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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Coloring Page Tuesday - Reading Sheep?

Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and/or click here to view more coloring pages!
     How do you get into a good book? Hopefully not like this baaaad sheep - Eee Gads!
     Be sure to share your creations in my Coloring Page Tuesday GALLERY at dulemba.com! (Click the icon below.) It's not just for card-makers - it's for everybody!
     Click here to view the entire Coloring Page Tuesday collection.
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send your colored image (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!
     Click the covers to learn about my picture book, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cora Cooks Pancit App giveaway!

Remember when I interviewed Kristi Valient, illustrator of CORA COOKS PANCIT? Well, the adorable picture book is now available as an app - and there are lots of ways to win a free copy! Just go to Shen's Books (publisher of my first picture book, THE PRINCE'S DIARY) to learn how - by "liking" them on facebook, tweeting about the app every day, and signing up online. Easy peasy.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

SCBWI Illustrators' Day - coming soon!!


Our Southern Breeze (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi) chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) will host our annual Illustrators' Day this Friday, September 2nd at the Decatur Library in Decatur, Georgia, and there's still time to sign up if you'd like to join us!
     This year, we have some amazing speakers: Kristen Nobles, Art Director from Candlewick Press; Robert Agis, Editor from Sterling Children's Books; Mike Lowery, SCAD professor and illustrator of The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School - written by Laura Murray, who will also be joining us. Once again, we had a mentor assignment for the first 12 signees - hosted by illustrator Michael Austin. And we'll have our portfolio display with quick overviews by our guest speakers so those just starting out can get a real idea of how quickly decisions are made and how their work might fare in the children's book market.
     To sign up, go to our Southern Breeze Illustrators' Corner blog and click on "Illustrators Day."
     And many thanks to Mike Lowery for creating our fantastic poster!
Hope to see you there!
e
Elizabeth O. Dulemba
SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrator Coordinator
(Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi)
http://www.southern-breeze.org/
Illustrator Blog: http://sbillustrators.blogspot.com/

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fish Bowl Bookends

Who knew there was a whole "genre" of fish-bowl bookends out there? If you're into fish, they're kinda groovy from The Well Dressed Home and Chimpfeet!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Design Your Monster

I have a thing for cute monsters. Y'know, the kind who would only nibble on you on a Tuesday if they were in a really bad mood. In fact, I have an entire section in my portfolio on monsters. So, when I came across CurlyQ Cuties, I flipped. You can go design your very own monster! What little kid wouldn't want to do that? (Or adult.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We have a winner of PRAIRIE STORMS!

The winner is.... April! I've emailed her and a signed copy of PRAIRIE STORMS by Darcy Pattison and Kathleen Rietz will be off to her soon!
     Didn't win? I still encourage you to check out this awesome book!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Coloring Page Tuesday - Cowboy Reader

Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and/or click here to view more coloring pages!
     For all you young cowboys and cowpokes out there - find your adventure in books!
     Be sure to share your creations in my Coloring Page Tuesday GALLERY at dulemba.com! (Click the icon below.) It's not just for card-makers - it's for everybody!
     Click here to view the entire Coloring Page Tuesday collection.
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send your colored image (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!
     Click the covers to learn about my picture book, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My lunch view

Lunch with friends keeps me sane. But if I'm not out, I'm at home watching the birds. Yup. I'm a bird watcher.
     Out my large kitchen window and across the porch is where I keep the bird feeder in a Maple tree, and the birdies work hard to entertain me. There's a squirrel who sun bathes on the porch rail, and the birds occasionally throw him a seed. There's a perfect specimen Gold Finch sitting on the bottom left rung who comes through each year. Can you see him? I also get Nuthatches, Chickadees, House Sparrows, a Downy Woodpecker, Brown Thrashers (on the ground), Juncos (I think), Purple Finches, Gold Finches, Orioles, Mockingbirds, Tufted Titmice, and this particular day... two Hummingbirds! (Who I just bought a feeder for!)
     When I see a bird I don't recognize, I turn to my trusty field guide - the one that belonged to my Grandmother (Gammeo). She wrote in the margins when she saw certain birds or odd groupings. For instance "flock of Gold Finches on the back fence, Lexington, VA, 1978." Now I write in the margins too. It's one of my dearest treasures.
     I'm always reminded of Steve Martin in the movie "Roxanne" - "who loved the little birds so much, he gave them this (his nose) to set upon." If I had a nose like Cyrano de Bergerac, I would let the birdies sit on it too.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Customizable eReader covers

