7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #16: Meet J.Lo!

h1 June 24th, 2007 by Eisha and Jules

Adam Rex is the best thing ever (to pick up Adrienne’s favorite phrase). At last week’s 7-Kicks list, Adam’s name came up and then several of us were discussing our big, big love for his books. So, Eisha asked what the possibility would be of getting an illustration for this week’s list, and Adam sent two, never-seen-before ones. Woo hoo! In his words, “I couldn’t see the fun in simply giving you permission to post something that already appears elsewhere on the web, so I’m sending two images that appear nowhere else I know of.” Thanks, Adam!

Meet J.Lo — to the left here. This illustration is . . . well, here’s what Adam said about it:

“This one is really more in keeping with the spirit of your ‘7 Kicks’ feature. I have an illustrated novel called The True Meaning of Smekday coming out this September . . . I painted the cover, which can also be found on my blog, and drew a lot of black and white illustrations for the interior. For the cover we went with a sort of typographical cityscape, and it always bothered me that I never painted either of my two main characters. So this week I made a portrait of my lead alien, J.Lo. The paint was literally just barely dry enough to scan him and send him to you, so that’s the exciting thing I did this week.”

If you go here, everyone, you can read a brief comic about the upcoming release of the novel (to be published by Hyperion in September 2007).

And then he sent us this illustration, too, page ten of his upcoming fall picture book, Pssst! (Harcourt). “I think if you know nothing of the book but the title and this page, you can still get a decent idea where the story’s heading,” he told us. The book cover, as well as some failed ideas for the book cover and other things, can be found on his blog, Editpus Rex.

Many, many thanks to Adam Rex for the great art work this week!

As usual, we look forward to reading everyone’s lists. We realize a lot of folks are at the ALA conference this weekend, but this will not deter those of us not seminar-hoppin’ in D.C. to share our lists (but, boy, do we wish we were there, too).

{Oh, and here’s our usual intro for any new people: It’s time for another installment of 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks. For those new to our series, this is where we all stop in every Sunday to report seven (more or less is fine) Good Things that happened to you (or that you read or saw or experienced or . . . well, you get the picture) this week. Absolutely anyone is welcome to contribute, and your lists don’t have to be book-related} . . .

* * * * * * * Jules’ list * * * * * * *

1). Adam’s illustrations this week. And this page of his web site, which Eisha pointed out to me and makes me laugh really hard.

2). I finally saw “Capote” this week. In Cold Blood is one of my favorite novels, and I enjoyed the movie and its insight on the writing of the novel. And, though I agree that the Academy doles out best actor and actress awards entirely too often to those who impersonate instead of creating new characters from scratch, I was still mighty impressed with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance. He just never disappoints, now does he?

3) It seems like every time I get in my car anymore, the seriously awesome radio station here in Nashville, the only one worth listening to, is playing Wilco’s “What Light.” I’m not even that familiar with their music, but, dude, this is a lovely song.

4) I was driving down the interstate this week near downtown Nashville, and I saw a couple on the side of the road sitting with and stroking the fur of a deer that had either just been hit and was dying or was dead (I assume it was the former, since I think I remember seeing a quick flash of the deer’s big ‘ol beautiful eyes). This brought tears to my eyes — mostly because they had paused to get off the insane, busy roadway to comfort a dying creature, but also because seeing a deer hit on the side of the road always makes me gasp, every single time. They’re such beautiful animals. Perhaps the couple had been the ones to inadvertently hit the deer — or not. Either way, it was a fleeting moment of real grace.

5) Good, good books. I got an advance proof of Jenny Downham’s Before I Die and can see why the editor is raving about it and has begun marketing the hell out of it. I kinda can’t put it down and it’s suddenly trumped everything else I am reading (it was easy to start reading, ’cause I was very curious, given David Fickling’s awesome track record, not to mention the first page pulls you right in). I wish I could read all day, with no interruptions, and finish it. It’s quite compelling. But I’m almost there. There’s an image of the UK cover on the left there, which I just found.

6) The Summer Blog Blast Tour was a kick!

7) Double water slides, old skool Slip ‘N Slides, water parks, and those bounce rooms at children’s birthday parties, which we’re about to go experience (I’m writing my list on Saturday) — generally, the kind of fun you can have with wee young children during the summer. My girls get a wild thrill just running through a sprinkler. Remember those days?

