CJ Bernstein

CJ Bernstein

Wonder

Last week an older, well-dressed woman walked up to me on the street, took my arm, leaned in, and whispered nonsense to me for about ten seconds. I assumed she was going to ask for directions and I kept trying to discern what she was saying. It wasn’t another language. It wasn’t just a jumble of words. They weren’t words at all.

 

Normally I would chalk it up to weirdness of living in New York City, but now, after all the crazy things we’ve experienced, everything becomes tinged with wonder, mystery, and even a little bit of danger. Which, I guess, is New York City after all.

 

Looking back on what we know about Ackerly Green Publishing (I do that a lot lately) I’m struck by how in… this “book” or age, The Book of Kings, that Ackerly Green Publishing was a  failure. Decisions were made out of fear and hubris that led to its very early death. Seven years.

 

So if all that’s true, when did the Ackerly Green Secret Society come into play? Why would a company create something like that if there was no readership? If no one was buying the potboilers they were publishing?

 

Unless–

 

Unless the boxes Orvin and I found in the warehouse weren’t from The Book of Kings. What if that warehouse, or the storage unit was a “well”? One of those places that holds onto weird, magical things. What if the pins were from The Book of The Wild? The Lost Age?

 

Is that why they seem to have some sort of draw, some kind of calling? Is my pin trying to show me more places that have hidden bits of magiq?

 

This all sounds like a pitch to sell pins, but honestly, I’m so overwhelmed with… wonder lately. And I want to share it with all of you. And I also want to do things right with this, the current iteration of Ackerly Green Publishing. I want it to be a success. For you, for Deirdre, for myself. And to do that I have to tap into this sense of wonderment. Awe. The curiosity of what could be just around the corner.

 

I think that’s the key to this company’s success.

 

I keep hoping I’ll hear from Deirdre, or Martin. Just to know we’re not the only ones here. I also wouldn’t mind receiving some kind of sign from The Council… (when I was cobbling this site together last fall I woke up one morning to find The Book of Briars magically available for pre-order and I yelled so loud I woke up the whole house and even my dogs thought I’d lost my mind, but that was the last time they reached out, if that was them at all.) Did they use everything they had to help us, and with so little magic left in the world, are we ever going to hear from them again?

 

I’d just like to know they’re out there and I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I mean, it feels right, building the company that will help send these books out into the world and create new sparks of magic and wonder. But as is usually the case, we’re all left wondering if we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing, and wondering when magic will find us again.

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