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April 11th, 2010

Beastly Bride!!!!

Our contributors' copies of Beastly Bride arrived yesterday, with the usual gorgeous Charles Vess cover and sweet Art Deco-ish floral decorations at the head of every story/poem.  The TOC is the usual Datlow/Windling line-up of familiar and unfamiliar names, and I can't wait to plunge in.  There's a Peter Beagle and a Jeffrey Ford and a Hiromo Goto and a shweta_narayan (which I'm feeling very god-mothery and proud about, since it was one of her Clarion stories and I told her to submit it, and it's one of the coolest animal/husband stories evar) and a Gregory Frost and and lovely, classical, poetic Ellen Kushner--oh, here's the whole TOC:

"Island Lake" by E. Catherine Tobler
"The Puma's Daughter" by Tanith Lee
"Map of Seventeen" by Christopher Barzak
"The Selkie Speaks" by Delia Sherman
"Bear's Bride" bu Johanna Sinsalo
"The Abdominable Child's Tale" by Carol Emshwiller
"The Comeuppanceof Creegus Maxin" by Gregory Frost
"Ganesha" by Jeffrey Ford
"The Elephant's Bride" by Jane Yolen
"The Children of Cadmus" by Ellen Kushner
"The White Doe:  Three Poems" by Jeannine Hall Gailey
"Coyote and Valorosa" by Terra L. Gearhart-Serna
One Thin Dime" by Stewart Moore
"The Monkey Bride" by Midori Snyder
"Pishaach" by Shweta Narayan
"The Salamander Fire" by Marly Youmans
"The Margay's Children" by Richard Bowes
"Thimbleriggery and Fledglings" by Steve Berman
"The Flock" by Lucius Shepard
"The Children of the Shark God" by Peter S. Beagle
"Rosina" by Nan Fry

Plus, of the course, the usual wonderfully scholarly and entertaining intro by Terri Windling.

I am not a poet.  "The Selkie Speaks" is verse.  Terri is the only person who can get me to commit verse for public consumption.  And Ellen.  Sometimes.

Progress Report

The thing about The Freedom Maze that has never really worked well, technically speaking, is the Framing Device.  I made it longer, I made it shorter.  I spiced it up, I ripped through it.  What I didn't do (for no reason I can deduce) is realize that it, too, is a historical novel, set in 1960, and needs to be written with the same attention to historically telling sociological and physical detail as the part of the book set in 1860.

I hesitate, for superstitious reasons that have nothing to do with my rational brain, to say that I've nailed it.  But I'm confident enough that the pieces are pretty well basted into place that I'm going to go on and tackle Chapter 6, In Which Our Heroine Finds Herself In The Past And Gets A Nasty Surprise.  I very much hope that the framed narrative doesn't need as much work as the framing narrative, or the next seven weeks (the book is due June 1) are going to be somewhat trying.

There are 23 chapters in this book.  7 are frame, which leaves (counts frantically on her fingers) 16 for the, um, picture inside.  Which means I'm about a third of the way through.

I do love this book.  Sophie (the heroine) is very important to me, and I love every one of the characters whose stories touch hers, even the uncomfortable ones.  I'm putting everything I feel but can't write essays on about race and family and power and class into it, which makes it hard to write and (some days) hard to approach.  I am going to be very, very glad to see the back of it.

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