6/08/2011

First Night in Chelsea



So I got into the city on Sunday late afternoon. Just before I left I walked outside to tell the kids good-bye and managed to get stung by a bee. I immediately thought that my luck wasn't going to change and that maybe I shouldn't be going into the city on my own. I waited around for about an hour and when I didn't go into anapolaptic shock I got on the train.
I found my room and walked around Chelsea/Meatpacking District for a few hours. I was at the Highline Park for sunset. This is an old elevated railway through the city which has been converted into a park. The first shot is from the Chelsea Market and the second is taken of the Hudson river from the Highline. The third is of the Highline Park connecting two old warehouses.
I really loved these big fluffy flowers along the park. I don't know what they are but they look cool in profile against the sunset. I really haven't had time to go through my over 1000 pictures from the trip. I had a few minutes yesterday but I don't feel like I've done them justice yet. I should have a quiet weekend coming up to spend some time reviewing and editing.

I ate a late dinner at The Spotted Pig which is reported to have the best burger in NYC. It was a damn good burger with Roquefort cheese and a mountain of shoestring fries. I made some poet friends here and spent several lovely hours looking out the bay windows onto the West Village streets talking about poetry and art vs. commerce. I bought Cecelia Adam's book of poetry which she had quoted to me throughout the night.

I finally felt like my New York adventure was starting to turn around. I had no more major drama or negative energy thankfully and despite the heat and tired feet I enjoyed the rest of my trip. I'll share more as I have time.

6/06/2011

I survived my big adventure!


I wish I could say that things were all smooth sailing after the plane ticket debacle but that isn't quite true. Our plane was delayed flying into Newark which is evidently a very common occurrence. So we missed our train to upstate where Mike's sister lived. We sat at Newark for over an hour tired and frustrated before we were finally able to find a hotel with a shuttle that wasn't booked up for Memorial Day weekend. The next day went much better. We made the early train and got there in time for the last 30 minutes of the Bat Mitzvah ceremony. We were then able to hang out for a few hours before the reception. It was quite an event let me tell you. I've never seen anything like it but we had a good time that evening with the open bar.

Abbie was incredibly composed and gave a lovely speech with personal reflections on all of her family members in attendance. I was thanked for the fluffy Hanukkah scarves I send. I am glad that we made it after all the travel drama since I know it meant a lot to Mike's sister for us to be there.

We had my niece Kate this weekend so I haven't had time to go through the rest of my vacation pictures. I had fun in New York but it was pretty exhausting. I really wish I could have a vacation to recover from my vacation for sure.

5/27/2011

New York Here I come!


This Shalom Peace Scrabble tile pendant from Poem Weave Designs is similar to the one I got my niece for her Bat Mitzvah. She has lots of unique Hebrew pieces and cards on her Etsy shop.

So the planning is done and the packing is almost completed too. I really hope this trip isn't cursed. So far it's been one problem after another, mostly of my husband's making. So I'm hoping that once I leave him behind and head into the city on my own the luck will turn.

Mike insisted he had to come back for the last day of school, which is just a half day of turning in grades and cleaning up his classroom. So he had to change his ticket since I'd already bought them before the last snow day. That was the only detail I left to him and boy did he screw it up royally. When he changed his return flight he actually canceled the departure flight and made it a one way ticket. I thought that they had really gauged us on the change fee but I didn't question it much.

Well, last night we were doing the on-line check in and we couldn't find any record of his ticket today since he had accidentally canceled it. They charged us another $275 for a ticket that we had already bought once. So for him to be there for less than 48 hours it's costing us almost $800 in tickets and fees. He has lodged a complaint that it shouldn't have been that easy for him to mess things up and that he was given no warning that he was canceling the flight but I doubt it will do a bit of good. Needless to say we will never be flying Continental again.

When I called my mom all upset she said, "Oh Paige you should know better. You never let them do anything important." She did teach me better I know but trust me it won't ever happen again. We have put it behind us and after 15 minutes of yelling and slamming doors we had moved on. That's the good thing about Mike and I. We really don't stay mad for long.

So send some positive energy my way as I try to move past my husband's silliness and enjoy my solo adventures.

5/24/2011

Cityscapes


A few months ago I bought a Groupon for a photography workshop from The St. Louis Photo Authority. I redeemed it this weekend for a 3 hour walking workshop called Cityscapes in downtown St. Louis. It was me and one other guy who was having back troubles so for the last half I had the full attention of two professional photographers. It was pretty amazing. After we walked and shot for over 2 hours we went to a coffee shot and they critiqued my work and answered all my questions.

