Sunday, November 27, 2011

Location, location, location

It was a bit like finding out that your child has been put in third grade, when you know she is ready for fourth. 

Yesterday I was in a bookstore that displayed “Mousenet” (8 – 12) in the “Younger Readers” section, the chapter-book territory in which (give or take a genius or two) few kids will be ready for 400 pages and the concepts of climate change. Meanwhile “Secrets at Sea” (also with mice on the cover, also for children 8 – 12 but half the length of "Mousenet") is safely parked in the “Older Readers” section, right next to “Wonderstruck.” Grr. Yes, I had a word with the management. And yes, I’ll check in a few days to see if my book has been promoted.

But that sort of aggravation seems insignificant next to the news percolating out of my brother’s blog from the Congo, where elections are due tomorrow. If the current president wins, expect violent unrest. If the opposition wins, expect violent unrest. Emergency evacuation plans. Emergency supplies of food and water and razor wire in case the evacuation plans don’t work.

Now, there’s a country that could use the Mouse Nation.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

For the birds

Birds? This is for you. As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve found a centerpiece for our environmentally superior non-lawn. And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy for my daughter and me to set it up. The d**n thing comes in two pieces, but each weighs about 70-80 pounds because this isn’t one of those plastic jobs. Oh no. This is stone. Nothing but the best for our birds. And what happens? How do you react? It’s been in place for almost a week now, and as far as I can tell not one bird has even been near the thing. Yes I know it’s November, but we’ve had some nice warm days. Would it kill you to stick in a foot? Dip in a beak, at least?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Back to normal? Not so much

It’s still hard to settle back to normal life, and to get on with Book Three (same characters, visiting an English stately home). I find myself spending far too much time dwelling on Mousenet’s progress. Hours go by as I massage the website to arrange photos, tidy up links, and update the Big Cheese’s memo warning his subjects that a book is now at large that tells the truth about mice. Hours rummaging around in the Internet, where my current favorite site is “Fresh Ink,” operated by a bookstore in Cambridge Mass, where people between seven and seventeen review books. (Thank you, Ellen, 9, who wrote that “Mousenet is a great book,” and Zoe, 11, who would “recommend this book to anyone who likes sweet fantasy.”)

Meanwhile Henry is off in a site called World Cat that lets him spy on the catalogs of every library in the world, and sing out deliciously distracting gems of information like, “Sixteen copies on order in San Antonio.”

But one of these days I’ll get my mind back to Book Three, where I left Sir Quentin in the gloved hand of a footman, face to face with his first real duke. Got to get him out of there.

Friday, November 11, 2011


This is very nice. Called the pharmacist to order up some routine refills and found she's bought two books so when I pick up the meds could I sign the books at the same time? You betcha. Yesterday my daughter and I were in a Barnes and Noble and couldn't find the old mouse. Asked a sales person to lead us to where the books were hiding (under 'New Books,' actually. Duh). She did a lovely double take when I said I didn't want to buy the book because I wrote it (I signed some for her).

Still not too confident about this signing process. What to say? I wrote "Mice rule!" in a few. Oh, and there was one destined for a child who was only a year old, so I wrote (with the permissions of the grandfather) "Don't eat this book."

Maybe something a bit more generally applicable will come to me in my next shower.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Had a great time at Kepler's last night, with about sixty-five to seventy people. They soaked up 64 books but not enough of the wine and cake, and we have biscotti for the next millenium. My talk? Husband said afterwards that he didn't know I could do stand-up comedy, but neither did I. It was quite funny, to judge from the reactions.

And the cake? Big hit. Thank you Stephanie of Cake Creations!

More pictures later

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Countdown to lift-off

Launch day minus three until the launch party for Mousenet at Kepler's Books. And I'm advising all within the sound of this blog, if you're coming, to get to Kepler's early: I've had about seventy acceptances to the invitations I sent out AND Kepler's is pushing the event themselves, with a big poster hanging from the rafters of the children's section.

Earlier this week my dentist said, "You seem so calm." Well, first, Mr. Dentist. . . Dean . . .your chair is not the best place to jump up and down with excitement and second, the calmness is entirely faked. I am excited to the core, as who could not be?

Oh, and some nice mini-reviews are coming in, dug out of the depths of the  internet. My favorite so far is by a girl who reviews for a blog called Fresh Ink, based in Cambridge, Mass:

Mousenet was a great book about a girl raised by her mother sent to live with her father. Before she left for her dad's house in Oregon, she and her uncle invented The Thumbtop. The Thumbtop was a miniscule computer that fits on the girl, Megan's thumb. Shortly after she leaves for Oregon, she finds a talking mouse! Soon Megan finds herself trying to get a Thumbtop in every mousehole. How does she do it? Read the book to find out! 
Ellen, 9

Thanks, Ellen, age 9. That was great, and I'm not even going to ask how you got an early copy of the book.