I've been expanding my presence in "fandom." This month at Arisia in addition to being in the art show I ran two block printmaking workshops and was on a couple of panels, including one on constructed languages in fiction. Next month I'll have my art on display at Boskone 53 for the first time.
This year Needham Open Studios is collaborating with ArtWeek Boston to offer some special demonstrations and interactive events during the NOS weekend, and I'm one of the artists offering a demonstration and hands-on activity. Come by my location on May 2 at 2:00 to carve and print your own miniature rubber block. You can see all the NOS/ArtWeek Boston events here.
This month I have a show now up at the Lee Road Library in Cleveland Heights. This may be my last show in the Cleveland area before my parents move away and I have no more reason to visit. You can see the work at the library web site.
I was honored to be interviewed this month for the "Behind the Key" feature at Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest academic honor society for the liberal arts and sciences. In my interview I explain why I think a liberal education is so vital for living in this world with curiosity, critical thinking, and creativity.
See the whole piece here.
The Extraordinary Book of Doors gets more good press: a great review on the blog FanGirlNation, and Charlotte Taylor's review was featured in the September/October issue of Shelf Unbound's Middle Shelf. (It's under the "Best of the Book Blogs" segment.)
And now school has just begun and I hope to get back to work on new art and writing!
The Extraordinary Book of Doors got a really nice review on the blog Charlotte's Library. This blog is where I go for ideas on read-alouds as well as what to recommend to P and T for independent reading. We've discovered some real treasures here, so I'm absolutely delighted to have been featured amid such great company!
May is the month of Needham Open Studios and Dedham Open Studios!
You can find me mentioned in the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Artsake blog, and in this article from the Needham Times.
1. The e-book edition of The Extraordinary Book of Doors is now available through amazon Kindle. (Don't forget to leave a review after you read it!)
2. Why not sign your kids up for summer classes with the Needham schools' Summer Explorations? I'll be teaching relief Printmaking again for grades 5-9, and this year I'm also adding an Artist Workshop class with a variety of fun projects for grades 3-5. The Summer Explorations program is well-run, amazingly affordable, and my kids have absolutely loved the classes they've taken every summer for about 5 or 6 years now.
It's a busy time around here. First of all, The Extraordinary Book of Doors is now available on amazon, and at all my upcoming appearances. Yay! Then there's a reading and presentation at the library in Wellesley; an exhibit, presentation, and classroom visits at a school in Wellesley; a solo show in the the library in Sherborn; group shows at the library and town hall in Needham; classroom visits at two schools in Needham... Yeah, I'll be all over the place for the next month and a half. Check out Where You Can See My Work for more details.
In February I'll be visiting my parents in my old home town, and while there I'll be giving presentations at my elementary alma mater and at the local library where I spent so much time. I'll also be visiting the Cleveland Museum of Art to do a final check on the lay of the land for The Extraordinary Book of Doors with scenes set there. I look forward to seeing this incredible museum in all the glory of its newly completed renovation.
Yes, I will be having a holiday Open House this year on December 7-8, at 44 Briarwood Circle in Needham. It'll be a great opportunity to find unique, special gifts for friends and family of all ages, but please don't feel shy about coming by to chat even if you don't have any plans to spend money. Artists are used to people "just looking," so you don't need to feel awkward! I'll be demonstrating my process, I'll have my widest selection of Stuff on display, and as an added incentive there will be snacks, and mini rubber blocks for kids (or adults!) to carve.
A number of my books are now being carried by Blue Bunny Books and Toys in Dedham. The Blue Bunny is a cheerful happy store full of wonderful books and wonderful people. If you're in the greater Boston area, please drop by and check them out. If you love books, art, and children (and I suspect that you do), you will be very happy there.
There's been lots of progress on The Extraordinary Book of Doors. I'm currently doing a read-through with my first group of critics (my children). I expect to go to press in early spring of 2014. Let me know if you're interested in reviewing a fun middle grade fantasy adventure!
If you're curious about any of my books but aren't sure you need to buy them, don't forget that there are previews on the individual Books pages. Keep your eyes open for a free Kindle download promotion of Song Against Shadow. Also, remember that most libraries will allow you to request acquisitions. Ask your public library to get my books, and then you can read them all! (And after you read, please don't forget to post reviews!)
If you're in the greater Boston area and know a child in 5-9 grade who loves writing or art, don't waste another minute! Sign that child up for one of the classes I'm teaching this summer, Relief Printmaking and Writing Fantasy/Sci-fi: Summer Explorations. It's not too late!
In other news, I continue my obsession with doors in both writing and block prints. Check out the new pieces.
