Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and reading resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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January 7, 2013: After some hard thought, I've decided to officially shut down this blog. I know I haven't updated it in a while, but I thought I should let you all know so you can remove it from your RSS feeds, etc.

Reason: I've decided that I need to find ways to make more time to read and create books.

I had great fun working on illustrating I'M BORED (written by Michael Ian Black, published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers in Sept/2012) and am now working on writing and/or illustrating new book projects. In addition to my picture book projects, I also want to get back to my novel writing.

My challenge: I want to do too many things and am currently involved in too many projects. My solution: To prioritize and cull.

You can find out what I'm working on at or follow me on Twitter at @inkyelbows.

Thanks so much for your support and interest in my projects.

-- Debbie

Entries in multimedia (1)


Diamond Age lust and thoughts on digital magazines

Ever since reading Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age, I've been lusting after one of those electronic newspapers that one of the characters reads in the morning, customized just for his own areas of interests. Yes, we've had websites that help a user find customized content, but you need to read the content on your laptop or small iPhone screen.

Then (yay!) I got my Apple iPad. Sure, it's not as thin as the electronic newspaper described Neal Stephenson books but it's a step closer. It's easier to curl up on a couch with my iPad than it is my laptop.

So far, though, I'm not totally excited by the digital magazine offerings out there. I subscribed to Maclean's magazine through Zinio, for example, but it's a straight print-to-digital copy. National Geographic's iPad edition is more interactive, but still doesn't take full advantage of the medium. Wired magazine's special iPad edition included a lot more interactive features, but I found navigation a headache.

When it comes to regular reading, I'd love to have a magazine where I could easily customize the content to focus on what I want to read, and what I may want to read. With the magazines I get through Zinio, I find it a pain to page through the advertisements, plus I find the text too small to comfortably read without zooming in. I'd be happy to pay extra to NOT have advertisements but instead be able to customize the content and appearance.

For me, interactivity is a big plus but not a necessity when reading a publication on my iPad. Readability, ease of navigation and customizable content is more important. It would be great to have a video accompany an article about an author, for example, but not if it's slow-loading or off-topic. So many publishers seem to be throwing in interactivity just to be able to SAY they have interactive publications, rather than make it a well-integrated and useful component that contributes to the overall content.

I'd also like to be able to read the magazine offline. That way if I know I'm heading to an area without Wifi, I can still count on the content still being accessible.

So far, I haven't found any digital magazine or newspaper that does this (correct me if I'm wrong), but I'm hoping I won't have to wait for much longer.