7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #302: Featuring Sonja Wimmer

h1 October 21st, 2012 by jules

“There are stories that are funny, like the one where we dress up,
playing at being someone else, someone we’d like to be.”

–From Roberto Aliaga’s A Night Time Story

“I look at the sky, I close my eyes, and my imagination begins to soar…
I fly between the clouds of the country I love: Afghanistan.”

–From Ana A. de Eulate’s The Sky of Afghanistan

This morning, I’ve got the illustrations of Sonja Wimmer, and these illustrations come from two different picture book releases. Now, I’m sorry to say that I’m having trouble determining where Sonja is from exactly, but I think perhaps the answer to that is Germany. Just don’t quote me on that.

I missed this earlier 2012 picture book title from Sonja, which I should really remedy right away at my nearest bookstore or library. (Doesn’t it sound great?) But today I’ve got artwork from Roberto Aliaga’s A Night Time Story, released in September from Cuento de Luz, originally released in Spain as Cuento de Noche, and translated into English by Jon Brokenbrow. I’ve also got some illustrations from Ana A. de Eulate’s The Sky of Afghanistan, also released in September by Cuento de Luz, originally released in Spain as El cielo de Afganistán, and also translated by Brokenbrow. All artwork is all Sonja.

The Sky of Afghanistan is about a young Afghan girl’s dream for peace. Likening her dreams to a kite soaring in the sky, she shows readers much of the country and people (“my dream spreads to all of the different regions”), and she speaks highly of her people and their children, whose smiles, “despite being hidden, [are] full of sweetness and serenity.” One spread shows an army tank with a giant flower reaching to the sky, blooming: “In this eternity silence reigns, and the sound of war has truly gone forever.”

It’s a simple, inspirational, earnest vision of hope from the girl, even ending on a slightly maudlin note. Wimmer’s illustrations, on a primarily brown, Earth-toned palette, play with perspective and delight with strong lines and movement, as you can see in the following spreads:

“I want to fly high, high, like a kite in the sky! I want to feel the pull of the string
in my hand as it struggles against the wind.”

“I carry within me the certainty that everything is possible, that enormous doors and windows can be opened from which I can learn, from which I want to learn,
from where I can steer my kite high into the sky,
heading towards the stars, towards the dawn.”

In Roberto Aliaga’s A Night Time Story, Wimmer gets even more dream-like with her illustrations. This one opens with: “Every night, before I go to sleep, she sits down on my bed with heaps of stories in her hands. She’s got them all.” Technically, this “she” isn’t revealed until the final spread, and she is “the night.” In between, the child shows us her night-time visions (“in her stories, I’m always the main character”) — from sweet stories to chilly stories to scary ones and mysterious ones. Even perfect ones. Perfect, that is, “until I wake up.” Wimmer shows us the night magically morphing into whatever fantastical creature is necessary for the dream, and her artwork here is beguiling and surreal. This one evidently won the Lazarillo Award, the prize in Spain for children’s literature. Here are a couple more spreads:

“There are dark stories, like the one where I’m looking for her, but I can’t find her.”

“Before I go to sleep, the night sits on my bed, with heaps of dreams in her hands. She’s got them all. She tucks my blankets up under my chin, chooses one at random and, with her gentle voice, I start to dream…”

NIGHT TIME STORY. Copyright © 2012 by Roberto Aliaga. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Sonja Wimmer. Published by Cuento de Luz. Spreads reproduced by permission of the publisher.

THE SKY OF AFGHANISTAN. Copyright © 2012 by Ana A. de Eulate. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Sonja Wimmer. Published by Cuento de Luz. Spreads reproduced by permission of the publisher.

* * * * * * *

Note for any new readers: 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 kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

Hey, everyone. I’m feeling under the weather this week, so I’ll be brief today.

I think my biggest kick this week is the beautiful artwork of Sonja Wimmer, but also Friday night was the Rufus Wainwright show at the Ryman. Armed with lots of Tylenol, cough drops, and cough meds was the only way I could go, but fortunately I only had one coughing fit during which I momentarily excused myself, lest I ruin it for the fans around me.

