Six stars!

That’s enough for a good constellation, I reckon. Maybe not a galaxy, though, unless it’s a GALAXY OF PRAWNS!

(Sorry, I threatened to use that phrase as the title for this post, and my husband, who is a sensible person, was against it. I feel honour-bound to include it somewhere, therefore. You understand.)

This is the news that I was not yet allowed to tell you on Wednesday: I have received six starred reviews from the trade journals. That’s all of them. It’s not an unheard-of feat, but it is rare enough to be exciting. Here’s a list (updated periodically) of how many starred reviews have been received by YA novels this year. As you can see, six stars puts Seraphina up in the rarefied air with Code Name Verity and The Fault in our Stars.

I know, I know, when I tell you I have news, y’all get excited. I see now the fault in my strategy, because six stars – while exciting – is nowhere near as wild and woolly as the things your imaginations came up with. Here’s a small sampling:

  • A Seraphina opera (so the Fafnir dragon costumes get some use in the off-season)
  • Dragon-themed fire extinguishers
  • I got the Order of Canada
  • I got the Disorder of Canada (ha ha, wiseacre)
  • Dragon-themed muffin tins and party hats
  • A Seraphina restaurant (hey, I ate there!)
  • A Seraphina rock-opera by Jon Anderson and Vangelis

You had your own theory, didn’t you. Don’t pretend otherwise. If it’s funny, I’d love to hear it.

Writing RUSH

If you know me at all, you know I love the band RUSH. I didn’t always; they put something in the water here to make you impress upon the first Canadian music you hear. Could’ve been worse. Could’ve been Bieber.

Anyway, I got their latest album, Clockwork Angels, for my birthday and have found it completely impenetrable. Now, I’m used to a certain amount of this from RUSH. All their songs sound like noise to me at first. This album, though, is requiring more stubbornness than usual.

So when I heard Clockwork Angels was also going to be a novel, I had mixed feelings. I couldn’t decide whether it sounded awesome or vaguely embarrassing. Or, y’know, utterly impenetrable.

Well, having read Anderson’s guest post over at Scalzi’s, I’m feeling somewhat reassured. The author really likes RUSH, anyway — in fact he seems to like a lot of the same prog rock as me. (Now I am vaguely embarrassed, because I actually had dinner with him in San Diego, and I didn’t talk to him at all. In my defense, I was at the other end of a long table, and I was exhausted, but still. I wish I’d made more effort). In fact, I only realized who he was (the writer of all those latter-day Dune novels) as I was leaving (before dessert, because I was exhausted). So: my apologies, Kevin Anderson. I hope we run into each other again sometime; I shall have more to say to you.

I’ll take a look at the book, certainly, but I reckon I should come to better grips with the music first. Still, super fun to read about the role music plays in someone else’s process! And it will be interesting to look for the music in the book.

ETA: thanks to Paige for the link!

ETA2: As my friend Dave astutely points out in the comments, before this album or its novelization, there was a wonderful graphic novel called Clockwork Angels by Lea Hernandez.

I have things to tell you

Except I can’t until it’s officially official. Alas, that’s how it is sometimes.

So you know what I’m going to do instead? That’s right. I’m going to hit you with some Pink Floyd. Well, David Gilmour, technically.

No, I don’t know where that saxophone player came from. He just kind of materialized, didn’t he. Well, maybe that’s not so surprising after all. I’ve had days like that, just strumming along and then all of a sudden BAM. Saxophone.

I love this song, though. It’s a good one for when you’re working and working and wondering whether you aren’t the biggest fool ever spawned in the great fool pool. But see,  you’re still a diamond, whatever else is true, and the people who know and love you see that, even when you can’t.

Shine on, darlings.