* * * * eisha’s list * * * *

Well, now, what are the odds? Jules mentions the new Wilco song as one of her kicks, and my first kick is…

Sky Blue Sky1* The new Wilco album, Sky Blue Sky. Few things in this world make me as happy as a new Wilco album. Like A Ghost is Born and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, on the first listen I was afraid it was a little mellow for me, except for the two standout songs “Walken” and “What Light.” But Jeff Tweedy’s lyrics and those not-quite-country melodies have a way of seeping slowly into my subconscious, until one day I realize I’m walking around incessantly singing one of those “mellow” songs I thought I didn’t like so much.

Seriously, Jules, I can’t believe I’ve let you go this long without exposing you to my Wilco obsession. I know what I’m getting you for Christmas now.

2* I also had a great time with the SBBT. Like I commented on Colleen’s wrap-up post, I loved being involved with this project because it’s so gratifying to see so many of us working together, incorporating all our different styles and approaches and tastes and getting everything done with (as far as I could see) no issues or egos or problems at all. I love this about the kidlitosphere.

3* Excellent weather. Everyone else is complaining that it’s not very summery, but I like it – all week it’s been in the 70s, with those occasional ten-minute thunderstorms blowing through.

4* We had a puppet show at work for our Summer Reading Program kick-off event on Monday, and it went over like gangbusters. 92 people showed up, most of them children. Which for our little branch was probably a fire code violation. But it was so hilarious to hear all those kids yelling up at the puppets, helping them solve the mystery: “It was the SKUNK! He ATE the EGGS!”

5* And apparently I did a good job with my pre-SRP booktalks for the 5th-grade-and-up crowd, because the books I’d talked about (American Born Chinese, The Case of the Missing Marquess, and Homecoming) flew off the display shelf within the first day.

Kiki Strike: the Empress’s Tomb6* I tore through both of those ARCs my friend Jamie gave me – Kiki Strike: the Empress’s Tomb by Kirsten Miller, and The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex – and they were both awesome. So I could tell you all about J.Lo up there, but I’ll wait for a proper review. For now I’ll just say – Adam Rex is so talented it’s not really fair. Dude can paint, and he can really, really write.

7* And I’m reading Michael Ondaatje’s new novel, Divisadero. And of course it’s amazing. It’s Michael Friggin’ Ondaatje. What more do you need to know?


So… how about the rest of you? Got any Kicks to share? We’d love to hear about them…

41 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #16: Meet J.Lo!”

  1. Jules and Eisha, your lists seem to be good sources of music and book recommendations this week!

    I’ve got one major kick for this last week: I got that job! The wonderful one I really wanted. It’s a policy position with a large conservation organisation – I think we’ll suit each other. This means we have a date for leaving – end of July – and a destination – any town we end up liking between London and Cambridge (we fancy a smaller town but might end up in Cambridge itself). Any advice from British peeps is welcome over at my blog 🙂

    The happiness of this kick has chased other one out of my mind. I hope everyone else has had a good week, too!

  2. Congrats, Emmaco! That is great news and a great way to start off our day!

  3. I’m so excited about my day yesterday that I had to share quickly. I mean, I know I’ll write about it on my blog shortly, but I need to say it now! So this is my 7-kicks, ALA edition:

    1. Got books signed for me and for future 48 Hour Book Challenges by Avi, Gregory MacGuire, Jack Prelutsky, Eric Kimmel, Laura Schlitz, & Jeff Kinny.

    2. Met Roger Sutton over at the Horn Book booth. Wish we could have talked longer, but someone else was waiting and seemed like she actually knew him.

    3. Ran into John Green and Cecil Castellucci as I was just walking around minding my own business. Amazing.

    3. Ran into M.T.Anderson the same way, and we talked about bit about blogs and such – including yours 7-Imp! That’s who he mentioned specifically. I said that we were definitely blog friends. I hope I didn’t over-reach with that statement.

    4. Also ran into Liz from Tea Cozy and two authors, Rebecca Stead and Sara Holmes as we were all going to Mitali’s party, so I didn’t have to go in alone and got bonus time walking and talking with cool folk.

