Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Raining Mice!

The ‘Books and Authors’ site for December 20th makes an interesting observation: "Every couple of years a strange phenomenon occurs within children’s publishing; a number of books will appear on the same subject without any identifiable trigger." 

And for 2011 the subject is mice. 

At the launch party, I mentioned that when my agent started shopping ‘Mousenet’ to publishers she found one or two who liked the book, but already had their mouse books for the season, thank you very much. I’d no idea that it was raining mice quite so heavily. This year there are at least five mouse books - which might not be remarkable were it not for the fact that four of these are by authors at the top of the tree. Three are ex-Newbery winners, no less (‘Secrets at Sea’ by Richard Peck, ‘Bless This Mouse’ by Lois Lowry and ‘Young Fredle’ by Cynthia Voigt). Meanwhile Carmen Agra Deedy, the author of ‘The Cheshire Cheese Cat,’ (which has mice as heroes)
has won at least 45 awards for past books.

I’m delighted that 'Books and Authors' included ‘Mousenet’ in this exalted company-complete with a link to the website of the Mouse Nation. But what is it about those top-tier authors that led them all to mice? Are they being secretly brainwashed by the Nation’s Public Relations department, working through the clans that live behind the authors’ walls, and know everything? 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A new review

Mousenet has just been reviewed very nicely for the January issue of the School Library Journal:

"Breitrose spins an enjoyable tale as she explores the nature of friendship, highlighting the timeless themes of individuality and respect for those who are different, and introduces a good mix of memorable characters and contemporary problems. Yue’s illustrations throughout are suitably charming. Although the tale is not as complex or allegorical as Kate DiCamillo’s Tale of Despereaux (Candlewick, 2003), Avi’s “Poppy” series (HarperCollins), or Robert C. O’Brien’s “Mrs. Frisby” books (Atheneum), the novel offers mouse lovers action and suspense, and its readability makes it a good choice for those moving up from formulaic series like Geronimo Stilton’s books (Scholastic) to more complex stories."


Monday, December 19, 2011

Mousenet on Facebook

I've finally trained my Mousenet page on Facebook to behave. For some reason it was swallowing things that people wrote on its wall, so you couldn't see comments unless you asked, which was not cool. Now I've managed to check the right boxes, and things show up as they should–including my first direct piece of fan mail from a reader. Thanks, Noah! You can see his thoughts (and add your own) here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Amazon Follow-Up

Big question: did Amazon know (see previous post) that a shopper browsing through the best recent books for children 6 - 8 would be swamped by books for older children, the whole 8-12 or 8 and up crowd? I found a question box on the Amazon site that invited comments, and asked them to explain.

Amazon replied by e-mail. Was I unhappy with the age-range that the publisher had given for my book?

Er, no. I went back to the little question box and tried again. This time Amazon actually called me.  A human, albeit one who had no clue what I was talking about. I took her by the cyber-hand and led her gently through "books" to "children" to "6-8," through "hardcover" to "recently published" and "sorted by customer review."  And bingo: MOUSENET, shiny and blue and in absolutely the wrong place.

Ms. Amazon couldn't promise that the anomaly would be fixed, but she did say she'd raise the question with people higher up the food chain. And as we British say, that was better than a slap in the belly with a wet fish. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011


People keep asking how well the book is selling and I’ll have no clue until the official sales figures come out. But it is getting some very nice reviews on Amazon, which led me into the sort of digging into Amazon’s brain that can drive one insane.

I wanted to see how Mousenet stacked up against other new hardcovers on Amazon and found that with its perfect score of six 5-star reviews – Ta Da! – it’s been a solid second or third. But not among the middle-grade books where it belongs. Oh no. Mousenet is for children 8 – 12, right? Whenever Amazon’s computers see an “8” they pop the book into the 6 – 8 age group (the next one up being 9 – 12).

This morning, five out of the six best-reviewed books in Amazon’s 6 - 8 category are officially for children 8 and up. Grrr.

Friday, December 2, 2011

More work for mice in Africa

OK, so the elections in the Congo went off (so far) better than expected. Maybe mice really were on the job. Now they're needed in another part of the continent, at the UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa. In fact the Big Cheese has just written an encouraging memo to the guys on the ground, because if anyone can find out what humans REALLY think–and spread that knowledge to others–it's mice.

