Thursday, August 30, 2007

Behind the Snowflakes

For a few years I've wanted to buy one of these snowflakes. I watched the auctions, I thought about it, but I never bid. I've also been meaning to donate to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for some time now, but somehow it just never happened. I never got around to it, although I've thought about it many times. I guess sometimes it just takes something that really hits home to make things happen. So after a recent cancer diagnosis in the family, I decided now is the time. I anxiously await the snowflake auction and urge you to bid or donate.

The Woman Behind the Snowflakes

The Robert's Snow project, was founded by author/illustrator Grace Lin in her husband, Robert's honor. Grace gathered artists from all over the children's book illustrating community to create original art snowflakes to be auctioned off. Since 2004, this online auction has raised over $200,000 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This year the snowflakes will be auctioned in November and December.

The Artists Behind the Snowflakes
You can see how some of the artists created their snowflakes for this years auction on the following blogs. If anyone I missed would like to be added to this post just let me know.

Anna Alter
Elizabeth O. Dulemba
Holli Conger
Karen Lee
Roz Fulcher
Don Tate
Sherry Rogers
John Nez
Sarah Dillard
Connie McLennan
Paige Keiser
Kelly Murphy
Dan Santat
Stephanie Roth
Sharon Vargo
Susan Mitchell
Ellen Beirer
Liza Woodruff
Sally Vitsky
Jane Dippold
Cecily Lang
Mary Haverfield
Consie Powell
Marion Eldridge
Adam Rex
Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Eric Brooks
Alissa Imre Geis
Amy Schimler
Meghan McCarthy
Matt Tavares (look here too!)
Julie Fromme Fortenberry
Aaron Zenz
Ashley Bryan
Jennifer Thermes
Jeff Newman

I am so sorry to say that the following was posted on Grace Lin's blog today. My heart goes out to Grace and her family.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


We are sad to say that Grace Lin's husband Robert passed away Monday, August 27th, 2007. If you would like to send your condolences, the best way to do so would be by donating in Robert's memory via the Jimmy Fund, and by supporting Robert's Snow for Cancer's Cure. Thank you for thinking of Grace in this very difficult and sad time.

Update: Since this was originally posted I have added thirteen more preview blogs. I will keep adding more as I come across them, so keep checking in!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thirteen Reasons Why need to read this book.

1. The hype surrounding the sale.
2. The hype surrounding the release.
3. Talented debut author. (With even more hype!)
4. Intriguing title.
5. Cool cover.
6. Even cooler concept.
7. Clay’s frustrated and confused voice.
8. Hannah’s troubled and hopeless voice.
9. Compelling suspense.
10. Raw emotion.
11. A setting you will long remember.
12. A premise you won’t soon forget.
13. A profound ending that will really make you think.

by Jay Asher
will be released October 2007 by Razorbill/Penguin

I ended up reading Thirteen Reasons Why "early" for one reason. Jay Asher sent me a ARC! Thanks to reading his blog, posting a message, and placing in the 2007 competition. (You can read how here.)

The package came the day before I was heading off on my family vacation so it traveled with me.

I have to admit, at first I wasn’t sure about the book. Just like when you hear a lot of good things about a movie. When you get to see it, it doesn't always live up to all the hype. I also thought maybe I was too old to relate to the experiences of the characters. Has it been too long since high school? Has that much changed? Maybe my life experiences would make the problems the characters faced seem trivial. But with each side of a new tape, I was drawn in. The problems became real. Like a snowball, each action built on the next until I completely understood Hannah’s despair.

The interesting thing is, you know the outcome. You know Hannah does kill herself. You know Clay can’t do anything to change that. But you also know something needs to change. Once I got to this point, I couldn’t put the book down. I wanted so badly for Clay to not be on the list. I wanted Hannah to snap out of it. She was making me angry. I couldn’t put the book down, until I got to the last chapter. Then I waited. I knew I wanted to control where I was, and what I was surrounded by when I read the ending. I knew I wanted to be able to reflect on everything that had just taken place in the last 24 hours.

But the real reason to read this novel is the chance that, just maybe, it might cause someone to make a different choice in their actions, that ultimately could make a difference in someone’s life.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Vacation is Over

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things after being gone for 15 days. It seems like I work best under pressure. You know...the whole deadline thing. Deadlines really get me working. I got so much done before I left. I put together 12, count 'um 12, dummy books! (8 copies of book #1, and 4 copies of book #2.) Half of those were subbed to publishers, and the other half to agents. This is my first time subbing to agents. Writing the query/cover letter was a whole new thing for me. Summing up picture books is a hard thing to do! I got my packages in the mail the day before I left. It was kind of nice to get home and already have some responses waiting. Conference connections can speed things up! Plus, they gave me a deadline; conference attendees can submit to this "closed house" for the next three months. Got to grab those chances while you can!

Now I'm trying to figure out what I should work on next. Not that there aren't a lot of options, I've got 2 WIP's going, and one new idea that has been bouncing around in my head for a while. It's one of those ideas you can't stop thinking about, you just have to get it down on paper. It's an illustration. Not a story idea yet. It seems like it's been too long since I did a full, finished, illustration. Lots of sketches, but no color. I'm itching to do color. My gut is saying to work on that one, the new one, even though I know I should try and finish up what I've already started. How about you? What makes you decide what project to take on next?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Wishing I was in LA

It just wasn't in the cards for me this year. I didn't get to go the the SCBWI LA summer conference. I got to go last year, so I know what I'm missing. And I'm wishing I was there. Not that I'm not enjoying my family vacation in the mid west, we're having a great time, I just don't like to miss out on anything. I'm especially wishing I could be there to say "Yeah, that's my work on the SCBWI home page!" And missing the chance to meet all the people I've met this year throughout blogland.

I know all of you who went are having a great time. Maybe I'll see you next year. Or maybe I'll make it to New York this winter.