I’m still unpacking boxes in my office. Yes, even two or more months after moving into the house! But today I had the great good fortune to find my original papers in Dr Douglass Parker’s Parageography course at UT Austin. I kept everything from that course, which I took in the spring of 1998, my last semester as an undergraduate. So I have the syllabus, all the original assignments, my papers, and Doc Parker’s wondrous collection of bits and pieces of his own world, which was (still is, I suppose) known as High Thefarie.
But especially sweet is to see his handwriting and his encouragement for my work. At a time when I’m feeling a little low, it’s a small blessing to remember he believed in me as a writer. He kept asking me when I was going to turn my world of AElit into something—books or whatever. (I did incorporate some of it into my graduate thesis.) But Doc Parker knew as much as anyone, if not more, all the tinkering and long hours that goes into building a world from scratch. I think he was hoping I’d move faster than he had done.
I like to think he’d at least have liked my e-books, which I’m pleased to say continue to sell relatively well; already in the first 10 days of August I’ve sold more than I did in all of July. I need to keep working—Doc Parker would be telling me to get on with it—but I’m feeling a bit scattershot of late. There have been many setbacks and disappointments, and I’m having trouble gathering all my threads again.