7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #210: Featuring Amy June Bates

h1 March 13th, 2011 by jules

I’m keeping things very simple this week. I’ve got one image and one kick. The one image you see above comes from illustrator Amy June Bates. I’ve always enjoyed her work, as I made clear in this 2008 interview, another one of my favorite interviews, since she sent tons of art. Incidentally, she currently lives with her family in Japan, and I’m very relieved to hear they are safe after the earthquake, as well as Tarie in the Philippines. My heart goes out to those amidst the destruction in Japan.

At Amy’s blog, Drawing a Blank, she shares sketches and recent creations, and this one made me laugh outloud. I believe the first day of Spring is next Sunday, so this image is fitting today. I’m eager for Spring to make a premature arrival, how ’bout you? That cute fluffy bunny agrees. You can read the small print, right? So funny.

I also like this that Amy posted this week.

My one big kick? Oh wait…Should I follow tradition here?

First. Ahem. “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.”

Gotta post that weekly for any potential new folks.


* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

Okay. Where was I? My one big kick:

My oldest turned seven this week (SEVEN!), and I still—yes, still—get teary-eyed on her birthday, remembering the day she came into my life and changed it forever. I’m a big sap.

On her birthday, I always like to play her The Innocence Mission’s “Happy Birthday.” (You can see them play it here on YouTube if you’re so inclined.) The last verse goes a little something like this:

“Oh, undeserved sweetness and light, / stay by my side. / We will go out in the morning now, / a crown of maple leaves, a crown of flowers / circling your sweet head. / Happy birthday, beautiful, / in the streets of this day / play a song, play a song.”

I know I’m biased and all, but she truly is one of the coolest, neatest, funniest people you’ll ever meet. She’s gooftastic. And clever. And kind. And fun to hang out with.

And, because I’m getting ready to party down with her—as I type this, pre-weekend—and friends will be joining me to do so, including one sweet out-of-town friend I can’t wait to see, I am keeping this post short and sweet today.

(The other kicky news of the week, as I mentioned on Friday, is a new writing gig for Kirkushere’s the low-down—but, even though that’s fun for me, Piper’s birthday pretty much trumps everything.)

And, even though I named only one major kick (though a pretty great one in my world), please do tell me all of yours. You can also weigh in on whether you’re ready to join the cute, fluffy bunny and open up a can on winter.

* * * * * * *

Image is © 2011 Amy June Bates. Used with permission.

16 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #210: Featuring Amy June Bates”

  1. Happy Birthday, Piper! I wish you lots of good music, good art, good books, and good candy. ;o)


    1. My friends in Japan survived the earthquake and tsunami and – wow – went back to writing children’s books right after.

    2. When the tsunami hit the Philippines, no real damage was done.

    3. I am eating a warm croissant and drinking iced coffee.

    4. Have I mentioned that the people I love in Japan are safe and sound?

    5. Aw man, I am getting emotional. May I never have to search through a victims list again.

    Stay safe, everyone.

  2. Hard to think of kicks after so much devastation. I wonder about my friend Naomi Kojima, a wonderful children’s book author/illustrator.

    And my Japanese publishers.

    And the Japan-based members of SCBWI.

    My heart goes out to all who are suffering and all who have lost friends and family and all who are still waiting to hear news of family and friends.

    In keeping with Jules note, then–one kick.

    Son Adam Stemple and I have sold a fantasy trilogy to editor Sharyn November at Viking. For now titled THE SEELIE WARS, all it needs is. . .to be written!!!


  3. Jane, I was able to exchange a few messages with Naomi and other members of SCBWI Japan. They are safe! :o)

  4. Happy Birthday, Piper! (I still think “Cat vegetables!” every time I imagine her little voice.)

    Good to hear from you, Tarie – all you Pacific nations had me worried for a bit…

    My kick: My friends in the Nara prefecture, Hiroshi, Megumi, and their wee one are safe – I pray for their safety as that they are able to avoid the radiation which I know is mostly unavoidable; that they will come through this challenge safely as well.

