A Letter From Anne

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Dec 172009

Dear All,

I think we can all say that 2009 was a tough year all around. Many notable and much-loved people have left us forever, including Charles N. Brown, the marvelous founder of Locus Magazine, David Eddings, Barbara Bova, and many more. In October my ex-husband, Horace Wright Johnson, succumbed to cancer. Although we’ve been divorced for nearly forty years, the news still came as a sad shock. Fortunately, both my boys, Alec and Todd, were able to be with him shortly before he passed away, as was my granddaughter, Ceara, who met him for the first and last time.

It was also tough year economically for all. Writers are not immune but, through good fortune (and the loyalty of my fans!), we’ve pulled through.

It’s been a tough year for me, too. I particularly disliked having to cancel my plan to travel to the Writers of the Future Awards in August but my hips and knees were causing me too much discomfort. Things, as they often do, got worse and in November I went into hospital because my hip had locked up twice in the space of a week.

The doctors had me, at first, in a huge brace to keep the hip from dislocating but it was unbearable and they decided, with some concern about my age, to operate and rebuild the hip. That operation went well but there were complications (at my tender age of eighty-three, there often are) which they dealt with quickly and then, with my blessing, they replaced my old bum knee, too! And so now I’m not only bionic Annie but re-bionic Annie! I’m still in physiotherapy and it will be a while before I get all the parts moving in the right direction again but there’s a chance, when the dust all settles, that I’ll be fully ambulatory — although I might need a walker for a bit. So.. knock on wood, I’m still a going concern!

As for writing this year, sadly, that takes energy and I just don’t have as much of it as I’d like. However, I’d been reading Todd’s latest — Dragongirl — and I really liked what he was doing with it. So I suggested that perhaps we collaborate on the sequel, Dragonrider. I didn’t have to push too hard nor did he find me a great imposition as my role was mainly one of making suggestions or being a sounding board but even that much was a lot of fun and, I might humbly say, I think the result was well worth the effort. So much so that we moved on to the sequel to *that* — Dragon’s Time — as well and Todd tells me he’ll have the second draft of that to me shortly. And, of course, Annie Scarborough and I have been continuing work together — “Catalyst: A Tale of Barque Cats” will come out from Del Rey in hardcover just at the beginning of the new year. So, while I would dearly love to have the energy to tell a tale all on my own, I really cannot say that I am not ably represented with my collaborations. I grew up in the Great Depression, and I know that for some the hardships of these times seem far worse but I assure you that it will all pass. Hang on, there’s lots worth waiting for!

Ciao, Annie

 Posted by at 1:52 pm

Exciting News from March

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Mar 102009

I have some marvelous news that I’m just busting to tell folks! My son Todd’s daughter, Ceara (ERGO one of my granddaughters), won a Scholastic Golden Key for the story she submitted to a Christmas competition. She used my computer to do the final draft. I did read it, but as I have no idea of the criteria by which it was judged I couldn’t say more than that it was well done!

That’s three generations of my family that have made it as writers. I’m sure Ceara Rose will go on with writing. Certainly she reads almost as much as I do. But I couldn’t be prouder of her at 14. I think I tried to win one of those Scholastic contests but she has had a firmer foundation, and has a splendid verbal base. It has certainly been marvelous that Todd does so well in S-f but for his daughter to start challenging us is even more marvelous!

Ciao, Annie

 Posted by at 9:11 pm

Many Happy Returns

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Jan 022009

I’ve had a marvelous Christmas, with both Alec and Todd here at the celebratory weekend. They each brought a daughter a-piece… So it’s been quite a reunion, since Gigi and my grandson, Owen, already live here in Ireland, not far from me. Many Happy Returns for me.

I’ve had many Christmas cards from fans so let me take this opportunity to thank all of you for your good wishes and to wish the same to you. This is the Chinese year of the Ox… I don’t think they get on all that well with sleepy Fire Tigers like me but I’ll respect them if they charge by me.

