Spirits of Oz Chapter 10

Spirits of Oz Chapter 10 by L J Williams

About Spirits of Oz

  • 2014 Community Novel Project of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library
  • Written and illustrated for a younger audience
  • Just joining us? Please start reading with Chapter 1
  • A new chapter is serialized each week
  • A different Topeka author and illustrator featured in each chapter
  • Read online or download to your ereader!

Downloading Spirits of Oz Chapter 10 by L.J. Williams

Download the ebook to read in the format of your choice:

  • PDF (best for iPad and for printing)
  • EPUB (best for Nook and other ereaders)
  • Mobi (best for Kindle)

Instructions for downloading and transferring these files to your Kindle, nook, iPad or other ereader.

Read Online: Spirits of Oz Chapter 10 by L.J. Williams

Author Bio | Author Interview

Lola sat up in a panic and looked around. “Sweet kitty save me,” she said, realizing she was still safely in her room.

Nico wandered in and flopped onto Lola’s bed, staring up at a kitten poster. His hair stuck out in at least ten different directions. “Save you from what?”

“Oh, Nico. I didn’t sleep at all! I had nightmarish dreams of saving the world and the ghost world and whatever otherworldly worlds, that ghost Maitland told us about when we agreed to help.”

“Me neither. I dreamed I was a switchboard operator and every second, hundreds of mice called me on their Edison ghost telephone. ‘Save me, Nico. Save me.’ I’m never bringing up that science project with Dad again!”

“Well your dreamjust sounds annoying. But you know what? We should stop thinking of ourselves and go wish Mom and Dad good luck today. Mom especially—seemed upset last night,” Lola said.

“I think they’re already gone. I smell pancakes. You know Mom doesn’t eat cheap food—Zoey must be here making breakfast,” Nico said.

Lola and Nico trotted downstairs. Nico headed around the corner, approaching the kitchen, when Lola heard her mother’s voice. Lola grabbed Nico and pulled him out of sight.

“Luckily, I don’t think the twins have any idea what’s going on,” Meriam said. “I told them we’d be shooting a few scenes this morning. I left out the part where the show will be cancelled, and we might have to sell the house, if we don’t capture any supernatural activity—just couldn’t bring myself to tell them the bad news.”

Lola heard her father sigh. “Yep, we’ll get some decent background footage out at Rochester, but that won’t help the ratings. There’s no way we’ll have any paranormal action today—nice and sunny out. Ghosts hate that. I guess we better get used to eating on a budget,” Mr. Espirtu said.

Lola glanced at Nico—her eyes wide with surprise. “Did you know the fate of the show depended on today?” she whispered.

Nico shrugged, frowning. “I guess we haven’t paid much attention to the show, or Mom or Dad lately.”

Lola shook her head as she pushed Nico into the kitchen.

“Lola, Nico—you’re up early,” Mom said. She bolted out of her chair and hurried to the trash where she scraped the last bites of pancake off her plate. “Zoey can make you breakfast—anything you want. She’ll be here any min…”

“Umm,” Nico pointed to the front door.

“Sorry I’m late,” Zoey said, entering the kitchen.

“Great granny’s ghost! I didn’t hear you come in,” Mrs. Espiritu said to Zoey. “Victor, we need to…” She motioned to a large envelope, with the Envista Credit Union Logo and the word MORTGAGE printed on it, sticking out of her purse. “I mean we have to get going if we want to get to the cemetery before the camera crew.” Meriam grabbed her purse and blew kisses to the twins. Mr. Espiritu waved goodbye as they hurried out the door.

“Gosh, that’s terrible about your parents’ show,” Zoey said.

“You heard too?” Lola said.

“Yeah, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I did let myself in—since I was late.”

“I’m sure glad you’re in this mess with us,” Nico said.

“Me? Mess? Oh no! I’m just the sitter.”

“But we have to get the items we’ve collected back to Rochester Cemetery today, and you have the amulet,” Nico said.

