Monthly Archives: December 2011

Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a Map

Yesterday, I got my first glimpse of the map of Ravka for Shadow & Bone. I’m not yet free to share it as it’s still a draft, but I can (at last) reveal the remarkable artist who will be bringing the world of the Grisha to life. You may know Keith Thompson from his incredible work on Scott Westerfeld‘s LEVIATHAN. If not, feast your eyes on this (and make sure to click on the image to get all the glorious detail):

While you’re at it, check out his creepy, ethereal Saint of Parasites:

To see the world I’ve imagined interpreted by an artist like Keith is really beyond all dreaming. I’m honored, giddy really, and I can’t wait to share the map with all of you.

Until then, very happy holidays to all! I wish you warm fires, strong drink, and all the magic you can summon on a cold winter’s night.




Filed under Writing

Into the Woods

Seems like I’ve been falling in love all over the place lately. From the aisles of the Renegade Craft Fair, I bring you the illustrations and magical creations of Emma SanCartier, the artist behind Odd Fauna. I saw her work for the first time on Saturday and I had to nab this handmade shadowbox:

You can choose your own creature!

I also picked up these adorable ornaments:

I bought them as gifts, but I’m so tempted to keep them and let them cavort amid the teacups. Make sure to visit Emma’s Etsy shop and the Odd Fauna storefront for more holiday treats and marvelous items.

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The Most Marvelous of Items

Sometimes, you step out for coffee and cake and you end up in Narnia.

Last night, a family friend invited me over to meet her houseguest, a conceptual artist visiting from Italy. I thought I’d shmooze a little, have some dessert. I didn’t realize I would be KNOCKED SENSELESS BY THE AMAZING.

Angela Lorenz is an artist and author who creates completely mind-blowing works of the exquisite and engaging. They’re whimsical, but they’re also challenging, poignant, and occasionally creepy in the best of ways. Her work is exhibited in museums around the world and taught in universities.  (She’s also just totally charming and lovely to chat with.)

After bowling me over with her incredible creations, she gifted me with this truly Marvelous Item:


becomes this...

and opens up to this...

Those prints are not reproductions. They’re originals. She MADE them.

And the beautiful paintings on the other side…

I'm quite smitten with this fish.

She also wrote the 900-word rhyming poem that accompanies the images. Is there anything she can’t do?

There’s actually a lot more going on here than mere loveliness and sublime craftsmanship, but my brainpan is too shallow to do it justice. To really get a feel for the meaning of the work and its iconography (and to see more of Angela’s work), click here.

She also showed me a bento box of wordplay, faux graham crackers loaded with filthy latin poetry and accompanied by a compressed marshmallow made of paper that bears the face of Sir Thomas More burned into its surface (S’more, geddit?). Then there was Bacon’s Bits of Broken Knowledge— a decidedly unique take on Sir Francis Bacon’s worldview.

You can take out the leather “bacon” continents, read Bacon quotes with the magnifying lens built into the lid, and circumnavigate the globe with the compass in the jar’s base. Now that’s the tangy taste of Natural Philosophy!

Oh sigh, I am officially an A Lorenz fangirl. She said I could visit her studio in Bologna. Maybe I should book my flight right now.

Before I sign off, I also want to give a shout to Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop, a truly magical place for young readers. I dropped by yesterday and had a wonderful time chatting with some fellow authors and the welcoming staff. Even if you’re not in the area, their site has lots of great gift-giving ideas for the holidays. (By the way, the town of La Verne? Surprisingly charming. Craftsman houses everywhere! I’m a bit embarrassed by how little I know about the world just outside of Los Angeles.)

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