In the "No Advance Notice" category, I've just been invited to show my work at the Bakery on the Common in Natick starting immediately.
And in the "Lots of Advance Notice" category, I've just confirmed that I'll be teaching classes in both my loves this summer! Relief Printmaking and Writing Fantasy/scifi will both be offered through Needham Community Education's popular Summer Explorations program for children. I'm really looking forward to it.
* Latest Update: I will not be showing in any holiday sale this year. But I will be in town, so please call or e-mail if you need any unique and special gifts. I'm happy to fulfill orders right up through Christmas Eve... or afterwards, for that matter!
Wait, when was I going to have all that time to work on the current book? *sigh* But I have begun to start illustrations. For a teaser of The Extraordinary Book of Doors, keep an eye open for new block prints of keys and doors.
There's about to be a little flurry of activity here - in the next couple of weeks I'll be showing and selling at the Needham Farmer's Market, taking down my show at the Acton Memorial Library, and helping to hang the group show I'll be participating in at the Morse Institute Library. And of course the end of summer also means that I'll soon have more time to get down to serious work on the current book...
You may have noticed the redesign of this web site's home page. I hope it will make it easier for visitors to navigate and find what they want. (Plus, I wanted a fresh look and obviously had too much time on my hands! Ha.)
Also, I'm mentioned (and pictured) in a newspaper article about Needham Open Studios here.
What's new? In our school district spring seems to be the time when a teacher's fancy turns to thoughts of fiction writing units. I'm looking forward to talks to third and fourth grade classes in one school and fourth grade classes in another. Should be fun!
And the other new thing is necklaces. The wall is no longer the only place you can hang my art - I've been adapting some of my designs to necklace pendants. See them here or in my Etsy shop.
Announcing the publication of Kate and Sam and the Cheesemonster, now available on amazon.com. To read more about this long-anticipated release, check out my blog post: The Cheesemonster Cometh! (And as always, please consider posting a review on amazon, Goodreads... or anywhere else you can think of... for any and all of the Kate and Sam adventures.)
Happy New Year!
I've finally managed to get the entire Otherworld series available on amazon.com in paperback.
Also, I'm hard at work on the illustrations for the third and final installation of the Kate and Sam Adventures. Stay tuned!
If you're local, please come to my Open Studio Holiday Show on Dec. 3 - 4! It's my first time ever showing at my house, and I'll have all my block prints and books, plus snacks, and little rubber blocks for kids to carve. Stop by to chat... and to see my studio unnaturally clean!
There are also lots of other Needham artists with holiday sales the same weekend. You can see all the variety - from fresh wreaths to jewelry, paintings to origami boxes - and a list of the loctions here: Needham Holiday Sale. This is a great chance to shop local and get your friends and family unique hand-made gifts they're sure to treasure.
The amazing digital age is here! I can now accept credit cards at my art shows. The system is like something out of some future sci fi world - amazing. It also requires me to be able to use my husband's old iphone, so there's going to be a steep learning curve. First opportunity to try it out: Roslindale Open Studios the first weekend in November. Come by, buy something, and witness the future!
I've just opened an experimental CafePress shop. The idea is that you can order some of my designs on mugs, t-shirts, etc. I've only just started and I hope to add more items in time, but you can check it out so far. If there's ever a particular design you'd like to see available, just let me know and I can get it up!
Please remember that we small-time artists rely on our fans to get out the word about our work.
If you've enjoyed my artwork and/or my books, here are some ways you might consider helping me. (Thank you for all your wonderful support!)
* If you have a web site, Facebook page, or Twitter account, link to this website.
* Post a review of a book on amazon.com. (My goal is 20 reviews for each book, and I'm still a long way off!)
* If you have a Goodreads account, post reviews there, too.
* If you use Etsy, mark my Etsy shop (NydamPrints) as a favorite.
* Ask your local library to add my books to their collection.
* Lend my books, check them out from your local library, recommend them to your friends.
* And, of course, if you know anyone who might like my art or books, tell them about me!
Amazing, Beguiling, Curious was featured in a great blog post over at Books of Wonder and Wisdom by Janice Floyd Durante. I'm delighted and honored to have a book mentioned there!
In other news, my two big spring shows are over. I'll now be printing the two new blocks I carved at the shows ("April Showers," and "The Back of the Clock"), working on a logo design commission, doing a couple of author visits, and getting back to work on the current book. So you can see why spring cleaning the house is still so far down on the list of priorities...
