Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween pumpkins!

It's been a bit crazy lately but I refused to give up our holiday pumpkin carving tradition. So, the gang gathered together again and we had a messy massacre of pumpkins guts:

But I think we are all getting better at carving because I think this was our best batch yet:

As usual, there was an eclectic theme ranging from Spiderman to bunnies:

The Sasquatch did a particularly charming Pac-Man themed pumpkin:

I admit I had a soft spot for the children's book ones:
Richard Scarry and Ed Emberly-inspired!

Because, of course, I carved some of them:

My older sister and niece came to the pumpkin carving for the first time and both did frogs:

What will we carve next year?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Friday, October 28, 2011

happy feet

There's a Chinese saying that all journeys begin with the first step. Well, I've been stepping and am glad to have hit a rest stop. Because The Starry River of the Sky manuscript is finished! I've been furiously working on revisions and now it's off to copyediting! Phew! I treated myself to a pedicure as reward.

But my pretty toes have got to start walking soon. Not only do I have to start the illustrations for the book, I have a full calendar of events coming up. Next week (Nov. 4th!), I'll be in Tulsa, OK as part of the Tulsa-County Library Books-to-Treasure event and then Nov. 19th, I'll be in Florida at the Miami Book Fair! Hope to see you!

fortune cookie friday

"No one is more afraid of ghosts than those that don't believe in them."
-Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Booktalk tuesday

What the Witch Left, by Ruth Chew

From the Ruth Chew website:
Katy's aunt has left some very strange things locked in a drawer… Things that look ordinary but are actually magic! When Katy and her friend Louise unlock the drawer, they learn some very interesting secrets, but they also discover that magic causes a lot of trouble— especially now that Katy has lost the key! Her aunt is coming to get her stuff back, and if she's a witch, she won't be too happy.

My thoughts: I've written before about how much I love Ruth Chew books, but it's worth mentioning again! Her books are the perfect books to read at Halloween! They are all about witches and magic but they are NOT scary at all. This one is my favorite (I loved the magic gloves and how they went to Mexico in the magic boots).
Sadly all of Ruth Chew's books out of print (even though they should not be!) but you can probably get them from the library or find them used pretty easily.

Monday, October 24, 2011

on my desk monday

Even though I meant to post about this much earlier that by no means diminishes the absolute thrill I had when I received this. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was given the Sakura Medal! This is an award given by International Schools across Japan. Arigato gozaimasu!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

down the rabbit hole!

me and Alvina!
Lately, I've been horrible about blogging here. Truth is, ever since France, I've been completely buried.

Of course, it's a hole of my own making. When I was in New Orleans in June, I had my tarot cards read and the fortune teller told me that I seem to like to have a lot of projects going on...and I would have to start limiting them. Well, she was right--on both counts. I do have to start limiting my projects, but I also like all of them. I don't know which ones to choose! Ones that feed my soul, ones that pay my bills, ones that have the most people counting on? I think I might need a tarot card reading just to help me choose.

In the meantime, I am just trying to skirt by! Right now my editor Alvina (aka Melody from the Year of the Dog) and I are in Fresno, at the USBBY conference where we gave a talk on the author/editor relationship. I read aloud the first chapter of my work-in-progress, The Starry River of the Sky! I guess I was trying to multi-task and work on some revisions at the same time as giving a speech.

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Friday, October 21, 2011

fortune cookie friday

"Avoid suspicion: when you're walking through your neighbor's melon patch, don't tie your shoe."
-Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

booktalk tuesday

The Devil's Storybook, by Natalie Babbitt

From IndieBound:
"Ten comic stories about the machinations of the Devil to increase the population of his realm...The stories are delightful in their narrative fluency, full of surprises, and frequently spiced with dashes of Saki-like mischief. A suitably wicked but hilarious drawing accompanies each tale."--Starred / The Horn Book

My Thoughts:This will be the preferred Halloween book for those who might have found Coraline a little too creepy. Short stories full of laughs and surprises, devilish but not scary--the way some people (including me) prefer their Halloweens.

