Today is world book day, a particular day marked every year since the initial inception in 1995 to celebrate books and the joy of reading. As an avid reader, an author, and a father of a daughter who cannot seem to find enough books or time to read, World Book Day is an annual reminder of the importance of reading and of learning through the medium of the written word. So whether one wishes to be immersed in some faraway, fantastical place or discover the hidden workings of our amazing world, I hope we might all find the opportunity to spend even a little bit of today in the company of a favorite book. And now that I have written this tidy little post, I shall find a comfortable spot and return to my reading.
One evening this past summer I found occasion to surprise my family by announcing an immediate departure for a little adventure at the time when preparations for journeys into dreamland are normally commenced. For unbeknownst to wife and daughter our city of residence sponsors a regular program of skywatching, generously setting up telescopes in a neatly tucked cove surrounded by rolling hills just lofty enough to block the nearby glow of city lights. There the night sky is pleasantly dark and revealing of those shimmering little details often hidden in places of modern habitation. After a short trip, my daughter grew more and more excited as she came to realize why we were ambling down a narrow footpath lit dimly by meager moonlight in a place frequented by large, furry mammals who prefer to be left at a distance. When soon we joined a small crowd huddled around four telescopes, the anticipation was almost too great for her to bear (no pun intended), and she skipped and hopped about with excitement.
The sky that night was exceptionally clear and dark. After a brief introduction by the host, we were left to wander and gaze through the lenses to see in larger size those things now appearing only as small points of light. Drawn across the firmament as if dangling from an invisible thread were the cresent Moon in faint earthshine and the planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. My daughter had seen these celestial objects through a telescope perhaps once before, but being quite young she could not remember the event. We eagerly took in the view granted by the telescopes and were delighted to see the planets in more detail, especially Saturn. It is always a pleasure to see the reactions of those viewing Saturn for the first time; the tingling excitement of wonder is contagious. That night the rings were particularly large (due to the angle of viewing) and sharp. Three of Jupiter's moons were also easy to spot. For my daughter these planets and moons were no longer merely abstract objects of mention in books, planetarium shows and school studies. Taking turns at the lense, we both noticed some mysterious flashes of light in the sky, blinking off too quickly to catch the source. Finally my daughter saw one of the fleeting lights nearby and just above the ground, and we realized they were very terrestrial in nature: fireflies. Accompanied by these earth-bound shooting stars, we peered again through the lenses, and I mentioned to my daughter how similar it all seemed to looking through a microscope. Indeed, for all its great size Jupiter appeared only a bland circle with a pair of muted stripes and massive Saturn a white dot uninteresting in appearance if it were not graced by those surreal rings. Relatively nearby Mars looked as though it were only a faintly red star. At the size they appeared, I could have easily held them all on the end of my finger. How incredibly small must Earth appear from Saturn...
We asked the host if he could identify which of Saturn's moons were in view, as there were small points of light nearby the planet. He looked through the lens, consulted his guide, and concluded it was difficult to discern the moons from the background stars. For tiny little Saturn, we were told, a ball of gas so large and vast beside it Earth would be of little consequence, was just then floating languidly in front of the unimaginably distant galactic center. The galactic center! I took my eye off the telescope and peered toward Saturn unaided. Saturn was there, appearing quite ringless to my tired old eyes, but where was the vaunted galactic center? We had seen before the starlit mists of the Milky Way when traveling through high desert, stopping at times just to sit and stare and wonder at the sheer immensity of it all, but such views tend to be obscured and hidden by the modern predilection for washing out the wonders of the night sky. Nevertheless, the view provided reason to ponder the utter strangeness and undeniable beauty of the world we inhabit, and seeing the joy and excitement of those young and old glimpsing for the first time the profound mysteries in which we are immersed made for a memorable evening.
R. S. Markel and the Lillybeth and Hinsberth books and prints will be at the Boulder Chorale holiday concert "A Thousand Beautiful Things". The concert is to be held at FUMC as part of the Chorale's annual fundraiser on December 9th from 7 to 9 and December 11 from 4 to 6. Come for a chat and to enjoy the beautiful holiday music and gifts!
Presenting the flyer for the upcoming appearance of R. S. Markel and the Lillybeth and Hinsberth books and prints at the Cedar Art Studios First Friday event on November 4th from 6-9PM. Please feel welcome to pick up a signed book and print (the perfect gifts for any avid readers on your list if out for early holiday shopping), or just meet and chat with author and illustrator R. S. Markel and enjoy the beautiful works of the Cedar Art Studios artists. Light refreshments will be served.
