I hope you have been well since the last time I wrote you, and that you have enjoyed both the harvest and the planting which follows. You have never been far from my thoughts, and I have not wavered in my faith. Since our last correspondence, I have not started any fights for the sake of fighting, or allowed myself to be swayed from my beliefs for the sake of keeping the peace. I have loved my friends and tolerated my enemies. I have shared my baked goods freely and without resentment. I have not brought about the end of all flesh, nor have I lured the unwary into a corn maze and left them there to feed the crops. I have continued to make all my deadlines, even the ones I most wanted to avoid. I have not talked about parasites at the dinner table. Much. So obviously, I have been quite well-behaved, especially considering my nature.
Today, Great Pumpkin, I am asking for the following gifts:
* A smooth and successful release for Blackout, with books shipping when they're meant to ship, stores putting them out when they're supposed to put them out, and reviews that are accurate, insightful, and capable of steering people who will enjoy my book to read it, while warning those who will not enjoy my book gently away. Please, Great Pumpkin, show mercy on your loving Pumpkin Princess of the West, and let it all be wonderful. I'm not asking you to make it easy, Great Pumpkin, but I'm asking you to make it good. This is the end of the trilogy, and the end of an era I have loved very much. Let it be good.
* Please let me finish the current draft of Parasitology in time, and with a minimum of eleventh-hour plot twists and unexpected complications. I'm not asking for none—I've met me—but I'm asking that they remain controllable and manageable, especially as I move into the third act and start blowing shit up with wanton abandon. I am so very nervous about this book, because it will be the first non-Newsflesh Mira Grant project, and I want it to be amazing.
* And when that is done, o Prince of Patches, I ask that you help me to find my way into the depths of The Chimes at Midnight without that changing-genres stumble; let Toby and her world open their arms and welcome me home, that I might transcribe the story that is already making my fingertips ache. There is so much that I want to do in this book, and only so many pages for me to do it in. Please help me find my way, and help me tell this story. It needs telling.
* I thank you once again for my cats, Great Pumpkin, who are everything I could ever ask for in feline companions. Alice is huge, puffy, and utterly without dignity. Lilly is sleek, smug, and satisfied with herself. Thomas is playful, expanding rapidly, and too smart for his own good. I have never been happier with the cats who share my life than I am with this trio, who delight me in all ways. Please, Great Pumpkin, keep them healthy, keep them happy, and keep them exactly as they are.
* I guess you probably know what I really want this year, Great Pumpkin; what the ultimate tricky treat would be. I have been nominated for four Hugo Awards, and while I am not greedy, and will not ask you for all of them, it would mean so much to me if I could win just one. If I could come home with a shiny rocket in my bag. Okay, maybe I am a little greedy: if you could see fit to shine your holy candle on both the Best Novel and Best Related Works categories, those would mean the world. I came very close to winning last year. This year, not only will I be sitting in the audience hoping so hard, I'll be doing it with Amy and Vixy and Cat and oh so many people I love oh so very much in attendance. Please, Great Pumpkin, please. And should you see fit to grant my prayers, I will thank you in any speeches I have to give (you know I'm good for it, I did it last time).
I remain your faithful Halloween girl,
PS: While you're at it, can you please turn your graces on Echo? I think I'm finally ready to write this story. I just need to find the door...