I loved seeing the classic book covers turned into eReader cases, but man, they were Expensive! So, here's one better... MyEdge.com has come up, not only with covers based on famous books, but now you can order a customized cover for about $40! Now THAT is doable! And what author wouldn't want a cover of their own book, I ask? Very cool.
MyEdge customized jackets

Thursday, August 18, 2011

PRAIRIE STORMS by Darcy Pattison and Kathleen Rietz (Giveaway!)

Today I have the special treat of sharing an interview with the author AND the illustrator of PRAIRIE STORMS (Sylvan Dell Publishing) written by famed writing coach Darcy Pattison and illustrated by Kathleen Rietz.

Q. I love the concept of this book - how weather affects the animals that live in particular environments, in this case, a prairie. Darcy, how did the idea come to you and what was the road to publication for this story?

Darcy: As an avid hiker and camper, I've always been interested in nature. But the market is saturated with books about certain animals and their habitat. I wanted to add something extra and when I realized I could add in weather around the calendar, the book started to take shape. It was a challenge to find twelve types of weather events to include and to spread them out evenly over the months; then I had to find appropriate animals within the prairie habitat to include. There were so many animals, it was hard to decide, but fun to eventually work it out.
     Sylvan Dell is small and innovative. For this book, I wanted a publisher who was trying different ideas about books and marketing books. I submitted the manuscript first in verse, but the editor asked for a rewrite in prose, then accepted it.

Q. Although the topics tie together beautifully, there's an awful lot of research that must have gone into this book. Can you tell us about it?

Darcy: The research was intense. I had to make sure that each animal would act as I describe which meant finding solid scientific research. I searched through scientific journals and a couple times emailed scientists to confirm the information.

Kathleen: I put in countless hours of research in order to illustrate this book. The cool thing is, I learned so much in the process. Growing up in the Midwest, I have witnessed all of these types of storms firsthand, but still found it fascinating to search for photos and video online. I was even able to take some of my own reference photos as the seasons changed. I learned how thunderstorms form, and found footage of all types of tornadoes. And while working on the final spread for the book - the blizzard for the December spread - the Blizzard of 2011 pounded Illinois. I was able to witness a blizzard firsthand, which gave me confidence in my illustration. I also learned a lot about animals and how they react to storms. I loved illustrating such a vast array of species.

Q. Kathleen, weather has always been a challenging thing for me to illustrate. How was it for you, and did you figure out any illustrative tricks to capture the right feel?

Kathleen: I must admit I was intimidated at first. The idea of illustrating weather seemed like a daunting task to me. But it actually ended up being a lot of fun! The dramatic lighting and the effects of the storms themselves brought my illustrations to life, and stretched my creativity as an artist. I have always painted traditionally, and then finished my illustrations in Photoshop. For the illustrations in this book, Photoshop proved to be an invaluable tool for creating storms, backgrounds and visual effects in ways I could not have done through traditional paint. For example, the rainbow in the September spread was created digitally, as well as the cool, stormy sky and soft sunbeams breaking through the cloud cover. There was no way to achieve that look with paint. In another example, I was able to create the softness of the billowing fog in the spread for February using effects in Photoshop. I hope the reader can actually "feel" the wet chill of the misty fog and snow in this spread. Of course, there are some effects I love achieving in traditional paint, and so I really consider myself a "hybrid" artist - one who uses a mix of both traditional paint and digital effects. All of my animals were painted in watercolor. And for several of the spreads, including the front cover, I sprinkled table salt into the wet paint in order to create interesting textures in the ground, rock and sky.

I can feel the weather Kathleen!! And I'll be looking for Darcy's next book, Desert Baths, due out in 2012. Thanks guys and congratulations again!