    5. Mitali’s party was lots of fun. Besides meeting her for the first time in real life, Sheila from Wands and Worlds took my dare and came to the party. Betsy made it too! Yeah! I also met some fun blogger and publisher and librarian peeps.

    6. We all headed over to the KId Lit Drink night, and were joined by Blue Rose girl Alvina and 7-Imp interviewee Justina Headley, About thirty people came in and out before or after their publisher engagements. I had a great time meeting everyone, and I am ninety percent sure that everyone else had fun too. It was AWESOME!

    7. The free ARC’s that I collected were the bain of my existence yesterday because they were soooo heavy. But now that they are safely home…YEAH NEW BOOKS!

    BONUS KICK. Because I didn’t get to come here last week, being that I was Internet-free at the beach, I didn’t get add my best kick from last week, meeting Kelly in person. She was so personable, and friendly, and interesting. We had great conversations, our kids all got along well, and we had a wonderful time. It was fantastic.

    7-Imp, love the Adam Rex thing. I loved his book, but I didn’t realize he has a blog. Somewhere new to visit.

  4. Wow, I didn’t realize that comment was so long. Sorry.

  5. AW MAN I’M SO JEALOUS, Pam! Not in an I’m-going-to-stalk-you-now kind of way, but in a happy way. Wah, wah, I wanna be in D.C. right now.

    And I’m big-time flattered that M.T. Anderson mentioned us. Blush, blush. Is he still walking around with my disembodied head? I’ve been needing that thing. And, OF COURSE, we’re Blog Friends Forever, MotherReader.

    Really, thanks for sharing. What a weekend you’ve had. Oh, and yes, Adam’s blog is really great. Enjoy!

    Off to get coffee . . .

  6. 1. My mom’s 80th birthday party last week was a huge success.
    2. I finished rereading the Prydain Chronicles (my first summer reading goal) but have yet to blog about THE HIGH KING.
    3. My flight home was delayed 5 hours — look at the bright side, it was lots of good reading time! Finished the new E. Berg and started the new B. Kingsolver. (I have no room to grow all my food, but I might have to try making mozzerella.)
    4. Mini-vacation #1–Rails to Trails biking and lunch in the cute college town of Gambier.
    5. Mini-vacation #2–fly fishing until last light on the longest day of the year.
    6. Fireflies.
    7. The June Carnival of Children’s Literature is up at A Year of Reading! Come check it out!

  7. I agree with Jules, MotherReader. We are totally BBFF. TLA! LYLAS!

    Emmaco, that is OUTSTANDING! Major congrats!

    Mary Lee – fireflies! Oh! I LOVE fireflies! And congrats on hosting the Carnival – I’ll be over directly to check it out.

  8. Thanks, Mary Lee! We missed this carnival. D’oh. But I can’t wait to see it.

  9. Where did June go? I missed two Sundays of 7 Kicks. It has been a crazy end to school.
    Emmaco: Congrats on your job. Eisha and Jules: Music, movies, and book recommendations I can use. I must get the new Adam Rex book, our principal refers to herself as “J.Lo” Looks good.
    I wish we had fireflies here and would have loved to attended the ALA. Now for my seven.
    1. Student’s last day was Thursday. I still have 2 or 3 days.
    2. I figured out books to re-read this summer: Anne Frank’s Diary, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Harriet the Spy, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, The Secret of the Old Clock(1st Nancy Drew I read, was my mother’s) and The White Mountains.
    3. Met another blogger, Annie, when she was in Portland. Her blog is “Scenes from a Slow Moving Train”.
    4. Time at Powell’s City of Books.
    5. Got my niece’s arrival information for July.
    6. People have “rsvp”ed to my author party for Laini Taylor on July 2nd.
    7. Summer is here. Beautiful weather.
    Have a great week.

  10. Happy Sunday !

    1 – Have already watched this week’s “Doctor Who” episode thanks to my workmate coming out of his way to drop off the disc to me… WOW-EEE it was awesome !!

    2 – I read Derek Landy’s Skullduggery Pleasant this week (as recommended by my BFF Kelly H) – it’s SO funny !!!

    3 – Actually bought some books this week – got the last of the Bartimaeus trilogy and the latest three Doctor Who (Tenth Doctor/Martha) novels – £30 worth for less than £20 thanks to a bookshop offer and a voucher – woohoo !

