Friday, July 24, 2009

Checking out...

Copyright slack12 via Creative Commons license


Summer is more than half over and my revisions aren't done. Since I took the summer off for this very reason, I am now kicking myself hard and vowing to focus myself. So that means, I gotta disappear for awhile.

I've not been around that much as it is, but now you may not see the little piggy at all for at least a month. If for some reason, piggy forgets and sneaks out into the blogosphere, please remind her that she will be turned into fried rind chips if she doesn't get her work done. Virtual kicks in the butt will be effective so don't let the piggy procrastinate.

School starts up at the end of August. I've got one more full month of summer to get it done! Wish me, and little piggy, luck! We're gonna need it!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Random Funny Things My Kids Say - Part 33

Angus and Youngest were goofing around the other day while Oldest just listened to them and shook her head. I came over and heard the following:

Youngest: Angussayzwhat?

Angus: What?

Hysterical laughter.

Angus: Youngestsayzwhat?

Youngest: What?

More hysterical laughter.

Me: What are you doing?

Angus (still laughing): Mommy said what...

Still laughing.

Me (thinking they are weird): You kids are doing it all wrong. You have to use an insult and then say what. Not your name!

Angus: huh?

Me: Like "Losersayzwhat?" And then say "What?"

Angus: Oh - LIke Stinkybuttsayz... (pauses with a curious look on her face)

Me: What?

Angus and Youngest shriek with laughter: Ha Ha! Mommy's a stinky butt!

Only then did I realize that this was an elaborate scheme just to get me to say "what." Clever girls. Oh they got me good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Demon's Lexicon Author Sarah Rees Brennan

Interview with the lovely and tremendously talented Sarah Rees Brennan over at the Inkpot by the famous, amazing, frighteningly smart, and world class celebrity interviewer - ahem - yours truly. (preens for a moment) Seriously, I had a blast interviewing Sarah because she is sweet and funny and just a lovely human being! Plus her book kicks ass!

So do take a gander at the interview and then go get her book! You won't be disappointed with either! And if you are disappointed for some strange reason, then feel free to blame it all on Da Man. Everything is always his fault, you know...

Monday, July 13, 2009

And the Winners are...

This time Oldest demanded to handle the drawing. Since she loves this book, she felt it was only fitting that she picked the winners. We wrote all the names on little slips of paper which Oldest then folded into tiny squares. We had 2 drawings. The first drawing was a smaller group of entries for those people who had provided extra promotion for Grace's book. The prize for this drawing is Grace's book, a signed bookplate and a signed picture of Minli, the main character. Oldest put all the entries into a canvas bag and shook them hard. She then pulled out an entry and read out the name.

"Cindy Pon."

"Oh boy! I hope people don't think we rigged this drawing," I said.

"Why," Oldest asked.

"Because Cindy is a friend of mine."

"Well, that's who I pulled and that's who won!" Oldest said in a "don't argue with me manner."

"Yes, ma'am." I said.

We then put all the names for the second drawing in the empty canvas bag. Oldest shook it extra hard and for a very long time.

"All right, I think that's enough," I said.

Oldest reached in and pulled out another piece of paper and read:

"Cindy Pon -- hey did you put her name back in?" she accused.

"Well anyone who promotes the book gets to be in both drawings. That's the rules for the contest. Funny how you picked her for both, huh? She was clearly meant to win this book! But pick someone else since she already won."

Oldest shook it even harder this time and read the new entry:

"March to the Sea. What kind of name is March to the Sea anyway?"

"That's his blogger name, silly. Like mine is Ello"

"How are you going to send a prize to a person who you don't know their real name? That's sort of fishy to me..."

"Well I know his name and he will email me his address."

"Oh ok, well tell Cindy and March man congratulations from me since I chose them."

So congratulations, Cindy and March to the Sea from Oldest and me! Thank you everyone for participating in the contest! And a special thanks to Oldest for making sure it was a completely fair and amusing drawing.

PS - I couldn't help myself and I sent in my entry to Jason's fantastic writing contest. The contest is open til this Wednesday and there are great prizes! My entry is here. Please let me know what you think. I always love to hear all of your thoughts and comments!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Interview with Grace Lin

Hey guys! My interview with Grace Lin is posted over at the Enchanted Inkpot.

Please pop by over there and read about how Grace came up with her wonderful book and her illustrations.

Contest will run til this Friday and winners will be picked this weekend. So tune in on Monday to see who wins! Thanks everyone!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Contest is still on!

