January 7, 2015

Shadows is here!

A Little Light Relief

 

 

 

 

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2015/01/the-pop-quiz-at-the-end-of-the-universe-robin-mckinley

 

 

They had a little trouble with my footnotes for some reason.  Do you know ANYONE ELSE who has EVER had a little trouble with my footnotes?  ::hums a little tune::  They also left out the hellterror in the intro, which I will do my best to prevent her from finding out or she would hunt them down and eat . . . all their sandwiches.  And their shoes.  And possibly their desks and their computers.  Certainly their mobile/cell phones.  And their coats.  And . . .

Highlighting missing footnotes in pink which saves getting HOPELESSLY ENTANGLED in explanations.  And a couple of nonessentials I’ve kept in just in case there are any OCDs out there# who are worried about the accuracy of the footnote sequence. 

* * *

*  I like footnotes.  I’m not sure I can think without footnotes any more.  I never was good at joined-up thinking.  . . . Yes, Tor has provided a lovely long list of questions to choose from, but way too many of them are based on a knowledge of pop culture, and my idea of pop culture is Bryn Terfel singing Sweeney Todd.  I have to answer what I can.^

^ Also, that ratbag David Tennant has already pinched All Stars for his Doctor Who incarnation, so I can’t answer the one about what my Doctor Who signature costume element would be. 

** I don’t remember yesterday too well, let alone blogs or interviews from years ago.  I can safely guess yesterday involved dog walking^ and eating chocolate however.

^ Known in this household of three four-legged fur factories as ‘hurtling the hellmob’.

[*** See answer 3, below:  this refers to frelling]

† hellmob = two whippet/deerhound crosses, one mini bull terrier

[†† Also see answer 8, below:  this is about getting what you want]

††† But about getting what you need, that’s why I grew up to write about heroines.

‡ You don’t know Creeping Jane?  http://mainlynorfolk.info/joseph.taylor/songs/creepingjane.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKIECgIW1rA

 Speaking of heroines.^

^ They could have given her a more gallant name however.

‡‡ I can so imagine Diana getting into automatic writing though.  Given her sense of humour I don’t entirely envy the person chosen as channel but . . . ::waves pen hopefully over blank sheet of paper^ and looks around::

^ I suppose there’s no reason you couldn’t channel onto a computer screen but it’s so, you know, realistic.  Who wants to be ordinary about Channelling from Beyond?+  I feel there should be long flowing skirts involved too.  If you’re a bloke you can wear a tabard or something.

+ Especially not channelling Diana Wynne Jones, who had epic conflicts with her technology.

‡‡‡  Horses aren’t pets.  And neither are dragons^.  Neither is Narknon [BLUE SWORD], although I suppose Fourpaws [ROSE DAUGHTER] is—just.  Majid in SHADOWS is not.  In my experience Maine coon cats rarely are.

^ And Lois [DRAGONHAVEN] as a baby was a NIGHTMARE.  Not ideal at all, unless you have a dangerous martyrdom complex.

§  And CHALICE and SUNSHINE are essentially Beauty and the Beast too. Oops. Well but it’s such a good story.  I don’t want to give it up too soon.

* * *

# Who, me?

Pub day

 

Those ebooks you’ve been waiting for?  Today’s the day. . . . * 

Robin McKinley Ebooks

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.**  ::Confetti::  Fireworks?  Sure.  Why not.  Also fireworks.  And champagne.  Definitely champagne.

And if you forget, splendid Blogmom has put a permanent link in the right sidebar. ***

* * *

* Not that I want to lower the level from high exquisite thought-provoking literature that provides deep and astonishing insights into the paradoxical mind and authentic heart of humanity^ or anything like that but WE FINALLY HAVE A DISHWASHER AGAIN.  That is, the kind with a door in the front and a mains plug in the rear and lots of SHELVES in between and you PUT YOUR DIRTY DISHES in it and CLOSE THE DOOR and TURN IT ON . . . and go back to your book or your knitting or your piano^^ with a happy sigh.  I AM SO TIRED OF WASHING DISHES BY HAND.  Especially the part about redoing all the ones that Peter thinks he’s already washed.  Arrrrrrrgh.