    4 – I’ve written more of the first chapter of my non-Who Time Travel tale – it’s now four pages long… (Which means I’ve yet to finish my 6th Who tale, swings and roundabouts !)

    5 – I’m reading Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful which I picked up from the library yesterday along with Jan Mark’s Stratford Boys – both of which I’ve been meaning to read for ages…

    6 – I’m going to visit my parents next weekend – and looking forward to the break from the incessant work. Irritatingly I still haven’t organised a schedule for myself because my bosses won’t stop bombarding me with work, so I shall be glad of four days off !

    7 – I had a nice note from author David Thorpe whose excellent Hybrids I read and briefly reviewed last week. I get sucha kick out of authors spontaneously contacting me when they see their book reviews…

    And that’s it – I’m done (if not done for !)…

    By the way, anyone want any rain ? We’ve got LOTS to spare over here in the UK – Emma, pack waders for your move here (and congrats on getting the job !) !

  11. Hi, Jone! This is the one time of the year when I envy teachers. The rest of the year I think you must be saints. Enjoy your summer!

  12. hey, everybody. Happy weekend.

    1. I floated the idea of getting some real chickens for pets, and my citified, grew-up-with-a-conrete-backyard husband, did not immediately reject the idea.
    2. I found some awesome chicken coops online.
    3. I called a dear college friend in Kentucky who raises chickens and she told me lots.
    4. Even if this idea doesn’t come to fruition, I’ve enjoyed thinking about it.
    5. Junior finished second grade. Yay.
    6. Found some great books at the libe, and loved seeing the new Oliver Jeffers about the book-eating boy. (It wasn’t available for checkout yet.)
    7. One of the library books is Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer, and it’s really good.

  13. Well, Susan, it’s only fitting. You should really have some chickens. I’m shocked you don’t already.

    I keep hearing good things about the Francine Prose book. Thanks for the rec!

  14. I’m adding three more kicks before I head out for the day:

    1). Holy crap. I just finished Before I Die, and it’s utterly and thoroughly amazing.

    2). Tomorrow is the 9th anniversary of the first date my husband and I ever had (and we’re going out to celebrate, which is why I’m leaving).

    3). My daughter just named her duck puppet “Bill.” ‘Cause, you see, he has one. I love it.

    Jone, happy summer! Susan, I hope you get chickens. And I bet you will not be disappointed in the new Oliver Jeffers book.

    Sayonara. I look forward to reading lists later.

  15. *sigh* I posted my 7 Kicks hours ago, but it seems your Blog has swallowed them or spit them out into cyberspace instead of publishing them, so I’ll try again…

    Emma, congrats on your job – bring waders with you, though !!

    1 – I watched the penultimate episode of “Doctor Who” today – my workmate went out of his way to drop it off today so I didn’t have wait another day for it ! Woo WHO !

    2 – I read Derek Landy’s hilarious and brilliantly imagined Skullduggery Pleasant (as recommended by my BFF, Kelly H) this week and it was just so good !

    3 – I finally got around to borrowing Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful and Jan Mark’s Stratford Boys from the library yesterday – I heard extracts from both read by the authors at literary events here in Oxford but have only just got around to them ! I also picked up Linda Newbery’s Lost Boys after thoroughly enjoying reading At the Firefly Gate (again thanks to Kelly for the rec !).

    4 – I’m going home to see my parents and brorther (and cat !) next weekend – four days of NOT working constantly to which I look forward very much… (The working-from-home thing is still not working in my favour since my bosses won’t stop throwing tons of work at me every day !)

    5 – Despite the lack of a work schedule I’ve now written about 5 pages of the first chapter of my non-Who Time Travel tale (and have selected which time periods the protagonist will be visiting on his “Improbable Journeys” !

    6 – I found out yesterday that there’s going to be a HP conference in OXFORD next year – I may actually be able to go !

    7 – Owing to some nasty and uncalled for personal comments on a writers’ critique forum that I joined, I deleted my account – but three different people from the forum emailed me to say they were sorry I had left the group, which was comforting…

  16. Hey, Michele. I just de-spammed your first list. I don’t know why Akismet decided you were suddenly dangerous, but hopefullly it will leave you alone now.

