2009 has been a strange year thus far. Not a bad one (despite some serious trials there have been many blessings and lovely suprises too), but a wildly unpredictable one. And that makes blogging unpredictable, for every time life seems to quiet down a bit, a new challenge comes out of the blue.
Case in point: Each time I've announced that I'm back at my desk and back to a regular work schedule, the Trickster Gods can be heard snickering and plotting:
"What shall we send her this time?" they say.
"Illness?" suggests a red-eyed Coyote, his own pointed nose stuffed with a cold.
"Nah, we've over-used that trick," says Hermes. "Think of something else."
Pan smiles wickedly. "Let's send her immigration paperwork. Dealing with the British Home Office is guaranteed to drive any mortal insane."
Hermes shakes his head and sighs. "We've done that already too."
"How 'bout a house move?" Anansi pipes up. "That's good for weeks, maybe even months, of chaos."
The Lord of Misrule scowls at the spider. "Surely you recall that we've used the Moving Trick four times in the last two years alone! No, gentlemen, let's go for a classic. A good old Family Emergency. We haven't done that one for awhile."
"Okay," Coyote agrees, sneezing. "But I'm giving her my cold for good measure...."
Now I'm home after a week away, my cold seems to be on the wane, and I'm back in the office again today. I'm hoping that life will now quiet down, but I'm making no predictions! And I plan to be very, very, very nice to any hares, spiders, foxes, coyotes, goat-legged men or fleet-footed gods who happen to cross my path....
A few of pieces of good news crossed my desk while I was away: First, The Coyote Road (an anthology of original tales inspired by world-wide trickster myths, co-edited with Ellen Datlow, illustrated by Charles Vess) is finally out in paperback. It's Book 3 in our Mythic Fiction anthology series for young adult readers (following The Green Man and The Faery Reel), and was a World Fantasy Award nominee, a Locus Recommended Reading Selection, an Amazon Best Book of Year, and contains two Nebula-Award-nominated stories: Kij Johnson's "The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change" and Delia Sherman's "The Fiddler of Bayou Tech."
Second, Troll's Eye View -- our latest anthology -- has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection; and Ellen and I are thrilled. Following The Wolf at the Door and Swan Sister, Troll's Eye View contains original fairy-tale-inspired stories and poems for middle-grade readers -- focused on the fairy tale villains this time. The book comes out in April, and Books of Wonder in New York will host a publication event in June. I don't yet know whether I'll be there, but Ellen Datlow, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Holly Black, and Catherynne Valente will be.
Third, Ravens in the Library (the S.J. Tucker benefit anthology) is now out and available for purchase here. I haven't actually seen it yet, but the contributor's list looks enticing indeed. The beautiful pen-and-ink drawing you see here is Jenny Anckorn's illustration for my Ravens story, "The Color of Angels." Midori has also contributed to the book, as have several other Endicott Studio folks: Ari Berk, Holly & Theo Black, Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, and Catherynne Valente.