Monthly Archives: July 2013

Four Book Friday: Greg Batcheler

Welcome back to Four Book Friday, a continuing series where writers and readers tell us about four books that changed their life! This week’s post comes from Greg Batcheler, a Simmons MFA survivor and kidlit writer, reader, and reviewer. Here are the four books that changed his life (or rather, four series, because he cheated a little!) 

Frog and Toad Are Friends (Frog and Toad, #1)Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel – Perhaps this one is cheating, but my attachment to these loveable characters reaches back to the prenatal stages of Greg-dom. My mom would read these books aloud when she was pregnant with me (or so I’m told), and I remember enjoying the adventures of these two friends as a child. When Frog and Toad became my subjects for deeper study in grad school, I thought I would nearly burst with excitement. The sparse text and spot illustrations are a goldmine for exploring the many faces of friendship. Every time I read these books as an adult, I’m reminded of the simple brilliance and extraordinary heart that Lobel poured into his work. I can only strive to do the same.

The Invasion (Animorphs, #1)

Animorphs by Katherine Applegate – There are very few middle grade and young adult novels that I read when I was the age of the intended audience (one of the many reasons I’ve loved rediscovering them as an adult), but I fondly remember devouring this series as a teen. The life and death stakes, the angst of secrecy, and the close bonds of these friends all had me flipping pages and begging for more like nothing else. When I had these books in my hands, I knew I loved to read. Oh, and deep down, I wished that I, too, could have magical, sci-fi, alien powers.

Redwall (Redwall, #1)

Redwall by Brian JacquesThese books are the first that I can remember having a more conscious understanding of craft. Jacques’ way with words mesmerized me: the descriptions of battles and riddles and foods – the foods! Ooh, they made my mouth water, though I didn’t even know what half the words meant. Beyond the descriptions, within every book I found a new cast of characters in that old, familiar world that captured my imagination. These everyday, unlikely heroes stood for epic and noble causes. I cheered when they won, I cried when they were defeated, and I cheered again when they persevered. Through the world around Redwall Abbey, I knew that though the costs may be high, good can and does triumph in the end. I believed it then, and I believe it now. Eulalaiaaaaaa!!!

Ghost Ship (Star Trek: The Next Generation, #1)Star Trek: The Next Generation *Proudly puts on the nerd glasses* Because of my desire to read up as a kid, I often sought out the series novels enjoyed by my older brother. One that dominated the scene of my bookshelf was Star Trek: The Next Generation. I grew up watching this show on television, and there was no end to my enjoyment of the “continuing missions” offered up by the books in my hands. I read and reread many of them, but it was the characters, more than the individual stories, that resonated with me. I loved the ensemble nature of the cast, and seeing them work together in new combinations and new situations made me feel as though I knew them. The possibilities for their adventures were endless, and I credit this series with my abiding love for science fiction. IDIC. Look it up. You know you love it.

Image

Greg Batcheler is a writer, reviewer, and former indie bookseller currently living in the greater Boston area. When he’s not writing, he’s dreaming of burritos and oatmeal cream pies. But not together. That’s gross. You can check out occasional updates on Greg’s blog at www.gpbatch.com, or follow him on Twitter for more regular tweets on creativity, writing, and kidlit.

 

 

Want more Four Book Friday? Here are more posts in the series:

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

in which I visit the bard

Hello! I am back! You probably didn’t even notice I was gone because I am a master of the scheduled blog post.

Where was I, you may ask? Oh, just my favorite place in the entire world. Cedar City, Utah, home of the Utah Shakespearean Festival and pure awesome.

The story of my family and the Utah Shakespearean Festival began in 2002, when we packed up in our Subaru for the first time and made the trek. I was 11 and the MT was 8. Younger than most people start being serious theater goers, but my parents have always taken the approach of exposing us to great things earlier than most. I saw my first Shakespeare play that summer, As You Like It, in the closest existing replica to Shakespeare’s Globe outside of London. And it was magic. I fell in love with Shakespeare there on that warm July evening and, in many ways, the theater too.

