Once again I start out with an apology. Time just whizzes past, doesn't it?  And as usual I have been on the road.

First of all: New York, for the Symphony Space celebration of the 20th anniversary of the publication of NUMBER THE STARS (too many "of"s in that sentence, I know)  Crowded theater, lots of kids. And a wonderful moderator..or maybe she would be called interviewer...Lauren Oliver, who sat with me on stage and asked great questions.  Also, a special treat: actor Sean Astin, who owns the film rights to NTS and is very passionate about the book. He read a selection and then answered questions about a posisble film.  Like all such undertakings, it requires big $$$$ and so far that has not been forthcoing, though Sean's enthusiasm and passion...and smarts...could bring it about. Let's hope.  Here I am with Sean:


After New York, I went to Clarksdale, Mississippi to speak at their public library as part of a lecture series.  The only time I have ever been in the part of Mississippi they call "The Delta"...known for its blues...and unfortunately I was not there long enough to savor the music but I did have some good food and met some terrific poeple.

From there I went to Birmingham, Alabama, for a remarkable weekend in which I was part of a small group invited to be with the Dalai Lama. (My brother asked me if I sang "Helloooo Dalai" to him. I did not.)  He was to speak to multitides of people on the Sunday of the weekend, but I sent time with him Saturday...up close and personal...and stayed in the same hotel (and was part of a car full of people who went out late on Saturday night looking for a place to buy papayas, which His Holiness wanted for breakfast. ("I'm sorry, Whole Foods closes at 9 PM." "But we need papayas for the Living Deity." You had to be there)

A visit to the Civil Rights Museum was very moving, and time spent...with His Holiness...in the 16th Street Baptist Church...gave one a profound sense of history, humility, and human rights.

Now I am back in Maine, where tonight I am wearing a huge witch's hat to a Halloween party, and tomorrow going to see "Carmen"...and Tuesday, voting for the first time in this state (well, that is not entirely true. I lived in Maine in the 70s and voted then)

Next trip will be to Savannah for their Book Festival in mid-November.