Kristin Cashore's Blog, page 3

April 25, 2016

From home, here's an update on my re-flowering orchid:

A lot of people are nervous about caring for orchids, but in my experience, the big secret is that they do great with a light touch. It's practically impossible to underwater an orchid. This particular orchid suffered through a sustained period of neglect (like, over a year) during which, distracted and preoccupied, I probably remembered to water it once a month, then, whenever I did water it, fearing to drown it, gave it very little water. It's repaying me with a whole new stalk and seven healthy buds!

Further afield, we went to Wolf Hollow, a wolf sanctuary in Ipswich.

Kevin took these pictures with Fancy Camera, from a distance, through two spaced-out chain-link fences. You might be able to see the diffused image of the fences; it looks like distortion in the air around the wolves.

I recommend this place, it was really interesting! We learned that wolves have been grossly misrepresented as human predators. In fact, only two people in North America have been killed by wolves in the past one hundred years. We learned the difference between wolves and huskies; that dire wolves were a real wolf species that went extinct when their primary food source, the woolly mammoth, went extinct; that wolves have a complicated social hierarchy; that they mate for life; that they mourn their dead; and that their populations in North America are severely threatened. One of the wolves in the sanctuary, named Bear, is actually a wolf/German Shepherd hybrid who was bred as a pet (such an obviously bad and irresponsible idea!), then needed to be removed from its domestic situation. (Um, because it was DANGEROUS. I hate people.) Luckily, simultaneously, a wolf at the sanctuary who'd lost her pack due to social maneuvering needed a companion. The sanctuary opened its doors to Bear, and now the wolf and the wolf/dog live together. :o)

ETA: I notice that on the website, Bear's doggy origins are a little more unclear -- maybe he's part husky or malamute? Regardless, his tendency to howl would bother the neighbors, so he was in danger of being euthanized by the Environmental Police. Wolf/dog hybrids as domestic pets = really bad idea. It's against the law in Massachusetts. You can read more about each of the wolves here!
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Published on April 25, 2016 10:31 • 104 views

April 20, 2016

Did you like the Dalek washcloth I posted the other day? Would you like me to knit you one? I'm donating three Doctor Who-themed washcloths, knitted by me, to the Writing for Charity Refugee Benefit Auction. I will knit you three washcloths with three different Doctor Who themes, in three different colors. I promise one of them will be the Dalek. You, in turn, will be ensuring that I spend time doing my favorite meditative activity. And together, we will be helping the humanitarian organization Lifting Hands International, which ships much-needed supplies to refugee camps across Europe.

Here's the direct link to my items, but definitely look around at what other authors and artists are offering too!

My washcloths are functional, made of cotton yarns that can be put through the washer and dryer no problem. :o)

More information about Lifting Hands International is here.

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Published on April 20, 2016 08:51 • 120 views

April 18, 2016

Hey everybody. So, authors Shannon Hale and Mette Ivie Harrison have mobilized book people to donate items for an epic online auction to raise money for Lifting Hands International, a humanitarian organization that gets life-saving supplies directly to refugee camps. You will find one of a kind offers, critiques, art, books, personalized visits, and unique events from writers and artists. Author hangouts, sensitivity beta reads, skype visits, in-person visits, a writing retreat with Shannon Hale and Ally Condie -- the auction starts today and bidding ends the night of May 2. Go bid at the Refugee Benefit Auction!
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Published on April 18, 2016 12:18 • 81 views

April 17, 2016

In my house, it's still cold. The heat is on. I'm knitting blanket squares.
Yes, that's a dalek.
(Here's the washcloth version. You can knit one, too. The pattern is by Penwiper and you can find it here.)
Spring tulips shivering on my messy desk.
The trees are starting to flower but I was wearing winter coat,
scarf, hat, and gloves when I took this (blurry) picture.
In my own living room rain forest,
beautiful things are happening... (this pic taken by Kevin and Fancy Camera...) and this orchid, previously believed to be dying,
grew a whole new stalk and has six big fat buds!

Makes me hopeful.
Happy spring, Northern Hemisphere!
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Published on April 17, 2016 21:16 • 162 views

April 6, 2016

Reminder that Marie Rutkoski (as of today, a NYT best-selling author! Yay! Congrats Marie!) and I are doing an event at Harvard Book Store, Friday April 8 at 7pm. Join us if you can!

