Thursday, December 27, 2012



Holidays With Magnus

     Under normal circumstances, the business of deciphering and transcribing the latest communications of Magnus Flyte and fashioning them into a novel takes place in two locations. Meg Howrey lives in Los Angeles, and Christina Lynch lives in a small town in the Sierra foothills. We work as a relay team: alternating chapters, and with our own individual processes remaining as mysterious as the current whereabouts of Mr. Flyte. However, we are currently under a deadline set by our esteemed Penguins at Penguin Books for completing the sequel to City of Dark Magic. This necessitated a combining of forces so that daily quotas of writing could be met, and certain yuletide revelries could be observed. Accordingly, Meg packed stocking, libations, mud boots, and computer and traveled north to Chris’s home for the holidays. We are happy to report that the writing is going well, and the Yorkshire pudding turned out fabulously! 

     Even though we are now working in the same house, we have not deviated from our methods. Too much chatter spoils the soup. So the emails still flow. Below is an edited transcript, which might illuminate how the collaboration has been faring.


From: Meg@(email address redacted)
To: Chris@ (email address redacted)
You are very busy typing right now. Type, type, type. My, how very busy and productive you seem to be. However, I am sitting ten feet away and by using a series of reflective mirrors I can see that you are not writing your chapter. You are shopping for a new shower curtain. I like “Splash Home Tree Mocha Shower Curtain” the best. Do not order that thing with stripes you were just viewing. It will clash with the bathmat.

From: Chris@(email address redacted)
To: Meg@(email address redacted)
I realize it’s 9:17 am and we’ve only been working for four minutes (three if you count the trip to the toaster oven for one more slice of cranberry cake) but what are you thinking about for lunch? How about http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Tortelloni-with-Mushroom-Sage-Sauce-108814 ?
I’d only have to make one little trip to the store.
C.
P.S. It would be more green to get the cream from the farmer up the road. Plus we could make a small detour to see the miniature donkeys again. Cream in Norwegian is “krem.” http://translate.google.com/#en/no/cream
It really wouldn’t take all that long if we left right now.

From: Meg@(email address redacted)
To: Chris@ (email address redacted)
Chapter going well. I should be finished by the evening. I apologize if there’s too much in the chapter about quail. Did you see the family of quail in your driveway today? Gosh, quail are fascinating. Wait. Are they quail? Quail is a funny word. Quail, quail, quail. It’s a good verb, too. “So-and-so quailed before her.” I don’t think I’ve ever made anyone quail before me. Meet me in the kitchen in ten minutes and quail before me? Just for fun? The chapter isn’t really going that well.

To: Meg@(email address redacted)
From: Chris@(email address redacted)
Look at that rain. Just look at it. I’m looking. It’s hard not to look at rain like that. The Latin word for rain is “pluvia.” Maybe we should go look for a rainbow. I think that would help our productivity. DH Lawrence wrote a book about a rainbow, and he’s pretty famous.

From: Meg@(email address redacted)
To: Chris@ (email address redacted)
No, I am screaming because I just saw your dog eat a gopher.

From: Chris@(email address redacted)
To: Meg @(email address redacted)
In Azerbaijani, gopher is “sünbülqıran.”

From: Meg@(email address redacted)
To: Chris@(email address redacted)
If I only wear a Helmut Lang dress while writing, can it be considered a tax write-off?

From: Chris@(email address redacted)
To: Meg@(email address redacted)
It’s 5:03. Chianti or Rioja?

From: Meg@(email address redacted)
To: Chris@ (email address redacted)
I like what you said on the hike this morning about the plot of the sequel. Suddenly, and for the first time, it all made perfect and complete sense. The character’s motivations were crystalline. The dramatic arc was like a jeweled rainbow. The plot twists were diabolically clever, and yet also revealed something incredibly profound and true and just and beautiful about human nature.
Can you remember what exactly you said? Because now all I can remember is that at very end we started talking about whether or not Paul Rudd would make a better boyfriend for you, or for me. And I’ve totally spaced on all that stuff about the plot.

From: Chris@(email address redacted)
To: Meg@(email address redacted)
Did you know that great frigate birds have the highest ratio of wing area to body mass? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Frigatebird
I have a killer page and a half here. Break?

The sequel to New York Times bestseller City of Dark Magic will be published by Penguin Books in December 2013, and may or may not feature Vienna, tortelloni, Mozart, gophers, Helmut Lang, and Great Frigatebirds. There will definitely be a shower curtain.

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