Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Greetings from Gladstone, Missouri

The festival was wonderful. It is always wonderful. This year I'm lucky enough to have my book The Totally Made-Up Civil War Diary of Amanda MacLeish on the master list for the Mark Twain Award, Missouri's children's choice award, which means that thousands of schoolchildren all over the state have been reading my book. So my audiences at the festival were larger than usual. There is always such great adrenaline and energy in speaking to bigger audiences, and I had fun sharing my stories with them of how I became a writer, culminating as always in the performance of my "famous" ape dance.

I bought not one, not two, but THREE pairs of shoes at the festival shoe-buying party at Brown's shoestore in downtown Warrensburg: one pair of street shoes, one pair of house shoes, and one pair of boots. I, who love to travel unencumbered with the world's smallest and lightest suitcase, am now dragging with me a huge shoestore bag stuffed full of shoes. One of the festival authors took a picture of my feet in the new street shoes - photo to come once she arrives back home and emails it to me.

Now I'm at the home of April Armstrong, the librarian at Chapel Hill Elementary School in Gladstone, Missouri, where I'll be speaking tomorrow. April is not only librarian extraordinaire, but a passionate musician and composer. She plays hammered dulcimer, piano, violin, to name a few. Her home is filled with musical instruments, quilts, and cats. Right this minute, she is playing a haunting original composition on the piano, with a cat on her lap, as I type this blog post on her computer, with a cat sitting on the modem.

I'll be home tomorrow, but right now April's house feels like home.

Only with more cats.


  1. Claudia,

    I have not heard about or seen your famous ape dance and now I am doubly disappointed that you won't be at the poetry retreat in January. sigh. . . But I'm glad you had a great time in Missouri and I look forward to seeing photos of your new shoes.

  2. I will have to get Skype and Skype it for you, Pat. :)