IMG_0174

Since then, Cedar Ciy has been my home away from home, the only sure fixture of every summer where we can really get away from it all. It is our best week as a family, a week of glorious theater and lively intellectual discussion surrounding the Bard and his better and lesser known works. It was also the sight of the best days of my high school years, when my theater department competed in the national high school Shakespeare competition1 annual held there.

IMG_7310

a rare family photo in front of the super large banners that hang on the outside of the theater.

I love the USF. I really can’t emphasize this enough. I love the plays they do. I love the seminars they do. I love the infuriatingly pretentious discussions about the plays and the seminars that is had daily at the pine grove. I love sitting on the wet grass and watching the pre-show while reading our souvenir program and talking about the actors’ previous roles like some people would discuss stats on a baseball card2. I love watching the sky and worrying about rain driving the outdoor shows inside, which it never does3. I love the giant banners with photos from the shows, I love the canyon wind that whips the stage, I love the gold leafing in the Randall theater balcony. I love the giant tree in the Adams courtyard and the woodcarver that words underneath it. I love the statue of Shakespeare in the lobby. I love the field where we used to rehearse before the Shakespeare competition (see first picture in this post). I love trying on masks with the MT in the gift shoppe. I love that they spell it gift shoppe. I love the uncomfortable seats in the Adams Theater balcony, the overpriced cream cheese tarts we always buy at intermission. I love being too shy to talk to the actors we spot around the festival grounds and feeling like we’ve just had a celebrity siting.

Most of all, I love the way this small community in southern Utah all comes together every year to make some damn fine Shakespeare.

This is the second summer in a row that I didn’t think attending the Shakespeare Festival was going to happen for me, but it did, and I feel so lucky to have gone again4. I love, love, love the Utah Shakespearean Festival, and the gift they gave little 11 year old me of beautiful, exciting theater that has been inspiring me ever since, and continues to inspire me every day.

IMG_0195

  1. Performing at the USF with my high school team is what I still think of as my Patronus Moment, or if dementors ever attacked me and I had to conjure a Patronus, running down to collect our first prize trophy is the happy moment I would think of.
  2. The MT and I are a bit possessive of the people who work at the festival. We have our favorites, our least favorites, our outrages and excitement over casting. It’s a very niche sort of nerd.
  3. Last year, we had the privilege of seeing a sensational production of Titus Andronius on the outdoor stage. We were apprehensive all day that a storm was going to break and force the show indoors, but instead of rain, we just got lightning and thunder, meaning that during the most climactic moments of Shakespeare’s darkest show, the sky was full of lightning. It’s the sort of magic you can’t pay for or plan.
  4. This year, I felt like I needed to go because of one particular play we saw: Peter and the Star-Catcher. Remember how I saw this play a few months ago in New York? Well I saw it again in Cedar City5 and had one of the most emotional reactions to a play I’ve ever had. It is a beautiful play in its own right, but it was one of those strange and serene coincidences where a certain piece of art comes to you right when you need it, and it changes you6.
  5. I realize it isn’t Shakespeare. They don’t just do Shakespeare.
  6. Not a joke, I am tearing up just thinking about it. It may be years before I can think about Peter and the Starcatcher without tearing up.
Tagged , , , , , ,

Four Book Friday: Caitlin Jacobs

Welcome back to Four Book Friday, a continuing series where writers and readers tell us about four books that changed their life! This week’s post comes from Caitlin Jacobs, an aspiring epic fantasy writer and life-long reader. Here are the four books that changed her life!

