Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I am Moved to Write

My husband wants me to buy a plush and expensive new car. The Forester I am driving now is not that old and in great shape, so how does he justify this extravagance? “It will be a complete write-off,” he claims.

Maybe he has a point. Every August, when we begin our long drive to Maine, it is a matter of moments before I get that certain look on my face. And then Rob knows he’s in for it. Pretty soon I will be barraging him with tongue twisters and silly verse. From time to time I will consult him, asking which sounds better- “bumbling black bear” or “bungling black bear?” or other such blithering blather. But most of the time he is left alone, subject only to my incessant muttering and frenetic scribbling. For the next nine hours the poor guy is trapped in the car with me, his riding, writing fool.

He is free to listen to music, or to the news, or to talk on the cell phone, none of which distract me. Once I have engaged my gears, the RPMs (rhymes per minute) keep accelerating and my mind drives full speed ahead.

Oh, I could see myself in a spiffy new car, with lavish leather reclining seats, climate control, quiet interior, mood lighting and a computer with satellite Internet connection.

A limo is actually what I have in mind. Instead, we travel in my husband’s work van, loaded chock-full of luggage, 212 pounds of dogs and cat, and towing a sailboat. It happens to be a very nice, roomy vehicle, but its rigid suspension makes for a rather stiff and bumpy ride, and its lack of sound insulation creates a non-stop drone that resembles a ride in an old New York subway.

But all of this is irrelevant, for I have entered a blissfully oblivious state, and the only sound I hear is the playful babble in my brain.

My facial expressions, I am told, range from agitated twitches to motionless, blank stares. Rob will sometimes try to talk to me, or take my pulse if I don’t respond. But when I do look at him, my expression is glazed-over and strange. He has every right at that point to demand: “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?’

But, he is a patient and supportive man. Rather than feeling abandoned, he spurs me on. And whether it’s his big heart, or strong instinct for survival, he always assumes all of the driving when I am moved to write.

And now I need to talk to my accountant.

Posted by Iza Trapani, author and illustrator of loads and loads of books, but most recently Rufus and Friends: Rhyme Time, our characters of the month (see the bottom of the blog).

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

G'day, mate! - a note from Cassie

Hi ya!
My name if Cassie. I'm actually a character in an Aussie book called If the Shoe Fits. My wonderful author, Krista Bell, really captured me, I think. I love to dance. LOVE IT! But, the thought of dancing in front of an audience made me want to puke. But when I found out that the best dancer in the whole school--Jake (who is also very cute)--was also afraid, it gave me a weird kind of courage. I figured together we could help each other out. And we did! We even got chosen to be in the superstar dancer, Miranda Farren's, dance troupe. Teamwork really helps to make your dreams come true.

You know, living in Australia isn't so different than living in the United States, I think. Except, at Christmas, it's summer here. But, mostly the kids are just like the kids where you live. I love to dance just like loads of kids in the U.S. I worry about fitting in and wearing the right clothes, but I love hanging out with my friends. We do have different kinds of animals here, like koalas and platypus. If you want to get to know a little bit more about my country and the kids and animals who live here, try reading some of these books:

Besides dancing, I love to read and I've read all of these books. I guarantee you'll like them as much as I did.

Hoo-roo! (that means 'see you later').

Posted by Cassie, the main character in If the Shoe Fits.