The wonderful artists producing beautiful work at Cedar Art Studios in Boulder have invited R. S. Markel to be the guest artist for the Open Studios First Friday Artwalk on November 4, 2016 from 5:30pm until 9pm. Please come and join the Cedar Art Studios artists, R. S. Markel, and the Lillybeth and Hinsberth books and prints for what is sure to be a fun autumn evening.
A signed copy of Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Edges of Things and a print have been donated to Kutandara Center's "Moon and Stars" silent auction fundraiser. The Kutandara Center is an organization devoted to building community through music.
Yesterday was National Book Lover's day in the US, and as part of the ongoing celebrations I would like to share a quote. I first read this quote at the age of ten, after my father gave me the book Cosmos as a gift. As a writer, I could not agree more. Books truly are magic.
"What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."
-Carl Sagan, Cosmos (Random House, 1980)
R. S. Markel and the Lillybeth and Hinsberth books and prints will be at the Boulder Chorale concert at FUMC as part of the annual fundraiser on December 11th from 4 to 6 and December 13 from 7 to 9. Come and enjoy the beautiful holiday music and gifts!
R. S. Markel and the Lillybeth and Hinsberth books and prints will be at the West of Broadway Holiday Art Show on Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th from noon to four. The event is to be held at the beautiful Silver Sage Common House, 1650 Yellow Pine Avenue in Boulder. Please feel free to come and join us!
A signed copy of Lillybet Hinsberth: The Edges of Things and a print have been donated to the Thorne Nature Experience "Natural Night Out" annual fundraising event to take place on October 23rd. Thorne Nature Experience is an outdoor education center for children.
A signed copy of Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Essence of Things and a print have been donated to There with Care's "Red Carpet Adventure" silent auction fundraiser. There with Care is an organization which helps families with children who are facing medical crisis. The "Red Carpet Adventure" is There with Care's annual signature fundraising event and will be held on Septemeber 28th in Denver and September 29th in Boulder. Please visit the There with Care site for more information.
The Goodreads giveaway of Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Edges of Things, ends Saturday, January 31st. Please follow this link: here if you wish to enter.
Our large and mostly reticent but nevertheless thought provoking porcine friend Abselard has offered to share a few opinions in his editorial series, The Morning Conversation. The latest entry is titled: Stories to Expand Your Horizons.
The team here is hard at work converting the formatting and graphics of the books to Kindle format. Due to the high resolution illustrations, the number of pages and identical formatting to the printed books the Kindle files will be significantly larger than most downloads, so please be patient if you choose to download the Kindle book!
Introducing an editorial series steeped in considerable opinion concerning the world of The Farm and beyond, generously offered by none other than the distinguished Mr. Abselard from R. S. Markel's literary adventure series Lillybeth and Hinsberth. The Morning Conversation is intended to delight and entice a chuckle or two. Perhaps, there is a subject you wish for Mr. Abselard to chat about? If so, do let us know, and we will ask him for a word or two. The first topic in the series is Stories with Inspiring Messages.
R. S. Markel and all who have helped along the way are very excited to announce the availability of the 550 page heartwarming epic Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Essence of Things on Amazon and Create Space, and Barnes and Noble. Return to The Farm and prepare to embark upon a most uplifiting adventure!
R. S. Markel has added six new illustrations to the Illustration Gallery!
After much hard work we are pleased to present the new cover for Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Essence of Things, featuring hand drawn and painted illustrations by the author.rc="/images/essence-cover.png" alt="Lillybeth and Hinsberth the Essence of Things Book Cover" width="150" class="book-cover-image center" />
A signed copy of Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Edges of Things and a print have been donated to There with Care's "Red Carpet Adventure" silent auction fundraiser. There with Care is an organization on a mission to help families with children who are facing medical crisis. The "Red Carpet Adventure" is There with Care's annual signature fundraising event and will be held on Septemeber 12th in Denver and September 13th in Boulder. Please visit the There with Care site for more information.
You are invited to join us at Boulder's FastFrame for an exhibit featuring The Edges Effect. Meet author and illustrator R. S. Markel and Fiber Artist Julie Ireland on July 26, 2014 from 3 to 5pm! Refreshments and light snacks will be served.
