Query Response #4: Query Cleanup

Once upon a time I asked, “What do you want me to post about?”

Remember when I asked that? It was a rather long time ago, I admit. 

You responded — and your wish is my command. It might take me a while, but I will get to each and every one of your requests (even Sarah W’s).


Since this Ask-Me-a-Question-and-I’ll-Answer-It thing is going a lot slower than I had ever imagined, I thought I’d use today’s post to wrap up a few of the pithier questions:

Hm. Let me stew that one over...
Hm. Let me stew that one over…

Vanessa writes: “I would like a post about what you’re looking at on the ceiling please. That, or something about your favourite snacks.”

Oh, you lovely Brits. I love how you always throw in a superfluous “U” in words like “favorite.” Anyhoo, my favorite snack is ice cream. In the photo I am looking at the ceiling trying to figure out how ice cream got up there. Smart money says my son is somehow responsible.


Limebird Beth writes: “I would like a post on what really is the cat’s whiskers.”

I’m assuming Beth wants to know what I think is the cat’s pajamas. If so, I have pretty much answered that question in this post. I would, however, like to add goats to that list. Hmm. Come to think of it, I did a post about goats, too.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you, Beth, is pay attention!


Professor VJ Duke and Domingosaurus both asked me to write about banjos.

Thanks Professor Domingo! All I can say is that the banjo is the most joyful instrument on earth. Even Charlie Brown agrees with me:

See? If Charlie had a banjo, his life would've turned a corner!

Oh, and one more thing: I play my banjo terribly.


Catherine Johnson asked me to post a video of me playing my banjo.

Thanks for writing, Catherine! And no.


So there you have it this time! Be sure to check in again. Query Response #5 is (maybe) coming soon!

Query Response #3: Mickey and More

The shelf above my desk. Good stuff.
The shelf above my desk. As you can see, it has a couple of Mickeys.

In a recent post I asked, “What do you want me to post about?

You responded — and your wish is my command. It might take me a while, but I will get to each and every one of your requests (even Sarah W’s).


This query comes from writer and waffle fan Laurel Leigh who writes: “I’d like to know if you play that banjo in the corner, whether you’ve ever tipped over backwards in your desk chair, if your office is truly always that tidy, and how come you have a Cat in the Hat but not Mickey Mouse?”

Jiminy! OK, let’s take your questions one at a time:

1. I do like to play my banjo, but I rarely play it in a corner. I prefer the center of the room.

2. I have not tipped over backwards in my desk chair. I have, however, repeatedly fallen up stairs. This degree of clumsiness never fails to astound my wife.

3. My office is always tidy. Would you like to know the secret to a truly tidy office space? OCD. You’re welcome.

4. You have jumped to conclusions, Laurel; believe me, my office is duly Mickified.

I even think of Mickey whenever I have to make a call.
I even think of Mickey whenever I have to make a call. Thanks, Aunt Elaine!

So, there you have it!

Sadly, I am going to have to temporarily postpone Query Responses for the next week or two. I have a Susanna Leonard Hill contest entry to post next week, which will be followed by the July installment of Waffles With Writers.

Don’t forget to check back soon for more fun!

WIN MY BOOK! WIN MY BOOK! WIN MY BOOK! (But first, have a look at my new business card.)

My card.

My new business cards came in. Well, they’re not business cards, exactly; I was going for the genteel feel of calling cards.

“We had good fun, didn’t we?” I’ll say in my best British accent as I reach into my breast pocket. “Allow me to give you a small memento of our time together. I ask for nothing, nothing at all. I just hope that we will be able to rekindle what we have here at a later date. Good day, sir-or-madam, my newfound friend!”

Alright, to be honest, the cards are for business. I’ll be giving them out to teachers, librarians, bookstore managers, and anyone else who may or may not have a scintilla of interest in my upcoming book, Sarah Gives Thanks.

My book.

The book will be out on September 1, and I must admit that the looming release date has gotten me a little tense.

I won’t bore you with the particulars of my marketing plan – even if I had particulars, which I most certainly don’t. I am happy to report, however, that the lovely marketing person at Albert Whitman and Company doesn’t seem too troubled by my antics thus far – so I suppose I am stumbling in the right direction.

One sort-of-marketing thing I thought would be fun would be to interview my illustrator and new buddy, David Gardner, on this blog. I plan to post the interview after the book comes out in September.

I want to ask David questions that are odd, eccentric, fun, and/or off-kilter.

I would love it if you folks might provide these questions. I’ll make the effort worth your while, of course, with…


In the comments section below, please ask – and answer – a silly question that you would like me to ask David. The best 10 questions (if there are 10, oh, please, people, let there be at least 10) will be asked in the interview. You will, of course, get full credit for your question when the interview is posted, with a link back to your blog, if you have one.

Now here’s the contest part. If at least 20 commenters suggest questions, they will all be entered in a random drawing to receive a free, signed, hardcover copy of Sarah Gives Thanks

Yes, Little Sally, it’s true!

But wait, there’s more! Actually, there isn’t any more. But I think that’s plenty, don’t you?

So tell your friends to stop by this blog and post a question, because if I only get 19 questions, nobody’s gettin’ a book – and the lovely marketing person at Albert Whitman will think I’m really bad at this book promotion nonsense.

The deadline is Sunday, July 29. So start asking! And don’t forget: to be eligible for the drawing, you can’t just ask a silly question, you have to answer it too.

Good luck!


UPDATE (July 24): Thanks to all who have entered so far! We don’t have 20 yet, but we’re getting there. Based on a few of the responses I’ve received, I wanted to make a little clarification: When you answer your question, you are not expected to telepathically channel David Gardner and speak in his voice. ‘Cause, well, he can do that. Answer your question as YOU.

Just think of it as a nice little opportunity to interview yourself. Good luck!