And the end of September, what’s more.
*may the editors not rely on spellcheck*
Yes. Well. Ahem. The really frustrating thing is that I’d had this conversation with both my editor’s assistant and, through her, the copyeditor, about my little retro peculiarities, including that ‘any more’ is two words, as is ‘some day’ and ‘any time’, and that single nouns ending in ‘s’ take an apostrophe only, not an apostrophe-s, thus: princess’, not princess’s. One of SHADOWS’ main characters has a nickname ending in s.
The final manuscript file undoubtedly had errors, because all final manuscripts have errors, and some of those errors may even conceivably include an ‘anymore’ and an s’s. But the style sheet was right.
So. Guess what. In the ARCs, modern style ravages the landscape. My landscape. Some button-pressing twit didn’t read the notes, and either did or did not press the right button or buttons, and therefore ARCs were produced in which ‘anymore’ hideously reigns. Arrrgh. Poor Zandria has toiled through the blasted book yet again, putting these right again, and I’m slashing them with a large red marking pencil as I go through . . . again.
I did realise one slightly bizarre thing. It is not news that I do not enjoy reading galleys. It’s another philosophical, or possibly quantum-physical, level of the way when the finished book finally arrives and you the author tremblingly take it out of its padded envelope and look at it . . . it will fall open on a page with a more or less severe typo on it.* This is a law of the universe. Reading galleys all you can ever see is the bits you didn’t fix, the things you made the wrong choices about . . . and it’s too late to change. These are page proofs. The only things you can alter now are actual printers’ errors. Like ‘anymore’.
I am ENDLESSLY distracted by second, third, and ninety-sixth guessing myself about all those things it is too late to change. With scraping the puppy off the ceiling, having flu and—up to two nights ago—bringing indoors increasing numbers of little green trying-to-grow things and taking them out again in the morning, I have not been having a good time with the galley pages of SHADOWS. To the extent that when the ARCs arrived a few days ago I started all over, reading an ARC. And what I realised is . . . it’s easier. I think because it looks like a book. Loose pages still look like manuscript. It’s harder to focus your mind on the fact that they’re merely unbound book pages. Every time you read something you’d like to change you revert—you forget again. But a book-shaped object is clearly a book, to your subconscious. All right, to my subconscious. In a book-shaped object I pay better attention to the ‘anymore’s. Which ironically I’m picking more of up in the ARC than I did in the loose pages, because I’m finally reading from the right superficial non-quantum level.
It must be a pretty great feeling to see it coming together like this.
Well, see above. The bottom line is that I’m a neurotic control freak. But I’m a neurotic control freak who writes stories for a living. I love what I do. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. And I don’t mind the hard-work aspect; you’re lucky to have the opportunity to work hard at something you love. And stuff happens and we’re all mortal. What I do wish is that I could do what I do with a little less useless anguish. Very tiring, useless anguish. And when the fit’s over you feel like such a jerk. In the five minutes before you plunge into the next sea of useless anguish.
They’re still tweaking the colours on the art. The ARC covers are also printed on glossy paper and they’re thinking some kind of matte for the final jacket. This means that the colours I’m seeing are not what they’re ultimately going to look like. As a result there has been a fair amount of Reassure the Author going on. The point of this story is that I wrote saying that (among other things) I didn’t think I liked the yellow of my name . . . and I was thinking, my name. My name on a BOOK JACKET. If you count the picture books, the number of titles out there with my name on them is getting pretty close to twenty. And it’s still a thrill. Every time. My name on a book jacket. Golly. Wow.
And to everyone, on the forum, FB, Twitter and on email who said something like:
Instantly went to Amazon and pre-ordered!
Luckily, my local independent bookstore both takes pre-orders and is on speed-dial.
Tritto!? (Me, too, anyway.)
Just pre-ordered my copy!
To the pre-order!
YAAAAAAAAAAAY all of you. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.
Thank you. The ‘earn my living’ part of writing stories is only possible because of people like you. I may be a cow** but I’m a grateful and appreciative cow.
September is FOREVER. I want it now.
I can hardly wait till September either. Pav will be thirteen months old and BEGINNING TO SHOW SOME SENSE. Er . . . right?
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (With all the volume and high-pitched-ness that only a teenager can pull off)
Snork. True. But you have to be old for genuine paint-peeling resonance. To make the sort of noise that causes chimneys to fall over and wheels to come off cars.