“No loss on my part,” Zoey said, putting the chain around Nico’s neck. “And, I can’t drive, remember?”

“But you’re the sitter. Said so yourself,” Nico argued, taking the amulet off and trying to reach over Zoey’s head to give it back.

“Stop it,” Lola said, taking the necklace and shoving it into her pocket. “We don’t need it anyway.”

Nico and Zoey stared at Lola.

“What? We don’t need it! Even the Albino Lady said it might not help. And if you two are going to waste time arguing, then forget it!” Lola said.

“Now Nico, go get the box,” Lola continued. “Please. We have to get to the cemetery with this stuff before Oz starts filming. Once we deliver the goods, the ghosts will have to make an appearance on the show.”

Zoey shook her head, but pulled out her phone. “I’ll call Possum.”

Lola felt the amulet, heavy in her pocket. I hope we don’t need it. Good ghosts help us if we do—they better not let us—or the show—down.

Lola watched Zoey scroll down her iPhone and then make the call. Lola seized the few seconds of silence before Possum answered to repeat their mission—to make sure Zoey understood, “Bring the items to the Albino Lady, help the show pick up some good ratings, and—you are going with us.”

Possum arrived faster than Lola imagined he would. His car bumped onto the curb and off again, then stopped, started, and jerked to a final halt.

“What’s up? You’re driving like a maniac,” Lola said, leaning through the open passenger window.

“Ehh, my ankle. Not working so well today. I twisted it a long time ago. Still bothers me sometimes.”

Lola, Nico, and Zoey piled into the car. “Where to?” Possum asked, pulling away from the curb, accelerating quickly, and running the stop sign at the end of the street.

“Rochester Cemetery,” Nico said grabbing the door handle to steady himself.

“Hmm. Not sure I’ve been there before.” Possum cleared his throat. “But I’ve seen the sign. I guess we can find it.”

“Good grief,” Lola said. ‘We have an iPhone.”

“I phone no one. I know how to get there…” Possum’s voice was deep and raspy. “Sorry, I have a frog in my throat this morning…out Highway 24 like we’re going to Lawrence—runs right into Rochester Road. Past the old humane shelter—been there many times, don’t ask. The sign’s on the left side of the road. I can see it now. I’m sure we can find it from there.”

Zoey looked at Possum and nodded in agreement. “Look out the window, Lola. Maybe you’ll see some kittens, or a—kittens for sale—sign, or a billboard with cute kittens advertising yummy cat food.” Then she swiveled her head and gazed at Nico.

Lola looked out the window. Nico stared at Zoey’s bloodshot eyes. Somebody needs to tell that girl to get some sleep.

Suddenly, Zoey clapped her hands. “You have the box, right Nico?”

Lola turned toward Nico to hear his response. He blinked rapidly. “Of course I have it. The box is…” Nico’s right hand touched the seat. “I mean it’s here.” Nico turned to his left.

“It’s not here!” Lola cried. “What did you do with the box?”

“I put it on the seat. Between us—I swear.”

“How could you lose the box?” Lola wailed. “The TV show, our world—it all depends on the stuff in the box. We spent days collecting it! We’ll never find all those items again. Not in the next fifteen minutes.”

Nico felt his face turn hot. He looked up and saw Possum staring at him in the rearview mirror. Possum’s eyes looked accusing and strangely dark. “Umm. I think I left it at home. Could we go back, please?”

Possum let out a maniacal laugh. “Never! You should have hitched up your own horse and buggy.”

Lola felt the car accelerate onto the highway. She grasped Nico’s hand and whispered, “You didn’t leave the box at home, did you?”

Nico shook his head.

Lola slid down in her seat. “It’s not Possum is it?”

Nico shook his head again. “We’re being chauffeured by an evil spirit possessing the body of a Washburn University science major. What should we do? What would Frank do?”

“Keep calm and eat Skittles,” Lola answered.