    Anyway, I also LOVED Skulduggery Pleasant. Hilarious! And I hope your job situation gets easier. Sounds like you’re making the best of it, though.

  17. Eisha thanks !! Perhaps Akismet knows something I don’t ?! 😀

    Was Skullduggery Pleasant fab – I really hope it’s the first in a series, that character is WAY too good to waste on just one novel… And I loved Stephanie too – Landy’s answer to “Harry Potter”, I reckon !

    I’m doing the best I can to cope with the work situation – but I hope it gets better !

  18. Hi All!

    I’m so glad I caught 7 Kicks before going offline in a few hours for an entire week. Will I survive? It’s hard to tell 🙂

    So many great kicks this week! I had so much fun reading them. MR was a big kick for me last week. Just wish I could have tailed her for ALA this weekend!

    Emmaco: Great news on the job. That’s fantastic!!

    Skulduggery Pleasant is a kick in and of itself. I’m glad to see Michele and Eisha agree 🙂

    Mary Lee: The carnival is fantastic. I read through last night and enjoyed it thoroughly.

    Susan! I can’t believe you’re getting chickens!! I hope we’ll get photos.

    Eisha and Jules: I love the “illustration” and both your fabulous lists. How I want to read the new Kiki Strike.

    Jone: Goodbye students. Enough said 🙂 (Not that we don’t love them, of course…)

    Anyway…on to my kicks:

    1) I’m in Scotland! I’m not sure I really need another kick. True, like Michele said, the entire U.K. is under a raincloud, but still…I’m in Scotland.
    2) Headed offline tomorrow. This is both good and bad. Good, ’cause I need the time. Bad, because I may freak.
    3) MR made me feel better by my continual Forest tardiness. It really WILL be up on the 4th. I SWEAR.
    4) Billie Standish Was Here. Um, Jules, you were so right. I’m going to write up a review for when I get back. Awesome book.
    5) Children actually behaving on a trip. At the same time.
    6) Did I say Scotland?

    Thanks, Jules and Eisha!

  19. Michele – oh hell yes there better be a sequel.

    Kelly – so glad you checked in before you disappeared into the ether for a week. And hey, weren’t you supposed to take me with you to Scotland? I distinctly remember asking you very nicely, and offering to carry your luggage. Hm. Glad you’re having a good time, anyway.

  20. ADAM REX!!! Now I want to read True Meaning of Smekday even more than I did before, which was a lot. Does anyone know who one contacts at Hyperion to request ARCs? They’re one of the only publishers I haven’t gotten one from before, and their website defies my every attempt to find this information.

    I’ve added Adam Rex’s blog to my Bloglines. How did I not know he had a blog?

    KELLY’S GOING TO BE OFFLINE FOR A WEEK? This seems extreme.

    Jules, In Cold Blood is a favorite of mine, too, and I likewise enjoyed Capote. I loved PSH’s performance (he grew up in the Rochester area, so yay local boy!), and I also loved Catherine Keener as Harper Lee. I haven’t seen the newer one about him yet (forgetting title — drat bad memory).

    Eisha, I want to see that puppet show.

    Susan, Ooo! Chickens are kind of mean, but I really, really want to get to a place where I can keep some. I would dearly like to have easy access to fresh eggs from hens that I know have been treated properly. Someday, someday.

    My seven:

    1. Adam Rex. Obviously.
    2. My friend Tracy spent the week with me here at my house. I needed some QT with her, so that was great.
    3. We had severe t-storms on Tuesday, which made the power go out at work, and we closed at 2:00!!! (I came home and watched the Robot Chicken Star Wars special, which was fun.)
    4. My friend Jen was in town from NC this weekend, and we got to spend a long afternoon together yesterday.
    5. I spent the night at a friends’ cottage on Lake Ontario last night eating and talking and drinking margaritas. It was like heaven.
    6. Strawberry season.
    7. Watermelon.

  21. Whew, I’m beat, and I’m tempted to let MotherReader speak for me with her list because it was so great, but here’s my ALA take:

    1. Saw John Green on the ALA floor. Said “Nerdfighters!” and he stopped to talk. I wanted to tease him about his haircut for Judy Blume, but I didn’t want to push it.

    2. Got to tell MT Anderson what I loved about Octavian Nothing and how Feed references have become common at our house. I also talked 7-Imps with him, and he said he was SO impressed with you! Yes, specifically YOU and YOU, jules and eisha!

