Book news

Me, the Museum and Medieval Times

Before school was out, one late June afternoon I wrote this as my Facebook status:

Am in a school bus with 39 grade 4/5s in Toronto rush hour traffic and it’s 30 some degrees and two plus hours home. Oh did I mention most of the boys bought swords at Medieval Times? My writing friends will understand I’m just callin it research. 🙂

I wasn’t kidding. Getting home from the trip was no picnic. It took just over three hours–an hour longer than it should have. Here’s a shot of the traffic through the front of the bus:

 But it was all worth it because

  • I got to spend time with my youngest daughter and her friends 
  • I love museums, so seeing a couple exhibits at the ROM was fascinating and made me realize I need to bring my kids back for a more in-depth visit
  • I was quite serious about putting the trip down as research. I listened and observed and just absorbed the experience of being in grade four 
  • and Medieval Times was just a lot of fun and made the kids feel like they really were at a king’s tournament. Plus it was air conditioned.

As if that wouldn’t make the day rewarding enough, I had an unexpected bonus.

At the ROM we took part in a special program. We donned cotton gloves so we could carefully handle actual objects from medieval times. ROM staff had grouped objects by theme at each table. My daughter’s table was full so I couldn’t sit with her, but there was a space at a table with a few boys. Turns out this table had a piece of chain mail, a knight’s spur, a rounded ceramic vessel that would have held Greek fire, and an odd tiny square piece of metal with intricate characters on it. Very cool.

I picked up the tiny square and looked at it closely– it looked like it had Arabic lettering on it. The facilitator confirmed that yes, that’s exactly what it was. I was holding an early Arabic coin. Wow! Here is a photo of the square coin. It was wrapped in a protective case.

The coin in its protective case.

This was my unexpected bonus because I’d just received the finished copy of an educational title I worked on for Crabtree Publishing called Arts and Culture in the Early Islamic World. I’d done lots of research but never actually handled something from that era or that part of the world. This makes book number twelve for me.

I was a bit flippant describing the journey on Facebook, but the whole day’s experience is one I count as excellent. More importantly, I think my daughter would count it that way too.

Bonus photos:

The hall at Medieval Times

The stadium at Medieval Times 
Two of the knights–boo! (We were to cheer for the Green Knight)

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

A Hint of Good Things To Come

My editor just emailed me a close-to-final version of the cover for “Counting on Fall,” my book that’s due out next fall from Owlkids. It’s really lovely!

Unfortunately, I can’t share it just yet. But I can give you a hint. Check out this blog post by Ashley Barron: “Is ‘Autumny’ a Word?”

Those leaves look very familiar to me.

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

Eleven for Eleven

I’ve updated my website with my book on the War of 1812. This, The Legacy of the War of 1812, is my eleventh book–and it happened in 2011. Not that that’s newsworthy, but it’s kind of neat.

Interested in the topic of this conflict? Here’s a commemorative site from the Government of Canada It’s a solid first step for finding out more about the events that made up this war as well as the bicentennial commemoration events that will be happening soon:

So now, dare I hope for 12 books in ’12? Actually–shh–it might be more than that. More details when I can share them.

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

Did I Imagine That?

I had a great phone call from an editorial director a couple weeks ago. I think.

Okay, I’m kidding. I know it happened, but I feel as if I’m in a bit of limbo.
Like a timeout in a hockey game.
Like the Jeopardy thinking music is going on.

Because I’m waiting for further direction on the manuscript/proposal that generated that phone call and a verbal assurance of a contract to come. Yay! Good thing I’ve about a bazillion things to keep myself occupied while I am patiently awaiting further instructions and paper proof I’m not living an illusion.

But there is a little part of me that wonders if it was all just wishful thinking.

Anyone else do this to themselves?

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.