Dear Nate and All Young Readers in Wilmette, Illinois:
You inspired ME to write. Thanks for the great visit.
How hilarious is this? Bravo, Leo!
Remember how in The Phantom of the Post Office both Seymour Hope and Wy Fye come down with the mysterious "phantom flu"? I think that's what I had last week. All I wanted to do was tell you about the AWESOME young readers and writers I met in Lawrence, Independence, Warrensburg, and San Antonio . . . and I couldn't because of the dang phantom flu. (And I even got my flu shot this year! What gives?) Anyway, I'm back among the living now and I hope these pictures tell a thousand words about all the impressive future authors/illustrators I met out there on the road. Could I be any more impressed? No! You guys knocked me out!
I love how Anessa from Iowa started this letter. "Dear Ms. Klise, I have no clue what to say." Neither do I! It's been so long since I've posted here. Should I tell you that I bought the cutest little apartment in Lisbon, Portugal, on a street named Olival, which is Olive in Portuguese? Isn't the view pretty? (See below.)
Or should I tell you that sister Sarah and I are working on a new series starring a group of can-do fifth graders and their rabble-rousing school librarian, whose name is Rita B. Danjerous? (Say it fast.) Or should I tell you how much I'm looking forward to meeting all the young authors in Lawrence, Ks., San Antonio, Tx., Wilmette, Ill, and Omaha, Ne. in the weeks ahead? Or or or . . . See what I mean? I have no clue what to say! But I should tell say you can always write to me here. Missouri is still my home base. I just plan to spend my writing months in Portugal. More on that to come.
"Oliver" is one of my all-time favorite musicals about a can-do boy who can and does amazing things. So imagine what a thrill it was to meet a real, live boy named Oliver Massey last night in Scituate, Massachusetts, who did an amazing thing: He wrote, directed, and co-starred in a musical based on our book, "The Show Must Go On!" You can see for yourself in these pictures how much work Oliver and his friends (and cute brother, Parker) put into this show. Deep bows to Oliver, his fab family (I met them all last night!), his school librarian at Inly, Shelley (loved her and that cool school!), and, of course, his "secret weapon" Kristin. As I told him in my clumsy and impromptu on-stage speech after the final curtain call, I *know* this will be the first of many, MANY productions from Oliver Massey!
Read more about the production here. The local paper did a cute story on it!
Sorry for the silence lately. Sarah and I have been lollygagging all summer long in Lisbon, Barcelona, and New York. But now I'm back in North Easton, Massachusetts, for the next four weeks. If you're in the area on Wednesday nights, stop by for my 6:30 writing workshops at Queset House, my second favorite haunted house. (Olive C. Spence's mansion at 43 Old Cemetery Road has to be my #1 favorite, right?)
There's a lot of talk about Laura Ingalls Wilder this week. I confess I didn't love the books as much as Sarah did when we were younger, but I grew to love Wilder when I moved to Missouri as an adult. What I love most about her is not the books but the fact that she left her entire literary income--all her royalties from those bestselling books--to the public library she helped to found in Wright County, MO. (Actually, it was a life bequest to her only daughter, Rose. On Rose's death, all the money was to go to a little public library system.) Did the money go to the library? Nope. It went to Rose's Harvard-educated lawyer, Roger Lee MacBride, who passed himself off as Rose's "adopted grandson" for years. He profited, as did his family, and the NY publisher. Everyone but the little library Wilder hoped to endow. To my mind, that's the bitter irony in this tale: Laura had more in common with ripped-off Native Americans than she knew.