Shut Up, Throat!

Self is soooo soooo tired of the cough.

She’s had it almost a week since Sunday. It’s that wheezing kind, the kind that has your chest heaving in the middle of a very important reading. While everyone is concentrating so hard on every word that falls from the reader’s lips, you’re there in the back trying to quell your . . . explosion . . . of icky phlegm . . . from landing on someone’s shoulders or back.

Today, she apologized again to Dan, her neighbor across the way. Because he must be thinking to himself, GOOD LORD HOW LONG IS THAT WOMAN’S INFERNAL COUGH GOING TO LAST? He swears he doesn’t hear a thing. Not true. Because she can hear when someone’s coughing in the hallway just oustide.

Plus, Dan’s Canadian. Think a Canadian’s ever going to be rude enough to tell self: Will you muffle your coughs with a wet towel or something? Man oh man! How long is this going to go on?

No, Dan being Canadian, he very sweetly assures self that Jesse, down the hall, has been apologizing for the same thing (Self has never actually seen Jesse about. Not since last Wednesday, during a reading at the Wild Flour Artisan Bakery downtown, when we shared zinc lozenges)

She doesn’t know if it’s the dry weather here in Banff, or just general run-of-the-mill tiredness, but man. She swears she’s going to kill herself if she wakes up tomorrow still coughing. And this is only half of 2015. How lovely. The rest of the year awaits.

Having a cough for one whole week during a residency is the equivalent of using a sick bag during an airplane ride: Your airplane seatmate never wants to speak to you again, no matter how many times you gargle in the plane lavatory. Hope you weren’t heading home from an AWP Conference, because you can just kiss that connection good-bye.

She’s trying to write her 18th century WIP, so as a way to distract herself (Can you believe it’s PAST MIDNIGHT? How did that happen?), she makes a list of things she intends to include in the chapter she’s currently grappling with, things sufficiently 18th-century-sounding, like:

  • hourglass
  • wind
  • seawater
  • gust of wind
  • night
  • darkness
  • the shore
  • the sky
  • the sun

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day, CLOCKWORK PRINCE, p. 389

Self is still reading Mark Twain, but to Twain does not belong the Sentence of the Day (Is that even correct grammar, self? Something wrong with the construction, apparently. Nevertheless)

She has reached p. 453 of Clockwork Prince! And tomorrow she mails the book back to her niece in Calgary, who lent her a hardback collector’s edition. Thank you soooo soooo much, Karina, for introducing self to The Infernal Devices! (And oh by the way she’s still into Peeta Mellark, and she still writes Hunger Games Everlark fan fiction, and she’s also still in the Banff Writing Studio, but none of that matters now, because, because — now she has to reveal her Sentence of the Day!)


The climax of Clockwork Prince is when Magnus Bane kisses Will Herondale.

Ooops — NOT!

Clockwork Prince is a really great novel. Self would have given it five stars if not for all those wasted scenes between taking-so-slow-to-die Jem Carstairs and that Silly Twit Tessa Gray.

There is no sentence like a Cassandra Clare sentence when she describes Will Herondale in action. Allow the slight digression, dear blog readers, but self will never forget that sentence on p. 446 of Clockwork Angel when Will was hurrying to save Tessa from the evil and lascivious clutches of a certain gentleman (This is Victorian London, after all! Did you perhaps think this was a Sarah Waters novel — BWAH. HA. HA!), and he has to ride bareback through the streets of 19th century London, and he has to take out his stele while on a dead run, and he hits a locked door in the Institute, whereupon:

He slashed the stele across the door’s surface, creating the fastest Open rune of his life.

Now, in Clockwork Prince, tiresome Jem has broken a leg or something and is completely useless against a giant automaton and Tess’s dastardly brother Nate has been quite brutally slappiing Tess about, and only Will is left to protect Tess from an explosion set off by one of Henry’s infernal contraptions, and of course after it goes off Tess is all sad because her evil brother has died, and very belatedly she looks at Will and notices that he is lying very still because:

His gear had been shredded all along his spine and shoulder blades, the thick material torn by flying shards of razored metal.



So once again, Cassandra Clare has dug in the knife and self can’t even.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Magnetic Magnus Bane (Scenes from CLOCKWORK PRINCE)

Self became curious about The Infernal Devices fan fiction so she spent a little time exploring it today.