Nico let out a weak laugh. “I don’t think there’s going to be any boring parts today. I don’t understand why the ghosts chose us anyway—and Kansas of all places. Surely there are better paranormal investigators in the world than in Kansas.”

“Well, the show is called Spirits of Oz. We’ve got spirit, and I think Kansas is pretty awesome. But right now, forget the box. Forget all this helping the ghosts stuff—they’re on their own. And forget the show. We need to get out of this car.”

Lola sat up in her seat. Far in the distance she could see a stoplight. “If the light is red we’ll jump out. Do you think the area looks safe?”

Nico craned his neck to look out the front window then turned his head to whisper. “I guess so. Restaurants maybe, a McDonald’s billboard anyway—I can’t tell what else.”

Lola watched the light. It was green…green…green. Surely it would turn red before they got there. “Yes—yellow!” And then…

Lola felt the car accelerate again. Possum wasn’t stopping! Lola saw the street sign for Rochester Road as the car sputtered for a moment then lurched around the corner, zooming past Sonic. Luckily there was another red light, but this time Possum—possessed Possum—turned the wheel a sharp right into the Walmart parking lot, zigzagged down the aisle, pulled a quick left and then a right, back onto Rochester Road without yielding to any traffic. Lola heard car horns—blaring from all directions.

Zoey’s back looked arched and stiff in the front seat. Lola imagined she must be scared—she hadn’t wanted to come anyway. Or had she? It was her idea to call Possum.

Nico tipped haphazardly toward Lola as they rounded the next turn—narrowly missing on oncoming truck—and before they knew it, the car bounced up the entrance to Rochester Cemetery. Lola looked left and then right, past tall, shady trees and short tombstones, looking for her parents, the camera crew—anyone, but the cemetery seemed deserted.

Lola nodded to Nico and reached for her door handle.

“Not so fast,” Possum spoke. “I need you to destroy the items. There is a particular spot here in the cemetery that will be ideal to raise all manner of evil spirits to help us annihilate your collection.”

Zoey shook the cardboard box, grinning like it was a birthday present.

“What? You have the box?! How?” Nico sputtered.

“Zoey run. Run! Take the box. Find the Albino Lady,” Lola said.

Zoey giggled.

“I think she’s hysterical,” Lola wailed.

Zoey said, “Nope, no—just a little evil, I think. The Dark Man left a bit of his soul in me. I’m his—Possum’s accomplice—not yours! I hypnotized you, Nico, when Lola was looking out the window for kittens, and I took your precious box!” Zoey laughed hysterically.

Nico looked down at the floor. He saw the Donald Duck Pez dispenser. Without taking time to think, Nico picked it up and threw it at the windshield. Zoey jumped. The box flew upwards, and Lola lunged forward, grabbing it out of the air. The lid fell off in the scuffle.

Possum scowled. “You can’t close the portal—I won’t let you! You are mine. Your bones are mine!”

Lola wrenched the car door open. The box shook in her hand and tilted precariously towards the ground. Nico scrambled after her. Zoey climbed into the back seat grabbing at Nico’s leg. Nico wrestled free and shot out of the car, leaving the door wide open.

“Section four,” he said, breathing heavily. “Get to Maitland’s grave.”

Lola and Nico darted in and out, around tombstones and grave markers. The Dark Man—Possum—careened down a narrow path in the car, the open door banging wildly against headstones that stood near the road.

Suddenly the Albino Lady appeared before Lola and Nico and said, “Maitland, summon Carver’s squadron. Request they hold off the two attempting to thwart our young ambassadors.”

In an instant, bright lights blinded Lola. Nico yelped. He heard the contents of the box fall to the ground. When Lola opened her eyes she could see they were in the back corner of the cemetery surrounded by ghosts, and enveloped in some sort of glowing mist. The items they’d collected lay scattered at their feet.

Lola tried to break through the mist. It wavered, but did not let her escape. “Let us out,” Lola demanded.

