Knight Saves Princess

I meant to post about this back during Capclave, and I kept forgetting. I meant to post it again when Scott Edelman passed the video along to me…and I forgot then too.

Then a few days ago, someone linked to the article about how Terry Pratchett was signing a contract with Dignitas to lead his own assisted suicide. And I remembered again. But let me tell the story in order.

I heard from a little birdie friend of mine that Sir Terry Pratchett might be making a guest appearance at Capclave. It was perfect timing, right after my reading, and I would be free for a few hours to hang out.

I had been waffling about this particular reading, since most of the folks who attend Capclave are also members of WSFA, and it was to them that I did my very first dramatic reading of “The Monster & Mrs. Blake.” I’ve performed that reading now a few times…but no matter how good I’ve gotten at it, I didn’t want to do it again for the same audience.

My great thought was that I would read “The Unicorn Hunter,” since I still maintain it’s the best story I’ve ever written. (It’s still available for free to read here, if you’re in the mood to quibble.) But when I started practicing this one, it just didn’t come across as a good read-aloud. For one, I couldn’t get the demon’s voice right. My range was bouncing all over the place. It was terrible.

I’d heard someone mention a great panel they attended once where the panelists brought poetry and prose they had written when they were in high school and shared that. Why not? So I had my little blue book with me, the one with the gilded pages, and I was going to make a fool of myself in front of a bunch of people because I hadn’t prepared anything else.

Then suddenly, Terry Pratchett’s visit was announced. He was only going to be at the convention for an hour, and the time had been pushed up to RIGHT during my reading, so that he could catch a plane back to the UK. The entire convention closed up shop and gathered in the main auditorium. No one came to see me. I waited until Sir Terry and my friend walked by, and then I followed in their wake to attend the talk as well.

So yes, folks, back in October, this Princess was saved by an honest-to-god Knight. And I can’t believe I forgot to tell you.

Here is the very nice video Scott shot of the whole talk. It’s an hour long, but well worth the time.

I’m very glad I attended. It made me laugh and touched my heart to be part of such a wonderful community, and such a fantastic visit with such an icon in such an intimate setting. (Muches of suchness!) It was so very interesting to hear Sir Terry speak of the assisted suicide that he took part in for the BBC. What I didn’t realize was how personal the discussion would be for me.

If you remember, back in July I posted about visiting my beautiful grandmother who is in hospice with Alzheimer’s. She’s been there a very long time. I’m sure she doesn’t recognize us. She doesn’t really even speak in words anymore. She looks good, and seemed happy, but she scares quite easily because nothing is familiar to her anymore. It scares me to think of what it would be like to live like that…but I suppose if it got to that point I wouldn’t be cognizant of what I’d lost…not that it makes the situation better.

Once upon a time, I’m not sure I would have supported something like Sir Terry is deciding to do with his death. I would have called it cowardly. And yet, I wonder what my grandmother would have decided had she been given such a choice back when she had the ability to make choices. Of course I don’t want my grandmother to leave this world. But it’s times like these–especially over the holidays–that I miss her so much and hate…well…you know.

I’ve been working on the sequel to Sunday’s book–it’s about Saturday, of course. Her hero is a young man whose father succumbed to an illness like Alzheimer’s (though it would have been closer to dementia in fairy tale land). How would an illness like this affect our hero’s life? What would he be afraid of? And, conversely, what would he not be afraid of?

Through these questions I am forced to find answers…both about Peregrine and myself.

Oh, how art imitates life…and how beautiful and unfair life can be, all at the same time.

Love you guys. xox