BONUS! Kathleen is offering a free coloring page for September - you saw it here first! Just click the thumbnail to open the printable version. More coloring pages coming soon (one for each month) at the Prairie Storms facebook page - go LIKE!

GIVEAWAY! As I am doing more and more at dulemba.com - once I have 15 comments, I'll do a drawing for a free copy of PRAIRIE STORMS. (Must live in the continental US to win and include an email addy in your comment.)

Meanwhile, check out the great book trailer with animal sounds!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Interview on Goodbye, day job!

Prolific author, Tracy Barrett, featured me on her blog "Goodbye, day job!" today. I talk about finding the balance between driving a career and having a life in "Striking a Balance." I hope you'll go check it out!

Interview at dot.momming!

Tuesday I was interviewed at dot.momming about my iPhone/Pad picture book app LULA'S BREW (now also a Nook Book) and creating apps/eBooks: "Author-Illustrator Elizabeth O. Dulemba Conjures Up Adorable App with "Lula's Brew." I talked about the process of making LULA'S BREW and what I see as the future of apps vs. picture books. I hope you'll go check it out!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Coloring Page Tuesday - Star Reader!

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

     For all you teachers out there... school is starting back and I bet you have a few Star Readers from over the summer, yes? Or maybe some good readers just starting out for Fall? I hope you can use this guy to help promote reading in your classroom!
     Be sure to share your creations in my Coloring Page Tuesday GALLERY at dulemba.com! (Click the icon below.) It's not just for card-makers - it's for everybody!
     Click here to view the entire Coloring Page Tuesday collection.
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send your colored image (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!

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





Monday, August 15, 2011

Creating a Nook Picture Book - Lula's Brew!

I recently turned my iPhone/Pad picture book app, LULA'S BREW into a Nook Book (available through Barnes & Noble). It was an interesting experiment which I documented in detail at e is for book in a two part post. If you think it's something you might like to do - go have a read! It's also now available as a .pdf through the Illustrated Section and will be available on Kindle in a few days. Click here for all buying options.
BWS tips button

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pop & Lolli Wall Stickers

I love wall decals - I think they're brilliant. And here's a selection from Pop & Lolli that are ADORABLE for kids rooms! Makes me want to run to a printer and make wall stickers from all my books. Larger than life! In your face! Color, color everywhere - FUN!!! (Why won't my hubbie let me near the living room?)
Thanks to SwissMiss and CoolMomPicks for the heads up!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Passport to Summer Reading

You know I love to support readers! Well, Librarian Charlotte in Ohio recently used one of my coloring pages (my "A Book is a Ship" image) on passports for her Summer Reading program. Each young reader customized their passport and included all the amazing books they read, and they ended up with a treasure to be truly proud of...
AWESOME!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Power of Enchantment

Guy Kawasaki has written a book called Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions and, wow, I am intrigued...
     Thanks to The Unquiet Librarian (a librarian right in my state of Georgia!) for bringing it to my attention in her post ISTE 2011 Talk: Libraries and Enchantment in which she discusses the book's relevance to today's libraries. Very cool.
     It's something we're talking about at the Georgia Center for the Book as well as we work to get authors from our inaugural 25 Books All Young Georgians Should Read into libraries around our state.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

John C. Campbell Folk School - Beginning Drawing

About once a year I traipse up to Brasstown, North Carolina (home of the New Year's Eve Possum Drop at Clay's Corner) and teach Beginning Drawing at the John C. Campbell Folk School. It's a beautiful place and a great way for me to get my teaching happies out (I adore teaching).
     I had a full class this time - ten very dedicated students who drew their little fingers off. Here are some of them (and me) in front of the final display in the Keith House where everybody shows off what they've worked on all weekend. Great time!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

We have a winner of CLEOPATRA'S MOON!

Drum roll please... the winner of a free signed copy of Vicky Alvear Shecter's CLEOPATRA'S MOON is... EVELYN!!! I'm getting in touch now...

Coloring Page Tuesdays - Fairy!

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

     I haven't given you a fairy in a while and I thought it was about time! This one has found a little bug with wings just like hers...
     I still need more summer-themed creations in my Coloring Page Tuesday GALLERY at dulemba.com! (Click the icon below.) Y'all share so that I can show off your crazy card-makin' skills!
     Click here to view the entire Coloring Page Tuesday collection.
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send your colored image (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!