Four books that changed my life. That’s a tall order for just different rearrangements of the same twenty-six letters. Nevertheless, words have power like that. In fact, narrowing it down to just four was a bit of a chore. But here it is:

I Capture the CastleI Capture the Castle by Dodi Smith – A friend gave me this one for my birthday. It started out so lighthearted and fun and through its pages somehow wormed its way deeper into me without my realizing it. As I cried over the last chapter, I wondered how Cassandra had grown so much without anyone even noticing. It made me realize how much growing I could do, even if it didn’t look to anyone else like anything was happening.

https://i0.wp.com/d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347559078l/315425.jpgIn Defense of Food by Michael Pollan – This book drastically changed the way I eat. Its basic premise is this: Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Since reading it, I’ve switched out a lot of meat for a lot of vegetables and started making a lot more of our food from scratch. We probably eat meat about two meals a week, and even then not very much. We’re not super hardcore about the whole thing – if we’re not eating at home I just eat whatever looks good. But, with a few definite exceptions, we try to eat real, whole foods most of the time. And trust me, it’s delicious.

Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson – I’ve always loved fantasy but for a few years in college I just couldn’t find any I really liked. I thought I might be growing out of it and that saddened me. I bought Mistborn but left it sitting, unread, on my shelf for years because I hated the cover. Finally I picked it I up. Mistborn brought back to me what I hadn’t experienced in years. I didn’t just fall into that book – I plunged in and grabbed hold of the adventure, inhaling deep of the magic on its pages. Mistborn reminded me how much I really do love fantasy. It reawakened a piece of me that’s been dancing with life ever since, spinning is way out onto the pages of the book I’m writing.

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – I read two pages of this book before becoming dejected. I could never write this prettily, I thought to myself. The words just jumped off the page and wrapped themselves around me in a way I’d never experienced before, weaving themselves into something beautiful and shimmery, ethereal and earthy all at the same time. I read and loved the rest of the book, then wrote Pat an email telling him how much I’d enjoyed it and how I hoped I could someday write half so prettily. He emailed me back (I pretty much freaked out) and encouraged me to write the way only I can. And that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do. Hopefully it comes out my own kind of pretty.

Caitlin (97)Caitln Jacobs writes epic fantasy for adults who never let go of the magic we all know as children. She spends her time writing, reading, cooking, eating giant bowls of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and adventuring outside. She lives with her husband in California. She is currently seeking representation for her debut novel. For more thrilling details about her and her book, visit her website and read her blog at authorcaitlinjacobs.com.

Want more Four Book Friday? Here are more posts in the series:

Tagged , , , , , ,

in which the virtues of mountains and wildflowers are extolled

As a girl from Utah, it will come as no surprise that I basically grew up in the mountains. Between skiing, hiking, and living thirty feet from the canyon, there were few weeks throughout my childhood and adolescence that didn’t involve time spent in the mountains.

But the problem with growing up so near something extraordinary is that from a very early age, you grow accustomed to the ordinariness of it. By the time I was an age at which I could appreciate the beauty of the mountains, they hardly felt remarkable anymore. Just another familiar part of a familiar landscape.

It took leaving and coming back for me to understand how utterly magnificent the walls of the Salt Lake valley are. I remember just before I left for Chicago, the MT and I were walking to 7-11 for Diet Coke and I kept staring up at the mountains that rim our house and asking stupid rhetorical questions like, “Have those mountains always been there? Have they always been that big? Have they always been that jaw-droppingly gorgeous!?”

When I am away from Salt Lake, there are very few things I pine for, but Holy Mary do I miss the mountains.

IMG_0125

Last night, the family took a trek up Little Cottonwood Canyon to our favorite ski resort, now absent of snow but instead spilling over with wildflowers. The green hillsides were splashed with yellow and puple and red like streaks of vibrant paint across a canvas. It’s unbelievable, really, like a painting or a movie or something you travel the world to see, not something you find half an hour from your house.

On our way back down the mountain, it started to rain, a light sprinkle accompanied by grumbling thunder and flexing grey clouds, and as far as I could see, the world was so bright and new and petrichor. It just made me happy.

