Friday, January 28, 2011

Yarn Bombing at Joy Kogawa House

Having just dusted off my knitting needles in a big way, with the resolution to finish up all of the half-completed projects I have around here, I would love be able to attend this event! I've also just learned to crochet and am looking for a second project so I can remember what I just learned. Perhaps a pink posie is in order?

Help writing blossom at Historic Joy Kogawa House! Join Leanne Prain and Mandy Moore, co-authors of the book Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti (Arsenal Pulp Press), as we cover the Joy Kogawa cherry tree in hundreds of knitted blossoms.

You are invited to come and knit or crochet pink cherry blossoms to help cover this historic tree, whose story is told in Joy Kogawa's Naomi's Tree, a picture book about friendship. Knitters and crocheters of all levels are welcome to attend these FREE events.

Join our community knit-in at the Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver, on:

Saturday, February 5, 2 to 3:30pm

Or help to stitch all of the cherry blossoms into place at Historic Joy Kogawa House on:

Sunday, March 6, 2 to 3:30pm

Leanne and Mandy will entertain stitchers with daring tales of yarn bombing feats from around the world, books will be available for sale and signing, and refreshments will be served. Yarn and needles will be provided; however, donations of pink yarn are appreciated!

Can't make it to the event? Mail in your knitted or crocheted cherry blossoms to be added to the tree, as follows:

Historic Joy Kogawa House
1450 West 64th Avenue
Vancouver, B.C. V6P 2N4

Or drop your blossoms in the covered bin you'll find just down the steps from the sidewalk in front of the house at 1450 West 64th Avenue. Submissions will be accepted up until March 1, 2011. All cherry blossoms should be made out of pink yarn. Patterns to use are available here.

For more information see our Facebook page or visit here.

Ann-Marie Metten
Executive Director

Historic Joy Kogawa House
1450 West 64th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6P 2N4
Telephone 604-263-6586

Please send mail to:
8107 Cartier Street
Vancouver, BC V6P 4T6

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Literacy Day!

Did you know it is Family Literacy Day? Perfect. Just what I need - a very good excuse for dropping everything to read for a bit.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Is Your Blackberry Working?

This reminds me of a cartoon I saw years ago with a duck holding a mallet above his computer. The caption read, "Hit any key."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two Great Vancouver Events

If you live in or near Vancouver, there are two great events to check out in the next few months. The first is Authorfest, which takes place February 1 from 4 to 5:30. Come meet the writers Deborah Hodge, Ellen Schwartz, Robert Heidbreder and Shar Levine.
(The Event is at WOOD 2 (Woodward Instructional Resources Centre-IRC), 2194 Health Sciences Mall.)

The other is Serendipity, which is also at UBC on February 26 from 8 to 3:30. This year's theme is graphic novels and these are the presenters:

Gene Yang: author of American Born Chinese (winner of the Printz Award) and the forthcoming Level Up
Raina Telgemeier: author of Smile (an ALA Notable Book for 2011)
Matt Holm: co-creator of Babymouse (the most checked out kids title at NYPL)
Aaaron Renier: author of The Unsinkable Walker Bean (and Spiralbound)
Jason Shiga: author of Meanwhile (an ALA Notable Book for 2011)

Early bird registration closes on February 1. To register, go here.

For details, on both events, visit the blog of the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable.

What's On Your Bookshelves?

When I pick up a home design magazine and find a bookshelf in the picture, you can find me holding the magazine sideways as I scrutinize what is on the shelves. And I am mildly suspicious of homes without bookshelves. Personally, I can't imagine. We have one (at least) in every room in the house except the bathroom (and there is a basket there, of course). I know some people think I'm nuts, but we love reading around here and, well, I am a writer so if writers don't support other writers by buying their books, then there's not a lot of hope.

So you can imagine my delight when I came across this time waster.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Craft

Sometimes, books have met the end of their life as something to be read. Especially mass-market paperbacks, unless they have a precious lineage or are heavily annotated or have some other reason for occupying real-estate on your shelves. But, a craft with said book might have some appeal. I still have a Rolodex, which is currently exploding with cards and needs an overhaul. This is probably not a solution for me, but it's pretty to look at. (If you like books, of course). This is from Andrea Rodgers, via Cafe Cartolina.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What's the Longest Word in the World?

Combining my love of science and words, this post from NPR.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Great Deal for KNOW and YES Mags

I am totally biased here, especially since I edit KNOW, but this is a great deal for Group On members anywhere in Canada or the US.

Congratulations, Dennis Foon!

