Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One Last Clue and So Long

One last clue before I say good-bye to San Francisco and head for Tennessee tomorrow:

The question was:
How many animals in this post?

I told Tom what the missing animal was. Even though I read him the rules, he thinks it's deceptive that the missing animal isn't in the body of the e-mails that flew back and forth between the two grown men.

Also I will say that this animal is the one that my mother warned me about more than any other.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Animal Contest

How many animals in this post?
The e-mail messages below flew back and forth this afternoon between two full grown men.

The human who finds the most animals mentioned in this post wins the pink elephant shown above, painted on cardboard by the inimitable Dave Warnke. Deadline is 5:00 Friday, August 1st. (That's when Stray's Dog Show opens.)

From: Larry
Date: July 28, 2008 2:58:28 PM PDT
Subject: Manage yer E

What ARE you deer people doing today? Barbara's printing at the office and I've just been making a few calls, the usual elk, trying to worm our way into a couple of new clients' plans. We were mostly buffaloed last month, but we're making a little more progress this month. I shouldn't say anything, but it's normal to crow a little, isn't it? Besides, we don't expect the lion's share of things in this market, you know. We'll take it where we can get it, most people are robin Peter to pay Paul down here. Then Babs and I had to gopher a little lunch, duck into a place called Chipotles---the traffic is awrful around the office to go anywhere, you've got to snake around all the construction and go down the alley to get there. Then it's back to the office for Barbara and I'm going home and write this email. I'd just yak with the girls at the office if I stayed there.

Guess I'd better get on with it, I toad you all my gnus for today.

I shouldn't badger you any mare.

Don't want you to fly off the handle.

On Jul 28, 2008, at 4:08 PM, Tom wrote:


I was looking for Linder and thought that I spider across the liver. There she was squirreling away my tules that I needed to get the bugs out of my computer. My work floundered and I smelt that something was rotten in the animal kingdom.

Because what's really bugging me is that people keep monkeying around with the names of animals. They're just aping things that they probably heard from some raccoonteer on NPR or maybe they just got a wild hare, butt this whole thing is driving me batty. From now on no more stupid puns or silly tails... just the fox and only the fox.

Now leaf me bee.

From: Larry
To: Tom
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 4:13 PM
Subject: Re: Manage yer E

Adder control, adder control.........I worry that my animal instincts are beginning to fail me.

I otter quit, but I just can't.

On Jul 28, 2008, at 4:56 PM, Tom wrote:

Gnu started it.

On Jul 28, 2008, at 5:00 PM, Linda wrote

Ewe really get my goat–such a copy cat.

On Jul 28, 2008, at 5:51 PM, Tom wrote

Well by now I guess gnu are huffin and puffin trying to ketchup with us. You are straining your mental mussels and soon your brain will just clam up. Maybe if you rest you'll be ready to start up again by next oyster. Quit horsing around, pony up some money, sad owl up, and take a little trip to SF to recuperate.

I'll keep writing just for the halibut.

Seal ya later alley gator.

On Jul 28, 2008, at 6:02 PM, Barbara wrote

It's udderly preposterous!

On Jul 28, 2008, at 7:35 PM, Tom wrote

Udderly–what a cowardly thing to say. You'll take an animal and milk it for everything it's worth. I just can't swallow that. If I could it would put heron my chest.

Now I'll give you tit for tat. And I'll do it on porpoise.

Wren pigs fly!

You're full abalone.

I'd call you up but I'm a little horse.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Another Book! A Thing of Beauty!

You won't believe this. Another great book arrived yesterday. After their visit to Northern California in May, Barbara and Larry published this book using My Publisher. Larry took all the photos and Barbara designed the book and wrote the copy.

Of course after I took these photos of the book, I remembered that you can see the whole thing here. Take a peek!

Friday, July 25, 2008

In a Color Rut?

Go here and play around. Once you create a color palette you can download it in a snap and import it directly into Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign. It's so friendly and easy to use that even I can offer to help you in case you hit a mental block. Do you like it? If I weren't already married I'd want to marry it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jon Agee

Jon Agee gave a talk tonight at Book Passage in Corte Madera.

from the audience: What age group do you write for?

: Oh ... usually I say I'm writing for kids anywhere from 3 to 9 years old. But I'm really writing to entertain myself.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another Great Book

I met Bridget last week. She was visiting Emmy next door. Bridget is nine years old and lives in Ohio. When Tom told her I was writing a book, she promised to send me a book she had written and illustrated. It came today! I couldn't put it down–I read the whole thing in one sitting. Here's an excerpt:

Chapter One: A Bug

One day I was walking through the woods and saw a bug. I said, "I think I will keep you." I put it in the jar that I brought and took it home. When I got home I said, "I think I will name you .... Buggy. Yeah! That's a good name!" So I fed it some food. Then I took it out of the jar and played with Buggy for an hour. When the time was 6:10 we ate dinner. I ate spaghetti and Buggy ate leafs. I gave Buggy some too but he didn't like it. So after that I put Buggy to bed and I went to bed too. I said, "Good night." Then we both went to sleep. It was the next day and I woke up. I said, "Good morning, Buggy." But when I looked in the jar Buggy was GONE! Where could he be I thought. Then I went down stairs to make breakfast and guess what! Buggy was making breakfast! I said, "Something smells GOOD!"