Diane in MN
::sends encouraging thoughts to publisher’s minions::
Yes please. I am not hiding under the bed. I am not.
Ooooooh! You get ARCs with cover art? Mine are all purple and white with Del Rey logos in little purple blocks all over them and no pictures.
I dunno. That actually sounds really cool and collector-y. But when do you see the art? Do they send you flats? Do you have enough lead time to get really really stressed about it? Either what it is, or what it isn’t, or what they’re going to do unless they change their minds and do something else?
::stares fixedly at calendar to make it September through sheer force of will::
Would you add something in about Pav beginning to show sense, please? And maybe something about hellhounds eating all three meals a day every day. Sigh. Critters exist to keep you grounded. . . .
* * *
* In SHADOWS, it will probably be ‘anymore’.
** And the few people who are telling me they won’t read anything of mine till I write the third Damar book, or that they wish I’d go back to rewriting fairy tales because that’s what I’m good at, or that they’re holding out for PEG II . . . bite me. I write what I can write, what I am given to write. When the first version of PEG II crashed and burned a year and whatever ago and I couldn’t start over again immediately, SHADOWS frelling saved me. And I like it. I think it’s a good book. And it was a story I wanted to write anyway, even if I hadn’t been planning on writing it just now—and even if, on paper, it’s not at all the story I thought it was going to be. But that’s totally standard in my life as a story-teller. The story is never what I thought it was going to be.
Not all of my books are going to appeal to all of my readers (unfortunately). I know this. It makes me sad, but it’s not a problem. Being told that someone isn’t even going to give SHADOWS a chance because it’s not the third Damar novel, or the second PEGASUS novel, or a fairy tale retelling—or a sequel to SUNSHINE—well, I find that pretty problematic, not that there’s a blind bit of anything I can do about it.
The story starts like something out of a fairy tale: I hated my stepfather.
It’s usually stepmothers in fairy tales. Well, equal time for stepfathers.
I almost don’t know why I hated Val so much. He was short and hairy and didn’t know how to wear Newworld clothes and spoke with a funny accent and used a lot of really dreeping words that nobody in Newworld had used in two hundred years. Have you ever heard anyone say “ablutions”? I didn’t think so. He looked like the kind of creepazoid you’d cross the street to avoid walking past too close to. And this guy who looks like a homeless crazydumb who’s about to start shouting about the evil magician who planted electrodes in his brain stands there smiling gently at my mother . . . and she laughs and puts her arm through his because she loves him. Uggh.
Maybe I hated him because she loved him, although I was pretty old for that kind of doolally. I’d turned seventeen by the time they got together, and my brother, Ran (short for Randal not Randolph), who wasn’t quite thirteen yet, thought he was wonderful. I don’t know what went wrong with me. It was like an evil magician had put electrodes in my brain.
Margaret Alastrina (everyone calls me Maggie, but the full line-up is way more effective if you want to shout), there’s no point in telling this story if you’re not going to be honest. Okay, okay, I do know why I couldn’t deal with Val. It was the shadows. But in Newworld, where we’re all about science and you stop reading fairy tales about the time you learn to read (which always seemed really unfair), being afraid of shadows was silly and pathetic. Even if there were a lot of them and they didn’t seem to be the shadow of anything. (And if they were, whatever it was had way too many legs.) So I hated him for making me silly and pathetic. That’s scientifically logical, isn’t it?
For a while Mom made a fuss about it and tried to get us—Val and me—to do things together, I guess because she couldn’t believe I wouldn’t like him if I got to know him better. You know the kind of thing. We did the grocery shopping—with him being as useless as it’s humanly possible to be and me having to explain everything; why he hadn’t starved to death before he met Mom I have no idea—and when I got my learner’s permit Mom was always “Oh, take Val, I haven’t got time right now,” which was probably true but it was also Mom trying to make us friends. (And honestly, he was a pretty good learner driver’s passenger. He never blew about dumb stuff—and he didn’t even get upset when I put the tiniest—the tiniest—dent in Mom’s fender because there was this really unnecessary knob on the side of one of those big metal anti-cobey boxes and I couldn’t see it because the front of the car was in the way. We got out and looked at it and I thought, My life is over, but all Val said was, “I can bend that out again. Back into the driveway tonight so it’s on the other side and she’ll never know.”)
