Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Go Irish! A Literary Agent Tale

London Book Fair, day one, April 19th.

The iceland volcano Eyjafjallajokull (I didn't make that up) impacted the book fair, to say the least! Empty booths and holes in once-filled schedules presented an opportunity I didn't expect.

While I went to London to attend the fair as a spectator... to learn what goes into the UK and other foreign markets, to understand "rights" and contracts and see if there is a market for Sport Princesses outside the U.S... in one of those not-so-coincidental-chance-meetings... I found my literary agent match overseas! Two agents, actually, who work together. I love them immediately, but how can you not, with that Irish accent and charm?

I was sitting on an aisle bench at the end of the day... weary... looking through old Sport Princess illustrations on my new Ipad, wondering if I change the style? When they each plopped on each side of me, delighted, asking if this is really the Ipad and could they please have a look? Turns out the Ipad is not available in Europe yet (so this wasn't my first Ipad demonstration) These gals are so witty and fun and they're asking about the illustrations and I'm showing them the book and sharing laughs before I even look at their nametags and see that they are Literary Agents. The rest clicked right away. They weren't even on my radar - and they weren't there to sign any more authors - and on their webpage they aren't even accepting manuscripts right now ... it was just meant to be. *aww*

The lovely Prizeman Kinsella gals are my new Irish go-tos, and I couldn't be more escatic about them! To be continue.

NFL Football Draft...

So the 2010 NFL Football Draft 7th round came to an end on Saturday April 24th! ... with a few more "undrafted free agents" getting signed to teams after it was all over. Dennis Pitta from BYU went in the 4th round (pick 114 overall) to the Baltimore Ravens! Hopefully we get to see him play this year... they picked other great Tight End talent in the draft as well. Hey, John Beck is also a reserve quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens! He was the quarterback for BYU before Max Hall... Beck was initially drafted to the Miami Dolphins, but hasn't seen enough action yet and is now waiting with the Ravens.
After all 7 rounds were finished, Max Hall signed an undrafted free agent rookie deal with the Arizona Cardinals. What does that mean, anyway? Well, at least he still has a shot of playing in the NFL. Anyone not drafted can then choose to become a free agent and pick a team to play on, if they are interested in them. He won't make nearly as much money as a normal drafted player... but it's not about the money! It's about the love of football!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ladies Gaelic Football!!

I am still visiting the London Book Fair... (and am still quite befuddled I made it here the day before the Icelandic volcano that has had European flights grounded ever since... ask me if I'm coming home on Thursday or not? Ask me again on Wednesday!)

But yesterday I met two absolutely charming Irish Literary Agents, who introduced me to a new sport: Gaelic Football! It's the most popular sport in Ireland, (yet one of the oldest world sports still played today)... ladies have their own division and play too, and it is growing in international popularity. Of course I googled it... and have been hopping ever since. Check this out: it's sort of a mix between american soccer (European football) and rugby!
The ball used is slightly smaller, and heavier than a soccer ball... similar to a volleyball in appearance.
You can pick the ball up from the ground and run with it, passing it between hands (ladies only. Men cannot pick it up, they have to kick it up, and cannot pass between hands)

You can kick the ball (like soccer)

And you can hand pass or "strike" the ball to pass it to a teammate. You can't throw it... a hand pass is not a punch but rather a strike of the ball with the side of the closed fist, using the knuckle of the thumb!

It's an aggressive contact sport too though! Not as brutal as rugby, but definitely more so than soccer. Here are more technical fouls of the game first though:

Going four steps without releasing, bouncing or soloing the ball. (Soloing involves kicking the ball into one's own hands)
Bouncing the ball twice in a row (It may be soloed continuously)
Hand passing a goal (the ball may be punched into the goal from up in the air, however)
The field is rectangular, similar to soccer... but in Australia they play on an oval field.
The goal itself... looks like a soccer net at the bottom, with two upright poles coming up on the top! If the ball is passed (punched, not thrown) or kicked between the uprights on top of the goal, you are scored 1 point! If the ball is kicked into the bottom net part, you score 3 points. The ball cannot be passed by hand into the lower net part.

