So it’s Christmas and stuff. I hope you’ve all had a magnificent holiday, if you happen to celebrate it, and if you don’t, that you had a lovely day being a lovely human being on this planet.

I’m writing this while wearing a baby backpack — well, a frontpack, I suppose — what do you call these things? — a baby carrier. I’m wearing a baby carrier with a sleeping baby in it. One thing I’ve discovered in just two weeks of fatherhood: I am no longer capable of standing in one place without moving. I’m constantly doing the daddy sway, rocking from side to side like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.

On to today’s update!

During her absences, Agnes’s dark valley, she has discovered, does not wait for her. Time marches on, sometimes predictably, sometimes quite fast. And while Paul races her to the hospital in Anchor Bend, she slips into her other world to find that the storm has drawn closer, and grown more threatening. When she wakes, this world doesn’t pause like a cassette tape. It loops onward. It’s not waiting for Aggie to keep up.

I like to refer back to the manuscript as I script the pages of the graphic novel. One of the great difficulties I have is determining which words stay in, and which words get cut. When the cut words are ones I’m a little too in love with, I like to try to make sure the artwork communicates what was removed. But I’m not always sure the artwork quite measures up.

Here, for example, is a snippet about Agnes’s valley, from the novel:

The mouth of the valley has tightened as if drawn shut, trapping the sinister thunderheads within. The heavy clouds sludge slowly over the shelf of mountains like inky black gelatin. The mountain peaks like teeth snag the clouds and tear them open like zeppelins. From her tiny cabin, many miles distant, the rain rushing from these wounds appears as a slow-dancing mist. She knows it must actually be a great torrent if she can see it at all from here.

I hope one day my sleepy daughter will enjoy reading this book her dad’s been working on for so long. I certainly hope it’s finished by the time she’s old enough.

Happy holidays to all of my readers! Enjoy your families and loved ones, and thanks for your continued gift to me by reading.

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