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




Monday, August 08, 2011

SOAP and PACO on MeeGenius!


I am proud to announce that SOAP, SOAP, SOAP and PACO AND THE GIANT CHILE PLANT are now available as eBooks! In fact, SOAP is the #1 New & Noteworthy title on MeeGenius! (Yay!) and Paco is #4: CLICK HERE to go see!
     Woosie I'm all tech-like.
     MeeGenius! is: "a library of kids books featuring many of your favorite titles. Beautifully illustrated, each book in the MeeGenius library features READ-ALONG TECHNOLOGY that uses a combination of word highlighting and professional narration to promote word recognition in budding readers!"
     This means that you can now read SOAP and PACO on your computer, iPhone, iPad or other eReader - WOW!! And I love the voice of the reader for SOAP especially - she sounds great!
     Just look up "MeeGenius" on your eReader - download their free app - and search their library for SOAP and PACO!!!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Lynn Cullen's REIGN OF MADNESS


One of the best parts of being a children's writer is celebrating the successes of friends. Several members of my critique group, Kim Siegelson, Robyn Hood Black, Me, Vicky Alvear Shecter (we just celebrated the release of her CLEOPATRA'S MOON) met up at the Decatur Library the other night to listen to Lynn Cullen (seated and signing!) talk about her latest historical fiction REIGN OF MADNESS - the story of Juana de Castile - was she really mad or was she just framed that way?
     Lynn is also the author of I AM REMBRANDT'S DAUGHTER (which made the Georgia Center for the Book's "25 Books All Young Georgians Should Read" list) and THE CREATION OF EVE, along with two picture books including MOI & MARIE ANTOINETTE. In fact, the first time I met Lynn, she was wearing a tall grey wig and period clothing in celebration of the picture book.
     Wow, has she come a long way. Now she goes on "research" trips to investigate the stories she shares about strong women in difficult situations. I highly recommend her stories!

Friday, August 05, 2011

CLEOPATRA'S MOON by Vicky Alvear Shecter (giveaway)

Drum roll for CLEOPATRA'S MOON by Vicky Alvear Shecter!

I had the great pleasure of being an early reader for Vicky's new novel, so I feel like a proud parent as it heads into the world and gets amazing reviews like these:
"A fantastic read..." School Library Journal
"Fascinating...atmospheric...highly memorable." Publisher's Weekly
"Brings ancient Egypt and Rome to life... fascinating..." Booklist
"Intriguing storytelling...a romantic and exciting story." Kirkus
     They are well-deserved as Vicky is one of the most knowledgeable and talented writers I know. In fact, through her passion for all things Greek, Egyptian, and Roman, she is docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum where Vicky tells the stories behind those index cards in the displays.
     I have enjoyed several of her tours now, and always hear interesting new stories. (Heck, we could have spent an entire day on just one Greek vase!) A visit to the King Tut exhibit when it was in Atlanta further proved her power of story-telling as a crowd ended up following our small group to hear what Vicky would say next.
     Well, she's taken all that knowledge and painted us a picture of what life might have been like for the only daughter of the famous Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra. She's filled CLEOPATRA'S MOON with the little details that make a place and time come to life and we, as the reader, have a glimpse of what it might have been like to walk the streets of ancient Egypt or Rome. What a gift she's given us!
     I'm beyond thrilled to have Vicky on my blog today to answer a few questions...

Q.     How did your passion for ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome begin and how did you foster it?
A.     I became fascinated by ancient history when I was in elementary school. It stayed my passion through high school and even into college. But, fearing I wouldn’t be able to “do” anything with a history degree, I got an English degree instead (ha, ha, ha!). Fortunately, I did get a writing gig right out of college but it was in business marketing. I threw myself into my writing career and forgot, for a long while, how much I loved studying and learning about the ancient world.

