Books: book of a thousand days
  Hooray for the husband

I am the luckiest writer wife alive. My first reader is my husband, and not only is he supportive and kind, he's also a brilliant storyteller and writer himself. How many writers get to have not only an amazing professional editor in New York but another living in the same house! Dean made many contributions to this book:
  1. He named it. The original title I gave it was Diary of a Lady's Maid. When my editor suggested I brainstorm other titles, Dean came up with a list of ideas. He started strong, and then as the list went on...well...
    The Book of A Thousand Days
    Dashti's Book
    Back and Here Again
    Steppesong
    Steppenwolf
    Vixens in Chains
    12 Rats for Sister Dashti
    One Steppe Forward (Two Steppes Back)
    I Sing The Body Eclectic
    The Adventures of My Lord The Cat, Volume One: MeowSong
  2. He suggested a critical plot point. When I was in the outlining stage, I spoke with him often about my ideas. At one point, I identified a major plot hole and he made a suggestion. I scoffed at it and said, "Oh be serious." Then later on, I thought about it from a different point of view and eventually took his ridiculous suggestion. It made a major difference in the story and I can't imagine this book without that change now.
  3. He wrote the pig song that Tegus sings. I emailed him one day and said, "I need a humorous song for the book." He emailed me back two songs he made up on the spot. As silly as they were, I made some minor changes to the first one and used it. And I love it! The originals:

    The Pig Head Blues

    One morning I rose to find
    a piglet beside my bed
    This piglet, she was not normal
    This piglet was only a head!

    Oh bodiless bodiless piglet!
    How did you get this way?
    Oh bodiless bodiless piglet!
    Come with me, come and play!

    It rolled about, a'squealing
    Moving by snout and jaw
    Happily snuffling for truffles
    With nary a hoof nor paw!

    Oh bodiless bodiless piglet!
    How did you get this way?
    Oh bodiless bodiless piglet!
    Come with me, come and play!

    That piglet, it was so happy
    happy to squeal and roll
    'Twould wriggle about a'grunting
    While drinking up milk in a bowl!

    Oh bodiless bodiless piglet!
    How did you get this way?
    Oh bodiless bodiless piglet!
    Come with me, come and play!

    One day the piglet she vanished,
    Without even saying goodbye.
    She rolled off to fields much greener
    And left me alone to cry

    Oh bodiless bodiless piglet!
    How did you get this way?
    Oh bodiless bodiless piglet!
    Come with me, come and play!


    The Family Yak

    Sayyyyyy Fella
    Did you hear about Joe? He's your friend I know,
    He was eaten by the family Yak!

    I heard it was mad, the beast had gone bad,
    He was eaten by the family Yak!

    No, it wasn't a horse! Yes, I trust my source!
    He was eaten by the family Yak!

    So when you pass his abode, don't you ask for Joe.
    He was eaten by the family Yak!




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