I live in western Wisconsin, about ninety minutes due east of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Yesterday I drove to St. Paul for a thing at the Red Balloon Bookstore celebrating the reissue of the Betsy Tacy books. These books have been periodically brought back in print by HarperCollins, but this time the publisher restored original cover art and, what’s very unusual, brought the books out in its adult classics division, not under a children’s imprint. This is good news for people who love these books. I am one.




I always pass the 3m headquarters when I go to St. Paul. The main building there is designed to suggest the green plaid on Scotch tape. I don’t use so much tape, but lord knows I use Post-its, the product that must earn daily prayers of thanks from 3m stockholders. I’m using lots of them now as I prepare for the January residency at Hamline. I read with Post-its, marking spots in the prose worth noting, for better or worse. Things like graceful transitions in and out of flashbacks, clunky descriptions, swell dialogue. I know a lot of writers and teachers do this. Lately I’ve forced myself to put the days’ worth of Post-it passages into the computer every night because, the gray matter being what it is as I age, it doesn’t take long for the scrawled comment on the Post-it (usually accompanied with an exclamation mark indicating my delight in the discovery) to become completely cryptic, both because the handwriting is illegible and because I can no longer remember the thrust of the insight that merited a hot pink sticky note. I am, in effect, annotating my annotations.




I am BTW, still writing sonnets, three inspired by Project Runway. MQ