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Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Wednesday, 05 March 2008 in Uncategorized

Mail

This is a stack of mail that arrived here yesterday. Unfortunately apparently it had been held for an over-long amount of time at the publisher..I suppose it ended up on a shelf someplace and people forgot about it..because most of these letters are dated early December, and the package is a Christmas gift. I have sent a letter of thanks and an apology for the delay to the man who sent the gift....he found a copy of a book I had loved as a small child* and he had heard me mention in a speech! Such a nice thing to do.

But sadly there are a lot of people who wondered why I didn't reply. And now I am leaving Friday morning for a trip to Milwaukee, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, and I will be gone for 10 days. I'll try to get some of these answered before I go. But I am also still preparing speeches for those cities so time is short.

Isn't that the story of all our lives? Not enough time; not enough time! I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. I'm late! I'm late!

* The book, published in 1934, is Humphrey. I was very young when I learned to read, because my sister, three years older, began first grade and came home and "played school"..teaching me what she had learned. The reason I remember Humphrey was because, studying it by myself at ages 3 and 4, I first became aware of the oddities of the English language....the fact that I knew how Humphrey was pronounced, because my mother had read the book to me; but now, learning to read it by myself, I could see that the "ph" was a phonetic anomaly. I just absorbed that bit of information and probably applied it whenever I saw a "ph" after that. Probably there was a telephone book in our home...perhaps I saw it there, and noticed that it didn't say "telefone.". What I do remember is the awareness of it, and the feeling that I had discovered a mysterious and interesting fact.

So it is nice to have Humphrey...who is not Humfrey!...with me again, and I'm sorry that my thank you note is late.

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Comments

Guest
Carl Borack Monday, 29 November 1999

Would love to hear about the dialogue about the debate between you and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. It would be very interesting to hear both of your perspectives.

Guest
abbi Monday, 29 November 1999

Thank you for posting that letter. It has always been obvious to me as to why authors (and myself, being an aspiring author) use the occasional "bad" word in their writing but I have never been able to put it into words. That letter echoes my feelings on the subject and I now feel I will be able to express my sentiments on that question when asked.
Thanks.

Guest
Kimberly Monday, 29 November 1999

Lois, Thank you for posting that excerpt of your letter. It helps justify the books I choose as a middle school teacher. :)

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