A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum  

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Jody Lynn Nye Author of the Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, co-author in the Planet Pirate , Doona, and Brainship series, and last but not least sci-fi/fantasy author in her own right (or is that write?) with over a dozen books published.

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Old Jun 14 2005, 02:42 PM   #1
Jody Lynn Nye
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Default Re: Welcome to Ms. Jody Lynn Nye!

Thank you, folks! I feel very welcome already. Wow!
Let's have some great discussions on this Thread...you should excuse the expression...and ask me any questions you have, but first, I have a question to put to YOU.

I am writing an appreciation of Anne for the upcoming Nebula Awards anthology on the event of Anne being given Grand Master status. I would like to ask you to tell me -- BRIEFLY -- what attracted you to Anne's books, and what you enjoy most about her writing and her worlds. I probably will not be able to credit anyone by name (sorry ) but it would only be right to have her fans' input in any genuine appreciatoin.

I've got about a week to incorporate replies into my essay.

Meanwhile, thank you again for the warm welcome!

Jody
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Old Jun 14 2005, 03:08 PM   #2
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There is a charisma about her books. She is so imaginative in her plots. The people are real with real faults that everyone can relate to. I feel at home in her books, as if I belong there and can see myself as a character. Her writing is real, not generic copies of someone elses idea and they have intelligence. There is more but I can't think of more right now I'll get back to ya.
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Old Jun 14 2005, 03:44 PM   #3
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Someone offered me one of AM's books to help me get out of a bad place, right when I needed it most.
For me, the first attraction was a female author writing strong heroines. I liked the writing style and most of the plots.
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Old Jun 14 2005, 04:35 PM   #4
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Totally honest? Besides the strong female characters, and characters that are multi-dimentional, DRAGONS! Dragons that are not evil, to be exact.

That, and the wonderful way she's taken psi abilities into the future, and made them not only acceptable, but almost desirable.
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Old Jun 14 2005, 04:57 PM   #5
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What AnnMarie said--and that you get to really get inside the minds of the dragons and understand what they're motivations are.
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Old Jun 14 2005, 04:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

I don't normally enjoy fantasy novels for the sake of the fantasy, but with anne's books there is always a rationale to explain what other authors will just describe with no reasoning.

Be it the mental abilties in her Pegasus, Tower and Hive series.

The use of Genetics and chemistry in the Pern series.

Not to mention the fact she doesn't pretend that the only relationships people have are hetero, she does not shy from different extremes in her worlds.

Making for damn good writing and stories you can involve yourself in, and for a time .... Believe.
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Old Jun 14 2005, 05:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

A nice simple answer: When I read Anne's work I am no longer on earth. I am on Pern or in a Brainship or another of Anne's Worlds. She takes me away from "Real Life" for a while.
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Old Jun 14 2005, 05:15 PM   #8
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I first read one of Anne's books at my father's suggestion. I was not even 10 pages into it and I was hooked! The world was so well built that I felt like I was there with the characters... REAL feeling characters. It didn't seem cliche or like I was reading something that had been done a million times already.

It was original and I couldn't help but go back for more. To tell you how much I like her books, I own every Pern, Crystal Singer and Freedom book in the series.

And it's a pleasure to meet you, Jody!
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Old Jun 14 2005, 05:16 PM   #9
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Hmmm...how to condense all that into a few words...

Originally a friend told me about this series of books where 'thread' was a menace. So I purchased a copy of Dragonsong and Dragonsinger (Dragondrums wasn't available yet), and Wow! Outrunning thread, Dragons, Fire-Lizards, A Hatching, Music, Brekke's Cry, Moreta's Ride sung during threadfall, overcoming the jealousy of the girls Duncas cottage (go Silvina!!) and walking the tables! It was the warm-fuzzy effect without being cloyingly-sweet-nauseous that kept me coming back. Her characters are emminantly believable, without being too soft or too hard. She made Dragons good!!!! She made pint sized ones for everybody!

In Crystal Singer I loved the moment she wakes and the grey floor-stripe is now a purple color!, everything fresher, newer - what an experience! It gave the impression of a new birth, a re-awakening of the senses. Her old life has passed away, the new has come.

In the Ship who Sang - I've always wanted to try that recipe for Chicken Paprikash that was used as verbal ammo against the fardling idiots that Helva and ___(oops - mental block) encountered. I loved it when she get 'debt free' - a goal most people would love to achieve, even though they aren't shell people.