  5. (Also – how much do I love this bunny???)

  6. Happy Birthday, Piper! It’s been such fun getting to know you through 7-Imp — and seeing you grow up (too fast). Enjoy your birthday and eat some extra cupcakes and donuts for me :).

    Happy and relieved to hear the Philippines escaped any damage and that you and your friends in Japan are okay, Tarie. Phew!

    Also glad to hear your friends are okay, T.

    Congratulations to you and Adam on the fantasy trilogy sale, Jane! Forever in awe of everything you do.

    Congrats again on the Kirkus gig, Jules. You are perfect for it and I look forward to your weekly reviews.

    My one big kick:

    Hawai’i was once again spared major tsunami damage. My parents on O’ahu pretty much slept through the warning. Everyone’s okay!

    Stay safe, everyone, and have a good week.

  7. All I can say is I drew that picture at a different place in time. Me and my family are safe. But I can’ t believe the damage done by these earthquakes and Tsunamis. !0,000 casualites and rising. One whole village and its inhabitants gone. They said on the news that the earth’s axis shifted 10 cm. The fifth largest earthquake in history. We feel very helpless.
    My kick: I am amazed and grateful for the concern and worry and have felt very loved.
    Amy 🙂

  8. My one big kick is having spent the best part of my birthday with Lesley and Marin.

    And here’s a new poem (part Mother Goose/part Archibald MacLeish):

    By Steven Withrow

    Being buying bread and butter
    Beg a slice of apple cider
    Ruby red and chill chokecherry
    Pie and boysenberry cobbler

    Taking tucking in to taproot
    Stew and strip a harrowed parsnip
    Purple poppy mallow petals
    Poison season for a garnish

    Leaving living leek and liver
    Savor tender steak of salmon
    Swallowtail in sallow slivers
    River trout and roiling water

    Savor tender steak of salmon
    Leaving living leek and liver
    River trout and roiling water
    Swallowtail in sallow slivers

    Stew and strip a harrowed parsnip
    Poison season for a garnish
    Taking tucking in to taproot
    Purple poppy mallow petals

    Ruby red and chill chokecherry
    Beg a slice of apple cider
    Pie and boysenberry cobbler
    Being buying bread and butter…

    ©2011 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  9. Jules, Tanita, Jama: SO GLAD everyone’s family and friends are safe.

    Amy, let us know if you need anything!!! I actually want to be in northeastern Japan RIGHT NOW, handing out bottles of water and rice balls. Seriously. Someone teleport me and supplies to Japan.

    * frustrated *

  10. Right off the top – I ADORE THE SPRING BUNNY—and the spirited subtitle makes me like it (and Amy) even more.

    Amy – Your sweet drawing and contrasting feisty words remind us that from all metaphoric winters (like the sad aftermath of the quake/tsunami) new life, prospects and happier times will break forth.
    Thank you for that reminder.

    Jules – I was so pleased to hear about the Kirkus gig! Well-deserved.
    The IM happy birthday song is a revelation (and yes, it does need subtitles!) But still, I want to learn it, play it, on birthday occasions.
    Happy #7 Piper and yea for gooftastic little people in the world.

    Tarie – glad you/yours are safe. And that your writer friends plug on.

    Jane – Congrats on the sale; enjoy collaborating. (You, like Little Willow–and maybe Jules now) are someone I suspect of having a time machine to get done all that you do. I sit in awe.

    Tanita – sending hopeful thoughts to your friends in Nara.

    Jama – so glad Hawaii and sleepy parents were spared.

    Steven — saw Library otEM in LA. The David Small footage was esp. great. Look forward to talking docs with you someday in person.

