This is where I'm working on the new series, between my morning walk and my afternoon marketing. Why have I never used a rainbow or an eclipse or a blood moon in a book? Hmm.
Last summer I took a master class in comedy writing from Alan Zweibel, a former writer for "Saturday Night Live." He gave me a piece of advice that, at the time, seemed crazy. "Always be working on more than one writing project at any time," he said. "Two projects or better yet, three."
I nodded and thanked Alan for the tip, but inside I was thinking: I can't even read more than one book at a time. How can I possibly write two or three books at the same time?
But now I'm in my new apartment in Lisbon, Portugal, working on, you guessed it, three projects. And I completely see Alan Zweibel's point. I start every day working on book 2 in our new series, The Appleton Files. (Patience, please. The first title will be released in 2020.) Then, I take a walking break (3, 4, 5 or 6 miles) and come back and work on a mystery set right here in Lisbon, with the vibe of the girl on this narrow street.
Then I take a break for lunch and spend the afternoon working on the script for a documentary about my new heroine, Blanche Ames, an artist, inventor, and tireless suffragist who helped women win the right to vote.
That's a very long way of passing along Alan Zweibel's simple advice: Always be working on more than one project at a time. Said another way: The more you have to do, the more you'll get done.
Okay, carry on, young writers.
Happy birthday to my favorite illustrator and creative partner who just happens to be my sister Sarah!
Oh my goodness, Omaha! You're knocking me out. Thanks to Omaha Public Schools for bringing me in this week. Loved meeting all my new elementary school friends. What a nice welcome they gave me! Thanks, too, to the Omaha Public Library for hosting a fun gathering on Monday night, and to the Bookworm for providing books and hosting a book signing last night at their cute store.
I had a chance yesterday afternoon to sneak in a trip to Omaha's famous Joslyn Art Museum, where I saw the lovely Matisse painting (bottom row, center pic). But I've gotta say: I was even *more* impressed by a fifth-grade artist at Washington Elementary named Millie. Don't you love her drawing (bottom row, right pic)?
I needed that hat this week. It's cold here! But all the love made me feel warm inside. Thanks, Omaha! And to Mr. Keel and all my new pals at Wakonda Elementary, here's the picture I promised you. (Sorry it's so blurry! I was laughing too hard to hold my phone steady.)
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.