You can see the memo at www.mousenet.org. Just follow the link under "Mouse Nation."

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.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Here's a plug for the site that's handling the invitations to the book launch at Kepler's on Tuesday the 8th. I'm still amazed at what can be pulled off the internet for any purpose one chooses and Pingg, after not too much of a learning curve, let me design an invitation card with my book cover on it; sent out invitations; fed me comments from those invited; counted noses and is about to remind affirmative noses of the time and date. Is this a great country or what?

And talking of the book cover, I'm off this afternoon to discuss it with a designer. Hint: a cake designer.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Football and mice

Had a great time on campus last night, watching the Stanford football team dismantle the University of Washington, a team that had itself been doing very well until now. I woke up this morning wondering how to incorporate football into this blog–then remembered that the appropriate link is right there on page 252 of “Mousenet” (due out November 8th):

“How many mice did it take to get us here?” asked Megan.
It was Saturday night, a couple of hours after the football game in which the Oregon Ducks had beaten the Stanford Cardinal to a pulp. . . .

Sorry about that, Stanford. My excuse for denigrating you is that I wrote the scene some years ago when the football team was barely mediocre, our shiny new stadium was barely half full, and the Ducks did indeed beat us to a pulp, regularly. There’s still a chance they will do so again this year on November 11th, but it is much less likely because Stanford is now considered by some to be the third best team in the country. Astonishing when you think that our players have to meet the same entrance requirements as everyone else. (To illustrate their caliber, the honorary captain last night was Cory Booker, class of ’91, tight end, Rhodes Scholar, and now a rising political star as mayor of Newark, New Jersey.)

What changed in the last few years? Well, part of it was luck, or, if you prefer, Luck. Andrew Luck, generally considered to be the best quarterback of his age on the planet. There’s a headline in today’s San Francisco Chronicle; “Mad dash for last with grand prize a franchise QB.” In other words, Luck is so good that professional teams may be competing for the worst record, because it will earn them the first pick of college talent next year. (In Seattle the rallying cry of the Seahawks was allegedly “Suck* for Luck,” until they accidentally won a few games.)

Is this a great University or what? Don’t even think about the Nobel prize winners (OK, 26 so far) or academic ranking (between second and fifth in the world, depending on who’s counting). How about that Director’s Cup? It’s given to the college or university “achieving success in many sports, both men's and women's,” and was awarded to Stanford at half-time last night FOR THE SEVENTEENTH STRAIGHT YEAR.

Beat that, Oregon.

*For British readers, “sucks” = “is not good.”

Rodents and Raisins

It’s interesting to be back in the world of Public Relations, as I make my approaches to the local news media before the launch of Mousenet in a month’s time.

Yes, I’m having some success (more on that when it gels) and it takes me back to my glorious eight months when I was officially in the PR business. I’d just been fired laid off from the San Francisco Examiner in one of the periodic culls of reporters decreed by the head office, and took a job in the PR department of J. Walter Thompson. My boss there was extremely tolerant, and let me pull off some great stunts, like sending a model out into San Francisco Bay in a bathtub powered by a client’s outboard motor.

Our main client, however, was the California Raisin Board. For them I invented “The League of Silent Movie Eaters.”

Launched to coincide with the San Francisco Film Festival, this organization purported to battle the noise people make at the movies unwrapping and chomping food. Scientific tests (we claimed) had shown that raisins and an Indonesian delicacy called kwee-talm were the two snacks that scored lowest on the scales of both “rustle” and “crunch.”

Big success! Our fake president was interviewed extensively on the local media–as was my brother Richard, whom I appointed president of the League’s British branch. He was whisked off to various television and radio studios, and I’m proud to say, completely forgot to mention raisins.

And I think my boss was not too unhappy when I decided to go back to England.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A nice week

It's been a good week: a little local fame doesn't hurt. A surprising number of people saw the story in the San Jose Mercury, and my picture has popped up on the bulletin boards of places where I volunteer–specifically the Stanford Health Library and Learning Ally (until recently known as Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic). Let's hope the buzz  a) translates into book sales and b) survives the actual publication. . .