The latest (and last?) book of the Otherworld Series is finally published! Ruin of Ancient Powers has Svarnil, Nulif, Jiriya, and Oru all on a quest together to investigate the mysterious curse of the ancient lost civilization of Edah. The nameless gods of Edah seem to be responsible for a magic storm that destroyed a city, but even without magic there are dangers enough in the desert... and some of the dangers are with the group wherever they go, including the hatred of the feuding nomads who are their guides... Yes, I'm pretty excited about it! You can check it out here, and a blog entry about it here.
Speaking of Amazon again, Sleeping Legends Lie has gone on to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. Wish it luck!
I had a wonderful time showing elementary school students how I do block prints in two programs this month. You can read more about my visit to the first graders in my blog entry, A Sunny Morning in First Grade.
I just read that twenty reviews is the magic number for Amazon.com. When a book has 20 reviews, it starts getting recommended by the search engine ("You may also like...", etc.) So I'm aiming for 20 reviews on as many of my books as possible. If you've read and enjoyed any of my books, please help me reach that magic number! Please post a review on amazon.com. (By the way, if you read a different edition, such as the paperback editions of the Otherworld books, just post the review on whatever edition Amazon carries. Your review will work for all the different formats.) Thank you!
My animal alphabet book Amazing, Beguiling, Curious just came out on Amazon.com. I had to reformat to a rectangular size that's a distribution standard before they would carry it, but you can see it here, now.
More shows, more new blocks, but no new writing except the blog. A piece from my blog was just featured in the Printsy blog of the printmakers of Etsy.
Yeah, it's just struck me that, what with one thing and another, I'm doing five shows and sales of various sorts in the next three months. Yikes! Being this busy was never the plan! Still, I'm excited about it, and three of the five are completely new to me. You can check out my schedule on the Where You Can See My Work page, and then check my blog for a report on things afterwards. If you're in the Greater Boston area, please come see me - after all, you'll have no lack of opportunities!
There hasn't been much news recently, but now the kids are back at school and the art work is gearing up. I've got three pieces in a show with a "Water" theme at the Morse Institute Library now, and three more pieces will go up in a group show at TCAN at the beginning of October. I've been hard at work all week on the largest piece I've ever carved, a "Tree Palace," and reorganizing the web site, and soon I'll be getting down to matting and framing for the upcoming Open Studios shows...
I really appreciated the enthusiasm from everyone who came to my Artist Talk at the Weston Public Library. It was a nice crowd and made it a lot of fun. I've been working on the phoenix block that I started as a demonstration there, and I plan to write up the entire process for my blog when it's finished.
In other news, check out my interview with Printsy, the printmakers group on Etsy.
Well, I've gone over to the dark side and started a blog. My every thought is still not that important, but I figured I could probably think two interesting thoughts a week. It's called "Black and White (Words and Pictures)" and will be about block prints and juvenile fantasy, of course. Please check it out and post some comments!
Thanks so much to everyone who came out to see me at Needham Open Studios. Despite 80-something degrees outside and a space heater running non-stop to keep us warm enough inside, it was an exciting weekend. Check back soon to see the "Joy Comes in the Morning" block I finished carving. (I just barely started the steam locomotive on Sunday afternoon, so I'm not sure when I'll get that one finished.)
Next up: a children's program at the Needham Public Library. I'll be reading from the Kate & Sam books and having kids imagine a fantasy adventure for themselves. If you're interested, please sign up at the children's room. (More information here.) It should be a lot of fun, what with all the dragons, pirates, fairies and who knows what else that are sure to be let loose in the room!
News Flash! Song Against Shadow was selected as a quarter-finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards contest.
There were 5000 submissions in the young adult category, of which 250 made it to be quarter-finalists. (Addendum: It did not make the cut for the 50 semi-finalists.)
I've finally finished carving and printing an animal for every letter of the alphabet. The last one was a vicuņa for V. I learned all kinds of interesting things about some of the more obscure animals. My favorite discovery was the yapok. (Learn about the yapok on wikipedia.)
I'm working on putting together a poster showing them all, and maybe an animal alphabet book, too. I've got a list going of people who want to be notified when I get either or both of them finished, so if you want to be added to the list, e-mail me: email@example.com.
Read the article about me that ran in our local Hometown Weekly.
I've opened a shop on Etsy. It's called "NydamPrints." If you use Etsy, please check out my storefront and mark me as a "favorite" or let others know about me. Etsy is a fascinating site, but frankly I'm not sure how anyone will ever find me, given how many amazing, crazy, bizarre, delightful and varied arts and crafts are already there. It's easy to get lost wandering among the feathered earrings, and the T-shirts with art deco skull motifs, and the needle-felted ladybugs...
Comments? Questions? Stories about where my art and books are ending up? Write to me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, if you want to be on my email list to be notified about my shows and events, please send me your contact information (I won't share it or use it for anything else).