One of my sisters lives in Chicago...a distance which tugs at my heart, yet has been somewhat softened lately by the newly struck up correspondence between our almost 9-year-old girls.
The letters are fantastic. They're brilliant. Here is an excerpt from Zoe's most recent epistle:
I've started writing a book called The Sweet Surprise. It's about a girl named Laura Fisher who has one million chocolate bars fall on her head and she discovers a new power she has. Does it sound like a good book? If so, I'll send you a copy when it's finished.
Question: What better time to ask your mom's attention than when she's already doing something else on your behalf?
Answer: That's a trick question. Any kid knows there is no good time to ask your mom's attention--just hijack it or you'll be waiting around forever.
At any rate, the story is called Willow's Park and it's about a girl named Willow who discovers, much to her relief, that she doesn't belong to the mother she lives with but comes from another planet and has a BETTER mother out there who misses her very much.
She read the whole thing to me with a straight face, I swear.
Following is an excerpt, which Caroline is now busily transcribing to the computer in order to send her cousin a copy:
Hi. My name is Willow.
I live on Cranberry Street. I have been trying to find the secret my mom never told me about. Something interesting I hope. I will tell you all I know about the secret. A trusted neighbor of ours said "do you know about the secret?"
“No,” I said.
“Never mind,” said the neighbor. Her real name is Rachel Page.
I said “Wait, would you give me a clue?
“When you were a baby people thought you were not from this world,” said Rachel. “Why?” I asked.
“You had glowing eyes. Your eyes would change colors by your mood.”
“Really?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said. I could not believe it. I really have glowing eyes.
“Will you give me one more clue?”
“No,” Rachel said. “But I will give you one thing; this is the map will lead you to where you used to live.”
“You mean that’s where I lived when I was a baby,” I said.
“Yes,” said Rachel.
That's all she's typed so far and I can't tell you the rest as the book is lost somewhere in the catacombs of her bedroom. But it just gets better and better! Especially the part where Willow meets her real, way more awesome mom.
What do you think, dear Zoe? Does it sound like a good book?
Because Caroline is sending it your way as soon as she works out a few kinks in the plot.