playing tonight for Opening Day (which I’ve been looking forward to for months), and I got reasonably caught up on my blogging yesterday, after an unexpectedly hectic work week.

    Happy week, all!

  9. Pancakes!!!

    Adam’s work is cute and truly different. :o)

    Jules, when I was a kid, my mom would pull out my loose teeth. She’d wrap dental floss around the tooth and then BAM! She always managed to catch me off guard too. So it never hurt.

    I’m glad you and your family are feeling better. And I love your sixth and seventh kicks!

    Lucy, now I want eggs too. I will try to have eggs (Singaporean style) for breakfast tomorrow. Mmmm. * excited =D *

    Adrienne, hooray for art, art education, and storytelling!

    Eisha!!! I miss you.

    Jone, your poetry project with your students is awesome! You’re a real blessing in their lives.

    Jen, enjoy all the sports. :o)


    1. I went book shopping today. I bought books from the Walker Stories series of Walker Books UK. The Walker Stories look like awesomecakes topped with awesomesauce. They are early chapter books by different authors and the characters are kids from so many different backgrounds. There are Irish kids, Scottish kids, kids in South Africa, kids in Kenya, kids in England who are of South Asian descent, kids of Greek descent . . . and so on and so forth. I think I want to buy ALL the books in the series.

    2. I also bought Ruby Lu, Brave and True by Lenore Look.

    3. And I bought a Taro Gomi coloring book and oil pastels!!! I can’t wait to get my art on!!!

    4. Taro milk tea with “bubbles” and a serving of vanilla ice cream. Yummm. (This was what I was sipping when I started reading Ruby Lu, Brave and True.)

    I hope everyone has a very lovely Easter. :o)

  10. Hi, all. I have a moment here to share in all your kicks. They’re awfully fun to read on this beautemous Spring day.

    Lucy, good food, old friends. Sounds good to me. And I am EVER-SO curious to see how the hey-fire the producers of Lost are gonna wrap this all up. I hope they tie up the loose ends that are the Walt story line. Oh, sorry. That should be “WALT!”, as his father was always yelling it.

    Adrienne, what a good life you’ve been living here lately. I’ve missed you. I would have loved to have seen that PLA storytelling session, and I’m so glad you and Farida had a good time.


    Jone, boo to that asthma. I’m so sorry about that. But I’m glad you feel better now (I assume) and get to see the grandkids. I’m behind on your students’ poems and need to go read more of them. I freakin’ love to read those. Did I send you my address for the postcard project? I did in my head, but if I didn’t in reality and if you read this, let me know.

    Hi, Elio!

    John, congrats on Shark Vs. Train. You’ll enjoy it. Chris Barton’s Facebook status line the other day indicated that he showed up a story time with his kids at a local bookstore, I guess it was, and was surprised to see they were reading his book (Shark Vs. Train, I assume). Isn’t that funny? What a way to feel like an immediate superstar, huh?

    You’ll have to let me know what you think of The Fall, John.

    Thanks for the peeps linkage; I shall explore later. Those are always really fun.

    I think “Cowhide spells romance” needs to be your new slogan. Or little status line thingy on your gmail instant-messenger app.

    Jen, hi! Hope you’re feeling good. Have fun watching your Red Sox. Happy week to you, too.

    Tarie, see now. That dental floss story just took care of my nightmares for the next five years or so. What is wrong with me? Seriously, I dream about every other night that my teeth are falling out. And I don’t think there’s any deep Freudian psychological symbolism to those dreams. I’m just afraid MY TEETH WILL FALL OUT.

    And this weirdness I have made it very difficult for me to watch that pivotal scene in American History X with the curb and the kicking and the owhyamIeventalkingaboutit!! I had to get up and walk away and go sit OUTSIDE during that scene the second time I saw that movie on DVD.

    You go, Tarie, with all those great books. The book Betsy and Peter and I are writing will also be published by Walker Books in the UK. I am mostly sure about that. Not entirely. But mostly. If you get your art on, will you share some of it with us? OOO! I could feature YOU one Sunday.

    Mmm. Vanilla is the best flavor ever.

  11. Jules, you are on the list. For a postcard.

  12. JES, wow, thank you for the links to all those peeps!

    Jules, your book will be published by Walker Books in the UK? It’s official then, they are a GREAT publisher!

