October 31, 2010

Errors and Glorious Opportunities

 

Some people know how to have a proper Halloween.  A friend writes: 

 Every year I host a party on Hallowe’en night for my gamer friends.  This year I have 10 attendees .  .  . we’re going the usual slightly silly route: Dawn of the (Cultist) Dead.  All our characters are employees or shoppers at the Groatsville Mall, c. 1985.  Cultists have taken over the Orange Julius and sealed off all the exits, and are planning to sacrifice the entire population of the mall to Mffrnmmmhmmgh Dark God Du Jour.  Our heroes will have to find a way to foil them using only the tools available at an American mall in the mid-80’s (cheap jewellery, oversized sweaters, large soft cookies, those incessantly yapping robot dogs from Radio Shack… I have great hopes for them adapting the laser engraving tool at the Things Remembered kiosk into a weapon of deadly accuracy.)  Now I need to draw the map, write up the characters, outline the basics of the adventure, and download a lot of Hall and Oates and Genesis onto my iPod….

I am no doubt easily amused, but this made me laugh a lot.*   It is also another example of People Getting Together to Do Stuff, about which category of human endeavour I am reeling away from afresh, moaning and wringing my hands.**

            Today was the first, pre-rehearsal-beginning meeting about The Octopus and the Chandelier and . . . it was full of people.  People!  Gah!  I’ve got careless about my aversion to people on account of ringing bells.  You can’t ring bells alone.  I am resigned to this.***  But a bell gang is usually six or eight people.  A crowded practise night around here is maybe twelve.  Fifteen would be amazing.  Fifteen would make me cranky.   

            We had eight for service ring this morning† which was a lot of people.  And then Niall and I went off to ring at Fusca Fenestra, where they were hosting the bishop and Amy had had to phone around to get pairs of hands on all her bell ropes, which at Fusca Fenestra is five††.  But five people is even more people in that ringing chamber than eight is in New Arcadia’s.  You have to inhale sharply just to make it round the last spit-curl turn and into the titchy room, and elbows are a permanent problem.  Visiting bishops have been known to inspect bell towers, but we had no fears in this case:  a bishop in full clobber wouldn’t make it through the arrow-slit that passes for a door into the stair, let alone up the stair. 

            But I digress.†††   And I was going to digress in another direction‡:  with reference to needing other people to ring.  There have been PC bell-method simulators . . . well, at least since DOS.  I remember the DOS version of Abel;  it was still around when I was learning to ring the first time, and it took zero space on your 2KB hard drive, which, given that 2KB is about a page of text‡‡, is a good thing.  I’ve still got Abel, now in the modern shiny version . . . and I still can’t use the freller.  I can’t get my head round it.  This is a source of deep distress to Niall, who feels I should be learning Consequential Sextuplet Bob in my spare time.  The lack of spare time doesn’t compute with Niall at all, but he does just about grasp that computers and I are a bad match at the best of times, spare or spareless, and bell simulators are just so . . . virtual. 

            And then Ajlr, our own Ajlr, kindly, cat-loving, piano-playing, garden-tending, forum-minding and, lately, bell ringing Ajlr, emailed me the news that there is a bell ringing ap for Apocalypse.  Nooooooo.

            I downloaded it last night. 

            I may be in big trouble.

            I still kind of doubt I’m going to be able to practise tower ringing on it—punching the screen with your finger is just too much not like ringing in a tower for me.  However . . . holding Pooka as if I’m texting, thumbs tapping, staring at the other pairs of bells in the tiny compass of her screen and counting like the dickens is not wholly unlike the handbell experience.

            This might actually work.

            Nooooooo.

