So… I made it back to my favorite writing spot (YEAH!). Now I just have to make the hard choice of whether to work on the puzzle or my story….CHOICES!
The other day I got a letter from a fan named Danny. He asked a great question: “How did Turkey cook the pizza in Turkey Trouble? He didn’t have an oven.” That question got me thinking about all the things that happen in the background of a story. So much goes on in Turkey’s life and on Farmer Jake’s farm that isn’t shown in the books. It’s fun to think about!
To answer Danny’s question, it turns out there is an old brick oven at the back of Farmer Jake’s farm. Turkey knew all about this oven (he and his pals had used it before to cook some tasty treats). It was the perfect place to cook a pizza—brick oven pizzas taste the best!
And if you are wondering where he got the dough and the chef’s hat… well, Lee Harper (the illustrator) told me that they came from a box that fell off a school lunchroom delivery truck. He even hinted we might see that truck in the next Turkey book!
So, think about what else might go on behind the scenes on Farmer Jake’s farm. You could even write a story about what you imagine!
What do I write the most? Picture books? Goofy poems? Magazine stories? Early chapter books?
Nope! None of those.
What I write more than anything else is sticky note memos. They are everywhere I work. Without them I would forget half of what I need to do.
I love the tiny ones (just the right size to stick on the bottom of my computer screen), the middle-sized ones, the big ones (perfect for those to-do lists), the bright-colored ones, the dull colored-ones, the ones in shapes and the ones with pictures or sayings on them. You can never have enough sticky notes!
Many times you hear authors say that writing is a “lonely” job, because we do most of our writing alone. Well, that can be something that’s hard about being an author. But I almost ALWAYS have company when I write—no matter where I write! (I just wish they were better at typing!)
People are always asking me— why did you choose Turkey as a character?
I admit, I never thought turkeys had much personality— that is until I lived with one. When I was 21 I lived for a year and a half in Peru. Part of that time I lived with a family high in the Andes Mountains. After finishing our meals we would all scrape any leftovers into a trough in the courtyard of the house for the pets. The dogs would come running— and so would the turkey. They called him “Pavito” (which means “little turkey”) and he thought of himself as one of the dogs. He would sometimes follow me around and tease me. I learned turkeys can have as much personality as any other animal. That’s why he became the star of my Turkey Trouble books!