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And the award goes to...

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Sunday, 02 April 2006
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I am thinking about awards. I am thinking about awards today because this afternoon I went to the Kennedy library to watch several very deserving writers receive the Hemingway/PEN NE Award and the Winship Award. One of the writers, the poet Stanley Kunitz, was not there because, well, he is 101 years old; and when you are 101 they understand if you choose not to show up. You have shown up for 100 years or so and now it is okay to stay home and read a book instead.

But I bet he is delighted to win the award, anyway. He probably has a whole room of them.

I have a wall, myself. I call it the Wall of Perpetual Self-Adoration and I have included a couple of photos of it here. It is a sneaky way to display my grandchildren, as well.

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About Reviews

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Saturday, 01 April 2006
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Yes, I’m aware that I have now posted two quite glowing reviews: one from PW for my newest book, GOSSAMER, and one for the play adapted from THE GIVER.

And so I am in danger of becoming a member of the Strut-and-Preen Society.

Would this woman post a BAD review? Readers want to know.

Yeah, I guess I would. Will.

But not today because I don’t have one close at hand. Let me muse for a moment about reviews in general, though.

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Typos and other misfortunes

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Thursday, 30 March 2006
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"My name is Lois and I'm a bad typist." Maybe there should be a support group for people like me, where we would confess and then sit around drinking coffee and commiserating. Bad typing DOES require sympathy and support, because invariably the bad typist types "pubic" when she means "public" and it comes back to haunt her. Me.

The thing is, I taught myself to type when I was a child, sneaking in and using my father's manual Royal typewriter when he wasn't around to catch me at it. (Oh, maybe he wouldn't have minded all that much; he was a good dad.) No one told me that there were rules and procedures for typing. I just did it....and did it and did it....and after a while I did it very fast; but I still can't do it without looking (when I wore the print off the keys of my laptop computer, Apple replaced the whole keyboard for me but until that new one arrived in the mail I waas comletely sunk...could not remember where a single letter was) and I have never done it without a lot of mistakes.

When I first began writing books, back in 1976, I was using a portable typewriter on a small table in an unobtrusive corner of my then husband's study. I used carbon paper. If I revised anything, it meant re-typing the whole blasted thing. I was thrilled when erasable typing paper was invented; it enhanced my life immeasurably.

I got a word processor in, oh, maybe 1990 0r 1991. It was a large, noisy machine called a Decmate II and it cost me a fortune: $6,000. I thought it was a computer, but what did I know; it was simply a word processor. THE GIVER was the first book that I wrote on a non-typewriter, and I remember the sheets rolling out of the printer - clatter clatter clatter - and I had to tear them apart one by one. But still! I could correct all my zillions of typos without re-typing or erasing or using White-out! It changed my life.

In 1994 my friend Carol Otis Hurst told me that what I had was not a computer at all, and I should get a computer, and she showed me hers, which she was carrying at the time. This conversation took place in the Toronto airport. Holy Moley! I thought. This person is carrying her work with her! She can sit in a hotel room and write. And revise. And then pick the whole thing up and take it home, and it only weighs...what? She handed it to me, using just one hand.. Back home my enormous Decmate II was taking up the entire top of my desk and floor space besides and scaring the neighbors with its noise.

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Stage Stuff

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Thursday, 30 March 2006
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THE GIVER has just had a new and wonderfully successful incarnation on the stage in Portland, Oregon.

The adaptation used there, and beautifully staged by Oregon Children's Theater director Stan Foote, was written by Eric Coble. And in May, in Pittsburgh, the Prime Stage Co. will present a different adaptation of the same book: this one by Diana Basmajian. Reading both scripts...(and at the same time reading the screenplay)...was fascinating, since each writer approaches the material differently..and of course translating a book to a more visual medium is a unique challenge.

Here's a review of the performance in Oregon. Pittsburgh's, of course, is still to come.


THE OREGONIAN
Friday, March 10, 2006

-- Michael McGregor

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Gooney Bird

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Wednesday, 29 March 2006
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Usually when an author receives a foreign edition of a book, there is some clue as to what language you're looking at. If you remember the words from high school French class, okay, that one's easy. When it is Turkish or Hungarian you can figure it out by finding...in the small print...the name of the city where it was published. Ankara or Budapest is pretty definitive.

But this one was a mystery to me. THere was nothing recognizable in the small print. So I sent a jpeg of it to my friend Alan, who was once a good Bar Mitzvah boy, and have just heard back from him: yes, it is Hebrew. "Do you want my sister in Israel to translate it?" he asks. But no, I won't bother Alan's sister. if it says "Gooney Bird Greene" in English...as it does...then it will be some similiarly silly name in Hebrew. And isn't it fun to think of kids in Israel getting a laugh out of this character?!

I have just finished writing a third book about Gooney Bird and it is at Houghton Mifflin now, awaiting illustrations and then publication...probably spring 2007. But I can give you a title now - GOONEY THE FABULOUS - and the first few paragraphs, which will provide a hint of content that creates the title:


“And so,” Mrs. Pidgeon said, reading the final page of the book she was holding, “because the ant had worked very hard, he and his friends had food all winter. But the grasshopper had none, and found itself dying of hunger.”
“Oh, no!” Keiko wailed. “I hate stories where people die!”
Malcolm, who had been rolling paper into balls while he listened to the story, tossed a little paper pellet at Keiko. “It’s not people,” he pointed out. “It’s a dumb grasshopper! It’s only a grasshopper! Just a grasshopper!”
“Nobody cares if a grasshopper dies!” Tyrone said.
“I do,” Keiko murmured sadly. She folded her arms on her desk and then laid her head down on her arms.

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For starters

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Tuesday, 28 March 2006
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This is, to be honest, an experiment. I'm lookng for a way to update readers to news about new books, signings, speaking engagements, and the ever-changing world of movie-making. I don't want to get sucked into a bottomless pit of back-and-forth conversations, nor do I want to schmooze about my family doings: how cute my grandkids are, or how fascinating our day-to-day life.

BUT: from time to time there is news, and I'm trying to see if this might be a good way to put it out there.

For starters: the new book, GOSSAMER, is not officially "out" yet...its publication date is mid-April. But the copies do exist...I've just today received a carton which I will shortly sign and mail off to those same kids and grandkids I swore (see previous paragragh) I wasn't going to blather about.

And it has been reviewed; this from PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:

Gossamer
Lois Lowry. Houghton/Lorraine, $16 (144p) ISBN 0-618-68550-2

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