And here's a treat for you: a cover of my favorite song from the musical Hamilton, called "Wait For It." In the musical, this song is performed by Aaron Burr (played by Leslie Odom, Jr. on Broadway). This outstanding cover is performed by the Musicality Vocal Ensemble at Curie High School on Chicago's southwest side. Thanks, Phil :o)

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Published on April 06, 2016 20:04 • 5 views

March 30, 2016

This coming Saturday (April 2), I'm delivering the plenary lecture at the annual conference of the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community at Kansas State University, in Manhattan, Kansas. I'm so excited to go to this conference! The schedule of events is behind that link, and people from the local community are welcome to register, here. If it helps, here's the press announcement, too. The subject of the conference is "Truth, Memory, and Power" and my talk is called "Breaking Characters and Healing Them Again: The Fiction Writer's Perspective on Working with Trauma." Doesn't that sound light and fun? :o) Sigh, my poor sweet Bitterblue. I hope she is eating some chocolate cake right now, perhaps while saying something snarky to one of her cousins.

If you're in the Manhattan, Kansas area, do feel free to join us on Saturday for what promises to be a day of interesting panels and papers!
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Published on March 30, 2016 19:49 • 7 views

March 29, 2016

Next Friday, April 8, come to the Harvard Book Store at 7PM to see Marie Rutkoski and me, in honor of the release (yesterday) of the third book in her Winner's trilogy, The Winner's Kiss! I expect we'll both be reading, then chatting with each other, then chatting with you. It'll be fun, and Marie's new book is WONDERFUL -- come and see us!

In other news, here are a couple sweet songs I've been enjoying lately. As always, if you can't see the videos, go to my Blog Actual.

Fiona Apple, "Hot Knife"

Regina Spektor, "Eet"
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Published on March 29, 2016 22:23 • 159 views

March 26, 2016

On the chance you have not yet seen Bernie and the bird. (If you can't see the vid, go to my Blog Actual.)

Sorry again for the lack of blogging. I am trying so hard to get my next book in shape so it can get out into the world!
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Published on March 26, 2016 09:04 • 5 views

March 11, 2016

Sorry for my brief disappearance; after returning from East Africa, I got sick, then got better, then had to deal with an unexpected crisis. But all is well now!

And as a promise of future posts, here's a link to today's Flipboard Pictures of the Week, which struck me as being particularly interesting/ strange/ beautiful/ horrifying this week. Do you notice that the poor kid Donald Trump grabbed from the crowd is bawling his eyes out? Good instincts, kid.
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Published on March 11, 2016 09:50 • 5 views

February 17, 2016

These won't be my most beautiful pics, because they were taken from the plane and also because I'm jetlagged and frankly not putting my all into this post :o) -- but here are some scenes from the last 2 days' journey home. In reverse order, because I definitely don't want to end with the cloudy, snowy Boston scene that met us upon arrival!

Arriving in Boston. It was so strange to see this landscape after two weeks near the equator!
It's about an 8-hour flight from Amsterdam to Boston. We had a layover of many hours at AMS,
but lucky for us, Stephanie flies so much that we had access to one of the fancy lounges.
The sun rose while we waited for the plane to Boston.
It's about an 8-hour flight from Nairobi to Amsterdam. We had a day in Nairobi (pictured from the plane) during which
I had the privilege of visiting a Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) clinic in the informal
settlement of Kibera, then, in one of the extreme reversals characteristic of this trip, had dinner at a fancy hotel
overlooking antelopes and giraffes in Nairobi's game park.
Kenya from the plane, approaching Nairobi.
What's this we see out the window while flying over Tanzania on the way to Kenya?
Mount Kilimanjaro! Click to embiggen.
Coast of Tanzania.
Islands around Zanzibar.
Where our long journey home began -- Zanzibar Town, Zanzibar.
Maybe you can understand why I wanted to end this post at the beginning? :o)I have more things to say about this trip. Especially about the many, many things I didn't photograph. I hope to come back and do that in the next few days, once I'm feeling less crummy.
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Published on February 17, 2016 09:49 • 14 views

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