Friday Five Linkety Love for You

1. Thank you everyone for the kind words about my vloging* attempt. Based on the feedback, I’ll be doing  lot more of this. In fact, I’ll be taking questions on my Twitter feed this afternoon, so if you have something you want me to answer on camera, let me know. I will try to post the next vlog tonight or tomorrow. You should subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss a scintillating moment.

*blog + video = vlogging  I am still looking for a better word.

2. Many teachers and librarians wrote to say that Youtube is blocked at their schools. So I set up an account at TeacherTube. (If you are a member there, you’ll find me listed as lauriehalseanderson. I’m not terribly impressed with the site, I must say.)  I am in the process of setting up acounts at SchoolTube and, too. (I hope they are more functional than TeacherTube.)

3. I finished recording all the PSAs for next month’s 25th anniversary of School Library Month, thank goodness.

4. Have you read my guest blog on Why not? It explains why I call myself the Mad Woman in the Forest. While you are at, listen to the very short audio clip of me explaining the correct pronunciation of my name.

5. Just in time for Women’s History Month, check out this wonderful librarian’s review of INDEPENDENT DAMES. Although the publisher put "grades 2-6" on the jacket, I have long argued that it is perfect for middle school classrooms that are studying the American Revolution. This teacher agrees with me. What do you think?

My first vlog attempts

Be gentle, please!

What do you think?

If this has not scarred your eyeballs and you want me to do this every once in a while, do you have anything specific you want me to rant about?

Snow does not the true gardener defeat & Orlando, FL – wth?

Yes, we’ve had snow every day for weeks and weeks. Yes, there are still several feet of it on the ground. But the farmers down the road have shoveled out their sugar shack which means it’s almost time to make maple syrup because the sap is rising. And the last frost date (third week of May up here) is only 11 weeks away!! That means…..

::looks out window at snow-covered tundra::
::raises notion of shoveling off the garden plots to allow the soil to thaw faster::
::Beloved Husband puts head in hands::

Right. That means winter is not going anywhere soon, but it is time to start planning the garden. Last year’s garden did OKish, but because of booktours and the deaths of my mom and father-in-law, it was not as well-cared for as I’d hoped.

This year will be different! (Yes, that is the cry of gardeners everywhere this month.)

The focus this year will be on growing and harvesting foods that we can easily preserve to eat in the winter. Part of our "living gently on the earth" philosophy is to become as self-sustaining as possible. That means not depending on potatoes grown in Idaho and shipped across the country when we can easily grow them ourselves. I hope to harvest loads of potatoes, onions, dried beans (for soup and chili), parsnips, carrots and squash that will all keep well. I’m also growing the things that make summer so awesome: tomatoes, lettuce, basil, beans, peas, etc.

I have ordered from three different companies this year: High Mowing, Seed Savers, and Seeds of Change.

Another project this spring (well, when the snow melts, and God knows when that will be) is to propagate my mint, lemon balm, and geranium plants, as well as divide my hostas and daffodils. (Yes, I am lookin at you, Renee Warren, when I say that – I will need your hosta advice!!)

I can blather on at length about gardening, but it causes most of my family to roll their eyes and I don’t want to bore you. How interested are you in hearing about my garden?


The coolest all-around book awards- The Indies Choice – have been nominated. Why are these so cool? They can only be voted on by independent booksellers. I am rather proud to draw your attention to the "Most Engaging Author" category as well as the "Young Adult Fiction" category.


A pre-published YA author named Sarah got herself into a kerfuffle with the main branch of the Orlando Public Library recently. The teen section of the library, called Club Central, is roped off and restricted to patrons aged 13 – 18. Sarah blogged about being challenged and asked to leave the section and then she posted the library’s response to her complaint. What do you think about this??

Champagne in the Forest

Why are we having champagne so early? Because my assistant Queen Louise has been working here (and vastly improving our lives) for one entire year!!


In addition, we are celebrating the publication of WINTERGIRLS in Australia and Norway (where it is called VINTERJENTER).

A small version of the Australian cover. The picture was painted by a high school girl, which is doubly cool because the face on the US cover is a photo taken by a high school guy in Canada.

Part of the Norwegian cover.  It looks like my Norwegian publisher, Cappelen Damm, is seeking book bloggers. I imagine the ability to read and write in Norwegian is important.

To round out today’s WINTERGIRLS coverage, the Washington Post ran a very nice review of the book last week, it was nominated for the Indies Choice Award, it was named to the 2010 Capitol Choices Noteworthy Books for Children in the (Ages 14 and up category) and was chosen for inclusion in the 2010 Kansas State Reading Circle Catalog (Senior High School) with a starred rating.

Tomorrow’s news…. I sent in my seed order!

(Sort of) Blog-Free February is OVER!

How did you do last month?

Did you cut back on your blog writing and reading time?

What did you do with your newly-freed hours?

I finished my book a few weeks earlier than I thought I would!!

I also started using the Comments function of Word (I use a Mac) whenever I had something I needed to look up on the Web. I’d make a comment, attached to the phrase or graf in question, and keep writing. Once a day I would hop back on the Web and look everything up.

In addition, I kept a pleasure book right next to my elbow. Whenever I’d get one of those cravings to waste time online (always a sign that my concentration was flagging or that I’d hit a bump in the manuscript) I would read for fun instead of waste time checking CNN or the Times to see that nothing had in fact happened that I needed to know about.

What was your experience?