Mom probably couldn’t believe what had happened to her daughter. I’d been this disgustingly sweet, cooperative kid, always worried about everyone else (this got worse after Ran was born. I am never having kids. Moms with new babies have no life), which is to say this dreary little dreep. What started giving me my own personality finally was when I got old enough to volunteer at the Orchard Animal Shelter. I was thrilled at being allowed to shovel critter crap and scrub bowls. The self-confidence issues of a nine-year-old can be pretty weird.
I’d wanted a dog since forever, but about six months after Dad died, and Mom was still trying to be extra-nice to Ran and me, especially because she was working about twenty-six hours a day and exhausted and miserable and cranky when we saw her at all, I told her I’d found my dog. So while she gave me the old “a dog is a big responsibility” lecture and reminded me with lots of Mom gestures and eye contact that she was working twenty-six hours a day and backup from her was a nonstarter, her heart wasn’t really in it. I had wanted almost every dog that came into the shelter because whatever it was it was a dog, but this time it was one of those your-eyes-meet-and-you-know-you’re-made-for-each-other things. (My friend Laura has them about every six months with a new boy.) Clare was saving him for me while I dealt with Mom (and Ran, although Ran is fine about most things including dogs as long as they’re not his problem). So we brought Mongo home. . . .
* * *
* Because I have a mind like a sieve that’s been left out in the rain and then caught in an avalanche, I can’t remember if I’ve given you the first few pages of SHADOWS before or not. I know I’ve given you a couple of random snippets from inside. But even if I have given you the first few pages previously . . . this is the last rewrite. I’m pretty sure you haven’t seen the final version.
I’ve told you, haven’t I, that PEG II ends possibly even worse than PEG? Slightly depending on your definition of ‘worse’.
Ummmm. No. I don’t think you had. And if you had I had BLOCKED IT OUT. Thanks.
One of us is doing a certain amount of blocking anyway. Like I’m blocking the whole trilogy thing. THERE ARE TWO BOOKS LEFT. AND I HAVE TO REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST ONE. BECAUSE THERE’S A FIRST ONE. Arrrrrrgh. I was reading a snarky review somewhere of someone else’s first book of a trilogy, and the snarky reviewer was saying how tired she was of authors feeling they have to produce trilogies and that this one is already failing to support the length. Well, I can’t speak for the length-supporting—and I’m sure some authors, possibly desperate to earn a living*, which does happen, silly us for quitting our day jobs, have signed up for a trilogy for the ‘paid three times’ aspect—but some of us don’t choose to write trilogies, trilogies choose us. One might almost say mug us.
I didn’t mean to finish anything on a cliffhanger. The end of PEG was supposed to be the end of part one. The end of PEG II was supposed to be the middle of PEG II. I don’t do time, I don’t do distance, I don’t do length or word count. . . . I am Not of This World. Which explains a lot really.
I blame KES for your growing fondness for cliffhangers.
It’s the other way around. The end of PEG was a big, Oh well hey moment, even though I knew a lot of people would hate me for it.** Writing KES is an interesting experience*** not least because of the 800-or-so words per episode set-up and the need to create some structure out of the situation. Eight hundred words doesn’t give you much opportunity for momentum. Itty-bitty cliffhangers are a way to make the story feel like it’s moving forward.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
So have I missed something, does Pegasus II have a pub. date yet, that you are already anticipating reader’s reactions?
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH. I HAVEN’T WRITTEN IT YET.† I’m anticipating reader reactions because PEG II also ends on a cliffhanger and I know what the end of PEG got me. And if you ever browse around in the blog pre-PEG you may come across one of the occasions when I warn you that PEG has a Frodo-was-alive-but-taken-by-the-Enemy ending. Readers frequently surprise me but some things can be successfully assumed. Like that cliffhangers make a lot of readers cranky, especially when they’re not expecting it.††
Remind me to have her crate off the kitchen table and on the FLOOR before that [that the hellterror is too heavy to lift] happens
I’m sure she’d be happy to leap up on the table without you lifting her.
Yup. She will soon. She can’t quite bound reliably up on the chair from the slippery kitchen floor, and then she doesn’t have enough spring without a run at it to boing it from the chair into the crate. But she’s now busy making me feel ENORMOUSLY GUILTY because the minute I put her on drugs and started feeding her more she’s having an unscheduled growth spurt. Ask me how I know this (she says, rubbing her aching arms†††). Sigh. . . .
