Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Neil Gaiman Books, Graphic Novels, and Movies

The Dangerous AlphabetMy sister turned me on to Neil Gaiman about a year ago and I am now a fanatic fan even though I have only read an nth of what he has written. So far, I have read his books Anansi Boys, Wolves in the Walls, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, Smoke & Mirrors, M is for Magic, and then my two favorite, Neverwhere and Coraline. For my birthday my sister gave me Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett, which I can't wait to start reading, but currently I have immersed myself in his graphic novels.

Just finished The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch, illustrated by Dave McKean, and working my way through the Sandman graphic novels. The Sandman series center around Dream along with his sisters and brothers, Despair, Delirium, Destiny, Desire, Destruction and Death, of the Endless family. They are not gods and goddesses, because god and goddesses die, and they are endless. If I was a hat wearing person, and sadly with my hair I just can't pull that off, I would take my hat off to Mr. Gaiman on this incredible world he created by giving life to our inner psychic. I have read the volumes, The Doll's House (2), Preludes & Nocturnes (1), Season's of the Mist (4), and I just started Fables & Reflections (6). I thought not only would it be fun to read this series, but also to read them totally out of order. Okay, actually, I have not been able to find a bookstore that carries the complete volume set, thus I have been picking up what I can here and there.

I have only seen his MirrorMask movie, which I highly recommend. The main character and her family own a circus, which is reason enough to watch it, but the girl enters into the fantasy world of her drawings where she encounters flying books and square-headed I need to go on? I still need to catch Stardust (as well as read the book) and Beowulf. Then I can hardly wait for the 3-D animated movie, Coraline. I read that there will be a limited release this December and then the national release in February'09. Do you think Denver will get it in December? It would be so cool if we did.

If that isn't enough, Neil Gaiman has at least three new books coming out this year. The Dangerous Alphabet illustrated by Gris Grimly is coming out the end of April, Odd and the Frost Giants, which doesn't come out until the end of October in the states but I think may already be released in the UK, and then The Graveyard Book is coming at the end of September. However, I think one of the short stories in the M is for Magic book is a teaser for The Graveyard Book, and if not, it is still a great story of a little boy being raised by ghosts in a cemetery.

Odd and the Frost GiantsThe Graveyard Book

The cover for The Graveyard Book is the adult cover of the Subterranean Press edition and according to Neil Gaiman's blog will probably also be the Bloomsbury adult edition, but there will be a different cover for the children's edition.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Shoppe in Denver

CupcakesMy sister read about a grand opening of a new shop here in Denver that serves cupcakes and cereal. To someone who lives on cereal and loves frosting no matter form, or should I say top, it is served on, I had to check it out. Next time my sister was down we headed off to the Blue Bird District on Colfax to dine at The Shoppe.

Disappointed we were not! Over 20 brands of cereal and we were served at our table with big bowls of Special K with our own carafe of skim milk (they have 6 different varieties of milk). They also offer several toppings that you can have on your cereal such as raisins, chocolate chips, marshmallows, strawberries, walnuts and lots more. We chose to have our cereal naked, but next time, who knows, I might go wild and top it with some bananas and blueberries. Then you can follow up your meal with scrumptious vanilla frosting with a cupcake thrown in (or several other flavors). Wow, does it get any better than that? Well, I am glad you asked, because yes it does. They also carry art, books, journals, and other small goodies. Cupcakes, cereal and art, how sweet is that?

I just visited their blog and see that they also have free WI-FI available and I so wish I lived in the area because they deliver. Cupcakes and cereal delivered right to your door, I tell you, throw in a non-fat latte and I would never have to leave my house again.

They are having an Easter cupcake decorating class tomorrow from 12pm to 3pm, a fun and delicious way to celebrate the holiday. Located at 3103 East Colfax between Steele and St. Paul, if you live in Denver or plan on visiting this city, here is one place to add to your stops, The Shoppe.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

New Keyboard

My sister forwarded me an email from DailyCandy with an article about custom made keyboards from Datamancer. I thought I was suffering from writer's block, but now I realize that is not the cast. Instead it is I just don't have the right keyboard for the right story...or laptop.


P.S. Are you wearing your sweater?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Tribute

I read a small article in the Rocky Mountain News that tomorrow, 3/20, has been named "Sweater Day" to honor what would have been Fred Rogers 80th birthday. Mr. McFeely, aka David Newell the speedy delivery man, who is now the public relations director for Family Communications, Inc, a non-profit company founded in 1971 by Fred Rogers, is asking everyone to wear their favorite sweater tomorrow. He says it doesn't have to be a zipper down one in the front like the one Mister Rogers wore, just one that is special to you.

Here is Mr. McFeely's YouTube video 'Won't you wear a sweater?'

To learn more about Mister Rogers' Neighborhood you can visit PBS Kids. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go find my favorite sweater.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Movie: 10000 B.C.

10000 BC Movie PosterMy husband is a big history buff and the moment they started advertising the movie 10,000 B.C., he wanted to see it. I tried to explain to him that I did not believe it was a historical documentary, but it did not matter, this was a movie we must see and we must see it in the theater on the big screen. As a chef, he normally works evenings and weekends, but he had this past weekend off, so we took in a Saturday matinee.