Rufus’ show was fun. He is clearly an immensely talented musician (I don’t know how his voice holds up during these tours), and he was also a very generous performer, giving the stage over to many other musicians all night. (His sister, Lucy Wainwright Roche, has a beautiful voice AND is a hoot.) He’s also, heaven bless him, not afraid to be 100% his total Rufus self. See this picture here, which I just lifted from the Web? He didn’t wear that, which is kind of what you expect, but he came out in a pair of turquoise pants, a cowboy shirt, and some boots—an outfit he said he bought that day in Nashville—as well as a daisy in his hair. I wish I had a photo, but my iPhone from up in the Ryman balcony just didn’t do well enough. It’s all blurry. And I can’t find anyone else online who is sharing pics.

For the encore, he came back out dressed in a blonde wig as Apollo, the god of the sun and music. And he romped around with a scantily-clad man dressed as Cupid. A giant salami sandwich was involved, too. That’s Rufus for you. Fans in the front were invited onstage with him. You’d think I’d be jealous, in the balcony as I was, but I probably would have just coughed on him anyway.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

31 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #302: Featuring Sonja Wimmer”

  1. Sonja Wimmer uses such a lovely palette, those sepia browns and rosey reds. I like the thread-like weave suggested by the underlying graph paper in the blue burkas. And I’ve got a thing for masks, so she had me with that first whimsical panel. This is definitely a Sunday treat. Thanks Sonja (& Jules.)

    Hey, feel better Jules. Glad you braved the Wainwright concert despite your cough.

    I got completely swamped last Sunday, so this is a two-week span of kicks:

    1. Watching a long, long V of 33 pelicans on a cloudy day.
    2. While puppysitting, I taught my son’s dog, Coetzee, to sit and fetch.
    3. Pumpkin patches are popping up on street corners and in vacant lots.
    4. These beach-themed carving patterns; think I’m inspired for Halloween 2012 http://www.coastalliving.com/homes/decorating/pumpkin-carving-00414000076436/
    5. Heard President Clinton say that the one patriotic thing that every baby-boomer must do to promote a better future for our country is: lose weight and get healthy.
    6. Started my annual reread of To Kill a Mockingbird.
    7. These neat little paper-cut collages inside toilet paper rolls:

    That’s it from me. Have a great week kickers.

  2. Jules, I love the pictures today! such a treat.

    And I’m glad your illness didn’t keep you from the concert – I know you’re a huge Rufus fan!

    Denise, pelicans are lovely flying. I am impressed you counted 33 though, I give up after ten and start guessing. Those toilet paper illustrations are crazily good.

    1. I love our hammock. Even doing work is more relaxing and fun when you can look into a tree.
    2. A pheasant coucal wandered past as I worked this morning. It was one of those moments when you look at a bird you’ve seen many times before, and realise how amazing it is that this large and gorgeous creature has a life separate to you but you get to have overlapping moments sometimes.
    3. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but last Christmas we put gold plastic Christmas decorations from Ikea up in our courtyard tree. When we took them down, we found some large ants had moved into the hollow ones. So we left them there, and nearly a year later we can still watch ants running in and out of gold plastic hearts in our courtyard tree.
    4. And to continue the wildlife theme, there is a gecko that lives on our large rubbish bin. Sometimes I worry that it will be lost when we take the bin out to the kerb for collection, but somehow it always seems to be there
    5. I just remembered I was saving a book voucher for Amazon.com from my birthday in July (the shipping is horrible from there so I kept putting it off) and just bought two cookbooks, which for some reason seem like more of an extravagant buy than novels. (less practice probably)
    6. We bought a tin of paint at the hardware shop today. We have never done that before – it felt very grown up!
    7. We bought back lots of American “candy” (we say lollies or maybe sweets) for presents, and milk duds and junior mints have proven very popular over here.

    Bonus kick, just listened to the coucal sound clip and identified a call I haven’t been able to place this spring! It is soooo hard trying to ID calls so this was a nice surprise!