* * *
* Scary publishing story? Here’s a scary publishing story for any of us who aren’t J K Rowling or E L James—and for you/us readers. I tweeted it a little while ago but for anyone who doesn’t immediately click on every link, here it is again: http://stephanieburgis.livejournal.com/311674.html
Books are not widgets. They are not one size fits all. Another one of similar dimensions produced by another company is not a suitable substitute. And it is not okay that the big guys are playing hardball with the little guys’ livelihoods and future careers because they can.
I would like to believe that when this gets sorted out both sides, who are, in fact, in the book business which does, finally, depend in some fashion on authors, will make some good on the books and writers that are being squeezed now. But do I believe it . . . ?
** And I have—or anyway had, since I tend to delete them—the email to prove it. What continues to fascinate me however is the number of people who seem to believe that was the ending. I know I don’t write series or sequels and that I may even have made a slight doodah about the fact that I don’t write series or sequels, but it genuinely never OCCURRED to me that anyone wouldn’t recognise a cliffhanger when they saw one. Also . . . have I ever ruined one of my heroines’ lives and left her in a crumpled heap on the floor? Maybe some of these people have never read any of my other books and don’t know my reprehensible tendency toward the Technicolor sunset finish. I grant that some books end more Technicolorful than others^, but do you really think Sylvi and Ebon are parted for life? Please.
^ I still get furious, appalled or gravely disappointed mail about the end of SPINDLE. These readers and Ikor should get together. They could start a club.+
+ I’ve said this before. But I think it again every time I get one of these letters.
*** Especially the part about HAVING NO IDEA WHERE IT’S GOING. I know most of the immediate future, aside from the way every story changes in the process of writing it down, and I have some idea about some things farther ahead (or sometimes farther to one or another side), and I recognise as you might call them hot spots where there’s more story if I can wiggle what is there already around and get it aimed in the right direction, but mostly I have to trust to the extremely alive critter that KES is, and hope it/she continues lithe and frisky. I AM OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE. I DON’T DO SERIALS.
† I’m in the early No, no, nooooooo phase, including the Huh? What? I wouldn’t have put this in if the story didn’t promise me there was a reason NOW WHAT THE MANGY TICK-INFESTED FRELL WAS THE REASON?^ This is a not uncommon phase mid-story but I’m not used to having some of it out there in public already.
^ Distant sound of story, giggling.
†† Not to worry. Much. There will be a Technicolor-ish sunset ending. Eventually. I think.
††† Although I can still tuck her under one arm because she puts her feet in my pockets. Southdowner warned me about this. . . . But really it’s a useful talent. Usually. Except when she uses it to trampoline herself out of your grasp.
I’m always going to write some posts around your forum comments and then I forget. So let’s see if I can remember long enough to catch up a little.
. . . while reading tonight’s post [Chilly singing] I was humming the Gloria from Faure’s Requiem and was going to recommend Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna as I feel they have similar airy, light, and joyful qualities. Then I realized I was humming the wrong song. :/ The Lauridsen (and the Faure, for that matter) are still worth the recommendation.
I love the Faure but . . . Good old YouTube. I’m listening—first to Lux and then to the Songs of the Roses that Diane in MN mentions later in this thread—as I type. I’d never HEARD of Lauridsen. I’m so ignorant.
Although I could have done without the banner ad: How to sing, really sing. Breakthrough method releases your unique voice. Watch free video here!
I’m only interested if it involves chocolate and champagne. And I’m a little worried about the escape clause provided by that ‘unique’. *
Speaking as someone who’s seventeen, I always write drafts by hand – but that’s actually because I’m a really good typist. When I write things by hand, I can write one sentence and think of the next, then write that sentence while thinking of the next, and carry on. If I try to type a first draft, my fingers catch up to my brain and I get stuck.
YES. EXACTLY. I AM EXACTLY LIKE THIS. I TYPE A WHOLE LOT FASTER THAN I THINK. And it’s like falling off a cliff when you reach the end of your thought and your fingers are still whirring away wanting something to do.
