Interview with Andromeda Jazmon AKA “Cloudscome”

On her blog, Andi states that “cloudscome” is from a favorite haiku.  Andi graciously donated a handcrafted quilt for Bridget’s auction.  I enjoy reading Andi’s haiku.  For example, this one from April 11 (unfortunately I have maxed out the image capacity so you will have to visit her blog to see the fabulous forsythia photo):

evening light
lingers on the forsythia –
not finished dancing

-Andromeda Jazmon
Her photography blog inspires me (mine is desperately behind).  I recently interviewed her as part of learning about the auction donors.

When did you begin blogging? What is the focus of your blog?
I started blogging in 2005, jumping off discussion boards around adoption. I found it such a powerful way to connect and share our stories. I have been blogging about books at A Wrung Sponge since 2006. I like to post poetry, especially haiku, and photographs. I’ve been participating in the “365 Project” for about three years, striving to take and post beautiful photos on a daily basis. My photo blog is

When you aren’t blogging, what might we find you doing?
When I’m not blogging I am working in the library, teaching computer classes, playing with my kids, walking in the woods, in the garden, taking photographs, cooking, quilting, reading or sleeping.

How did you get involved with Kidlitosphere? I can’t quite remember the first kidlit blog I started reading, but it might have been Jen Robinson or Kelly Harold . I saw Jo(e) posting Friday Poetry at, found other bloggers doing poetry, and got totally sucked in to that. I’ve participated with poetry almost every Friday since early 2006.

What books are on your nightstand? Ijust finished Zetta Elliot’s A Wish After Midnight, and started Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Next up is The Boat by Nam Le and then A Lucky Child by Thomas Buergenthal. I’m also in the middle of New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton.
Where do you find inspiration? Reading thoughtful, beautiful, compelling books with a variety of ethnicities represented across cultures makes me happy and makes me want to share my thoughts with others through blogging. Reading clever, funny, brilliant blogs makes me really glad to be part of the kidlitosphere. Friday Poetry, 15 Words or Less Poetry Challenges and the Monday Poetry Stretch inspire me to write poetry and try new forms. Gratitude to God for the grace, love and life that surround us continually inspires me to strive to be the best person I can be. All things beautiful inspire me to reflect and express joy; especially my sons and all the children I’ve known.
What was your favorite book as a child? As a teen? As an adult? Any particular genre stand out? As a child I loved Winnie the Pooh, the Little House books, Edward Eager, the Hobbit and the Narnia books, all of which were read to me over and over by my parents. As a teen I loved everything by Ray Bradbury, Madeline L’Engle, Scott O’Dell, and Robert Heinlein. As an adult I enjoy realistic fiction, historical fiction and Young Adult fantasy. My main genre are science fiction and fantasy, with some realistic fiction. I have tried to focus on writers of color in the past twenty years because I find a variety of cultures and viewpoints to be stimulating and enriching. I think my early years and education (as an English Major) to be far too Waspish.
Favorite time of the day to work?  Early morning, before anyone else is awake.

Chocolate: white, dark, or milk? Dark.

Coffee or tea or —? Coffee in the morning, tea the rest of the day – oolong, green or herbal. Iced suntea no sugar in summer.

Dance: Funky chicken or the tango? Definitely funky… as in 1970s Soul Train…

 I am looking forward to the day I get to purchase her book of poetry.  If you want to bid on the baby quilt, visit here

Poetry Friday is hosted by Kelly Polark at Kelly Polark  Have a great weekend.

Happy Reading.



Meet Gary VanRiper, Co-author of the Adirondack Series

Gary donated a 9 volume set of his popular children’s series, The Adirondack Kids to the Bridget Zinn Auction.  I learned a little more about Gary when he answered a set of interview questions:

How long have you been writing/ illustrating?

I have been writing my entire adult life and for seven years co-owned a community newspaper. I began writing The Adirondack Kids® series with my son while in my mid-forties and did not know if I could make a solid jump from non-fiction to fiction. Happily, I found out those journalism skills not only kept me on task in terms of communicating essentials and keeping a story moving, but helped keep the fiction plausible.

When you aren’t illustrating/writing, what might we find you doing?

I am a full time pastor and on my “days off”, my wife has me speaking in public schools to young people about reading and writing. After that, it is hiking in the Adirondack high peaks wilderness area.

