Me? I went and got myself a frelling hamster. Not since third grade have I had any sort of a rodent for a pet. Back then, it was a baby flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) I'd found in the woods. Now, it's a Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster (Phodopus sungoris sungoris), a native of eastern Kazakhastan and southwest Siberia, and, as I've said, a dead ringer for the Nebari lesser brubchins (a striking case of intersteller convergent evolution). Naturally, I have named her Chiana, and she is now snoozing in her hamster condo on the mantelpiece in my office. I shall post photos of her tomorrow.
We only made it through Chapter Twelve ("Trollholm") of Threshold yesterday, as there were more corrections than I'd thought there would be and many distractions to slow us down. But we'll surely finish it today, as only the last chapter and epilogue are left. I'd considered removing the epilogue entirely, as it doesn't quite jibe with what happens in Low Red Moon. I mean, if Chance had seen Dancy in the sanitarium, confirming the reality of her nightmares, I don't think she'd be the person that she is in Low Red Moon. But the more I ponder it all, I'm no longer certain that these two Chance Matthews inhabit the same time continuum. Indeed, there may be three Chances, at the very least (and more likely, there's an in infinity of her): the one who goes into the water works tunnel, the one who doesn't, and the one in Low Red Moon. It gets somewhat complicated, but the complications solve many wrinkles.
Last night, I was reading over the contents of Sirenia Digest 0, thinking about all the time that went into this chapter, lamenting the fact that most of it will not appear in Daughter of Hounds. I am especially fond of the following paragraph:
One week and one day earlier, and Sadie Jasper sat in her editor’s office, in the chair in front of her editor’s desk in a small corner room in a very big building filled with small rooms and cubicles, corridors and elevators, a skyscraper honeycombed to produce what she was beginning to feel was an obsolete medium. It’s not that people had stopped reading books. People even read her books, but it was getting harder and harder to shake the impression that the Age of the Novel had passed, and all these authors and editors and publishers were merely going through the motions, waiting on some sort of pop-cultural pink slip that might or might not ever come. It could prove to be a prolonged death that would go largely unnoticed, as people were drawn ever deeper into the flicker of film, the thunder of rock and rap, the distraction of video games and the internet. Books had come to seem increasingly quaint to her, old-fashioned bundles of paper and ink, twine and cardboard and glue, certainly nothing that the Twenty-First Century could, ultimately, have much use for. Nothing it couldn’t replace with a plastic disc or a computer chip.
I think I spent a couple of hours on that paragraph. Anyway, here's an e-mail from Carol Murray in the UK:
However, I'm sad to say that Chapter 3 (I think it was 3, apologies if I'm getting mixed up here) of Daughter of Hounds was a mixed blessing. On one hand, it was truly excellent and it's made me really look forward to reading the whole thing. But what happened with the whole Dogtown thing?! I can see why you had to cut it out, and why that may have been a good thing, but I'm desperate to hear the rest of the story. I keep thinking about what the kids who were killed might have discovered, what the ghoul might do next, how Sadie might react when/if she finds out what the book has to say about it all. It's too exciting! If you don't find a way to finish it, I'll have to make the rest up in my head, which I know is all part of the joy of reading but my version will inevitably suck compared to whatever you would have come up with.
Strangely, I also find myself getting quite upset at the thought that Sadie will die in Daughter of Hounds. It's strange because I find that I like the older Sadie much more than the younger one; I admired her bravery in Low Red Moon but I never really 'clicked' with her the way I have in this one chapter. I strongly suspect I won't be the only one begging you to make her an alternate reality so that she can write her book on Dogtown (Pleeeease!! Pleasepleaseplease...that was me begging you).
Anyway, can't wait for the next issue! Thanks!
You're welcome. As much as any writer can ever "plan ahead," I do plan on eventually writing the novel about Sadie and Dogtown, Rev. William Wellcome and Cultes des Goules. First, though, there will be at least one YA fantasy novel, which I'm currently calling Joey LeFay, and maybe a second YA novel, set in the hemispherical world I introduced in Murder of Angels.
Okay. Work to be done and all that. But if you haven't yet subscribed to Sirenia Digest, you should know that Wednesday is the second best day of the week to do so. Just click here. Issue 1 (December '05) will include two vignettes (one illustrated by Vince Locke) and probably a surprise or two.