From the diary: “July 22, 1981
On the way home from the Winkie convention I started reading American Fairy Tales, one of Baum’s non-Oz fantasies. I’d bought it at the auction. It was a curious object. As the book was out of print someone had taken a first edition and photocopied it then fastened the sheets into a notebook-like binding. All the writing was there so it did give me the opportunity to read the book but it was not an attractive thing.
“I’ve been trying to finish reading Ojo in Oz since Monday (today is Wednesday), but I just can’t seem to find the time.
“Monday I thought of writing a serial with The Lost Queen of Oz. … On Tuesday I finished and typed episode one: Dorothy’s Birthday.
“The way I’m working it is: I photocopied the typed copy today and am sending the first episode to several people I met at the Oz convention and saying in a letter that if they want to continue receiving the serial to write and tell me.”
It was a clever way to force myself to write a complete Oz novel. If I hadn’t had people expecting another episode I probably would have quit partway through. I even sold subscriptions. There were periods when I just couldn’t push myself to write. One hiatus lasted nine months. But The Lost Queen of Oz did get finished. I don’t know if anyone else kept their copy. But mine is in a box or a drawer. I haven’t burnt it.