We get lots of letters at the Friend from children expressing their gratitude for the beauty of the world and its creations, but there are few moments in my own life when I am able to recognize this as deftly as they do. I spent the first eighteen years of my life so badly wanting to be anywhere else but where I was that I totally missed the fact that where I was was somewhere extraordinary and beautiful. I went halfway around the world to find the same sort of sense of wonder that I fond in my own backyard last night. I wish I could go back in time and tell seventeen-year-old me to just look around, because anywhere can be beautiful. And someday, seventeen-year-old Mackenzi Lee, you are going to miss the mountains1.

 

  1. The Utah Tourism Board should be paying me for this post. Alas.

 

IMG_0134 IMG_0142

IMG_0138IMG_0151

Tagged , , , , , ,

in which I bid farewell to a friend

About a week ago, I lost someone very dear to me.

Okay, it wasn’t a someone. It was a something. A pair of black high heels.

I know, I know, it sounds ridiculous. Mourning over a pair of shoes. But before you laugh, know that these were no ordinary shoes.

First I need to make something very clear. I don’t wear high heels. I just can’t. I tip over. They hurt my feet. I get them caught in every crack in the sidewalk and sink them into the grass. I can’t walk farther than from my desk to the printer1 in high heels. High heels are one of my greatest fears.

A few years ago, just before I started my freshman year of college, my life was changed when my mom came home from Dillard’s with a pair of black high heels for me. I said absolutely not, no, I can’t wear heels, I’m not taking high heels to college. I already had a pair of ½-inch black heels that we had branded my Sensible Shoes because they were made for eighty year old women with bunions. But I loved them, and I told my mom I didn’t need more black high heels, particularly these, which added an extra inch to my usual half-inch limit. Just try them on, she said. And I, being the ever-obedient daughter, did as I was told. Absolutely not, I said as I was putting them on, there’s no way I’m keeping these…

But once I got them on and did a few laps around the house, I had to admit, they were nice shoes. They had a T-strap, which made me feel like a World War II pin-up girl. And I didn’t tip over when I wore them. They were easy to walk in, and comfortable. I hadn’t known high heels could be comfortable.

So I said okay, and I started wearing them.

And then I basically didn’t take them off for four years.

IMG_3585

On graduation day! They look so happy….

These shoes went everywhere with me. Utah State University, Chester, Paris, London, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Salt Lake2. Seriously. Everywhere. Wherever I moved, they were one of the two pairs of shoes I brought with me. I have walked cobblestones in them. I have raced after trains in them. I have traversed wet, muddy lawns in them. I have acted in two different plays while wearing them. I have directed plays while wearing them. I’m confident I could have run a marathon in them.

They were truly the perfect shoe3.

_DSC2933

That’s actually me. In the red, if that wasn’t clear. And I am wearing the shoes.

And then a few weeks ago, I went out to lunch with my dad. While we were walking back to my office, something didn’t feel right. My perfect shoes were feeling a little tipsy. They even hurt a little. I mentioned to my dad that they felt a little wobbly. He said he could probably fix them–he’d look at them when I got home.

Well he did look at them, and determined he couldn’t see anything wrong, but I could feel something was off. The heel was still wobbling. My mother suggested trying the shoemaker, who had so lovingly replaced a piece of the sole for me a year earlier when the cobblestones of Harvard Square had started to take their toll. The next day, when we collected the shoes, the shoemaker delivered the fatal diagnosis. Something inside the heel had broken. I don’t remember all the technical terms, I was too hysterical. But I got the takeaway: he could fix it…but it would cost more than buying a new pair of shoes.

199740_10150112361332651_7374583_n

their appearance in “As You Like It” at the University of Chester. Most of my pictures of these perfect shoes are from plays since I rarely have other reasons to take a picture with shoes included.So I have lots of pictures of me wearing them, but you can’t seem them. Tragic.

And so, it is with a heavy heart, that I say farewell to my dear black T-straps. They went down fighting, and shall be given a hero’s burial. And they shall forever live in my heart. The paragon of shoes. The heel that ruined all other heels for me.

