This post is also available in: Spanish

Isabel has probably never heard this before, but I have this idea for a book. (Okay, so maybe she has heard it before. But I really do have an idea!) I am, however, hung up on the research. It’s a huge mental block for me. Sigh…Anyway, over the past year I have spent a lot of time assisting Isabel in research for her own book. It’s been really fun, actually; you can hardly call it work. It’s kind of like being a detective—like being Columbo sometimes. Here are some photos I have taken on our various research field trips.

Isabel with Captain Sam.


Arlington, Isabel and Willie (Isabel is in the middle).


I can’t say what we are doing or even what context the setting is, because the book is not out yet. Even as I write this, it remains unfinished, and I am sworn to secrecy. What a story, though…I can’t wait to read it, and I can’t wait for you to read it. But it will be a while yet.

Here’s a remarkable thing about Isabel: She is in three worlds right now. In addition to writing this not-to-be-spoken-of novel and preparing for a book tour in support of Maya’s Notebook, yet another book is brewing inside her, a book that she is due to start writing on that auspicious date of January 8 (which is when Isabel begins all her books).

All of these things are going on inside her at once, which explains why she snaps at me in frantic Spanish when we are driving home from a visit to some obscure location or another. See, she’s busy writing all this stuff in her head, and it turns out that my silence-breaking chatter tends to disrupt her thoughts. Thus the frantic and irritated Español. I don’t understand a word of it, though, so no harm done.

What’s my point? Okay, I’m getting there. I have learned so much from Isabel over this past year. It turns out that research is pretty fun! I might try a little on my own someday soon. Now, I just need to travel back in time and learn about the early 20th century medical practices that were performed on newborn infants with horribly disfigured cleft pallets. That shouldn’t be too hard, right?

PS. Maya’s Notebook…Yes, it will be out in April—this time for sure.

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