It’s true that I write the blog straight on the computer—it would be way too much like work if I didn’t—and I start other stuff on the computer a lot more than I used to. Still. Paper is the real deal. Paper doesn’t disappear at a (usually mysterious) keystroke. And I have more little notebooks (spiral preferred, so they lie flat) with pretty or striking or tactile covers than any four people need. I tend to write drafts in pencil, but I take notes in ink, and I just like the process of an old-fashioned fountain pen gliding across the page.
Though I also just like paper–I usually type up the draft, then print it out to make edits and then type those in… But most people at school with me think this is insane.
When you win the Nobel Prize for Literature you will have the last laugh.
How many people are there in the Muddles?
Do you sing with piano or organ? I only ask because I am part of a group which can run to twenty or more and we gather in homes (those belonging to folks with parking not entirely filled with snow) where the living-dining-kitchen areas are one glorious (or not) space.
I know that kind of space is rarer in the UK, but we make do.
Both piano and organ, but mostly piano for rehearsal. As long as there’s an accompanying instrument I don’t think it matters that much till the next concert is getting close. There are something like forty Muddles members on the books but I would have said we rarely have more than twenty-five at practise, and we were about fifteen last week. I know. I think about this. So does Gordon, because I’ve spoken to him about it. But it’s unlikely anyone has a drawing-room big enough if all forty of us showed up—and since I’ve never managed to sing at a concert, possibly the last couple of rehearsals or so everybody turns out. Except the superfluous first soprano who is going to the opera, unless she has flu or a deadline rendered intolerable by said flu, and doesn’t go to the opera either.** My murky fantasy is that we start a splinter group of oh, twelve or so.*** There are lots of living spaces that could hold a mere twelve—including Third House’s sitting room. Mwa ha ha ha ha. I would throw in use of my cheap portable electric keyboard free.
Susan in Melbourne
I find that commercial and public interiors in the northern hemisphere are kept unnaturally warm in winter. [In the UK] I moved between hotels, restaurants, meeting rooms in universities, public transport, and everywhere I was too hot. On arrival in a new hotel room, I’d rush for the window to fling it open, and then to the heater to turn it off. A colleague who has recently moved back to the UK from Australia was telling me that she and her partner just had to leave a restaurant recently because it was too unbearably hot.
WHERE? This sounds like America to me, not frigid chilblained England. I acknowledge that I’ve been too hot occasionally, like in the Heathrow hotel room where Peter and I saw the original CSI for the first time (this was long ago) the night before flying to the States. And there are still, I believe, criminally insane stores that leave their front doors open to the street and blast the entry with the best their central heating can do. And anybody can have a Bad Wiring Day when the on switch gets stuck. But generally speaking . . . I like pubs with open fires, and then I want to sit next to them.
Robin, you obviously mostly inhabit private spaces rather than communal ones, and I’m guessing that you wouldn’t be burning fuel at the greenhouse-layer-thinning rate that commercial premises seem to be doing. Yours is the more realistic experience of the real (chilly) world outside.
Indeed. This is why my laptop and I crouch by the Aga in the kitchen. It’s not because my office is still full of stuff waiting to be doodled and I can’t bear to go in there with all of it staring at me reproachfully†. It’s because I get COLD in my office. At very least I’ll turn the central heating on and I’ll probably dust off the electric fire and open it up too. If I’m sitting by the Aga, if there are penguins in my office I don’t care.†† Also, there’s the hellterror. The hellterror does not truly grasp the concept of GO LIE DOWN yet, and her big crate lives in the kitchen. The Aga system is not popular with hellhounds, whose favourite bed, as I’ve told you, is in my office†††, but Pav will grow up. Or maybe I’ll just rope her feet together.
^ Also: token footnote. So no one complains about the lack of footnotes.
Seriously? You have very demanding readers if they’d complain about a lack of footnotes
DEMANDING. TOTALLY. VERY DEMANDING. MY READERS. THEY ARE.‡
* * *
* Nadia is a little cynical about poor old Dido. Drama queen, she says. ‘Remember me’ indeed. —I’ve always liked Dido although I agree that topping yourself because your boyfriend dumps you^ is not a healthy, balanced reaction. But—I’ve gibbered about this before—your attitude toward a piece of music changes spectacularly—unrecognisably—as soon as you start developing a relationship with it by trying to perform the sucker. However inadequately.^^ So I’ve been engaging with Dido on a whole variety of new levels as a result of trying to sing her. And it may be entirely the wrong kind of courage, but it does take courage to do yourself in. I think there’s some steel there—and some anger. I’d like to get that into my performance, cough cough cough, with the despair and grief.