The top shot is one I liked a lot. I set an artistic filter in Elements and then there is the original. You can see the old courthouse and the arch in the background but the focal point is the flower.

Edward Crim does mostly commercial and architectural work now, and his partner Don Love specializes in portrait photography. He told me the story of how he did his first wedding when he was 14 years old. I couldn't have asked for two better resources. Edward is starting a meetup to do walking tours once a month around the city. This will allow me to learn more from him for $10 a year, and I plan on taking Don's portrait workshop in his studio which will be a great learning experience.

I took the class because I thought it would help me be better prepared for my trip to New York City which it definitely did. I think the most important thing I took out of the class is the need to slow down and think more about my shots. I tend to shoot hundreds of shots and hope that a few good ones pop. It works for the most part but that means I have to wade through thousands of images and my work flow is getting out of control. Edward explained how he handles his work flow in Aperture on Apple and also showed me how to use Lightroom from Adobe, which I will definitely be investing in.

The biggest critique they had for me dealt with camera shake. Because I am constantly moving towards the next shot this is a real problem. As an amateur it's not a problem but if I want to sell my work it is an issue. Of course I need to get into the habit of bringing my tripod with me but that's not always realistic for me so I need to slow down and focus more.

They also got me thinking about exposure a lot more. If I want to go entirely manual I will need to learn to trust myself to set the exposure and not just take the camera's opinion. I'm going to experiment with a grey card and see if I'm able to figure it out. They also encouraged me to take the black and white photography class I was talking about as it will teach me about exposure and lightening as much if not more than a digital class.
This one was my favorite shot during the 15 minutes we had of good light.

This was their favorite shot of mine. It's of one statue through another statue at the City Gardens. There were about 3 of my shots that they actually said, "I missed that" which made me feel good. Here is their gear which they were dragging through the city. I definitely had lens envy. Especially the lens on the black tripod. It was 400 mm and you could literally see every detail through the viewfinder with crystal clarity.

I will probably be keeping my 55-250mm on my camera most of the time in the city. I would have relied more on my 18-87 mm if I hadn't gone to the class but after looking at my pictures with both I think the telephoto will be best for architecture. I will also have my lensbaby handy to try to get the unique perspective it gives. I'm not putting any pressure on myself for getting the perfect shot. I just want some nice picures that I can blow up to put on my walls.

5/23/2011

The Obsessive Crocheter

A friend from work showed me this article in New York Magazine this month. Agata Oleksiak, the obsessive crocheter, essentially covered her entire apartment in crochet cozies. I don't know quite how she sleeps in that room since it kind of makes your eyes bleed but I love it. It is actually installed at the ­Christopher Henry Gallery in Nolita until May 28. I'm so disappointed since I will be in that neighborhood next week a few days after that. I would have loved to have seen it with my own eyes.I think I would like Olek. This is a quote from the article:
The gallery’s assistant director, ­Jason LeBlond, confirms what you might have speculated about Olek, who is rarely spotted not wearing a crocheted cardigan or collar: “There is no separation between her art and her life.”

5/11/2011

Portraits

I've been thinking a lot about where my photography journey is taking me lately. As I've gotten more and more into photography I've been spending less and less time knitting and getting ready for craft shows. I don't know why I can't do both but I have a hard time being super passionate about more than one thing at a time. I will start focusing on building up my scarf inventory so that I can do at least a few shows this fall after I finish the baby blanket I'm working on for a colleague. But it just doesn't hold the same thrill that it did in the beginning.

I really wish that I could find a photography mentor to help me explore my options and learn some new skills. A student I was working with a few months ago put the idea into my head. He said that he had been lucky to have a mentor that helped him along his photography path. I was almost hoping that he would offer to help me but in my professional capacity I can''t approach him myself. I am thinking about joining the St. Louis Camera Club and will try to make it to some of their workshops. Perhaps I can meet someone there who could take me under their wing.

I'm also thinking about taking a real class here at the college but unfortunately the only one I could do in the Fall is for Black and White Photography using 35mm. This could be fun too but I don't know how practical it would be in this digital age.

