Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek


Pledge: Daily December


Well, here we are, in the last month of 2013. I have a personal goal of writing the first draft of a new novel every year, and unless I get some serious time with the keyboard, I’m in danger of failing. Therefore I’m dubbing this “Daily December” and pledging to write 1,000 words a day this month, unless I finish my novel early. (Unlikely; I wouldn’t put money on...

Webby Wonders (Links)


Now that social media has taken over the world, I post most of the fun links I find on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+. If I really love the link, I post it everywhere… except here. Well, phooey on that. Here are some of the treasures I’ve found recently: [ART] Photographer Natsumi Hayashi takes photos of herself levitating. I find them strange, whimsical, and utterly...

Anne McCaffrey: Gone away, gone ahead


Anne McCaffrey has died. It’s moments like these that I’m grateful for the Internet and for services like Twitter that make it easy to see that McCaffrey affected other people as profoundly as she affected me. I don’t know if I could adequately describe her impact on me otherwise. But you know. Most of you already know. I devoured the McCaffrey’s Pern books in high school...

Korra Poster!


My friend, the talented YA writer Amaris Glass, is all kinds of awesome. At the recent SCBWI conference in LA, she gave me what has to be one of my favorite gifts EVER: a signed poster from the upcoming Legend of Korra TV show currently in production. (Legend of Korra is a followup to one of my favorite TV shows of all time (animated or not), Avatar: The Last Airbender.) BEHOLD: From 2011...

Novels Take a Village


The time has come: I need to write an Acknowledgements page for Above World. A lot of people think novel writing is a solitary activity, but it’s not for me. I lean on my friends and peers, and I lean heavily. They support me, inspire me, and kick me in the pants when I need it. I don’t think anyone but me realizes how much help I got with this book. I think it’ll be fun —...

Red Pandas in Snow


This video of red pandas playing in the snow may be my favorite video of all time, on any subject. I mean, seriously. Red pandas playing in snow. I dare you to find something cuter or more happy-making than this.

(via The Mary Sue)

Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals


When I was visiting with my family over the holidays, I sat with my 4-year-old nephew and tried to show him how to draw a dragon. Suddenly, I had this strong memory of my favorite drawing book when I was a wee lass — a book that showed me how to create all sorts of animals out of basic shapes. That book was Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals, and I loved it beyond reason. But I...

Influential Authors


There’s a meme going around: “List the first fifteen authors you can think of who’ve influenced you and will always stick with you. Don’t think too long about it; list the first fifteen you can recall in 15 minutes.” I’m adding another condition: Authors I’d read before I turned 15. In alphabetical order: Piers Anthony: whose books I devoured by the...

Coyote Magic


It was beautiful in Los Angeles today, and the park was packed. Runners, walkers, rollerbladers, bikers, dogs, babies, you name it. I set up my podcast and started out, prepared to enjoy a crowded but gorgeous run. About 10 minutes in, two unexpected things happened at once: I found myself alone on a wooded stretch of the trail, and a coyote stepped out in front of me. She stood there, right in...

Symphony of Science


My friend Rick just introduced me to this website: Symphony of Science. According to the website, their mission is “to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form.” In reality, I found many of their songs inspiring, beautiful, thought-provoking, and profound in ways I can’t explain. But who knows? Maybe you’ll find them cheesy. That’s okay, too. But...

My Uncle, Superstar!


In the 1950s, my (amazing, wonderful, awesome) uncle* recorded two songs for a record label. I’m thrilled that he’s now put the songs on YouTube, along with some photos of the recording sessions. (* aka “Doctor Uncle Reverend Herbatroid” — although only the “uncle” part is accurate.) Without further ado, here’s the uber-talented Herb Bohler:...

New Web Series: The LXD


I love well-done web series such as Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog and The Guild. They speak to my geek sensibilities. Now there’s a new show that I think has the potential to be geeky and wonderful in a totally different way. The LXD — Legion of Extraordinary Dancers — is the creation of writer/director Jon M. Chu. (Glee fans should note that Harry Shum Jr. is the co...

