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!

 

 

Fan Mail Friday

So how many other writers have been immortalized in CAKE?! Am I the most fortunate author in the world or what?!

Stephanie's Wish You Were Eyre Cake

This is lovely Stephanie’s WISH YOU WERE EYRE cake that she dreamed up for her middle school’s “Bake A Book” activity.

Cool, huh?

I absolutely adore everything about this confection — the Eiffel Tower, the dresses, the pastel-colored macarons dancing around the edge – it’s pure genius!

THANK YOU for sending me these pictures, Stephanie!

I love your creativity and am honored you chose my book to “bake”!  🙂

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

 

 

 

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…

 

 

 

Fan mail Friday

Reaching into my mail bag today for a fun book club do-it-yourself project!

First of all, check out the centerpiece that this fifth grade book club put together when they discussed THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB:

Centerpiece

I love it!  Skates to represent Cassidy, a notebook and pen for Emma, sewing basket for Megan, and what looks like a stuffed dog for animal-lover Jess. Oh, and a copy of LITTLE WOMEN, of course.

But wait! There’s more! Check out the mood pillows that they made:

Mood Pillow 2

Mood Pillow 1

 

Cuuuuuute!  Wondering what a mood pillow is?  Click here to find out (hint: if you read LITTLE WOMEN, you’ll know).

Ann, who leads this particular book club, generously offered to share directions with all of my blog readers for making a no-sew mood pillow. Ready? Here you go!

You will need — cylindrical pillow insert, sweatpants or pajama leg (or sewn cylinder), sturdy rubber bands (2 each), ribbon (about 1 yd. each).

Pillow insert
This is what a pillow insert looks like

Take a pajama leg or a sweatpants leg and cut it the length of the pillow plus from six to ten inches on each side. Stuff the insert into the pants leg so that it is in the center. Gather up the excess fabric on either side, and make a ‘pigtail’ with it, securing it with sturdy rubber bands.

Finally, cut the yard of ribbon in half, and tie a bow over each rubber band!

Mood Pillow 3

Thanks, Ann, and thanks to your book club girls and moms, too!