    Like everyone else, my heart to is at odds with general kickiness but in the spirit of Amy’s sweet, kick-ass bunny, I’ll share one:

    1. On the coast in So Cal, we waited ~9 hours–watching the news, listening to the scientists and tracking as the surge passed islands along the way—waiting to find out our own fate. And though our alert rose only to a “Tsunami Advisory” our beaches closed, LAPD helicopters hovered, Bay Watch forces massed, a flotilla of small boats from the marina headed out to sea. Our high ocean bluff filled with spectators, fire & rescue teams, photographers, children, dogs.
    From 8am on, we all huddled together and watched the horizon…
    At 8:39am when the surge hit our beach – it proved nothing more than a set of 2 foot waves (smaller than our normal break.) Whew.

    And people laughed and complained and the videographers were a little disappointed there wasn’t something to record but we were FINE.

    And that is my win. Because of the angle of Santa Monica bay, the coastal shelf, Catalina Island standing guard like a breakwater or whatever the combination of factors, we were spared all but our anxiety. And that seems a worthy kick. (Though I’m crying for Japan.)

  11. Tarie. Hard to find the words to express how happy I am that you’re okay. And ALL your friends and loved ones. And thanks for the update on Naomi; I made sure to email that to Jane Y., in case she didn’t come back to see that.

    Jane, that is a great, tantalizing title. We’re all sad about Mother Nature’s wrath and Japan, but I’m glad you shared a kick, too. We have to celebrate…well, being alive and its big and little joys, as corny as that might sound. Just ’cause we can. ‘Cause we’re here and may not be tomorrow.

    Tanita, we still walk around saying “vegetables for cats” around here. And the radiation? Oh have mercy, let’s hope all will be well.

    Jama, thanks for the birthday wishes. Piper will have no trouble eating extra cupcakes for you. And I am still very relieved that your family is okay. Hawaii is lucky to have been spared. So, so lucky.

    Amy, so glad everyone’s okay, and we thank you for the image that brings us cheer and laughs. I’m with Tarie on you letting us know if we can do anything, even though we’re far away.

    Steven, might be my favorite poem thus far.

    Denise, yes, Karen Peris can be hard to understand, but it’s worth it when you see the poetry of her lyrics. (Here are the ones from that particular CD.) And, yes, your one kick is a worthy one, indeed.

    Love to all…

  12. I am glad to read all of the good news (and happy birthday, Piper!). The earthquake and its aftermath is present in my thoughts. Here is what I am thankful for this week:

    1. My daughter’s introduction to one of my favorite folktales, “Molly Whuppie,” comes courtesy of Jane Yolen from Not One Damsel in Distress. Thank you, Jane Yolen! I am getting a kick out of all the pictures my daughter is drawing of the Bridge of One Hair.

    2. I have a red dress, and I wore it last night.

    3. Most mornings, my husband makes me poached eggs on toast. That Is Love.

    4. I’m going to be 39 this month.

    5. Seven more days until The Big Climb!

    6. I have good friends.

    7. The side railing by our house is finally secured. I was leery about having people gather in the back yard, especially children, because of that side railing. Oh, I’m leery about the weeds too, but that’s a job for Super Gardener.

    Right. Super Gardener would be me (remiss in her duties).

  13. I am so ready for spring. Loved the artwork. I just got back from the coast with college friends. Happy birthday, Piper. You and grandgirl could play if you lived closer. Congrats on the Kirkus gig, Jules.
    Everyone has has such great weeks. I, too, am shocked by Japan’s devestation. My kick this week has been to have gotten a haiku written on my personal blog page. It’s been awhile.

  14. Farida, yes. That is love. Also, I’ve never had poached eggs. What is wrong with me? I love eggs.


    Jone, hope you had a grand time at the coast.

  15. Japan. Omigod. Japan…

    Missed (in all senses of the word) Kicksday yesterday. Kicks-wise from this quarter, I have been pretty much focused on one big upcoming kick — leaving on Weds. for a 4-day reunion of sorts with my brother and two sisters. JUST US. And I’m buzzing.

  16. John, I hope you have a fabulous time. I sense that you will.

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