^ Plus dragons, vampires, sighthounds, rosebushes etc.

^^ Also FINALLY I had a voice lesson today+ THAT WAS NOT A DISASTER.  This is the first non-disaster since the house move, I think, and the gruesomely long summer break during which I FORGOT EVERYTHING I HAD ONCE KNOWN and found myself incapable of relearning any of it in a strange new sitting room++ which was way too SMALL so I was making TOO MUCH NOISE. +++

+ Yes.  It’s usually on Monday only Nadia’s car broke.

++ Except it wasn’t strange!  It wasn’t new!  It is lovely friendly Third House and I am a MORON!#

# This is not news, of course.  Especially when applied to singing, knitting, bell ringing, etc.

^^^ I’m still making too much noise but I’m getting used to making too much noise.#

# Eeep.

**  Also YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY. ^

^ I’m not sure how you go about wrapping ebooks and putting them under the Christmas tree, but please try.

*** YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY BLOGMOM.

Last flash

 

I almost wrote ‘slash’ and remembered that this could be misinterpreted in Today’s Internet . . . I just now had a last crash, then, through last night’s reddit AMA, answering most of the latecomers and adding a few twirly bits to earlier conversations.  If anyone’s interested.  The Nice Man sent me some figures today and said that it was a good AMA and I’m glad he thought so because it seemed pretty good to me but then most of the posters wanted to tell me how great my books are and that does kind of sway a writer’s attitude. . . . Thanks again to everyone who posted, I enjoyed it too.   But I’m also glad to be back to my footnotes.*  The reddit formatting didn’t ALLOW footnotes.  It’s about the only complaint I have.

I did say once or twice, questions I wasn’t answering during the AMA because my brain was melting under the strain, feel free to post them to the forum here–or for that matter Twitter or Facebook although I’m even less reliable** on both of those virtual-social real-timewasters than I am here.  But if anyone reading this has a BURNING question, whether or not they’ve asked it 1,000,000 times before in a wide variety of media, you can try asking it again saying ‘the reddit AMA reminded me that I’ve always wondered blah blah blah’ or thereabouts and I’ll try to pay attention.  Of course it’s always possible that I keep blowing you off because I don’t want to–or can’t–answer your question, but you might finally get that much out of me.***  Maybe.  I’m really world class in the disorganised and absent-minded**** stakes.

Anyway.  So long.  And THANKS for all the fish. . . .

* * *

*  YAAAAAAY.

** I realise this is slightly mind-boggling.  My unreliability pretty much starts in the negative numbers and approaches absolute zero with breathtaking speed.

***  I don’t know!  You don’t want to know!  Mercury is in retrograde!  Please go away!

**** And whimsical.  Or you could say cranky, but that would be unkind after I’ve just spent ALL THAT TIME answering questions.

AMA link is live

 

Anyone in England who doesn’t stay up late, or anyone in America who has other plans for the evening, or anyone in [insert other part of the world] who can’t make the official AMA live time for whatever reason good and  significant to you, you can post questions NOW.

Reddit – Robin McKinley AMA

Niall has convinced me I really need to go bell ringing tonight, but as the AMA intro says I’ll be back later to answer questions.  Having a look at the ones already up . . . I may have blog material for the next several years . . . .

THANKS, ALL YOU ASKERS.

PS:  And for those of you unaccustomed to internet society wailing brokenly about the need to create a reddit account to post a question–and I am totally with you on this:  I only joined up because I’d agreed to the gig–the Nice Man says:

There is a link towards the upper-right corner of the page that says “login or register.” All they need to do is pick a username and password, and fill in the text thing to prove they’re not a robot. No personal information is needed; even an email address is optional. 

 

Italics mine. Hey, I did the register thing.  You can too.