2327 30th St, Boulder, CO 80301
Thank you Kim Obert of Fast Frame in Boulder. Why? Because she has invited us into her beautiful store for the months of July and August 2014. We are so grateful to be able to display the artistic works of R. S. Markel and his first novel, Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Edges of Things alongside the work of fiber artist Julie Ireland.Please feel welcome to join us at the Gallery Opening:
One of the local school districts is having a silent auction to help raise funds for the Trip Tracker initiative encouraging staff, parents, and students to be healthy and use their own muscle power to get to school. If interested in helping this program R. S. Markel has donated a signed copy of Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Edges of Things and a limited edition print to the silent auction, and while the auction is active you may bid here.
Presented here in visual form are the details regarding the upcoming exhibition of The Edges Effect artistic collaboration between author & illustrator R. S. Markel and fiber artist Julie Ireland at the Dona Laurita Fine Art Gallery in Old Town Louisville, Colorado. Please feel welcome to come and join R. S. Markel and the Lillybeth and Hinsberth books and prints for an enjoyable evening of art, conversation and refreshments.
A gallery exhibit of R. S. Markel's books and illustrations will be held at the Dona Laurita, Photography & Fine Art gallery in Old Town Louisville. The exhibit will run for three full weekends in May 2014! Along with the Lillybeth and Hinsberth books and prints the beautiful work of Fiber Artist Julie Ireland will also be on display. More details will be forthcoming.
R. S. Markel has penciled nine new illustrations viewable in the Illustration Gallery.
In anticipation of R. S. Markel’s forthcoming second novel Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Essence of Things a few of the new characters have been included.
Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Edges of Things is now for sale at all three Tattered Cover locations.
Tattered Cover on Colfax Avenue
2526 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80206
Toll Free: 1-800-833-9327
Hours: Mon - Sat, 9am to 9pm; Sun 10am to 6pm
Tattered Cover in Historic LoDo
1628 16th Street, Denver, CO 80202
Hours: Mon - Fri, 6:30am to 9pm; Sat 9am to 9pm; Sun 10am to 6pm
Tattered Cover at Highlands Ranch
9315 Dorchester Street, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
Store Hours: Mon - Sat 9am to 9pm; Sun10am - 6pm
Cafe Hours: Mon - Fri 7am to 9pm; Sat 8am to 9pm; Sun 8am to 6pm
Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013
Come join R. S. Markel for a cozy and fun afternoon! There will be readings by the author (top of hour), live music, light refreshments and custom gift wrapping. The Edges of Things will be available and R. S. Markel will be available to share a chat and sign your copy.
Here is a little something to brighten your Monday: a new character interview with the plucky, feathered protagonist Monique Plummage! Feel free to read Mrs. Plummage, and feel free to send a message if you have any questions for her or the other characters from the world of Lillybeth and Hinsberth, as more interviews will soon be forthcoming.
The illustrations for Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Edges of Things have been completed. It has taken a substantial degree of effort but the first Lillybeth and Hinsberth book has been festooned with illustrations. For the visual among us I hope the drawings will make the experience of reading the text even more enjoyable as I have endeavored to capture the essence of each character's personality without giving too much detail. Only a bit more work left to regarding the interior formatting and then, hopefully, on to publication.
After nearly two years, at long last Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Edges of Things is nearing publication.
We are working very hard on finishing the final touches for Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Edges of Things. I am tremendously excited to be able to finally share this book, originally written for my daughter, with a wider audience. I can only hope it brings a little smile, a little joy and a little inspiration to readers.
A new illustration titled A Single Feather, portraying a touching scene fromLillybeth and Hinsberth: The Edges of Things has been entered into the Illustration Gallery. More illustrations are awaiting their place in the gallery and will soon be posted.
R. S. Markel has invited Mr. Abselard, a dear porcine friend, confidant and resident of The Farm, to share a few thoughts on a wide smattering of topics gleaned from the pig's venerable tradition of the morning conversation. We do hope you enjoy this new addition.
Sign up to receive R. S. Markel's newsletter "The Anati Daily" and receive updates on news and events and the forthcoming third installment to the heartwarming Lillybeth and Hinsberth trilogy.
Follow your dreams! Author, illustrator, scientist, engineer and generally curious character R. S. Markel is available to present The Wisdom of Ducklings at your next event or engagement.
I am a writer and illustrator of books for young (and young at heart) readers who have a passion for exploring fantastic places, impossible events, and the magic and mysteries of our world. Please feel free to read a bit about my work and peruse the character essays and illustrations. I do hope you enjoy this small glimpse into the whimsical world of Lillybeth and Hinsberth.