Oops...I got verbose, well, you get my meaning anyway, I hope
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Old Jun 14 2005, 06:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

What I admire about Anne's work are a few things. First, the emphasis upon characters, and emotions. NIMISHA'S SHIP, for example, read well to me, as I found the emphasis upon Nimisha's maternal feelings realistic, as a motivating force. Second, she creates strong and positive female characters that defy, to some extent, the stereotypes placed upon them by other, predominantly male, authors. Third, and finally, she creates believable male characters, unlike many other, often more feted, female writers. The opposite is just as rare: most men cannot write believable female characters, and those that do I tend to like.

Thus, to sum up, what draws me to Anne's work is her excellent characterisation. This is not to say that she is flawless; I could list her flaws here, but will forebear from doing so. We should celebrate the best of Anne, untainted with any sourness due to her failings.
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Old Jun 14 2005, 06:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

Pern is such a completely different take on dragons... it feels like fantasy even when there's science as well (science fantasy?) Her various series have such different feels but all suck me in - and there are so many of them!!!
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Old Jun 14 2005, 06:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

Dragonsong was introduced to me by my mom, and soon after I was crawling back for more.

Much of what the others said here applies to me too. And the dragons are not just creatures, they're characters. Each character is unique and well thought-out, and the books (especially the Harper Hall ones) always make me happy every time I read them. What more can I say?
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Old Jun 14 2005, 07:25 PM   #13
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I was introduced to Pern by my parntns by accidentn ( a Christmas present of Dragonflight), and what really caught my imagination was the GOOD dragons - not he evil kind portarayed by most writers. And, also the fact that whilst the world on which they lived was 'idylic' in certain senses, it certainly wasn't IDEAL in any means of the word!

Once I read Dragonflight, I was caught by Anne. I went to the library and got out as many books as I could by her, primarily Pern, but I also got through a couple of Talents, at leat one Brainship books, and possibly a couple of others. But I kept coming back for more. Every book by her I read meant that I was drawn further and further into her worlds. As all good writers should, as I read her books, I became one with the characters, caring about therm as they lived and died. Their emotions became my emotions, and I lived in their worlds.

She has created many worlds which sound and feel real, and aren't based on rules which ONLY apply in that world, but explained in terms of Earth logic and science. It gave me a route from here to there, requring less leaps of faith than most of those kinds of books, but also including pretty realistic characters and plots which made sense in the context of the world in which they were set.
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Old Jun 14 2005, 08:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

The best way I can put it, is that the things Anne writes about are THE DREAM. The Dream of riding a dragon. The Dream of being able to fly. The Dream of being able to teleport or save an entire planet with the power of your mind. The Dream of being the first person on a whole new world and the Dream of what you could do if given the opportunity to be there. When you read her books you don't feel that you are reading about fictional characters - but real ones, who face and deal with the real problems of everyday life (or at least the everyday life of where ever they are from ) When you read her books you feel as though you are reading about friends. She draws you in and you become a part of the story.

I was introduced to her books by my sister, my Freshman year of college. her books became my escape. Whenever I was in the library doing research or studying I always made a point of finding my self a "study spot" on the 5th floor. Not because it made sense research wise (all the history and art history books were on the 3rd and 4th floors and the education books were in a completely separate library all together) but because that's where Anne's books were. When I needed a break from the stress I went and grabbed a book. I must have read the original Dragonflight trilogy about 24 times in the time I was at college, add in the HarperHall series, Moreta, Nerilka, Pegasus, Crystal Singer and Restoree you can tell that I'm either a very fast reader or I didn't get as much studying done as I should have :wink: (of course, I'm dating myself with the books I left out :laugh: )

I love her and I love her worlds.
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Old Jun 14 2005, 09:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

I was attracted to her books at first just because they were something to read. But I like them because of how easy the characters are to understand, even when you are a bored twelve-year old girl like i was when i first picked up Dragonflight that day last year which now seems like an eternity ago. You can relate to the characters so easily and they all seem real. When you read her books you are not just reading them, you become a part of the world of the book itself. You read them and it is like "Yeah I can relate to that".

