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.
A friend visiting me here in Lisbon told me everyone needs to know his or her spirit animal. What's yours? I saw mine yesterday.
So fun (not to mention really intriguing) to see what kids put on their bucket lists after reading about the Eli's bucket list in our latest book STAY: A GIRL, A DOG, A BUCKET LIST.
We love that having a cat made Mohammad's list in Worth, Illinois!
Thanks for sharing, W.E. Library friends. Happy summer reading -- and bucket list making -- to all!
Thanks to the magnificent librarians in Maine for naming STAY: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List to their 2018-2019 Chickadee List!
I need to do a little research to find out why it's called the Chickadee List, but I'm too busy right now reading sweet reviews like this from my new friends in Maine. Thanks, pals!
(Back with my research results: The chickadee is the state bird of Maine. Now I know!)
When we were growing up, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, May 1st meant running around the neighborhood at dawn and hanging paper baskets on all the neighbors' front doors. The baskets were decorated (thanks, Sarah!) and filled with candy (my job!) and flowers. Does anyone still do this? It was such a fun tradition!
What do you do when you wake up in Warrensburg, Missouri, ready and eager and *excited* to deliver the keynote address at the 35th Annual Young Authors Conference . . . only to discover your car battery is dead as a doornail? Well, of course, you call fifth grade teacher extraordinaire and conference organizer Mr. Casey Laws, who not only comes and chauffeurs you to the conference but also escorts you to AutoZone after the event and installs for you a brand-new battery. Good grief, how nice is this guy? I knew he was an excellent teacher. I had no idea he was such a handy guy, or that he'd become such a good friend. Thanks, man! I owe you one. Or maybe two!