  13. Hi, I’m a new reader here. I had to say that the 2nd movt from Beethoven’s 7th is one of my all-time favorites, partly because I first played it in 7th grade and it was my first REAL serious piece of orchestral music. I felt very much like heaven and earth moved when I was playing it.

    My kicks are A)the cherry tree is in blossom in the back (cascading blanket of pink) and B) I’m dreaming about summer, vegetable garden, and C) I’m reading about Leonard Bernstein.

  14. Those Gudeon siblings are fantastic. And so different. Thanks for introducing them around.

    My kicks:

    1. Started a new novel.
    2. Won an award.
    3. Found a new friend.

    Pretty good week, I’d say.


  15. Quick hop by:

    Happy Easter, everyone!!

    *leaves chocolate bunnies and jelly beans*

  16. Afternoon Kickers, (Hi, Eisha.)
    Happy Easter/Passover/Spring to everyone.

    1. Jules, in one of those mutual spirals of joy over a shared appreciation – I am so glad you loved The Fall. (To die for: the little girl’s accent, the Escher-like scene with the black horde and the steps, butterfly island and swimming elephants, the whirling Dervish wedding, burnt-sienna sand dunes and – well, I could go on an on.) That you will know what I mean by each of those references is definitely my first kick. : – )

    2. Adam really captures the kid-drawing spirit – which is hard to do. I’ve tried by drawing left-handed. (Nope, doesn’t work.) Whereas, he’s managed both authenticity and heart. Kudos.

    3. Finished a new chapter that caught my critique group off guard (in a good way). We’ve been in the trenches of my novel so long together, I was pleased that could still happen.

    4. Watching a neighbor’s toddlers hunting Easter eggs on our bluff. I do adore my boys – but there are two things that make me green-eyed envious of Mom’s with girls. First – dance recitals. Second – Easter outfits: shiny patent-leather shoes, socks with ruffles, new white gloves, pretty pastel dresses and oh, those little hats with ribbons hanging down the back. (sigh)

    5. Sitting round the kitchen table with my family on Easter Eve – drawing with crayons on warm eggs and then dunking them into colorful cups of Paas dye.

    6. JES – The PEEP SHOW! I hadn’t seen it before. Too funny. And wow, a lot of creativity and humor in those dioramas. The winners were wonderful. And there was a good rep of children’s books in semi-finalists: Good Night Peep, Where the Wild Peeps Are, etc. Ha! the subterranean terra cotta warrior Peeps cracked me up. Thanks for the laugh.

    WHOOAH! Right NOW, while I’m writing this, EARTHQUAKE! L-o-n-g roller that’s still going… and going…. and going… 90 seconds of motion. (!) That’s a long time – usually they’re over and done in 10 to 15 secs. Have to turn on the local news and find out more…

  17. 6.9 whooah (instead of kick 7.) Cal Tech reports: 6.9 QUAKE in Mexacali, Baja Mexico, (southeast of San Diego, CA). 186 miles south of Los Angeles. Wow — we really felt it here. Hope alls well in Tijuana and other lax building-code areas…

  18. Jone, thought so, but good to have confirmation.

    Tarie, yes, Walker Books are pretty great.

    Nice to cyber-meet you, Sheela. Good kicks. Love that piece of music, and I wish I could play it, too.

    Hi, Jane. Are you going to come back and tell us what award you won? I should probably already know, though.

    Hi, Jama!

    Denise, you’re dedicated to still be typing during an earthquake. And, yes, there are so many things to love about The Fall — too many to name. Congrats on the chapter and surprising your critique group.

  19. Completely unbiased opinion that my brother’s work is to die for. My little bro & I both seem to have made an entirely new art of taken late blooming to new heights & so glad 7-Imp can be a part of our blossoming (ok….way too corny, border-lining on disgusting, but delivers the point)
    Adam featured on 7-Imp
    House guests coming to stay-House guests leaving
    Oxy-cleaning my kids tennis whites (I sound domestically inclined here but that’s far far far from the truth)
    Trader Joes Organic Olive Oil Popcorn-too good

  20. Hi, Karla, and thanks for stopping by. I’m a fan of both his work AND yours. You should stop by 7-Imp again, in fact, one day and feature some more art.

