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Abáloc-- and this and my other worlds...

...and suddenly, it's not our farm..

It was the Arthur family's farm, familiar, but different...

And it happened so quickly! I had got as far in my story ideas as having five children on a farm much like our own, threatened by strip mining, who encounter mythical beings out of the past...

...Those "Fair Folk" lost at sea! Who else!

…Whose landfall back then was in what is now New Jersey…

…on a continent

…where the elders of their kind lived an age and more ago…

… to shelter in… ancient caverns… under a mountain…

… under the ridge above that farm

…threatened by strip mining... that was tied to some old evil!

…And they are discovered by the five children…

…and a dog with silver eyes, like my Weimaraner, Galadriel!


Just like that. Total surprise. By that Saturday-- January 15th-- I was able to begin writing. I had a full schedule and a busy life, but from 1000 words a day I rushed on to 1300, 2125, 2300 a day. On Friday, March 11th, I finished typing the first revised draft in a rush because the next day Margaret McElderry, the editor of my collection of California Indian tales, was arriving from New York. I gave it to her when we met for dinner, and when we met again over dinner a week later, I learned that Beneath the Hill would be published the following spring.

Utterly magical! It has never again been quite so swift and intoxicating a swoosh as that, but I suspect that the slowdown comes from learning how much there is to learn along the way!

And it was because of that magic that I never became that Professor of Medieval English Literature.





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