Add CSS here to override existing styles... -->

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We hit 100 followers on my blog! And I've pulled a winner! debsdoescrafts - please get in touch with me by April 1st at 5:00pm!

GAYA Nominees

I haven't said anything yet, but really should share... I have been nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award (GAYA) for my picture book Soap, soap, soap!!

Check out the list of authors I'm hanging out with for this great honor, including Jessica Handler, author of "Invisible Sisters"; Jennifer Jabaley, author of "Lipstick Apology"; Donny Seagraves, author of "Gone From These Woods." Woosie, this is some stiff competition. Still, it's so nice to be nominated!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Coloring Page Tuesday - Bunny Wheelbarrow

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

     It's Peter Cottontail's busy season. And he's got a ton of eggs to hide. But first he has to color them. Want to help him color these eggs?
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!

Don't forget about my BOOK GIVEAWAY!
     I'm trying to gather followers to my NEW BLOG ADDRESS and I'm giving away a book to do it!
     Go to MY BLOG and scroll down in the sidebar. Click "Follow" in the Google Friend Connect window. That's it! When I hit 100 followers (we're soooo close!), I will do a random drawing from there. The winner will win a signed copy of one of my trade picture books - their pick!
     Here's another option...
     Learn more about my fun picture book Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese - click the cover.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Monster Engine


What would your child's monsters look like if they were real?
     I was recently reminded of The Monster Engine created by Dave Devries in BuzzFeed's Children's Drawings Painted Realistically.
     Dave takes the monsters kids draw and renders them as realistically as possible. The results can be quite disturbing, and yet beautiful. And you have to wonder if this is how the children see their monsters in their heads. At the very least, they make for some amazingly different looking creations.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Even Faulkner had a day job

From Jacket Copy, "Even Faulkner had a day job" - an article about the day jobs some famous writers in history held to support their writing. For instance - Faulkner worked as the postmaster at the University of Mississippi. Average annual take-home pay by today's standards? $18,000 a year. Read to learn more about Franz Kafka and Charlotte Bronte. Hmmmm.
While J.K. Rowling is making billionaire lists, there is another generation of bank clerks, mailmen and nannies staying up late with their laptops, writing "not for glory and least of all for profit."
Makes me feel a little better (or worse?) - how about you?
Thanks to Nathan Bransford for the heads up.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love Movie Trailer


I haven't read Eat, Pray, Love yet. (I rarely read adult books!) But maybe I'll branch out. I have to admit, I LOVED Elizabeth Gilbert's TED talk...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dixie Magnet Elementary School!!


Definition of a perfect school visit? Dixie Magnet Elementary School in Lexington, Kentucky.
     This school visit had an interesting beginning. I learned about Dixie through Google Alerts when I was alerted to a project on Appalachian Culture and folklore hosted by Artists in Residence Alfredo Escobar and Jennifer Rose. The kids were painting a mural about folktales and various cultures and two of my books were featured in their work! I was so thrilled when I saw it, I got in touch with the school and the rest is history.
     So obviously, I already had an idea Dixie was something special, but that became even more apparent while planning my visit. It was my first 'get on a plane' school visit so it was a bit of a milestone, and it couldn't have gone any better. I flew through Charlotte - the airport was filled with white rocking chairs - and then on to Lexington - the airport was filled with horses. (I love small airports, especially when they embrace the symbolism of their regions like that.)
     My hostess, Rachel Losch, met me at the airport and we immediately hit it off. She was so gracious, enthusiastic and together (a Great guide and party buddy). (Here I am with Rachel and her son Alex.) She is Dixie's art teacher, but that doesn't begin to describe all she does for the students and the school. She organizes after school cultural and arts programs, and the week-long Arts Festival of which my visit was a part. And boy does she care about those kids! Rachel is one dedicated and smart woman - the students at Dixie are sincerely lucky to have her in their lives.
     The community surrounding this school is also truly something special - parents donated my hotel room (thank you Alicia!) and rental car to supplement the grant that helped fund my visit. And the teachers worked tirelessly to prep the kids on folklore, the various versions of SOAP, SOAP, SOAP, and 'lil old me. They studied my books and related materials and boy were they ready for my visit - we had a BLAST!
     Thanks and big fuzzy hugs for librarian Kelly, and teachers Hazel, Kim, Scottie, Terry, Yan, Raine, and Bret (and all your kids) - you made me feel so incredibly welcome.
     I tell ya, there is no better feeling then being in a library surrounded by dozens of smiling faces all ready to have a good time. I got to work with a "SMART Board" for the first time - what a fun tool - I want one! It projected my website and slideshow while I spoke. (You can see a large version of my book behind me in this photo - click to get a closer look.)

