Monday, April 28, 2008

Speaking of Chickens-- Evil Twins Celebrate Spring

That’s right, Evil Twins, Ellen Yeomans & Lynn Hazen are having a little spring chat right here on the Imaginary Blog. Please join us.

Lynn: So Ellen, I hear you rise quite early in the morning.
Is that to jump right into your writing routine, practice a
new-age writers’ meditation ritual, or are you doing something else in those early hours?

Ellen: Mostly I’m shoveling manure at that hour. One might easily imagine that this refers to my writing, but I am instead referring to the farm where I work. I need to clean up after calves, sheep, goats, pigs and bunnies.

Luckily, I get to feed all of these souls too. This part of my job is quite gratifying because all of my barnyard friends express their love for me at feeding time. It can be quite loud as they all call out their baas and maas and moos of adoration. Some might think they are saying, “hurry up and feed me first,” but I am quite certain they are saying something along the lines of, “We love you, yes we do and you look incredibly lovely too.” Or something pretty close to that. Spring means babies, so that keeps me hopping.

Lynn: We just heard from M.T. Anderson about a one-legged chicken named Peg. Do you have any poems or news about chickens?

Ellen: Well as a matter of fact, I do. I will be raising chickens for the first time ever. I’ve ordered Buff Orpingtons, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Red Stars and Cornish Rock Game Hens. This will make a colorful flock. And as taken as I was with Tobin’s elegy, I am hoping for two legs a piece on all of these birds. I haven’t a chicken poem as yet; I shall wait until I am actually raising these fine ladies before composing their ode.

Lynn: We hope you'll send us photos of your new feathery friends. In the meantime, what are you working on now? Any new novels, picture books, or web sites?

Ellen: Ugh, web sites. Yeah, yeah, I’m getting to that. Soon. I’m sure. Yeah, soon. On a more optimistic note, I have just finished the first draft of a mid-grade novel. I am revising a picture book and I am back to work on my next YA novel. Ooh, and Full Cast Audio just recorded my YA novel RUBBER HOUSES, so that will be out soon.

Lynn: Since this is an imaginary blog, (with probably more imaginary than real readers), do you have any secrets to share for those real readers tuning in who might be imagining a high-powered career as a children’s book author?

Ellen: Take off your muck boots before you go inside and wash your hands well before touching your keyboard. Falling snippets of hay can wreak havoc between the keys so brush off your hair and shoulders first, and then get a pot of tea going. Now write.

Lynn: Aha, now I see what you mean about all that hay.

Lynn: We also heard from M.T. Anderson about the many virtues of broccoli. Do you have any quirky food or drink preferences, or writing rituals that feed your creativity?

Ellen: There is nothing quirky about me or any of my practices. Just ask the rooster perched here on my desk.

Lynn: What are your current thoughts on punctuation?

Ellen: When in doubt, employ a hyphen. Really, what else need be said?

Lynn: Is it true you are cited in a dictionary--or is that just a rumor?

Ellen: It is true. I am oddly and unduly proud of this citation. Go here and read for your self:
Scroll down towards the bottom for the references until you find me and RUBBER HOUSES.

Lynn: Ellen, another rumor has it you are the lead commentator of the “Poetry Police” on our Bad Poetry Friday contest hosted right here on the Imaginary Blog. Of course you have the right to remain silent, but do you have any thoughts about Bad Poetry Friday or how we might encourage more bad poets to send in their bad poems?


Lynn: Okay folks, it looks like Ellen has chosen to remain silent on that one.

Lynn: I hear you have gloves for many occasions. Could you please tell us a little more about that?

Ellen: Why yes I do. I have my winter gloves of course, living here on the outskirts of snowy Syracuse, NY. I have a few pairs of work gloves for the farm. And I have white gloves for all of my lady-like occasions. Owing to a stint in charm school, I am well-prepared for all eventualities requiring such attire, and can be called-up should my country be in need of my services. (You know, in case the queen drops by or there is some other diplomatic emergency.)

Lynn: What question do you often ask yourself and what is the current answer?

Q. Should I have another cup of tea and would a cookie go well with it?
A. Yes.

If you're confused as to which Evil Twin is which...
That's Ellen on the left and Lynn on the right enjoying
"The Queen's Tea" at Lovejoy's Teahouse in San Francisco.

Hey, wait a minute--is Ellen wearing her farm gloves????
Oh well.

Today's Forecast: More tea? Hold the hay, please.

And an update: Ellen has a website! Check out

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