Fan mail Friday

I am w-a-y overdue with a fan mail update (and w-a-y behind on answering my fan mail, for all of you waiting so patiently to hear back from me), and a recent flurry of absolutely truly FABULOUS photos some of you sent in has given me just the nudge I needed.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, the pictures I’m going to share with you today are worth more than that — they’re worth their weight in gold! It’s hard to put in words how much it means to me to receive your letters and beautiful drawings and lovely photos. To say that it touches my heart is the understatement of the 21st century! But that’s exactly what it does, and I treasure each and every one of my readers who so generously take the time to thank me in this way.

The connection between reader and writer is a special one, isn’t it? I ponder it often. In a way, reading a book is a long conversation between the writer and the reader — at least I like to think of it that way. It’s a conversation that transcends time and place, that can reach across the centuries. Just think of it, Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice for me! Someone she would never know; someone living in a world she couldn’t possibly have imagined at the time she was writing. And E.B. White — could he have dreamed of the impact that Charlotte’s Web would have on me?

Me, happily connecting with E.B. White

And now, my books are going out into the world, and connecting with many of you — and in turn you reach out to connect with me, whether it’s through the pure and wondrous experience of reading itself, or whether it’s through your letters, your emails, your comments on this blog, your artwork, or your photographs.

Thank you, each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart!

And now, this Friday’s fan mail:

Do you love this sweet smile or what?!  Wow!

And how about this one? Heart-melter, right?

And look at this amazing mother-daughter book club! Don’t they look like they’d be fun to read with? 

Come back and visit again on future Fridays, as I have more fun fan art and photos to share. And meanwhile, it’s JULY! National ice cream MONTH! What are you doing sitting here reading this blog? You should be out there rustling up some ice cream. Go! Now! Do it!

 

 

A Mother-Daughter Book Club quiz for you

Here’s a little quiz sent in by one of my readers — thank you, Sabina!  How fun is this?!

Which mother (or grandmother) are you?

You’re in charge of dessert for your family today. You…
a) Bake a chocolate volcano cupcake
b) Make macaroons
c) Bake whole wheat, sugar free rhubarb cookies
d) Go to the local ice-cream shop and bring some ice cream home
e) Bake a coconut cream pie
f) Bake brownies

You like…
a) Cooking
b) Paris and fashion
c) Making the world a better place
d) Literature
e) Gardening
f) Acting

It’s your child’s (or grandchild’s) birthday! You give them…
a) Sports-themed jewelry
b) A trip to Paris
c) 100 trees planted in your child’s name
d) A boxed set of novels
e) An educational trip
f) A cake decorating class with you and your child

You and your child (or grandchild)…
a) Have different interests, but not very distant
b) Are super close
c) Are VERY different!
d) Are super-duper close!
e) Aren’t very close
f) Except occasionally, close

If you answered mostly…
a) You are Mrs. Sloane-Kinkaid!
b) You are Gigi!
c) You are Mrs. Wong!
d) You are Mrs. Hawthorne!
e) You are Mrs. Chadwick! (Isn’t that fantastic?)
f) You are Mrs. Deleany!

 

Which daughter are you?

Your house is…
a) An ultra-modern house
b) A cozy Cape Cod-style house
c) A little house on a farm
d) A victorian “Painted Lady”
e) A stiff, formal house with a stiff, formal garden

People would describe you as…
a) Fashionable
b) A bookworm
c) Super smart
d) Sporty
e) A frenemy

Your hobby is…
a) Sewing and designing clothes
b) Reading and writing
c) Helping rehabilitate animals
d) Playing sports
e) Cheerleading

You’ve had a bad day at school. To cheer yourself up, you…
a) Read a fashion magazine
b) Work on a poem
c) Volunteer at an animal shelter
d) Go to the rink or other place to play sports
e) Go to the mall

It’s your turn to pick a book for book club! You pick…
a) A book on the history of fashion
b) Jane Eyre
c) A story about a horse or other animal
d) A biography of a famous sports star
e) A “diary” book about middle school drama

If you answered mostly…
a) You are Megan!
b) You are Emma!
c) You are Jess!
d) You are Cassidy!
e) You are Becca!
Which father (or stepfather) are you most like?

Your job is…
a) An accountant
b) You don’t have a stable job yet, but for now, pizza delivering!
c) You work on a farm
d) A writer
e) A computer whiz

You like to…
a) Watch sports
b) Play volleyball
c) Do farm work
d) Read and write
e) Fiddle with technology

If you answered mostly…
a) You are Stanley Kinkaid!
b) You are Mr. Chadwick!
c) You are Mr. Delaney!
d) You are Mr. Hawthorne!
e) You are Mr. Wong!

