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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pity the Reader - Vonnegut

     Voice is such a difficult idea to grasp, and such a hard thing to define. How do we as writers find our voice?
     I was turned on to this great article by Kurt Vonnegut on "How to Write With Style," but I found it also described how to find one's voice.
     Definitely worth the read.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ready for the Day - Great News!!

Ready for the Day! written by Stacey R. Kaye, and illustrated by Yours Truly, published by Free Spirit Publishing, has been selected as an iParenting Media Awards Outstanding Product for 2008!
iParenting.com is one of the Internet’s most popular communities for parents and parents-to-be. Editor-in-Chief Elisa Ast All writes a syndicated monthly newspaper column and co-hosts the radio show “Points on Parenting,” where she features her favorite iParenting Media Award winners.


Learn more about the ParentSmart/KidHappy series - click the covers!

Mooses in Sprinklers

Apparently they like them too. Can you imagine something that BIG showing up in your back yard!?



Thanks to Cute Overload where you can actually see two more videos of Mooses in sprinklers!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Coloring Page Tuesday - Lion

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     I actually took time to draw for fun over vacation and came up with this roaring lion. I love them when they roar and their face gets all crinkled up. Anyhow - thought y'all would get a kick out of seeing how the sketch starts out before I apply the black lines to make it a coloring page. Just pencil on paper.
     I took the tail from a neighboring lion.
     Click the (black and white) image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!
     For more coloring pages, go here.



     Learn about my Cinderella story picture book, The Prince's Diary, click the cover.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

¡Amiguitos! - 2nd round


     Have you noticed our world is changing? No matter how stuck in our ways adults may be, the kids have taken the ball and are running with it.
     I recently spoke to the second summer session for the Latin American Association's ¡Amiguitos! program. (My first visit goes into more detail about its mission.)
     Since the goal of Amiguitos is to encourage cultural interaction, language, friendship and understanding, I started off my talk with "¿Quién habla español?"
     Well, not only did they speak some Spanish, they spoke Mandarin, Swahili, and . . . English. And there was nothing odd about the variety to the kids. They're a melting pot of languages and cultures and those differences are as inconsequential as describing hair or eye color. It's exciting.
     These kids are so much more aware, accepting, and communicative than previous generations, it gives me hope for our future.
     I shared Paco and the Giant Chile Plant and . . . something else (more soon) . . . and drew Rosebud. The kids were great as usual. It's a nice day when you can spend time coloring and doing Sopa de palabras (word search puzzles) with children. A nice day indeed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kerry Madden's visit!


     So in this strange new cyber world of ours, I have so many friends, good friends, who I've never met in person. My friends are scattered all over the country, even around the world. (It's heck for throwing parties!) So, it's such a treat when I finally get to hang out with them in person.
     The last two days I had just such an opportunity when Kerry Madden wrapped up her book tour for the third book in her Maggie Valley Trilogy, "Jessie's Mountain."
     Kerry and her daughter Norah joined me at the family cabin where we picked blackberries, talked about Appalachian Folklore, talked about how our worlds merge in so many places, how the mountains pull at us both like a magnet we can't resist. Basically, we talked our fool heads off. It was so great.
     Thursday we took a quick tour of Copperhill, Tennessee - the site of my first novel. My favorite little old lady (doesn't act it) and well-spring of knowledge for my books, Doris, met us for B-B-Q. Norah got to straddle the famous line with a foot in each state. (I discussed the politics surrounding that line during the recent Georgia draught here.)
     Then we headed to FoxTale Bookshoppe down in Woodstock, Georgia (what a cute town!) where Kerry had the last visit of her tour. And what a send-off it was! She had an enormous crowd of talented and focused kids show up for her workshop. Jackie, Karen, and Ellen (store owners) obviously have a very close relationship with the children and families who gather in their store. It just had that tangible vibe - y'know how some bookstores do?
     Kerry played the CD of her main character's songs (Livy Two), put to music by her unbelievably talented sister-in-law, Tomi Lunsford. I dare you to go listen and not be swept away to a simpler time...
     Anyhow, we headed to a small coffee-house to unwind afterwards. There, I checked my cell phone for messages...
     212 area code? That's New York. That can only be one person - my agent!! "CALL ME!!" she says. Oh GADS!! Yup - she had some GREAT news which I will share in detail soon! Just leave it to say I couldn't have been with better friends when I made that call. Kerry, Norah and I squealed together and split a brownie!
     And then my lap-top started fritzing out.
     It's been proven many times in my life - when I experience extreme emotion - the electronics around me tend to . . . explode. Sometimes literally. When Kerry's laptop started acting up too, we decided it was real and we'd better keep me away from her laptop ... and the espresso machine!! Gads.
     Anyhow - Kerry is the most amazingly warm, wonderful, talented person, and her daughter is a fairy in disguise. What a wonderful, and all too short visit.
     Learn more about Kerry and her books at KerryMadden.com.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Beach - relivin' the relaxation

     This is where I was last week. Ahhhh.
     So a few years back, hubbie introduced me to St. George Island. It's a perfect little strip of land just off Florida's Forgotten Coast - a bridge away from Apalachicola (home of wonderful oysters and the film Ule's Gold).
     It's a treasure of a place. And the restaurant where Peter Fonda hung out in the movie, The Grill, is real and serves some of the best fried oysters I've ever had. (And just don't even ask about the lemon meringue pie!!)

