The advance is here! The advance is here!
Well, the first half anyway. I already had my present, so the rest went straight to Visa. I get a new tattoo and a feeling of virtue; what could be better? The signed contracts, on the other hand, are not here, although they should have arrived two weeks ago. Barbara has promised to track them down, and in the meantime will photocopy their copy and send to us, so we at least have something.
I'm not the least bit worried about this, which would surprise you if you had any idea how much I've obsessed over every tiny aspect of the process so far. But really, even if our copies are permanently lost in the mail, there's still a copy at Llewellyn. If they can't find them, we'll just sign two new copies. At worst, we may have a wait a few more weeks before being able to admire our signed contracts. (Personally I plan to frame mine and hang it in the bathroom, so I can bask in its glory while coloring my hair, shaving my legs, etc.)
Still writing. Not as satisfying to me as working with images, but there's so much more writing to be done at this point (maybe that's why I'm not concerned about the contract: the deadline is vastly more satisfying to worry about). I'll use the cards as a reward for getting through chapters. Besides, it's not so bad to spend an evening at the computer listening to great music (Shoukichi Kina and the Art of Noise -- sequentially, not together, but wouldn't that be fabulous if they did make an album together?).
Georg found the perfect description of Victoria as the Queen of Coins in Heaven's Command by James Morris:
"Not since the days of Elizabeth I had [the English] revered a monarch so, or responded with such devotion to the spirit kingship, and it was especially in the imperial context that Victoria achieved this charisma... It was the Empire which made of her an unorthodox Earth-Mother, ample, experienced, kindly, wise, to whose serge skirts the heathen or ignorant might cling in sanctuary, and beneath whose stern admonishment tyrants and rebels alike might reform themselves.
"The Queen's symbolism was accepted as magic in many different ways. Many of the rituals of empire, conducted wherever the British served or settled, were like libations to an unseen ever-present divinity...."