The Secret Garden

Status report: It’s been a strange day. I’ll tell you why in a moment, but first, an actual status report. Chapters 1 and 3 are revised. I’m working on Chapter 2. I’m going to try to finish that chapter over the weekend, so that next week I can focus on the introduction. I need to get that done by August 3rd, because on the 4th I’m going to New York. I’ll be there until the 7th. Then I’ll have another week to revise, and then I’ll be in Asheville for a couple of days. It will be nice to get out of town for a while.

So my status report is that I’m working on Chapter 2, hoping to have that finished soon. And I’ll be working on the introduction next week.

Why did I have a strange day?

Well, as you know, the edits to The Thorn and the Blossom were completed yesterday. Today I looked at the Amazon page for the book, and I saw this:

The cover! Isn’t it gorgeous?  Now, I still can’t tell you anything about the story itself.  But I can tell you this.  What you see above isn’t the cover of the book.  No, it’s the cover of the slipcase.  The book actually goes inside the slipcase.  And I’ll tell you about it as soon as I’m allowed, but I promise that it’s going to be just as beautiful.

When I first saw the slipcase at Readercon, I thought, it looks like a secret garden.  Like a thicket through which you push, to enter an enchanted place. I hope the book itself will be that sort of enchanted place to its readers. I also think it’s interesting that the design looks so much like something I would choose and love. I mean, doesn’t it look like the dress I’m wearing in the photograph on this page? A little like a William Morris design gone wild and natural, rather than stylized.

And then, I received the final proofs for my Folkroots column in the August issue of Realms of Fantasy. Which also has a gorgeous cover:

My column for the August issue is about monsters, as you can see from the title. I think it will interest Realms of Fantasy readers. I certainly hope you like it! And the next column will be “The Myth and Magic of Narnia.” I especially enjoyed writing that one.

Finally, my brother wrote me a message that said, “Did you knew Kevin Brockmeier mentioned you in Salon?” And he sent me a link to this article: “A Wistful Farewell.” It’s about the closing of the Borders bookstores, and in it, prominent authors reminisce about their experience with Borders. Brockmeier writes,

“The truth is that I’ve only known three Borders branches well – in Ann Arbor, in Madison, Wis., and in Gainesville, Fla., – but at each of them, I’ve discovered books I grew to love, and not just best-sellers, either, but strange little small press books: In the Forest of Forgetting by Theodora Goss, I’ve Heard the Vultures Singing by Lucia Perillo, Written Lives by Javier Marias.”

So, Kevin Brockmeier read and liked my short story collection! Now that is seriously cool.

Do you see why my day has been so strange? Here I’ve been, correcting the citations to H. Ling Roth’s The Aborigines of Tasmania and adding a footnote on the influence of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels on H.G. Wells. And all the while, the important things have been happening. And they’ve had nothing to do with my dissertation. They’ve been the real things, the things that happen in the world. The very large world outside this room and the research I’m doing – a world I very much want to be a part of. And will be, I hope. Soon.

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2 Responses to The Secret Garden

  1. Where is the photo of you in the dress that looks a little like the slipcase garden?

  2. It’s the one to the upper right, below Miranda looking at the wreck of the ship. You can just see a little of the dress, but it’s the same: flowers on a dark ground. I like the term “slipcase garden.” That’s exactly what it is! 🙂

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