Anybody want to share who they got?  Feel free to comment below!  

Fan mail Friday

Can you believe it’s October? I think this is my favorite month of the year (of course, I say that every month) — piercingly blue skies, apple crisp kind of days, leaves putting on their colorful fall coats and crunching underfoot, and the smell of woodsmoke in the air. I can’t get enough of October!

I have two great pieces of fan art to share with you this week. Coincidentally, they’re both collages.

The first one was sent to me by Shivi:

Shivi's Collage

Isn’t this clever and fun?  I absolutely love it! Thank you, Shivi!

And here’s the one that Rebecca sent:

Rebecca's collageI just love that line she used: “Some stories stay with us forever.” SO TRUE. And I’m honored that she feels mine are worthy of those words.  Thank you, Rebecca!

 ::happy sigh::

I have the best fans in the world!

Fan mail Friday

Wow, am I behind on answering mail again! Sorry, folks–that’s what happens when you’re a writer on deadline, and I’m juggling TWO of them…

I have some great fan art to share with you this week, though. First up is a wonderful group portrait of the book club girls by Claire.

Claire's art

(As always, if you click on any picture here on my blog, it should enlarge for you.)

Claire, I love your attention to detail — Cassidy with her hockey stick (and Chloe!), Becca on her cell phone, Megan shopping (!), Jess with one of her goats and a book bag, and Emma reading (of course!), with Pip peeking out from behind her. Brilliant! Thank you so much for sending this to me!

It’s interesting, this week as I started in on my pile of mail again after neglecting it sadly for a bit, I found that I’d received letters from a wide range of locations. Claire is from the United States (Tennessee, to be exact), while this next piece of artwork is from Zoie, a reader in Canada (Ontario, to be exact):

Zoie's art (1)

Thanks, Zoie! I love this card!! And I love what you added inside, too:

Zoie's art (2)

Because who doesn’t love PIE on their birthday? Or any day? Funny thing is, we often have pie instead of cake for family birthdays, because we are all serious pie fanatics. When my oldest son was just a toddler, he requested pumpkin pie for his birthday, with Teddy Grahams marching around on it. We were happy to oblige!

Continuing with our world tour, let’s hop from Canada on to my final treat for you today, which comes from two sisters living in MALTA!!!  (Click on the link to learn more, or look it up on a map.) How cool is that? I have readers in Malta!

This picture is by Amy, who also told me that she has nine tortoises for pets. How exotic! I would dearly love to meet them.

Amy's artDon’t you just love this drawing? I do!  You’re a wonderful artist, Amy. I love Jess and her braid, Megan with her stylish outfit, and Cassidy with her Red Sox T-shirt (by the way, GO RED SOX!). Well done!

I’m giving Amy’s sister Megan the final word today. This made me laugh out loud. I absolutely love it — wouldn’t it be great on a T-shirt? Thank you, Megan!

Megan's art

 

 

Fan mail Friday

It’s that time of the week again!

Before I share this week’s mail with you, though, I have something exciting to announce. We finally have a title for MDBC #7!!

MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CAMP

Fun, huh?

I love it. Love it! And I’m enormously grateful to Justin Chanda, one of Simon & Schuster’s resident geniuses, for the suggestion. My editor and I kept throwing spaghetti at the wall, but nothing was sticking …

Anyway, a sneak preview of the book will be coming along later this spring, so stay tuned. I also happen to know that one of the goddesses in the S&S art department (Lucy, I’m looking at you!) has a REALLY cool idea for the cover, so once it’s been designed I’ll post it here on my blog.

I think you’re going to like this new book (she says modestly). And yes, it really is the FINAL one in the series, in case you’re wondering. I had such a great time writing this story, and I can’t wait to share it with the world!

So, on to more important things here — your mail! This week, I have a couple of great drawings to show you from Brooke. Her favorite book in the series is PIES & PREJUDICE, so she chose to picture the girls in their ballgowns:

Brooke - mdbc girls

Don’t you love it?

But wait! That’s not all! Brooke also sent along a drawing of the MDBC moms:

Brooke - mdbc moms

This is SUCH fun. I don’t get to see the mothers as often — well, aside from in my mind’s eye. Did you catch the slogan on Mrs. Wong’s T-shirt? Well done, Brooke! You’re awesome.

As always, many thanks for your letters and emails. They’re the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae that is my life as an author! 

Fan mail Friday

You know I don’t play favorites, right? I love all of my readers, and I love all of the mail you send me. Nothing brightens my day more than reading a letter or an email or a comment from one of you.

But this drawing is pretty special. Take a close look, and I think you’ll agree. It’s from oh-so-clever Madelyn, an eighth grader who is clearly a fan of our Saturday Story Starters.  (Click on her drawing to enlarge it.)

