My Found Treasure: A Pro and Con List ala Charles Darwin!


Happy Birthday week, Charles Darwin! There’s a lot of excitement in the Darwin world right now because the Cambridge Digital Library has announced the publication online of more Darwiniana. Most importantly (being the child-centric person that I am) is the inclusion of the drawings of his children. When Charles discarded a manuscript draft, the children grabbed the pages and drew on the back of them. Their loving parents saved the pages not for the great man’s words, but for the kids’ drawings. I had known about these doodles when I wrote CHARLES AND EMMA, and do mention them in the book.… Read more

The Bubble Explained: Part Two

 Yesterday I had the great good fortune to spend the afternoon with women I worked with twenty some years ago at Scholastic News, where we all learned to write for kids (which is a noble and well-respected genre, but I am NOT going to rant about that condescending essay someone wrote recently. I’m not.). Anyway, they had read my previous post and asked me some questions about The Bubble. I realized I hadn’t told you the whole story. The reasoning behind the bubble. So here goes:

First of all, credit where credit is due: my husband, Jonathan Weiner, coined the term as I am using it.… Read more

The Bubble

I keep referring to THE BUBBLE and people think I’m taking a bath. So, hereby, a definition of THE BUBBLE: 

BUBBLE: noun, A time in which to write without interruption. It requires turning off the internet. Not answering the phone. Taking breaks without turning on the internet and answering the phone. One needs to tell family and friends not to call unless they are bleeding to death and no on else can help. The amount of bubble time can vary, but it helps to make it consistent so said friends and family don’t get confused. I try to make mine in the morning. 

BUBBLE: verb, the act of going into the bubble to write. 

I am going to BUBBLE now. 

See you later. 

P.S.… Read more

Fake Blog Post–ALA

Since ALA I’ve slept, eaten, and slept. I think maybe I talked to some people, did some emailing. Not sure. It was one of the best weekends of my life, and I promise I will write about it in more detail and with more panache next week. But for now a couple of photos. First, the Printz people,  winners (minus Adam Rapp, who had to leave), and the committee members: 


I will reveal all identities next week. But let me just say that the woman in the purple dress just behind Rick Yancy got her feet kissed Saturday night.Read more

Vacation Rocks

 We’ve been back for a week and something tells me it’s time to get back to work in earnest. Something else tells me it’s Friday, and what the heck. Something else tells me I should really get back to my book and then something else tells me that my boss can be very mean. Something else tells me that this is the dilemma of the self-employed and then something else says once again, HEY DUMB-DUMB, IT’S FRIDAY. 

Something else tells me maybe I have voices in my head that need to go away. Go away, Voices. 

So I have a cup of coffee next to me, and I am going to try to rev up.… Read more

Long for This World

After working on his book for (mumble, mumble, unintelligible) years, my husband is not only finished writing it (finally, to quote him, I swear), but it is about to come out (June 22), and not only that, but it has gotten two starred reviews (out of two, so far) and great blurbs, and etc. Yay! 

So while I whisk him away for a much-deserved vacation after all the trauma and angst (and he deserves a break, too), I thought I’d  post him talking about the book, LONG FOR THIS WORLD. I hope you enjoy it. Just click here.

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National Book Award, Oatmeal, and other random and not so random thoughts

Apparently if your book is named a National Book Award Finalist, you lose the ability to make oatmeal. Not to generalize from the particular or anything, but that simple task has bested me this morning. Maybe it’s because I got up at 4 something and couldn’t go back to sleep. Maybe it’s because I attempted this task before coffee (while coffee was perking…). That whole overflowing in the microwave thing is not pretty. But for some reason, even in my pre-coffee state, it just didn’t seem like such a big deal.

Especially after I came to my computer and refreshed the National Book Foundation web site and saw that Charles and Emma is still there!… Read more