My fever keeps riding a data set that, at its highest point, I think I can see; I’m traversing it on a kind of minecart. I don’t mind. Sometimes the thinking is disordered, and sometimes it is oddly interactive and sometimes it is revelatory. I can see sages of the past from here, and they wave to me. I wave back.
Gabe and I have often responded to queries of the form “what will you do in the future” with what I think is a fairly typical response for people who make stuff, which is to say “make stuff for kids.” Depending on the age range, such books have a substantial art load so I think it was a natural vector for him. I said yes also, because I think I can add text to his work to grant it a novel context. But in general I think of projects like these as complicated puzzles: I figure out what I want the reader to feel, and then I reverse engineer that into a kind of linguistic machine designed to produce it. I think my fever is spiking again. But maybe that’s good; maybe I can tell the truth here without the sense of agoraphobic, exposed terror that so often accompanies truth-telling. These are challenges I undertake on behalf of my friends in the hopes of maximizing their effort. Occasionally I succeed.
In the summer of 2016 I started making work for myself.
The primary fruits of this are Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team and, now, an illustrated, hardbound book of poetry called Lexcalibur. I wrote about half of it with my daughter asleep on my lap, using my off-hand, without bonuses. It looks like this:
And under the dustjacket, it looks like THIS:
There is also an audiobook of it, technically two, performed by Liam O’Brien and Fryda Wolf, who - I mean, check those links. You know these two. They both put their spin on it, giving them “notes” was a rarity. They burrowed into the work and were at home.
My hope is that the book will be useful to you; I explicitly state that much in the subtitle. It’s a “children’s book” in quotes but I wrote it for everybody. I know what it’s like to have to read a dumb book to your kids, and I tried to spare you that. I think people who have no idea who we are - the vast majority of humans - could find something to enjoy here. And, as long as nobody follows me back to my lair, everything should be fine.