10,000 B.C. is a feast for the eyes to say the least. The aerial views were fantastic and the cinematography was stunning. A couple of weeks ago, I watched for the "severalth" time, Chocolat, with Juliette Binoche. I loved how they played with color in that film, basically an unobtrusive setting of bluish greys but then they throw in a brilliant splash of red with her shoes. They play with color the exact same way in this movie, but it is a sea of sand with a burst of red flowing through it. That was my favorite part of the whole show. The special effects with the prehistoric creatures were also amazing. Although, where I thought they did a great job making the woolly mammoths stampedes look real, for some reason the scenes with the saber tooth tiger did not appear as realistic to me, like a Photoshop scene gone bad. I am sure there is some graphical reasoning on why it was harder to work the saber tooth tiger animation in vs. the woolly mammoths, one of which once my illustrator reads this will try to explain it to me. But overall, like I had heard, it was very much an eye-candy movie.

Now as far as historic relevance, in the whole reason my husband wanted to go see it, uh, yeah. For those of you who feel that even a fictional story of prehistoric times should have some bearing on fact and/or geography, perhaps this would not be a movie for you (my husband would fall into this camp), for others who can bypass facts for fantasy and enjoy a good B flick movie every now and then, than here is one your eyes will also enjoy.

10,000 B.C. centers around a tribe that my husband and I referred to as the Dreadlock clan, who were mighty woolly mammoth hunters, and may I add, at times, spoke remarkable modern day English. This clan’s leader was “mother”, a woman who has visions of the future and when a blue-eyed orphan girl, Evolet, was brought to her, “mother” knew the girl was destined to fulfill a prophecy to save her people. At the same time a small boy of the clan, D’Leh, falls in love with Evolet. Many moons passed quickly and the boy and girl are now grown.

Then, whom my husband and I referred to as the Medieval Knight clan, arrived in the dead of winter on their 4-eyed demons and ransacked the village, capturing several of the Dreadlock clan including Evolet. Despite “mother” not thinking he is brave enough, D’Leh took off with the remaining Dreadlock clansmen to rescue his true love and unknowing to him, become part of the prophecy.

His pursuit led him over snow packed mountains in blizzard conditions, through a tropical rainforest where he was attacked by giant ostriches, and to a desert where he was almost eaten by a saber tooth tiger before being joined by the Balled Headed clan, the Weird Tree Mask clan, the Huge Horn in the Chin clan and the Bamboo Wearing clan. These clans had also been invaded by the Medieval Knight clan, and joined D’Leh on his mission to rescue all their people.

After being lost in the desert for days, they finally arrived at their enemy’s doorstep. Turns out the Medieval Knight clan were working for the Dynasty Emperor clan. They were bringing them slaves to build the evil emperor a great pyramid.

Again, if you are going to be a stickler for historical time frames and geography in addition to perhaps frowning upon a little sprinkling of supernatural in here and there, this might not be your movie. However, if you enjoy a little fun or in my husband’s words, cheesy fantasy, once in awhile as well as incredible cinematography, then this might be one to check out.

As we were leaving the theater, we over heard one guy say to the other it was not worth the $5, maybe $2.50, but not $5; the other guy disagreed and thought it was well worth the $5. I enjoyed it, but I will admit, part of my enjoyment was just watching my history buff husband’s expressions all during the show.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Willow May Book Review by Midwest Book Review

I found out through All Us All the Time Publishing that Willow May got another 5-star review from Midwest Book Review (yea!!!!) .

You can find the review at Midwest Book Review or on

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gallery Showing

The illustrious illustrator of Willow May Goes to the Midnight Carnival will be showing her work at the Madison and Main Gallery in Greeley, CO, now through the end of April. Here are the details:

Madison and Main Gallery
"Illustrator Gallery Show"

Come see Pamela McCarville's original paintings for her
children's book, Willow May Goes to the Midnight Carnival
written by Icats Nitram, published by All Us All the Time Publishing,
in addition to the art work of other regional illustrators at the
Madison and Main Illustrator Gallery Show on display
from March 3rd through April 25th
with an artist reception March 7th, 5-7 pm.

Gallery ShowMadison and Main Gallery, 927 16th St., Greeley CO 80631

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Belated Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss

I had every good intention of posted this on the 2nd the anniversary of one of one of my beloved authors 104th birthday, Dr. Seuss, but somehow it got to be the 5th? I have no idea how that happened. However, it is my mother's birthday today...a very happy birthday wish to her.

Most celebrated the good Dr's birthday on the 3rd by participating in Read Across America. You can read more about this event and ways to participate on the NEA website. I must be honest; I was totally bummed the Cat-a-Van tour was not coming through Colorado.

If you haven't visited Seussville you should go check it out, the music alone is worth the trip. You will also find games, Dr. Seuss's bio, a list of events and "books n' stuff".

I also stumbled upon these for those of age who are still children at heart and want to drink a toast to the author favorite of most:

Cat in the Hat Martini
Red Fish Blue Fish (plus green) Martini

Loving the illustrations they have with the recipes!