1. I did two cartwheels in the hallway at school today. It was part of a shameless bribe to get my 7th graders to hand in homework on time. It worked. And I’ve been practicing, so it wasn’t too painful.
2. If I read one more amazing MG novel this month, I’m going to have to quit the Cybils panel because I can’t possibly choose a short list. My short list is a long list.
3. I’m talking to kids about history and writing and signing books at the Kent Delord House Museum Holiday Open House in Plattsburgh, NY this Saturday from 11-12. If you live in the area, please stop by and say hello!
4. After that, we’re going here to get our Christmas tree. They have a wood stove and apples and warm cinnamon sugar donuts. Yay!
I saved the big one for last.
Before I became a teacher and children’s writer, I worked for seven years as a tv news reporter and producer.
In my old business, what I’m about to do is called burying the lead, and it’s a no-no.
Now it’s called building suspense, and it’s fine.
5. There’s a new book contract on my desk!
North Country Books, which published Spitfire, has bought American rights to my new middle grade historical novel, Champlain & the Silent One. It’s about a Montagnais Indian boy who guides Samuel de Champlain on his journey from Quebec to Lake Champlain to encounter the Iroquois. It’s scheduled for release next fall, in anticipation of the Champlain Quadricentennial — the 400th anniversary of Champlain’s voyage to the lake outside my window. I’m thankful and excited and very, very happy.