Who influenced you as a writer/illustrator?

A love to read was nurtured by parents – particularly by my mother. We were not a wealthy family by our society’s standards, but somehow there was always money for books. Once the books were in my hands, many authors took over.

What is your current project?

The ninth book in The Adirondack Kids® series was released less than two weeks ago. We are preparing now for our 10th Anniversary (2010) and hope to release a 10th Anniversary Edition of The Adironack Kids® #1 – as well as #10 in the series.

What books are on your nightstand?

On my dresser, the floor or my nightstand? Really, there are books everywhere. Directly on my nightstand at this moment are The River of Lost Footsteps – a Personal history of Burma; Up Old Forge Way (an regional history of the area our Adirondack Kids books are set); the dead and the gone – a YA novel by Susan Beth Pfeffer and Wordsmith by Dave Darrigo & Richard Taylor – an out of print graphic novel about a pulp fiction writer working in the 1930’s.
Where do you find inspiration?

Real life.

What was your favorite book as a child? As a teen? As an adult? Any particular genre stand out?

As child?Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary.
As a teen? The Hobbit by Tolkien.
As an adult? The Writing Life by Annie Dillard.
Genre that stands out? When I am not reading for my full time job, I prefer to read children’s books. I find them generally to be more creative and pure.

Favorite time of the day to work?

To write? 11 p.m. and on into the morning. By then the phone has usually stopped ringing.

Chocolate: white, dark, or milk?

How about fruit? Tomatoes first. Then oranges & strawberries.

Coffee or tea or —?

Never had a sip of coffee in my life. Iced Tea I guess, and water.

Dance: Funky chicken or the tango?

The only dancing I do is around questions like these ; )

Thanks, Gary for taking the time to anser these questions.  I am hoping that the bidds will be frequent for your donation.

Happy Reading.




Tuesday Tidbits: Bridget Zinn Auction News

I am happy to report that the Bridget Zinn Auction is in full bidding mode.  Do you need a manuscript read or a book promoted or perhaps a web design or some fabulous signed book?  Please visit the blog and bid away.

I feel like the miller’s daughter in Rumpelstiltskin because I cannot get all the auction items posted.  I think that  I have it covered and then more donations appear.  If I can turn the auction into a significant amount of “gold” I will be happy for both Bridget and Barrett.

That’s the thing.  I haven’t tallied the total amount of money lately and I don’t think I want to. My husband asks, “Have you checked today?”  I say, “No.”  It think its because I start translating what it will cover. The costs of her treatment is staggering.  Then on top, no income to cover the necessities: the rent, utilities, food, etc.  And I realize we have barely made a dent. 

Bridget said it best in an email to me recently, “We are rich in friends.”  And they certainly are.  I am so touched to see the outpouring of support for them both.

On May 29, there will be a local gathering to support Bridget at the Lucky Lab in Portland, OR.  Please plan to attend. Please plan to bid at the auction.  New items are listed every day.

Happy Reading.


Get Ready To Raise Money for Bridget

If you attended the Kidlit Blogging Conference in Portland, OR last September, you may have met Bridget Zinn.  She is a YA public librarian and YA writer. Lots of energy and sweetness.

Cancer always seems to find those with lots of energy and sweetness. Cancer found Bridget. She discovered this the beginning of March when the ocular migraines limited her sight.

The treatment is aggressive and expensive.  The Portland Kidlit group plans to hold a couple of fundraisers for Bridget. 

The first is an on-line auction going live on May 1 through May 29.  While the list is not finalized we have some exciting items to start: Andi at Cloudscome  has donated a handmade baby quilt, Nancy Arruda at BeesKnees Reads Books is in with a newly published book by her company, and April Henry has donated first editions of her books as well as a 20 page critique of either a mystery or YA script.

The second is a silent auction and raffle on May 29 at the Lucky Lab Pub in SE Portland.  We are beginning to get some great auction and raffle items. These include a facial by Jane Cowan, esthetician extraordinaire, five hours of landscaping by Lisa Nowak, a chance for author appearances by Matt Holm, co-creator of Baby Mouse and Emily Whitman, author of Radiant Darkness.

I am working to have three book baskets for auction: a children’s picture book baskets, a middle grade basket,and a YA basket.

Stay tuned for more information. If you would like to contribute, please contact me.

Happy REading.