            I spent that extra hour of the changeover to winter time last night tapping away in a frenzy.  And I made the serious mistake of standing by the side of the road this morning, tapping, while I was waiting for Niall.  That’s one of the best/worst things about an iPhone:  it’s as disastrously immediate as opening a book.  Look what I’ve got, I said, foolishly, to Niall (who does not have an iPhone).  If I’d had the sense the gods gave tapeworms, Niall would have been the last person on the planet I told.  But I wanted someone who would appreciate it, you know?   He appreciated it all right.  You could’ve seen his face light up in Cumbria.‡‡‡  By the time we got to Fusca Fenestra he was offering to help me load touches§.  I’m sure it’s like Abel, he was saying.  I’m sure I can figure it out.  —There are good reasons why his wife Penelope refuses point blank to ring handbells.

            So I got to the Octopus and Chandelier meeting this afternoon and . . . PEOPLE.  WAY LOTS OF PEOPLE.  Like maybe . . . fifty people.  And that’s not even all of us:  some of us couldn’t come today.  It was held in Chrysalid’s assembly hall, which is where we’ll be rehearsing, and it’s not like I didn’t know there clearly have to be a lot of people involved in putting on a musical—and even if I didn’t know it§§ there’s the list at the head of Minnie’s email updates.  But . . . GAAAAAAH.  All of them together like this. . . . I ticked my name off the list at the door and ran to an empty seat on the far side of the circle.  And got out Pooka.  And started ringing bells with myself.

            But they’d put out the right number of chairs for the number of people, you know?  So the circle started filling up.  And eventually someone plopped down next to me and started chatting in the grotesque extrovert way of many old-hand theatre people.  He’s one of the principals.  Let’s call him Basil.  We eventually got round to what I was doing (with myself).  He’d at least heard of ringing methods on handbells, which puts him ahead of the majority of the population.   I said that I’d only just got this ap and was still figuring it out.

            An iPhone ap for method ringing, he said slowly.

            Yes, I said.  Cool, huh?

            Actually ‘geeky’ was the word I was thinking of, he replied.

            It may be a long four months till opening night.

 And now, speaking of people in groups, allow me to remind you of the totally exciting possibility of hosting or attending a PEGASUS and cake party.   Hey, it’s cake, and nobody’s expecting you to sing anything.  Black Bear has posted the rules here:

 http://robinmckinleysblog.com/forum/index.php?t=msg&th=1629&start=0&

. . . and I want to encourage you to go have a look at the list of potential places and dates.  

http://robinmckinleysblog.com/forum/index.php?t=thread&SQ=033872f4b609da30149f2fcafb077457&frm_id=8&frm_goto=Go

You do not have to be a member of the forum (although new forum members are a good thing).   If you want either to attend one or organise one—email Black Bear.  It’s in her rules. 

 * * *

* I am however glad to be spared Hall and Oates.     

** Very suitable for Halloween.  All I need is the long trailing bloody garments

*** I’m even resigned to having them standing too close to me.  There are towers—New Arcadia is fortunately not one of them—where you and your neighbour’s or neighbours’ hair, limbs, spectacle frames and flapping ropes are in serious danger of becoming embroiled.

† Plus three-year-old Louise, Edward’s daughter, who has learnt most of the crucial bell jargon, so if you hear a small piping voice saying ‘bob! or ‘stand!’ you have to crush your immediate instinctive response perhaps slightly faster than you can.  There is the occasional band-wide stumble after one of Louise’s calls.

            Also, yaay for eight.  We have eight bells, we want eight ringers.  We are sweating getting our bells rung.  As I keep saying. 

†† Sudden phone call from Amy Friday night.  Sorry, Niall said this morning.  I suggested you when she rang me.  —Not like I haven’t done this to him many times.

††† I digressReally?  

‡ Well that’s a relief.  I was going to digress. 

‡‡ http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid5_gci944596,00.html  Yes, I know I’m muddling up hard drives with RAM and ROM and olly olly oxen free, but I’m like that.

‡‡‡ What is that strange bright light on the horizon?  Looks like it’s coming from . . . Hampshire. 

