Cover reveal #2

Over the past few days, Portland was finally treated to a blast of the winter that everyone else has been having. My husband and I have been snowed in here at home, which is so unusual for this part of Oregon, and SO FUN! Especially with the Olympics to watch on TV, and lots of hot chocolate to keep us warm.

Thanks to the weather, I decided that today is the perfect time to reveal the cover for the second book I have coming out later this year. (Click here to read about the other one.) Are you ready?

LittleWomenXmas_1

It’s so beautiful I want to cry!  Bagram Ibatoulline is an amazing artist, an INCREDIBLE artist, and Simon & Schuster has given me an enormous gift by choosing him as the illustrator for this picture book.

Wait until you see his artwork–the pages look like they’re lit from within. I truly can’t wait until this one hits the shelves next fall!

 

 

Fan art Friday

Wow, do I have some treats for you today!  A trio of incredible pieces of artwork sent to me by two of you.  (By the way, if you click on them, they’ll enlarge for you so you can see the detail.)

First up, check out this Flashlite magazine cover designed by Cassie:

Cassie did this for a school assignment.  I’m not the least bit surprised that she received 100% on it, and that her teacher had this to say:  “I never have seen anything more unique and well done! It looks as though you have traveled and visited Fashion Week in Paris and studied it.”  (Nope, says Cassie — no trips to Paris, just to the pages of WISH YOU WERE EYRE!)

AWESOME job, Cassie!

And here are two drawings by Emma.  I just LOVE all the details!

 

Aren’t these FABULOUS?!  Thanks, Emma!

 

 

Extraordinary ordinary life

Part of  a writer’s work is being observant.  I try and go about each day with my eyes and ears wide open.  You never know when an idea will come your way, or when you’ll see or hear something that might add color and life and richness to the texture of a story.

Plus, ordinary life is just so full of extraordinary beauty!  Look what I found tucked away in a quiet corner of the airport in Austin, Texas recently:

An art exhibit on handmade lace!  In an airport, no less!

These little wooden things are called bobbins:

And somehow, by an intricate system of weaving them over and under each other, beautiful patterns appear:

That’s a lace collar.  Breathtaking, isn’t it?  I can picture Elizabeth Bennet wearing it.  And check out this cami and shawl:

The intricacy and detail are stunning, aren’t they?

This is my favorite:

A rooster made entirely of lace!  Who could ever dream that something as astonishing as this would be possible simply by the weaving together of thread?

I have no idea whether I’ll ever use the art of lace-making in a story.  Viewing this exhibit added richness to my life, though, as well as to an idle hour at an airport.   And these kinds of “beauty” deposits to one’s memory bank can’t help but reap dividends when we put pen to paper.

A pearl of a film

I’m donning my movie critic hat again here briefly to let everybody know about a FABULOUS documentary we watched over the weekend:

A Man Named Pearl came out in theaters in 2006, so obviously I’m behind the times here.  If you are like me, however, and missed it, you must go IMMEDIATELY to the video store (or Netflix, or the library) and track it down.  It’s one of the most inspiring and uplifting movies I’ve seen in a long time, and as empress of the world (well, OK, of this blog), I’m hereby designating it required viewing for artists everywhere.   Heck, for everyone, everywhere.

The son of a sharecropper, Pearl Fryar bought a home on the outskirts of Bishopville, S. C., a couple of decades ago, only to learn that because he was African-American, residents didn’t think he would keep his property up.

Boy did he prove them wrong.

Pearl taught himself topiary and worked night and day in an effort to win the local garden club’s “Yard of the Month” award.  The result (which has now spilled over into downtown Bishopville and many other destinations) is a visual delight, filled with whimsical creations that have been described as “Dr. Seuss meets Edward Scissorshands.”  Pearl’s garden draws tourists from all over the world and has elevated him to the ranks of horticultural and artistic genius.

Part sculptor, part gardener, part philosopher, part philanthropist, Pearl Fryar is one of those rare human beings who lights up not only the screen, but also the corner of the world in which he’s been planted.

But I’ve given too much away already.  Watch it.  Please.  Trust me.