Loucks Studios, Inc. Blog
Request Date: 9/3/2018
The Dragon in the Clock Box
Authors: M. Jean Craig and Kelly Oechsli
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co, Inc.; 1st edition (1962)
- ISBN-10: 0448210061
- ISBN-13: 978-0448210063
Peacock Books & Wildlife Art by Lisa Loucks Christenson is a division of Loucks Studios, Inc.
David and Lisa Loucks Christenson have opened a new bookstore, Peacock Books & Wildlife Art, "in a dark wood-lined, 325-square-foot space on the west side of the Kahler Grand Hotel" in downtown Rochester, Minn. The Post-Bulletin reported that "things haven't gone exactly as planned. The original idea was to open the s
Lisa Loucks Christenson's WOLVES OF WHITEWATER FALLS Series book trailer features the new cover art for two of the books in this 12 book and growing ghost town saga. Re-developed as episodes, five per book are slated to release July 22, 2016 and onward.
Kerk and Derk creator Emme Jo Christenson. The Kerk and Derk comic is published monthly in the Victory Voice.
Emme is a 16-year-old artist whose been drawing since she was 18 months. At age 4, her dream was to work for Ninetendo®, years later, she still works towards a career in animation and art, and would love to work for Ghibli Studios, maybe one day?
You may purchase the Kerk and Derk high resolution comics on our site for downloads, or signed prints.
BOOK DIVAS™ REVIEW: PAINT MY BODY RED
AUTHOR: Heidi R. Kling
PUBLISHER: Entangled Publishing, LLC www.entagledpublishing.com
RELEASE DATE: 11/2/2015
REVIEWER: Lisa Loucks Christenson
Heidi R. Kling's Paint My Body Red, though written for YA, is sure to resonate with readers of all ages. Kling's story sends the reader right into the heart of relationships, bonds, people we cling to, people we lose whether we're ready to let go or not. How we continue is sure to open up talk. Talk is good, it may even save a life.
Writing about sensitive topics, not just one suicide, but several isn't exactly "peace" work. Kling not only delves into her characters' innermost triggers, she shares the rawness of their lives. Some of Kling's characters commit suicide leaving their loved ones and friends searching their paths forward. Kling writes with an emotional impact that doesn't end with chapter headings or their page numbers, her writing sinks in, it rides along with you hitched into your mind.
Paint My Body Red reaches in, yanks at your heart, then stalls your thoughts before redirecting them into a fictional world with characters painted with dark flaws and angst set against undeniable hope and promise. Kling's writing style has an edgy depth that will bite into your thoughts, drifting deeper than her Wyoming snow scenes, which are quite picturesque, when not buried in complexities or pain, that bring forth hope and promising futures.
Paint My Body Red is written with empathy and respect for the living and the dead, roping the reader into a trip of emotional highs and lows through seemingly real characters; gently leading the reader to a place where they may understand a thing or two about setting their inner "Scout" free, and in doing so, may recognize their dreams will, forever, run free in their own valleys.
Kling opens her book with a powerful quote from CRAZY HORSE, building a fictional world around the real suicide tragedies in her own hometown, she takes us to a place within ourselves, where untouchable thoughts reside; feelings that remain hidden and aren't spoken about. However, by the the end of this story, Kling's fictional Eight Hands Ranch, crafted and built on an infinite number, is set and ready to begin healing its infinite number of future fictional visitors (a sequel would be nice), while the characters lives live on: circling through the memories of her readers.
This book reminds me of a quote, "Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle. . . . The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood. And so it is in everything where power moves."
BLACK ELK, OGLALA SIOUX (1863-1950)
Paint My Body Red will encircle you in its power. Kling's words . . . will move you. ––Lisa Loucks Christenson, Book Divas™
Read the Interview on Book Divas by Heidi R. Kling
Genre: Contemporary YA Romance
Sub-genre: YA Mysteries &Thrillers
Name of Publisher: Entangled Teen
FTC AND PUBLIC NOTICE DISCLOSURE: Lisa Loucks Christenson, a member of the media asked to interview Heidi R. Kling. There's no expectation of a product to be sent or given to receive an interview. There is no expectation to advertise.
For the Book Review: One electronic book from the publisher was sent to the reviewer, who read and decided to submit an honest review. The publisher provided a free e-book hoping I would mention it on my blogs. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I'm disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
©2015 Lisa Loucks Christenson of Book Divas™ All Rights Reserved
I was lucky enough to interview author Joanne Macgregor, who is an author from South Africa. Check out her new book, Scarred. If you wan to enter the "Scarred" e-book giveaway, send your name, e-mail address, and in the subject line write "SCARRED" to enter. But get your entry to us by 11/30/15 by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time, because we draw the winner on 12/1/15. Entrant understands this is an e-book giveaway, an Amazon Gift e-Book, and entrant understands they will need to have a way to read the file with an e-reader that reads Kindle books.