I had three sessions: K-1; 2-3; and 4-5th graders. Each group was comprised of several classrooms and ended up being perfect sized crowds for me!

     One of the teachers took pictures of me with her classroom after the first session and we were getting all silly making faces while we sat on a map of the United States (please don't take it personally Minnesota).



I live for the hugs I got from these guys.

     My talk changed a bit for the different age groups, but overall we discussed the evolution of stories as they travel and move through generations and various cultures - especially via Jack Tales. For the older kids I concentrated more on craft and method.
     The teachers brought in a smorgasbord for lunch in the gorgeous art room - yum! And I gave stickers to them to distribute to the kids. I signed about a gazillion books. (Which was a great opportunity to have mini one-on-one conversations with these bright and talented kids.) I love this age group - the world is full of possibilities and optimism at that age. And they're so danged cute to boot!
     Y'know, it can be exhausting being 'on' like that for so long - a school visit can be a lot like putting on several Broadway productions in a row - but the energy from the kids just fills you right up and keeps you revved the entire time. It is one of the best feelings - even if you do need to face plant when it's over.
     Afterwards, I ran to the local Barnes & Noble to thank them for ordering my books for the kids (no small task considering my various publishers). I also got the chance to have a quick sit-down with the author of MOMMY CALLS ME MONKEYPANTS, JD Lester. What a hoot she is!
     Then Rachel and I headed to Berea, Kentucky to catch up with the Escobar family and learn about the incredible community they have there.
     After a face plant that could rival a hibernating bear, I drove to the airport the next morning during a gorgeous sunrise over those rolling hills. Lexington is beautiful country and I hope I can return someday soon.

PS - People were taking pictures like crazy during my visit and Kelly even had her flip video going. So, I'll post more images as they come in! (Please send!)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Digital Magazines?


I am the featured author in GRAND magazine this month for SOAP, SOAP, SOAP!
     Have you seen this magazine? Even though it's for the more mature set, it is cutting edge in its delivery. You can check out an issue from their homepage at GRAND magazine and I highly recommend you do! If anything, check out the way their magazine looks like a regular layout but embraces animation, video, links, participation, etc. within their layout. They're really taking advantage of the new bells and whistles technology has to offer. I imagine some of these great ideas would translate well in ebooks!

     And since we're on the subject of magazines - here's a great peek at what WIRED magazine sees as the future of their medium. Pretty cool, eh?



Add to that this longer, but very interesting video from Bonnier: Mag+.
(Thanks to PublishingTalk for the heads up!)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Encouraging Words: Perseverance Really Is Key - http://ow.ly/1quk7 - by agent Rachelle Gardner at WordServe Literary.
The Submission Process http://ow.ly/1qtVS - great post from agent Jane Dystel of Dystel & Goderich Lit. Mngmt.

20 Brilliant Bookcases


Incredible Things has 20 Brilliant Bookcases you've got to see. These pink ones were my favorite. Think they'd go with my orange bookshelves?

Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for the heads up!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Coloring Page Tuesday - Easter Bunny

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

     Here comes Peter Cottontail! Easter is just two weeks away. Do you color eggs? Want to help color these?
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!

Don't forget about my BOOK GIVEAWAY!
     I'm trying to gather followers to my NEW BLOG ADDRESS and I'm giving away a book to do it!
     Go to MY BLOG and scroll down in the sidebar. Click "Follow" in the Google Friend Connect window. That's it! When I hit 100 followers (we're soooo close!), I will do a random drawing from there. The winner will win a signed copy of one of my trade picture books - their pick!
     Here's another option...