  3. New to me, love love love her work. Wow!


  4. Sonja’s work is beautiful! I will have to hunt down these books.
    Jules – Sorry you were sick for the show. I’m glad you enjoyed it anyways. I hope you enjoyed Ingrid Michaelson as well.
    Denise – Wow, the image of the pelicans sounds like a beautiful scene.
    emmaco – Milk Duds and Junior Mints! two of my favorites.
    Jane – Agreed!

    1. My husband and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.
    2. I gave him the gift of cleaning the upstairs bathroom (including the ceiling).
    3. He gave me a delivery of loam (dirt).
    4. Pumpkin ice cream
    5. I’m skipping my book club’s selection this month and reading picture books instead.
    6. Autumn colors
    7. I learned how to make an animated GIF. http://atlanticmo.tumblr.com/post/33753729095/look-what-i-learned-how-to-do

    Have a lovely week all.
    Jules, get better!

  5. Ooh, such lovely images thanks for starting my day in this manner.
    Jules, hope you’re feeling better. Glad the music of Rufus helped with that.
    Denise, I have listened the the migration of geese all weekend.
    Emmaco, a pheasant coucal, must look up.
    Moira, happy anniversary.
    My kicks:
    1. Am at a writing retreat with about 35’other writers.
    2. Found a tiny salamander in the bathroom yesterday morning.
    3. To be at a writing retreat on National Day on Writing.
    4. Finished reading Wonder.
    5. Read Naomi’s Shihab Nye’s book, Transfer.
    6. Meeting with another poet.
    7. From the conference: write with the 3 H’s: head, heart, hand- Carmen Bernier- Grand
    Have a great week.

  6. I am not familiar with the work of Sonja Wimmer but will remedy that quickly; such haunting beauty, lovely use of blue.
    Jules: So sorry you are not feeling well. Sending you wishes for a speedy recovery. Glad you could still see and hear Rufus.
    Denise: Thank you for sharing the link to the paper cut images in the toilet paper rolls–exquisite
    Emmaco: I would love to have a hammock. The visual of the ants and the ornaments–I really like that.
    Hello Jane Yolen.
    Moira: Happy Anniversary! I am loving all the pumpkin ice cream that is popping up in stores now.
    Jone: Love the writing tip of the three “H”s and hope you liked Wonder.

    My kicks:
    1. The deer are getting restless. Twice this week they ran in front of Xena and I walking in our neighborhood.
    2. Hiking in the woods
    3. Standing in the still woods listening to leaves fall like rain
    4. I swear Xena was laughing when she was in the woods yesterday; made me laugh too
    5. Laughed at Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody and The Three Ninja Pigs, signed at All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep and even shed a tear reading Because Amelia Smiled. I love picture books.
    6. Lovely dinner with friends last night
    7. Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cherry cookies

  7. Beautiful…love this work. Thanks for featuring.

    Jules, hope you feel better soon. I know you’ve been so excited to hear Rufus’ show…so I’m glad you were still able to make it.
    Emmaco, we love hammocks too and have found the Eno hammocks so much fun when we camp.
    Hi Jane!
    Moria, Happy 14th anniversary! YAY
    Jone, did you love Wonder as much as I did? Our whole family (hubby, 12 yr old, 11 yr old and 8 year old all read and loved)

    My kicks:
    1) SCBWI conference this weekend in Birmingham. I’m always amazed at how generous everyone is to share tips and advice. Left tired but very excited to begin writing and drawing more.
    2) Hearing Kevin Lewis from Disney/Hyperion speak.
    3) Peace Like A River…just finished…very good
    4) Ordered Miss Representation from Netflix to watch with my girls…our family watched 10 minutes of it and felt like it was too much for them so we opted for Little Women instead and I felt like I got the same results… watching strong Jo March and hearing Marmee.
    5) Just registered for the winter SCBWI conf. and illustrator intensive.
    6) 11 year old birthday party in which my daughter went to the thrift store and bought 10 men’s neckties with her allowance money as party favors for all the girls that came. She also made top hats and mustaches for all the girls!!!
    7) Fried okra crips…like potato chips. yum

    Have a great week everyone. Jules…get better soon!