“Shhhh. The babies are sleeping.” The Albino Lady gently waved her arms as if caressing the glowing mist. “I’ll let you free in a minute, but right now I need you safe while we wrap up the details. That’s why I’ve summoned these protective baby spirits around you.”

Nico knelt down to gather the teacup, the horse with the broken leg, and the squirrel hair make-up brush, along with the other items and put them back in the box. “We have the items you asked for. Our parents should be here any minute—and you have to help them before their show is cancelled.”

“Very good,” the Albino Lady said. “But we cannot grasp things from the living world—remember? You threw the stick for Klink to fetch. You must help us use the objects to close the portal.”

“Oh, no,” Lola said. “You never said we had to do anything but bring you these items.”

“We ran out of time when we last met, and not to be rude but, you also failed to ask.”

Nico opened his mouth to protest. The Albino Lady raised her hand. “The portal you must close is down under. We chose Kansas for a reason—for its connection.”

“Down under where?” Lola asked.

“It’s down under,” the Albino Lady repeated and then vanished, along with the protective spirits.

Nico immediately turned to look for Possum’s car. He saw Carver’s Squadron disappear from around it, and Possum—the Dark Man—and Zoey clambering out.

“Quick. Behind here,” Lola said, crouching down behind a tombstone.

“No, they’re headed toward us. Over there,” Nico said, pointing to a larger headstone across the way.

Nico pushed the box of items in front of them as they crawled through the cemetery. When they reached safety, Nico said, “Now you want to bet this is a bad idea?”

“No, I’m not stupid. But we’ve come too far to stop,” Lola said. “I just don’t understand what the Albino Lady means by down under. Down under some grave…down under her grave?”

“Uggh. Stop saying down under. Now I’ve got that stupid song in my head—you know that song on the album Mom’s always playing.” Nico started to sing. “Land down under…”

“This is no time to be singing!” Suddenly Lola looked up and her mouth dropped open. “Nico! That’s it!” Lola started humming the tune. “The portal must be down under—in Australia.”

“Aarrgggh—raaah!” Possum roared.

Lola and Nico peered around the edge of the grave marker just in time to see possessed Possum rip Maitland’s tombstone out of the ground and hurl it towards two smaller stones, smashing them to pieces.

“Lolaaa. Nicooo. Where are youuu?” Zoey called out sweetly.

Nico saw Possum heading towards another large headstone. “Quick, we’re not safe here any longer! He’s ripping out all the big tombstones. Behind this tree,” Nico said.

Lola grabbed the box and slumped to the ground behind an enormous elm tree. “Australia,” she moaned. “How will we ever get to Australia?”

“Are you dead?” Nico snorted. “I can’t believe you’re even thinking about going to Australia. We already told those ghosts we can’t go flying wherever we want, and even if we did get to Australia, we have no idea what to do with these stupid, random things.” Nico shook the box until the objects practically jumped out.

“There has to be some connection we’re missing. Maitland said we were resourceful warriors. Think!” Lola said.

A funnel, a sieve, and a sightless eyewhat am I not seeing? Lola thought. Sightless eye… Lola remembered being in Possum’s car—before he was possessed. She’d asked him for a sightless eye and Zoey—nice Zoey—had looked through the glove compartment. No sightless eye, but she remembered there was a map of Australia…maybe they didn’t exactly have to travel to Australia.

“Pizzaaa,” Zoey called to the twins. “I have some nice, cold Tombstone pizzaaa.”

Lola peered around the tree. Zoey stood on a slanted grave marker sniffing plastic flowers. She did not have any pizza. “We’ve gotta go back to the car,” Lola said, grabbing the box and getting up.

Nico shook his head. “We can’t drive to Australia.”

“We’re not driving, nincompoop. We need three things out of it…one of them is a map,” Lola said, looking over her shoulder.

“Of my own free will, I’ve decided I’m not going back to that car!”

“If you don’t go back, you won’t have any free will. And no TV show!” Lola said, shoving the box of items at his chest, forcing him to take it.

