As an author I have tremendous number of “Thank you’s” to pass out this year . . .
1. To my mother for making chicken & dumplings, pumpkin bread, and lemon meringue pie. And leaving them all with me last Thanksgiving so that I would not be too broken-hearted about spending the holiday alone (with the exception of some spectacular furries) as I madly endeavored to meet my Dec. 1st deadline for Exile.
2. To Robert & Aurelia for detaching themselves from the Asyan Forest, climbing the Gate (despite Aurelia’s fear of heights), crossing the frontier, traversing the desert, and arriving at Darzai all of 24 hours before said terrifying deadline.
3. To my editor, Angelle, for miraculously reading all of the first draft of Exile in about 12 days and returning it ready for revision before the start of Christmas Break.
4. To my Dad for answering umpteen million questions about highly important literary factoids such as . . . “How exactly does one change the oil in a car?”
5. And to my sister for answering similar such questions about medically relevant literary factoids like “What color does someone’s skin turn after they’ve had a central line?”
6. To my cat, Dance, for informing me that she much prefers when I spend the entire summer attached to my couch typing away than when I disappear for days on end having exciting adventures to which she is not privy.
7. To the internet for permitting me to find a plethora of facts about highly non-academic subjects, such as different types of flavored lemonade.
8. To whatever amazing person realized that I was an Oregon author (even though I do not live anywhere near Portland—the social hub of various writing groups—or near any hubs of any writing groups whatsoever) and nominated Academy 7 for the Spirit of Oregon Award.
9. To Beth for helping convince Salva to do what he didn’t want to do (even though she and I now realize he was completely justified in his reluctance).
10. And to Salva. For going home anyway.