Thursday, June 24, 2010

FIFA 2010 - venting



WARNING to my regular readers: This post is only about soccer. If you haven't caught the bug yet, read Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch.

Now, to FIFA 2010, and in no particular order:
  • Despite all the glam expectations and promises of foreign money pouring into the country, fewer that 8,000 tourists entered South Africa on a FIFA visa. If the number seems reasonable enough to you, here's some perspective: the purpose-built Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg can hold over 88,000 spectators.
  • I'm not blaming those who chose to stay away. I did, too. To find out why, read this article.
  • Bafana Bafana played an awesome game against France, and the only reason they didn't get to go through was the disgraceful ref call (penalty) in the game with Uruguay. It's unfair that the diving Uruguay team is going into the elimination stages and I hereby promise to support any team playing against them. Except for Italy, that is....
  • All Whites played an awesome game against Italy, and the only reason they might not get to go through is the disgraceful ref call (penalty) in the game with Italy. It's unfair that the diving Italy team is going into the elimination stages and I hereby promise to support any team playing against them. Except for Uruguay, that is.
  • If you want to know why I love soccer, look at the photos of the Portuguese team (on this post).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chapter and Woman's Day



My thanks go to Chapter Book Store and Woman's Day magazine for sponsoring our RWNZ short story competition. I'm thrilled for one of my stories to have placed 3rd.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Interview with Carlton Scott


Q: What technique did the author use for his illustrations: Pencils? Oil Pastels? Textured Paper? Layered Images?

A: In the early 1990’s, when I did my first book, Grin’s Message I used crayons and colored pencils. I tried to make the characters very cartoon like and full of expression. After losing my sight in my left eye from glaucoma in 1996, I was very frustrated with my lack of depth perception and could not draw the Rocky Mountains like I had hoped for my second book Little Big Wolf.

Since I had many beautiful photos from my hikes while living in Denver, Colorado I messed around with the idea of combining my drawings and scanned images. After realizing this unique effect would work, I chose to publish the book and see how people would react. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from kids and adults and I think the blending of my photography and pencil drawings works well. I then decided that when I attempted my third book, I would do the same…

With my Glamour Girl book, I used colored pencils and photos I had taken during my travels as a nurse. The sky and clouds are enlarged to 17” x 11” as the backdrop for my colored images and are all scanned together in photo-shop on the computer and my art placed into the photo. When I do any drawings I always sketch them out in pencil first to make sure I like it and then color them in after with Prismacolor pencils. Sometimes part of a drawing will look really nice and then I’ll mess up another section. Instead of trashing the whole image like I would do in the past, I cut out part of the picture that works and layer it with another drawing from another piece of paper, like a collage. When I teach kids in elementary school how to write, illustrate, and publish their work, I always tell them to draw out their entire story first in pencil so they can erase any errors before they bring their characters to life with color...

Scott has dedicated his life to working with children, both as a nurse and mental health worker. He has written and illustrated three picture books for children. As part of his commitment to supporting children’s health, he donates 50 percent of all profits from his books to children’s hospitals across the country. He created his newest book, Glamour Girl from the Stars, to foster self acceptance in young girls.

For more information about this virtual book tour, please visit
http://bookpromotionservices.com/2010/05/13/blog-tour-carlton-scotts-glamour-girl-from-the-stars/ You can learn more about this author and purchase his books at http://www.carltonsbooks.com/index.html.

Live up to your potential


Book Review
"Glamour Girl from the Stars" by Carlton Scott
Children's Fiction


The first thing I noticed about "Glamour Girl from the Stars" was the very pink cover with a hand-drawing of an alien stepping out of her space ship. It's clearly meant to look like a child's drawing, not like a super-realistic computer generated graphic, and yet the green bald alien is clearly female, with a body language full of attitude.

The beautiful visuals continue throughout the book as they illustrate the alien girl's journey. From the stars straight into Dinosaur Era (you have to see the dinosaurs!), fast forward to 2010 right into Area 51 (a nice touch for the adults), then on to Waikiki, China, Rome.

When she finally arrives at the Miss Universe Pageant, she can't believe the number of hungry earth girls she sees there. The book's moral about self-confidence and living up to your potential is a lovely touch.

The author has kindly answered my questions about his drawing technique. Please see the next post.

Scott has dedicated his life to working with children, both as a nurse and mental health worker. He has written and illustrated three picture books for children. As part of his commitment to supporting children’s health, he donates 50 percent of all profits from his books to children’s hospitals across the country. He created his newest book, Glamour Girl from the Stars, to foster self acceptance in young girls.

For more information about this virtual book tour, please visit
http://bookpromotionservices.com/2010/05/13/blog-tour-carlton-scotts-glamour-girl-from-the-stars/ You can learn more about this author and purchase his books at http://www.carltonsbooks.com/index.html.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

No, it's not what you think!

This book is NOT about economics. I repeat: not related to, not remotely, and nothing to do with the price of eggs. Or the price of margarine when the price of butter goes up. Or any of the boring topics like value-adding, the 3-6-3 rule, stock, derivatives, zzzz zzzzzzz zzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... that ensured I never became a rich actuary.

"Freakonomics" and "Super Freakonomics" are humorous and chatty books about people:
  • what makes us give to charity
  • why an IT specialist chooses to "turn tricks"
  • parenting
  • school teachers
  • drug dealers who live with their moms
  • ... all that plus three easy way on how to avert the global warming crisis.
Read one or both of them. That's coming from me, someone who dislikes non-fiction almost as much as she loves fiction.