“Where are Mom and Dad?” Nico wailed. Suddenly he heard a whooshing sound directly behind him. With a loud thud, a granite tombstone hit the tree. Nico ducked as pieces of pink granite flew past his head. One of them sliced his cheek.

“You can’t stay here—you’re bleeding. Come with me!” Lola said, grabbing Nico’s hand.

Lola and Nico ran towards the car. The passenger door was locked. Lola and Nico ran to the driver’s side. Lola got there first and threw herself in, lying across the seats so she could reach the glove compartment. She yanked it open and the map fell to the floor. “What else? Two more things. What can we use to get to Australia?”

“Why three things?” Nico asked, standing on the inside of the open driver’s door, providing cover for Lola.

“I don’t know,” Lola said, picking up the map. “Three’s a magic number, right? If you don’t like my idea…”

“Okay, all right! How about those receipts—receipts represent money. We need money to get to Australia.”

Lola grabbed a handful of receipts. “T-Rex? Tire gauge? Light bulb? Quick—tell me!”

“Light bulb—that’s a good idea,” Nico suggested. “But hurry, they’re coming!”

Lola shoved her hand past the T-Rex and the tire gauge, reaching for the bulb.

Nico felt the ground shaking. He turned around. Possessed Possum was—enormous, his face weirdly changed. He had a pink, pointy nose; long, triangular jaw; huge, fang-like teeth. And was that a tail waving madly behind him? Nico had no time to decide. Tail or not—Possum carried a grave marker above his head like a body builder lifting a heavy barbell.

“They’re right behind us. Get it now!” Nico shouted.

Lola panicked and grabbed the light bulb, accidently smashing it into pieces.

“Band-aid,” Nico said, seeing Lola’s bloody hand. “I mean…oh, I don’t know…T-Rex!”

“I am the one who rots your teeth. I pray your bones are mine to keep,” Possum—the Dark Man’s— gravelly voice resounded throughout the cemetery.

Lola grabbed the T-Rex as the rear window exploded. A grave marker smashed through the back of the passenger seat, aimed at her head. She sat upright in the driver’s seat just as seat stuffing and springs flew everywhere. Lola dropped the T-Rex, grabbed a spring and took off running, with Nico at her heels.

“What did you take the spring for?” Nico said, as he passed her. The items in the box bounced wildly.

“Australia. Kangaroos—boing-boing? I don’t know. Seemed better than a T-Rex.”

Lola and Nico ran down a side path. “There’s nowhere to hide!” Lola shouted. Suddenly she soared into the air. Lola looked around. A sphere of protective spirits surrounded her and Nico. They floated through the air, rising above the ground.

“What’s going on?” Lola asked.

The sound of babies laughing, and cooing, filled the air. “Gaga goo goo,” was the collective response. “We keep you lifted in the air, until the gate is closed with care. Open both maps and enchant the spring. We’ll then hear a sound: ding, ding, ding.”

“Did you hear that?” Nico asked. “They said maps—as in plural—we only have one. We needed another map, not these stupid receipts.”

Lola shook her head, regretting her last decisions, and tears welled up in her eyes. “I don’t know. I guess I’ll tear the map in two.”

Lola began to unfold the map of Australia. To her surprise, another map slid out. A state map—specifically Kansas.

Lola looked at Nico with surprise. The baby spirits sang, “Put two maps side by side. From Oz to Oz our worlds collide.”

While their bodies still hovered in the air, Lola spread out the map of Australia. Nico opened the one of Kansas. The maps floated in the air in front of them.

“I knew there had to be a reason the spirits chose Kansas! Australia—Land of Oz down under, and Kansas—Land of Oz from Dorothy’s dream,” Lola said.

Suddenly the sphere of baby spirits swayed wildly. Nico looked down at the ground. Possum’s tail—yes, a thick, whitish, hairless tail—whipped through the air. Nico grabbed Lola with one arm—trying to stay upright, trying to keep the items from spilling out of the box.