It turns out that 90% is about the Warlock Magnus Bane.

In addition, and this was quite surprising to self, the fan fiction for TID is overwhelmingly man/man. And the number of works featuring three-somes (Will/Tessa/Jem) outnumber those featuring Will/Tessa, or what followers of TID refer to as WESSA (Fans of a Jem/Tessa pairing identify as JESSA). Granted, this is probably more information than dear blog readers care to know, but self finds the difference with The Hunger Games fan fiction completely fascinating. In Hunger Games fan fiction, Everlark dominates. Which means: Katniss/Peeta. Which means the relationship is M/F.

Will Herondale IS very pretty, though. Nearly set off a riot at the Vampire Ball in Clockwork Angel, as self has said at least 10x, in 10 different posts! (When is this going to become a movie? She knows The Mortal Instruments series is going to be a television show, but she thinks TID deserves the large-screen treatment. Most definitely)


Anyhoo, Magnus Bane has a more prominent role in Clockwork Prince than he did in Clockwork Angel because Will Herondale keeps showing up at his house. And most of the time, Will is dripping wet (having walked in the rain — naturally) and in some kind of emotional funk over the curse that was laid on him back in Wales when he was 12, which means he can never let any one love him because they will die, which sucks because he’s fallen in love with Tessa who also happens to be falling in love with Jem.

On p. 145 of Clockwork Prince, Will shows up at Magnus’s, and Will explains the demon curse hanging over his head, and why he’s told no one else, only Magnus, because “a story like that might engender pity, pity could become attachment, and then . . . ”

Magnus raised his eyebrows. “Are you not concerned about me?”

And a shocked Will says, “That you might love me?”

And then you can hear a pin drop but never fear, Magnus does not make a pass at Will Herondale. At least, not right at that moment.

160 pages later (Dear blog readers have no idea how fast self can read when she puts her mind to it), Will is asleep on a couch in Magnus’s sitting room. Never fear, he’s still *untouched* by Magnus, lol. Magnus has fallen asleep in an armchair in front of the fire, and Will is sleeping on the couch. Enter Camille! She who is known as THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND ALLURING VAMPIRE EVER!

“Magnus,” quoth Camille. “Did you miss me?”

And Magnus stammers out something like, “I didn’t know you were coming, Camille!”

And Camille casts a very telling glance at Will asleep on the sofa and says, “Clearly.”

Here’s the rest of that scene:

Gliding behind the sofa, she leaned over the back, looking down into Will’s face. “Will Herondale,” she said. “He is lovely, isn’t he? Is he your newest amusement?”

Instead of answering, Magnus crossed his long legs in front of him. “Where have you been?”

Camille leaned forward farther; if she had had breath, it would have stirred the curling dark hair on Will’s forehead. “Can I kiss him?”



Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Too Much! Cassandra Clare, You Are Simply Too Much!

Now, where were we? Oh yes, self caught about six hours, then woke up to resume reading Clockwork Prince.

As usual, SPOILERS!

In addition: Trigger Warning: Possible Incestuous Relationship

Tessa and Will are off to a masked ball, Tessa impersonating Jessamine while Jessamine is out cold, hit on the head with a mirror and tied to her bed by the very resourceful lady’s maid (the one with the big red scar right across her face). Author Cassandra Clare has found a good excuse for the pair not to have Jem along. (Thank goodness! After his make-out with Tessa the previous night, it’s got to be Will’s turn!)

Unlike the ball in Clockwork Angel, which was for vampires, where Will had to pretend to be Tessa’s subjugate, this one is given by Benedict Lightwood, who has a thing for demons — smelly things with multiple tongues, bug eyes, green skin, and so forth. Nothing compared to vampires, self thinks dear blog readers will agree.

Clare wickedly has Tessa pretend to be Jessamine, who is in love with Nate Grey (Tessa’s dastardly brother), so at the ball (which is masked, BTW), Tess has to subject herself to listening to sweet nothings from her own brother. Will she do it, self wonders? Will Clare actually have Nate kiss his own sister? Will Tessa have no choice but to submit, for the purposes of the investigation? Read on:

Nate’s hand slipped around the back of her neck. He was wearing gloves, but Tessa couldn’t rid herself of the feeling that something slimy was touching her skin. “My little Jessie,” he murmured. “You behave almost as if you’ve forgotten your own part in this. You did hide the Book of White in my sister’s room as we asked you to, did you not?”

