If you're a dreamer, a wisher, a liar
A hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean buyer
If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin
Come in...come in...
~Shel Silverstein

Monday, September 24, 2012

Infernal Devices Craft and fun story about the amazingness of Cassandra Clare

Hi guys!

I have a cool story I wanted to tell about one of my all time favorite writers-- Cassandra Clare. Right around this time last year, Cassie had a contest for a signed ARC of Clockwork Prince. The point of the contest was to make something (a book cover, a video, song, dance, drawing, poem etc...) literally anything creative that showed how much you love the book, "Clockwork Angel." 

My son and I both entered. (Along with a TON of other entries)  Unfortunately, something went wrong with the site that was hosting her contest, so--even though I got the entries in on time--the hosting website marked them as past the cut-off date. Cassandra Clare never even saw them.

I'd worked hard on my entry, which I'm getting ready to show you in a few minutes.  But, Chance's (my son's) was on a whole different level. He'd spent weeks filming himself with the book in places he wasn't  supposed to be--a concept only a teenage boy could come up with. haha.

 I ended up writing to Cassie Clare, explaining the situation, and asking her if she could watch Chance's video. At that point, the prizes had already been announced. I explained that I wasn't trying to be a complaining parent and I understood the mix-up wasn't her fault. I didn't want her to re-vote on the contest or something. I just wanted Chance to know that his favorite author had at least seen the contest entry he'd worked so hard on. I sent her the link.

I got this email back from her ten minutes later:

Dear Tammy,

You are absolutely right. It did look like the video came in after the cutoff date. 

And you are also right. It is a fantastic video. Chance clearly put a huge amount of effort into it and I'm glad you called my attention to it. It deserved a first prize and it should get one.

I've edited the post that states the winners and I will figure out *some way* to get him a copy of the new book if I have to print it out myself!

And don't worry, you don't sound complainy. Sometimes moms think the things their kids do are fantastic just because they are their moms. Sometimes they're right. :)


Chance was SO happy. This all happened a year ago, but I really wanted to put it on my blog now that I finally have one. 

So--without further ado--here is the  video that ended up winning first place in Cassie's ARC contest! If you take a couple minutes to watch, you should really put it on full screen, otherwise you miss a lot of the cooler details.

Below, I put a lot of pics of my contest entry. I didn't ask Cassie to look at that one (I didn't want to sound too pushy. haha) So I don't think she ever even saw it because of the mix-up with the host site. But that's cool, cause I had fun making it and now it's hanging on my wall and it inspired me to make more. I want to eventually have different book canvases all over my bedroom. So, this is my first one. 

 I don't know how much detail you can see, but it's very steampunk. It's got all the clocks around it. The writing in the middle is from a poem about the Thames River that the book started with. The entire book, I was so immersed in London I could practically feel the rain dripping off the pages. Since the Thames is such an integral part of that atmosphere, I wanted to include the poem --and also, the blue on the bottom represents the river itself. The skyline is London. Then there is Will on one side, Jem on the other. The clock has Tessa's face and the clock hands are pointing to either boy. 

This is a closer view of Jem's side. You can see a hint of the box he keeps his medicine in. I actually researched how the box was described in the book and found a picture of it online. the sliver stuff around Jem is--of course--the drugs. If you look closely, you can see that Jem is holding his violin and his hair is silver.

Below is a close up of Tessa's clockwork angel necklace and Jem's Kwan-Yin box.
Below is a  close-up of Will's side. If you look, you can see the  cup that is traditionally used in churches. The water splashing down from the cup and around Will is, of course, holy water. Anyone who's read the books will get the reference

Below is a closer shot of the ouroboros--the two headed snake eating itself. In this picture, it's surrounding a few things. One is a mirror with a question mark on it. As Tessa has her ability to transform, this felt like a fitting symbol for her. The other things are the items Tessa  used to transform with throughout the course of the story.

One: The pink hair-ribbon from the Emma

Two: Jessamine's ring

Three: Camille's necklace. You can't see it in this picture but I put the words that are engraved on Camille's ruby necklace around the necklace I made. It was nowhere near as fancy, but it got the point across.

This is just a closer shot of the clock with Tessa on it.

All the clocks, the ouroboros, the clockwork angel, the roses, the river and most of the gearwork surrounding the picture were crafted from clay, baked, painted, decoupaged and shellacked.


P.S. I'm still in the kissing scene contest over at LUV YA  If you haven't voted yet, please go over there. This is the second to final week. If I make it through this week, I go against whoever won the Kiss Off contest. I'm super excited to have made it this far so please vote. I can't tell you which one is mine, but I can hope it's good enough for you to pick it on your own!! :)

P.S.S. Also, I didn't even really make a respectable showing in the Ghostly Blog Hop. Sniff. Anyone who hasn't read BEYOND and would like to leave their vote on it, that would be awesome. The contest only goes on until the thirtieth. I don't expect to win, but I don't want to be crushed. Please help me out and vote!! haha

P.S.S.S. Lastly, I'm still offering free first page critiques for anyone who goes over to I AM ALWAYS WRITE  to congratulate my critique partner on getting signed. YAY for Karen!!! If you'd like to put a congrats post up for her on your own blog, I'll critique your first chapter. :) If you'd like to know why you want a critique from me, click HERE. on. If you go over to her blog and leave a comment there, make sure to tell me if you want a critique. You can send your first page to tamaradwalsh  "at" yahoo "." com


  1. This was amazing. Really. It was. How exciting! That is some of the best news I've heard in awhile. Cassandra sounds like an amazing person.I am thrilled for your son. How proud yo must be of him:)

    And I love your art work. Truly outstanding!