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

Monday, March 22, 2010

Shakespeare and Company


Read this fantastic article: Shakespeare and Company, a creative sanctuary.
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Shakespeare and Company - Paris' all-English bookstore. As an exchange student in Paris during college - it was a relief to walk into the store and have a break from the French which constantly surrounded me. (I adore French, but a brain gets tired after a while!) It's been a literary icon to the world for a very long time and I must admit, one of my golden rings in this industry is to read there someday. *le sigh*

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Heading to Dixie Magnet Elementary in Lexington, Kentucky tomorrow! Read the story at http://ow.ly/1p8D7

Legend of the Guardians Trailer


The movie based on The Guardians of Ga'Hoole. I don't know if it will be good, but it IS beautiful, and I adore owls. Comes out September 24thg.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The 10,000 Hour Rule

Are you familiar with Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hour Rule? It's from his book OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS.
     It basically states that the best way to achieve international stardom is to spend 10,000 hours honing your skills. And he cites numerous examples, especially in the sports arena, of people who have done it.
     As my career has grown and I've gotten closer to actually having devoted 10,000 hours to creating children's books, my hubbie and I have been talking about this 'rule' quite a bit. Am I where I should be considering the work I've put in? Can one expect to be at a certain level of success by a certain time? Is there any such thing?
     To quote the article - as Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, said those who put in many hours of practice effectively make their own luck: “They work relentlessly hard, which means when their luck comes they are ready for it.”
     Now that, I do believe. Although I ADORE what I do, I work pretty darn hard and there are many good things that have happened in my career simply because I was prepared when an opportunity arose.
     As for the rest of it? I'm getting closer to 10,000 hours and I'm watching!

Friday, March 19, 2010

SOAP at I.N.K.


SOAP got a great write-up the other day on I.N.K. Think Tank: Nonfiction Authors in Your Classroom - "The Art of Diversity."
Are you familiar with this blog? If you're a teacher, you should be. It's a great resource for non-fiction materials you can use in your curriculum and its members are some of the best in the biz. So, check it out! (Click the logo.)

     Click the covers to learn about Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Obscura Day


March 20th is Obscura Day. It's a day to experience the wacky, weird and wondrous all over the world. Unfortunately, there isn't an event in my state of Georgia (which is downright wrong, because we have some seriously wacky stuff here), but there are events all over the country - even the world.
     For instance, this image is from the stone ruins of Gungywamp Hill in Groton, Connecticut. You can participate in an afternoon of exploring the hidden chambers there. Or maybe you'd like to learn how to make Dorodango balls in Albuquerque, New Mexico? How about exploring the International Cryptozoology museum in Portland, Maine, or participating in a synchronized ringing rocks concert in Butte, Montana and Bucks County, Pennsylvania?
     Man, there's just all kinds of weird and interesting stuff in here. And they might be fantastic inspiration for locations for crazy new novels to take place! Some of the ventures still have openings so click the logo to learn more.
Thanks to Daily Candy for the heads up.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Great Article at Tribal Writer: The Dirty Secret Truth About Talent - And How To Grow It. http://bit.ly/biFLt5

Sterling Listen-Along Storybook


Look at what my publisher ("The 12 Days of Christmas in Georgia," Fall 2010) has done! Several of Sterling's picture books now have FREE audio available on their website! Go to Sterling Listen-Along Storybook. And be sure to check out "Perfectly Arugula" by my friend Sarah Dillard!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Merci à Lauretta des belles récompenses de blog !
(Thanks to Lauretta for the lovely blog awards!)

Coloring Page Tuesday - Leprechaun Bear

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

     Is there ever a time when a teddy bear doesn't make a holiday better? How about a Leprechaun teddy-bear doing a jig!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!


