Wednesday, September 9, 2009

BWANGGGG.....

BWANGGGGG……feeple, feeple, ploop.

Which is—lest you not recognize this masterly example of onomatopoeia—the sound made by a rubber band that's been tightly wrapped around a newspaper and is suddenly pushed off to shoot across the room, spin slightly and fall limp. It's also the sound of my brain, suddenly decompressing.

Which is to say—it's DONE. AN ECHO IN THE BONE went to press a couple of weeks ago, and the first hot-off-the-press copy arrived on my doorstep a few days ago (and a jolly good thing, too, since it's due out on the 22nd of this month). It's absolutely beautiful (huge thanks to Virginia Norey, the book-designer) and I'm Way Thrilled with it.

All my books come together differently; this one was undoubtedly written in more different places than any of the others. I wrote part of it during a short night aboard a plane to Scotland (the stewardi were most concerned, and kindly brought me endless Diet Cokes all night; if caffeine does anything bad to you, I expect we'll find out here shortly)—thus arriving in the Highlands next day having slept only two hours out of the preceeding 36, which gives a whole new meaning to jet lag.

I wrote another part of it on the floor of the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament, though this was more or less an accident (I was kindly invited to witness the first-ever Clan Convention (a gathering of all the clan chieftains, and heads of clan societies), and was walking along with the chieftain of clan MacKenzie, whom I'd been fortunate enough to have dinner with earlier in the week, and was inadvertently shooed into the main chamber with him, rather than up to the Visitor's Gallery—and then was unable to get out. So I nonchalantly sat down at a delegate's desk, took out my netbook and flipped it open, in hopes that people would assume I was a journalist reporting on the proceedings. And…well, there I was, and there the computer was, and…

The more-or-less final bits were written during a long night in the Algonquin Hotel in New York (very appropriate, given the hotel's literary history) on our way home (we have to break trips to Europe, as my husband is very tall, and Suffers Intensely on long flights, even in business class). I emailed the last chunk of manuscript to my editor just after dawn, and just before running out the door to catch a cab to the airport.

In the cab, naturally, I realized that I'd left out a couple of short bridges—and on the flight back to Phoenix, realized that there really had to be another scene in Part Six, and…well, anyway, I tidied up all the little subsidiary chunks and addressed the (luckily, very few) editorial comments on the earlier parts, all this while reading the copy-edited and/or already-typeset versions of the earlier chunks, which had been chasing me around Scotland for the preceding two weeks.

All of which is why I haven't written anything but answers to interview questions and replies to (some of) the backed-up email for the last couple weeks. But my brain is beginning to twitch feebly again, and bits of this 'n that are bubbling up. Just in time—I have a short story (well, sort of. Maybe. We hope) under contract for a new anthology (edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois) titled STAR-CROSSED LOVERS. I don't yet know what my story will be titled, but at least I do know what the story's about: I'm going to tell the story of Roger MacKenzie's parents.

In other words….I'm baa-aack. [g]

67 comments:

  1. I turned on my computer, opened my blog and saw you've come back. My smile is so big right now as I jump for joy. Welcome back!!!

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  2. I'm glad you're back -- but that's nothing compared to the little bubble of joy that filled me when I realized how soon I get to read a new Gabaldon book!

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  3. So nice to see a new post from your blog on Google Reader! Loved hearing how Echo came together. Can't wait for that release AND for the story about Roger's parents. Lots to look forward to! Enjoy decompressing. :-)

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  4. Waving...I was beginning to think the blog was a casualty, but so glad when I was browsing through my favs and saw a new post. Yah!

    Can't wait for Echo and am really surprised that you were still making changes so close to release date. All I can say is wow!

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  5. Hooray!!!! I can't wait to receive my copy of Echo in the Bone so that I can get a Jamie & Claire fix! I can't wait to read your store of Roger's parents as well. :)

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  6. Glad you are back, and looking forward to experiencing ECHO very soon :)

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  7. Roger's parents - love the idea! Can't wait! I'm eager to get my hand's on Echo when it comes out!

