7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #188: Featuring Taking-the-Week-Off

h1 October 10th, 2010 by jules

Welcome to 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks, 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.

As you regular readers know, normally I feature an illustrator every Sunday, but this week has been devoted to some straight-up chillaxin’, as the young ‘uns would say. Or Chillaxin To D Maxin, as the severely hip young ‘uns might say.

So, knowing I’d be at Disney World this week, I just took off altogether and didn’t even get an illustrator lined up for today. My apologies. Instead, you’re being greeted this morning with a photo of me and the girls at Epcot. I try to limit photos of my children at the blog, which are probably only interesting to me and the grandparental units, as I’ve said here before, but I GOTTA have at least one image this morning, don’t I? That’s right. Thanks for agreeing.

This trip was my first Disney visit, or what I now like to call The Land of Sanitized Children’s Lit. I don’t mean to sound as if I’m being snarky about an actual vacation, ’cause I got to ride some coasters and see my girls nearly explode from happiness upon meeting Marie from The Aristocats, which pretty much was their ultimate goal.

Looks like while I was gone, I missed this from The New York Times. Since I blog about picture books and illustration, am I panicking? Nope. I think I’ll keep on keepin’ on. If the NYT is right, it’s all the more reason to keep shining the spotlight on contemporary picture books.

Oh and kicks? It’s late on Saturday as I type this, and we just got home and unpacked, but I’d say, quickly: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios; visiting the countries of the world at Epcot, which is a nice break from mouse ears (mostly); getting to take a break from work and writing; the actual brewed coffee I’ll have this morning after a week of coffee-from-machines; reading the work-in-progress chapters of my writing partners-in-crime, Betsy and Peter; and the fact that I’m, as you read this, at the Southern Festival of Books to see friends, hear authors, and volunteer. I missed this yesterday but heard it went very well, and I got to see the documentary in advance, which was a treat.

Note: Don’t forget that nominations for The Cybils 2010 are open!

What are YOUR kicks this week?

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25 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #188: Featuring Taking-the-Week-Off”

  1. Wow that sounds like a fab vacation! Watching the kid’s excitement is the best part usually. That and the Chillaxin’.
    Adorable picture!

    My kicks:

    1. picking pumpkins on a beautiful sunny fall day
    2. Monday off school
    3. collecting letters of recommendation from my grad sch. profs & former supervisors. Always gives one a boost!
    4. chrysanthemums in gorgeous colors
    5. watched my 8yo run in a race to support the public library – his first & he did great!
    6. Reading Sundee T. Frazier’s The Other Half of My Heart & loving it. Now I am off to check if anyone has nominated it for a Cybils yet.
    7. Planning on spending time this week watching the Cybils nominations come in, and making my list of what I need to read!


  2. Jules, I love seeing new illustrators through your site, but the purple, pink, and silver mother-and-daughterliness made my day. Even if no one is wearing Mickey ears. Sounds like a great week that is still happening for you.

    And, Andromeda, watching your boy run to support the library sounds pretty wonderful, too. And Cybils-watching. I like reviewing the lists that way, too, reminding myself of what I’ve missed.

    I hit the send button on my computer a few days ago, and I’m counting that as seven kicks, although now I can look past the screen and see the world is looking pretty good. I’d better get to a pumpkin patch, too.


  3. Jules,

    I love it when you post pictures of “your girls.” The pictures always bring back fond memories of the days when my Sara was little. It was always such fun taking her on vacation trips.

    Hope you all have a grand time in Florida!

    Not a lot of kicks for me lately–but I do have a couple today.

    1. We finished cleaning out my mother’s house, put it on the market–and got two offers within two weeks! We’ll be passing papers on the house this month.

    2. Hubby’s away with old friends hiking in the White Mountains–so Sara’s planning to drive down and have brunch with me at The Lyceum in Salem–the restaurant where she had her wedding reception.


  4. Look at gorgeous you and your gorgeous girls!!!!!!!

    My kick this week: being appreciated. :o )


  5. So nice to see folks here and get updates, after being away and offline all week.

    I’ll be back later to read and respond. Heading to the Southern Festival of Books now. Woo and hoo!


  6. I’m here again! Just got a message from Uzbekistan. My brothers both got gold at the World Championships for taekwondo (poomsae)!!!

    * screams and jumps up and down in happiness *

    They trained eight hours every day under a super strict and scary Korean taekwondo master.