Need some fun St. Patrick's Day things to do? Check out this Funschool site recommended by School Library Journal:


Don't forget about my BOOK GIVEAWAY!
     When I hit 100 followers to my NEW BLOG ADDRESS I'll give away a book!
     Go to MY BLOG and scroll down in the sidebar. Click "Follow" in the Google Friend Connect window. That's it! Once I hit 100 followers, I will do a random drawing from there. The winner will win a signed copy of one of my trade picture books - their pick!
     Here's an option...

     Click the covers to learn about my newest picture book, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Doodle 4 Google


Win a Student College Scholarship and Computers for Your School Google Design Competition!
I don't usually support artists sending in bunches of work on spec, but this is a bit different. This is for the kids, and it could lead to some real help towards school. The theme is "If I Could Do Anything, I Would..." The registration deadline is March 24th with entries due by March 31st, so hop on it! Click the logo to learn more!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Creature Comforts Art


GREAT commentary on art, artfully done. It's not appropriate for all audiences (language), but it'll give you some grins.
Thanks to Gary Undercuffler for the link.

Friday, March 12, 2010

11,100 Rejections

Jacob M. Appel has put rejections in perspective for us. He's had lots of work published - but it took him 11,100 rejections to get there. You gotta go visit "Dude is a Prince" to read some of the better quotes. (Thanks to Nathan Bransford for the heads up.)

So, how many rejections have you received? I've worked with agents for much of my career, so don't know the full number, but it's got to be in the 100's. You?

And what keeps you going? For me, I am unbelievably stubborn. Often a bad thing, but in this career, it has it's plusses!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lady Banks Bookshelf


Check out Lady Banks Bookshelf today: Soap and Southern Childhood Secrets. This is a darned nice honor - gotta say. SOAP, SOAP, SOAP has made the 2010 SIBA Book Award Long List, which really isn't a very long list at all. There's some pretty stiff competition in there, but it's nice to be included and I'm thrilled about the write-up! :)

The Most Amazing Libraries in the World (Part 2)


From The Huffington Post - The Most Amazing Libraries in the World (Part 2). (A follow up to Part 1 and the amazing response they received.) If this doesn't convince you how incredible and important our libraries are, I don't know what will! :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Redeo


Redeo is a cool new website that lets people share books from all over the world. Who would use it? How about a soldier far from home reading to his son? Or a grandparent who doesn't live nearby reading to their granddaughter? It may not be the full warm fuzzy experience, but when that's not possible, this is a great solution. Check out an example of a Redeo experience...

Thanks to PublishersWeekly for the heads up - and read their article "Rendezvous with Readeo" to learn more and visit links of other sites that offer similar services.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Coloring Page Tuesday - St. Patrick's Day Treasure

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

     By my stats I can see that y'all are already downloading my St. Patty's Day images - so here's a new one for you. Of course, you know the treasure is actually found in books, right?
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!

Don't forget about my BOOK GIVEAWAY!
     When I hit 100 followers to my NEW BLOG ADDRESS I'll give away a book!
     Go to MY BLOG and scroll down in the sidebar. Click "Follow" in the Google Friend Connect window. That's it! Once I hit 100 followers, I will do a random drawing from there. The winner will win a signed copy of one of my trade picture books - their pick!
     Here's another option...

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

You can also get my new Coloring Page Tuesday widget in that very same sidebar!


Lovely! Here is a pot of gold colored by a patron of the Moorhead Library send in my their Youth Librarian, Jenna Kahly. Thanks for sharing!

Monday, March 08, 2010

SOAP made the long list for the 2010 SIBA Book Award Children's and Young Adult Category!!! Woosie! http://www.sibaweb.com/

Share a Story - Shape a Future, Day Two

This is the second year for the blog literacy tour Share a Story - Shape a Future. Along with creating the logo, and hosting Day 5 last year (subject: Technology and Reading - What the Future Holds), I am happy to contribute an article to this year's Day 2 theme, "Literacy My Way/Literacy Your Way," hosted by Susan Stephenson of The Book Chook. Here's my contribution for 2010:

Beyond the Printed Page?