 

 

Ask me anything*

 

I’m doing one of reddit fantasy’s Ask Me Anything, AMA, sessions this Thursday, the day after tomorrow [as I write during what is to me still Tuesday night]. The poor suck—the nice man who originally invited me and is attempting to shepherd me through the technical aspects of this gig** says that if you go here:  http://www.reddit.com/r/fantasy

. . . while you’re waiting you can poke around*** and when the AMA session goes ‘live’ at approximately noon (American) Central Time on Thursday the link will go up on that page. The game plan seems to be that I (or rather the Nice Man, which means I have to have written it in advance for him to deal with) post(s) a brief introductory doodah at noon as part of the going-live process, and people post questions then if they feel like it.  Perhaps I drift in during reddit’s idea of afternoon (my idea of evening) and answer any of these there are and maybe I don’t, but I do show up for live-ish keyboard interaction around 6 pm Central time which I think is midnight mine, and respond—I do not say answer—any and all questions then.  I admit midnight is not particularly late by my standards [hey it’s past 4 am where I’m sitting] but it is late to be articulate to/with a bunch of strangers.†  If I were living in the same part of the galaxy as the reddit fantasy admin the AMAs usually go live at about 8 pm—as some of you, who’ve been to talk to other authors, already know—but it’s going to be early with me.  If the conversation suddenly heats up at 2 am I’ll stay on, but the alternative, if people are absent-mindedly expecting it to have begun at 8 pm reddit time and show up after I’ve left to give the hellmob its final hurtle††, is to post questions anyway and I’ll come back on the far side of sleep and caffeine and answer them then.

One or two guidelines: I can’t tell you when PEG II or III will be out because I don’t know.  I said pretty much all I have to say on that burdensome topic in the ebook-announcement post: I’m working on the rest of the PEGASUS story, sure, and believe me I’d finish it yesterday if I could. But I can’t.  I am finding the writing experience lately like cleaning the Houses of Parliament with a toothbrush or watering the Sahara with a teacup.  I’d rather prune Souvenir de la Malmaison††† without full body armour and a face mask than face the PEG II file.  I’m getting calluses and tendonitis from clutching my forehead/chair/nearest hellcritter.  So you can ask when PEG II and III will be out, but don’t expect a useful answer.

And, speaking of useful answers, there’s still no sequel to SUNSHINE. And there are at last count approximately three hundred and twelve Third Damar Novels, but I haven’t written any of them.‡

Some authors are more perverse than others. You might want to embroider that on a sampler.  But do come round on Thursday at whatever o’clock and ask me about roses or dogs or bell ringing or life as an American expat in England or knitting (badly) or singing (worse) or even about suddenly and involuntarily converting to Christianity two years ago and coming all over social-welfare volunteering like a bad case of measles.‡‡  I’m still cranky though.

* * *

* . . . answers not guaranteed. But then you blog readers know that already.

** AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH.

*** It’s frelling HUGE. I keep getting lost.

† So, you know, please come hang out so it’s not all strangers.

†† And wave at passing patrol cars

††† Which in my tiny garden is presently about twenty feet by twenty feet and putting on a rather amazing autumn show for a rose known for not repeating in this climate. She is also implicated in the disappearance of several annoying small children and neighbourhood cats which insist on crapping in Third House’s flowerbeds, but we don’t know anything about that, except to say that a rose responds well to generous feeding and I’m delighted she has settled in so happily.

‡ Please try to remember that I can only write what I am given to write.   The Damar stories are there—like PEG II and III are there—like the frelling sequel to SUNSHINE is there—but I can’t write them because they haven’t come to me in writable form.  It’s like one of those scenes out of Dickens—or Frances Hodgson Burnett—when the main character is standing on the wrong side of a window watching other people having a good time.  You can see what everybody is wearing and eating, you can see the champagne sparkling in the glasses, you can see who’s flirting with whom, you can maybe even hear a faint echo of the live music.  But you can’t go in because you weren’t invited.  And besides there doesn’t seem to be a door.

‡‡ Which also makes a change occasionally from staring at the frelling blank page . The eleventh commandment:  Do what you can.

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