  8. Enjoyed today’s post — great art! — and the kicks so far!

    So much to be thankful for this week, but this about sums it up:

    In My Daughter’s Early Drawings

    We live in a square
    topped by a triangle.
    There is sometimes
    a rhombus of a door
    that no one opens
    and smaller squares
    of windows either side.
    This is home to her.
    To Mommy and to me.
    Often our black cat
    Desdemona figures in
    her triple-circle body,
    twin ice cream cones
    for ears, trailing tail
    like a backwards S,
    on our green rectangle
    grass, our blue and
    trapezoidal sky.

    © 2012 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  9. Hello, Kickers!

    Loved the samples of Sonja Wimmer’s work you offered, Jules. And yeah, The Word Collector sounds very cool, too! (Btw, that book’s publisher’s site says she “was born and raised in Munich, Germany. After studying graphic design and working at different firms in Munich and Brussels, she decided to devote herself entirely to images. With one suitcase and a great deal of enthusiasm, she moved to Barcelona.”) You probably saw the welcome goose at her Web site, right? with the designer shoe falling off one of its feet?

    (I was startled when I enlarged the illustration captioned “I want to fly high, high, like a kite [etc.],” to see that it was apparently done on ruled graph paper. And the next one looked like it had been painted on lined notebook paper, which had previously been written on. Do all the pages use some sort of repurposed paper like those two, I wonder???)

    Thought of you at the Ryman on Friday, Jules. You’ll be happy, maybe, to know that fans have been posting live photos of the concert in a forum at his site, starting on page 3 of this thread. There’s even a very brief YouTube video of him inserting and then tossing the daisy. That said, I’m so sorry the cold distracted you from getting 100% of the kick you’d wanted! Next time, right?

    Denise: LOVE that your family has a dog named Coetzee! That has to come from the author’s name, right???

    emmaco, coincidentally yesterday I was looking at a 7-Imp post from March 2011, where you commented about the presence of nearby whipbirds. You’d think an offhand reference to a pheasant coucal would be old hat for us by now, but you’d be wrong. (I know the “Oz” nickname is supposedly based on the sound of “Australia,” but there might be a little more to it than that.)

    Hi, Jane!

    “Loam” is definitely classier-sounding than “dirt,” Moira. 🙂

    Very jealous of your writing-retreat weekend, Jone. Do good work!

    Hi, Margie — sounds like kick #7 was all about cleaning out the pantry in one go. Heh.

    Men’s neckties as a girls’ party favors, Lori: what a hoot!

    Thanks as always for the sweet poetry, Steven.

    Some kicks from here:

    1. All too infrequent concision in something I wrote.
    2. Finally learning (well, this one time, anyway *cough*) to make intelligent plotting decisions.
    3. Sub-70-degree weather.
    4. Planning for next NJ trip.
    5. Siblings dangling before me the carrot of a spring SibFest.
    6. Suddenly wrapping up 4-5 tough, weeks-long technical issues in the span of about 6 hours.
    7. The cyclic resurgence of Sherlock Holmes. (Love the BBC series, and the new CBS one with Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller isn’t half-bad, either.)

    Have a great week, all!

  10. Okay, I’ll be back in a second, but I have to say that I LOVE MY BLOG READERS and John E. Simpson, in particular, for finding this:

    That’s from the Ryman show I saw! Now you can check out those BOOTS.

  11. Good morning, Imps! Hope you’re having a lovely day so far.

    Nice to meet you, Sonja Wimmer. I like the color palettes and the textures of your artwork here. Thanks for sharing.

    Jules: I hope you are feeling better! Rest up. Glad that you enjoyed the concert.

    Denise: Happy carving and creating! I love birds flying in a V.

    emmaco: How lovely of the pheasant coucal to say hello to you this morning. Hello to the gecko! Have fun cooking and painting.

    Hi there, Jane!

    Jules, Moira, etc: If you follow Ingrid, you may also know the singers I’m about to name – and I think I’ve recommended them to Jules before – Take a listen to Allie Moss and Bess Rogers.

    Moira: Have fun at the writing retreat. The mermaid is very pretty! Say hello to the salamander for me, please. Enjoy the books and stories that are surrounding you. Happy anniversary!

    Lori: Which version of Little Women did you watch? I like Katharine Hepburn’s version and June Allyson’s version. Your daughter sounds cool and creative!