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  8. YAY! I'm looking forward to your reading in Asheville, NC at the end of the month!

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  9. I knew eventually you would have time to blog again [g]

    Thirteen days until I have that beautiful work of literature in my hands! Now if I can convince everyone to leave me alone that day so I can read!

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  10. And there was much rejoicing. [g]

    Welcome back. I'm so looking forward to savoring the new book.

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  11. Yay yay YAY! To all of the above. I was in the balcony at the Decatur Book Fest, and thoroughly enjoyed your talk and Q&A. After you read a bit from Echo, the uninitiated friend I brought along looked at me (with pink cheeks!) and said "Now I see why you like those books..." Welcome back, we're all ready to skyrocket this one to the top of charts too! ;-)

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  12. Congratulations! I'm off to Scotland next week and a re-read of "Breath" so that I'm already for "Echo" upon my return! Ya' gotta' love a good adventure!

    Thanks for all,
    Susan

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  13. Happy dancing here in Saskatchewan! Glad to see you're back! And I can't WAIT to read the short story!

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  14. Welcome back! Eagerly awaiting Echo and love the idea of hearing Rogers parents story. Any news on the Graphic novel? I just reread ABOSAA would have waited until closer to the 22nd but Dan Brown's book comes out the week before. So far loving this September for books.

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  15. you'll have to let us know when the anthology is published, i've always wanted to know more about roger's parents. are you ever going to do anything about claire's parents/uncle lamb?

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  16. I'm so happy you're back...It's fantastic!!
    I don't know when An echo in the bone will be translated here in Italy... I can't wait! I love you

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  17. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

    Judie

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  18. Sweet! I finished Breath a week or so ago for the third time in anticipation of Echo. I. CAN'T. WAIT!!

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  19. Hooray for you Diana!
    My goodness you have been busy. Can't wait for Sept. 22, and Roger's parents story sounds wonderful. And some day will we hear Brian and Ellen's story?

    Lisa

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  20. Congrats! Glad to hear the book is done - I've preordered by copy.

    Looking forward to meeting Roger's folks.

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  21. My goodness Diana, I am exhausted just reading your schedule! ;) I am looking forward to reading Echo! I finished writing my book and it has now has been published. Thank you again for your kind and encouraging words early in my writing process. It was fun to write! I need to work on scheduling more book signings. I have several weekends of re-enacting events coming up.... plus my 'day job' at the university.

    Again, welcome back!! : ) I knew you would eventually find time to re-visit your blog. : )

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  22. All I can say is YAY!!! I got goosebumps just thinking about ECHO; and Roger's parents' story sounds wonderful! I'm very glad you're back!!!

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  23. Hey Diana I'm your fan from Brazil my name is Juliana and I'm 19 years old , I'm here to say that you are the best writer I ever ever ever saw ! And you can belive me I read a lot of boods and you're books for sure are the best ones ! Love Outlander series and congrutulations you are FABOLOUS !!!
    Bye take care ( sorry 'cause my bad english)

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  24. It was so exciting to see you on my friends list (I read your feed on livejournal) this morning. I am counting down the hours to Echo and I love the idea about a story on Roger's parents. Welcome back!

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  25. Oh my, your brain must be....well, can't really come up with a word to describe it. Anyway, glad it works and continues to create the greatest story ever told(outside of the Bible of course!). You are the master of teasers as well, a story of Roger's parents, how fantastic!!

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  26. Yaay! I am so pumped for the new book! So glad to hear you are back to writing new stuff. Only 12 more days and the last few years of waitng will seem like a distant memory. Only it will be back to waiting again after i have finished reading Echo in record time :)
    PS Would love to see more of your graphic novel on your website, specifically drawings of Jamie ;)

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  27. Hope you're enjoying a little down time before the touring starts. Can't wait to get my hands on Echo. And Roger's parents story...Oh, that will be wonderful. Maybe we'll get another glimpse of his granny that had all the husbands but only took one to bed?? Hehehe.