Q.     When did the story of Cleopatra's daughter first come to you? It must have been massive in its scope and quite overwhelming as a topic, so how did you circle around to actually writing it?
A.     The story of Cleopatra’s daughter fascinated me from the moment I read about her. How was it that most of us didn’t know the last queen of Egypt had four children? And why didn’t we know it was only her daughter who survived to adulthood? We have only the barest facts about Cleopatra Selene, so writing a biography was not an option. The only way to tell her story was to fill in the blanks with fiction.

Q.     I know you are filled with more fun facts about Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome which you share on your blog: HistoryWithATwist.blogspot.com. How did you decide what to include in the book and what to keep out?
A.     [Laughing] My editor took care of that! The brilliant Cheryl Klein always spotted when I got obsessed with fascinating facts. She would call it “falling in love” a little too much with the history. At first, I didn’t understand. Why couldn’t I shove every cool detail I could find into the story? But her laser-beam like focus on the emotional arc of the story kept me “honest.” If the factoid didn’t in any way support my character’s growth or direct experience, out it went.

Q.     Response to CLEOPATRA'S MOON has been overwhelmingly positive, not just as a good read, but as a great mother-daughter discussion book, a discussion book about free will, and a read for adults as well as young adults. Tell us about some of the feedback you're getting along with your exciting speaking engagements.
A.     The response has been beyond anything I could have dreamt about. The biggest deal for me was getting reviewed in the LA Times and The Wall Street Journal. I had no idea that was even a possibility! So to discover that not only had the book been featured, but also that it had received excellent reviews blew me away.
     Learning that Teen-Vogue put it on its “Must Read” list and that a writer from Newsweek (on her personal blog) suggested CLEOPATRA’S MOON as a good mother-daughter read was also incredibly exciting. I’d have to say, though, that speaking at the National Junior Classical League (NJCL) convention was especially exciting for me. Surrounded by more than 1,000 teens and young adults with an interest in ancient history? Be still my heart! I felt like I’d found my soul mates!

Q.     Finally, how does it feel? You have two chapter books out already, ALEXANDER THE GREAT ROCKS THE WORLD (named to the "25 Books All Young Georgians Should Read" list by the Georgia Center for the Book) and CLEOPATRA RULES, but this is your first novel. Share the glow...
A.     My glow of excitement is ridiculous. I CANNOT believe this is happening to me. When the LA Times review came in, my brother (author, Michael Alvear) said, “This is a dream come true!”
     But here’s the thing—it wasn’t a dream come true because I couldn’t even conceive of such a thing happening to even DREAM about it! To work with Cheryl Klein and be supported by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic? To have such a gorgeous book cover? To garner so many positive reviews? Amazing. There are little pinch marks all up and down my arms as I continue to check whether this is really happening. I’m also incredibly grateful to friends like you, Diane Capriola, Liz Conrad (who is sorely missed) and others from my critique groups who encouraged me to continue writing Selene’s story. The children’s book writing community is amazing. I only hope that I can give back a small measure of the support that was given to me so freely.

I'm SOOOO happy for you Vicky!!!!
Vicky's official launch party will be tonight, this Friday, at 7 p.m. at LIttle Shop of Stories in downtown Decatur, Georgia (toga’s optional!).

GIVEAWAY!!!! And here at dulemba.com, Vicky is kind enough to offer a FREE SIGNED COPY of CLEOPATRA'S MOON. As soon as I hit 25 comments, I'll do a drawing. And be sure to add your email address!! I have to be able to contact you, and you must live in the Continental US to win.

And there's more!!!!
Listen to this great interview with Vicky hosted by Oasis Audio:


And listen to an excerpt from Cleopatra's Moon NOW!


Thursday, August 04, 2011

Toilet Paper Owlies

Love, love, love these toilet paper owls - the brain child of How About Orange. I knew I was saving those things for a reason... they really do turn out cute!
Thanks to SwissMiss for the heads up!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Coloring Page Tuesday - Snail

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

     It's the lazy days of summer and I'm moving at a snail's pace around here. How about you?
     I need more summer-themed creations in my Coloring Page Tuesday GALLERY at dulemba.com! (Click the icon below.) Y'all share so that I can show off your amazing works to the world!
     Click here to view the entire Coloring Page Tuesday collection.
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send your colored image (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!


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




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