Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's Up Wednesday



What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, that helps readers and writers touch base with blog friends and let them know what's upJoin by visiting their blogs and signing in on the widget. 

What I'm Reading
 
I'm focusing on MG for May as a part of 
 Deb Marshall's Marvelous Middle Grade May Challenge! 
Right now I'm reading Moon Over Manifest, Will Sparrow's Road, and The Phantom Toll Booth aloud with my kids. Loving them all for completely different reasons. 

I read Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wien in roughly 36 hours on mother's day weekend and I loved it SOOOOOO much. Will post real reviews of all of this soon.

What I'm Writing
 
I'm working on revisions on my steampunk YA... very excited about those. 

   
What Inspires Me Right Now
 
The weather. My kids and husband. New ways of thinking about creativity.
 
What Else I've Been Up To
 
Finishing exams means less time commuting to work and teaching. I'm glad for the break. 
Now I'm working on research and a little bit of printmaking. Soon I'll be writing my tenure packet... and I'm both excited and nervous about it. 

I've gotten to proof several prints. Hopefully editions will happen in the next month. I'm finally satisfied with this Clockwork Jellyfish woodcut.

I'm also working on this new series-- woodblocks of all seventy-one extinct insect species. That will take SEVERAL years. Just finding images of some of them is very time consuming. That's the thing about extinction... there's nothing left to document. Here's the first in the series, the Poko Noctuid moth, Agrotis crinigera, last seen in Hawaii in 1926.

This print is for a local group trying to stop the demolition of historic buildings in the neighborhood to make way for yet another ugly strip mall. 
What I learned in making this print is that I don't enjoy drawing buildings. SO HARD and the mistakes are much more noticeable than with bugs and other creepy crawlies. 


So what have you been up to lately?   

38 comments:

  1. Cool prints, Kat, and quite a task you've set for yourself. Do you think the list of extinct insects will grow in the time it takes you to do the 71 there are currently?

    All the best with those revisions. :)

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    1. I was JUST talking about this with a friend on FB, Colin. I am afraid there will be more. It will take me a couple of years at least... I don't know the rate of extinction for insects, but I imagine it easily could. :0(

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  2. You are so talented. I LOVE that jelly fish one!

    Also, I don't do a lot of historical fiction, but I LOVED Code Name Verity. I donated it to our English dept so I could spread the love. :)

    I wish we were in exams right now. My seniors are so done. It's hard to keep them motivated!

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    1. Thank you Alison. I agree- I don't do a lot of historical fiction normally either (though 3 of the 4 books above are, that's not typical for me). I am really fascinated by the WW2 era, so I knew I'd like Code Name Verity. It surpassed my expectations. My neighborhood book club is reading it and I can't wait to see what they think.
      Hang in there, exams will be over before you know it.

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  3. I still have to get around to reading CODE NAME VERITY. I got it for Christmas, so it's probably high time I read it. That print is fantastic, Kat! I like the butterfly woodblock too. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you there. It's pretty cool that you're writing a steampunk YA. I need to read more steampunk. :-)

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    1. I think you'll really enjoy it Jaime-- it is so well done. So glad you like the prints. They are good for my mental health (which revisions aren't always so good for).
      I too need to read some steampunk. I've been avoiding it in the last year because I've been trying to write one and didn't want to get all psyched out by other writers' funky-fresh steampunk worldbuilding, if that makes sense. But soon I'm going to dive in and see what I've missed.

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  4. Those prints are awesome! Sweet!

    Mmmm steampunk. I love a hefty dose of that genre!

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    1. Thanks Miss Cole, I appreciate it. Writing SP has been SO. MUCH. FUN. If you can invent it, it can be in your world (if it fits the rules of the world I mean)-- it's SO exciting.

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  5. I love your artwork, Kat. So cool and creative. Best of luck with your steampunk revisions. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Katy! I'm at the point where I just need to set aside some time to work on them. I'm crossing fingers I can dive in tomorrow... we'll see. :0)

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  6. I've heard CODE NAME VERITY is awesome. I promised my sister it'll be the next book I read because she loved it so much. I love your prints! My favorite is the Poko Noctuid moth. So cool!

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    1. Thanks Tracey-- and I can't wait to hear what you think of CNV. It really blew me away. A thrilling read.

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  7. Love those prints! I read Will Sparrow and Code Name Verity recently, and I really enjoyed them both.

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    1. Thanks Rebecca-- I remember your reviews of both and they spurred me on to move them up on my list. I am loving Will Sparrow as I read him. What a hapless fellow!