“Of — of course I did. I was only joking, Nate.”

“That’s my good girl.” He was leaning closer. He was definitely going to kiss her.

Oh Heavens to Mergatroid!!!

And Heavens to Mergatroid again!!!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Plot Twists! Oh, the Plot Twists! CLOCKWORK PRINCE, p. 257


Self still hasn’t quite gotten over her sense of pique at Tessa Gray for engaging in almost-consummated sex with picturesquely dying Jem Carstairs while Will Herondale, who Tessa and Jem have just fetched from an opium den, continues in abject misery because he has to keep concealing his love for Tessa because you know he is cursed by a Demon who was kept in a little box in Wales (The Pyxis?) — the curse being that EVERYONE WHO LOVES WILL HERONDALE WILL DIE. DIE DIE DIE!

Tessa makes up for her going-to-Jem-late-at-night-while-clad-only-in-dressing-gown which leads to of course that because the very next night, author Cassandra Clare comes up with a perfectly good excuse for Tessa to appear in front of Will Herondale also clad in just a dressing gown, but as SEEMS TO BE happening more and more in CLOCKWORK PRINCE (and well might self think: How very DEUS EX MACHINA! To have Tessa constantly prancing around in a dressing gown late at night), there is always a third person present or about-to-be-present when Tessa appears in deshabillé. So Will cannot, you know, act.

Lest you think that CLOCKWORK PRINCE is all about Tessa alternating appearances between Jem and Will while clad only in a dressing gown, self would like you to know that after that crazy make-out session with Jem, self would be VERY VERY VERY upset if Will didn’t get his chance as well.

If only Sophie would get out of the room.

Anyhoo, this chapter is mighty amusing (as opposed to the earlier chapter, the make-out one between Jem and Tessa, which was just — UNSPEAKABLE AND DISGUSTING!).

Sophie, who’s getting a little man action of her own (with Gideon Lightfoot — let me tell ya, these names are WAY WAY WAY better than the names in The Hunger Games), has hit Jessamine over the head with a mirror and knocked her out cold (This is self’s second-favorite hit-someone-over-the-head scene in a Cassandra Clare novel. CLOCKWORK ANGEL had Jessamine knocking out Nate Grey by hitting him on his head with a lamp) and in addition Sophie has taken the added precaution of tying Jessamine’s wrists to a bedpost.

Self is mighty pleased that the person Tessa chooses to consult with about the Jessamine dilemma is Will (It can’t be Jem because of some hoo-ha about Sophie being secretly in love with Jem and being too embarrassed to have Jem find out that she is the type of person who can hit someone over the head with a mirror), and she is also mightly pleased that Will declares they cannot disturb Jem because he is he is — DYING?

No, not exactly. How about CLOSE TO DYING. Blood coming out his mouth when he coughs and all that. (Self thinks: DIE already, Jem, DIE!) Excellent! Now Will has the chance to embark another adventure with just Tessa.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

CLOCKWORK PRINCE: Jaw Drop Time, pp. xxx – xxx


At this point in Clockwork Prince, Tessa Gray and Will Herondale are still at the stage of making goo-goo eyes at each other, but Jem Carstairs, the skinnier male of The Infernal Devices love triangle (All right, yeah, self knows. This is a love triangle. So? Paranormal love triangles are THE BEST!), has the temerity to punch Will Herondale in the face (If you had broken Will’s nose, Jem, self would never have forgiven you. Never. Never. EVER), plays wild violin music that is sure to get Tessa Gray’s attention — after she’s already changed into her nightgown and everyone else is in bed; how convenient is that, that Tessa’s room is right across the hall from Jem’s and no one else seems to be awake — and they nearly DO THE DEED? IN HIS BEDROOM? With Will Herondale (presumably) passed out from being punched in the face?

Self kept praying, during the whole of that scene, that something would happen to interrupt. Something like mebbe Will Herondale (Self loves writing his full name, she knows not why) walking in and saying “Uh-oh!”

But Will never puts in an appearance. Oh, where is that poetry and drama-spouting boy when you need him? Instead, it’s off-with-the-nightgown time and —




What is the matter with you, Jem? You and Will are supposed to be parabatai. Able to read each other’s hearts, etc etc. You do not, self repeats NOT:

a) Punch your parabatai in the face, thereby causing him to bleed;

b) Play wild, discordant violin music that lures Tessa Gray to your bedroom in the middle of the night;

c) Sleep with your parabatai‘s love.

