where the writers are
Fantasy Books and Back Matter

Cloudwatching Notes

This is my first blog post on Red Room. I thought I'd just jump into the middle of it with a post mirrored from my other blog at rettstatt.wordpress.com. To see any of my older posts, jump to my other blog.

I mentioned before that I had an opportunity to create some interesting appendix-type materials to put at the end of The Sky Village. There are several items included. Most are in English, but one is written in symbols from the Kaimira Code, which is a fantasy language created for the book series.

The other non-English piece is in Chinese. Half of the story is set in China (or more accurately, in the skies over China). The sky villagers are information traders, and they get their news via notes carried by pigeons. It's called cloudwatching, and the person assigned to gather, interpret, and share the news is the Cloudwatcher.

I thought it would be fun to show a few of these notes, and even more fun to show them in Chinese.

My Chinese writing is very poor, much worse than my spoken Chinese, so I conscripted my wife to do the hand lettering, using special paper and a fancy pen I borrowed from my office.

She started off doing Chinese cursive, which looks pretty messy (as cursives tend to look), then tried the more careful lettering learned during grammar school, which did the trick.

I let it dry then shipped it off to the publisher, where it was sprinkled with magical publisher pixie dust and whatever else Candlewick does to make such pretty books.