Cristy Burne

Science writer, children's author, editor

Slime-licking demons, taiko drums, and a very wriggly baby

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akaname

Thanks to Patrick Gannon for this awesome idea of what an akaname might look like. I think one thing becomes very clear from reading this: you need to clean your bathroom people!

So it turns out one of the big things about publishing is that it takes longer than I ever imagined. Apparently Takeshita Demons will come out in June 2010, after being “unearthed” late April 2009. Translation: a fairly straightforward book takes longer to brew than a baby! I sit here 37 weeks pregnant. My book is only 5 weeks into its 56-week gestation. I guess I’ll just have to learn patience.

Clean your bathrooms people!

Since I last met with publisher Janetta I’ve put together a wicked proposal for two more Takeshita Demons books, both of which are super-scary and follow Miku and her pals on further supernatural adventures. It’s really amazing how many cool demons are out there. This time I managed to include my favourite, the akaname (aka-na-me). He’s a groovy little guy who likes to lick the slime from poorly cleaned bathrooms. He comes out at night, when you’re asleep in your bed, so if you wake up needing to go to the loo, watch out!! Check the bathroom ceiling, check inside the bath. If it’s been a while since you cleaned your bathroom, chances are the akaname is cleaning it for you.

Kodo’s “One Earth Tour”

And in other news, Doug and I went to see Kodo, the world’s most awesome taiko drumming group, at the Southbank Centre. They were incredible! Tickets were less than ten pounds and theykodoekkyo only played two nights: we snapped them up just in time. Their flyer says that taiko “is felt in the body, as much as heard,” and that’s entirely true. Kodo is a full-body experience. When those drums are going, the whole place is fizzing, your whole body is humming. The baby was going mental…he wriggled through the entire performance and was pretty much asleep all the next day.

Seeing Kodo is as much theatre as concert. The performers are as much athletes as they are musicians. Their stamina and muscular strength leave me gaping. The skill and control required to pound those drums with such rhythm and unrelenting power…breathtaking. We were in the second-back row and I could see thigh muscles rippling, back muscles shining: that’s the kind of power I’m talking. This was the second time I’d seen them (the first was in Japan) and both times the audience has erupted into joyous, spontaneous applause, clapping along to the finale and standing to give the players an ovation they truly deserved. If you ever get a chance to see them—especially for nine pounds—do it. It’s magic.

Author: cristyburne

Author: http://www.cristyburne.com

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