I would also like to take this occasion to recommend Robin McKinley’s latest book, titled Chalice… It is an amazing story as well as a beautiful one. All of her books are certainly fine but this one is unusually so.

All the best for 2009… Which we all of us need.

Ciao, Anne McCaffrey, Grand Master 2005!

 Posted by at 12:56 pm

Cards from Albacon

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Nov 062008

I have received two of the largest GET WELL cards I’ve ever seen, signed by what seems like all the attendees of Albacon… which was very thoughtful of both the guests and the convention.

I shall remark, in passing on such thanks, that Ireland, at least my part, is being gradually covered by some of the biggest snow-flakes I ever remember seeing – which means it won’t be a long snow but it is even beginning to stay on the grass without melting away. Some of it might just stay… which would be fun after so much rain. But you’d know what that would mean even in America, timid drivers doing all the wrong things and causing havoc and accidents on the road. I shall stay safely in my house, attend to my mail and peruse the 1st delivery of books Amazon.con sent me. And I have had Todd’s latest to bemuse me as well… Dragonheart.

The snow is now covering the rambler roses on the arcade outside my office window and falling with implacable insistence on remaining for a while. I was browsing through the LL Bean catalog and it offered snow paddles of plastic which would have been fun to try using right now. But then, it’s fun to watch without getting frozen toes and fingers, parched lips and wet clothing. I hate standing about in wet, cold clothing.

I can only hope that some of the lovely and considerate persons who signed my get well cards will have a snow they can use. Here comes my black cat, Maggie, and she is suitably showing off her snow coat while trying to lick off the flakes, which are still cold and make her shake her head with irritation. I told her she couldn’t catch snowflakes but she’s been trying.

All the best to you and thank you for passing on such inspiring notes of people who did notice the cat.



 Posted by at 7:21 pm

Albacon Apologies

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Oct 082008

As bad luck will have it, I am not going to be able to make it to Albacon. I had what was deemed a minor heart attack, and as my blood pressure sort of went berserk (although it’s better now) I shan’t be able to get to Albany and Jan’s convention… much as I was determined to.

I am very sorry. I talked it over with Todd, who is still attending, and he agreed with the forbearance. Todd will have made the appropriate phone calls to explain why I missed yesterday’s flight. I know a lot of people will be very disappointed… as I am… but at 82, as the doctor said with my family history of everyone conking off with heart problems, I cannot take unnecessary risks. I like to keep my word, when I give it, but common sense prevails.


 Posted by at 8:51 am

Birthday Tidings

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Apr 062008

I had a great birthday party, not a large one, only those known as my usual suspects! But it was very nice, a buffet with some new recipes. Gigi made me an angel food cake which was just as I wanted. Although I did wear down early, it was fun while I lasted and Todd, who was my April Fool’s surprise, arrived on the first plane into Dublin from sunny California. He brought sun with him and it’s still with us.

I will be attending Dragon*Con come hell, high water or hurricane (soap your mouth out, McCaffrey) and Lea Day will be my minder. It’s always nice to have a Day around.

Ciao now,

 Posted by at 4:40 pm

A Note on John Edwards

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Dec 082007

“NOW is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of the country.” Before it falls apart or makes any more enemies.

When you are casting your vote this November, remember what Great and Envied Americans were. You need a leader this time who has policies so he can effect to repair domestic needs and dealing fairly with our allies. John Edwards has such a domestic policy (read it for yourself on his website). See also that he will effect a program which will repair our own great works of art and commerce before there are more bridges falling into troubled waters.

We need a president who is level-headed with a good history of action in the Senate or Congress: who will not churlishly cast aside treaties entered into by previous leaders because he didn’t believe in their necessity at the time of their promulgation. We need a president who has a good track record in dealing with the everyday problems of running one of the biggest countries in the world.