Monday, October 17, 2011

on my desk monday

I meant to blog about this ages and ages ago, but got squeezed for time. However, since the school year has started this seems apropo now, too!

Last year I did a Skype visit (I don't usually do Skype visit but I make exceptions for special cases) with the Al-Hamra Academy and as a thank you, they sent me this completely WONDERFUL book cataloguing their projects with Where the Mountain Meets the Moon!

Our Skype visit is even included:

And these pages just bring tears of joy into my eyes!

Thanks so much, Al-Hamra Academy!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

booktalk tuesday

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

IndieBound Description:When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.
But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.
Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

My thoughts:Neil Gaiman is the modern king of creepy/goth kid books, perfect for Halloween reading! I liked this better than the Graveyard Book, even though that one won all the awards. But both gave me shivers!

Monday, October 10, 2011

on my desk monday

I'm continuing the Pocket Pacy project! Here are three new ones that will soon have new homes as I travel the US for my school visits. And, with this inspiration, I'm thinking of making some very similar looking Ling & Ting ornaments to sell at this weekend's RISD alumni sale!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Friday, October 7, 2011

fortune cookie friday

"Don't poke holes in the paper of your own lantern."
-Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

booktalk tuesday

Since I have returned from France, we now return to our regularly scheduled posts...welcome back BookTalk Tuesdays!

How to Eat Fried Worms, by Thomas Rockwell

IndieBound Description:Because of a bet, Billy is in the uncomfortable position of having to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. The worms are supplied by his opponent, whose motto is "The bigger and juicier, the better!" At first Billy's problem is whether or not he can swallow the worm placed before him, even with a choice of condiments from peanut butter to horseradish. But later it looks as if Billy will win, and the challenge becomes getting to the worm to eat it. Billy's family, after checking with the doctor, takes everything in stride. They even help Billy through his gastronomic ordeal, which twists and turns with each new day, leaving the outcome of the bet continually in doubt.

My Thoughts: I remember my third (or was it fourth?) grade teacher reading this aloud to us in school and the whole class loved it! This book always kind of feels like autumn to me. Great book.

Monday, October 3, 2011

versailles and au revoir

And then it was our last day in France. Our flight was at 7pm, so we thought we'd fit in one last sight before we headed to the airport. And that last sight was Versailles!

It was only after we got there that we realized what a mistake it was to try to see Versailles on our last day and for only a couple of hours.  Versailles is enormous. There's the main palace, the numerous gardens, the canal,  and then Marie-Antoinette's estate. You definitely need at least a whole day to really see it.

We made the mistake of starting with the main palace:

The reason why this was a mistake was because it was incredibly crowded and time consuming:

Though not without some neat visuals:
Marie Antoinette's bed!
The Sasquatch, a bit overwhelmed, at the splendor in the Hall of Mirrors
lots' o mirrors in the Hall of Mirrors!
But we soon realized that it was the outdoor gardens and the rest of the estate that we'd rather see.

I particularly wanted to go to Marie-Antoinette's Estate and see something labeled the "Temple of Love." I had one Pocket Pacy left  and I thought that sounded fitting.

However to get there was rather confusing.

And instead of at the Temple of Love, we found ourselves at the Grand Trianon and out of time.  So the last Pocket Pacy was forced to take residence there.

I thought her outfit looked rather regal! Fits right in, don't you think?

Au Revoir, Pocket Pacy! Au Revoir, France!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pocket Pacy #7

On the way back from Rouen, I could not help but notice that there was a town called...PACY!!!

There are only 8 Pocket Pacys but I am a Pacy too, so there are 9!
Well, Pocket Pacy and I had to go and visit our town! It's only polite.

Hey, look! We own a Creperie! Yum!

I better leave a Pocket Pacy to oversee the shop.

Don't eat up all the profits, Pocket Pacy!