§ All you need to know is that there is a plain course of a method, or a variety of touches.  Touches are harder

 §§ It’s, like, fairies, right?  You just leave stuff out overnight and the fairies do it.

Swings and Roundabouts

 

I lost a (favourite) glove.  Peter lost his wallet.*  I haven’t heard from the Cherub, so presumably I’m not having a first voice lesson with him on Monday.  And this morning I got the phone call that I didn’t make the final cut for the Stedman Triples bell education day;  they were overbooked, and I’d applied late.  So it doesn’t matter that my dog minder failed me, and Fernanda doesn’t have to risk her shoulders and her sanity hurtling hellhounds.  Somehow I’m finding cheering difficult.

            And in exchange for one crummy little extra hour of sleep/reading** tonight it’s going to get dark at 4 o’clock till March.*** 

            It has not been a great day.†

            On the other hand . . . hellhounds ate lunch.  Hellhounds ate dinner.  Hellhounds poured up and downstairs with me so I could hang out Peter’s guest room window to take a photo of the rainbow,†† which gave me the opportunity to register the curious factoid that the rear view of dog butts going downstairs is high on the list of Small Silly Things That Make Me Happy. †††  Probably all dog butts going downstairs are good, but in the first place I am totally prejudiced about the superiority of my hellhounds in all things,‡ and in the second place, watching a skinny long-legged dog snake-sashay downstairs with his legs all folded up like a spider’s is pretty funny.  And speaking of hellhound legs, I let them off lead for the first time today since Chaos seems to be reliably four-legged again, and he did not pull up three legged afterward.  Yaay.  Cheering commences.

              And tomorrow I have not one but two service rings and the first, pre-rehearsal meeting of the cast and crew for the Octopus and Chandelier.  Next Sunday proper rehearsals start, but tomorrow they’re going to play us the music and rouse us to a frenzy of enthusiasm.  I think it’s something they put in the tea/cocoa/orange squash.  This is also when we are issued with the tiny subcutaneous homing devices that force us to show up at the Chrysalid Junior School hall every Sunday afternoon for the next four months.  Um.  Yaay. . . . 

* * *

* Peter suggests that I say bluntly that at rising 83 years old his grasp on reality is not all that it once was . . . but reality has never been his strong suit, any more than it has ever been mine.  It gets pretty foggy around here sometimes.^  But today by the time I got down to the mews Peter was over the initial sick-making adrenaline rush of horror and dismay and had already done the useless, the dispiriting, and the stopping, replacing and backside-protecting phoning around you have to do^^ in the wearisome wake of such an event.  Big major ugh.  

^ What do you mean, where is/are the x/y/z?  You had it/them last.   Did not.  Did so.  Did . . .

 ^^ Do not tax yourselves guessing why I know this 

** Although I’ve just finished a good book for a bad mood:  HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins is funny and cute, with a wise-cracking heroine and a vampire who loves pink.  Sophie Mercer is a witch, but when a spell to help a friend get her perfect prom date goes seriously wrong, she’s sent off to supernatural reform school:  Hex Hall, marooned on an island off the coast of Georgia.  ‘I stepped out of the car and into the hot thick heat of August in Georgia.  “Awesome,” I murmured, sliding my sunglasses on top of my head.  Thanks to the humidity, my hair felt like it had tripled in size.  I could feel it trying to devour my sunglasses like some sort of carnivorous jungle plant.’  And Lord Byron is one of the teachers.  Yes, that Lord Byron:  he didn’t die in Greece.  He was turned. 

            I have the paperback Simon and Schuster UK edition.  They are clearly, uh, not going for the crossover market:  if Jodi hadn’t recommended it I would have had a must-to-avoid reaction, but I’m old.  I am, however, still going to object to the cover art, which is three extremely white girls, two blondes and a brunette.  The unholy triumvirate of the book, however, consists of one blonde girl, one redhead, and a black girl.  Couldn’t S&S have gone the extra inch and a half and got this rightGrrrrrrr.  Oh, and if any of the target audience happens to read this blog:  there’s a dishy warlock with whom our heroine is locked in a cellar three nights a week for the semester.  No, really. 