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  28. Can't wait to get my hands on ECHO. I'll probably have to wait an extra day or so, though because I ordered it through the Poisoned Pen. I wanted to add it to my collection of autographed copies of your books. Worth the wait, I'm sure. Can't wait to hear more about the Graphic Novel as well. Any news on when that will be coming out? I know- you just finished ECHO, but I read fast and addiction is addiction...

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  29. Ooh! My husband and I are big fans of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series as well...anything being collaborated on by the two of you should turn out amazingly.

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  30. I just ordered my copy from The Poisoned Pen. Only because I MISSED OUT on the super-crazy-100-people-to-get-a-box-of-books frenzy earlier in the summer!

    I CANNOT wait to received my personal autographed copy! I would LOVE to come to the book launch, but have already taken/booked too much time off work (school). Rats.

    Best wishes for an exciting Launch Party!

    p.s. My husband still has not been offered a book deal, but works contentedly with his agent at Sanford Greenburger--month nine. Keeping our fingers crossed.

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  31. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! I'm so excited for the 22nd!

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  32. Diana,

    So glad to have you back! It must be a thrilling (and exhausting) feeling to completely finish (yet another) book! Something I hope to someday experience.

    I am beyond excited to hear that you'll be writing a story (however short) about Roger's parents. Since discovering the Outlander series, I've been quite interested in learning more about Roger's parents; Claire's and Jamie's too, of course *vbg*

    Thank you!

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  33. Welcome back! I can't wait to read even this book!!!

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  34. Oh--to those folks wondering about Brian and Ellen's story. Yes, of course. But that's a _book_. This one (about Roger's parents) is just a short story.

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  35. That's fantastic news! I'm practically swinging from the ceiling fan in acticipation of Echo's release. The story of Roger's parents sounds intriguing too - can't wait to read that! Glad to have you back on the blog, Diana!

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  36. oh Yay!!! I'm so happy to hear it :) Looking forward to hearing about Roger's mum & dad too.

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  37. Dear Diana:

    Welcome back! It's a pleasure to see you post here again. Thank you for all your hard work and I look forward to reading Echo in just a few short days. And, what a joy it'll be to read a bit on Roger's folks.

    Good luck on the book tour -- so sad that you're not coming into Los Angeles for a signing date. Oh well, there's next time (I pray).

    Midge

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  38. In one week and six days we, several of the Outlandish Lusty Lassies, will have the pleasure of meeting you at your book-launching party at the Biltmore in Phoenix. Woo-hoo. Please don't let me say "I love your books" even though I do! Phew, there, got it out of my system. Now get some rest. You deserve it.

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  39. Well, Diana,

    I'm so glad that you are both breathing in AND out now - gives that active brain of yours what it loves most after your hectic last months!

    It was a delight to see and hear you at the Fergus Scottish Festival (Remember that? A really loooooong time ago?), and now as I re-read ABOSAA I hear your voice narrating. Great fun!

    Of course I am excited along with everyone else about Echo, but I'm thrilled to hear that there will be a short story of Roger's parents, and a real book about Brian and Ellen.

    Thank you so very much for sharing your outlandish talents with us.

    Irene (in MI)

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  40. Whew! I'm dizzy from your description of the Final Frenzy! Congratulations on completing another of your ever-growing list of projects! I keep checking the countdown clock on your website (as well as looking eagerly at my calendar) with anticipation, gleefully awaiting the moment when I get your book in my hot little hands! Oh, yeah, and then I'll even get to read said book.

    I'm looking forward to your book signing at SiWC again this year. Thanks, Diana!

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  41. Great to see you're back! I loved reading about the many places you wrote ECHO, and I am so excited that it's coming out in less than 13 days!

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  42. Woot! JUST what I need to gird up my metaphorical loins for the coming winter in AK. Gotta love the timing.

    Travel safe!

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  43. Dear Zahia--

    Well, on the one hand, I was pleased to find that at my advanced age [g], I can still stay up all night working and not suffer any particular ill-effects (nothing, beyond a slight feeling of surrealness brought on by seeing dawn come up around me)--I had to do it four times during the Final Frenzy on this book, whereas I only had to do it once for ABOSA--but on the other hand, I'd really rather _not_.