TO ENTER Send an email to: Lisa@BookDivas.com.
Lisa Loucks Christenson
Wolves of Whitewater Falls is a book series by Lisa Loucks Christenson.
©2015 Lisa Loucks Christenson ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Title: The Model Maker
Author: Award-winning story by Lisa Loucks Christenson
Word Count: 55,000 words
Genre: Vintage Romance, Time Travel
Release: July 2018
Publisher: Snowy River Press
Lisa wrote her award-winning short story, in a few hours with her baby daughter on her lap. Somehow, she wrote it, but even more amazing, she won a contest with it. There were so many people who wrote in and thanked Lisa for her story (see below), she promised herself she'd expand it, some day, when time allowed.
Finally, the novelized version is complete, this time with a cat on her lap, while she wrote, edited, and expanded her award-winning, original story by another 54,000 words, give or take a few.
Lisa sends a special thanks to her classmates at Gotham Writers, and especially to her instructor, Leigh Michaels. Thank you all for believing in me! Thank you to my family who happily cheered me on. Thank you to my grandparents––now in heaven, that were in every sense–– including becoming the models for the cover of the novel––my inspiration for the hero and heroine, Jonathon and Cora. Thank you Don at the Plains Time Dealer in Cresco, Iowa, for your tour of the Opera House and its stories, for publishing the story––way back when. Thank you Cresco, Iowa for your hospitality, every time I pass through, to the librarians who helped me pull old newspapers for developing my ideas for the novel and for offering visitors an extraordinary town to visit. This story is rooted in your history and I am grateful for every visit.
The book will be released in July of 2018.
Here's what people are saying about Lisa’s award-winning story, THE MODEL MAKER: “I thought The Model Maker was reminiscent of a shortened, "Twilight Zone" episode or a Ray Bradbury story--and that ain't bad! The only thing wrong with this story is that it was too short! I wanted more!”––S.B. / Columbus, OH
"Dear Lisa, Congratulations on your award for your short story The Model Maker. I enjoyed it both as a writer and as a miniaturist. I shared the story with several friends who are doll house enthusiasts and they loved it also. One thinks it would make a lovely illustrated book for adults another said she would like to see a room box based on your story. One friend, a published author and miniaturist, just lost her husband two weeks ago. She was especially moved and promises to reread it many times. Good luck with your future writing.”––M.H.C.
"What a wonderful story. I loved it and wish Lisa had expanded it to a book. I read it with tears. Loved her portrayal and know she has the ability to make it a full story. Her talent should be encouraged and rewarded. Thanks for sharing.”––Mary
"Dear Lisa, I subscribe to a daily digest called "Small Stuff". The members are all people interested in anything miniature. There are artisans, crafters, and beginning doll house makers like me. One of our members read your winning story "The Model Maker" and posted the website in our latest digest, suggesting we read your story. I loved the story! You are a very talented storyteller! I hope you continue to write. I'm sure others also enjoy your story.”––S.Z.S. Bakersfield, CA
Opening lines from Lisa’s award-winning story THE MODEL MAKER: (THIS IS THE ORIGINAL OPENING FOR THE SHORT STORY ONLY)
At seventy-seven, Cora Stephans, a model maker, was nearing completion of her grand masterpiece. The city of Cresco, Iowa, commissioned her to create a room-size mechanical townscape based on her life study of the area, and they were darn lucky to get her for the job, too.
A self-taught engineer whose creations had brought historical figures back to life at the World Fairs from decades past, Cora was a robotics imaginer before the terms were even invented. During her studies over the years more than one man had studied her. In fact, if you asked Cora what made those old men blush, she'd confess, 'Beauty is only skin deep, but mine's still a dollar short of pin money.' Whatever that meant.
She ignored the leers of the widowers, and bypassed the steady gaze from men who never did settle long enough to marry. Cora avoided divorced men, because they couldn't forget their old baggage. After losing Jonathon, her only love, she ignored her yearnings. Living for her art was a hollow substitution for love, and Cora knew this in her heart, but it kept one's mind and hands occupied. The townscape of Cresco took years to create and each character had to be individually designed.