Never mind if Will never actually professed his love, and keeps pulling the Heathcliff act on Tessa Gray. Jem should be able to tell that Will is in love with Tessa. Isn’t that the point of being parabatai — that you can read each other’s hearts and minds?

Oh, the horror.

Stay tuned.

The Virus Going Around

Dear blog readers must know that for the last three days, self has avoided practically all interaction with the outside world and remained in her room at the Banff Centre, coughing and sneezing and reading The Infernal Devices.

But this afternoon, she decided to see the doctor and the doctor told her that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her. Well, maybe her throat did appear a little dry. “Get a humidifier,” she said.

Then, self decided to go downtown and she had herself delivered there by taxi. And she went a-hunting for the Filipino grocery store that her cousins took her to last Saturday. And Hallelujah, there it was on Bear Street, right next to a pharmacy.

Then she decided to go to a little shopping mall, which had an Indigo bookstore (Self knows she should stop frequenting chain bookstores, but really, this was the only store that had copies of The Infernal Devices), and inside self engaged the saleswoman in a lively conversation about vampires and what-not, and then she asked to see a copy of The Bane Chronicles and there it was, right near the front, in hard cover.

And then self and the saleswoman, who was about self’s age (which is to say, NOT YOUNG) stared reverently at the cover for a few seconds, without speaking. Finally, the saleswoman almost whispered, “Isn’t that a fantastic cover?” Indeed it was, dear blog readers. Indeed it was.

And then she scanned the Table of Contents, and did see a “Herondale” mentioned, but it was not Will Herondale, it was Edmund.

But she only wants to read about Will Herondale.

When she got back to The Banff Centre, she did a quick check of fan fiction on Will Herondale (BWAH. HA. HAAAA!) and saw there were something like 185 works tagged such.

Then, on a hunch, she decided to look up Magnus Bane and there were almost 1,000.


This Magnus Bane seems to be quite a magnetic fellow. Self first encountered him in Clockwork Angel, when he was at the vampire party where Tessa Gray was channeling a vampire named Camille and Will Herondale was pretending to be her subjugate and where Will’s throat was driving all the vampires at the party nearly wild with blood lust and where a very bad vampire named de Quincey actually got to feel Will’s pulse and Will let him because you know, he had to make like he was a subjugate . . .

That scene was one of her favorites in Clockwork Angel (as if she hasn’t told dear blog readers at least 3x already) and in Clockwork Prince, Magnus Bane keeps declaring (at least 3x) that he feels no attraction whatsoever for Will Herondale but lah-di-dah, lah-di-dah, what’s going on in all those fan fiction stories, there must be something there or there wouldn’t be nearly a thousand of them, would there?

Self has enjoyed an Infernal Devices/Hunger Games mash-up in which Katniss Everdeen is a Demon Hunter who lives in present-day Hoboken, NJ She chases demons, of course, and Peeta is one. Katniss has a magic bow that hums when a demon is near. But it inexplicably fails to hum when Peeta is near, which enrages Katniss and makes her determined to catch that demon, Peeta. Let’s hope she succeeds. Because self just hates that these two keep missing each other and, well, there has to be contact at some point. Right? Right?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Annoyed With Tessa Gray, A Disquisition on Teeth

Self is so annoyed with Tessa Gray.

Will Herondale comes into her room at night, wakes her from a nightmare, bends down to kiss her, and at the last minute she turns her head so that his kiss lands on her cheek.


Dear blog readers, self can’t, she can’t even.

Just for that, she’ll have to leave Clockwork Prince for a while and turn to Courtney Humphries and a fascinating disquisition on teeth (called, what else, Teeth) in the latest issue (Spring 2015) of Bluestem magazine.

Trigger Warning: Extremely Detailed Descriptions of a Dental Filling

My teeth have been jammed full of an embarrassing number of fillings . . .