*** It’s the frelling shifting back and forth that I loathe.  Measuring time is a human conceit anyway, so while I admit I would rather have the sun overhead, or as overhead as it’s going to get according to the time of year, at noon, I’m not going to insist on it.  What I wish I could insist on is that they choose their dranglefabbing line and stick to it. 

† And quietly in the background . . . an old friend is dying.  He’s been ill several years, and his quality of life hasn’t been so great for a while.  So this is one of those ‘maybe it’s for the best’ situations.  Except it doesn’t feel like it’s for the best.  It feels like it sucks really big time.  This is, hands down and no contest, the worst thing about getting old:  the utterly repellent and reprehensible way that you start losing friends oftener.  It’s not like you ever had any doubt that life was uncertain^:  I don’t see why the universe has to up the ante on us like this.  I hate gambling.  

^ I don’t know about you, but even during that adolescent phase when you know you’re immortal I knew I wasn’t. 

†† Exhibit A: 

It’s been one of those acutely-English weather days where you’re strolling along in the company of your frolicking hellhounds, enjoying the sunshine and not even wearing a raincoat*** . . . and it starts raining.  You look up, remembering to be grateful it’s not merely a very, very, very large bird flying past, and there, a mile or two above you, is a tiny black spot that looks about as big as your hand.  It’s poised perfectly over your head, and it’s raining.  And when you walk on, it glides along with you.  Still raining.  I am always reminded at these moments of THE WITCHES OF KARRES, and vetches. 

 ^Fool

††† The stairs at the cottage are curly, and the rear view of your companions on the descent isn’t as good.

‡ This is what critters are for.  The reason you have your own is that they’re the best. ^

^ And anybody who says anything injudicious about oh, say, eating, at this point, or digestive issues, will have their copy of PEGASUS taken away from them.  No, wait, I have a better idea:  you’ll be forbidden to read PEG II.

Pegasus Celebrations Update 1 (from Black Bear)

For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting regularly to let Robin’s blog readers know what’s going on in the way of Pegasus Release Celebration events.  If a date/time/place for a city has been set, it’ll be listed.  If it says “proposed,” that means that someone has offered to organize an event, but we’ve not had any confirmed responses. If you are in one of those areas and are interested, PLEASE go to the forum thread (linked in the list below) and respond in one of those threads.  If you’re not a forum member, you can email me (whiteape [at] whiteape [dot] net) and I will let the organizer know that there’s someone who’d like to come.  And FYI, “organizer” for the purpose of this list is the person who started the thread, or who emailed me to inquire.  If someone else ends up doing most of the organizing work for an event, just let me know and we’ll make sure the record so shows.

Raffle prize info: you need a confirmed date/time/location, and at least 3 people who say they’re coming (organizer + 2) for me to ask Robin’s publisher to mail you a raffle package.  As I’m still getting the particulars of this sorted out with Robin’s e-marketing person, parties held sooner rather than later may not get their loot in time to have it AT the party—but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still have a raffle!  Just get names and phone numbers; perhaps prize delivery will be another excuse for cake…

PRC RUNNING LIST
10 am, 10/29/10

 

In the USA

 

Central Indiana – Saturday, November 13, 1:30 –3:30 pm.  Probably at a local Borders bookshop; phonecalls are being made. Organizer: Black Bear

Chicagoland – proposed in forum.  Organizer: Apple

Seattle—possibly Sunday November 7, not yet set in stone. Possibly in Fremont, or the Alki bakery. Organizer: Forthewords

San Francisco Bay area – possibly on a Friday night, in Berkeley.  November 14  and December 10 have been proposed.  Organizer: Equus_Pedus

Brooklyn/Manhattan – Friday, November 19, evening time TBD. Possibly in Brooklyn, possibly at Irving Place Coffee in Manhattan.  This is a YA book club group, but they’d love to meet up with more fans for coffee and cake! Location will depend on whether other people from not-Brooklyn boroughs want to come, so please email me or post in the forum if you’re in the area. Organizer: Kathy L., via email.

