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Sunsets and Baby Bunnies

Spring is in the air! It's the perfect time for amazing sunsets!


So much is happening in the Land of Stones in March! There is something for every bunny. Spring is near and with it come baby bunnies and spectacular sunsets. In this newsletter you will find Ebby's origin story and how they celebrate Easter--Elusive Baby Bunny style-- in the Land of Stones. Next, you will see four of my sunset paintings in Ebby the Magnificent, together with the source photos. I'll also tell you about Ebby's recent school visits with real live children. Spoiler alert: they are similar to adults, but smaller and younger. On the merchandise front, it's our first Annual Bunnython Sale! We're celebrating Easter and the Year of the Dragon with all bunny and dragon themed merchandise, hard and softcover books, Art greeting cards and Ebby-themed T-shirts on my website on sale, plus everything comes with free bunnies!


The "real" Ebby, Spring, and Easter in Croatia.



The "real" Ebby, Spring, and Easter in Croatia.

  

I found the REAL Ebby in the spring of 2020, shortly after the pandemic hit. It was March and I was conducting our daily "Bunsus" (Bunny Census) as I walked in our neighborhood. It was not unusual to see 30-50 bunnies every day, but they all ran away if you got too close.

 

One Magnificent day, I came across a baby bunny eating dandelions. She was fearless, and completely undeterred by my presence. She stood on her back legs eating one large dandelion leaf after another. I wanted to paint her, but first I needed get a high-quality photo. I hounded her like the Paparazzi for days, but she was never outside when I checked on her. After several fruitless attempts, I started calling her an "elusive baby bunny." The harder she was to find, the more I wanted to find her. I shortened her name to EBB, and then to Ebby. Finally, one glorious day, she was outside when I had my camera at the ready. I spent about 20 minutes with her taking hundreds of pictures. Little did I know that Ebby would soon change my life, both literally and figuratively. Her portrait adorns the cover of her book and she is the model for all the bunny pictures in my book.


Easter in the Land of Stones.


Like many places in the world, Easter is a celebration involving seemingly incongruous symbols: bunnies, eggs, and chocolates. Croatia is no different, and yet they have taken this holiday to the height of gourmet decadence. For one thing, spring in Fluffle Valley means wild asparagus. It grows everywhere in our valley once the spring thaw has hit and there has been the perfect combination of rain and sun. One day, it's nowhere to be seen, and the next day it is everywhere if you know where to look. Wild asparagus is thinner, but much more flavorful than its fatter domestic cousin. People come from the cities and towns to pick asparagus in Fluffle Valley. It's hard to find enough to fill your tummy, so it is typically served in the form of a risotto (with fresh grated Grana Padano cheese from Italy) or with boiled eggs, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Eggs are boiled and colored in various ways and are almost considered a delicacy in Croatia during this time of year, so it's the perfect compliment to wild asparagus. Interesting note: Eggs are sold in cartons of 10. Why, you ask? Because of the metric system, of course! They don't even know what a dozen is! Back to asparagus: You know you are one of the family when you are offered a dish containing wild asparagus, such a delicacy it is. Below is a picture of me and my sweet friend, Medo. He liked to accompany me when I went hunting asparagus in the forest around our house. Medo is not with us anymore, but his memory will live on forever in my second book, Rebby the Gallant.

Aside from asparagus, if you live in Vinodol, the region of Croatia where my sweet husband is from, they make a Easter "bread" unlike any other I have had. It is called "Prisnac" in our little village but is largely unknown in other parts of Croatia. John's cousin Darko makes the best Prisnac I've ever had. He combines 20 eggs, dried ham, green onions, and fresh cow cheese, then mixes it with flour and other secret ingredients. It's not a quiche, not a bread. It is Prisnac. And it is deliciously decadent. We are not going to be in Croatia this Easter, but my thoughts, and my tastebuds will be there in spirit.



Sunsets, one of the beautiful things in life we can all enjoy over and over again.



