Wednesday, May 25, 2011

News Week - 5/23/11

It's time to catch up on the many events! While I may not be going to BEA this week, I've attended quite a few little events this past month. (And...revisions for my book is done! Well, the first pass, at least.)

John Scalzi

After tweeting with sci-fi author John Scalzi, I finally got to meet the kind, humorous, and talented author. (He knows a bunch of my coworkers and loves videogames.) He did his reading for Fuzzy Nation at UW. He even included a little puppet show and a ukulele musical by Molly Lewis based on Fuzzy Man by Paul and Storm.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the best communicators of astrophysics! He is so fun and full of energy. I love how he makes everything simple to understand. I am fortunate that I got to attend the lecture at was quite packed. I highly recommend watching his lectures (or attending them). He talked about the demotion of Pluto (it comes down to the fact that there are bigger Kuiper Belt objects and there are moons bigger than Pluto). He also touched on the notion of "2012" -- Are you going to trust ancients or today's astrophysicists? He just came out with a book The Sky is Not The Limit.

Hal Sparks

Hal Sparks is an actor and comedian. He played the character Michael Novotny (adorable!) from Queer as Folk. I wasn't sure what to expect from Hal's stand-up. I don't know him as a comedian and...I've never been to a stand up before! Well, he was freaking hilarious. I just about cried. He makes a good Seattle-emo impersonation. He's also a nerd, talking about dinosaurs, space, and biology. I heart him more than before.

Magic Flute

I've always wanted to see The Magic Flute (opera composed by Mozart) and finally did. Why did I want to see it? Well, like everyone else I wanted to see The Queen of Night! A Japanese lady named Mari Moriya played The Queen of Night and I couldn't believe such a powerful voice came from such a small body. She was confidant and hit every note right. I also liked her starry stage.

Listen to the song here (though not same singer). In this song, The Queen tells her daughter to murder:

Of Montreal

Of Montreal played midweek, midnight -- ouch for people that work full time! I didn't stay for the whole thing, but I enjoyed their crazy costumes and energy. I heard them for the first time in a little club in Berlin and never forgot them.

Marc Kaufman

Astrobiologist Marc Kaufman writes for the Washington Post. He talked about extremophiles (organisms that survive in extreme conditions) as well as planets with potential for microbes. I found it most interesting that he mentioned the potential for METI (like SETI, but instead of listening, METI would "project" -- increasing likelihood of finding intelligence "out there"). But many still fear of being "found by an alien" through METI. Marc just wrote a new book called First Contact.

That's all my ventures for the month!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Art - Life Drawing 5/16

I am on a bit of spring vacation right now, so I've been able to attend classes lately, like dancing. I'm also revising my manuscript for submission this summer. (Much art projects in the works, too -- I'll keep you all updated on 'em once completed.) Also, I've been able to attend life drawing sessions...Haven't been in so long!

I drew two models last week -- both opposites. One had long, black dreads and many tattoos. The next had short, blonde hair and no tats. I found myself making many dark smudges for the first and cleaner lines for the second. Does it have to do with the hair-do?

I repeat...I have not gone in a long time.

If any of you are interested in pursuing art, I highly recommend attending life drawing to practice!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Sketch - Vanessa the Violet

Before my plane ride headed for Kauai, I drew a sketch for Sarah Kelly's mom (Patte Jordan Huberman) as a birthday gift. If you don't remember Sarah, she is an author I interviewed a while back for her historical novel The Fidelity Trial. Her mother is working on a picture book called Vanessa, the Violet Who Didn't Want to be Purple.

Characters: Vanessa the Violet, Oswald (an oak tree), William the Wise Owl, Bonnie (a yellow butterfly), Felipe (a frog), and Hattie (a young girl).

Here's the sketch of 'em:

And during my trip, I saw a tree that looked like Oswald:



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Upgraded Webpage

I know I've mentioned doing this for a while...but I've finally upgraded my webpage! I converted to a flash site with an easy interface. Simple is best for me, so I kept it mostly white. There is a new gallery section so you can see my blog art from various author and agent interviews I've done for this blog, as well as some WIP art for personal projects. There's also art from my illustrated YA novel, CLAN.

Hope you guys like it, too! Any feedback is welcome, of course.