Lois Lowry's Blog


To-do list

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Thursday, 17 June 2010 in Uncategorized

Every evening, before I go to bed, I make a little list of things to do the next day.  Here in Maine, where I am alone and using the solitary time to work, those things are almost entirely work-related. (Okay, occasionally a DUMP RUN notation)  Back home, in Cambridge, there will more often be notes like "Call Nancy about movie time" or "lunch with Susan" or "Dentist"

Today's list had only three things. One, I was to write an short article about Paul Harding, author of the book TINKERS, which recently won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It's a gorgeous book (with a gorgeous jacket; see below) and a well-deserved award.  (And darn; I just inserted the book jacket, which is predominantly (and beautifully) WHITE---and of course it is hard for it to show up against this white background. I'm going to outline it in black—

  And maybe you can get a tiny hint of its stark beauty:

Tinkers copy

I wrote the brief piece and sent it off by email and drew a line through "Paul Harding article" on my little notepad.

Next on my list was "Plunka interview"

Dr. Gene Plunka is the name of the University of Memphis professor currently writing a book on Holocaust drama.  He had sent me questions about the dramatic (and one musical) productions of NUMBER THE STARS.

I answered him and drew a line through "Plunka interview"

There was no notation saying "update blog"---but here I am, doing just that. It's a method, actually, of procrastination. Important to sit at the desk, thinking, and typing, but sometimes I am not quite ready to turn my attention to actual fiction writing. And that is the third (and final) note to myself: "Chapter 5."

That's actually Chapter 5 of Part I.  There are also Parts II and III of this complex book, and each of those parts has several chapters already written. I don't recommend this hippety-hop method of writing...because obviously things will happen in Part I that will profoundly affect Parts II and II, so I will end up doing re-writing. But so be it.

I was about to turn to Chapter 5 as soon as I finish this. But then an email came in through my website from a woman who has sent me her entire book manuscript as well as illustrations done by a friend of hers. I'm going to answer her right away to try to steer her in the right direction but with tact. If I don't do it right now, it will sit there, and I will be aware of it, and it will start to loom in my consciousness and I will be weighed down with guilt.

I am doing it RIGHT NOW.  And then: Chapter 5.

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Kirby Larson Monday, 29 November 1999

What an adventure! That sky is such an intense shade of blue. And I didn't realize the moai always faced inland. Did you learn the reason for that?
Welcome home!

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Yes...though this may be TMI. They were effigies of tribal chiefs, often erected when they were still living, and they looked out over their own villages. The remains of the villages are still there.The indiviudal heads, like the ones with the horses grazing, are still at the quarry, waiting to be moved to their places, as opposed to those set up on their platforms.

ojimenez Monday, 29 November 1999

These photographs are hauntingly alluring.
I've a vivid memory of the southern hemisphere: on a clear night, bright stars covered every inch of the velvety sky. It was just magical.
Did you look up at sky during a clear night?

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Yes indeed. And every night was clear and speckled with stars. I saw a very similar sky in South Africa last spring.

Karen Monday, 29 November 1999

Beautiful pictures of a truly unique place. The absence of trees is striking. When my sixth graders study Easter Island, our focus is on the deforestation, and its impact on the civilization.
Of course, in typical sixth grade fashion, when I shared your pictures and postings with them, their first questions focused on a horse possibly poking a head in a window. They are wondering what the accommodations and restaurants are like on Easter Island. And, Nick is wondering if you got to sleep in a hammock.
We would be very excited if you were to take the time to post answers to our questions.
Thank you!!!

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

There is only one small town, and there are, indeed, restaurants in it---but I didn't try any because I was staying in the only hotel that is NOT in the town (all others are, and they are all, I think, fairly small) so I ate at my own hotel every meal.
Yes, a horse could certainly poke its head into your window. Because there are no mosquitoes, there are no screens; and because the climate is warm, the windows are mostly open. It would be a nice way to wake up, I think, looking at a horse (unless, of course, you were in the movie THE GODFATHER).
No, I didn't sleep in a hammock! But because of the climate and the no-bugs, I would have, if there had been a hammock handy!

Karen Monday, 29 November 1999

Thank you so much for responding to our questions about Easter Island. My students were thrilled when I shared your comments.

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