    I can’t wait to see where his career will take him.

    It’s great to have guests, but it’s also pretty great to get your house back to yourself, so congrats. And mmm…olive oil popcorn sounds really especially wonderfully great.

  21. I love the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th! One wonders how the third movement could be so “hippity, hippity, hippity, hop” after it. I am intrigued by The Fall, too.

    My family went to a Passover seder today. We’ve been to seders before (and I grew up going to looooong ones), but this is the first time we went to one on Easter, and it was perfect. It’s hard to beat seder food: brisket, matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish (hush, I love it), and chocolate covered matzoh (what?!). A new addition I really liked was the addition of the orange on a seder plate. The story behind it: A woman asked a rabbi why women couldn’t be up on the altar holding the torah. The rabbi responded, “A woman should be on an altar like an orange should be on the Seder plate!” There was also a cup for Miriam as well as for Elijah. Mazel tov.

  22. Oh, for crying out loud. I didn’t close the italics code. Grrff.

  23. I fixed it, Farida.

    Yay for the name “Miriam.” And for your seder today.

  24. Cool trailer, Jules. Love those stories-within-the-story movies and agreed, the music is great.

    Also, I think that if we had a magnet school for the arts here, we wouldn’t have to homeschool our kids. That sounds so beyond awesome.

  25. Love the artwork this week, and love the sibling pride too! So awesome.

    Jules, I now have to put The Fall in my queue – the trailer had me hooked. Glad you’re feeling better, too.

    Eisha! Yay that you’re here, sorry things have been sucky, hope they improve enormously!

    John – thank for the Peeps linkage – so much fun!

    Jone – hope this next week is better for you. I am so looking forward to my poetry postcard.

    Adrienne – glad you had a nice trip, and glad the coming home part was so nice too.

    Tarie – Your book shopping sounds delightful and fun, so does tea with bubble and ice cream.

    Lucy – that family dinner sounds lovely.

    Denise – hope not too much damage from the quake. I cannot believe how calm you were, I am in awe.

    My kicks:
    1. Got up at 3:30 am this morning to participate in the 4amproject with a friend. http://www.4amproject.org It was eerie being in downtown Portland when NO ONE else was around, but fun to get some interesting shots of Pioneer Square with no people around.
    2. This photo from the project reminded me of 7Imps:http://www.flickr.com/photos/cjmphotos/4490781222/
    3. Halfway through reading the book The Blind Side by Michael Lewis, and watched the movie last night. I am a sucker for true-life-uplifting-movies.
    4. Also halfway through reading Sway, The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori and Rom Brafman. Very interesting nonfiction.
    5.Indoor soccer game with a cheering section from work this week – then out to a pub for beer, food and talk – very fun!
    6. My weekend was bookended by 2 good runs in the rain, very necessary, and very nice.
    7. Acupuncture on Saturday. Had no idea how peaceful it would make me feel. Pretty amazing.

    Happy Easter, Happy Sunday, and Have a great week!

  26. Jeremy, it was the first time all year I took tremendous pride in the school.

    RM, the 4 a.m. Project is a great idea. Also, that nonfiction title sounds intriguing. Is it devoted to irrational behavior? If so, I like it already. Glad the acupuncture did a world of good for you.

  27. I hope that spring is treating all of the Imps well so far! Happy Spring Easter Passover Monday to one and all.

    Hello to Adam, the cat, the white bunny, the whole cast of characters!

    Quick list of kicks from the past week, in random order:
    1 Gaining a few hours
    2 Errands
    3 Mind over matter
    4 Visits
    5 Family
    6 Photos
    7 Que sera sera

  28. Jules:

    If he wasn’t yelling WALT he was yelling VINCENT! I miss that dog.

  29. Hi, Little Willow. I wish I were better sometimes at mind over matter. Did you become a mind-over-matter ninja this week?

    Lucy, I’ll be surprised if they wrap up the Walt story line; if Vincent’s involved, I’ll be REALLY impressed.

  30. Jules–John Burroughs Award (along with three other children’s books authors) for year’s best nature books, along with my wonderful photographer son Jason Stemple who also won with me. For A MIRROR TO NATURE.

    Lots of fun ensued.


  31. Well-deserved, and congrats, Jane!

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