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  44. Greetings from Spain! :) Just a quick note to tell you that I JUST CAN'T WAIT to start An Echo!!!! I've always read your books in english, thank God! I couldn't wait for the Spanish version (hehe)

    Well, I have a question (2 really)

    Are you planning a promotion trip to Spain? You have a lot of Outlander fans here too!!

    How much -less or more- caffeine contains this book? (in comparison to Outlander, i.e) ;)

    Mucha suerte!

    Libertad
    (Minerva my nickname) :)

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  45. Dear Minerva--

    This book has somewhat more caffeine in it than the last one [g], owing to the staying-up-all-night thing (I average four cans of Diet Coke during an all-nighter, plus the occasional ephedra tablet (I have these for asthma--rarely need them--but one side-effect is a guaranteed four hours of wakefulness)).

    I won't know about a Spanish tour until after they do the Spanish translation--and since they haven't yet started that...

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  46. Dear Diana,

    Oh yes, that's true, It usually takes a loooong time to get your novels translated to spanish, It's a pity. Hope you come for vacation or something like that ;)

    Mmm... 4 diet coke per night! Not bad, not bad... but now you should take care and have some rest as soon as you possible --Isn't it very early at USA right now?--

    Even Jaime would need some sleep from time to time!! :)

    Kind regards and best wishes.
    Libertad (AKA Minerva)

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  48. Diana,

    It was so exciting to meet you in Edniburgh at the gathering (I was wearing the black cloak). I am, as always, in absolute awe of your stamina - the pace you set with only the use of Diet Coke...no Red Bull in sight!

    Just like everyone else I am doing a happy dance at the final count down to Echo's release. I am one of the UK fans who are so grateful you stepped in so we can read it at the same time as our American cousins! A Big Thank You Diana - You Rock!

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  49. I love the bit about the Scottish Parliamentand I'm looking forward to Echo and a story about Roger's folks. My favorite character though, aside from the obvious is Young Ian and I can't wait to see what he gets into. I hope as usual he manages to avoid too much trouble, he has so much potential (imo) as a character. I love him!

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  50. Hi Diana,

    just poking my nose in for any whiff of anything new about 'Echo in the Bone'. It is sad to be addicted!

    Sounds like you need to slow down or else you'll be overtaking yourself. That story about writing whilst attending the clan gathering made me laugh. Hope someone has caught it on camera!

    With love and thanks from the UK

    Anette

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  51. Diana,
    I am due to have my first baby on Nov. 2nd. Typically it doesn't take me very long to read one of your books and I get very little sleep doing it. I've decided though that I'm going to wait a few weeks before I start reading, THAT WAY, your book will keep me occupied while I'm waiting for the BIG DAY. The release date of this book worked out perfectly for me and I've been planning this ever since you first announced when it would be available. CAN'T WAIT!!! :)

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  52. YAY! I've been massively busy lately and hadn't been on my blog at all, I finally got some time to check on you the other day and imagine my astonishment when I hadn't missed any updates!!! Well here I am two or three days later and there are THREE! Lovely to see you back!
    And I'd just like to say a big awesome thank you to you and Orion Books - I was over the mooooooon when I read on your website that I can get a free copy of your new book in September sent to me, if I pre-ordered the hard-back to be released in the UK in January (as I was going to do ANYWAY!), I am absolutely DELIGHTED and now have to quickly read through all of your other books before Echo in the Bone comes!!! :D My children don't need fed, right?? ;) xxx

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  53. I can't wait for Echo. I'm positive I'm getting it for my birthday whether I have to buy it myself or not!

    Also, I can't wait to read the story of Roger's parents. I've never really thought about but it is now something I will be thinking about until I read the "official story."

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  54. Diana:

    Here I was thinking I'd heard most of this before. Then I got to that last sentence, and let out an involuntary "Ooooohhh!" of excitement. What a great idea!

    Karen

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  55. Diana,

    Welcome baaaack! We missed you here on the blog.