I really enjoy doing portraits as you can see from the above shots of my nieces. I have no formal training but I've read a lot of books and taken a beginning photography workshop which helped me learn about composition. I really need to learn more about lighting and photoshop as well as upgrade my equipment before I could actually charge anyone for portrait work but it is something I'm thinking about in the back of my mind.

We have a screened in porch that is rarely used which I could convert into a studio if I decide to go in that direction as well as plenty of parks that I could use for natural light work in the area. I really don't think I will be quiting my job anytime soon but if I could make some money on the side doing something I love how cool would that be?

5/10/2011

Tip of the Hat!

A month or so ago the girls had a very quick trip to the farm for Spring Break. I got to see them for a few hours. I had just gotten my new favorite lens, the Lensbaby 2.0 that week. I got it on e-bay for a only $50 which was a great deal. I really want the Composer but it cost more like $250 so I had to be satisfied with the older model for now.

The lensbaby gives that cool bokah effect with a sharp sweet spot, which is manually set with the lens. You squeeze the lens until you get the sweet spot where you want it. The nice thing about the composer is that you can lock the lens in place instead of holding it there while you shoot. It definitely has a learning curve which is why these relatively good shots I got the first time I shot with it are some of my favorites.

I'm really thinking about changing the name of the blog to Lenox Knits and Pics. I know that the focus has totally changed from my knitting ventures to more photo centric, which is one of the main reasons I had trouble getting myself over my blogger's block. I felt like the blog had no real focus and I was unsure of how to move forward. I'm still unsure but I realize that is not as important as simply going forward. I figure things will come back into focus if I just keep working at it, just like the Lensbaby!
The girls were having fun modeling for me in Nana's old hats. I have a lot more shots with my new lens that I will probably share later this week.

5/04/2011

Before & After

I mentioned that I had been making some positive changes in my long absence from blogging. I thought I would elaborate on that today. My weight had gotten to my highest point ever by the end of last year. I was miserable and tired all the time. I was completely desperate for something to change. My Mom introduced me to a woman she volunteered with who is an HCG consultant. Mike and I talked with her for a long time. It was primarily him she had to convince because I was ready to try anything at that point.

So, on January 1 I started my HCG journey. For those of you that think it's taking the easy way out I strongly disagree. Yes, you lose weight fast but it's definitely not easy. I had hunger at times, annoying rashes, weakness, occasional headaches, and nightmarish periods for the past 4 months but I've also lost almost 60 pounds in that time. HCG is certainly not for everyone, and if you just have 20 pounds to lose I wouldn't even think about it. But if you are like me and you have over 100 extra pounds that you are dragging around it is a very effective way to get things under control fast.

There are risks but gastric surgery has a lot more, which I was starting to think was my only option to get off of this roller coaster ride. I have at least 2 more cycles to do to finish losing the rest of my weight but I'm going to take the summer off to just maintain. I also need to prove to myself that I can keep it off and that I have control over what I put in my mouth. I'm hoping that by the end of the year I will have lost 100 pounds but I will keep you updated about my progress come the fall.
The top shot is from last week when I finished my second cycle in a new outfit, although not much of a departure. The second shot is after my first cycle when I lost over 30 pounds in 40 days. This bottom shot is my before picture. Before shots are always unhappy which wasn't that difficult for me at the time. I can't believe how puffy and swollen my face was looking back. It was only a few months ago that I was seeing that face in the mirror every morning.

5/03/2011

Creative Kate

I just wanted to brag on my niece Kate for just a moment. She received 3rd place for 3rd graders in all of the Fort Worth Catholic schools for her poster above. The theme was "Being disciples of Christ". In her poster there is a little girl carrying a pink box of donations up to a Daycare.

Kate is truly a creative spirit. She takes whatever assignment she has and makes it her own. I particularly love this poster she sent my Mom of the 10 plagues of Egypt. She added some humor and emotional poignancy to this somewhat odd assignment. I like how she put a band aid on the Egyptian with boils. Seriously, who makes a 9 year old draw a picture of the death of all first born, but Kate did it with gusto. She was not happy with how her livestock depiction came out so please don't judge her for that.

I am missing the girls a lot this spring. They will be coming for several weeks over the summer but it's so hard not seeing them for months at a time. I miss Kate's random and over the top impressions and her ability to make me laugh for hours with her stories and voices. Mike calls her a little Amy Sedaris which is kind of true but in a good way.

4/29/2011

My new favorite Bag Maker!


