Friday, January 30, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

small graces: February

This is the painting that will be auctioned for for February's small graces. The auction is tentatively scheduled for the 2nd week in February, so I made the painting a bit Valentine's Day themed. Stay tuned for more details (and of course, spread the word!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

As I mentioned earlier, I am in Texas for a week of schools visits, so I am a bit belated with the Chinese New Year wishes. Please visit Elaine's excellent post for Chinese New Year book suggestions (including my new favorite, The Pet Dragon). To make up for it, I plan on watching Gund Kwok's lion and dragon troupe will perform in Boston when I get back (on Feb. 1st around 10 or 10:30 a.m. at the main stage on Beach Street). It's the country's first and only all Asian-women's Lion and Dance troupe and they're based in Boston. I received an e-mail from one of the members inviting me, and I admit to be extremely intrigued. Doesn't it sound like a great idea for a children's book? It just seems like there should be something there. Anyone suggestions?

Or maybe it's just a good idea for a new hobby!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Year of the Ox

I'm in warm (no winter jacket!) San Antonio, TX for a week of school visits, which means I ate Mexican food for Chinese New Year! It was beef fajitas which is kind of cow which is kind of ox...a bit of a stretch, I know. But as it's the Year of the Ox, this means it is the year hard work (with hopefully great rewards), so it is apropos that I am working! And Mexican food aside, the San Antonio teachers DO know how to get into the spirit. Great shirts, don't you think?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


My head has been filled with dumplings lately. Not only is my new work-in-progress novel tentatively titled "Dumpling Days," one of the stories in my upcoming early reader Ling & Ting prominently features dumpling making: With so many dumplings in my head, I decided there was no time like the present to accomplish #4 of my new year's resolutions: make my own dumplings!

My goal this year is to try a few different dumpling recipes and figure out which one I like best. When I recently read on Jama Rattigan's blog that her book "Dumpling Soup" was having it's 15 year anniversary (wow!), I knew her recipe was the one I wanted to try first.
"Dumpling Soup" was one of the few multicultural picturebooks around when I began my journey as an author/illustrator, it was one of the books that inspired me to write about my own cultural heritage. So, why not start my dumpling making experience with a book that started my book-making experience? Seemed fitting to me!

So, following the Yang family recipe, I murdered a cabbage. It was gruesome, I chopped it into many pieces. I didn't know I could be so cruel:

Then I mixed meat:

and folded the dumplings:

Don't they look good? They are not as nice as my mom's, but I was proud.

Then I cooked them

and ate them! YUM!
These dumplings are going to be hard to beat, but I plan on making the Lin family recipe next...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thanks to a kind hint by fellow blogger Mitali Perkins, I've figured out how to get a custom domain name for my charity project: Please spread the word!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Small Graces: A Painting a Month for the FCB

As I mentioned in my 2009 post, I was very proud of Robert's Snow. It is probably one of the most meaningful things I have ever done and it made me a true believer in the Winston Churchill quote, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

While I don't feel capable of running a large project like that again, I do want to continue its spirit if only in a small way.

So, I am proud to announce my new charity project:

Small Graces: A Painting a Month For the FCB

Once a month a small(roughly 5x5 inch), unpublished, original painting of mine will be auctioned off through eBay with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the Foundation of Children's Books. This painting(above) will go on auction from Monday, January 12 through Friday, January 16. (I'll post a link then!)

It is a variation on Robert's Snow except:

1. I'm the only artist, and there is only one painting during each auction

2. It will happen once a month for the year of 2009

3. The original paintings will all be illustrated small bits of wisdom (inspired by the collecting I've been doing for Fortune Cookie Fridays)

4. The money (all of it) will go to the Foundation of Children's Books to support author visits in low-income schools. Why? Read HERE.

This is just my small way to give back to schools and the community, and it can be yours too! Please spread the word and bid!


Recently, when my fellow BRG Meghan wrote a frank post about authors, money and school visits, it made me think. Her honesty made me wince and nod at the same time.

Because here is my truth--I do a lot of school visits. I am so grateful and honored that schools invite me. But a great portion of my income depends on the fees I receive from these visits. AND, my most natural state is introverted--there are only so many visits I can do in a year without stammering incoherently. I'm kind of like a jar of marbles--every visit I do I am less one marble until I am empty. So, I can't give away my marbles for free.

But, it isn't fair that the only schools that get authors to visit are the ones that can afford to. Every visit I do, I can see the excitement in the students. But it also isn't fair to ask the author (the usually financially-strapped author) to do it for free either.

That is where organizations like the Foundation of Children's Books, the beneficiary of my new little TBA project, comes in.

The Foundation
funds school visit programs for low-income schools. So, schools that usually can't afford an author to visit, get one and the author doesn't have to suffer financially either.

Supporting the Foundation is win-win for everyone. Students of all incomes get wonderful programs and fellow authors are able to make a living to keep creating books! Isn't that great?

Now, don't you want to know what my new little charity project is? Stay tuned!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Grace Lin Books Group

So, my New Year's resolutions are up and running...though no thanks to me. I am miserable with a cold, looking oh-so-glamourous-like this:

(like my hat? It was an X-mas gift!)

But resolution #8 (lucky 8!) has begun thanks to cyber-friend Jenny who started a Grace Lin Books Group on Facebook. She also made a Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Book Release Event too! Isn't that neat? Thanks, Jenny!

Please join! It'd be fun to have an online booklaunch! Once my congestion clears up, I'll try to think of some fun virtual party favors, as I think virtual cupcakes are sorely lacking in tastiness.

*question to self--do I join my own book group, or is that weird? Hopefully answer will be forthcoming as my head clears.

fortune cookie friday

"What you think, you become."