Don't forget to comment on the Contest post below! Or click here! Remember, I'm giving 2 copies of Grace's beautiful book along with signed bookplates and a signed copy of this picture:For all you writers out there, check out the Art of Pacing post I have up on the Enchanted Inkpot. Several awesome authors shared their tips on pacing for my post. It is definitely worth reading.

For everyone else, here is a commercial that always makes me laugh.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Introducing the Chinatown Film Project

This is the trailer for the the inaugural film exhibition of the Museum of Chinese in America. I stole it from the Angry Asian Man, where I get all the great Asian stuff. Ten of New York's most exciting filmmakers present their unique vision of the mysterious, elusive, vibrant, iconic community known as Chinatown. The MOCA gallery in NYC held it's Chinatown Film Project on July 1st, but it has an online component allowing people from different Chinatowns all over the world to upload a short video. Here's the website. It's a pretty awesome project and a great look into a different world.

The trailer is a little musical tribute to Chinatown. I hope you enjoy it.

Don't forget my contest for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Although I am still revising like crazy, I had to come out to celebrate the release of Grace Lin's wonderful new book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. I wanted to let everyone know how much in love with this book I am. It is a book that begs to be read aloud to every child in the world. It's a book that is easy to love. And it is a book that is already raking in the accolades. It has just won the Parent's Choice Gold award and has a starred review from Booklist!

Minli, whose name means quick thinking, lives with her poor parents in the valley of the Fruitless Mountain. In the evenings, against her mother's wishes, her father tells her wonderful stories about the Old Man of the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. One day Minli spends one of her only 2 coins to buy a goldfish to bring the family good luck. Her mother is angered by the wasteful purchase and Minli feels sorry for what she has done and decides to seek out the Old Man of the Moon to help bring fortune to her family. Along the way, she befriends a dragon, a talking fish and other wonderful characters. The story is beautifully interwoven with Chinese folktales that add a wonderful element to the narrative.

Little, Brown has published a beautifully made book as well, with Grace's full paged and colored illustrations interspersed throughout the book as well as Grace's beautiful drawings opening each chapter. Grace is an amazing artist as well as writer. I've been a fan of her work since my girls brought home Dim Sum for Everyone from the library one day and moved on to Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat. Not only is she a multi-published author/illustrator, but she is also a fellow member of the Enchanted Inkpot community.

So if you are looking for a present for that favorite kid in your life, consider this gem of a book. It is aged 8 to 12, but my 5 year old adored me reading the book to her, and I loved reading it. And to celebrate Grace's release of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, I am having a small contest. This is a picture of Minli from the book. And I have a signed copy of this picture as a prize, along with 2 copies of Grace's book with signed bookplates. There are 2 ways to win. To win a copy of the book and a signed bookplate from Grace, all you have to do is leave me a comment. That's it. To win a copy of the picture signed by Grace and the book and signed bookplate, then all you have to do is post the contest on your own blog and link back to me in the comments here. That's it. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a comment about the contest on someone else's blog, link back to me and be entered. If you enter the contest for the picture and book, you will also automatically be entered in the other drawing so that doubles your chances.

Lastly, I will share with you two last things. I interviewed Grace for the Enchanted Inkpot and her interview will go up next week on July 8th. I thought I would share a little taste of the interview here:

Ello - How do you incorporate your illustrations with your story? What comes first? Do you envision your characters first or do they come up from your writing?

Grace - For me, the writing always comes first with any book. I usually can't draw anything until the story is finished.

However, the character of Minli did come from an image I did before I wrote Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. In late 2003, I did a cover illustration for Cricket Magazine of an Asian girl riding a flying red dragon. As I painted the image, the girl captivated me. I had painted her in traditional clothing, over an idealized Asian landscape. I imagined her full of delight on her ride in the sky, full of adventure and life. She was my first character idea for Minli. But as I wrote the story, she changed a bit and, of course, became more fleshed out with characteristics and personality. She also became younger. However, she still retained that same spirit of my original painting.

I became so attached to the Cricket cover image that it morphed into the logo for my website, and finally the cover for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

The last thing I have for you is the book trailer for Grace's lovely book.

So what are you waiting for? Enter my contest! Spread the word! This is one of the most beautiful books written for children's literature! Yes, I absolutely mean it. This is a book I wish I had read when I was little, but am so grateful to have shared with my children. And I thank Grace for sharing this book with the rest of us.

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