I've received my big box of Mousenet books and they are seriously cute, making it easy to take them into places like the Computer History Museum and introduce myself (to me it seems like a natural for their gift shop, which is, according to Google maps, a scant eight miles from the Headquarters of the Mouse Nation. And if the evolution of mice as a computer-using species doesn't make history, what does? They'll think about it.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Yes, that's me and yes, that's a photographer. Nhat is with the San Jose Mercury News, whose columnist Mike Cassidy had just been interviewing me. And no, this was not about the lawn but about Mousenet. See the results here.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Children + Mousenet = ?

As far as I know, until now no child has ever been close to Mousenet. In about a month, when it hits bookstores and libraries, that could change–so to break it in gently I showed it to my husband's second or third cousins two or three times removed (but who's counting?). And here they are: eight-year-old Hannah Wolf reading from the bound galley to her sister Abby, who is almost five. They seemed to like it. Phew.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

PR for Rodents and Raisins

It’s interesting to be back in the world of Public Relations as I make my approaches to the local news media before the launch of Mousenet in a month’s time.

Yes, I’m having some success (more on that when it gels) and it takes me back to the glorious eight months when I was officially in the PR business. I’d just been fired laid off from the San Francisco Examiner in one of the periodic culls of reporters decreed by the head office, and took a job in the PR department of J. Walter Thompson. My boss there was extremely tolerant, and let me pull off some great stunts, like sending a model out into San Francisco Bay in a bathtub powered by a client’s outboard motor.

Our main client, however, was the California Raisin Board, for which I invented “The League of Silent Movie Eaters.”

Launched to coincide with the San Francisco Film Festival, this organization purported to battle the noise people make at the movies unwrapping and chomping food. Scientific tests (we claimed) had shown that raisins and an Indonesian delicacy called kwee-talm were the snacks that scored lowest on the scales of both “rustle” and “crunch.”

Big success! Our fake president was interviewed extensively on the local media–as was my brother Richard, whom I appointed president of the League’s British branch. He was whisked off to various television and radio studios, and, I’m proud to say, completely forgot to mention raisins.

And I think my boss was not too unhappy when I decided to go back to England.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ex-lawn graduation day

Here's our late lawn, all mulched and planted and today approved by Santa Clara County, which gives out grants to those executing lawns. Not sure what goes in the middle yet. I'm considering a bird bath, though husband would prefer a large garden gnome. I don't know what happened to the voles who lived under the old lawn; with luck they took the hint and moved to the lawn next door.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Model for Megan

This is Amy Kincaid, my Scottish great-niece whose wonderful hair inspired me to give Megan something similar.

In Megan's case the hair is corralled into braids, but the top part became a major problem when her mother started to cut it short all over but stopped when she realized she was doing a really bad job. That left Megan with a stiff crest of hair that humans find entertaining but that makes mice nervous at first, because "it made the child look so wild! For many mammals, having your hair stick up in front is a sign you are about to attack."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Progress on two fronts

First, I think my website is just about ready for prime time (thank you, Scott.) It's at www.mousenet.org, which those who have read Mousenet may recognize as the website of the Mouse Nation. We share.

Second, I have some good news to put on the website, including an upcoming review from Kirkus Book Reviews, which describes itself as "a powerful resource for millions of readers, writers, librarians, media executives and the publishing industry." The full review is here–ending in this sentence:

"Genuine goodwill, humor and impressive believability will have readers longing for mice as friends—not to mention political allies."


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Homage to Andy Goldsworthy

Most of the plants are now in place, taking over from the ex-lawn – but according to my ace consultant this is no longer just horticulture but Art. Specifically, that river of rocks on the right is meant to take itself literally–to make like a river, and flow.

We found the right type of rocks, which call themselves wood rocks and do indeed sometimes look like strips of fossilized wood that can be lined up in flow formation. So if the supply of sequels to Mousenet (due out November 8th) dries up temporarily, it will be because I'll be outside hour after hour, straightening rocks.

These rocks are "before". . .

. . . and these are "after." Is that beautiful, or what?
(You don't have to answer that question.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

Need I say more? Seven plants down and about fifty to go (though it's a pity to spoil that beautifully sculpted dirt).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Let me give you my card. . .

