Secret Diary

Archive for October, 2007

The Daring Book for Girls is Here!

Posted by Miriam on October 30th, 2007

Yay, October 30th is finally here, and as bookstore workers across America arrive to work, we  imagine that one of their first tasks, after stoking up on coffee, that is, will be to put together special cardboard book displays for The Daring Book for Girls ,  pull them to the front of the stores, and fill them with shiny new copies.  Our own advance copies arrived in boxes marked  “Do not open until October 30th! Strictly enforced! One day laydown.” To be honest, we did chuckle a bit at that. In any case, books will be in bookstores today. We couldn’t be more happy.

Andi and I are off to New York today. We will visit the set of the Today Show tomorrow, where they’ve produced a short clip of a mother and her twin daughters doing activities from the book.  On Thursday we will be on Fox and Friends,  with a bunch of radio interviews and podcasts to keep us busy in between the TV shows, and a book signing at the Astor Place Barnes & Noble at 7 pm on Thursday night. We won’t be doing bookstore appearances, so come out and see us if you live in the New York area.

Everyone asks what my favorite chapter is, and my answer changes daily, because in different moods I love them all. Last night, though, my older daughter’s favorite was the entry on doing pop-a-wheelies. It’s a small paragraph in the final chapter titled Miscellenia, and she liked it because it calls out to all kids–those who ride off-road, rough-and-tumble mountain bikes and those who ride ladylike blue pastel bikes with tassels flowing out the handlebars , and those who like both, and more, too. We wrote this book for all girls, for all their moods, and for the many ways that they find of being a girl.  To all the girls, we say, Enjoy.

Daring Quotes

Posted by Miriam on October 29th, 2007

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure; it is either a daring adventure or nothing.

Helen Keller

Daring for Girls

Posted by Miriam on October 29th, 2007

We are often asked what is daring about The Daring Book for Girls. Some reporters and interviewers ask it with a shade of sarcasm, even, as if to imply that the activities aren’t very daring at all. It goes without saying that these same reporters are usually in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, and they’ve forgotten what daring feels like when you are young.

I was reminded of this earlier tonight. We had received a phantom Halloween bag this morning at our front door. Along with the candy came a phantom picture to put on our front window and directions to wait until dark, pack two bags of candy, and deliver them–with copies of the phantom picture and the directions–to two friends. The only caveat: make sure that whoever gets them doesn’t already have a phantom picture in their window. It’s not a popularity contest, but a sharing of the love.

We don’t know who delivered ours, except to say there was a similar bag on our neighbor’s doorstep, and a suspicious phantom picture already posted in the window of our neighbor two doors down.

So today, we bought some candy, dropped some in each of two paper lunch bags, and after dark, set out in the van to drop them off. At first my older daughter was blase. To my obvious delight at the phantom-bags–what a wonderful community activity!–my daughter shrugged her shoulders. Well, that was before she got a taste of the special thrill of stealth delivery by night. On the way home from soccer practice, we crawled the van past each house, stopped long enough for her to toss open the side door, run as fast as she could to the door, drop the bag, ring the doorbell, and jump back into the van, slamming the door shut as we took off.

To our jaded eyes, this is no big deal, but you should  have heard the laughter; should have heard her saying, Now I know why you were so excited, Mom; should have heard her say, I wish we had ten candy bags to drop off.  Turns out that stealth drop-offs and secret door-bell ringing are indeed a daring thrill when you are nine. It’s simple joys like this, the ones that make us laugh, that capture the essence of The Daring Book for Girls.

Did You Know…

Posted by Miriam on October 29th, 2007

Queen Zenobia of Palmyra was a famed leader and warrior, and led her own Middle Eastern empire in the third century. Her mother was from Egypt, and Zenobia claimed to be descended from the great Cleopatra.

Queens of the Ancient World V: Zenobia, Queen of the East, p. 262.

Did You Know…

Posted by Miriam on October 24th, 2007

that high tides are higher during the new moon and full moon? These are called spring tides. People who fish don’t much like spring tides–the water level is higher, and silt and sand from the bottom churn up and make the water murky. The result: Fish can’t see the bait on your line, and that’s no good if you’re trying to catch them.

Reading Tide Charts, p. 146.