Friday, January 23, 2009

A Report

This is Heather Burnell, reporting to you live from my frosty bedroom where the temperature is a brain-numbing 22 degrees fahrenheit. Why would a person choose to work in an icy-cold bedroom instead of by the toasty fire? Because they are dedicated to their craft, of course, and I find the bedroom to be the best place for me to think. So what am I thinking?

Why does my bed desk not come with a drink holder? It's really quite unsafe to have my drink precariously perched next to my laptop on the soft, unstable surface of my bed.

Did you know that a book is a lethal weapon? A 500-page one is anyway. Book to throat--not a good thing.

Why, when I have a night to work, is my three-year-old not at all sleepy even though it's way past his bedtime?

Why have I had to write thirty different versions of my query letter before I finally, maybe, get it right? I've had the Frog and Toad meets Toy Story part for ages. It's the writing the rest of the letter that's giving me trouble.

Why don't I submit more stories? I know the answer to this one already; because I have to make a choice between subbing or writing with the time that I have. And I will choose writing, at least until I get too irritated with myself and have to get something out. I have two somethings out right now. It's not nearly enough.

Why am I blogging? I should be working.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Authors Now!

I've neglected to mention something. I have a new link on the side of my blog. It's to Author's Now! --a group of debut children's book authors and illustrators. Our founder, Cynthea Liu, says it best:

AuthorsNow! is a collaboration of debut children’s book authors and illustrators who are the fresh and emerging voices in children’s and young adult literature today. Created with the parent, teacher, librarian and bookseller in mind, AuthorsNow! is a one-stop-shop to learn about all of our authors and illustrators. Here you’ll be able to …

• get up-to-date descriptions of forthcoming books
• read the latest on our authors
• download supplemental resources such as teaching guides, quizzes, and other materials
• book an author or author panel for your school, library or organization
• participate in contests and giveaways
• find out about debut author events
• and much, much more.

We’ll also be serving up a fresh cup of content on a regular basis related to children’s literature and what’s happening in the field today.
Our authors range from picture book authors to teen novelists, fiction and nonfiction alike, and all are published by major trade publishers in the United States.

If you are a qualifying debut author you may apply here.

If you have any questions or suggestions for AuthorsNow! please do not hesitate to contact us. We welcome you to explore everything AuthorsNow! has to offer and hope you enjoy the site.

Thank you!

Cynthea Liu
Founder, AuthorsNow!
Author of PARIS PAN TAKES THE DARE, Putnam (06/11/2009)
and SASS: THE GREAT CALL OF CHINA, Puffin (02/19/2009)


You'll find tons of great content and lots of books you'll put on your to read list. I'm there too--waiting for 2010.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Have I Been Doing Anyway?

Obviously, I haven't been blogging much. And I haven't gone anywhere since the 17th of December--I'm snowed in. So this begs the question, what the heck have I been doing?

That is hard to say, really. It seems being snowed in requires alot of extra work. I make almost all the food from scratch. We stocked up on basic supplies before we got too much snow so we wouldn't have to carry them in. So, every day I'm cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Have cereal for breakfast, you say. Sure, after I make the cereal. Make sandwiches for lunch. Okay, I'll make some bread. At least I've gotten to where I can make a decent loaf of bread. And I have an awesome batch of sourdough starter. But, I want you to just take a moment and imagine all the dishes it takes to make everything you eat from scratch. I dream of dishwashers.

There are other things to do besides cook when you're snowed in. We don't have a washer and dryer either. So guess what! I get to wash the laundry--by hand. Isn't that fun? My 7-year-old thinks it is. But only for a little while. To make the laundry washing even more exciting, we get to go out and fill huge tubs full of snow, bring them in, and melt them on the woodstove so we have enough water for washing. At least there's plenty around.

I'm also homeschooling the kids. Obviously, we can't get out very easily to take them to school, so they are now all mine once again. They're happy. They get their work done and go out and play in the snow--when their friends are still in class. They've pointed out the amounts of time wasted waiting for everyone at school. I hope they're not bored when they go back. I know they'll be happy to see their friends, but the one on one education is good for them.

Cooking, laundry, school. Throw in some snow shoveling, some sledding, a little cross country skiing, alot of staring out the window, and a bit of late night writing, and that's winter. My husband hikes out around once a week to get fresh vegetables and stuff like that. It's a 55 minute hike uphill from the car. We're hoping the snowmobile that we just finally got running will eek it's way through winter. If not, that's okay. We can live without it.