It's foolish perhaps to be so pleased with a business card, but this was a good find, I think: a stock design that I dug up yesterday. The teapot could well be a symbol for English women of a certain age, and the mouse looks as if he knows his way around the Mouse Nation (and is ready for it to go public on November 8th).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


One of the major choices on getting published (reminder, Mousenet, due out November 8th) is deciding who to be. My first instinct was to use the name Prudence Martin because that’s who I was, when young, but Steve Malk, the agent who first took on the book, asked if I was out of my mind (or words to that effect) when I had such a great married name at my disposal. Breitrose. Bright Rose. Wasn't that great for a children's author? Yes, but. Steve had never been in a waiting room at the Palo Alto Clinic watching a nurse struggle with “Breet. . . Breti. . . er, Prudence?” He’d never had his Safeway discount card handed back with a “Thank you Mrs. Brut. . .Bret. . Would you like some help out with that?”

But Steve was right. Not just because I can now maybe teach some people how to pronounce my name but because there already is a Prudence Martin on Amazon. You can look her up. She produced a line of romantic novels thirty years ago in the Candlelight Ecstasy Series with titles like “A Strange Elation” and “Moonlight Rapture.” Not what you’d expect when you’re looking for books starring mice.

Besides, according to Google there are eleven Prudence Martins in the United States, but they can only find one Prudence Breitrose.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Where are the rodents when you need them?

We've had our plum tree for about fifteen years, but only once before have we faced the obligation of actual plums. Either birds eat the blossoms or squirrels eat the plums, or both.

This year they've fallen down on the job, leaving us with the task of turning a ridiculous quantity of Italian plums into jam, or giving them away to anyone who'll take them, or both. Even with thirty pounds of jam in the closet and neighbors who are all plummed out, we're left with about 100 pounds of fruit up there. Come on, squirrels. Do your thing. We want our lives back!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Megan's Hair

The ten-year-old heroine of Mousenet (due out November 8th) has amazing hair. I didn't make it up. She's modeled on a red-headed Scottish relative, Amy, whose bright red hair gets wildly exuberant when not locked down.

Megan's own springy red hair is mostly corralled in her braids–except for the front part, which as stood straight up "ever since her mom decided to cut it short all over, but stopped when she realized she was doing a really, really bad job." The result provides great amusement to other fifth-graders–and it makes mice a little nervous at first because for some mammals, "having your hair stick up in front is a sign you are about to attack." But they get used to it. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


It's coming along, though you have to imagine features like flowers. Shrubs. Cardboard.

Ah yes, that cardboard:

I've spent some happy hours up with my bike boxes, cutting off or pulling out several hundred staples. And I'm now in a position to rate them. Your best box, by far, is Marin. It's solid and well built, with staples that slide right out. Schwinn boxes are not bad, but they have a big patch of red on one side, which I suppose might lead to a red lavender? A purple ceanothus? Oh, and I also have boxes for Giant bikes that look as if they spent the journey from Asia being walked on in a greasy engine room. (Full disclosure, I have a Giant, which shows no ill effects).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A reminder

Due out November 8th:

Dumpster diving

It's not something I ever expected to do–lurk in the parking lots behind stores and hunt through dumpsters. But I've done it about a dozen times in the last week, and got a good haul. No, this is not the symptom of a sudden economic decline. I'm after the boxes that bikes come in, and so far have accumulated about twenty. Yes, some of the bike shop guys have asked why I want their boxes. Am I going to build a fort, maybe? Or pack up the family bikes for a trip? When I tell them how the boxes are actually going to be executed, they look a little shocked, even though you'd expect bike people to be green enough to approve.

Here's what will happen.  One day next week I'll soak the pathetic remains of our lawn. Cover it with cardboard. Soak that. Top the soggy mess with compost (or other good stuff) and mulch. Plant, making holes in the cardboard where necessary.

I'm told it works.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Who's Talking?

