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Thank you, dear reader from New Brunswick Canada, for this reminder of the importance of being Irving. It’s huge, as you can see.

Vivian the Queen showing her readers her everyday crown, which she wears on top of her daily tiara. Her “dress up” crown is on the side table where it doubles as a tea cosy.

I am writing to you today as the 2012 winner of the Queen of the People’s Republic of Sunnyside Did It Her Way Award for The Only Blog Worth Reading. I accept this honor on behalf of the fact that if I didn’t win at least one damn award this year I was going to sulk for all of 2013.

So, having had my status as a beloved “cult” writer confirmed and my vanity appeased, I can get back to business. The hunt is on for the two most perfect Fall leaves:

You have to train your eye when it comes to appreciating a Fall leaf. Or, should I say, a fallen leaf:

Because just like tigers, and Grecian urns, and Japanese gardens, these things are meant to be appreciated in situ, in place — in the case of a fall leaf, up in the tree:

But after scouring the site for an hour, Top Cat and I collected many great possibilities for The Perfect Fall Leaf:

My only requirement, when it comes to Perfect Fall Leaf, is that it be interesting to paint. So I am looking for a leaf that has it all: color — really interesting color — and shape and size. So I’m partial to the maple leaf that has pitched itself off the branch just before it hits utmost ripeness, something like this:

The only problem, though, is that these leaves tend to be very small. Perfect in every way except size.

But it’s up to you, since these the Perfect Fall Leaf will be painted for two of you who are reading now. Would a teeny leaf be acceptable or can you wait until I go re-visit the billionaire’s garden on November 4, the one with the grove of fancy rare Japanese maple trees? Remember when I was there last May and told you all about it? (click here to refresh your memory.)

Which is it?  Tiny but perfect Long Island mutt maple, or billionaire’s fancy foreign maple leaf?

And if you happen to be in Texas next week, stop by and say “Hey” to a great friend of this blog and NEW AUTHOR Katherine Catmull (read all about her by clicking here) at the TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL.  Katherine’s first book, Summer and Bird, is out now and getting rave reviews:

BOOKLIST (starred review): “Catmull’s stunning debut unleashes a fierce imagination to build a wholly original world, rich with the familiar shimmer of folklore . . .  This atmospheric adventure thrills with complex storytelling, carefully threaded with bits of foreshadowing and overflowing with poignant imagery.”

Katherine will be on a panel called “The World Turned Upside Down” as part of the Texas Book Festival from 1pm-2pm on Sunday, October 28, 2012, in the Capitol Extension Room E2.014. Please come!

She’ll be signing books immediately afterwards in the Children’s Booksigning Tent at Colorado and 13th.



18 comments to I Won! I Won! I Won!

  • Carol

    I vote for the Long Island mutt maple. I am a huge believer in the underdog, the mutt, the runt of the litter. And the colors are gorgeous! Hope your leg is better. Pumpkin sends kind regards to Penelope.

  • Hmmmmm…
    I think I live in Sunnyside..
    Must go out to the backyard and eat worms : (
    grumble grumble…

  • Well bigger isn’t always better. :)
    Depends on what YOU want to paint. All those maple leaves look like they are laying on a Green heart. :)

  • patricia

    interesting you should be asking that question…I’m taking a fall watercolor class but absconded to Maui for two weeks instead of dutifully sketching and painting fall flowers and nuts. As all my “fall” flowers here are quite tropical, I picked hibiscus just opening, full bloom and wilted, as my best option. for nut, I’m thinking coconut … My point is, play the cards you’re dealt. The small but perfect leaf of course (unless you REALLY want to sneak back to the gazillionaire garden).
    future leaf winner (one can hope!)

  • Viv,

    As one who loves your watercolors I would be quite happy with either. You, after all, have to decide which you are going to paint – or you could paint one of each, of course,


  • Mary

    I HAD to write today. Don’t forget your wonderful paintings of leaves in “Wanderers”.
    Page 144, 145, plus the wonderful October cover page.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne’s quote can bring tears. ( pg 146)
    I could go on. Page 160 and 161 are wonderful Fall trees colors.
    For those of us who have Book one, we can look back and appreciate them any time we wish.
    Thanks again, Vivian. We appreciate your beautiful work.
    Continue to heal the leg, and go spend time with the kittys in the yard.. They must miss you.

  • Sandy R

    Oh Good Lord, any gorgeous leaf painted by you will be a Winner!!!

    And I too love the Sugar Maples of New England (CT in my case)

  • 1) Mutt maple! and 2) thank you so much for the plug! I got an inexplicable spike in visits to my site today but I have tracked down the culprit. You are awesomely kind.

  • I am thinking small, local, seasonal, so it has to be the mutt. x te

  • The perfect Fall leaf…I’ve looked for those in London and Paris…
    If I find a good one I’ll send it to you for comparative analysis.

  • I guess I’m in the minority. My vote is to wait. Just wait and see. I hear it will be a colourful late fall, so, I’m betting on the late leaves for the prize painting. Fall is such a great time of year. But I say that yearning for the spring, and the summer too.

  • Janet

    I will do my best to represent all of your blog readers by going to Katherine’s session at Austin’s annual author appreciation and worship fest next weekend. I just want to remind you that you, too, should be here talking about your literary achievements, and I am sad that you won’t be. When you finish the Damn Garden Book, YOU MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN the prestigious and coveted Lone Star Trifecta Award presented to the author of three outstanding books. If there isn’t such an award, there should be.

  • Margaret

    Perhaps you could paint the ittle one for us while we wait for the visit to the millionaire’s garden? Is that too greedy?

  • Nadine

    That teeny leaf sure is teeny. But it’s got a lot of color and maple leaves are sooo fall. I vote for homey, old-fashioned maple leaf over any rich guy’s fancy-pants leaves.

  • Irving, now there’s a big name in parts where I’m from. They are like Eastern Canada royalty. Much like yourself, Queen of blog awards and leaf searches. Congrats.

  • Joan

    I vote for the Mutt Maple Leaf also. The painting will fit my wall space I have left for displays. You can tell I’m confident of winning your painting.

    I thought I gave you the title of Queen Lah-T-Dah quite some time ago. I do declare you the winner of the title “Only Blog Worth Reading.” I’m so impressed with your crown that doubles as a tea cozy…muy elegante’!

  • christine

    Mutt maple, although the Japenese maple is also lovely in a different way. Either, as the spirit moves.

  • Laura

    Mutt maple has my vote and here’s why. You can treat the mini maple with great detail, like an illuminated letter. It’s “scale” is in its interior, its universe is within.

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