From handmade curtains to authentic flooring, everything within the walls of Cora's townscapes contained the stories, the hopes, and the dreams of real people. Who could resist the country general store? When you opened the door, a saggy bloodhound lifted its head from its paws and howled.
Every store was animated with characters and props that moved lights and fans that worked. The player piano cranked out a tune and the mechanical bartender poured a mug of beer. Cora struggled for a week trying to figure out how to keep the beer mugs frosted. She credited her mechanical skills to her father.
Everyone respected Harlan Stephans, he was witty and gifted. He could make anything tick and come alive. In moment of great weakness, Cora wanted to believe that if he had been alive when Jonathon had died, that her father would have found a way to save him, too. Cora tapped into her father's gift and expanded upon it . . . .
Release: August 21, 2018
Still Focused Here: A 40 Year Pictorial History of Rochester, Minnesota
Written and Photographed by #1 International Bestselling Author & Illustrator Lisa Loucks Christenson
In 1978, Lisa Loucks was 13-years-old but did something that changed the focus of her future: she bought her first SLR film camera, a Minolta SRT 201. With five years of photography already under her belt, shooting eight-packs of Polaroid® film (some of her favorite images), taking pictures with her first 110mm camera, her parent 126mm, later a Super 8mm and Super 8mm Sound movie cameras she wouldn’t have understood, then, how important the timing of making her first major purchase of her life was, or how that God-timed decision become the actual seeds for this book—40 years later. Who can doubt God's timing?
Lisa didn’t know how F-stops and shutter speeds worked together. Her other cameras were all point and shoot. She barely understood lighting or how the slight or drastic changes to it, lack of it, shooting images in different weather, indoors or outdoors affected the outcome of her images. She couldn’t see, then, how florescent, tungsten, or incandescent light was any different than the ambient light inside or outside. To her, light was light, or it was almost light, almost dark, or there was no light and it was really dark. She bought filters to “correct” the lighting in her images, lighting that appeared perfectly fine as she observed things, but her images didn’t return or share that same experience. She didn’t understand her flash unit, she didn’t understand how fall-off worked, how bouncing light or adding more flash units changed shapes, offered hair lights, backlights, or even when to use a “fill” flash. She had barely figured out how taking longer or shorter exposures varied her results, according to the various lighting conditions, with or without the filters, flash.
Lisa was in training for something about to change her destiny, her vision. Shoot, sink or swim.
She did learn, however, the faster she could figure out “lighting” and how it worked with her cameras controls, her flash, filters, or how to pan and drag as she shot: would make the exact difference in well-exposed images or not, flash-frozen action or blurred images, how creating: orange, blue, purple, magenta, green, yellow, or red people was a choice of filters or flash, usually.
More importantly, she never forgot the emotional weight a pack of pictures had after she picked up her shots from the camera shop. The gut-wrenching lot of “not” was a tough lesson that clicked in her thoughts, and every time thereafter, when she pressed her shutter. That get-it-right the first time or pay for under or over-exposed images—out of whatever meager teenager wages there were left.
She couldn't understood, then, how those first two months with camera in hand, along with a heap of failed exposures were her first rolls of training for her future. Pictures that carved an unforgettable path to her losses and were the education, a tuition of sorts, to the critical role those paid exposures, good and bad shots, that played in learning her craft. Paid in full.
Then, the tides turned--they always do, right? Lisa, armed with her trusty Minolta (as she referred to it), wasn’t afraid of the rising water, she was right there above it, beside it, shooting her first news images, what would become her first and most important historical images. This time, with confidence of her paid-training. She didn’t fumble. She knew how to shoot under the dull lighting, against the rapid flow of the Zumbro River––at least 23 feet above flood stage and right under her feet on the bridge. She knew how to expose the film to get images that, literally, flashed by. Images some Rochester residents will never forget — the 1978 flood.
A couple years later, she went on to win her first national photo contest, giving Lisa her first national tear sheet, a now, dog-earred copy that hangs in her kitchen, a reminder tier one on her career path. Her journey with a camera and later a pen, enough to sustain her, spiritually, help her raise her family, and lead her on to her wildlife documentaries, her publishing company and beyond.
This is the story of Rochester, Minnesota through Lisa’s journey, through her eyes, through her every click of the shutter—on her Minolta SRT-201 and its predecessors. This story is Lisa’s gift back to her hometown––the place she’s called home, even while she away at college.
There's one thing about Rochester, Minnesota, the place she calls home, that place in her heart that still calls to her soul summoning her to roam around –– but bring her camera . . . so much so, she penned her motto: “Stories Picturing Daily Life”.