     We went into town to eat several times and wandered the streets of the small town which is just big enough and not too touristy/junky/crowded/anything. Perfect. Apalachicola saw its hayday in the early 1900's when they invented refrigeration, so there's a distinct and genuine Victorian feeling to the place.
     Two bridges back across the scenic bay (at sunset, the marshes turn to gold) and we were back on the beach. The beach on St. George is bordered by National Nature reserves on each end, so is a sea-turtle sanctuary. Blinds must be drawn at night to keep light off the beach. It seems to be working too as we passed several roped off sea-turtle nests during our morning walks. We also saw Ospreys, seagulls, sandpipers, and a type of bird which supposedly only lives on one of the small islands in the bay - gotta look that one up.
     Did I say Ahhhh?
     So, why is there a Wee Free Man in my post? Well, hubbie and I have a habit of listening to really well acted out audio books during long drives. Last beach trip it was The Hobbit, so we spent our vacation saying, "My Preciousss."
     This year it was The Wee Free Men written by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs and it is laugh-out-loud-funny. The leader of the Wee Free Men, Rob Anybody, burned such a strong image in my head, I had to draw him . . . for fun . . . something I rarely get a chance to do these days.
     So, here is Rob Anybody, and all I can say is, "CRIVVENS! We're offski!"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Coloring Page Tuesday - Ballerina at barre

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     Thanks to Héléne for the suggestion for this week's coloring page - a ballerina at barre!
     Sounded simple enough, eh? Well, here's the journey of an illustrator - I drew about fifteen little ballerinas at the barre before I felt I'd caught that espirit a child feels when they clumsily move but imagine themselves graceful as swans. Hope you enjoy her!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!
     For more coloring pages, go here.


     Learn more about my fun picture book Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese - click the cover.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Twilight Preview


Twilight is coming! Click the image to watch a quick trailer. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Lion and the Mouse

     I just read a fascinating article in The New Yorker called "The Lion and the Mouse: The battle that reshaped children's literature," written by Jill Lepore. In it is a brief history of children's literature and children's libraries, but it primarily discusses the battle between Anne Carroll Moore, attributed as practically inventing the children's book library as we know it, and E.B. White, author of Charlotte's Web and the apparently incendiary Stuart Little.
     Who knew?
     I, like so many children, loved Stuart Little. Turns out Ms. Moore did not. And with the power she wielded at the time, she was able to make or break careers based on her opinions - but not Mr. White's (or his editor's, Ursula Nordstrom) career. A interesting power play overtook the New York publishing industry all because of this one little mouse. Wow.
     Anyhow, I recommend the article highly.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Coloring Page Tuesday - Family

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     Thanks to "Anonymous" for the suggestion for this week's coloring page - a Family, "critters n' all"! Well, I don't know about your family, but how do photographers get those nice portraits with everybody sitting still and smiling? It just seems so surreal!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!
     For more coloring pages, go here.



Especially appropriate with this week's coloring page - learn about my good parenting picture books, Ready for Bed and Ready for the Day - click the covers!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Little Brother


     Probably my favorite book so far this year is Corey Doctorow's "Little Brother," followed by Sherman Alexie's "Diary of a Part-time Indian."
     Savvy, smart, cutting edge, and edge of your seat - I loved this read. Cool thing is, Corey Doctorow is all about open-source. So, you can actually download the book for free from his website, although I prefer holding it in my hot little hands. At his website you can also view him reading some excerpts of "Little Brother."
     He said some really nice words about writing Young Adult fiction recently in this article for LOCUS online.
     Add to that he's got a page in my latest obsession: facebook. Gotta luv this guy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Illustration Friday: Foggy


     One of the things you have to think about when selecting your color palette is how the light, atmosphere and weather of a place effect color. For example, what colors do you see when you picture London? What colors do you see when you picture Arizona?
     This is a spread from "Oscar the Badger" which comes out this November. It takes place in London, a foggy place with lots of rain. The overall feel is muted colors and faded details - lending a slightly more "designery" look.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Amiguitos!



     THIS is why I do what I do. What a face.
     I had the great pleasure to give back a little bit to an organization that's meant a lot to me lately - the Latin American Association.
     Earlier this summer I shared Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante with campers attending the Amiguitos program, hosted by the LAA. And we had a great time!
     Amiguitos is a two-week Spanish immersion summer program for kids entering kindergarten through 4th grade. Native English-speaking and Spanish-speaking children work and play together to foster friendship and cultural understanding while teaching/learning basic Spanish language skills. Wonderful!
     We learned a Spanish song, I shared Paco and drew Rosebud, and everybody was quizzed on their Spanish and awarded sombreros (English is the first language for most of these kids) - then we sprawled out on the floor and colored. What a great day.
     And the cool thing is I get to do it again for the next session which starts on the 14th. Go to the LAA website to learn more about it.

Coloring Page Tuesday - Robot

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     Thanks to Sarah Beth for the suggestion for this week's coloring page - a robot! I choose to believe he's a friendly robot, not the "resistance is futile" kind. Color him with lots of blinky lights!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!
     For more coloring pages, go here.



Learn about my good parenting picture books, Ready for Bed and Ready for the Day - click the covers!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Coloring Page Tuesday - Independence Day!

Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     Happy July 4th! What could be more American than baseball and apple pie? My sister actually. Her birthday is July 4th too (Happy Birthday Sissie!), so it was always a big deal around our house.
     On another note, I've received some great suggestions for future coloring pages (thanks guys!). I promise, I'll get to them - they just got trumped by a holiday this week!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!
     For more coloring pages, go here.

     Learn more about my fun picture book Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese - click the cover.

Please follow my copyright policy when you use my images! And share your creation on the Coloring Page Tuesday facebook page!

Look what Rufus made for Operation Write Home:

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