In Which A Visit to the Museum Is A Study in Fickleness

Denver is ridiculously blessed with wonderful cultural opportunities. We are members of the stunning Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the kids love to go there. We set out last week to see the new Lizards & Snakes exhibit. Expectations were high with our two eldest girls. Lizards! Snakes! What’s not to like?

Plenty, it turns out. Within minutes, we heard cries of “This is boring!” from our eldest who was doing her best to channel a 13-year-old (she’s six).

I am the type of museum-goer who wants to read every single word on placards and such. Regrettably, with three small kiddos, those days are long gone. By the time you read a paragraph on, say, illegal alligator poaching, your kids could be two floors down and running for the gift shop.

Nevertheless, we forced—ahem, encouraged—the girls to tour the entire exhibit. And then we headed for their favorite spot in the museum, a beautiful atrium that overlooks Denver. All in all, a good trip.

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Have you heard of Gumroad?

Just saw this on LinkedIn. It’s a way to sell things to your friends and followers that you create. I’ve often thought it would be fun to just sell small things and gain awareness for a newbie project without having to go through such hoopla to do it. For instance, to get a book on the bookshelves, you have to have lawyers and contracts and then wait a year to see it. And you get a tiny cut of the price. Sometimes, I just want to write a story or publish a coloring book without all of the fuss. Or the expense.

 

Gumroad, Pinterest, Etsy…we are living in a magical age!

Eye on: Illustrator Ben Clanton

Getting lost in blogs today, following links down the illustrator rabbit trail. I am digging Ben Clanton (author and illustrator of the brand new Vote for Me! picture book. He also illustrates Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week by Caroline Adderson). Fun, pretty and engaging work. We love it.

From Ben’s website: “It’s a big election year, and Elephant and Donkey are pandering for votes. “Hey you! Yes, you with the great hair and that dazzling smile,” says Donkey. “[I]f you pick me, I’ll give you peanuts!” promises Elephant. But it doesn’t take long for the candidates to forget about the voters and turn on each other (“Elephants don’t stink!” “Well, you certainly do, you big, stinky pooper scooper”), resulting in both figurative and literal mudslinging. Unlike some grown-up candidates, Elephant and Donkey repair their friendship—just in time to realize that the voters have already moved on. First-time author Clanton renders his battling duo in the pencil-like grays and blacks of classic editorial cartoons (Donkey almost always appears on the left against a blue background, while Elephant is on the right against red). Even readers unfamiliar with the political process will understand the demands being made on their loyalty. For children getting their first taste of presidential politics in 2012, this is a worthwhile testimony to the current state of political discourse. Ages 4–8.”

The Beautiful Place

Sometimes, shaking up the normal routine is what we need to do to see something beautiful. Jennifer’s parents visited this week from South Carolina and we took them to Barr Lake State Park, east of Denver. We wanted to see the baby bald eagles that are nesting there, but the hike was not an option for our multi-generational group. So we stuck close to shore and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. Every step we took led us past the almost-ready-to-bud-and-bloom Colorado landscape. Winter was over and spring was arriving, glorious blue skies and warm winds trailing in her wake.

http://www.jonathanfenske.com

We all get in the rut of normal life. It’s easy to forget to lift our heads and take in something special, something beautiful. What are you discovering today?

http://www.jonathanfenske.com