I have to share my latest Etsy obsession. I bought one of The Bag Basement's backpacks earlier this year. I absolutely love how they are made from recycled jute rice bags that are hand dye cut out with patterns. It is huge and has tons of pockets. I use it for an overnight bag/workout bag to bring clothes to work, etc. It really has tons of uses come to think of it. I will also bring it with me to NYC to carry my purchases for the long days out shopping on my back.

The second bag is very similar to the bag I just bought as my summer handbag. I love the cool tie dye effect and it is the perfect size for everyday use. The strap is adjustable so it can be worn across your front if you want which is a great feature.

I also just bought a necktie for my Uncle's b-day. I didn't choose this I love nerds one but how cool is it. She has a bunch of unique designs that you won't find at the mall for sure.

4/27/2011

New York Dreaming

After far too much deliberation, and some consultation with my Mom, I have bought the above dress from eShakti for my niece's Bat Mitzvah. I'm having them customize it by adding 3/4 length sleeves made from the tulle overlay material in the dress. I don't feel comfortable with my arms right now so I thought that would be a good compromise. I think it's dressy enough but also more appropriate to wear to other events around here, than the black one from yesterday with the funky sleeves. Thanks to those who weighed in on my big decision, especially Pricilla for confirming what I knew in my heart, that my favorite choice was too casual.

Mike and I planned on going into NYC after the weekend celebration and spend 4 days there. I had the tickets purchased and room reserved when winter hit us in full force. For the first time in the 5 years he's been with this school district, they used all of their snow days and had to tack days on at the end of the year. This gave Mike an out from the trip into the city that he wasn't really looking forward to anyways.

I decided to put on my big girl panties and plan a trip for myself. Honestly, I have been thoroughly obsessed with planning my trip down to the minute for the past few months. Looking at guide books and NYC apps on my phone has helped get me through this very dark and dreary winter. I have spent lunch hours that I should have been blogging walking the streets of the Village and Soho on Google Maps plotting my routes. It's actually sad and kind of embarrassing how much time I've invested into this short trip. I've always dreamed of going to New York and I don't know if I will ever have this opportunity again to do exactly what I want to do.

We will have 2 more Bat/Bar Mitzvas to travel for so who know what I will do in the future but I figured I should take advantage of this opportunity to cram as much shopping/photography excursions into the trip as I possibly could. I also know how directionally challenged I am so I wanted to plan the routes ahead of time so that I wouldn't get overwhelmed and feel hopelessly lost when I was there.

I know things will not go exactly as I have them planned and I'm open to some diversions, but having it planned to the letter will help me feel more in control when I am so far outside my comfort zone. I also have a few photography tours booked. I'm especially excited about the Paparazzi tour since it will be a private tour. We'll run around the city and try to capture a celebrity of some sort. He will also take pictures of me and give them to me on a disk so I will have some pictures of myself from the trip.

I'm going to post my master plan for your amusement:
Sunday:
arrive late afternoon.
Find room in The Jane (113 Jane Street)
Visit Chelsea Market. (75 9th Avenue)
Visit the High Line.
Shoot Hudson River at Sunset. app. 8:30 pm.
Dinner at Spotted Pig in West Village (314 W. 11th Street)
Drink next door at literay haunt White Horse Tavern.


Monday:
Breakfast at Cafe Gitane in the Jane.
Find my room in Chelsea (357 W 30 St #5)
Shop Habu Textiles (135 West 29th Street Suite 804) &
Mood Fabrics (225 West 37th Street, 3rd floor )
Go to Art in the Park Festival at Washington Square Park, starts at E. 12th St. from noon-6 pm.
Drop off bags and head to midtown.
Walk 34th st. West to 5th Ave.
Shoot ESB from corner of 34th and 5th Ave.
Shoot the NYC main library with lions from 5th Ave. entrance, go inside to shoot the main reading room.
Walk through Bryant Park
Shoot Grand Central Terminal at 89 East 42nd Street.
if time go to Chrysler Building at 405 Lexington Avenue.
Walk 5th Ave. to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral between 50th and 51st Streets.
Eat dinner in midtown early at Sake Bar Hagi (152 W 49th St), get there by 6:15
Be at the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Sunset.
Walk through Times Square after dark.
Walk back via Broadway.
At 32nd St. Greeley Sq. turn left towards K-town.
On way back stop for a late bite in Koreatown. Possibly Woorijip: cheap cafeteria style (12 W 32nd St between 5th Ave & Broadway)
if still energetic a late show at Upright Citizen’s Brigade. 307 W 26th St (between 8th & 9th Ave) OR The Magnet Theater Show (254 W 29th St between 7th Ave & 8th Ave)