    I ordered my autographed copy from the Poisened Pen and can't wait to get my hands on it! This will be my first ever autographed-by-the-author hardcopy! I am so excited!

    Slainte m'hath,
    Shamrock

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  56. Welcome back . . .let me tell you, it's hard to wait these last few days for An Echo in the Bone. Reading one of your novels is always a pleasure. The only bad thing about it is that they have to end!

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  57. So pleased to hear that you are back. Have missed your comments. Loved hearing how the finish of Echo came about and can not wait to be able to read it. Shift over life / family / work there is a new Jamie and Claire out this month!!!

    Awaiting eagerly to meet Rogers parents as well.

    (I must also organise copies for both my mum and grandma!!!)

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  58. Hey! You're back!

    How do you do this? I check this blog and check it and then one day there's three new entries.

    Anyway, can't wait for Echo. AND the short story about Roger's parents. Too bad his dad didn't find out he also could travel through the stones. :(

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  59. Oh, and you should take it easy on your poor heart with all that caffeine!

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  60. Diana,

    A most heartfelt and sincere welcome back. And thank you so kindly for the update on the Graphic novel. I'm looking forward to trying to discern which pieces of Echo might have been born on the floor of the Scottish Parliment and which might have been quickly keyed in a taxi on the way to the airport. I'm sure we'll never be able to tell, but it might be fun to guess.

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  61. Dear Dazzled--

    I'd have to look back through my directory of files to tell that, myself. I could pick out the bit that was written at the Scottish Parliament, because that file will have a specific date on it, and ditto for the two complete scenes that were added after the manuscript was "delivered," but I doubt that most of the last-minute bits and pieces could be identified, even by me--at that point, I was just working on the last section of the book as a single file, adding in bridges and transitions, and shuffling the order of scenes and chapters (as I said to my editor, "This section is tricky, because it has to detonate like a string of firecrackers." Judging from his sole comment on that section ("Surprising, thrilling, shocking, brilliant! Bravo!"), I might have managed that. [g] You'll have to judge for yourselves, though.

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  62. I was in Scotland to see you at The Gathering (the primary reason I went but I'm glad I did, it was indescribably wonderful). I was a bit worried when you said during your talk there that the book wasn't finished. So glad to hear my worry was for naught.

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  63. It's sooooo good to have you blogging again! It feels like its been years since a new post. Anywho... hope your dogs, kids, husband, health, and work are all well.

    Ps. I was lucky enough to be one of the people who got the free Outlander book with the ECHO excerpts. My husband almost had a heart attack when I opened the package and started screaming hysterically!

    Merci Beaucoup to your Publishing Company.

    Keighley Poulsen

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  64. so glad youre back! and ever more glad that tomorrow is the 22nd!!

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  65. Diana!!!!

    Am at pg 725, and have scoured furiously through the (only 95 remaining, how could you?! ABOSA was 1400+) rest, desperate for the answers. Only to find that...NO YOU DID NOT!!!! You really expect me to live the next three years of my life?! Sane?! I want to say [g], but [groan, moan, whine] is all I've got.

    Well, ok, am trying to breathe. But you must cancel all touring and go write the rest of this thread. Now. Please. pleeeeeeaaaaaaaasssssssseeeeeeee???

    "Like a string of firecrackers," indeed. More like a string of SCUDS, just waiting for my oh-so-innocent page turn. You are a twisted, torturous woman, and I love you all the more for it, as soon as I complete my ranting. In THREE more years [real g].

    Was at your dinner talk last spring in Gainesville, FL. An absolute delight. Now, back to the computer for you, and your little dog too!!

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  66. Hi Diana,

    As I'm writing this, I'm downloading Voyager to listen to while I work and, I must say, it's just as exciting as reading the books. They (or you, not sure how that works) couldn't have chosen a better narrator IMO. She's fabulous!

    I'm so excited to see that Echo is FINALLY out. I've been waiting patiently for the past year and it's finally here! YAY! Now I just have to get my own copy (hmmmm...I see a trip to the bookstore in my near future).

    Thanks so much for the storytelling :)

    Stephanie

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