Enna & Leifer: First, I misspelled Leifer's name the first time I just wrote it. And then the second time. You'd think I could spell my own character's names. I had a twitter discussion recently about what a terrible speller I am.
Anyway, the beginning of this chapter reminds me about how important relationships are in a story (and life!). A character is, fundamentally, their relationships with others. No one lives in a vacuum. This conversation would have gone very differently if Ani had been Leifer's sister, or anyone. If ever I feel like I'm losing understanding of who my character is, I put them in a conversation with another character and develop their relationship. Even if I don't keep that conversation, it's instructive to me in understanding.
"smarts in your head like there's fire in a flint": I think this is a paraphrase of an idea I read in a Shakespeare play. I can't remember which one!
"Embo's been cutting and storing wood for our house for a year": A small detail, but one I wouldn't have known if I'd tried to write this book 10 years earlier. It wasn't till I lived in Paraguay that I learned that people who build houses outside a bank and mortgage system would gather and store materials for years before beginning. I wanted to be a writer since I was 10, but I personally believe a person needs some life experience as well as time to develop the craft before getting good at it.
The orange egg of the omen: In the outline, I hadn't thought to include Razo. But he always worms his way in. In the first draft, he didn't show up till later chapter, almost as an afterthought. But as the story continued, he became more and more important. So as I revised, I thought I should introduce him earlier. And in a memorable way. Looking back at Goose Girl and the pranks Enna and Razo used to play on each other gave me this idea.
Isi: In Goose Girl, the narrator referred to her as Ani, since Isi was her alias she only named to the forest workers well into the book. But this is from Enna's POV, and I decided that Enna would think of her as Isi, and then so should the narrator.
Anna asked, "I've always wondered why Leifer wanted the fire speaking!!" I don't think he could know what it was when he read the vellum. Once he learned the secret, he gained the ability. It's the nature of fire to want to survive, to spread. I hesitate ever to interpret my books for people. I don't want to be the authorial voice of authority, so I won't say much more but pipe up anyone else if you have an idea.