Tuesday:
Run with Paparrazi tour from 9-12. Meets up at Christopher St & 7th Ave
Eat lunch at Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich Deli (369 Broome St between Elizabeth St & Mott St)
turn left, Shop on Broome St.:
Papabubble: personalized handmade candy. (380A Broome Street)
Clic Bookstore & Gallery: photography goodness! (424 Broome St between Lafayette St & Crosby St)
Shoot the Haughwout Building at corner of Broadway and Broome
Pearl River Mart: Asian Super store! (477 Broadway between Grand St & Broome)
Purl Soho: Yarn! (459 Broome Street)
Kiteya: Japanese handmade goodness (464 Broome)
Turn Right on Greene.
Shop on Spring St:
Evolution Nature Store: skulls, fossils, & fun (120 Spring Street)
Free People: Boho accessories & clothes (99 Spring Street)
Kiosk: kitchy stuff from around the world (95 Spring Street)
Kate’s Paperie: stationary, etc. (72 Spring Street)
Pylones: colorful cuteness (69 Spring St
Tierra: handmade jewelry (65 Spring St between Lafayette St & Cleveland Pl)
Dessert at Rice To Riches: Rice pudding goodness! (37 Spring St)
Walk to East Village about 1 mile stopping along the way:
Calvin Tran: “hear go hell come!” (246 Mulberry St)
Pass Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral (263 Mulberry St between Jersey St & Prince St)
Cat Fish Greetings: handmade cards (219A Mulberry Street)
Billy’s Antiques and Props: in green tent, quirkiness (76 East Houston St)
Dashwood Books: Photography bookstore (33 Bond Street between 2nd St &
Bowery)
The Smile: yarn, art, & coffee for refueling (26 Bond St)
The Future Perfect: art + kitsch (55 Great Jones St)
Hannah Clark: handmade jewelry (60 E. 4th St)
Sara’s Vintage & Handmade Jewelry (65 E. 4th St)
Random Accessories: random knick knacks (77 E 4th St at Bowery and 2nd Ave)
East Village Books:used bookstore (99 St. Marks Pl between 1st Ave & Avenue A)
De La Vega Museum: funky art w/ a message. ( 102 St. Marks Pl)
AuH20: handmade clothes & jewelry (84 E. 7th St)
TEICH designs: handmade bags & jewelry (84 East 7th St.)
Cobblestones: reasonably priced vintage accessories ( 314 E 9th St between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
Local Clothing: cheap thrifting! (328 East 9th Street)
Katinka: Hand-dyed Indian textiles (303 E. 9th St)
A Repeat Performance: quirky antiques (156 1st Avenue)
Obscura Antiques: sublimely bizarre! (280 East 10th St)
Drop off bags in my room.
Play Dead show at 8:00 at the Player’s Theatre (115 MacDougal St.) pick up ticket at will call window.
Falafel at Mamouns (119 MacDougal St)
Taxi back to room.



Wednesday:
Breakfast at Skylight Diner (402 West 34th St.@ 9th Ave)
Photo Walkabout tour of Chinatown & Five Points from 10-12:30
Eat lunch in Chinatown.
Visit the WTC site, St. Paul memorial, & Trinity Church
Visit Battery Park for views of harbor and SOL.
Visit the Irish Hunger Memorial. (290 Vesey Street)
if time Take the Staten Island Ferry from Whitehall Terminal Manhattan.
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge.
Visit Jacques Torres Chocolate. (66 Water Street)
visit some galleries/boutiques in DUMBO if time:
Powerhouse Arena: art and books (37 Main St between Water St & Howard Aly)
Umbrage: photography gallery & bookstore (111 Front St. Suite 208 between Washington St & Adams St)
Spring: Art and handmade creations (126 Front St between Adams St & Jay St)
Stewart/Stand Art & Design Store: (141-A Front St between Pearl St & Jay St)
Shoot the bridges from Brooklyn Bridge Park & Manhattan skyline at sunset.
dinner somewhere cheap and quant.