    Steven: That poem is so sweet. I discussed a rhombus with someone earlier this week.

    Hey, illustrators: Hope Larson is seeking an artist and collaborator. Click here to learn more.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Theatre audition
    2) Performance
    3) Improv
    4) Being social
    5) Body Bags by Christopher Golden, a favorite book of mine, is now available as an eBook for 99 cents. 99 CENTS! Get it! This is the start of the Body of Evidence books, a series of medical thrillers. SO GOOD.
    6) Anchor
    7) Film audition today – Wish me luck!

  12. And it’s a rose, not a daisy. Oops.

  13. Denise, thanks for the links. That right there is a good use for toilet paper rolls. Also, I’m particularly fond of the pumpkin with the waves on the bottom.

    Emmaco! Milk duds. Mmm. Pheasant coucal = The New Thing I Learned From You Today. … When you say “courtyard tree,” do you mean like a neighborhood tree? Is that a dumb question? … Like Margie, I want a hammock so crazy-bad, too.

    Hi, Jane.

    Moira, I saw your animated GIF earlier this week and love it. Happy belated anniversary!

    Jone, ooh! I didn’t know about Transfer. Or, if I did, I forgot. Must find when manuscript revisions are over. I want to read Wonder, too. Enjoy your writing retreat!

    Margie, I love your kicks #3 and 5 so, so, so much. I really do.

    Lori, your daughter is still committed to the necktie thing. I love it, as well as her party gift idea. Dang, I wanna meet her. So glad you had a good time at the SCBWI conference. Isn’t the winter one you signed up for in NYC? !! Hope so.

    Steven, thanks for sharing that poem. It all comes alive so vividly in my mind when I read it.

    John, YOU WIN THE AWARD TODAY for Grand Researcher! I just heart you. You not only found biographical info on Sonja, but you found Rufus pics. Dude, I have a MASTER’S DEGREE in Information Sciences, and I’m kind of horrible about finding stuff online. I always ask my husband, who has the same degree and actually paid attention in class. (I mean, I paid attention, promise, but I just got that degree so that I could take children’s lit courses, and I sort of only tolerated the courses about researching online in academic settings or that kind of thing.) … To answer your question, I don’t think that each spread is done on re-purposed paper. I looked at that last night (though, frustratingly, I can’t find my copy of the book and was only looking at a PDF). I’ll check again when I finally figure out where the two books are (last seen in my car! I have a surfeit of picture books in my life…). Also, to answer your question, I still totally enjoyed the show. During that one coughing fit, I excused myself to the back, out of respect for fans around me, but I could still see and hear — and then quickly found my seat again, once I realized the fit had passed. … SibFest! DO IT! Also, my friend Natasha told me—okay, nearly SCOLDED ME—for not watching the BBC Sherlock Holmes and told me I’d love it, but then she found out I haven’t actually read any Holmes novels or short stories, which made her GASP, and she told me I had to do that first.

    Also, John, I bet you’re way more concise in your writing than you’re giving yourself credit for.

  14. Jules, BEGONE with that cold of yours. I hope you get to feeling better. I’m glad you got to see your Rufus, though.

    Emmaco, Oh, I have such a weakness for cookbooks! I like to read them like novels. I also have a weakness for Milk Duds. Every year on Halloween, my godsons give theirs to me, because they’re awesome like that.
    Moira, Happy anniversary!
    Jone, The writing retreat sounds fantastic!
    Margie, I don’t suppose you might be willing to share the recipe for those Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cherry cookies, would you? Because they sound awesome.

    My kicks:
    1. Today I’m at work because at long last, I am having the upholstered furniture cleaned. We are mid-process, and it’s looking very good.
    2. I’ve had a lot of people looking at the house this week, so maybe someone will finally, finally buy it.
    3. I had such a good trip to NYC last weekend with my BFF and godsons.
    4. I taught a webinar this week that I felt went well. I got some really nice feedback from people who attended.
    5. Actually, I did kind of a lot this week, and I feel grateful that everything went smoothly and that I was able to get it all done.
    6. I got it all done partly because I have a lot of support. I’m grateful for that, too.
    7. I spent most of yesterday at home in my pajamas. I love home, and I love my pajamas.