Rest in peace, my friends.  Until we meet again.

 

  1. A distance of approximately seven feet.
  2. One of these things is not like the other….
  3. Were! Sob! This is where the story gets sad…
Tagged , , , , ,

Four Book Friday: Smatt Read

Welcome back to Four Book Friday, a continuing series where writers and readers tell us about four books that changed their life! This week’s post comes from Smatt Read, one of my fellow students at Simmons College who writes whimsical, magical picture books and has a hilarious nickname. Here are the four books that changed his life!

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/68/Trumpet_of_the_Swan_Cover.jpegThe Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White – I decided at a young age to choose a favorite book, that is a permanent favorite book. None of that flavor-of-the-week type stuff. And so I chose The Trumpet of the Swan. However, what makes it a book that changed my life was what happened in the ensuing years. By sticking with it, I made the all important step of wondering why I liked it, really delving into the issue. Though antiquated by today’s standards, it taught me something about being in love. It still breaks me a little to see Louis the Swan trying to impress Serena by holding his writing tablet with the words “I love you” scrawled across it.

Black Like MeBlack Like Me by John Howard Griffin – In early 2004, I was working at Barnes & Noble when a customer started sharing his relationship woes with me. He had proposed to his girlfriend and been turned down based on the issue of race (he was African-American; she was Mexican-American). As befitting a bookstore, the conversation turned to books, and the guy recommended Black Like Me. He insisted that everyone should read the book, especially non-blacks, for its penetrating look at race relations in America. I have since read the book several times and continue to be impressed by its honesty, depth, and raw portrayal of racism.

https://i2.wp.com/www.jeffreysomers.com/blather/MAZE_Manson.pngMAZE by Christopher Manson – I love mazes, and as a kid, I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books. When I stumbled upon this picture book which combined the two ideas, I snatched it up and started to work on it. And work on it. And work on it. I shared this book with a friend, and together we read its pages, navigated its paths, and tried to solve its mysteries. This went on for years. When I was 30, I received an email from my puzzle-solving partner who linked me up to the book’s wiki page. In the twenty or so years since my original purchase, I began to realize I had only scratched the surface. This intriguing picture book fostered a life-long love of mazes, puzzles, and a fondness for games.

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/omc/kidsphil/questions/Littleprince/littleprince_cover_380pixels.jpgThe Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery – I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Beyla, Guinea, West Africa when my closest Peace Corps neighbor Nils brought a box of books to me. Among a dozen or so fantasy titles, I found two copies of The Little Prince, one in French and one in English. I casually read the first chapter of the English version, just to get a taste, and soon found myself swimming in its language and ideas. What had meant to be a short literary foray turned into several hours of adventure and quiet revelations. His book gave me solace during a confusing and emotional time and made it possible for me to see a little more clearly the beauty there is in life.

ImageSmatt is the pen name of S.Matt Read. He is a writer, inventor, baker, and adventurer. He is best known for The Texas Perimeter Hike, a self-syndicated column and year-long walkabout around the Lone Star state. His current adventure is a children’s literature and writing graduate program at Simmons College. He lives in Somerville, MA with his dog Raisin who he found while walking in Texas.

Want more Four Book Friday? Here are more posts in the series:

Tagged , , , , ,

in which I watch a moonflower bloom

Since probably forever, my mother has had a knack for finding weird random adventures for our family. The latest in a long line of shenanigans came a few Fridays ago, when she packed my father and I1 into Emerson Cod, our green Subaru2, and we drove to see the moonflower.

My mother heard about the moonflower from her coworker at the LDS Conference Center Gardens3. A woman in Sandy, Utah, grows and obsesses over these flowers, and she invites anyone and everyone to come over to her house and watch them.  She even provides a bench. It’s a little bit weird, sitting in a stranger’s yard on a bench facing a blank wall, staring at her flowerbeds.

