The first things I do when I design some new Laini's Ladies are: email the design files to the Bottman Company, who licenses the artwork and creates the products; and make two sets of samples by hand, with ribbons and beads, and send those along by snailmail. Above and below are the cut out, laminated samples ready for beads and ribbons.
And here are the samples, finished. The Bottman Company will keep one set and send the other to the manufacturers (in China) for bead and ribbon matching.
These four new ladies will be available in spring '09. This lady and many more, including holiday ornaments, are available now:
Incidentally, children's book lovers, the quote on the purple and orange lady -- "Talent is something rare and beautiful and precious, and must not be allowed to go to waste." -- is from A Cricket in Times Square. Remember that book? Ooh, I realize right this second that I have misspelled the author's name. Eek! It should be Selden, not Seldon. Luckily, I have not sent the design files yet and can still fix it!
The quote on the yellow and orange and sea green lady is also from an old children's book, Gypsy by Kate Seredy. It goes: "Each thing she learned became part of herself, to be used over and over in new adventures."
And speaking of Laini's Ladies, the shwag packs are ready to go out tomorrow. Here they are behind sweet old Leroy:
By the way, I've written down addresses of everyone who emailed me. Next round of shwag will go to you first :-)
And speaking of shwag, I have every reason to expect a landslide of books arriving on my doorstep tomorrow. Oh HAPPY! Most of the others Cybils judges got eight deliveries from publishers at the end of last week, but I got only one, from Tor. I've just started reading Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi, which genre-wise is in the same vein as my current work-in-progress. I haven't mentioned writing much lately because I was doing final futzes on Silksinger and designing the new ladies, but I am back at it as of yesterday (which, incidentally, was the first day of NaNoWriMo), and it's not "newt" that I'm working on but the book I had begun over the summer and then broken my own very clearly stated rule of not jumping to a new book when a w.i.p. gets tricky. I reasoned with myself that I wasn't far enough invested in it for that rule to apply, but still, it was a beeg meestake. I should listen to me more often. So I'm back to the sci fi book that has been burning in my brain for the past year and a half. "Newt" needs some time to gel, anyway. It sprang out of a freewrite one day (when I was frustrated with the sci fi) and made me giddy with the incredible fun and possibility of it. It seduced me. It also had me checking airfares to Morocco, where I suddenly needed to go for research. Snort! Like I went to India for Lips Touch? Not. The Himalayas for Silksinger? Not. Scotland for Blackbringer? You guessed it: not. But I rillyrillyrilly would like to go to Morocco (and Venice) when I am ready to write "newt," so it's just as well I'm letting it gestate right now. Ripen, little idea, ripen. There's nowhere I could go to research the current book anyway, since. . . it is not of this Earth. . .
Shhh. I think I've said too much. Tell no one.