  15. Wow! I LOVE her work, I’ve never seen any of her books before! I agree with Moira I’m going to have to track them down now!

    It’s so wonderful to hear about everyone’s kicks, I’ve been missing them!

    Jules, the show at the Ryman sounds AMAZING!

    Denise, your annual reread sounds great! I’ve always wanted to do something like that but haven’t started!

    Emmaco, enjoy your cookbooks!

    Moira, pumpkin ice cream!

    Jone, enjoy your retreat, sounds wonderful!

    Margie, “Standing in the still woods listening to leaves fall like rain” love that, must do this soon!

    Lori, hope you enjoy your conference, sounds great!

    Steven, what a lovely poem, so many wonderfully captured images!

    JES, Yay for intelligent plotting decisions! What clicked that made it work this time?


    1. Posted my first ever author Q&A, and it’s with Cornelia Funke who is my favorite author, and I’m still just amazed that this happened! http://alice-peregrinations.blogspot.com/2012/10/fairy-tale-q-with-cornelia-funke.html

    2. Reading Wilde’s The Happy Prince with my little brother

    3. Hearing his intense reaction to The Nightingale and the Rose

    4. Finally, almost, breaking through a major writers block I was having on my YA Lit paper, but finally moving forth and am almost done!

    5. Wonderful weekend last week in St. Augustine!

    6. Fall weather finally arriving! Hopefully it will stay…

    7. Finally posted up the recap of my KidLitCon talk on illustration! Would love to hear your thoughts: http://alice-peregrinations.blogspot.com/2012/10/presentation-recap-part-1-oh-you-mean.html

    Have a great week! And I’m just still caught in the charm of Sonja’s work! Love it!

  16. Sonja Wimmer’s artwork is lovely, there is something warm and inviting about the illustrations, especially those little pops of color within the overall color of each spread.

    JULES!!! You saw Rufus! So. Awesome. Hope you are rapidly feeling better and on your way to a full recovery.

    Denise – productive puppy-sitting, I love it. Also, thanks for the links, the tentacle pumpkin looks like something I might try this year.

    Emmaco – hooray for hammocks, and overlapping moments with wildlife.

    Hi Jane!

    Moira – congrats on your wedding anniversary! Pumpkin ice cream – yum.

    Jone – enjoy the writing retreat!

    Margie – Love the image of Xena laughing making you laugh. Dogs with a sense of humor are the best.

    Lori – your daughter’s birthday party sounds like a blast. Fried okra sounds delicious.

    Steven – thanks for the poem!

    JES (John) – hooray for wrapping up a rough work problem! Sib-reunion sounds fun.

    I missed last week, so I have extra kicks this week:
    1) Road trip last weekend from Oregon to Northern California.
    2) Seeing Crater Lake for the first time. Breathtaking. Stunning. Beautiful blue.
    3) Whirlwind catch-ups with friends in Sacramento, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco.
    4) My niece’s wedding in San Jose – she and her now husband wrote their vows as letters to each other and both of them had everyone alternately tearing up and laughing. They are a very good couple.
    5) Seeing my niece so happy and in love.
    6) The sweetness of my brother crying as he gave his oldest daughter away. Big guys tearing up always get me.
    7) Returning from the road trip to home & happy Cole.
    8) Seeing the play The Body of an American last night at Portland Center Stage. Intense and thoughtful, very well done.
    9) One of the leads is a friend from college, so catching up with him and 2 other college friends afterwards was a total delight. Lots of laughing and shared memories of college mayhem.

    May your week be sweet!

  17. Thanks for all of these lovely pictures by Sonya Wimmer. I am glad you got to attend the Rufus show and make it all the way through without (despite the coughing fit).

    1. As you know, I got to see Lost in the Trees last night as part of Seattle’s CityArt’s festival. Three bands played before LIIT, and even though I was up past my bedtime, these 40 year old bones held out.