I love sunsets. I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. "Sandia" means "watermelon" in Spanish, and the Sandia Mountains turn bright pink at sunset. (This photo was taken by my friend, Pamm Wynn from her patio in Albuquerque). It was fun watching them get brighter and more vibrant with each second that passed. When I started to paint, one of the first things I wanted to learn how to paint were clouds and sunsets. I still love to take pictures of them and paint them in the most vivid fashion.

Sunsets play a big role in my book. It is this infinite and mysterious beauty that propels Ebby to leave Fluffle Valley to find out where the sun goes every day. It is what Ebby and her friends gather to watch at the end of their day's journey as they pause to reflect on their adventures.


There are four sunset scenes in my book. Each one was from somewhere totally different, but they all fit perfectly in the Land of Stones. The first is of the Olympic Peninsula in Northern Washington State taken by my friend Pam Henker. I took the last three photos. The second painting is of the California coast looking at the Pacific Ocean up north near Eureka. The third is way up in the New Mexico Rocky Mountains in Angel Fire. The last one is in Montana, near Yellowstone. Which one do you like the most?


Ebby the Magnificent is now available in a deluxe softcover version and it's on sale for 20% off now through March 31!


Ebby the Magnificent is available in a deluxe softcover First Edition, which makes a perfect Easter gift for anyone who does not want the weight and heft of the hardcover book, plus it is guaranteed not to cause cavities. Available only at www.jwjulian.com, through me personally, and at a few select independent bookstores, like White Oak Books in Vancouver, Washington, Hammer and Jacks in Portland, Oregon, and Bookara in Zagreb, Croatia.


Ebby the Magnificent loves kids as much as they love her!

This past month I had the pleasure of presenting Ebby the Magnificent to all the second, third, and fourth graders at Vancouver Innovation, Technology and Art School in Vancouver at the invitation of Kathleen Nedved, the school librarian. I read one chapter to the third and fourth grade classes, and discussed art and civil rights issues with the second graders. I also brought some of my original paintings to show them. They, in turn, peppered me with lots of fun questions about where I have traveled and, my favorite question, "how did you become such a great painter?" Makes my heart melt to think about it. Following up with my presentation, they were given an assignment to draw up their own Magnificent character and story line. Such creative kids, and it was so fun to inspire them to write characters whose core essence was kindness! The biggest and most unexpected treat is when they gave me their homework! Aria's is below.

I am available for readings, presentations, lectures, or anything else you can think of that involves Ebby and kids of any age or any sized group, private, public, or anything in between. Please contact me at jessica@jwjulian.com.



The Kindle or electronic version of Ebby on Amazon is available for the low price of $2.99. The electronic book is every bit as beautiful as the print versions, with the same gorgeously designed interior. If you prefer reading your book on a screen, this is the way to go!


Ebby the Magnificent T-shirts are here!!

Gorgeous new T-Shirts featuring Ebby and Sofia have arrived and are available on my website and are available for 20% off for the Spectacular Bunnython Event! These cotton Fruit of the Loom shirts have already received rave reviews. If you don't see your size or if there is a different painting from my book that you would like to wear, just reach out to me at jessica@jwjulian.com.




Upcoming Book Signing at White Oak Books

I will be at White Oak Books, Vancouver's gorgeous new independent and woman-owned bookstore, on Friday, April 4 from 4-8 for Uptown's First Friday Event. In addition to signing and selling books, I will have original art on display and canvas prints, T-shirts, and art greeting cards for sale. Drop by and say hi and see the most beautiful bookstore. Even if you can't make the event, be sure to stop by White Oak Books and meet Sara Glavin and her amazing team of book aficionados! White Oak Books is located at 1700 Main Street, Vancouver, WA 98660. She LOVES Ebby and is the FIRST bookseller to go all in on Ebby! Call (360) 949-6928 or drop by in person and tell her Ebby sent you.



Thank you to everyone who responded to my last newsletter. I love hearing from you! Feel free to share this newsletter--the more, the merrier. You can also share anything else you’d like to tell me, including suggestions for future newsletters, special merch requests, your review of Ebby, speaking engagements, or anything else.


Happy reading and hoppy adventures!

J. W. Julian






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