A shorter version: I like them because i can relate to them and they are good.
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Old Jun 14 2005, 09:39 PM   #16
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To put it quite simply: She spins a damn good yarn.
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Old Jun 14 2005, 09:51 PM   #17
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I started reading Anne's Dragonrider books because one of my friends said they were good books. Now I read them because the characters are all part of my family. Pern is a place that is right around the corner and I can always visit my Grandpa Robinton, Aunt Lessa, Uncle F'lar and so on. Her books are a wonderful, believable escape, because we all know that there are dragons out there some where and someday there will be brain ships and some where there is a planet where you sing to crystal.
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Old Jun 14 2005, 11:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

Wow, what can I say that the others haven't already....
I too, read Pern first - Dragonsdawn, and like the others, less than 10 pages of reading and I was hooked! After that I devoured every single Anne book I could get my hands on (though I think I read the Pern series first - or as much of it as was printed at the time and in my library!) I ended up having to start my own collection because the library didn't have enough.
The diversity of all her worlds, fascinating and possible in the distant future, like deformed people being linked into ships and cities through their brains - utterly amazing idea!
A Living planet, who doesn't care for the nasty bad men attacking her and polluting her - what some of us wouldn't give for our earth to be able to have more of a say for herself!
Singing to crystal, and being basically addicted to cutting! I too love how their senses were heightened once the symbiont took over.
The bonds between dragons and their riders, and not to mention all the other good and bad people on Pern!
The death of sleep LOL and finding new worlds with ancient animals.
Earth being conquered by aliens, but humans still winning out over them, on earth or from another planet they were dropped on!
The human ability to overcome adversity, the characters, the emotions, the plots, the evil vileness, the wonder!
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Old Jun 15 2005, 12:48 AM   #19
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

Anne's Pern books were what introduced me to sci fi/fantasy novels. To me they stand out on top as something different. The captivated my imagination with such a new concept of dragons and a diverse culture revolving around them. Also she has the unique menace of Thread which is so intriguing, and so fitting to the Planet. Her many dragon novels with Harpers and Hatching Sands and Threadfighting will always resonate in my mind, and I can really relate to some of the characters. I love Anne's other books, but Pern always will have that special place that cannot be replaced.
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Old Jun 15 2005, 02:56 AM   #20
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

I don't think Anne writes great literature, and her books often have gaping flaws in terms of their plot, characterisation, worldbuilding... BUT, they are readable. Damn readable. You can get sucked in, so easily, and her universes and characters become familiar friends after a while... or maybe a comfy pair of slippers for the mind is a better analogy? I don't know if that's one reason why Pern fandom is so popular. A lot of it [Pern fandom] seems to be to do with personalising one's escape from reality, shrugging off the life of a loser/nobody for that of a hero. But I don't think it would have taken off in the way that it did if the worlds that Anne created hadn't been so appealing. And all those flaws? Well, they give us plenty to talk about, don't they? Plenty of room for interpretation, plenty of room for the role-players to improve on Pern, or explore a specific aspect of such a society.

But maybe it's jush the.... shhhh... dubious romance elements?
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Old Jun 15 2005, 03:24 AM   #21
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

Anne does nice books, even with inconstanties that most found rather irkling. I use it as a escape to a world that she often does soo well. I love the light reading that always so calming, especially after tests. They are very entertaining, and I could hang on until the end. I donno why I still read them all, even I read them at least twice!!

All I've read, when I was in the mood, was very good. Sometimes I need a break, and takes 'em... but books are rarity up here in Alaska, so, I won't have enough enjoyment to find them easily and continue where I left off.

Well, I think that's it....
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Old Jun 15 2005, 03:48 AM   #22
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Hmmm......What attracted me to Anne's books the most is her use of possibility and her fantastic stories. She does such a great job of writting, I can picture myself in her stories. The reader can actually picture the story in their mind and not be left wondering.
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Old Jun 15 2005, 08:30 AM   #23
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With having had a hard life Anne's books
grab me and take me to a place of
freedom. Freedom to become anything
I want to. A way of escape that seems
real while reading. After reading Anne's
books I wish her worlds were real.
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Old Jun 15 2005, 08:36 AM   #24
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My first introduction to her books... Pern specifically. Was at a school I went to. I found these wonderful little paperbacks with a few typos in the summaries on the inside. They were DragonSong, DragonSinger, and DragonDrums. They so utterly spoiled me, that I literally read them over and over again for 6 straight months. Nothing else appealed to me, and I was unable to find any more of her books.