The level of tackling allowed is more robust than in soccer (football), but less than rugby:
Shoulder to shoulder contact and slapping the ball out of an opponent's hand are permitted
, but the following are all fouls:
Using both hands to tackle
Pushing an opponent
Striking an opponent
Pulling an opponent's jersey
Blocking a shot with the foot
Sliding tackles
Touching the goalkeeper when he/she is inside the small rectangle
Wrestling the ball from an opponent's hands

Girls of all ages play gaelic football in Ireland! I've seen pictures of girls of primary age playing! Outside of Ireland, there are also teams in Canada, all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Asia, and the U.S.... there is one team in the U.S. which happens to be in Seattle! The "Seattle Gaels"! They are looking for recruits:)

I will absolutely be checking it out.
Here are more links for pictures and history on Gaelic Football!
You better believe there will be a Gaelic Football Princess added. This is a contact sport for women in it's finest. Irish women are hardcore! If I get stuck in London due to the flight restrictions, maybe I'll hop a ferry over to Ireland to see more....

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Girlie girl pink princess fairy store in London

Wait, did I fail to mention pink and girlie?

I came upon this Mystical Fairies pink princessy shop yesterday in the village of Hampstead, London. And even though this kind of store is everything that I am NOT, I couldn't help but go inside! I thought of Avery, mostly, and ... okay... basically every little girl in the history of mankind. I have to say I was awe-struck at once, and wish I could show you a picture of the intricately princess'd inside (Trust me, I tried and was almost taken out by a pink tutu'd glitter employee)

The shop itself wasn't that large, but wall to wall tea sets, dolls, ballet girlness, gowns, glitter, fairydust makeup, hair accessories, princess jewelry, purses, sequins, canopies, etc ... and even hanging from the ceiling were glittery branches holding fairies, butterflies and girl wonder-ness.
My mum bought a new fairy teaset for the girls, and invitations to a teaparty. The checkout employee had ringlets, tiara, and a tutu.
So if you know me ... it wasn't long before I started feeling claustrophic as the walls of pink and frilly started crashing in on me... my breathing quickened and I had to go back outside into the fresh air. I felt like I needed something to redeem myself... like... find a sport store and buy a new jersey, or drop down in that village alley and start doing pushups. I wonder if this is how dads feel when in this same situation? Where did my girlie girl gene go? Did my sister get double? All I know is ... we do things for our girlie daughters because we love them, and we know they love the pink girlie princesses, so of course we oblige! But I would openly embrace it, love it, delight in it TOO if it had more of a tomboy edge on it.

This is what it would look like:

HOT pink and brown
glitter football stripe sticks
pink sporting goods, cleats, socks, bats, balls,
vintage pictures of Sport Princesses on the walls... and sport pennants... and framed jerseys... and merchandise
Green turf floor with white 10 yard lines on it
The jewelry would be sport wristbands, headbands, leatherbands, soccer ball earrings
Princess gowns next to the sport jerseys and crinoline
and a high def tv on the wall playing sporting games so the dads would still feel manly and embrace going in, too.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sport Princess Football Referee Signals... Videos!

Want to learn different football referee signals from 3 year old Football Princesses? Watch these super cute videos below! The youtube link is pasted above each video so you can share with your friends and family! Send me your cute girl sport videos and we'll share on the blog!

Part 2: Avery:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Take me out to the ball game

And Baseball season is off and running with a bang! Did you see the Major League Baseball game opener on Easter Sunday? New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox? What a game! Hottie Dustin Pedroia saved the day in the 7th inning when he hit a homerun with a man on base, tying the game at 7-7! The Red Sox went on to win 9-7 over the Yankees. What a night... how can you compare a classic Red Sox and Yankees rivalry at Fenway park?