    3. Meeting other new authors with their first books out and sharing stories. Thanks, Tami!

    4. Meeting MR and all the other bloggers and librarians and writers at MR’s KidLit Drink Night. MR, you throw a great party, and yes, you may organize my next one. (please.)

    5. Trying to Bollywood dance at Mitali’s book launch. I sucked, but Fuse rocked. I mean, she is really good, as in I’m suspecting a reincarnation she has yet to admit to.

    6. Vacation time with my family.

    7. Signed my first contract to speak at a writing conference. (Christopher Newport University, March 2008)

  22. Adrienne – Robot Chicken has a Star Wars special? Damn, I really need to get cable.

    Sara, you mover/shaker. In more ways than one. I can’t believe y’all are all talking us up with M.T. That’s so sweet.

  23. Hello Friends,
    Oh, I was feeling so lousy about my bad week and knowing that I won’t have 7 things that I almost didn’t show up. However, reading all these great lists has made me feel better.
    1. Received a signed copy of Gail Gauthier’s new book this week. Thanks to Gail and MR. William was thrilled and he LOVED the book.
    2. William had a great first week of camp, including Putt-Putt, roller skating, two days of swimming and a moon bounce. What a great week for a six-year old.
    3. Saw the movie Once with my best friend. It was amazing.
    Wish I had more, but a short list just means that this week will be better than the last!
    Have a great week all!

  24. What great lists . . .

    Michele, Skullduggery Pleasant is in my to-be-read pile. Everyone keeps raving. Must read it. HAVE FUN VISITING YOUR FAMILY! Yes, I’m yelling that.

    Kelly, we’ll miss you all week, but enjoy it. Glad you loved Billie Standish, too. Now you just have to read Before I Die, but you won’t be able to put it down and it will trump all other novels you’re reading. I’m just warning ya.

    Adrienne, so glad you enjoyed the Rex art work. We knew you would. Oh, and I just saw “Knocked Up” and nerd-laughed all through it. Wasn’t it you who said you were laughing so hard you thought you’d stop breathing?

    Sara, YOU GO, partying it up at ALA. We’re very flattered that M.T. is a fan. I remember him saying he likes Sonya Hartnett’s writing, so I hope he caught that interview. CONGRATS ON THE SPEAKING GIG!

    Tricia, sorry you had a bad week, but your list is a nice one.

  25. The PSST! page makes me scream, “Free him from the cage! Free him NOW!” It also makes me think of Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. 🙂 The broken tire makes me think of the adorable elephants (adorabelephant?) from The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti.

    It sounds like you ROCKED the booktalk! Nice choices.

    Okay, seven things:

    1) The SBBT was a huge success. Colleen rocks. I’m so glad that she let me be a part of the SBBT.

    2) I auditioned for something yesterday.

    3) I auditioned for something else today.

    4) I got a call this afternoon saying I got the part I auditioned for yesterday. I am now hoping hoping hoping that everything goes well with this production – that the cast gels, that the schedule solidifies, that this play comes to fruition!

    5) I treated myself to one of my favorite episodes of Without a Trace, and I got that phone call minutes after it was over. Coincidence? I don’t THINK SO.

    6) Though I’m still a week behind on blogs due to the crazy nature of the past seven days, I managed to squeeze in time for errands, plus I did some work for clients and I almost, almost caught up on my emails.

  26. Oops! I hit ‘Submit Comment’ prematurely.

    7) I got a decent night’s sleep on Friday and Saturday, and I’m going to go attempt to do so again now. (yawn) G’night, e&j.

  27. P.S. Once was great!

  28. Little Willow, I freakin’ love Ishmael. I have a hand-written letter from Daniel Quinn, which I re-discovered recently.

  29. I haven’t read In Cold Blood, but I thought Capote was fantastic, especially Keneer as Harper Lee. Did you spot the brief scene with David Rakoff? He’s the one questioning Harper Lee about her book, asking if it’s a children’s book, etc. His face is turned away from the camera, but he’s got a distinctive voice. Also, I NEED to know what that story was where the skunk ate the eggs. Truly!