If this isn't enough to whet your appetite, get a load of this: After breakfast Bridget and Buggy go outside and it's SNOWING!!! So they go sledding for 25 minutes. Then, tragedy strikes. When Bridget looks at Buggy in her hand, ..."he was, he was, he was DEAD! I couldn't believe my eyes." Later Buggy comes back to life and explains to Bridget exactly how this happened.

Would you buy this book?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hot Off the Press

Anne just zoomed over on her bike and delivered an autographed copy of Line By Line, a book of her drawings. Each drawing accompanies a poem written by Gary Bolstridge. There are 142 pages. 72 of those pages hold gorgeous drawings. Beatitude Press in Berkeley published the book; it was released today!

silver ink on black stock

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Linda's Blogher B List

*bursting with A List Bloggers bbbbbbbbbbbblogger burgers

baby bloggers

bigger bloggers

barefoot bloggers

beautiful bloggers

beautiful beader bloggers (the maker of superhero jewelry)

beautiful beaded black bloggers

boy bloggers

bathrobe bloggers

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Blogher Books (One More for the B List)

Is this perfect placement or what? At the Blogher bookstore, here I am right in front of the cash register between ProBlogger and White Trash Mom.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Didn't We Just Do This?

Sal's flying in this evening to attend the Blogher Conference here in San Francisco. I'm picking her up at the Oakland Airport.

I received this text message from her around noon:

God I ran over my suitcase in the driveway on the way to the airport Hope it holds up all weekend

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


©Linda Davick

Yesterday I jogged 3 1/2 miles in my light-weight down jacket. I love summer weather here.

Phone conversation with Mom this morning:

Me: Hello?

Hi Hon. I'm ready to spend some money.

Good! What on?

One of those things you wear around your neck that tells you what time it is.

Oh! You mean a little pocket watch on a chain? A little clock on a necklace?

Yes! That's it! I think it costs around $15 a month.

Do you mean one of those things you wear around your neck, so that if you fall you can contact someone to help you?

Yes! That's it. I read in the paper that soon everyone will own one.

Hmmm. Does anyone you know have one now? So we can find out who makes it?

Yes! Let's see. She lives on the first floor. Sue? No....

Marie? Marie Davis?


Do you happen to have her phone number handy so I can call her?

Yes! Hold on. She's in apt. 142 ... She'd love to hear from you. We would need to find out about a holder too. She keeps it in a holder, a little case, attached to her belt.

Is it a cell phone, Mom?

Yes! It's a cell phone. That's what it is!

All I can think of is how much I want an iPhone; how life-changing I know it will be, and I realize that Mom probably feels the same way about Marie's cell phone. Aggles thinks if Mom gets a cell phone that she'll lose it immediately. But if she does, so what? At least she will have had the thrill of possessing one.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

And The Winner Is ...

Christer's badges up close

Stray G!

From: Luci
Subject: PS
Date: July 7, 2008 12:08:26 PM PDT
To: Linda

PS: I'm enclosing Christer's picture in his newest pathfinder uniform, and his newly acquired badges. He still needs to receive 6 more. I told him my fingers could not handle all the sewing, so he safety pinned his badges to the sash. :)

I tried to enlist Luci herself to throw everyone off course, but she couldn't fool Stray.

But see what I mean? Luci's son is still waiting to receive SIX badges, even though he's already earned them.

After earning my Girl Scout cooking badge, I was already a shell of my former self. But then my troop leader had to order the badges, which took another four-to-six weeks to arrive. Talk about delayed gratification ... to a kid, four-to-six weeks is a lifetime.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Multiple Choice Contest

When I was a kid I was crazy about badges. I would have loved to have owned this many badges! When I was five and had my tonsils out, I got to choose a hospital present from the Sears catalog. I chose an Army suit because it came with lots of badges already sewn on.

Guess who the kid is above. Choose from the answers below. First one with the correct answer wins this handsome badge (Blinky the Mutated Fish from The Simpsons).

My nephew Pete (He's a fly fisher and ties his own flies. Each one is a little gem.)

2. Luci's son Christer (It's obvious to anyone who knows him that he's a great artist.)

3. Aggle's godson Morgan (He's conducted over 37 interviews/podcasts in the old folks home where she volunteers showing movies.)

4. Leonard Cohen's grandson Eric (Eric moved 3 houses down from us last Christmas.)
Limit one entry per household

But back to me for a moment. When I was a kid, nothing excited me more than diagrams like the one at left entitled Where to Place Insignia on a Uniform. The very word "insignia" transported me into a state of bliss.

