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Live from Mo*Con

We’re about to start Open Mic Night and I’m super excited. I’ve been asked to perform as Gretchen Von Stroodlehymen in a live-action rendition of Greg “The Funky Werepig” Hall’s infamous award-nominated paranormal romance “Dracula’s Winkie.”

And then…well, then there will be a surprise.

Kelli’s reading now from her Alphabet Book…not for small ears…shhhh….

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Return of The Ladies

Back in December, right after Christmas, my little sister sat me down with a paintbrush and a piece of gessoed masonite and said, “Paint me one of your ladies.” It was a lot of fun, and reminded me of something I should be doing…that I *haven’t* been doing. Not because I haven’t wanted to or needed to or had the time to, I just haven’t been focussed where the art is concerned.

The awesome thing about that, is that IT’S ART. You’re welcome to play around and do whatever you want to get your ya-yas out. Doing so is a lot of fun. Having a venue to show them off (like my artist’s table at Mo*Con — you’re going, right?) is a fabulous motivation. And having your friends all around you saying, “Hey, can I do art too?” is just wonderful. Because we all know: Magic is much better when shared.

This week I got a bazillion fun pieces done for Mo*Con, and I wrote my reviews for IGMS, and I showered (a few times) and packed and got everything pretty much cleaned up and ready to go. Which meant that last night was a freebie. Last night wasn’t work, it was just for me. I could play around and goof off and have the freedom to screw up and take as much time as I wanted doing so.

So I did what my sister asked me to do (and has still been asking me: “Lee, you should just do some! They don’t take that long!”) four months ago. I painted some Ladies. I finished them up, and will be proud to display them at my table. Hooray!!

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Julie Kagawa Interview @ Fantasy Magazine

When I met Julie Kagawa last year at Hypericon in Nashville, her book wasn’t slated to be out for eight months and I had already heard major buzz on it. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to have a little chat with her about it over at Fantasy Magazine. Click here to read the interview — it’s a lot of fun. And Julie is just cute as a freaking button.

If you’re interested to know more about Julie’s debut novel The Iron King, I reviewed it in the March issue of IGMS.

Wanna know more about Julie herself (and see a cool trailer for her book)? Click on over to her website.

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OMGWTFBBQ

I really, really, really, REALLY need to own a set of these. I think it’s absolutely criminal that I don’t already have some. I may refuse to attend the next BBQ at Awesome Porch if I don’t have some.

They are rainbow colors and dishwasher safe, and while Urban Outfitters sells them for $10, you can totally find them cheaper elsewhere. Perpetual Kid has them for $7.99.

You know what every summer family BBQ needs more of? That’s right. Uni-CORNs. Your children might even eat a vegetable for once.

I told you, I’m bringing Unicorns back, people…

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How ’bout *them* apples?

Carson: Who wants to play “Apples to Apples”? [the Junior Edition, because he’s six]

Lee: Me!

Chloe: Not me.

Everybody Else: (grumble)

Lee: Somebody has to play with us. Two people can’t play…

Gypsy: Justin will play with you.

Justin: Sure, okay.

(Rip-roaring game of “Apples to Apples” ensues. Did I mention I freaking love this game? Wackiness and hilarity, people. Eventually, we get to the final round.)

Carson: (the judge of this particular round) The word is “Sour”.

Justin: (plays his card) Tee hee!

Lee: (plays her card) *giggle*

Carson: (consults the cards completely straight-faced) Hmm. “Play Doh” and “My Grandma.” (pauses.) Wow. That’s hard.

(Justin and Lee burst into a fit of giggles.)

Carson: (after serious deliberation) I’m going to have to go with “Play Doh.”

Lee: YESSSSSSSSS! All mine, baybee.

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The Art of Screwing Up

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
~Scott Adams

I screwed up one of the pieces I was doing yesterday. I had originally achieved the affect when prepping a rainbow-colored butterfly on a scrap piece of paper, and Gypsy and I both loved how it looked. My goal was to recreate that same butterfly above a sea of little black butterflies. The black butterflies came out great. The rainbow butterfly looked like trash. I tried to fix it. It looked worse. I wasn’t pleased, and said as much.

“You would just tell me that’s art,” said Gypsy.

She’s right — she’s been out in the garage tinkering along with me for the past two nights. Every time she complained about something being crooked or not the way she imagined it to be, my response was always, “That’s art!” and an encouragement to keep at it. The Hippie made a great analogy for her — one that a fellow writer would understand. Just as the written word is the tool you use to tell the story in your head, the pens and brushes and glue and glitter are the things you use to translate what you’ve got in your head. At first it’s rarely (if ever) the same thing. You just have to work at it. Just like writing. Gypsy frowned at us, but she kept at it, and I was glad to have the company.

But I was not happy about this piece, and I wanted to do something about it before that globulous layer of crap dried forever. I had seen some words on another piece of scrapbook paper, and I ferreted them out. “There lived a beautiful princess,” the words said, and I grabbed my scissors to cut them out. It seemed a bit tougher than usual, and when I snipped the last corner of the strip I realized why — it had been stuck to the page behind it. I had snipped the exact same similar strip out of the page behind it, a dark wine-colored print.

“Hmm,” my brain thought, and as I clipped the words into pieces, so did I clip the strip of wine-colored paper.I wiped off the offending glitter and pasted my new pieces right over it. I was so happy with the result I immediately did two more pieces in a similar vein.

“Look,” I said to Gypsy, showing off the finished piece. “That’s art.”

She stuck her tongue out at me.

For the rest of the gallery of artwork I’ve completed this month, click here and just arrow forward. I’m adding new pieces every day until Mo*Con! (And then I’ll remind myself how to do that Etsy shop…)

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Suitable For Framing

Not only do I have the honor of AlphaOops: H is for Halloween being a Junior Library Guild Selection, but now I have this awesome lapel pin and a certificate suitable for framing.

Squee!!!!!

This is *so* way better than making the honor roll.

Don’t forget — the release date is July 13, 2010. The publisher may sell out before Halloween (I say that because the first one sold out before Christmas) so be sure to preorder yours today!

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More Arty Goodness

Yes, folks, Mo*Con is this weekend — are you coming? Don’t forget, we’re launching Dark Faith and there’s going to be a massive signing with lots of authors.

I’ll also have an artist’s table (which is starting to become something of a tradition for me at Mo*Con), with lots of lovely, affordable art that I’ve been working like gangbusters on all week.

Here are the newest pieces I finished yesterday — I’m really, really happy with all of them. There’s just something about collage that soothes me. Maybe it’s the glue.

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This Is Your Child On Reality.

Lee: (at a birthday party Sunday, dancing around with a butterfly wand) I’m a fairy!

Kaitlyn: (pictured) You’re not a fairy. You don’t have a dress on.

Lee: Maybe it’s Halloween and I’m in disguise!

Kaitlyn: It’s not Halloween.

Lee: Maybe it is in Fairy Land!

Kaitlyn: This is not Fairy Land.

Lee: (Stops dancing. Hands over the wand and walks away pouting.)

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Art So Far

The third one is my favorite so far. I love the colors, and how the butterfly stamps contrast without distracting. The story/poem on it says:

“Darkest quickly comes the night and hardest brighty burns the light. One and two for counting crows, red and blue for rain’s arced bows. Tried and true and just pretend comes fast the love that never ends.”

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