Thursday:
Sunrise at Roosevelt Island Tramway (app. 5:30 am)
Photograph the 19th century smallpox hospital at south tip of island.
Take tram back to Manhattan
Shoot the Flat Iron Building and Madison Square Park.
Breakfast at Eisenberg Sandwich Shop, get sandwich for later.
Leave for Newark 12:30 pm
Flight home 2:50 pm

4/26/2011

Bat Mitzva Dress


Since I'm back to my old blogging self again I thought I would reach out to you all for help solving a shopping delima I've been agonizing over. I have my niece's Bat Mitzva in May in New York and I have no idea what to wear. I'm assuming a nice dress that I would wear to a wedding or other special event is appropriate but I just can't decide. I have a few picked out from my favorite dress shop on-line, eShakti. They will even customize the dress if you don't like the sleeves or length which I love about them. I know the pictures are kind of blurry since I had to blow them up but if you click on them it will give you the full view.

I'm afraid the first black and white one might be a bit too casual but it's actually my favorite. It's a light cotton and I could probably get a lot of use out of it after the event. But I don't want to stand out as the informal aunt from the midwest, especially since we've already been told Mike needs to wear a tie and jacket.

The purple and black is a bit more formal but it's also not as much my style either. I like it but I don't love it. The next black one is my compromise dress. I think it's a bit more formal since it's primarily black but it's still a lightweight cotton that I could get a lot of use from. But is it formal enough is the question? The last option is the most formal of them all. It's a little black cocktail type dress that I probably would find little reason to wear again but I know I wouldn't stand out in the crowd.

If you have any opinions on these possibilities I would love to hear it. Thanks!

4/25/2011

Coming Home

I don't know if anyone still cares or not but I am finally coming back from my extended blog vacation. I don't quite know what happened this year to cause my first major blogger's block. But the longer I waited to post the less I seemed to have to say and the harder it was to break the silence. My old blog buddy Nancy from N. Fallon Design Studio sent me a very sweet card in the mail this week that made me realize it was time to come back home. I shot the above of the girls on the first weekend I had my brand new Lensbaby. I will be devoting an entire post to my new love later I'm sure.

It's been a pretty difficult year but I won't go into it all now. The short version is that I've been fighting the major D, which saps the will to interact with anyone right out of me. Also, one of our dearest friends is in the middle of chemo treatment. This has caused an incredible amount of stress and drama for Mike and I both, which honestly neither of us handles all that well.

I haven't been knitting much either so I don't have much to show for my time off. I finished a vest for myself that I'll post later this week. I have made some good changes too but I will go into those on another day.

I will try to check in with some of my old pals today. I really have missed the support and connections from the blog world. I know lots of you have taken breaks too. I was wondering how you got yourself back into the swing of things after an extended break? Was it just like getting back on the old bike, which ironically I actually never learned to ride in the first place...

1/27/2011

Write On!



I'm very proud of my literary boys this week. Mike finished the second draft of his science fiction novel about accidental time travel. I read the first draft and was pleasantly surprised at how engrossing it was even for me, a non-sci fi nerd. He's sending copies out to friends and family now for input before he starts soliciting agents. He has started writing at least 3 novels since we've been together but this is the first that he has actually completed so I'm especially proud of him, even if it never gets published beyond the Kinko copy he is carrying around doing line by line edits as we speak.

A great inspiration for Mike's perseverance is one of his best buddies Brian Katcher. This shot is from our New Mexico Adventure last summer with he and his super sweet wife Sandy. Brian has had 2 Young Adult novels published with another on the way next year. He's also working on a sci fi series with another publisher but I'm not sure about that release date. Brian recently won the 2011 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award, which is given to "works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience."

“A young adult novel about a transgender girl—told from the perspective of the straight boy who falls for her—“Almost Perfect” is exceptional. The writing is sensitive, haunting and revelatory,” said Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Award committee chair Lisa Johnston.

He's been getting a ton of great press since the award including this write up in the St. Louis Post Dispatch and even a mention on the Onion AV club. It really couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Brian and Sandy are probably the most easy going and non-judgemental people I've ever been fortunate to know.

If you have teenagers I would highly recommend his first two books, including Playing with Matches, which is actually my favorite by a slim margin of the two so far. Kai lists Brian as his favorite author on Facebook and has actually read Playing with Matches multiple times which is unheard of for him.
 

(c) Lenox Knits, 2009|Created by NSD