How many of the mice in Mousenet (due out November 8th) have been trained to talk? Not many. There’s no point even trying to make human sounds unless you were born with a certain floppiness of the lips and jaw known as Talk-Mouth. Young mice with this rare genetic trait get whisked away to the Talking Academy in San Francisco, where they learn to speak with the help of human movies or television shows. Trey, or Talking Mouse Three, studied programs like The Simpsons, which means he’s on the same linguistic wavelength as Megan and other ten-year-old American kids. On the other hand Sir Quentin, or Talking Mouse Five, preferred the costume dramas of Masterpiece Theater on public television, which gave him a British accent and a style of conversation that never uses a short word where a long one will do, a style that he promises will be “Appropriate, nay, even improving, for a young lady of the human persuasion.”

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Adieu, lawn.

Tomorrow we take another step into the green by ripping out the lawn. It was useful when our kids were small, but became a thirsty weed-patch over the years. And besides, our county (Santa Clara, California) gives rebates if you replace lawns with abstemious plants. The new landscape will fit right in with our solar panels, compost bin and (to complete the smug) Prius. Ah, that compost bin. We used to dig our compost into the vegetable patch, but we gave that up when animals started beating us to all the interesting vegetables. We still put appropriate stuff into the bin, but the level remains the same, and we notice some entry and exit routes. Oh well. Better to put the stuff into wildlife than into the landfill or down the sink. (But what do those animals make of the coffee grounds? Do they get a buzz? Stay up all night, or all day, as the case may be?)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mouse evolution

Some twenty-five years before Mousenet starts, mice “wouldn’t have recognized a computer if it bit them in the foot.” I suspect they were always smart, but until they acquired language, who could tell? The breakthrough came in Silicon Valley, California, when hundreds of computer companies were just starting up:

 “These companies were different. The people who worked there were young guys who wore jeans instead of suits, and often ate food at their desks. Some of them didn’t mind the fact that their leftover food attracted mice. Some of them even let the mice watch them work, day after day, week after week, month after month.

“And that’s all it took. After months of watching, the mouse minds sprang to life, recognizing first one word on a screen, then another, then more, until in time these first mice learned to read and write well enough to use computers themselves. They taught their friends, who taught their friends, and soon mice throughout the world had their own version of the Internet, carefully protected by passwords from prying human eyes. Now mice could e-mail each other, and write their opinions in mouse blogs, and post news about themselves on MouseBook, and check facts in Whiskerpedia, and take on-line course on nutrition and safety and human behavior and world events.”

But using human computers was a pain, and the hunt was on for a computer their size. . .

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mice and the climate

So when did mice start to worry about climate change? It was in 2007, when my husband and I were having dinner in Amsterdam with an ex-student of his, Surya Green (herself the author of a book called "The Call of the Sun: A woman's journey to the heart of wisdom.") I gave her a quick summary of the plot of my book, which at that time ended with mice making the Thumbtop computers they need. Surya asked what happens next–what would mice do with their new power? And the answer was obvious. If any species can fix climate change–and do it soon–it’s mice. Right?

Monday, July 25, 2011

More on Mousenet

Here’s a little background on Mousenet. Yes, there are talking mice, but the book is not anthropomorphic. It’s science fiction, relating what happened when mice evolved, with a little help from Silicon Valley. When the story begins the Mouse Nation is already out there, a parallel society behind the walls and below the floor, a nation with its own systems of governance and education and justice, its own website and e-mail and social media. If only they had a computer their size. . .

And moi:

Just back from our annual weekend at the Carmel Bach Festival which has a new English director, Paul Goodwin. Anglophilia ran riot with Land of Hope and Glory being played in an outside sing-along, Union Jacks flying, a thundering performance of Zadok the Priest (borrowed from all British coronations from 1727 onwards) and a big dose of Vaughan Williams. And oh yes, lots of Bach, including a half-operatic St John’s Passion with everyone in jeans and the chorus and soloists wandering about. Worked beautifully.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mousenet lives!

Hi everybody -this is my first post as Mousenet makes its stately way towards publication on November 8th. It'll be just in time (given this viciously hot summer) because in addition to their other skills, mice know how to fix climate change.

That guy on the cover is Trey, otherwise known as Talking Mouse Three, one of a handful of mice who have been trained to talk since mice evolved. (All other mice are stuck with e-mail or Mouse Sign Language). Their problem: it's hard using human computers, which is where ten-year-old Megan comes in because she helped her uncle invent the Thumbtop, the smallest computer in the world.  Read all about it!