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  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Yay for a new YA writer friend :)

    I'm excited to find out more about your YA Steampunk. I want to write a Steampunk but have no idea for a plot, and the research is daunting. Code Name Verity has been on my list for a while--I need to read it! Beautiful prints, by the way. :)

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    1. Thanks Liz-- I really loved CNV. I like WW2 era books, but the friendship was even more a part of the story and it was timeless. Now I'm gushing.

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  9. Best of luck on your tenure bid, KO! Has to be super stressful, but I bet you'll be a very compelling candidate. :)

    Hope we get to read your Steampunk story someday--if you're having that much fun writing it, it's probably a great story!

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    1. Thanks EJ-- tenure is making me crazy, but the art and writing help. :0) Yes,-- I hope you get to read it someday, too. :0)

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  10. I love that clockwork jellyfish! I have jellyfish on the brain right now because, oddly, they factor into my current WIP. Good luck with revisions on your steampunk YA!

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    1. Cool, Erin-- mine, too-- well, not normal jellyfish. I can't wait to get cracking on those revisions!

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  11. You are one talented and busy lady, Kat! I admire you for starting on the woodblocks of the extinct insects, knowing it will take you YEARS to finish. Wow. That's dedication.

    And I loved Code Name Verity. Gorgeous, gorgeous writing and an intelligent, multi-layered story. Loved it.

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    1. Thanks Joanne-- it sounds like fun to me!
      And you are right on all counts about CNV. Beautifully written and lots of twists/layers to keep you engaged.

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  12. Oh, wow! Those are all beautiful - I love the jellyfish!

    I loved CODE NAME VERITY! In an effort to branch out a little from only reading YA, though, I want to read more MG (and nonfiction) this year! Some titles I've been looking forward to are Steph Burgis's 3rd Kat Stephenson book and THE NEPTUNE PROJECT and Claire LeGrand's new book!

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    1. Thanks Jessica! Wasn't CNV great?? I'll definitely read it again. Just so good.
      Okay- these MG are all new to me, but they sound really fab. I will have to check them out.

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  13. Your woodblocks are beautiful! I've been wanting to read some steampunk YA. I think its fascinating.

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    1. Thanks Sarah-- Once I finish these revisions I want to spend some months reading steampunk. I've been on a hiatus because I didn't want to read too much of the same genre I was writing. I'm ready to jump back in. :0)

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  14. Code Name Verity!!!!! I knew I'd love this book about 1 page in... and I did. I can't wait for Rose Under Fire!

    And those are gorgeous prints!!!

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    1. Thanks C, I appreciate it. I know-- CNV was just SO good. It's one of those that makes me think-- what am I thinking pretending to be a writer?! This is a REAL writer. But, always good to have something to aspire to.

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  15. I just added WILL SPARROW'S ROAD to my TBR-list the other week. And I need to read CODE NAME VERITY ASAP - so many good reviews for it. I'm going to get it next time I'm at the library. Although, with my luck, it'll be checked out :)

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    1. Cool, Jennifer! It's one of those that I am sure would have a waiting list at my library. I bought it because we're reading it for my book club and I wanted to share it with a couple of the other readers before our meeting. :0) Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

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  16. I LOVE those prints--they are so cool!

    New ways of thinking about creativity are always interesting. I'd love to hear more on that!

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    1. Thanks Kelly-- We should talk creativity! Maybe I'll post on my thoughts.

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  17. AAAAAHHHH! CODE NAME VERITY!!! That is one of the very best books I've read in recent years. I absolutely love it and always love squeeing when other people love it too! Yay! :D

    Also yay for steampunk stories and your printmaking! Such multi-talents!

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    1. Thanks Krispy-- wasn't it incredible??? Just gorgeous writing and I loved the twists.

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  18. High five for another awesome steampunk writer!
    And those prints are Gorgeous! Really beautiful work. I love the idea of doing a series of extinct species. So beautiful and haunting.
    Have you seen A Gap in Nature? Same idea, with paintings of extinct mammals and birds.

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    1. YAY steampunk, Lily. Thanks for the kind compliments. I have not seen A Gap in Nature-- thanks for the heads up, I will check it out.

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  19. I have Code Name Verity out from the library, so I'm one step closer to finally reading it.

    Your prints are so gorgeous! I'm always envious of people who are visually inclined because I'm most definitely not :)

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    1. Thanks Stephanie-- can't wait to see what you think of CNV, I LOVED it!

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