Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's Hot + What's Not

I'm taking up Loobylu's challenge to post a list on Wednesdays of what's hot and what's not. So here goes:

  1. Me, blogging again Wow, that was a long unintended break, but I'm glad to be back at my keyboard. The one good thing about such a long hiatus is that I have TONS of material saved up.
  2. New books! I haveTWO of them out this fall! I illustrated the picture book An Apple Pie for Dinner by Susan VanHecke (Marshall Cavendish) and wrote another book for parents of young children, The Preschooler Problem Solver (Peachtree). I'll write more about both these books in coming days, but in the meantime, you can check out the beautiful website the author created for the apple pie book here.
  3. Fall color in my garden
  4. It's spectacular this year. Hard for me to stay in the house when I know my trees look like that.
  5. Autumn-themed miniature gardens

  6. The first one was a gift for my mother-in-law and largely made by my daughter; the second is a teeny tiny one we made several of as small gifts. I'll provide some how-to in future posts, but the little ones are pretty easy to craft.
What's Not
  1. CPSIA The Consumer Product Safety law has not gone away nor been amended in any significant way. Vintage books have been confirmed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission as forbidden to children 12 and under despite any evidence that they pose even a small threat to kids' health and abundant evidence of their value for them. Grr.
  2. Radio interviews I'm lucky to have gotten a bunch lined up to promote The Preschooler Problem Solver, but even though I've done tons of media interviews over the years, they still make me feel a tongue-tied mess.
  3. Amtrak I'm normally a huge fan of train travel, though I've long lamented the sorry state of it in the U.S. - but Saturday was a particularly deep low in my regard for it. My son's five-hour train trip from NJ to Boston arrived nearly five hours late, putting his arrival close to 2 am instead of anywhere near the scheduled 9 pm. Which meant he missed the last connecting commuter train to his destination in Worcester MA where he attends college, as well as all the bus options. And no taxi would take him that far nor to his friend's place at a Boston area college. And the train station was completely deserted and no one at the Amtrak "customer service" number would offer any assistance in finding alternative travel or lodging because he wasn't continuing on an Amtrak train. And that stinks.
Okay, as usual I have NO control of the numbering function on blogger. Pretend the numbers aren't there. And the random text color stuff also defeats me. Sigh.