Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The pleasures (or otherwise) of snail mail

So few people write letters nowadays that the post is usually very dull: bank statements, insurance reminders and notes about interest rates on a credit card I’m fairly sure I don’t possess.  I also get a regular dose of guilt with reminders about the next blood donor session.  I know I should go.  I know how important it is.  For years I was told I’d been to too many places with suspect bugs, but then they said they had a test, so I had no further excuse and I duly went along to spend about two hours being cross-examined about my travels again. When I got to a couch, it turned out that the veins in my arm are very deep, so it took the nurses some time to find one, and then guess who is one of the miniscule percentage of people who react badly?  Yes, I was the one passing out and being made to lie down when everyone else had gone and they were closing down for the night.  They wouldn’t let me go home on my own, so I had to drag a friend away from a football cup final – let’s just say I wasn’t very popular.  It was all very humiliating but I must get over myself and go again.  I must, I must.

How did I get onto blood?  Oh, yes, the post.  The only really interesting packets that drop through the doors are the foreign editions of my books that arrive randomly.  In theory I get two copies of every foreign edition, but as they come from London and Toronto, in practice I often end up with multiple copies in Turkish or Hungarian or Korean.  It’s always exciting to open an envelope and see books translated into another language, and it’s not always obvious which book it is.  Sometimes the names are changed (Perdita in Promoted: To Wife and Mother became Susannah in Une bouleversante attirance, for instance), and who knows what goes on in the Arabic, Greek, Russian, Hebrew, Japanese and Korean editions?  I love flicking through those books and marvelling that somehow those mysterious squiggles make up one of my stories.  

Most fun of all are the manga editions from Japan, where you can work out some of the story from the pictures.  I recently had a manga edition of Oh-So-Sensible Secretary and was delighted to see that the doughnuts made an appearance!  

I’m off to London tomorrow but will be back for the weekend, and will try and put up another craft post soon.


  1. I couldn't blame you for not being in a hurry to donate again! At least you made them work for it ;-)

    The magna editions look great. I've never seen inside one before!

  2. Hi Jessica,

    Don't they use actual models in the Japanese editions?

  3. I hadn't heard that, Nas. Models for the manga drawings, do you mean?

  4. Hi Jessica,
    Sorry to hear about your blood-donating experience, well at least you haven't lost the intention to have another go at it.
    I didn't know the names of characters were changed in translated works. A peek into the manga editions quite tickled me.

  5. Love those mangas. I especially love the buttoned -up look of your oh so sensible gal, just waiting to be unbuttoned and for that hair to flow free...

    Don't know if they use models for them, but Trish Morey has one where the hero looks a lot like David Tennant's Dr Who. Deep envy here. I have historical mangas, but none with David Tennant types.

    I really wish they'd put the mangas out in English as well.

  6. Historical mangas? Really? Trying to imagine a manga hero in tight breeches and a cravat ... Also trying to imagine a cartoon David Tennant. It's interesting that you can find a resemblance, Anne, as one of the things that puts me off mangas is the fact that they don't really look human at all. I've often thought romances were an odd choice for a manga. So much of a romance goes on in the head of the characters that I don't see how you generate sexual tension through a line drawing. But obviously everybody else can!

  7. Here's Trish Morey's manga David Tennant:

    And if you click on the images from my manga here, you'll see some pretty good regency-era drawings.

  8. You're right, those examples are both fabulous, Anne. Particularly loved the Japanese-talking Regency hero! At last I can see the point ... thank you!