    * more screaming and jumping up and down in happiness *

    Okay, I better go now . . .

    * still screaming *


  7. Glad to hear you had a fun vacation, Jules! Enjoy the festival!

    My kicks:
    1. Reading Don Calame’s Swim the Fly
    2. Hearing these great songs for Tuck Everlasting
    http://thomsonandmann.com/wordpress/?page_id=34
    3. Loving Jerry Griswold’s Feeling Like a Kid: Childhood and Children’s Literature
    4. Learning how to program DVR so that I only watch TV I actually want to watch
    5. Hearing about our enjoyable screening in Nashville with Mo Willems and Jon Scieszka (I didn’t get to go)
    6. Practicing silly walks through piles of leaves with my wife and daughter
    7. Refining this poem from my in-progress children’s poetry collection, Life at the Aquarium:

    GREEN SEA TURTLE
    Chelonia mydas

    One hundred years she learned to swim,
    To slow her breath, and to exhale,
    Not breaching like a pilot whale
    On surfacing at ocean’s rim,
    But peeking out her bony beak
    To taste a gulp of gusty air.

    One hundred years to reach full size,
    To earn each scar that scores her back,
    Engravings from a shark attack,
    To win the wisdom of her eyes.
    What tales she’d tell if she could speak!
    But I can only stand and stare.

    Copyright 2010 by Steven Withrow


  8. Jules, I’m so happy you got a week off. Spending a lot of it in certain… neighborhoods in central Florida can leave one feeling like s/he’d just spent the same amount of time eating nothing but marzipan in front of the speakers at the “Barney IceCapades!” show while having his/her arms, legs, hips, and shoulders beaten with rubber mallets — something like that — and paying for the privilege, to boot. But I’ve always honestly felt, while actually there, y’know, Wow — why did I wait so long to do THIS?!?

    (I love Epcot, too.)

    All of which said, I’m also glad to know you’re back. Have fun at the SoFestBoo (or whatever they call it for short)!

    Andromeda: wow, what a basket of satisfying autumn kicks — pumpkins and mums and all those other umm-mmm-sounding words!

    Jeannine, assuming “I hit the send button” means what I think it might mean, woot! congratulations!

    Elaine, the Lyceum looks like a great place for that sort of meet-up with a friend.

    And Tarie, in that case: here, have another kick. :)

    Kicks:

    * Web work.

    * String of unbroken beautiful weather. Not that want it to get all drought-y, even with perfect temperatures and humidity and sunshine. But it takes a long time for the soul to recover from weeks of rain!

    * This funny piece at New York Magazine: What if Hogwarts’ denizens had their own Facebook, Twitter, and etc. accounts?

    * Was in the supermarket yesterday when I had to call The Missus with a question about last night’s menu-to-be. Saw that I had an email message from her with a subject you don’t normally want (or at least expect) to see while in the supermarket: “Buy a Brain.” Turned out, though, that she just wanted to send me a link to this unintentionally funny charitable project. I thought this might especially amuse the zombie fans here, btw.

    * Surprise productivity. Must’ve been enjoying myself while working on that chapter, but I surely couldn’t have written THAT much…

    * A savory breakfast (which I don’t usually eat, being more the sweet-breakfast sort), with a big ol’ bottomless glass of orange juice alongside.

    * The Pooch, after a bath temporarily turns her from a scroungy tomboy ragamuffin you’d find selling matches down at the local pool hall into a clean tousle-headed little urchin you’d buy flowers from. It never lasts, of course, but still…

    Have a great week, everybody!


  9. Love this picture of you and your beautiful girls Jules! So sweet…glad you enjoyed your trip and much deserved vacation!


  10. I’m your family had a great holiday, Jules!

    Andromeda, after my few years here in the Northern Hemisphere I now associate autumn with pumpkins, so I know that’s a very autumnal kick of yours! (And I have enjoyed seeing an open back truck drive down the street every morning full of bright orange pumpkins this last week)

    Tarie, your brothers are so talented!

    JES, even when I think we might go into drought somehow I can’t resist enjoying days of sunshine. Glad you resisted buying brains.

    Today we went to the British Museum to enjoy many of the that we have been enjoying as downloads from the BBC. As well as enjoying the sights, we also became engaged to get married! (due to time difference have not informed family yet, so no facebook comments please!)

    I have lots of other nice kicks, such as:
    - narrowing down the date we’re returning to Aus – likely 19 Nov! So soon! I’m sad to go but also happy to think about being in Australia again.