Boston/Worcester/Nashua/Providence area – proposed in forum.  Organizer: Gryphyn

Denver Metro area – proposed in forum.  Organizer: Catlady

Kansas City – proposed in forum.  Organizer:  Jeanne Marie

Los Angeles/Orange Co – proposed in forum.  Organizer: Peanut

Central NY/Northern PA/Toronto – proposed in forum.  Organizer: cmarschner (who lives in Ithaca)

Baton Rouge – proposed in forum, suggesting the afternoon of Saturday, November 13 at Highland Coffee.  Organizer: Ned

DC/Baltimore – proposed in forum.  Organizer: Mirkat

Outside the USA

Kent, England –  Date/location TBD, possibly the café above the Waterstones in Canterbury.  Organizer: AJLR

Christchurch, NZ – proposed in forum.  Organizer: BlueRose

Barcelona, Spain – proposed in forum.  Organizer: Criscopolo

Quebec, Canada – proposed in forum.  Organizer: Holmes44

 

Additional events

We have a book club in Oregon who are interested in hosting an event—not certain yet whether this will be open to the public or if it’s a club event only.  And we have a school librarian in Wisconsin who will be organizing 2 PRCs, one for her 7th grade readers and one for 8th!  How awesome is that, I ask you? *

* * *

Here’s something to get you in the mood**: 

 

The sticker on the back says www.halfmoonbay.co.uk although what I’ve got is a coaster and it’s only showing up as a kitchen magnet on the site.  I’m sure you’ll cope.  Also, there are a lot of good alternative coasters.  I particularly like ‘a clean house is a sign of a wasted life’ although ‘because chocolate can’t get you pregnant’ made me laugh out loud. 

* * *

* Pretty frelling awesome.

** I am hoping that my extra-resonant sense of irony here is not a result of my awareness of the immediate prospect of the US elections.  No, no I’m sure the pegasi, famously clueless soldiers as they are,  have a chocolate cake equivalent.  I’ll try to get it into PEG II.

PEGASUS and Cake, continued

 

I have entered a strange blurred post-brain space.  I was an hour and a half on the phone this morning*—me, the original phone-o-phobe—being interviewed**.  Then I pelted down to the mews for (late) lunch and pelted back to the cottage again for handbells***—faithful hounds at my side of course, or, more likely, straying afield to assault passers-by.†  I then tottered back to the mews—hellhounds at this point holding me upright—and have spent the evening finishing the next written interview.††  And there are more interviews and guest blogs to come, I just don’t have the dates and particulars yet—only the sense of looming threat.

            So.  After last night’s post from Black Bear we are clearly in the season for recipes suitable for a PEGASUS party.  Here’s one.

 Iced Chocolate Cookies†††

 3 c sifted plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

pinch salt‡

½ c cocoa powder

½ c butter

1 c granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

½ c buttermilk or soured milk

Sift the dry and set aside, mush‡‡ the butter and sugar together, beat in the eggs, then the vanilla.  Add half the sifted dry, beat, then the buttermilk, beat, then the rest of the dry.  Beat hard.  Drop on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets:  350°F about 12 minutes.  They’ll still be softish, but the bottoms will be firm.  (They may also subside a little as they cool.  Don’t worry.)

Before they cool completely, ladle some frosting on them.  Quantities and texture are up to you.  If you want them to be really decorative, make your icing thin enough to pour, put the cookies on a rack that will be easy to wash later, and pour over.  Finish the job with grated chocolate (after they’ve finished cooling).  I tend to prefer the less artistic but more graphic approach, which is to say lots of frosting.  I usually use about 3T butter, 3c icing sugar, 4 T milk and 1 ½ tsp vanilla. 

