Monday, December 7, 2009

Live Tweets on the Prairie

A few weeks ago Mother Reader asked me who she should be following on Twitter--did I know anyone who was making really good use of the 140-character medium? I responded promptly, @halfpintingalls.

Half Pint is the online persona of Laura Ingalls Wilder (on the right there--she's the one who looks ever-so-slightly bitter, ), and this fall she's treated us to such messages as Twisting 33 hay sticks a day for #NaTwiHayMo is hard, but it's so satisfying when you win! Because then you don't freeze to death. and Today I have low self-esteem because my corn cob doll has unrealistic body proportions. and It'd be a riot if I dressed up as a grasshopper plague for Hallowe'en, wouldn't it? Or is that "too soon?" (Really, I could just sit here copy-and-pasting @halfpintingalls tweets all day, but you can go peruse them yourself.)

After reading these insights into the fascinating mind of my dearest childhood friend this talented author, I had many more questions. Half Pint kindly consented to an interview. (Though she wouldn't answer my "marry, shag, kill" question about Mr. Edwards, Mr. Loftus, and Reverend Alden.)


Okay, let's get one thing straight. My sister Kathleen wants to know: when you use the twittergraph do you have to go all the way to the railroad station, or do you have a portable device?

I walk two miles to the depot most days to send my dispatches, but I also have a hand-held Twittergraphone made of iron that I use sometimes. It's a pain to drag all that wire around but it comes in handy during blizzards and keeps you from wandering out on the prairie.

(I don't know why you future people like "wire-less" things so much! It makes you harder to find when you're buried in a snowdrift!)

Wasn't Eliza Jane totally pissed when you married her brother after she tried to get you expelled from school? I love that picture of you rocking the seat, by the way. FIERCE.

She's not mad at me because I married Almanzo. She's mad because I once told her, "You're really insufferable for a suffragette."

What's better, vanity cakes or heart-shaped cakes?

A VANITY-SHAPED cake would be the best of all, because it would be HUGE. At least it would be if Nellie Oleson and her gigantic ego baked it.

Tell us the truth. Did you or didn't you marry Almanzo because Pa promised him his prettiest and most capable daughter in exchange for a plate of buckwheat pancakes?

See, when Pa said that Almanzo was "a pancake man," I was really excited, because I thought he was a great big pancake man like the ones Ma used to fry up on Christmas morning. Those are my FAVORITE kind of men!

Turns out Almanzo's just a regular man who MAKES pancakes. Oh well, at least they're tasty.

Worst party ever: Nellie Oleson's birthday or the dime social?

The Donner Party was the worst party ever.

Did you ever regret not giving Rose away to Mr. and Mrs. Boast?

Actually, the deal was that the Boasts wanted to trade a horse for Rose. I'm glad we kept Rose but I will say that a HORSE wouldn't have plagiarized me and written Let the Hurricane Roar.

Green pumpkin pie is awesome. I made it once. But what were some of Ma's spectacular failure experiments in frugal cooking that never made it into the books?

Ma once cooked my corn cob doll to make stock. The soup was good, but afterwards my doll was never quite the same.

What's for Christmas dinner this year?

Whatever Pa has left in his pockets after being buried in a snowdrift for three days. You know, the usual.


marjorie said...

THANK YOU for this!! i don't tweet (i just joined facebook under duress) but i actually check this woman's twitter web page regularly because she is so dang brilliant. (and your "marry, shag, kill" question didn't suck, either.)

Jes said...

Thank you for this interview! I follower her on Twitter. It makes my days brighter!

CincyNat said...

Love this! I'm a Twitter follower but this just proves ole half pint needs her own blog. Hilarious!

Hannah said...

She is definitely one of my very favorite twitter authors! I love the answers here. Thanks.

Eden Kennedy Onassis said...

I find Half Pint's tweets a constant source of inspiration. No mention of her daughter's foray into Twitter, though? @RoseWilderLane is pretty snappy, too.

Giovanna said...

Thanks so much for this--I love following HalfPintIngalls'tweets. Especially enjoyed her Christmas list on Amazon...

Is there a Maud Hart Lovelace twitterer I should be following? What about Sydney Taylor?

MotherReader said...

So glad you did this interview. You were totally on the money in recommending her tweets, and I'm glad to get more HalfPint in my day.

Jessica Leader said...

This was like a whole gallon of Half-Pint in one day! Super!

SiS said...

Oh, Wendy. You've given me so much... and now this.

Sadako said...

This sounds hilarious and I'm so following her.

I tweet only for my own blog promotion. Well, I just started and I have some random org following me and that's it.

Joan Holub said...

Thanks for the twitter-tip, Wendy! Very funny.

BTW, I sat next to you at the KidLit Con dinner. After talking to you about your Newbery-reading project, I went back and read The Witch of Blackbird Pond. For some reason, I enjoyed it far more as an adult than I did as a tween.

Happy Holidays to you!

ljhliesl said...

I thought Big Ben had the best Twitter account, but then Fake AP Stylebook won my heart. Now LIW. Bliss.