The baby spirits continued to sing in chorus, “We make the spring into a charm, to save our worlds from evil’s harm. Brushing the horse makes items align, until you have, used up nine.”

Nico picked up the horse with the broken leg and held in upright in his palm of his hand. Lola took the squirrel-hair make-up brush and began to stroke it over the ceramic horse. Unexpectedly, the little horse came to life—nickering—as if calling out to the collected items. One by one, seven more of the objects on their original list began to float out of the box. First, the cracked teacup hovered in the air over the maps; into the cup floated Lola’s hair, Nico’s fingernail and the Essence of Spirit.

“On your own you chose a spring. A bright idea it was to bring. Place the spring over the cup. The tricks we know will keep it up.” Lola placed the spring from the car’s seat over the teacup. When she let go, it hovered in the air.

The miniature horse whinnied now, and Lola and Nico watched in amazement as the funnel, the sieve, and the bottle of special salt water lined up above the spring. Water began to pour out of the bottle, into the funnel, through the sieve—drizzling down the coil. As the water drained into the cup, mixing with its contents, purplish colored smoke began to rise into the air.

The babies chanted in unison. “Make maps and spring into a game. We’ll help your show, it’ll reach great fame.” The babies laughed and cooed. “Spirits of Oz, help these twins now. Time’s at stake to complete their vow.”

Lola punched Nico in the arm. “Are you seeing this?”

Nico stared. The two maps, the spring—apparently all the items—had materialized into a Twilight Zone pinball machine complete with start button, ball launch and flippers. Granted, it looked a little hazy and most of the glass was missing, but it was definitely a pinball machine. Lola could also see places on the machine where the maps hadn’t completely faded.

The Twilight Zone theme song began to play, and the babies continued their chant. “One last item will close the gate. Collaboration is our fate.”

Lola and Nico thought about the items they’d worked together to collect for the spirits, with a little help from Zoey—the nice babysitter, and even Possum—when he was a “normal” science student.

“Find a ball and begin to play.” Only one item remained in the box. Nico took the glass eye and dropped it into the playing field. “Score some points and save the day.”

Lola hit the ball launcher, and the sightless eye went flying down the lane. The machine pinged; lights dinged; they scored! The spirit babies clapped and giggled. Then, just as suddenly as the game had appeared, it vanished.

“Thank you, thank you; it’s been fun. Now our work here is all done.” The protective spirits floated downward, and out from underneath Lola and Nico, gently lowering them to the ground. “Bye-bye, bye-bye, we cannot lie. We think you’re heroic—gal and guy.”

Lola saw Possum lying on the ground nearby. He looked human again. With his chest moving evenly up and down, he seemed to be breathing okay, but he was either stunned, or playing—dead.

“Lola, Nico! There you are.” Zoey ran over and hugged them both.

The Albino Lady appeared behind Zoey. “The gate is closed,” she said. Zoey jumped out of the way.

“How did the items work together to close the portal?” Lola asked. “They were so random.”

“Few things in life happen by chance,” the Albino Lady said. “The sea water represented a chasm between our worlds, the sieve the open gate. As the water channeled over the sieve and into the cup that held a part of each of us, the collaboration—the smoke—enchanted the spring and caused the maps to materialize into a pinball machine. And the sightless eye—blind to the differences between our worlds—dinging from Oz to Oz closed the portal.”

“What about the horse?” Nico asked.

“Lola gave her horse—even broke its leg—by her own free will, in order to preserve the freedom of choice for others. By brushing the horse you showed you still cared, even though most people would consider a horse with a broken leg worthless. You awoke its spirit so it could summon the items.

“We owe you a world of thanks,” the Albino Lady continued. “The freedom of choice still belongs to us all.”

Lola smiled at Nico. “We did it! I can see the headlines now.”