We need someone who is foresighted, since we have also been plundering our own planet until it’s sliding down into an abyss from which we will not be able to save ourselves without immediate and honest efforts to reduce the the grave problems of pollution. And we don’t have anywhere else to go to!

We need a huge amount of repair to restore the battered Middle Class which is the support of any government and has been bereft of many normal resources and aids, not the least of which is hospital care and medical advice as and when required. We need a strong enough leader to endure the calumny and dispute that will arise for such far-reaching alterations. But America has already abandoned many of the once shining values we should hold dear, and allowed others to be disregarded.

John Edwards has spoken broadly about our national and international problems, and has the fortitude and personality to see his programs not only begun, but rectifying the immense problems anyone will face on taking up the leadership of America. He is definitely my choice for president and I have no political axe to grind — only to see America strong, determined and united, and as proud of everything she does as she used to be.

NOW is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country.

Sincerely yours,

Anne McCaffrey
Radcliffe ’47 cum laude, SFWA Grand Master 2005, S-F Hall of Fame 2006,
Recipient of 22 awards for writing, and best seller on the New York Times.

 Posted by at 3:33 pm

Holiday Greetings!

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Dec 232006

I hope you are so far enjoying my website’s new look, especially the view from Sally Gap of the mountains and the lake near my home. My face has almost returned to normal… some bruising yet remains but I heal fast, even at my age.

We are planning Christmas, and I’ve almost got my shopping finished but I had a large box in on Tuesday morning of new quilting fabrics from the nice people at Equilter and we’re going to town with our own special handmade gifts for special people. Carol Ganly, who is my current minder, is also interested in quilting and we’ve been taking lessons in Bray every Thursday. We each finished the quilt which was the work and tuition of our first classes. Good fun and something to show for the sessions!

I whiz about supermarket aisles now in my Rio3 scooter. After I’d banged my face so badly, I used to tell little kids who were staring at the bruising that my scooter had dumped me, which did happen. The Life and Times of an Author are fraught with unusual things…

We’ve had some horrendous wind storms lately and last Sunday, when it cleared, my daughter Gigi, her husband, Geoff and my one grandson, Owen, took a walk to see how extensive the damage was in the forests surrounding their property. When they returned home, they found the worst damage was in their own driveway. A large tree had fallen right into Gigi’s Merc, totaling the car by smashing the hood. The roof was at level with the steering wheel which was bent to one side, and all the windows in the car were crushed, including the rear and the trunk. She has been on record with the Forestry board about removing some of the trees around their property to reduce the possibility of wind damage. At this point she has won her case and instead of waiting until the spring, the Forestry people will clear cut back some 50 yards, letting in more sun among other things! This will perhaps also keep the deer back so they aren’t always browsing and eating the buds off plants in the summer.

So there’s some news, for what it is. I see Eragon is made into a movie and opening soon. Many kind fans have emailed me concerned about the use of “dragonriders”, but there is no need for concern — after all, mine was one of the original quotes on the hardback when it was released!

Along those same lines, Peter Jackson is taking Naomi Novik’s wonderful Temeraire stories to Scotland, which hopes much good will be done them as it was by Lord of the Rings for New Zealand. My Pern film is moving along, carefully but smoothly under the wise guidance of Copperheart Entertainment.

I hope that all my readers see the right parcel under the Christmas trees and that everyone has a good start to the new year!

Regards all, Ciao,

 Posted by at 1:41 pm

A Belated Hallowe’en…

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Nov 082006

…And proof that gravity works.

I fell down the other night and really creamed myself, as you can see.

I blacked both eyes (that’s not makeup), and my forehead, nose, and my poor knees — they look worse, can you believe?

Anyway, I’m alright and, as you can see, I’m able to see the humor in it.

We figured out that I probably tripped on a bit of loose carpet at the entrance to the kitchen, so we’ll get it fixed and then there’ll be no more Falling Down Annie.

 Posted by at 7:39 pm