Happy to report I didn't fall off the roof of my apartment building in Lisbon, Portugal (see post below). Even happier to report that Sarah and I both have had great summers! Sarah spent time in NYC while I was in Chautauqua, New York. Now I'm back at Queset House, my favorite haunted house/library in North Easton, Massachusetts, where I'm leading fiction workshops for kids and obituary writing workshops for grownups. Can you think of a more perfect place to write than right here?
I'm also working on a documentary about one of my new-found heroes, Blanche Ames. Check out the trailer here. Isn't she something?
Sometimes I really do feel like I'm on top of the world. Like when it's summer, and I'm in Lisbon, and I'm working on two new middle-grade novels with my favorite illustrator, a.k.a. sister Sarah (release dates 2020 and 2021), and my really nice Portuguese neighbor Elisabete invites me up on the roof of our apartment building. What could possibly go wrong here?
Thank you, sister Sarah, for sending me this fantastic article. And thank you, Jan Whitehead, for introducing me to Miss Rumphius when I thought I was too old for picture books. (What was I thinking???)
While I'm in Lisbon, Portugal, this summer, I'm working on a new manuscript. The first chapter is (for now) titled I Hate Stairs. But how could I hate these stairs in the little park by my apartment? Doesn't it look the trees are dropping purple snow? I'd never seen jacaranda trees before, but they're everywhere here. So pretty!
More later. Sarah and I are putting our 2020 book to bed this week. No purple snow in that book, but lots of little green dots. And a rabble-rousing librarian named Rita B. Danjerous. More on that anon.
The List of Things to Do Absolutely
Kate Klise , Sarah Klise
**** We love passionately
Astrid and her dog are inseparable. But doggies live less time than girls ... No sadness in this tale, but a delicate joy.Between them, it's capillary. To go back to the root of the affection of the little Astrid for her dog Eli, it is necessary to follow the hair of the young lady and the hairs of the doggie. It's sweet, it's fine, like corn threads. Both have the same mop of hair when she takes the wind. This is their charm, and their understanding is such that they are almost able to synchronize on command the movement of their hair. Yes, we can use this word to talk about the coat of Eli, a very human dog worked by the fear of aging. Yet it is charming, even graying then whitening, lustrous by the delicate brush of Sarah Klise. His owner has known him since birth, but dogs do not live as long as humans, so when the final gong approaches, Astrid accelerates the pace of activities so that the animal can close his eyes without regret. No sadness in this album on the skin, joy to the end, which does not happen, since the memory of love is eternal.
| Stay, translated from English (United States) by Ramona Badescu, ed. Albin Michel Jeunesse, 32 p., 11.50 €.
Thanks, Wiki wizards, for including STAY on your list of Best Heart-Warming Books for Kids. (Wonder if it'll also make the Best Heart-Warming Books for Dog List.)
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.