Stephanie Burgis
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Autumn leaves and cool news
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The trees along our street have shed great bucketfuls of orange leaves now. Nika and I scuffled among them (or, in Nika's case, pranced lightly across them) on the sidewalk and admired the big billowing heaps of orange and red piled in the undergrowth. It's a lovely, cheering, autumn feeling.

I'm midway into Chapter Ten of Congress of Shadows and going slow but strong, I hope. I'm also very much enjoying my new research book, Prince of Europe: The Life of Charles-Joseph de Ligne. He was widely known as a charming Grand Old Man at the Congress of Vienna in 1814, but in the 18th century he was a brilliant soldier, writer and all-out rake. One of my favorite lines, from his memoirs of the Seven-Year War: "Victory is a woman who needs to be abducted." !! It just sort of sums up the whole aristocratic European 18th-century ethos, right there--dashing, witty, and outrageously amoral.

And by far the best news this week is that my younger brother Ben has just made his first fiction sale, to Walking Bones magazine! Woohoo! Combine a philosophy grad student with a fantasy/horror fan, and you'll come up with some wonderfully weird and fascinating stories as a result. Check out "How to Light a Cigar" in the November issue!

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