    2. Earlier that morning, I brought the family to Seward Park to work on run/walk training for the Jingle Bell Run 5k in December. Then, I left them to play in the playground while I ran. Long-distance and speed training are paying off, because on a flat surface, I ran 5k in under 30 minutes. (I ran 3.13 miles, actually, and the watch recorded 30:02 minutes, for those who care– though I think the words “Remember, no one cares about your times but you” reveals good advice in general.)

    3. I had a chocolate milkshake.

    4. My daughter was the top fund-raiser for the school Jog-a-Thon. I don’t think this family had ever been the top fundraiser for ANYTHING in our collective lives.

    5. After the pizza party that my daughter’s class had for said top-fundraising, my daughter said, “Urgh, the only things I want to eat now are fruits and vegetables.” That phase lasted precisely 3 hours, after which she said, “I’m ready for pizza again.”

    6. I’ve got Necromancing the Stone, the sequel to Lish McBride’s Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. When will I get to read it without distractions? Soon, I hope.

    7. Homemade granola.

    Happy week, everyone! May some of the gold of the golden autumn sunshine in Seattle find its way to you.


  18. Here is the link for the cookie recipe:
    I substituted dried cherries for the cranberries. I will probably add a tad bit more flour the next time.

  19. Thanks, Margie! That may be a good project for me for tomorrow!

  20. Hi Kickers!

    Feel better Jules- so sorry you are coughy!

    1. Reading everyone’s kicks!
    2. Finishing the Giver quartet. Just finished Son this afternoon. Wow.
    3. Gorgeous fall weekend- exactly what I’d order every day if I could.
    4. A facial.
    5. An inspiring lecture with friends.
    6. Finally took care of a painful toe issue.
    7. Up All Night- a funny babysitter episode.

  21. Adrienne: I am eternally and always sending good house-buyer vibes your way. I’m not sure why they’re not working yet.

    Jess: Congrats on your writing breakthrough. I thought of you during your KidlitCon talk and I reeeeeeeally look forward to exploring your post in detail AFTER I get these revisions done (soon, very soon!). … I gave my daughter Inkheart today. I hope it sticks.

    Rachel, you’ve had a good two weeks with lots of travel and friends and family. What is The Body of an American about? Will have to look that up. Congrats to your niece!

    Congrats on your times, Farida! I care. As I’ve already told you, I’m so happy you saw Lost in the Trees.

    Stacey, hope your gorgeous weather continues. You all are making me want to re-read The Giver.

  22. Little Willow! Everyone, Little Willow’s kicks got sucked up by spam, who tried to have them for a very late breakfast snack, so they’re up there now in the middle, now that I’ve released the hounds to free them.

    Thanks for all the music, which yes, I think you’ve sent me before. (Lucky me.) Break a leg today! Also, I’m always very envious of ANYone who can do improv well. My brain just doesn’t work that way.

  23. Jules, here’s a link to the theater and play: http://www.pcs.org/body/

    Its the world premiere of the original work of Dan O’Brien and based upon his two years spent emailing and then meeting Pulitzer prize winning photo-journalist Paul Watson, and how haunted he and O’Brien both are. Its about the ravages of war and life, and how sometimes one event can shape a life. Intense but worth it.

  24. Ooh, thanks, Rachel! I’ll explore later, my treat for getting my writing done.

  25. I really like these illustrations from Sonja Wimmer! It sometimes overwhelms me to stop by your blog on Sundays and discover yet another illustrator who I’ve never heard of. I feel like I know a little something about children’s book illustrators… At the same time, I think it’s great that you devote this much space on your blog to sharing new illustrators.

  26. Jules: I am now picturing Daisy Buchanan standing on one side of Rufus Wainwright and Rose Tyler on the other, as he looks back and forth… Thanks for saving my comments from the spam pile. I love improv. Love it. How are you feeling? Thanks for the good luck wishes.

    Adrienne: My fingers are crossed for you. I’m glad that you had a week filled with accomplishments. More importantly, I hope it was filled with happiness. Yay for comfy pajamas!

    Jess: Congrats on breaking through your writer’s block! Have fun reading and discussing Wilde’s stories with your little brother.

    Rachel: Congratulations to your niece and extended family, and to your friend and his cast and crew!

    Farida: That’s excellent! Kudos.