Along with printed books, more and more people are doing their reading digitally – whether it be online, on their cell phones or on eReaders. And with Apple’s iPad on the horizon, digital reading is about to get kicked up a notch. But with all these choices, what is in store for the future of reading?

The good news is, reports indicate that reading is actually UP. In 2009, the National Endowment for the Arts reported that Reading Is On the Rise for the first time since they started tracking the statistics in 1982. And that’s after two ten-year periods of significant decline. And the most rapid increases are among Young Adults. Groovy, huh?

Why the rise? Perhaps because so much of how we gather information and communicate with each other these days is via text. Through online social networking, email and text messaging, we have become a reading society. It’s only natural that this common mode of interaction would roll over into books.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean printed books.

Many believe books will soon go the way of the music world, where everything is digital, brick and mortar stores are few and far between, and customers can download anything they like online for a low, fixed price. And while some would spout the digital revolution means the demise of the printed page, I disagree.

I see reading going the way of movies rather than music. Think about all the ways we enjoy movies – online, pay-per-view, recorded via tivo, Netflix, DVDs, movie rentals, and yes, still in theaters. All of these venues are still viable and give viewers a world of options to enjoy.

Reading can do the same thing. The population is certainly still growing and people want and can sustain options for their particular needs or moods. For example, an eBook doesn’t work well for storytime. But they work great when stuck in line at the grocery store or on a long voyage when carrying lots of books is impossible.

Digital reading promises to offer new ways to enjoy content especially through interaction. Scholastic’s “39 Clues” is already exploring options through videos and games on their related website. But what about eReaders? Imagine the possibilities.

What if while reading Twilight you could drop into a message board and discuss ‘Team Edward vs. Team Jacob’? What if your child could read a bilingual book and take a quiz on the words he/she just learned? Or what if your toddler could color some images from the picture book you just shared? The ideas are exciting, and they are already happening.

It’s an exciting time to create books too. Knowing that our books can be printed, or digitally shared, opens up creative possibilities. For instance, I am author, illustrator and voice talent in my new iPhone Picture Book App “Lula’s Brew.” My future works may include links to my website, interviews, even my coloring pages. I love that!

But with all the excitement about eBooks, there remains a solid position for the printed book. Beyond the fact that not all readers can afford the digital accessories necessary to enjoy eBooks, beginning readers need a place to start. Printed picture books introduce the concept of what a book is, and reading, in a quiet, advertisement free format, shared in the safety of a home, school or bookstore with parents or loved ones. They train the beginning reader to understand what a story looks like and feels like, and to use their imagination to fill in the gaps. Printed books are a refuge from the world at large, and can remain so for a lifetime.

So before a child can jump into the hype of electronic reading, they need the basics. And the basics are and will remain, printed books. And that remains exciting for those of us who create them.

So all said, the future of reading is looking brighter than ever. Granted, there is scrambling as we figure out the different forms and means for reading and how authors, stores and publishers can make a living in this new environment. But the reader is the one who benefits in the end with more ways than ever to enjoy a good story.

Related Articles:
As Books Go Beyond Printed Page to Multisensory Experience, What About Reading? (Washington Post)
Kids' Lit: Beyond Paper Books (The Huffington Post)
E-Book Sales Jump 176% in Flat Trade Year (Publishers Weekly)
Seth Godin interviewed at The Reading Edge Podcast
Don't Believe the E-Book Skeptics by Agent, Nathan Bransford

Related digital tool which promotes printed books:
LibraryThing has released a free iPhone App that aims to be a bookish version of local dining apps like Urban Spoon. "It shows you local bookstores, libraries and bookish events wherever you are or plan to be.... We hope it will be a shot in the arm for physical bookstores and libraries—a new way to see how much bookishness there is around you." - LT

Want to see what an iPhone Picture Book App looks like? Check out my iPhone Picture Book App "Lula's Brew"! (In the Apple Store, search: Lula.)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Secret of Kells


The Secret of Kells opens in US theaters today, and after the amazing review on NPR: In 'Kells,' The Secret Pleasures Of A Low-Tech Art, I sincerely hope to go see it! If you love the power of books, I think you may want to as well!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...