So let me explain, lest you think us mad4: the lifespan of the moonflower is a single night. It blooms only once, in the moonlight, remains open for that night, and then, when the sun rises, it dies. And the most amazing thing is that when it blooms in the moonlight, it goes from a tightly closed bud to wide-open flower in less than thirty seconds.

This is a moonflower. Not the moonflower we saw. It belongs to someone on the internet.

Moonflowers are the most amazing flower I have ever seen, and with a horticulture-enthusiast mother like mine, I’ve seen a lot of amazing flowers. It’s like watching one of those sped-up National Geographic movies of trees growing—it seems too cool to be real. Even after I watched forty of them go from tight-fisted buds to open palms of petals in seconds, as we walked back to the car, I started doubting whether or not I had actually seen it. It was that remarkable.

I was also overwhelmed by the poignancy of the whole affair. The flowers only live for one night. How utterly heartbreaking. But how lovely, that the moonflowers are so excited to live and experience ever second possible of their one night of life that they open so quickly. At least, that’s how I like to think of it. They open quickly because they don’t want to waste a second of their lives.

I read so much fantasy that sometimes I forget how the real world astounds me. Even in my own backyard, the territory I grew up in for eighteen years, there are things I have not seen, things I did not even know existed like flowers that bloom in fragile moonlight before your eyes. I have been pining for Boston lately, but the moonflowers were a gentle reminder that beauty and happiness can be found anywhere. Life is not about where you’re living, but how you’re living when you’re there5.

 

  1. The MT was missing in action
  2. Latest in a long line of Subarus
  3. It’s very weird that both my mother and I are working at Temple Square right now. If you had asked me a year ago who the two people in my life least likely to be working at Temple Square were, I would have answered me and my mom.
  4. The jury’s still out on it.
  5. And on that Hallmark card of a note, expect sometime in the near future to see a book from me with moonflowers making an appearance somewhere in it. It’s too magical to ignore.
Tagged , , , , ,

Four Book Friday: Jenny Kaczorowski

Welcome back to Four Book Friday, a continuing series where writers and readers tell us about four books that changed their life! This week’s post comes from Jenny Kaczorowski, fellow Team Krista alum from the Writer’s Voice and one of the few people I know with a last name to rival my own! Here are the four books that changed her life! 

I could happily write about the four most recent books I’ve loved (Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, One by Leigh Ann Kopans and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta) or the four series I love best (The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, The Time Quartet by Madeline L’Engle, The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper and Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor), but thinking of influential books made me go back into my childhood and my earliest reading experiences. Here, in no particular order, is my list four books that impacted me as a reader and a writer.

Image1916 by Morgan Llywelyn – This is the novel that made me realize I didn’t like grown up books. My family is Irish and the Troubles have always fascinated me, so a story set around the Easter Uprising sounded perfect. I snatched it off the library shelf and read as fast as I could. That was twelve years ago and the only thing I remember about the book, other than the title, is a sex scene that described sperm sparkling on the love interest’s thighs. Gross.

After that, I kept to the young adult section, where even sex is shrouded in the pretty haze of romance.

ImageTwilight by Stephenie Meyer – I know. It’s horribly cliché. Twilight made me realize YA was still a thing and there might be a market for the kind of stories I wrote. I didn’t read much right after college, I think mostly due to the amount I read in college. My husband and I were broke and there wasn’t a library nearby, so I spent several years reading nothing but Agatha Christie mysteries and old favorites. When a friend loaned me Twilight, it was a wake up call. I dug out several old stories and I’ve been pursuing publication ever since.

ImageA Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett – I grew up in a home filled with books. My mom read to us before bed every night until we were teens. She not only reads stories, she tells them. A Little Princess is one she read so many times, she had passages memorized. Once I was old enough to read on my own, I reread it every winter. I think this is the book that taught me to look for magic in the every day. I always tell people that speculative fiction is my first love, yet the book I’m querying is a contemporary romance. I’ve come to realize even that it is its own kind of fantasy and I think A Little Princess is where I discovered that idea.

