Monday, November 26, 2012

Heading for Walnut Creek

I’ll be speaking about Mousenet on a “debut author panel” sponsored by the Contra Costa and Alameda wing of SCBWI (the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Writers). It’s at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1924 Trinity Avenue, Walnut Creek, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 1st. As a bonus, there'll be holiday cookies: people are invited to bring a dozen to share. So if you like cookies, or if you want to know how writers get published (spoiler alert: it takes a while) come on by. Register at, if you’re a member. If not, just turn up.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I am just back from Myanmar. There probably aren't too many readers of 'Mousenet' there but I did find out one fact that is gratifying to a writer of mouse books. I was born with a natural affinity for rodents.

The Burmese people follow astrological signs that depend on the day of the week you were born, and my sign (for a Thursday birth) is the rat. We visited several ceramic rats, including one at the massive Shwedagon pagoda complex in Yangon. This rat is being watered by a Thursday person who is giving him one cup of water for each year of her life (apparently–as with the candles on birthday cakes–people over a certain age are allowed to cheat, with one cup per decade, but I still didn’t indulge. The rat looked water-logged enough.)

Talking of rats, I recently made a guest appearance on a blog called ‘Ginny’s Friends.’ Ginny Rorby writes splendid Young Adult novels with a deep concern for animals, and I related the tale of Fido, the rat I rescued from a grocery store for my son Charlie. See the post at

Fido turned out to be one of the most successful pets we ever had.