    I haven't read the clockwork prince. yet. But I am very soon:)

    1. Thanks, it was really awesome. I did go back and add to the post that this all happened like a year ago. Not that it matters, but just so you know. I didn't have a blog back then though, and I thought it would be a cool thing to blog about. I was really proud of my son. It was SO cool to have her go back retroactively and declare him the winner. She seems super nice.

      And yes, Clockwork Prince was amazing, you have to read it. Of course, that's only if you've read Clockwork Angel--the first one in the trilogy. I can't WAIT until Clockwork Princess comes out. SO excited!!!

  2. That is so great she watched the video and amended the awards! Chance did a great job. Did you want to kill him when you saw some of those locations?

  3. Kill him? What??? Absolutely not. Who do you think was taking the pics? hehe

  4. Oh my God. I always wanted to have a modicum of talent to participate in a contest like that. Both entries were amazing!
    Clockwork Princess is definitively one of books that I'm anxiously waiting for. March CANNOT come soon enough.

    I love the details in your canvas. Loved Will's close up with the Holy Water. Loved Jem's violin. Basically, Loved it all.

    And just the other day, Cassie Clare responded a tweet of mine and I nearly fainted. She really is nice. I never thought she'd respond, so I deleted the original question because it had a typo. I was planning on sending the question in a new tweet (minus typo) and what do you know? While I was busy deleting it, she had already answered my question.

    1. Very cool! Yeah, she seems super nice.

      So glad you liked my canvas!! I don't have any real "artistic" talent like drawing or painting. But I'm pretty good with clay and I have a good eye for putting stuff together and unusual ideas on how to do it. That's all it takes!

  5. That is an amazing poster...I don't know the proper name for it so I shall call it a poster. But I also find it wonderful the time the author took to look at your son's video and then to redo the voting. I like authors like that, ones who take interest in their readers. I think it makes them even more amazing.


    1. Yeah, me too!! I mean, it made for an awesome story. When the winners were announced there were a few who were doing things similar to Chance's--but nowhere near as cool. Like the one kid sent in a few pics where he was standing on his sister's shoulders holding the book up high. He won an honorable mention and Cassie commented that she had put the picture up, because people were doing dangerous stunts to promote her books. haha. So me and Chance were like, "Whaaaat?" Chance was jumping around on trains!"

      I knew the website had been acting weird when I submitted our entries, but that's when I started wondering if she'd ever even seen his video. SO I looked into it more, found out she hadn't....and the rest you know.But it was cool because he went from not even winning an honorable mention to finding out he'd won first place. That was NOT what we expected to happen when I sent her the video. haha

      And thank-you for liking my canvas!!! It was fun to make. :)

  6. Wow! he did a fabulous job with this. I could see my son doing all these stunts, too, lol! Teenagers have a unique view of things. I'm glad Cassie saw this.

    Your poster is beautiful.


    1. Thank you, Sia!

      Glad you like the canvas. How old is your son? Mine is sixteen now, but he was fifteen when all this happened. I think one of the things Cassie liked was having a teenage guy enter on this contest that was overrun by girl entries. She put it up on her website with the caption, "See! Who said teenage boys don't read?" haha. It was cool.

      She (Cassie Clare) is going to be at the YA book festival in S.C. this November and my whole family is going. We are all HUGE fans of her stories. My grandson is named after her MC, Jace. So, when we meet her, Chance can say, "Hey. I'm the guy from the video" and she'll remember him. haha. Yes, I am excited!! I feel the same way about meeting Cassandra Clare as other people would feel about meeting Brad Pitt or something. haha.

      Thanks for stopping over!

  7. Wow, talented family. I really enjoyed your son's video! That soundtrack is one of my favorite songs. And I'm totally amazed by the time and effort you went to including so much symbolism in your art piece. it's truly stunning. Well done to both of you, and good work getting her to view your son's video!
    Tina @ Life is Good

    1. Thanks, Tina!

      He picked that song because it was on Cassandra Clare's playlist from when she wrote Clockwork Angel. We really love that song too though and we had so much fun making that video that every time I hear the song it brings back happy memories.

      Glad you liked my canvas! And thanks for stopping by. :)

  8. I voted for your Ever entry:-) Also, loved your artwork! I tried to watch your son's video but it wouldn't play for me:-( And I tagged you in The Next Big Thing hop on my blog today. P.S. Going to congrat your CP now~cheers

  9. Thanks Jamie!!! I really appreciate it!!!! I'm hopping over to your blog now. :)

  10. How nice of Cassandra Clare! And great job on your entries!


I love to hear from everyone! Thanks for the comment. :)