Don’t forget the invitations. . . . 

* * *

* Um.  Afternoon.  Early afternoon.  My idea of morning.  I was only barely back from our hurtle, and still busy pouring caffeine into the system.  

** I forgot to ask if I could talk about it on the blog, so I’d better not.  But when it goes live and there’s a link, I will certainly link to it, and then you will Know All.  Well, actually, I hope you won’t know all.  I hope he’ll edit the blah-erg-ums out, and if I’m very lucky, also the bits where I appear to be speaking English but am not in fact making any sense.  I’ve spent the rest of the day worrying about the range, frequency and extent of these bits.  And remembering all the things I should have said.  Why couldn’t I have been a carpenter?^  I’m sure carpenters are allowed to be inarticulate.  Blah.  Erg.  Um.  

^ Possibly because I couldn’t drive a straight nail to save my life.  I have told you about the exploding bookcase, haven’t I?  You really only need to build one exploding bookcase to decide that your fate lies in another direction. 

*** Handbells were a fiasco.  It was almost funny.  I can afford to find it almost funny because I was on the easy pair (of bells) and wasn’t having too awful a time.  Eventually we put me back on one of the harder pairs with a piece of paper with the lines on it in front of me and Niall and I dragged the other two through to the end of a plain course of bob major at last.  Ah, the power:  with the lines in front of me I can bark, Three lead!  Five and seven dodge!  and they have to do what I say.  Or anyway they better had, since I’m reading it off the page.  Although—and I’ve told you this before—the even funnier thing is that the ability to read and ring at the same time isn’t a given.  In our group of four I’m the only one who can, and Esme, who with Niall taught me to ring bob minor on handbells in the first place, couldn’t do it either.  It’s a mixed blessing though, because the temptation is to keep using your cheat sheet.  And the dynamic of our present four is peculiar anyway, because Fernanda and Colin are tremendously experienced tower ringers, Niall is a little behind them but a handbell maniac . . . and then, panting pathetically several miles to the rear, am I.  Sigh.  At one point Fernanda was laughing and saying the only reason she could ring it at all was because she knew the tune.  Nice for you honey.  I’ve never rung it in the tower.  Well—I’ve rung the treble maybe twice.  I’ve never rung inside, and all I know about the tune is that it sounds a lot like bob minor—except that way disaster lies because you have to count to eight for major, not six.

† I shouldn’t even be making jokes about this.  I can restrain hellhounds from greeting anyone who doesn’t want to be assaulted by tail-wagging frenzy, but the people who encourage them are a problem, because I like my hellhounds to be appreciated, but my hellhounds’ response to appreciation tends to be fairly radical.  Meanwhile . . . I think I’ve been undervaluing another category of truly terrifying dog:  not merely the aggressive crazies off lead, but the aggressive crazies on lead that the other end of the lead can barely hold on to.  I think I’ve told you about Superboy and Bizarro, the evil beagle twins.  They are usually on the other end of the lead from a medium-small woman who can, indeed, barely hold them—but yesterday they were out with who I assume was the medium-small woman’s willowy twelve-year-old son, and we were getting into life-flashing-before-my-eyes territory as the baying, ravening red-eyed animals dragged him toward us—and our backs were against the wall, motherf—uh, never mind.  This was one of those occasions when hellhounds had enough sense to try and hide behind me, except there wasn’t room.  This evening we were coming home across one of the little greens in the middle of a housing development and there was the most extraordinary noise . . . which I eventually traced to an Alsatian the size of a small grizzly being held by a big frelling bloke who pretty much had veins popping out on his forehead from the strain–the extraordinary noise was caused by the Alsatian self-strangling against the brake.   I don’t like this.  And it doesn’t seem to me to be the way things should be, you know?  When did pet dogs become the latest Nightmare on Elm Street? 

†† Blah.  Erg.  Etc.