    My seven kicks:

    1) I have another storytelling gig, and this time I’m getting paid for 45 minutes. I need to get my voice in shape. I do not want what happened last time (squawk!) to happen again.

    2) I think I have seen the last of diapers. Lucia of her own accord doesn’t want to wear them at night, and she’s making the effort to get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

    3) I tackled the pile of mending I’d been avoiding. I made a pair of shorts out of the orange and black trousers that tore on a nail (I was mad!), and a skirt for Lucia out of a pair of green trousers that I had inadvertently sewed with the pattern going one way up one leg and another way going down. The skirt is still that way, but it’s less noticable now, and Lucia likes the skirt.

    4) I think I rescued the existing honeysuckle growing up against the East wall of our house, plus I added two more plants. The jasmine at the front of the house is smelling heavenly. Of course, I keep thinking of Gina Torres’ character “Jasmine” in “Angel.”

    5) I’m hosting July’s Carnival of Children’s Literature! The theme is “The Play’s the Thing,” and it’s open to broad interpretation.

    6) My St. Fiacre statue arrived Friday. St. Fiacre is the patron saint of gardening, and he’s in the front yard, keeping an eye on the plants.

    7) Bede’s Buffy comix arrived too. They’re his Father’s Day present, but since he’s not around, I’m going to mix myself an indulgent whisky and coke (Shhh, I don’t drink soft drinks except as mixers. Guilty pleasure.) and read them right now, since he’s not around until later this evening.

  30. P.S. Obviously, I didn’t proofread #7 very well.

  31. And LW – BREAK A LEG in your new role! I hope all good things for your production, too.


    And Tricia, I hope this week is better too.

  32. Hee, Akelda. I’m the same way about soft drinks. And I won’t tell your husband that you read his present first.

  33. Still Sunday here, and I’m sliding in under the wire. Happy Summer Solstice to all!

    1. The SBBT was a huge success
    2. The love of my life and I celebrated the 20 year anniversary of our first date this weekend (we met during college, though he went to college 800 miles away from me). We went out for a VERY nice dinner.
    3. I wrote five book reviews this weekend.
    4. I finished re-reading the second Harry Potter book, and am well into the third.
    5. The Red Sox are 11.5 games up on the Yankees (we Red Sox fans are happiest when this lead is in double digits).
    6. I walked for at least 90 minutes every day this week, and am almost done listening to the most entertaining new Janet Evanovich book.
    7. The weather in Northern CA has been absolutely perfect all week (which helps with the walking, and with general spirits).

  34. Hey, Jen. 20 years since the first date is quite the achievement. And still celebrating it is an even more impressive one.

  35. Jules do read ASAP, it’s ACE !!!

    And thanks, all, I do intend to have a good weekend with my parents and brother. My bro is dragging me off to see Shrek 3 on Saturday afternoon, then I’ll go back home and watch the last three episodes of “Doctor Who” back more or less back to back, finishing with that nail-biting, stomach-churning finale that-may-not-be-a-finale !!

  36. Jen – Congratulations on your anniversary! I love that you two celebrate that.

    eisha – Thank you!

  37. Late, late, late again!

    Hope everyone had a great week and is excited about Summer being here at last. Here are my 7 things….

    1. Hiring a professional cleaner to clean up after my brother and his kids went back to Ohio. I seriously could not cope with the mess they left behind.

    2. Planning a getaway weekend in Philly during the pre-4th celebrations this coming week. I’m so excited about watching Rocky from the steps of the Art Museum!

    3. I realize that I’ve been laughing a lot the last few months. And not hysterical (laugh or you’ll cry) kind of laughter, but real fun laughter.

    4. Successfully helped someone I care about navigate a tricky family party.

    5. I was reminded about 50 times this past week how wonderful my neighbors can be. Incredibly grateful.

    6. I have a new balcony, and new steps leading to a window that I have to make into a door, and a new floor in the bedroom, and a new hose faucet, and all the other wonderful home improvements my brother left behind for me!

    7. Fireflies. I keep seeing them everywhere, and I think they’re the coolest little critters around.

    Have a great week all!

  38. Hi, Nancy. Is your brother healing well after the porch incident?

    I love fireflies, too. Best. insect. ever.

  39. Thanks for asking Jules, yes he is. That turned out to be just one of 3 near-death falls this month among people I’m close with.

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