Image

The Complete Tales by Beatrix Potter – My family quotes Beatrix Potter like some families quote the bible or movies or TV. There is a moment somewhere in one of her stories that is appropriate for any occasion. My poor husband has never quite caught up to all the references and my brother’s fiancée is even more lost, but these stories capture a particular wry worldview that we’ve embraced. I very clearly remember sitting down at age 14 and writing out my own story for my baby sister about the wild rabbits in our backyard. Again, it’s the magical within the ordinary that captures my heart.

ImageRaised in Avon, Ohio, the duct tape capital of the world, Jenny Kaczorowski began her writing career as a featured columnist for her hometown newspaper. After spending her college years earning a degree in journalism, she vowed to never spend another winter in Ohio and moved to Los Angeles. At the urging of a friend, Jenny finally decided it was time to do something with all of the snippets of stories she wrote during microeconomics and wrote THE RIVER REMEMBERS, a YA paranormal mystery. Since then, she has completed two more novels for young adults, including THE EXTRAORDINARY ART OF FALLING, a YA contemporary romance currently in the query trenches. Apart from writing, Jenny is still an avid photographer, loves music despite no discernable musical talent and reads the dictionary for fun. She lives near Los Angeles with her husband, baby daughter and terror, er, TODDLER son. The four of them are always looking for their adventure. You can find jenny on Twitter, facebook and her blog, In Somnis Veritas. She also blogs for YA Misfits.

Want more Four Book Friday? Here are more posts in the series:

Tagged , , ,

in which I illustrate Harry Potter Part 2

In case you’re new here, my wonderful awesome crazy family decided sometime while I was in Boston that they all end up paying better attention to their nightly scripture reading if the scriptures were replaced with Harry Potter. So every night before bed, the MT reads a chapter of Harry Potter out loud. Because I am fairly ADD, I am really bad at sitting still for this long, despite my great love of Harry Potter. So I decided that while she read, I was going to draw. In spite of not being in any way artistically inclined.

A few weeks ago, I shared my frankly astounding Chamber of Secrets Art. And naturally after Chamber of Secrets comes Prisoner of Azkaban, the greatest of all the Harry Potter books (seriously, every time I read this book, I am floored by the plot twist and how effortlessly it is executed. Good old JK). And since we finished last night, I thought I’d slap the art up on the blog in hopes of perking up your Monday.

These are not great quality photos since all the drawings are taped up in our entryway (my parents are very long suffering and tolerant of the MT and my particular brand of crazy. Though actually, I think they feed it). I realize I could have taken them down and scanned them for higher quality, but I spent so much time just getting the bloody things up on the wall I wasn’t about to take them down. Also, I felt shoddy drawings deserve shoddy quality photos. At least I am consistent.

And so, without further ado, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. As illustrated by a girl who can’t draw.

Image

I even got new markers for this one! A 12 pack of Crayola Washables! Takes me back to third grade….

Image

Image

this is actually version 2.0, since the first drawing fell off the wall, got stuck to the dog’s paw, and then she walked around with it stuck to her. By the time we realized, she had clawed it.

Image

Image

Image

I made a huge artistic leap forward in this photo, as I drew both people in profile, and people sitting down, which are two things I usually avoid at all costs. Though I realize now Ron has no legs….

Image

Image

Dean Thomas appears again! Just for the MT.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Upon finishing this one, the MT immediately asked, “Why does Malfoy have a man purse?” I decided to roll with it.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

My brush with surrealism.

Image

In the tradition of the great Lucious Malfoy flip off in the last chapter of Chamber (that resulted from me drawing Harry’s thumb on backwards). This one was intentional.

Vote for your favorite in comments! Or feel free to give your own awards, if “favorite” doesn’t quite cover it. Best color, best technique, best use of a man purse….etc.

Tagged , , , , , , ,