(One moment: Fellow Writing Studio writer has just emerged from across the hall, and would you believe in 3 weeks self has never once had an adequate conversation with this person, whose name is Dan, who lives in Tijuana and has won a Canadian National Magazine Award for his writing about HIV-infection and the drug trade in Mexico. And she practically trips over her sneakers and has to call out at the top of her voice — he walks really fast! Self swears she heard him emerge just two seconds ago — WHERE IS THAT ARTICLE ON HIV-INFECTION IN TIJUANA CAN I READ IT. To be continued)

. . . over the years, and each one felt like a failure in my duty as a caretaker. Other body parts we can be lax about. Scraped knees heal, broken arms knit. Even a metabolism fallen into sloth can be rescued with exercise and good food. But teeth are monuments that we must painstakingly clean and protect, or lose them forever. My mother has had various crowns put in, and I fear that I will too someday, as she always warns me that our family has soft teeth. Just the phrase “soft teeth” is foreboding — it implies a fatal weakness in parts that are supposed to be strongest, a lack of genetic fitness that could doom me to a toothless fate.

Alas, this disquisition on teeth, too, has to end on somewhat of a cliff-y. Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

CLOCKWORK PRINCE Quote of the Day, p. 110 (Trigger Warning: Mr. Starkweather’s Grisly Trophy Collection)

Ah, this world: witchlight and warlocks, silver bullets and werewolves, vampire fangs and faerie wings.

These are fairy tales for grown-ups. Small wonder self loves Cassandra Clare.

Anyhoo, it works out really well since self has been sick in bed with a terrible cold, these past few days. Last night she actually broke down and ordered room service. Room service! What an absolutely great idea! Maybe she’ll do that again today. She might even order the exact same things she ordered last night: salad w/ trout, and lentil and bacon soup. Mama mia, that was the best salad she’s ever had. Probably the best salad in the history of salads.

She wrote, too, a wee little bit. Quite happy with her progress on the novel.

Now, where was self?

Oh right. Our three redoubtables took the train from King’s Cross (Self has been there! Last year! That’s when she heard about the death of poet Maya Angelou, because it was projected on a giant screen over the main hall). Will was sent because he’s so pretty and the Shadowhunter they’re dealing with has a weakness for a pretty face (Checked the fan fiction charts: yup, just as self  suspected, there are many dozens of fan fiction involving Will and — some other guy. He just has that much cross-over appeal). Jem went along because he’s Will’s parabatai (And many of those fan fiction homo-erotic pairings are Jem and Will. Of course). And Tessa Gray went along because she wants to make herself useful to the Enclave. Useful! My eye! She just wants to hang out some more with Will and make him wildly jealous by showing how nice Jem is being to her!

Starkweather shows his three visitors around his museum of “spoils”, which include such grisly souvenirs as:

the remains of warlocks: mummified talon hands; a stripped skull, utterly de-fleshed, human-looking save that it had tusks instead of teeth; vials of sludgy-looking blood.

Had enough? Just so you know, Tessa faints, Jem catches her, she has a terrible nightmare, in which her dastardly brother has imprisoned her in a cage and . . . she’s awoken by Will Herondale! And Will is saying: “Tess . . . that must have been quite a nightmare, to have taken the spirit out of you so. Usually you are not afraid of much.”

And self just wants to scream at Tessa: Enough of these cow eyes — go ahead and kiss him already, damn you!

Back to the book.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Beginning CLOCKWORK PRINCE: More Reasons to Love Cassandra Clare

Because she made Will Herondale, a character in The Infernal Devices trilogy.

Quotes fall so trippingly from Will’s tongue. She particularly loves when Jessamine is present, for the two Shadowhunters are constantly squabbling:

They go at it again on pp. 30 -31 of Clockwork Prince (She finished Clockwork Angel in the wee hours this morning)

. . . Jessamine shot Will a poisonous look. “If you think I don’t have the experience to help, then why is she here?” She indicated Tessa. “I don’t mean to be rude, but do you think she can tell a binding spell from a summoning one?” She looked at Tessa. “Well, can you? And for that matter, Will, you pay so little attention at lessons, can you tell a binding spell from a soufflé recipe?”

Will leaned back in his chair and said dreamily, “I am but mad north-northwest; when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.”

“Jessamine, Tessa has kindly offered to help, and we need all the eyes we can get right now,” said Jem severely. “Will, don’t quote Hamlet. Henry . . . ” he cleared his throat. “HENRY.”


For all her faults, Jessamine is pretty fierce. She never abandoned Tessa during the climactic fight to defend the Institute from the clockwork automatons who invaded it at the end of Clockwork Angel. And this in spite of the fact that her parasol was demolished, ruined beyond repair, lol.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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