Sep 232007

Sharon wrote:

Dear Anne McCaffrey:

I have a few questions for you, but first would like to tell you how much I have been enjoying your Pern novels, especially during this last Year or so. I first saw Pern through Menolly’s eyes a number of years ago, and admit to being drawn in right away by the fire lizards. They bear an uncanny resemblance to our Italian Greyhounds! Flighty, intelligent, mischievous, loyal, affectionate, cuddly and a bit knobbly, our dogs even look something like fire lizards without wings. Anyway, last year was a traumatic one in our lives, and Pern was a wonderful place for me to rediscover and visit as a respite from dealing with the fire, death and injury that beset us, one after another, in 2006.

Do you still knit? I have read Stitches in Snow, and also noticed occasional references to knitted garments in the Pern books (I recall that Sharra knit Piemur a pair of cotton socks). I’m a spinner and knitter, and relish the opportunities to listen to several of your books on my MP3 player while I work on various knitting projects or while outside barn-rebuilding or gardening.

I wondered, too, about a couple of times you mentioned Kansas; one of the colonist families was from Kansas, and of course the scene, preserved by Aivas and shared with F’lar and Lessa’s generation, of the colonists singing ‘Home on the Range’ at Landing, was one that I could easily envision. As a proud Kansas native and lifelong resident, those really hit home with me. Do you have any connection with Kansas, or did the song just seem to be appropriate for the occasion?

Thanks for letting me share with you a little bit about how your writing has become a part of my life.

Best wishes always, and warmest regards from Sharon

Anne’s response:

Dear Sharon,

I’ve taken to patchwork quilting, as something to do when the hands are otherwise unworking. I did Arran sweaters until I ran out of bodies to make them for, though my grandson is growing now into the age when a good Arran would delight him. I have a box in the attic full of needles and a marvelous book on Arran patterns which allows me to make new patterns from the instructions.

I quite agree with the likeness to Italian Greyhounds…for fire-lizards though I am more familiar with cats, having four in the house at the moment and two who live on my bed. Maine Coon cats, in fact.

Dragons are not horses but more similar to equines than to saurian or reptilian appearance.

Kansas, well Missouri would be closer, I think…my brother lived in St. Louis most of his adult life and I would visit him. I have also book toured in Kansas and been warned about cyclones, though I never, thank God, even saw one. I suppose the Kansas is a flip remark…”I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more, Toto.” Sorry. But ‘home on the range’ would be as well known to most folk and it seemed appropriate at the time. I have this weird sense of humor which pops up now and then.

I, too, have comfort books when the world starts being eminently unfair to me. The Liaden group by Sharon Lee and Steven Miller. Quite a few novels right now, so one can read through an entire hospital stay and ignore things. As I just did. I’ve had a nasty infection the medics are trying to squash but night now I’m shedding the non-appetite condition so too many antibiotics and can’t eat much. But I know what you mean about getting through bad times in books. Do you read Lilith Saintcrow? She’s well worth finding. She has a series of Dark Protectors, men who are trained to keep the bad guys from killing Lightbringers, i.e. People with parapsych talents. Very good, I also recommend it as well as Bujold.

Nice chatting with you, Ciao now,
Anne McCaffrey

 Posted by at 5:58 pm

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