Hello, everybody! Welcome to this week’s edition of 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks, our weekly tradition of listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week. We’re continuing our recent habit of featuring the work of a different illustrator each week as our post image, with two works from the delightful and talented Jamie Hogan.
You may remember Jamie as the illustrator of Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins, and the creator of the gorgeous portrait included in our interview with Mitali for the SBBT. She’s also not the person one should sit behind when one is attending a drawing lesson given by Ralph Masiello at the Charlesbridge Open House, even if she is very charming and kind in person.
“Both of them are unpublished pieces. I did ‘Sailing to Story Land’ as a gift for my teacher, Judy LaBrasca. She taught a week-long intensive workshop on Picture Books at Maine College of Art. It’s what jump-started my endeavors to do children’s book illustrating and writing. She is the wise owl and the students are all trying to sail, often in turbulent waters, to Story Land (getting published!). The image is divided into 3 parts as a nod to the exquisite corpse exercises we did in class, to spark our ideas.
“During the class, we learned about the genre, looked at tons of books, and worked in class on a thumbnail dummy. Mine was ‘Seven Days of Daisy’ and is a colorful romp through the week of an island pre-schooler. The other piece you chose is from the color version of that dummy, based on a real moment at the beach on Peaks Island, where I live. I get wistul thinking of it, since my daughter and her friends have outgrown the whims of nakedness at the shore.
“But all those pieces I created led me back to Susan Sherman, who I’d worked with in the early ’80s. I found her again at Charlesbridge and she gave me the Rickshaw Girl assignment. That was amazing in many ways, because I got to do extensive research on another culture (I love homework!) and I finally met Mitali Perkins, who is an inspiration, and Judy O’Malley, who is brilliant. I did another bookjacket for them recently: Secrets of the Cirque Medrano, set in turn-of-the-century Paris, with Picasso, saltimbanques, and mystery. That was delicious homework, too!”
Thanks, Jamie, for the lovely summery images!
1* My mom fell and broke her wrist Friday night, which is definitely NOT a Kick. But she’s okay - she’s got this thingy on her arm (with PINS! UGH!) but she’s not in a lot of pain, and she should be fine in a few weeks. It could have been worse. That’s the Kick part, see?
2* Also, my brother is taking very good care of her. He stayed with her most of the night, but he finally had to leave the hospital at 4:00 a.m. because, as he put it, “the waiting room chairs have ARMS on them. What is up with that??” Good point.
3* I finished Michael Ondaatje’s newest novel, Divisadero. It’s not my very very favorite of his, but it’s quite lovely.
4* I got to hang out with a friend and former co-worker who I hadn’t really seen since she got her new job. And we went to Finale, which is #497 in the ever-growing list of Things Cambridge Has That Ithaca Doesn’t And I’m Going To Miss A Lot.
5* And I got to hang out with another very good friend who I hadn’t seen in weeks. And she’s thinking of coming to visit me in Ithaca in August, so that’s one thing to look forward to after I move. And incentive to get unpacked in a speedy manner, too.
7* A lot of my favorite patrons have heard that I’m moving, and keep telling me how much they’ll miss me. Which is so totally rewarding, and utterly sweet of them. I’ll miss them too.
Aw, man, am I glad Eisha’s mama is okay! Also, I’m not surprised that Eisha’s library patrons will miss her. She’s not a “shush!”ing librarian for sure. She’s actually friendly and kind and helpful and enjoys talking books, obviously, and would not ever give you a hard time if, say, you maxed out your library card and your daughter’s library card on two huge stacks of picture books (sorry, but I’ve had too many bad experiences with the unhappy, “shush!”y kind).
#1). Those great images from Jamie Hogan!
#2). I got to go with my three-year-old daughter today to the baby shower of a friend from high school who has had a long, hard road to this joyous pregnancy. I’m so excited for her! And at this shower, I saw another high school friend, and she makes me laugh really, really hard and is a fabulous human being. I’m pretty bummed that the pictures taken of the three of us today did not come out (time for a new digital camera); otherwise, I’d share. Oh, and pictured here is my gift to the baby-to-come, ’cause no baby needs to be without that book (and now this book, too). BEST OF ALL, no one gave Love Your Forever as a gift. Whew.
#3). Cake at baby showers. And things like hand-made baby quilts and crocheted blankets that people like your aunts create for you. Awesome.
#4). The fact that the other bloggers in the Summer Blog Blast Tour have ended up being not unlike a Blogger Support Group. Also awesome.
#6). Last week was the anniversary of the first date my husband and I had (hey, Jen Robinson has a similar anniversary around the same time, apparently!). On our first date nine years ago, we saw “The Planet of the Apes” (”Get your stinking hands off me, you damn dirty human!” — uh, that’s a line from the movie, not anything I said to him on our date) in a summer classic-movie series at the historic Tennessee Theatre, but this time we saw “Knocked Up.” Like Adrienne, I laughed so hard I thought I’d stop breathing or pass out or something. Very good movie. To boot, it seems like the soundtrack would be really great.
#7 — last but far from least). This will be cryptic, but a very (amazingly) kind offer was made to me, and it’s all anonymous, so I don’t know whom to thank, and I absolutely could not in good conscience — and for several reasons — take the unknown donor up on the ever-so generous offer, but it was touching nonetheless. Confused? Sorry. That’s all I’m sayin’. But I had to mention it, ’cause such kindness is a definite kick.
Two more quick things:
- I had some chest pain this week, which was not anything serious (just annoying). But Eisha called me tonight to make sure I was okay, ’cause I hadn’t been online blogging or emailing all day. I was just busy all day, it turns out, but this tells me two things: 1) Eisha is a sweet friend, and 2) Damn, I must appear to be some kind of blogging addict! (But mostly it just tells me how thoughtful Eisha is) . . .
- These lists really do make you find The Good in your week, ’cause I thought my list would be short and under seven things. Heh.