The Albino Lady shook her head, but also smiled. “Remember to make good choices in life; the little decisions—such as, drink more water than soda pop—matter as much as the big ones do. And don’t forget: work together to make good choices for the common good of the world. The Dark Man relinquished his hold on your friends, and is gone from this world—but he still hopes to rot your teeth, still desires your bones to keep.” The Albino Lady floated past them.

“Wait,” Nico said. “Will you tell us your name now?”

“Lily,” the Albino Lady said. “My name is Lily.”

Lola and Nico turned to see their parents’ car pull up behind them, followed by the tech van. Lola felt the amulet in her pocket—she’d forgotten all about it. Thank goodness we didn’t need it, but it will make a great prop for the show!

Meriam jumped out. “What in our world happened here?” she asked, looking around at the ripped up tombstones; the shattered grave markers; the smashed-up car. She glanced past Lola and Nico. “Is that…are those…in broad daylight?”

“Frank, get the crew,” Victor said.

Lola and Nico turned around. Maitland, Lily, and dozens more of the real Spirits of Oz stood behind them beaming—in more ways than one.




About L.J. Williams

LJ Williams lives in a meadow next to a mountain with 3/4 of her children and 1/1 husband. She’s written a book for middle graders that’s in the revision stage, and always will be, because an artist’s work is never finished; e.g., Claude Monet—more than ten years obsessively modifying his Agapanthus triptych, then he croaked. However, if you’re extremely optimistic you can look for The Crystal Egg to be published soon. It’s a fantasy…novel.

An Interview with L.J. Williams

What is your writing background?

I wrote my name when I was 3yrs 1mth, and I learned to read. Then I went to school. But I’m ok now. Sort of.

What kind of work do you usually write? (Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, Genre?)

My name. I guess that’s nonfiction, autobiographical—poetry or binding contract, to some.

Why did you want to participate in the Community Novel Project?

I was taken hostage in February 1981 by a tribe of book-eating librarians, and part of my release conditions were that I would write a chapter for the TSCPL CNP in 2014.

Have you ever written fiction in collaboration with other authors before?

I don’t think so, unless you count blood ties to my dead grandmother. Can I have a shout out? RIP, VERA! WE LOVE YOU!

Do you usually write in a burst of inspiration, or is your work carefully outlined?


Did writing for the community novel differ from the norm?


What do you like about the premise and characters of this year’s Community Novel Project?  What challenges you about them?

Seriously? Are you still reading this? I bet you read cereal boxes and license tags, too. Go read Spirits of Oz again…it’s awesome!

What was your first reaction when you saw the chapter before yours?

“I’m so excited (do do doot) and I…”

What do you hope happens or doesn’t happen in the chapters that come after yours? 

There’s a chapter after mine? No way! That’s awesome!

What sort of writing can we expect from you in future? 

I’ll probably write my name again.

Are you currently at work on any writing projects?

May I ask who’s calling?

Especially for Our Younger Readers                                                               

What was your favorite book as a kid and why?


What are some of your favorite foods?

I love readers—especially young ones.

What is your favorite animal?

The Black Stallion…it’s a fictional story about a fast horse from the Arabian desert who gets stranded on a deserted island, is rescued and moves to New York; the book also got made into a movie starring a real Arabian horse from San Antonio, Texas. It’s beautiful—the book cover, the movie poster—the horse, I mean.

Do you have any pets?

Lemon Whippersnapper, Orange Craisen, Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Chip, and Thin Mints (the latter being a VERY deceptive name).*

*Disclaimer: This list is not all-inclusive and is subject to change without notice.

Why did you want to write for kids?


Umm…oops. Do we have time for revisions?

Miranda Ericsson

Miranda loves to talk lit! Her favorite reads are poetry, literary fiction, and speculative science fiction, and she's passionate about promoting great literature written by Kansas authors. She works with library programs that support and engage writers in our community, so ask her for more information about the Local Writers Workshop and Great Writers Right Here author fair. Miranda also facilitates TALK book discussions and co-leads the Bean There, Read That book discussion group, and serves as a member of the library's 2Book Topeka team.