    Stacey: Hope you are healing and feeling better.

  27. Hi Jules and Imps!
    Jules – so sorry you were sick, glad you went anyway, happy it was fun!

    Imps – fantastic kicks! Too many to comment on, but – oh the poem by Steven. Beauty. Thank you.

    My kicks involve:
    1. getting through a crazy week feeling only marginally well but keeping a flu/cold far enough away that I didn’t get it

    2. fall weather – I put away most of my sandals for LA’s “cooler season”. Being from the Northeast I have a hard time saying ‘winter’!

    3. my parents closed on their condo in our neighborhood. They move here in late November – YAY!

    4. just found out an artist friend is semi-retiring from her day job as a graphic designer to devote herself more fully to her art.

    5. Halloween is coming – so much fun for the Little!

    Have a GREAT week!

  28. Wow it’s like a 7 imp party here today.

    Margie I love YOUR picture of leaves falling like rain!

    Jules, it’s a fair question! It is the tree in our courtyard. I call it the courtyard tree probably because I forget if it’s called a brush cherry or bush cherry all the time (apparently it’s brush). It is beautiful and shady and helps hold up the hammock!

    Lori, I hadn’t heard of ENO hammocks, what a great idea. I will look for something like that for our next camping trip.

    JES the USA is like Oz to me. Your houses are so cute, and your accents are too, and the forests are full of strange critters. Plus you have tornados. (apparently we do to but it’s really rare for anyone to see one)

    Adrienne if you read cookbooks like novels, you would probably love “At home on the range” by Margaret Gilbert. It was written in the 50s (? I think) with lots of chatty narrative around the recipes. I adored it. (eg from the book “Don’t overthink orange marmalade. Constant stirring and average intelligence is really all that’s necessary.”)

    Steven, I love your poem.

  29. emmaco — you may have tornadoes down there but I bet you call them something more musical and mysterious. Willigongs or some such.

    Rachel, I’d LOVE to see Crater Lake sometime. (I was hoping you’d taken pix and indeed you did, albeit just one :).)

    As for intelligent plotting, Jess, I’m not sure what the trick was. I just suddenly thought to myself, like: Y’know, THAT is really stupid. And you know you don’t have to stick with that choice just because it’s already on paper, right? You can actually THROW IT AWAY?!?

    Jules: Natasha is right — you will love the BBC’s Sherlock. (If for no other reason than the name of its star: Benedict Cumberbatch.) As for whether or not to read the stories first, I’m not sure. There ARE a certain number of in-jokes and cross-references to the originals, and that adds a bit of layering that you’d miss otherwise. I believe they’re pretty entertaining in their own right, though. You might do a sort of compromise… There are only like 3 episodes in a “season,” and each (AFAIK) is titled similarly to a real Conan Doyle story. So you could read each original first, followed by its corresponding episode, and so on, without requiring a massive up-front reading commitment. (Because the stories are public domain by now, you can easily get the individual ones online.)

    And you’re welcome for the research, btw. To my mind, 7-Imp is still THE role model for anybody who thinks they’d like their blog to serve their readers; so doing favors for it/you always feels like I’m playing catch-up. Heh.

  30. Wow, it IS like a party this week.

    Amy, thank you. I hope it’s always a good kind of overwhelming. Sonja actually isn’t *new* to illustrating, but she’s definitely new to me.

    LW, finally feeling better, to answer your question. Always happy to save your kicks from spam. Your kicks are always sheer joy.

    Allison, hope you start to feel better soon. Glad you didn’t get the full-fledged flu. (Say THAT seven times fast.) So glad your parents closed on the condo. That’s good news.

    Emmaco, the U.S. is like Oz. I LOVE THAT YOU SAID THAT. And then what John said about tornadoes made me snort-laugh. (A “willigong” sounds like a MUCH different thing.)

    John, thanks for the Sherlock feedback. I like your idea. And the nice thing you said about 7-Imp? Holy moly, I am not worthy, and I am blushing, but thank you.

  31. John you just reminded me that the only tornado like thing I have seen are whirly whirlys aka willy-willy. I am sure that if one was next to a billabong we could call it a willigong.

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