    - realising how lucky I have been in my work here -m ost Aussies I know that move oveseas (and there are lots of us!) are happy to get any job that pays for their travelling, but I’ve been able to have a job that I love, with great people.

    - realising how little time we have left for packing, we wisely decided to go to Wales last weekend, via Hay-on-Wye, the town full of second-hand bookshops.


  11. Eek, bad link there. meant to say history of the world in a 100 objects


  12. Hi All,

    Fly-by kicks since I just found out I have to work today (yay! for the work, but boo! for being inside on a beautiful day). So glad you had fun on your vacation, Jules!

    My kicks:
    1) Seeing “Much Ado About Nothing” last night at Cal Shakes in Orinda with my boyfriend and our friends — excellent production, and so funny!
    2) Sharing a big piece of Granny Smith Apple and Huckleberry pie with vanilla bean ice cream
    3) Watching “A Hard Day’s Night” this past week via Netflix, and subsequently discovering my perfect timing — John would have been 70 yesterday.
    4) Having lots of work
    5) The beautiful, eye-popping fall weather
    6) For seeing both sides
    7) This cool video of a bookshelf being assembled entirely out of pencils:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1cK_Vq-jJQ

    Have a great week, everyone!


  13. Bring on the Cybils nominations! Best wishes to all of the organizers, panelists, and judges.

    Jules: Glad that your family is having a blast!

    Andromeda: Kudos to your son, and to your local library!

    Elaine: Good luck with the house. Enjoy the lunch.

    Tarie: Yay for appreciation! May it always be mutual. Congratulations to your award-winning brothers! Wow.

    Steven: Enjoy the piles of leaves. Sea turtles are majestic.

    JES: Three cheers for productivity! Hello to the scrubby-clean dog.

    emmaco: More appreciation. Glad that all is well there.

    Jill: Sounds like a week filled with lovely visuals, both theatrical and natural!

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) I booked the short film I tried out for last Sunday!
    2) I booked the singing gig I tried out for last month! Our first rehearsal is today. We open on Saturday. Yes, you read that correctly.
    3) I auditioned for another short film yesterday. Fingers crossed.
    4) Watching
    5) Listening
    6) Singing, always
    7) Communicating


  14. JES & Little Willow,

    Thanks. My daughter and I had a lovely lunch at The Lyceum–but the traffic in Salem was horrendous. Lots of “Haunted Happenings” going on in that city in October…lots of tourists…parking hard to find. We finally found a lot with one empty space–and had to pay $20. That made lunch a lot more expensive!

    Still, the weather up here has been gorgeous this weekend.


  15. Jules – sounds like your girls enjoyed “The Happiest Place on Earth” complete with costumed-character interaction. I can remember being 5-years-old and waiting in line by the castle gate to meet Sleeping Beauty. Sigh. (And–as I went to high school in Anaheim where a good percentage of the young D-land workers come from–I can remember being 16 and playing Snow White or Mary Poppins and greeting many a 5-year-old.) It’s nice when storybook characters come out of their books (or movies) and say “Hello there.”

    I must have had a dozen people e-mail me the NYTimes article on the forced “advancement” of pre-schoolers who are being pushed out of picture books by ambitious parents. And I want to scream “No! No, don’t do that! The art, the action in the images, the way the words work with the pictures – it’s all necessary brain food! Especially for budding artists, designers, moviemakers and computer nerds! The visual components are sooooo important. (And, oh, if you want to CREATE a reluctant reader then force your child to read like it’s a competitive sport or hard work.) Childhood is meant for snuggling in bed with your Mommy or Daddy and a stack of good picture books!” Isn’t it?

    Andromeda – Thanks for the Cybils reminder.

    Jeannine – applause on your ‘send’!

    Elaine – two offers!

    Tarie – appreciation is so nice. (Beats the heck out of “taken for granted”) AND you brothers’ golds at Worlds is pretty amazing.

    Steven – thanks for the musical theater writers link (Are they pitching a musical version?)

    John – the Hogwart’s facebook entries– lol. (Man, this has been facebook-phenomenon month — what with Catfish and The Social Network, etc.)

    emmaco – What a cool and auspicious engagement day, 10/10/10! Best wishes.

    Jill – I am totally inspired by that pencil video to go out and buy some pegboard and try it…

    LW – Congrats on the bookings. Is the short like an AFI or NYU film bound for the festival circuit?

