The $500,000 question isn’t an idle one for children’s authors this week. I could spend the whole morning thinking up things I could do with a MacArthur Grant, and if I actually had the money, maybe I would pass this a.m. that way.

But what I wouldn’t do if I had a MacArthur Grant, that’s a quick and easy one. I wouldn’t spend so much of my thinking and writing time the way I do now — on mentally weighing and juggling the various projects I’d love to take on, and on trying to figure out which ones fit best into my limited minutes.

I would un-limit my time in a major way, and actually pursue a lot more of those projects (in an orderly fashion, of course) rather than just wonder when I’ll have time to get around to them.

Until one of those “genius grants” comes my way, maybe should devise an award of my own. I’ll call it the “Brainerd Prize” (motto: “Good one, brainerd”), give it to myself, and — thusly honored — try to come up with an idea for how to fix that logjam of projects.