Purcell is Radio Three’s composer of the week. Today we had Dido. The presenter went on rather about the recording he’d chosen, and I have loved the soprano in other roles and agree she has a fabulous voice. And when we got to the famous Lament, for which no stop has been left unpulled, I’m all: STOP FRELLING WHINING YOU MAUDLIN COW.
^ I don’t find his offer to defy the gods and stay very convincing. Just by the way. Aeneas the creep. Aeneas the faithless. All he is is a pretty pair of biceps.
^^ Which is about as much explanation and excuse as anyone needs in answer to my craven question, why should mediocre amateurs even bother? This is why. Because performing widens and deepens your understanding of a major art form. Your brain and your emotions are not limited by your technical skill. Horizons beckon. Angels+ whisper. Doodah doodah.
+ Or supernatural being of choice. Djinns. Fairies.#
# Out hurtling hellhounds today I saw a van. Gremlin Landscaping I read. I blinked and looked again. Gemini Landscaping. Okay. That’s better. I don’t think I’d hire the first guy. But I think I may have a creating-my-own-reality problem.
*** Assuming SATB, four part music, there have to be at least eight of us because I’m not singing all by myself. If there are second sopranos we have to be at least ten.
† Believe it or not, all you amazingly, astonishingly, superlatively, supernaturally patient people, I’m still turning the frellers out at about two a week. Or I was, up till the last fortnight when there was too much generalised illness in this household and I lost the plot for a while. But I should be starting up again next week. But you are all aware of the refund button on the side bar of this blog? Not only is there no disgrace^ to asking for a refund . . . remember that some day in the fuzzy distant future WHEN I’VE FINISHED THE BACKLOG Blogmom will put up a doodle shop where the refund button is at present and you can reorder. We will be taking commissions at a strictly-enforced rate of about two a week.
^ The disgrace is all mine+
+ Including my continuing failure to knit square squares which means the rose and pawprint requisitions are still in the aaaaaaugh stage.
†† As long as they clean up after themselves.
††† And this was true before the arrival of the hellterror.
‡ However there is no footnote shortage today.
Since Peter never writes me GUEST POSTS any more I decided to steal a link to some of the new things happening over on his shiny new website.
” . . . I opened a file titled “Preface” and found something I’d written when it was decided that some edition of the first volume of our Elemental Spirits series, Water, ought to have a preface. I don’t remember the ins and outs of it, nor why it isn’t in the edition on my bookshelf,* but we seem to have cannibalised our efforts and come up with a composite. You will find the remains of mine, In the Mermaid Tavern: The Sea Witch, in the Short Stories section. . .”
There now. More free fiction. And KES tomorrow night.
* * *
* Because it took 1,000,000 years for your wife to write two short stories for FIRE and Putnams decided to reissue WATER in a matching edition^ and to make it a little more interesting they asked us to write a little ‘new material’. They didn’t want a whole new story or stories–which, with my track record, is just as well^^–just a sort of teasery type of thing. Like a preface. Well, we couldn’t write a preface–the nearest we’ve ever been able to come to collaborating is this alternating short stories business^^^–so we did a very condensed sort of alternating-stories thing. I don’t remember any more and I can’t find our copies of the second edition of WATER which are SOMEWHERE in Third House’s attic, but presumably THE SEA WITCH didn’t make the final cut, probably because I was having trouble not writing more novels and Peter had written about twelve short stories in frustration. Maybe he’ll find a few more in some other file.
^ The original hardback illustration had been done by Trina Schart Hyman. Siiiiiigh. She’d really liked the idea of the ELEMENTALS series, and had done roughs for all four. But the other three were too rough to use and she isn’t around any more to finish them. Sometimes my being hopeless hurts more than other times.
^^ With SUNSHINE, DRAGONHAVEN, CHALICE and THE FRELLING PEGASUS TRILOGY, all of which began life as ELEMENTALS short stories, we could have had FLOWERHAIR AND THE WATER GOBLIN+ and HETTHAR, GELJDRETH AND THE EYE OF NEWT and . . . no, no, no, let’s not go there.
+ May I just say that neither Kes nor I would put up with Dvorak’s version of the story
^^^ And an unfinished novel written in emails between an English boy and an American girl. Guess who let the side down there too. SIIIIIIIGH.