Spain…Once Again

Prado del Rey   Part 2

saddle Prado

Horses are big in Andalusia.  None actually attended this festival day, but the fancy saddle kept their presence.  Next week at the feria in Jerez, there will be many beautiful horses.

una indigena

This woman caught my eye.  She is my idea of a Spanish gitana, although she may be from somewhere else entirely.

moving the virgen

The statue was on the stage during the play, but the men moved it off before the dancing began.

Noelia, Lola, Miguel 1    Noelia, Anna, Lola, Miguel

From the left, dancer Noelia, singer Lola, and guitarist Miguel.

And Anna added in after her dance.  As yet I’m unable to post videos on this blog, so check my Facebook page for the action.


Spain–Once Again

IMG_5718What a pleasure to return to our favorite plaza in Sanlucar!

On Friday evening, the families were out in the plaza, having beer and tapas or ice cream.  It was way too early for dinner. We watched the kids chase the pigeons, and the teenagers cruising.

I had forgotten some of the many things that delight me here.  My nose gets a lot of interesting activity because the Spanish like cologne.  People pass by and I get a whiff of something lovely.  The jasmine sends out fragrance in the evenings.  The lemon trees in our house’s yard are blossoming.  Also, there’s the smell of fermenting or spilled manzanilla (like port, but special to this area) when we walk by a warehouse.  And the garbage.  And the sewage plant.  And the scent of detergent from the clothes dryers.

IMG_5719A trip to the Mercadona supermarket provided several minutes of entertainment as we watched the orange juice machine at work.  It cuts, squeezes and dispenses fresh orange juice into the bottles displayed at left.  Smells great.

It’s a whole different adventure coming back to a place and town that are familiar.  Except for the house where we are living.  The same lovely couple who loaned us their home last time moved into a larger place down the street.  It’s a really big house, but more about that next time.


What I’m Reading


by Terry Pratchett

Harper Collins, 2012

Michael L. Prinz Award Honor Book


Dodger, by Terry Pratchett, offers a delightful romp through 19th century London. The reader encounters many famous personages as s/he follows Dodger in and out of the sewers and streets of the city. We meet Charlie Dickens, Sir Robert Peel, Sweeney Todd, and even Queen Victoria.

I guess I’m very late in discovering Pratchett. He has written tons of books in his Discworld series. I don’t know if I’m ready to plunge into such a huge collection. But Dodger was really fun to read, clever and humorous, and the language was superb.

dodger cover

What I’m Reading

Bone Gap

Bone Gap

by Laura Ruby

Balzer & Bray, Harper Collins, 2015

ALA Michael L. Printz award for excellence in young adult literature

National Book Award finalist


I picked up Bone Gap from the library shelf because it had two awards on the cover. The story held my attention, particularly because there was MAGIC involved.

Brothers Finn and Sean O’Sullivan live alone. Their mother left a few years ago to start a new life in Oregon. Young, beautiful Roza appears in their barn and stays on, but then goes missing.

Finn knows Roza was kidnapped–actually saw her speaking to the man and getting into his car–but he can’t recall the man’s face. No one believes Finn.

How Finn continues his search for Roza, and what he learns about himself, includes beekeepers, a magical horse, and other surprises.

Ruby tells a good tale of “love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness.”


*The book is definitely young adult level.

What Am I Reading?

Jennifer Castle, YA Author

the beginning of after

An article about Jennifer Castle in our local paper prompted me to search for her books in the teen section of Elting Library.

First I zoomed through her award-winner, The Beginning of After, about a teen that loses her family in a car accident. That was so good that I jumped into You Look Different in Real Life.  This story’s characters are teens who have participated in a documentary that filmed their lives every five years. The first two films, when they were five and eleven years old, were hugely popular. Now the students are sixteen years old. Castle explores their relationships and how each of them reacts to another filming.

I couldn’t get hold of the next book, What Happens Now, so I read her latest, Together at Midnight. Of the three books, I liked the first two best. In her stories, Castle deals with serious life situations and changes. I can almost hear her asking questions. How does a young woman deal with losing her parents and her brother? What is it like to be famous because you were filmed at age five and eleven? Will you agree to being filmed now that you are sixteen? What do you do if you have a learning disability, but everyone expects you to go to college? What if you are gay and your family is super-conservative?

For me, the character’s voices were totally authentic. I can’t wait to get my hands on What Happens Now.





Mid-Hudson Authors


I am proud to be included in the display at Elting Library in New Paltz.

Last Friday, Elting Library hosted a reading of Tangled in Magic, and a preview reading of the second book of the Karakesh Chronicles, Guided by Magic.  I gave a short talk about how I did the illustrations using carving blocks and tools.


Then I invited the audience to make art using stamps.  My collection includes store-bought stamps and others that I carved myself.


Stamps lend themselves to multiple uses besides illustrations.  I’ve used them to print stationery, cards, and logos.  The trickiest part is remembering to reverse the image.  The part that is carved out will be the color of the paper, and all lettering must run backward.