What I like most. Every single person in the books has a story to them. unlike some stories people write where a few characters are just there to look at. Also, there is no set "one" hero who will ultimately save the day. They all have skills.
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Old Jun 15 2005, 09:58 AM   #25
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

Everyone else has said alot of what I feel when I read her books.. but I wish to add this~ her writings are my friends.. I dont have to start a book at the beginning of the series or even the beginning of the book. For my old friends I just pick them up open randomly, read for a bit, then wander off to finish what I started. or just finish the book.
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Old Jun 15 2005, 12:50 PM   #26
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

her books and writing style are just so unique. she writes about things noone else does. she has realistic character, and there are none who are pure evil or good. she lets you gets inside thier heads, and pays attention to the details that make it realistic, not the books that you read any say, "when do they have time to do basic functions of life?" she gives us everything
, and doesn't leave parts out of a society just because she doesn't like them. she really consiters human, and inhuman nature, and through her writing, answers questions that we have about the world.
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Old Jun 15 2005, 06:57 PM   #27
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Anne McCaffrey is on my "short list" of all time favorite writers. She creates fantastical (if not to say highly unlikely) worlds and situations and makes them so real the reader can not only accept them but swear they have been there themselves! She brings life to a wide variety of characters whom I don't always like but do understand and believe in. From the misadventures of Sara on Lotharia to the soaring achievements of Lessa of Pern and Kris Bjornsen of Botany, I have thoroughly enjoyed Anne's books and stories, most of which I have read many times.
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Old Jun 16 2005, 02:58 AM   #28
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

Anne's writing takes me away from the daily grind. I admit I'm one of those fans who likes to pick at the faults, or perceived faults, in some of Anne's stories. However, if the characters she creates and worlds she paints didn't intrigue me, I doubt I'd bother.

I first read Pern in my late teens, and have been hooked ever since.
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Old Jun 16 2005, 04:07 AM   #29
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

Late in 1981, I was beginning to loose my interest in reading. Nothing I could find interested me and I was down to reading Comics and/or Newspapers!

Then I picked up a copy of Dragonflight.

I still have no real idea what it was that got me interested in it, but by the time I finished it a week later, I found myself looking for more of her works and began finding the Pern Series, which lead to her other Sci-Fi/Fantasy books and suddenly I was back to enjoying reading again. Have never been able to really explain it, but her works got me intersted in Sci-Fi/Fantasy and reading again.

Now she counts among my favorite Authors, and I have somewhat of a soft spot for her works because of what they did for me in getting me interested in reading.
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Old Jun 16 2005, 02:15 PM   #30
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The sheer charm of her characters, and of course the dragons. I can't offer much more than that; the rest is a mystery!
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Old Jun 16 2005, 03:31 PM   #31
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

First, the reason i started reading Anne.

My Grandmother gave me The White Dragon so i could learn about the birds and the bees (Jaxom & Corana) because i had no father at the time, and mom wanted no part of THAT. I was 12.

The reason i read almost all her other works is because every story has a reality to it that comes alive inside your mind.

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Old Jun 21 2005, 05:08 AM   #32
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

Someone suggested I read them!
can't remember quite how- I know where!

I like them because they're comfortable and absorbing- not absorbant!

theres just something about them! They tend to be action paced but still have character!

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Old Jul 16 2005, 03:48 PM   #33
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Shazza, thanks, that's exactly how I feel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazza
A nice simple answer: When I read Anne's work I am no longer on earth. I am on Pern or in a Brainship or another of Anne's Worlds. She takes me away from "Real Life" for a while.
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Old Jul 17 2005, 03:55 AM   #34
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

[QUOTE=H]I don't normally enjoy fantasy novels for the sake of the fantasy, but with anne's books there is always a rationale to explain what other authors will just describe with no reasoning.QUOTE]

Her books arn't actually fantasy. Fantasy are when a book gives no explination of how something occured, but just invents it as how it is, where as science fiction gives an explination for it, Anne McCaffrey explains how dragons were created, they were bioengineered from another creature, on a planet that they reached through space flight, all of which is possible, so there for it can't be fantasy, so it must be sf....

anyway, I love those books cause of the dragons...and the fact that they're portrayed as something that does not just exist in a certian world, but was created by humans, a nice change and gives hope for the future
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Old Jul 21 2005, 09:03 AM   #35
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Is there somewhere or some way we can see what has been written??
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Old Jul 22 2005, 05:47 PM   #36
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

We may have to wait for the Nebula book to be published, but perhaps Jody can share with us in advance....
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Old Aug 1 2005, 04:15 PM   #37
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Default Re: Question from Jody about Anne

Cheryl,

I will ask the editor if I can post my essay about Anne on this website.

Thank you to everyone who replied. Many people had the same experience I did in finding Anne's works. (To quote David Letterman, "It's like I have a twin!" ) In fact, the hardest part about writing the essay was the minute word count I was allowed -- there was so much more to say.

Thanks again!
Jody
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