    My kicks on the date 10/10/10:

    1. a sweet ‘aha moment’ shared with my older son.

    2. salad spring rolls and black rice pudding at a wonderful Thai teahouse.

    3. was moved by the guy-YA-book-turned-movie, “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.”

    4. finished writing a chapter, moving on.

    5. finally! being one of the fast and competent passengers who go flawlessly through airline security (shoes, computer, jacket, 3 oz. toiletries in the tray and no forgotten metal that buzzes.)

    6. parking meters that take credit cards now (so I don’t have to beg busy cashiers for handfuls of quarters)

    7. the date

    Have a grand week all!


  16. My kicks:

    1. revising the first section of my new novel, “The Thirteenth Fey” and almost liking it.

    2. Surviving Comic Con

    3. Two Not-Dates with the boy who I had a mutual crush on in sixth grade.

    4. Seeing the Kublai Khan exhibit at the New York Met. Museum of Art

    5. Finding out three of my books had early nominations for Cybils. Lovely, though no guarantee of course that they will survive to the final list.


  17. Dear sweet kickers, I don’t think I’ve ever not responded to kicks the same day, but yesterday was filled with the Southern Festival of Books. But I’m here now.

    Andromeda, enjoy this day off and all your pumpkins. Kudos to your eight-year-old!

    Jeannine, I’m with John: Sounds like hitting “send” means a manuscript done, so big congrats to you. Enjoy the world and the pumpkin patches in it.

    Elaine, so glad you got to see Sara, even if it was tremendously difficult to get there.

    Tarie, you are ever-so appreciate-able. (Is that a word?) And CONGRATS to your brothers, who truly are kick-worthy, literally and figuratively. I mean, gold. World championships. That is truly awesome.

    Steven, thanks for the musical links and, as always, the poetry. I love Griswold’s book, too. I read it recently.

    John, that was an EXCELLENT description of what Disney World is like. …Do you know both my first-grader and I are weirdos in that we love it when it rains a lot (which always makes me think of that great Ray Bradbury short story, “All Summer in a Day,” which haunted me as a child)? But I’m glad you got the sunshine you needed. ….Congrats on the surprise productivity, and your description of The Pooch made me smile.

    Julia, thanks!

    Emmaco, engaged? Congrats! You were so low-key about it that I almost missed it. When will you tell the family? And November is when you’re going back? Wow, that will be here before you know it. Oh, and thanks for that link, which I look forward to exploring when I get caught up on stuff. It’s enticing. (And sounds like the kind of thing you’d love, John.)

    Jill, glad you had a good week. I keep meaning, speaking of The Beatles, to show Help to the girls. Also, I think I need to create walls and walls of pencil bookshelves in my home. Might help with all these books stacked around. However, if I’m having trouble finding time to find a place for the books, I suppose I’ll have trouble finding time to drill tiny holes in my walls. Hee.

    Little Willow, CONGRATS on the bookings! I knew you could do it. And break a leg on the other audition.

    Denise, AMEN to what you said about picture books. I mean, of course I say amen to that. Congrats to you, too, on getting some writing done. Kick #1 is great, and THERE ARE PARKING METERS IN THIS WORLD THAT TAKE PLASTIC? I need this.

    Jane, congrats on the nominations, revising, and those not-dates sound lovely. Were your ears burning yesterday? Your name came up at the Southern Festival of Books with someone I was talking to.


  18. p.s. Little Willow, I took this picture at Disney World just for you:


  19. Elaine: You’re welcome.

    Denise: Thanks! This is a graduate student short film. I do not know if it will be released/screened beyond this. I recently received a copy of a short film that did make the festival circuit. It was weird to think that so many people (meaning festival attendees) have seen the film already! Keep writing. Keep the good things going.

    Jane: Congrats!

    Jules: Thank you for the support and for that picture! YES!


  20. I am so so late this week, but I had to swing by and read everyone’s kicks.

    Jules – that is an awesome photo of you and your girls! So glad you had a fun vacation!

    Tarie – yay you! and double-yay for your amazing brothers!

    And LW – congrats congrats congrats!!!!!! So excited for you!

    Have a great week everyone!


  21. Rachel, thanks, and you have a great week, too!


  22. [...] Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast a blog about books « 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #188: Featuring Taking-the-Week-Off [...]


  23. Thanks Jules and Denise! It’s low key but happy news :)


  24. [...] Posted in 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks | 23 Comments » [...]


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