Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Thank you, Maddie!

I have very little energy today.

Monday was the Epic Tennis Day of all time. My daughter has not given me permission to blog about it, which is too bad, because honestly it was a day full of stories. Which is probably why I don't have her permission.

Yesterday the farrier came to trim the horses' hooves and reset their shoes. When he's here I usually hang out in the barn, so that I can call the ambulance if one of the horses kicks him (not that they should--but still) and yesterday I used the time to start a very long-delayed spring cleaning. I cleaned the feed room and the area in front of three stalls (blanket bars, halter hooks, and little shelves that have a bad habit of collecting randoms items). I found all the hoof picks that have gone missing over the last decade.

Anyway, as you can tell, this doesn't make for a scintillating blog post. And today's schedule is yoga, working at Faith in Action, and watching Still More Tennis, so that's not thrilling either. (Okay, the tennis may be--but you'll never know, because my daughter will not let me blog about it.)

Fortunately, Maddie has come to your aid. Maddie's in fourth grade in Indiana, the state in which I grew up. She's doing a school report and sent me a list of very good questions:

1. What is your favorite book that you have written? Mine is Ruthie's gift. I've read it two times 

It used to be Ruthie's Gift, too, but now it's The War That Saved My Life. Ruthie's Gift was about my grandmother and the family stories she used to tell me, so it will always be special to me. But The War That Saved My Life is a better achievement--a better book, and I'm really proud of it.

2. What was your favorite book in fourth grade? .
Misty of Chincoteague. My fourth-grade teacher had a whole set of Marguerite Henry books, and I read them over and over

3. What was your favorite thing to do when you were in fourth grade? 
I'll be honest: fourth grade was a terrible time in my life. I don't remember much about it as enjoyable. But I read books to escape, so probably reading.

4. What are your accomplishments that you are most proud of in your life?
The home my husband and I made with our two children. They've grown up into really lovely curious young adults, and while I can't say I accomplished that, I think I helped create an environment where they could thrive.

5. What are your accomplishments that you are most proud of in your work?
Learning to slow down and find new depths in my writing. I used to write books more quickly, but they weren't as good. Jefferson's Sons was so hard to get right that it took me a long time, and that turned out to be useful. I wrote and rewrote The War That Saved My Life.

6. I know that you love horses (I love unicorns but for real I love penguins) but is that your most favorite hobby? It seems like it is but I want to make sure. Also a website says knitting.
Which website says knitting? I'm curious because while I do like to knit, I don't think I ever called it my favorite thing. I also love unicorns, but for real I love otters. But horses and riding them are my favorite hobby. I learned to ride in college, bought a very cheap horse right after I graduated, and have had horses ever since. My mare Sarah and I compete in eventing, a sort of horse triathlon, which is absolutely gobs of fun.

7. What is your favorite food or dessert? 
I bet this would change depending on the day you asked me, but right now, really dark chocolate mousse with whipped cream. Yum.

8. If you and your family could take a year off and do anything you want for a whole year what would it be? 
Wow--great question. I think we'd travel all around the world, living for a month or so in a lot of different places. I've traveled a lot but I've never been to India or China or Russia or whole big sections of the globe. I'd like to see a LOT more of Africa. I'd like to go to New Zealand, Peru, Prague...that would be fantastic.

9. What were some things that you liked about living in Fort Wayne? 
I liked living where lots of my family lived, and where it was easy to see them all the time. I miss that.

10. Where were some places that you went for fun when you lived here? 
When I was your age, Maddie, the Old Fort was a real working historical reenactment place, and I loved visiting it. I love that kind of history. I also loved the Johnny Appleseed Festival, for the same reason; my mom's women's group used to work the straw maze there, and sometimes I did, too. I loved going to the zoo--riding the train and the zoo ponies, trying to get the macaws to talk to me. In the winter my family would go ice skating at Franke Park or Lakeside Rose Garden. I loved the Three Rivers Festival--the old raft race, the parades.

11. What is your favorite quote? 
It's supposed to be by Mark Twain (though there's some doubt): "Ninety percent of writing is the application of the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair."

12. What do you want people to remember you for?
Being a person who would listen to their stories. That, and winning the Newbery award. :)

Ok, Maddie--and readers--here's my questions for you: What is your favorite dessert? What is your favorite pizza? What would you do if you and your family could take a year off for anything you wanted? What do you want people to remember you for?