Thursday, November 29, 2007

feel proud

if you read my blog...
cash advance
Does this mean my writing is so convoluted that you have to be a genius to figure out what I am saying?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

author-slash-illustrator


So, I received the official hardcover of the Year of the Rat! With my second novel and a third one on its way, I feel like I can honestly call myself an author/illustrator, instead of "just" an illustrator. This is much like Fabio in the movie Zoolander:

"Yes! Yes! With this 'slash' award, it means that you consider me the best actor/model, and not the other way around. "

Sunday, November 25, 2007

family

So we finished off our thanksgiving holiday with a Lin-Mckneally get-together. After all that has happened, I feel as if Luke and Ranida have become kind of part of my family. I have gotten to know Luke's family fairly well and he & Ranida have gotten to know mine so we thought it was time that our families met each other. And I admit I really wanted to go over so I could show off the mural to my parents. I think I am a bit too proud of it...I really must get over it.

But that's hard to do when the families stroke my mural-ego. While there, the Mckneally clan insisted that I get the honor of marking Maia's first height on the growth chart tree. Maia was not that happy about it.


But everyone else was. I particularly was glad that she was in this picture because then officially I am not the shortest one.


So altogether the Lin-Mckneally get-together was quite a success. Hey, and you know what? Kappy, my 4-month year old nephew is pretty cute too. Maybe in 20 years or so Kappy and Maia can get together and then we can really be family.

Friday, November 23, 2007

merry thanksgiving

Thanks giving was surprisingly balmy at Chez Grace, so with my parents in town, Ki-Ki and I decided to take advantage of the good weather by going for a bike ride. This took some doing, as my dad has not been on a bike for over 40 years and my mom absolutely refused to even mount.

ButI guess riding a bike is like "riding a bike." My Dad certainly proved that, by whizzing on the bike path proudly showing his one-handed technique.

We even made it to Spy Pond, took some father-daughter bonding photos,

and sister-bonding photos.

After which we returned home, where my mom (despite our protests) spent the afternoon slaving away on our traditional Thanksgiving dinner: Chinese rice noodles, stir fried vegetables, tea eggs, and the obligatory roasted turkey. The laboring was really unnecessary as all the food could have been prepared quickly as soon as we returned. Well, all except for the the turkey. She insisted on cooking that with hours of oven time-- "American-Style." She felt to do otherwise would be unpatriotic. Personally, I think the pilgrims wouldn't have minded if she had gone on the bike ride instead.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

bundle of cuteness

So, I returned from NYC just in time to welcome the birth of Maia Meiyan McKneally! Yes, the baby that I have helped work and prepare for has arrived.

I had the distinct honor of being the family's first visitor, arriving at Maia's 22nd hour of life outside the womb.

This is me holding the baby. She is so adorable I entertain thoughts of stealing her away. Which I decide against, considering the parents do know where I live. Notice the firm grasp Ranida keeps on me and the baby, just in case.

Anyway, stealing the baby would make all the rooms I helped prepare a waste. And I can't have that. Because right now I'm thinking it was all worth it.

I'm big in NY



And Alvina is too:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

China

I'm in NYC, getting my travel visa for my upcoming trip to China; and while I was on the train my head filled with many thoughts of love, loss, fear and the future. I am still sorting them out, but this passage from the The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman seemed oddly appropriate:

I'd made myself believe that I was fine and happy and fulfilled on my own without the love of anyone else. Being in love was like China: you knew it was there, and no doubt it was very interesting, and some people went there, but I never would. I'd spend all my life without ever going to China, but it wouldn't matter because there was all the rest of the world to visit. But then I realized I had been to China...And I thought: am I really going to spend the rest of my life without that feeling again? I thought I want to go to China. It's full of treasures and strangeness and mystery and joy...

Friday, November 9, 2007

The House that Grace Built

So I have hired myself out as a woman-of-all-work to my friends Luke and Ranida, payment being dinners and dog kisses. As I mentioned earlier, they are about to have a baby (officially in about 3 days) and unfortunately their house is not ready for the upcoming onslaught of relatives and friends. Luke has been frantically trying make things habitable, so I've been helping out. I don't think Luke's first choice for an assistant would be a 5'1" girl who has never used power tools before, but he's so desperate I got the job.

I, myself, am quite pleased with my new temporary employment. Not only do I get to work out some aggression and learn some new skills, I get to feel really manly. This is me using the power saw:
video
What I should be thinking is, "Hmm, one false move and my illustration career is over." However, I am really thinking, "Wow, this thing is loud."

This is me hammering, which I have done before. However, I was told that I hammer like a girl and was taught the "real" way of doing it.
video

However, even with such high-testosterone tutelage, it still takes me about 140 blows to get a nail in. So, regrettably, I still hammer like a girl.

But maybe that's not so bad. After a weekend of muscle-building home improvements, I'm about ready to go home and make some cupcakes. But I'll beat the eggs like a man.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

back to work


So, I am easing my way back into my work. Last night was my first public speaking appearance since Robert's death. It went great, but I suppose I cheated a bit as it was a panel discussion with the rest of my blue rose girls. It's easy to perform when your friends are there to watch your back.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Robert's Snow at the Danforth Museum


I was going to do a write-up of the Robert's Snow Reception at the Danforth Museum but Elaine and Anna have already done it quite well. So, I will be lazy.