††† I know it says PEGASUS and cake.  Is anyone seriously going to turn down cookies?  Hint:  Better hadn’t.  It’s likely to ruin your chances in the drawing.^

^ I am a whimsical hellgoddess, and I have my little ways.

‡ I have mixed feelings about salt.  It does heighten the chocolateyness of chocolate, but . . . salt is everywhere.  Like sugar.  And here we’re concentrating on the sugar.  The original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon salt.  Good grief. 

‡‡ The more you mush, which is to say cream, the smoother the eventual result.  I find that beautifully thorough, cooking-school creaming is a bit wasted on cookies.  It’s even more wasted on cookies that are about to be curdled by soured milk anyway.  Cream enough to produce something relatively homogenous, and don’t sweat it.

A Very Special Announcement from Black Bear

PEGASUS CAKE PARTIES – THROUGHOUT THE HOLIDAY SEASON!

If you’ve been on the forum in recent months, you might know that a number of our forum members around the world have been getting together face to face for coffee, tea, and cake—plus some chat about Robin’s books.  This is brilliant.  Thus it occurred to me, why shouldn’t we combine our love of cake and meeting other bookfiends with some special events celebrating the release of Pegasus on November 2?  Even more brilliant, right?

Here’s the scoop.  You, readers of this blog, are cordially invited to organize/participate in Pegasus Release Celebrations (hereafter, “PRCs”) throughout the months of November and December.  Doing so makes you eligible for fabulous prizes, as you’ll see below.

WHO: You, and anyone else in your area who loves Robin’s books/fantasy novels/YA fiction/cake.

WHERE: You can get together anyplace that has coffee, tea, cake, muffins, or whatever strikes your fancy—it would be fabulous if you could meet up at a bookstore or a library, but I realize the time is tight.  We’ll have a longer lead when Pegasus II comes out.

WHAT: Meet up, make new friends, meet people you only know online, talk about books, introduce new folks to Robin’s work, play board games, eat cake—whatever strikes your fancy.  And take photos!

WHY? Or, WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? Robin’s publisher has very kindly agreed to make copies of Pegasus available for giveaway—so if you organize a PRC, you get a free copy of Pegasus.  You can raffle it off among your attendees, give it to a friend, or greedily keep it yourself if you’ve not already got one.  Likewise, we have posters of that gorgeous cover art—we can send you posters to give away at the party via raffle.  Plus, every person who attends a PRC event will be entered in a drawing to win one of 3 copies of Pegasus autographed by Robin herself.  Organizers will get their name in the hat twice as added incentive.  There may be more fabulous prizes, depending on how many entries we get.

HOW: Organizing is easy—all you have to do is volunteer to be the point person, then just pick a place and time, and let people know when and where. It can be as simple as “Meeting at the coffee shop at 5th and Nightshade at 3pm” or as elaborate as you want to make it.  If you’re on Robin’s forum, then put a post in the Talk forum that looks something like this:

CENTRAL INDIANA PRC – Who’s interested?

I live in Indianapolis, and I’m up for organizing a get-together in Indy the second weekend of November—who can come?

If you’re on other fantasy book forums, drop a post there letting people there know about it; you could also put up a sign at your local bookstore or library, if they’ve got a public bulletin board. If you can engage some bookstore staff or librarians in the process, all the better!  But it really can be just as easy as a few people getting together for a baked-goods-and-books chat.  No matter what you’re planning, you need to either PM me (black bear) or email me at whiteape [at] whiteape [dot] net. I’ll email you back with some official documents that will ensure everyone gets entered in the drawing, and I’ll post the info about your gathering on the forum so everyone knows if something is happening in their area.

The most important thing is—have fun! This is just our first experiment in grass-roots fan organization, and we’ll see how it goes.  For fans not in the USA, not to  fear—when the UK/AUS release dates are set, we’ll have another go round with more fabulous prizes, etc.  Have at it!

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