 

Maddy 8th

 

Am I right or am I right?

Thank you, Madelyn! I LOVE all the thought and effort that went into this beautiful drawing! So fun.

And speaking of Saturday Story Starter — stay tuned. I have a fun one coming tomorrow for you…

Fan mail Friday

More goodies to share with you all this week!  My mailbox overfloweth!

Here’s a fun drawing by Muriel, who’s 11:

Muriel's drawing 2

It’s her favorite scene from DEAR PEN PAL, when my mother-daughter book club girls go to visit their friends on the ranch in Gopher Hole, Wyoming. I love that part of the story, too.  Wonderful job, Muriel — and such vivid color!

Here’s another drawing, this one from Maggie, who also happens to be 11:

Maggie's drawing 2(I hope you know you can click on these drawings to enlarge them and see them up close.)

Another wonderful job — I love all the fun details that let us know who each girl is. My favorite part is the frisky little tail on Jess’s baby goat.

Thank you, Maggie, and thank you, Muriel. You are both fabulous artists!

I love my fans!

Candy Hearts

 

 

 

Fan mail Friday

Oh, the fabulous things that show up in my mailbox!

I have a trio of treats to share with you today, starting with this charming envelope:

Cailey's Envelope - front

Cailey's envelope - back

Now I ask you, is that a day brightener or what? Thank you for popping a little sunshine into my mailbox, Cailey!

Next up is a delicate black-and-white drawing by Brooke, who’s in the 7th grade:

Brooke - 7th gradeShe drew this on a small piece of paper — I love seeing “my” girls in miniature! Super job, Brooke!

Finally, Ella sent me the most adorable picture of herself, holding a boxed set of the MDBC books. I’m not going to include it here, to protect her privacy, but I AM going to share the beautiful drawing she sent me!

Ella - age 10

Ella is 10. There’s no way I could have drawn this well at 10. Heck, I can’t even draw this well now, many years later! I love the rich color, and all the details that let viewers know exactly which book club girl is which. Thank you, Ella!

And thank you, Cailey and Brooke. You are ALL rock stars as far as I’m concerned!

 

All caught up … except for a missing few

Drumroll, please…

I am officially ALL CAUGHT UP with my mail!

Not a snail mail or email is in sight, and my inbox is completely empty. Nada, nichts, zip awaits an answer.  ::pats self on back::  The first of my New Year’s resolutions, already crossed off the list! 2015 is off to a good start.

However, there are a few of you who either mistyped your email addresses or have since changed your addresses since you wrote to me. Those emails bounced back, which makes me sad. I don’t like thinking that there are readers out there who took the time to write to me and are disappointed that I didn’t write back, when in fact I tried to but couldn’t.

So, if your name is Caroline or Juni or Jessica or Rachel or Hannah, and you sent me an email and didn’t hear back, please contact me again with a correct email address and I’ll send my reply along!

mailbox with bird

 

 

Fan mail Friday

First of all, a very Happy New Year to you all!

Happy New Year birds

Can you believe it’s 2015?

It’s now officially the year that Marty McFly traveled to in the movie Back to the Future II.

Marty McFly 2015

What? You haven’t seen Back to the Future II?!  What are you doing reading this blog? Go right now and watch it.  Now!  Go!  Shoo!

I’m still waiting for my hoverboard to show up…

hoverboard

Meanwhile, what HAS shown up is wonderful, fabulous mail in my mailbox! And I want to share some of it with you. (By the way, I have just one New Year’s resolution this year:  Catching up on all my mail. If you’ve been waiting patiently to hear back from me, please be patient just a wee bit longer…)

How would you like to find an envelope addressed like THIS in your mailbox?

Hand-lettered envelope

This is from Lydia and Hannah, and the envelope was HAND-LETTERED and decorated by Lydia (I couldn’t put all of it on here, because I want to keep their return address private). Absolutely knocked my socks off. Someone has a promising future as a graphic designer and artist, don’t you think?

Inside was a letter, also BEAUTIFULLY decorated …

Lydia and Hannah letter

… and so very enthusiastic and kind it just made my heart sing! I am so humbled and grateful to have readers like all of you.

In addition to this fabulous letter (not gonna show you the other side, because of personal information), there was this very clever and accomplished drawing:

MDBC hair

If you click on it, it should enlarge for you. It’s by Hannah, and isn’t it wonderful? I LOVE the idea of showing the characters’ hairstyles — from the back!  So unique! Your artistic career is inevitable too, Hannah, from what I see!

Thanks, girls, for starting my new year off with a bang! And look for a reply from me in your mailbox soon…