Letter from Ko

The Spell Builders was meant to be a short story, just the facts, tell don’t show. But I was having trouble finding my narrator’s voice. Finally I thought to ask her to write me a letter, telling me about herself. The following 612 words changed the whole project. The Spell Builders turned out to be a full length novel that was all about the story as Ko went through it, rather than as a dry history. It’s one of my favorite Daganu books, and I look forward to publishing it next year. I also learned that my narrator is a brat, but I’ve always had a soft spot for brats.

(From Ko)

Dear Kat,

I am an old woman. You really can have no idea how old I am on so many levels.

I didn’t start out that way, of course, nor aspire to it. I distinctly remember being young. I’m really not that much bigger now than I was before I met humans. Time has shrunk me. Do you think I shall continue shrinking until I disappear? In any case, the world seems to me to be both much bigger and much smaller than I recall it as a child. Learning to read maps has been challenging. I don’t think I’ve been any further than what you have already seen, not much, anyway.

I know you wonder if Tat and I were lovers. Did you ever wonder if we bonded? Is the world ready for lesbian cross-species eternal love? Well, I’m sure the internet is, but is 1993? Perhaps we’ll leave these speculations to the fans… You know that the young people will ship us.

I mean, will they care about our families? Tat was married, or as married as her people got. Which was more married than much of modern culture, fairies and humans alike. Tat and her husband were absolutely expected to be a pair for life, although love was considered little more than a bonus with her people, to the extent that it was considered at all. I don’t mean that they couldn’t or didn’t love, of course I don’t mean that. It’s just that there were a lot of practical considerations that had to come first. The well-being of the community as a whole. I think fairies have kept their grip on this better than humans. Although Joe would call it “instinct.”

Oh yes, I remember being young. I was still young when I made the magic with Tat, and lost her forever. (Yeah, yeah, let people jump to their own conclusions.)

You can’t imagine what happened after. Well of course you should be able to, you’re the author. There was nobody left alive, but still plenty of corpses around. In the breakdown of truce requirements (meaning there was no enemy now to unite the fairies) those that ate flesh and weren’t too picky about it eventually did get to work. But there was more than they could have eaten anyway.

I’ve wondered at the power of the spell, that it could even sort the corpses. Well, most of them. It is my belief that the separation of the worlds was not 100% smooth, but that some things and some creatures didn’t end up on the proper side.

I doubt there’s much to say about making the murals. Oh, I’ll talk about my feelings, but the art of it, is, when you get down to it, not all that interesting. I mean, neither one of us is or wants to be Auel. (I can make that reference, she’d been making bestsellers for more than a decade)

I think ending it with me sitting down to wait would be good. Although if you ever freaking feel like figuring out the relative times between Bistami Stulba and real time, we could throw in a few subjective days. You get all kinds of artistic license because of the extra extra slow time in my caves.

You know, if you did want to write about me and Tat being… very close… it would make for a longer book…. Yeah, I know, I’m not sure I want to go there either. Kinda changes the whole tone of the thing.

You know, I may have been as helpful as I could be a few paragraphs back, so let’s call this done.

Love, Ko

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