Saturday, November 20, 2010

What is Critterpalooza?

Hey look! It's me! They interviewed me over at Operation Awesome (isn't that a fabulous name for a blog?)

Get the inside scoop about how Critter started traveling around the world.

Also, there is still time to enter Critterpalooza for a chance to win one of the 17 amazing prizes that include but are not limited to books, critiques, skype chats, gift certificates and more! Go to the Bookshelf Muse and enter while you still can!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Critterpalloza = lots of prizes!!! share the wealth!

Kidlit Critterpalooza!

by Angela Ackerman (The Bookshelf Muse)

For over a year now, CRITTER, the creation of artist Ian Sands, has been travelling the world, meeting talented writers and authors and exploring where they live. At each stop he learns more and more about KIDLIT and the importance of literacy and creativity. This journey was the brainchild of Christy Evers, (Thats me! Thanks Angela!) who got her hands on Critter after an interactive art project of Ian’s, where 500 Critters were hidden all over her city for people to find.

Critter has visited PJ Hoover (and the Texas Sweethearts!) in Texas, Beth Revis in North Carolina, Christina Farley in Korea, New England with Nandini Bajpai, Illinois with Kelly Polark, MG Higgins in California, Rena Jones in Montana, Cynthia Leitich Smith in Texas, Bish Denham in the Virgin Islands, Jacqui Robbins in Michigan, Tina Ferraro in California, Cynthia Chapman Willis in New Jersey, Jill S. Alexander in Texas, Ellen Oh in Virginia and is now in Alberta, Canada with Angela Ackerman.

Critter has been to college, rock concerts, national landmarks, a palace, attended his first SCBWI conference, walked among giant redwoods, and met the world famous artist, Robert Bateman. Now that his journey is coming to a close, it’s CRITTER’S hope that you will help him celebrate over at The Bookshelf Muse. His new hosts, together with old hosts, have teamed up to create the Kidlit-inspired event, Critterpalooza! and you’re invited.

There are many AMAZING prizes to be won, all in the spirit of helping Critter celebrate the wonderful creativity & support within out KIDLIT community, and to also raise awareness for his charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

If you would like to donate a few dollars to Critter’s charity, just click on the "I (heart) St. Jude" button (above)! Children’s lives are saved every day thanks to the support of people like you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Took my kids to an art exhibit, gave them markers and . . . . .

So . . . I took my kids to an art exhibit, put markers in their hands and then told them to draw on the exhibit pieces.

But don't worry. That's what we were supposed to do. :0D Did I have you worried? Remember Critter's creator, Ian Sands? He has an interactive art exhibit up at the Halle Cultural Arts Center in downtown Apex, NC. It's brilliant. The kids didn't want to leave. Ian has found a way to involve the art patrons in a new way. It's fun-tab-ulous.

Just in case you can't read the sign, it says, "This exhibit contains many interactive pieces. Loosen up and enjoy yourself."

Speaking of Critter, You need to pop on over to Angela's blog. She has more great photo's of Critter in Canada. Now, here's an interesting tid-bit of info. In the picture below, Angela took Critter to see Robert Bateman (not Batman) a world-famous artist. As it turns out, Robert Bateman was a huge influence on Ian Sands in his high school years. Ian told me that some of the sketches that he used to get into art school were his Batemen-influenced sketchtes. Neat how things come around, huh? It makes you think that maybe there is some sort of order to this cRaZy world, huh? Not only did Critter get his picture taken w/ Mr. Bateman but he also signed him as an honorary Critter host. ~squeal!~

But seriously, you need to go to Angela's blog to read the whole story. You can either click on the picture or click here to beam yourself over to her blogship.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jedi Master Kitty says "Go ahead, haz a sip!"

lolcats - Caption a Kitten -

Today's inspiration comes from Jedi Master Kitty and Thomas Edison. Jedi Master Kitty wants to get you into shape! He doesn't want you to simply have a sip of success. He wants you to BE a SIP.

What is a SIP?

I'm glad you asked.

S uccess
I n
P rogress

Thomas Edison said, "Many of life's failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

Jedi Master Kitty is training me to be a SIP and not give into discouragement. Who want's to be a SIP too?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some training to do with one tough Jedi Master.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I hate it when my antiques hurl me into the space/time continuum . . .

Depressed teen, Martin Conway didn't like it much either. Martin lives in the shadows of an alcoholic father, an overcritical mother and an over-achieving sister. What makes is worse is that everyone hopes that he will measure up to his namesake; a WWII hero of a Grandfather. But Martin can't measure up. He makes poor grades in school, has few friends and when he is picked on by a group of boys at school, he ends up suspended for something that he didn't do. It turns out that he has more in common with his alcoholic father and his mentally ill uncle more than his grandfather.

Everything changes when his mystical grandmother dies and leaves him her antique radio from the 1940's. As he falls asleep to the radio static, he is transported back in time to WWII Where a a boy named Jimmy is pleading for his help, although he's not exactly sure what he needs Martin to do. . . . yet.

This book was a pleasant surprise. I picked it up at the library on a whim. I luv, luv, luv it when that happens!

Book characterization: I like how the characters in this book are believable. They are all flawed yet have their own endearing traits. This book gently explores alcoholism, depression and mental illness in a positive way. I would recommend this book for children facing such issues.

Voice: I think the main characters voice was a little weak. He used several words that I wouldn't expect a teenage boy to use. However that didn't take away (much) of my enjoyment of the voice. I cared about the character and his circumstances. I loved the voice of the WWII boy, Jimmy. I felt like I got a good sense of who he was and his perspective.

The underlying drive of the book: I think this is what sets this book apart from other time-travel/historical fiction books. The underlying question asks, "What do you think makes one man a disgrace and another one a hero?" The story explores how some of those who have been deemed "great" may not be as wonderful as we would like to think. Likewise, those who we tend to look down our noses at may actually be the ones who come through for us in the end.

On a scale of 1 LUV to 5 LUVS, I rate it 4Luvs! <3 <3 <3 <3

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find an old radio and see where (and when) it will take me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Do you NaNo? Mini NaNo? PBWriMO? . . . . plus see critter trying on costumes

I did NaNo WriMo (for those of you not familiar with the term NaNo WriMo stands for National Novel Writing month) about two years ago. It was fun, but the story ended up being a flop. That was a huge disappointment. I may try it again another year. For now, I'm just trying to figure out how to fit "writing" into my schedule. I miss it. It's my "ME" time. My "therapy" time. My FuN time. Plus, I HAVE to write. If I get out of story writing for too long it makes me feel all wOnKy and causes me to type too many capital letters.

So . . . instead of diving into writing a whole new novel this November, I decided to set a goal that was more doable for my current situation. I'm taking 2 hours 3 mornings a week where I wrap myself up in my cozy local coffee shop while the kids are at school in order to dedicate time to finish my current novel. Hopefully it will become a habit and I can keep it up beyond November.

I only have about 5 more chapters left in my current novel, but it feels like much more. Wish me luck in trying to tackle that goal and being able to stay true to my scheduled writing times. It has felt so good to get out and write (and drink coffee) again.

So, how about you? Are you doing NaNo or another variation of it? Or, has the craziness inspired you to set another type of goal?

In other Critter news, you HAVE to HAVE to HAVE to read Angela's blog re: Critter's Halloween. He got to try on all kinds of costumes. It's Adora-sterical! (I just made that word up. I think I like it.)