|Godspeed, little book! (and for Christ's sake, Elim, don't look behind you!)|
And I can't even talk about what that's like just now - really, I'll just get hopelessly verklempt - but here to help mark the occasion are no less than three fabulous things!
Thing 1: "Evil" Dan Bensen is back, graciously hosting me for Part 2 of our first epic podcast. Hear enthusiastic rantings about gender-bending characters and philosophically-fraught alien sexcapades! Enjoy enlightened discussion of skyscrapers, superbuses, and the Ottoman Empire! See... Bulgarian Zoidberg?
Thing 2: The dauntlessly cheerful Kristin Centorcelli has undertaken to interview me! This for me was a surprise and a huge delight, not only because she's so much fun to the square inch, but also because MyBookishWays is one of the coolest book blogs I know. Go for my cute face, but stay for interviews, book reviews, and giveaways that will broaden your horizons and enhance your TBR pile!
Thing 3: Did I mention that we're doing a Twitter contest? Check out the One Night in Sixes Hashtag Shenanigans Sweepstakes for your chance to win a $50 gift card!
And maybe it's appropriate that today is the day to display the finished map pencils, because today is also the day that our boy Sil gets his first inside glimpse of Sixes - and it's quite something...!
It was a fascinating place, though.
Hot and headachey as he was, even Sil had to appreciate that much.
As the horse's plodding steps brought Sil further inside the city, he couldn't avoid the grand hotel that dominated the northern end of the island. It was a striking, handsome thing, all elegant white columns and black wrought-iron cresting, clean and stark and somehow immaculately preserved.
The ferryman had called it La Saciadería, a strange word assembled from familiar pieces. The best Ardish would probably be 'the Satisfactory', with a mercantile emphasis on 'factory'. Given how many appetites the place apparently serviced, that sounded about right.
La Saciadería had her opposite much farther down the road, in the ingenious native pueblo rooted in the far end of the island. A full four stories tall at its peak, it spread its free-flowing adobe arms in an organic embrace, a living wall for the southern parts of the island.
As the ferryman had said, this was La Soleada, the Sunny Lady, and it wasn't hard to understand the name. She was home and mother to almost half the local population, who had somehow contrived to make that beige clay sparkle like gold in the searing light. The other tiny details that caught Sil's eye – the paintings, the splashes of color, the dark wooden lines of ladders and the exposed ends of ceiling-beams – testified to the perfect expertise of her architects.
Between these two towering great matrons, the rest of Sixes scattered out in a jumbled compromise of clay and wood and sometimes clay-covered wood, as if the owners wanted to show off their houses' exotic bones for envious neighbors.
Who, for their part, seemed to have retreated inside to wait out the heat of the day, leaving just a few dogs and free-roaming birds to keep the peace. Aside from some turkey-gabbling and the distant cries of an infant, the heavy air hung undisturbed. Sil would be pleased to keep it that way.