In desperation I joined the Girl Scouts so I could have my own sash full of badges. I doubled up on the work, doing "independent studies" at home in order to obtain the camera badge (big black Rolleiflex), while simultaneously working along with the troop to earn the cooking badge (skillet with 2 eggs). It was hopeless. The cooking especially. The whole process took an eternity. I didn't have the perseverance of the industrious boy in the photo. I quit long before Girl Scout Cookie season rolled around.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Flying Back Home

It's good to be home. On our walk this evening, we ran into this duo. The kid in the back is getting ready to clobber her sister with a fistful of wet sand, and the kid in the front (with the innocent expression) is getting ready to clobber me.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

NY: Highlights & Lowlights

Flying In (That's the airplane wing at bottom left)

Me and Keri

I'm slowly learning some of the things Keri Smith mentioned:

You don't need to know the outcome in order to start something.

Sketches are alive; often the "finished" piece is not so alive.

Targeting an audience/trying to please friends can be a creative death.

Some Ideas from Ronnie del Carmen on Storytelling):

It's nearly impossible to tell yourself a story. I didn't like hearing this; but something about it rang true, especially after we tried this:

It's interesting what can "come out" when you're called upon to tell somebody a story without being prepared. In our meeting we were asked to turn to the person on our right and in one minute to tell them about a time when we were lost. Amazing stories came out of this–bookworthy stories.

Leonard Marcus on Children's Books:

I loved the thought he had about the importance of HOME in a person's/creature's life. The idea of being centered before you start out on the adventures of life.

For an amazing Mark Todd animation treat, turn on your sound and go here immediately. Skip the intro and go straight to guide to being a confident human at the bottom left.

The street where we lived

I had forgotten that New York City smell that blasts out of the sidewalk grates. Is it from the subway? The sewer? I loved smelling it again.

Separated at Birth

Do you see any resemblance? On Friday evening we walked over to the waterfront to see the fireworks. We stopped off at the Comfort Diner, where they have "Thanksgiving Every Day." There we had a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings on the 4th of July. That's Sal, on the right, checking her email while waiting on the turkey. On Saturday evening we walked to the Rockefeller Center and passed the American Girl Headquarters. That's Kit on the left, a clever, resourceful girl facing the Great Depression with spirit and determination.

The Big Party
Don't ever invite me to a party. I want to fit in and have fun, but I can't seem to do both at the same time. Here's what happened last night. Soon as I entered the Grand Ballroom, I spotted James Yang. I walked straight up to him and punched him in the face.*

After he recovered, he introduced me to his wife. I smiled and in an attempt to be friendly I asked her if she were using Preparation H. She seemed shocked and others within earshot seemed somewhat surprised, too.**

*I had a good reason.

**I had gone out and bought some Preparation H after reading this.

I slunk away soon as I could and sat down by Cheryl. Sally offered to take our picture together. I set my glass of red wine down on the little table and put my arm around Cheryl's shoulder. Sally stood in front of us and tried in vain to push the button on my camera.

After my grin had frozen, I jumped up to assist Sal. My elbow hit my wine glass, soaking the guy sitting to the side of me. Humiliated, I ran for napkins. I was happy I wasn't wearing a name tag. I made my way back and found that Cheryl had removed the tablecloth. I picked it up and carried the dripping red thing over to a tray by the wall.

I ran smack into Steven Guarnaccia, who just looked down his nose at me. Then I waved at Robert Zimmerman. But when I tried to engage him in conversation, he pretended to be in deep conversation with a balloon.

I got rid of the tablecloth and decided to loiter at the bar instead of returning to the table. Cheryl and Sal joined me. When I ordered a club soda, they asked why club soda. I said I thought I may have had enough wine. They were appalled. They insisted that it wasn't my elbow that had knocked the glass of wine over–that the guy who had been sitting beside me had knocked it over. That's why I like Cheryl and Sal so much.

Cheryl and Me (Reenactment)

But once I had my club soda in hand, I sent myself back up to my room. And as I entered the elevator I heard the Grand Ballroom sigh with relief.

Goodbye Hotel, Goodbye Magnificent Jean Tuttle

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hello Goodbye

illustration by Henning Wagenbreth

I'm leaving tomorrow for a gathering of illustrators in New York. If my plane really does land anywhere near 9 o'clock, I'm going to jump in a cab and go straight to an opening of this guy's work (Henning Wagenbreth).

It never fails: I'm always a little apprehensive when I go to New York. But I'm confident that Stray G, my events coordinator from Tennessee, will take me in tow. She's already arranged for tickets to at least 17 extracurricular activities. Plus, she's letting me stay in her swank NY hotel room. (Whenever she comes to San Francisco, she introduces me to all kinds of new things about my own city that I never knew existed.)