Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Serpent's Coil Has Arrived!

Guess what came early? Book II!

Release date was July 8 so I was expecting to see nothing before the second week in July. But yesterday I found this in the mail! It’s very exciting to see the finished cover with the spot varnish. The snake really pops! I kept it in my bag at work and would glance fondly at it now and then.
And last night, as a lovely coincidence, I had tickets to Ray LaMontagne/Brandi Carlisle/Secret Sisters. It was a beautiful evening of music under the stars with my oldest friend Julie and my second book tucked in my bag. 

Perfect day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New and Old, Old and New

I was recently  invited to be the guest at a book club that had chosen Prophecy of Days as their monthly selection. I was in the living room of a lovely Virginia home, watching the women speak, answering their questions, telling them a bit about book two – yet I was sitting at my desk at home. Skype is a beautiful thing.

At one point in the conversation I was struck by the delicious notion that we were using newest technology—a peer-to-peer video call system via high-speed wireless connections—to discuss the oldest technology: writing.

Roughly 5,000 years have passed since Sumerians pressed their reeds into soft clay tablets and then fired them. This encoded information allowed them to pass on knowledge; to allow future generations to learn virtually. Essentially removing the barrier of space and time, a person unrelated in place or decade could decode the wisdom imprinted on that clay and reconstruct its meaning. It’s an astonishing leap, really. A truly human invention.

Fast forward five millennia and we are using the technology of writing more extensively than ever before. More than a million books are published every year! It’s thrilling to me, this unprecedented body of knowledge growing and growing. What’s more, were applying new technology to this old technology, as in the case of Skype. Just as my book was encoded in writing and decoded by the human brains that read it, I myself was encoded by my computer in Oregon and decoded by Shawn’s computer in Virginia. 

There’s some beautiful recursion here that makes me happy late on a Sunday evening ...