This just in via CWILL-BC - BC YA writer, Dennis Foon's screenplay for the film, Life, Above All is nominated for an Academy Award. Fabulous news; congratulations, Dennis Foon! More here.

Books are Better Than Hockey

It must be true if the Globe and Mail says so!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TD National Reading Summit II (Vancouver option)

For anyone in Vancouver interested in literacy and reading, you might want to take in a live webcast of the TD National Reading Summit II: Toward a Nation of Readers. It is sponsored by UBC's School of Library, Archival and Information Studies and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and Education Library.

It will be held:

Thursday January 20, 2011 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Friday January 21st, 2011, 9:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Dodson Room, Room 302, Chapman Learning Commons I.K. Barber Learning Centre,
1961 East Mall, University of British Columbia

It is a free event and no registration necessary.

Here is blurb on the even from UBC's Jo-Anne Naslund:
In 2008, a group of concerned librarians, parent activists, authors, booksellers, teachers, publishers and corporate leaders came together with a common goal that of developing a national reading strategy for Canada. As a first step a National Reading Summit was launched in Toronto and plans made for a second summit in Montreal, January 2011 and for a third in Vancouver in 2012.

The first National Reading Summit examined reading on an international level and explored the link between reading and engaged citizenship. This year's summit in Montreal will raise several questions. How are we supporting a culture of reading? What works? What doesn't, and where do we go from here?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Rules for Writers

Having just submitted a manuscript that has been about five years in the making—two and a bit intensely so—this was a refreshing read and timely arrival in my IN box. (Thanks greg b.)

These "rules" totally go against every prescription for writing success you'll hear as a young writer from all quarters: the conformity-driven MFA system, the publishing industry's hype-machine, successful writers who act either like prima donnas or untouchable mystics, the marketing experts who seek to impose advertising rules on the writing product. Overpaid editors, illiterate agents, arrogant gatekeepers, and stupid reviewers want you to bargain away your soul for a pittance -- the bids in the market escalate downward, a reverse auction where you compete with the lowest of the low to be acknowledged as an entity that counts.

Aiming for the lowest of the low...

New Year, New Website

It was time for an overhaul of my website (at least something could get overhauled for the new year). You can find it here. I needed something that covered all of the kinds of work that I do, not just writing books for children. Comments welcome! Thanks to PYFO web design for such a great job.

(PS The link to the site should go to a blue site with a large moon snail. If you get the site with a picture of me on it, refresh your browser. I keep getting to the old site first, but I think it must be because of "cookies." Please let me know if you get the old site.)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

AAAS Science Book Awards

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) had just announced the titles of the children and young-adult books honoured in 2010. Check it out here. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is on my "to read" list.

Profile of ... Me!

The Children's Writers and Illustrators of BC has a regular feature readBC where BC writers and illustrators are profiled. It is my turn. You can read the Q & A here. Check out the other writers too! I'm still waiting for my call from Pippi Longstocking.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On living creatively...

Don't worry, this isn't going to be a new year's resolution post. Well, not really. As I friend of mine said, "I don't resolute." (I don't believe resolute is a verb, but I like it!) Rather than resolution, I like the word often used in yoga: intention. I have several intentions for this day, this week, maybe this year, but the one I'll share here is to live more creatively. Yes, I already have a pretty creative life — I am a writer with a lot of flexibility in my days and life. I realize how privileged and lucky I am. What I'm talking about though is pushing my boundaries, not playing it so safe. I could learn a lot from daughter P. That girl is creative. She cooks without recipes, sews without patterns, and plays the piano without music. I should do that more. Live with a little fear of failure. I'm working on it. I actually started late last year with a painting course. I learned a lot about technique and such, but I learned more about myself. I really had to let go and just assume that it wouldn't work out. In the end, this painting did "work out," (a subjective term if there ever was one) but a few I've tried since haven't so much. That's okay. There's always gesso and a new clean canvas.

On the point of creativity, I really enjoyed this blog post — an interview with the artist, cartoonist, writer, etc. Lynda Barry. I love this quote:

When What It Is came out, Amazon didn’t know how to categorize it, so they categorized it as science fiction, which was so boss. If I was going to write a science fiction story, this is such a good one — a culture that shames people out of doing the very thing that will give them new neurons. If you draw a chicken on a piece of paper, there’s going to be some interesting neural activity — but people are too scared to draw a chicken, even if they’re just gonna throw it away. What the hell is that? When did that happen?

For 2011, I resolute to draw more chickens. How about you?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Aldana's Order of Canada

Congratulations to Patsy Aldana, publisher of Groundwood Books, on being named a member of the Order of Canada.