At 10:20 a.m. yesterday, Halloween, one of my favorite holidays, I wrote the last of the 134,393 words of my 17th book, Transformers, sequel (and prequel) to Toy Wars. It opens in 1903 with Hasbro founders Henry and Hillel Hassenfeld immigrating to America to escape religious persecution in their native Poland. They were penniless teenage refugees then. From their new home, they later saved hundreds (if not thousands) of fellow Jews from suffering and death, and their descendants and their company have carried on that tradition of giving back, to people of all faiths.
After writing that last word, I drove to visit Henry's and Hillel's final resting place, in a cemetery near my home. As is custom, I left a stone, on Henry's grave, next to his brother. Then I visited the nearby graves of Merrill, Henry's son; Sylvia, Merrill's wife; and Stephen, their first son. Alan, protagonist of both Toy Wars and Transformers, often visits, too. It was a crisp, sunny morning following a ferocious storm and I cleared some branches that had fallen. I felt at ease.