Nat’l Poetry Month!


Not sure why I waited to talk about poetry until the last day of National Poetry Month, but better late than never. Since high school, one of my favorite poets has been e. e. cummings. I fell so in love with his poem “anyone lived in a pretty how town” that I included a line from it in my senior yearbook quote: “sun moon stars rain.” Here’s the first stanza and a...

Ultimate Parkour Challenge


MTV has a new parkour show! You can watch the full pilot episode of MTV’s Ultimate Parkour Challenge below. (NOTE: Videos are restricted by region so international viewers may not be able to view them.) If you have any interest in learning about this art, I think you’ll really enjoy watching the whole 42-minute episode. You’ll see a lot of basic and advanced techniques, plus...

Instructions by Gaiman & Vess


In case you haven’t seen this yet (or you want to see it again), settle in, turn up the volume, and enjoy: I’m not sure what I love most — Gaiman’s words, the way he reads them, or the way the colors spread across Vess’ illustrations as if they’re soaking into the paper. I also love that the main character is a cat person, not a boy or a girl. It feels so much...

Old Spice FTW*


I’ve been watching a lot of Olympics, which means I’ve been seeing a lot of commercials. My favorite by far is this Old Spice commercial called “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”: Old Spice is not just harnessing gender stereotypes, it’s mocking them in a delightful way. Check out the Old Spice website for more commercials… and a lot more of the Man Your Man...

Winter Olympic Sports


When I was a kid, I wanted to be an Olympic bobsledder. Admittedly, this dream only lasted for two short weeks every four years, but still. If I were going to be in the winter Olympics, bobsledding was my sport of choice. What’s not to love about hurtling down an ice track at 90 miles per hour? The older Olympics fanatic in me has different thoughts. Curling is awesome, and the sport I can...

The World is Just Awesome


All the hubbub over Super Bowl commercials has reminded me of one of my favorite commercials ever, Discovery Channel’s “The World is Just Awesome.” Imagine my happy surprise to find there’s also a sequel!
So, if you haven’t seen these before (and even if you have) please watch. Your sense of wonder will thank you.

Wonderful Women, Starts


This may be my favorite start to a new year ever. Nope, I haven’t sold a novel or gone back to work at the studio yet. But the resultant free time has created a tremendous opportunity: the time to reconnect with some of the amazing women in my life. It’s about spirit. And inspiration. And love, usually unconditional. It’s about fierce friendships, and the safety to be yourself...

2010: Tiger, Dragon


I was all set to post some goals for 2010 — write a new novel, get to class more often… that sort of thing. But this is a special year, and it calls for a special resolution. You see, the Year of the Tiger begins on February 14th. I have always felt an affinity for this animal, even before I based my first book around it. At my kenpo school, Tiger represented tenacity — the only...

Wallpaper: David Lanham


Lifehacker recently posted about the Five Best Wallpaper Sites and included my personal favorite, VladStudio. I wanted to bring another artist to your attention: David Lanham. I’ve been visiting Lanham’s site for years and am a huge fan of his icon sets, wallpapers, and art in general. Recently he’s branched out into vinyl toys. If you like weird, interesting, magical, and...

2009: YA Reads


I read fewer young adult novels than middle grade this year, but really loved several of them. I have Steph to thank — she recommended three of these, and I spent almost a week raiding her bookshelves when I visited her in May. Again, these are in no particular order. 2009: GREAT YOUNG ADULT READS Graceling by Kristin Cashore This book contains one of my favorite things — an already...

2009: MG Reads


I didn’t read widely in 2009, but I did read well. Here are some of my absolute favorite middle grade reads of the year. 2009: GREAT MIDDLE GRADE READS The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex I gushed about this book back in September, and my opinion hasn’t changed. It’s like an Earth-based Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy starring a girl named Gratuity, an alien named J...

Where Books Come to Life


You must — must — watch this amazing ad for the New Zealand Book Council:

Despite the fact that the ad features a book, this is not a book trailer and the words aren’t actually important. It’s all about the mood and the magic, the feelings that books inspire.

Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

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