Dear Writer (from Etri)

Dear Meri,
Why am I not in the least surprised that the easily distracted Adair never bothered to write you a "Dear Writer" letter last year? Anyway, I have a few bones to pick with you if you have some time. If you do not, I can always bring you over into the plane of shadow where time moves slower, but I doubt you would much like it there. You are an artist like Addy, so you would not like a monochrome environment any better than he.

First of all, what was the big idea of splitting the two of us up when we got to the guild hall? I had finally worked through my social phobia enough that I was ready to face whoever we met there- but with him! Not alone! You put me into a textbook anxiety situation where I was separated from those I trust, forced to deal with someone who already hates me (that is my antagonist, is it not?), and given shared sleeping quarters with strangers in a room with no windows. Is it any wonder I slept on the roof? Just wait until Blythe hears about this. She is already angry that you are not letting her rejoin the story until the end of the first quarter. (She should be here with us, by the way. I know this, Addy knows this, she knows this, even your mysterious "Creators" know this. We are a trio.)

This brings me to my next point. You forced me to sleep outside and now I have a cold. On the most important day of my life. How am I supposed to pass this Criterion to become the bodyguard of Adair when I am sick! And what exactly happens in this mysterious test? It weighs me for loyalty, courage, and skill- this sounds like a dog show, yes? Do you want me to be the golden retriever or the Sentinel of Adair? Besides, I have already shown these traits: loyalty by protecting him even after I died, courage by the fact that I am doing this Criterion despite my social fears, and skill... well, after practicing knife-work with Blythe for three years, I would like to see anyone best me with that. So what will the test actually entail?

You always say that you torment your favorite characters most and I am beginning to see that I have the dubious honor of being the "favorite" in this series. Could you please stop taking Adair away from me? The first time resulted in me being drained of magic, the second time got me killed, now I am on a third time and there is at least one more time ahead. I can only imagine what you have in mind for those. I need him for comic relief because otherwise the story is going to get bogged down with just me. I have no idea how I am going to keep this narrative the required level of silly when it is just me and the cat. Perhaps I shall have to channel my brother and find a ridiculous hat to put on the cat, but alas, that has already been done before.

... And I would like to place a bet that when Sol was helping me pack, he put that fez into my backpack along with the squeaky toy and the unwrapped peanut butter sandwich. See, you could have a plethora of comedic elements if he was the main character. I am scrambling here, Meri. Please return Adair, Sol, and Gilly to the plot as soon as possible.

-Etri Celeste

((It's been forever since I did a "Dear Writer" post- the last one wasn't even for last year's first book in the series, but for the unrelated novel I was working on in '12.))



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