R. S. Markel

An Interview with Chaffy

We were looking forward to meeting with Chaffy. He is certainly a unique personality, indeed some might call him a bit of an eccentric. Although he has seen a number of years, he has a contagious dynamism and spirit, and his underlying optimism makes him seem uncannily youthful.

The Interview

RSM: Hello Chaffield. Thank you for meeting with us.
Chaffy: Please, might I ask for you to call me Chaffy? Hardly anyone calls me Chaffield these days, it seems now so foreign and so formal. At my age I am beyond formalities.
RSM: Certainly Chaffy. Seeing as this is our first official meeting I thought I would play it safe and use your full name.
Chaffy: Safe? Surely you are aware I do not bite.
RSM: Of course, I was thinking more out of respect.
Chaffy: That is certainly kind, but there is no need to trouble yourself. Shall we get on with it?
RSM: Yes, if you wish. Not to take any more of your valuable time than necessary, I will skip my usual introduction and dive right into the questioning. First of all, are there any hobbies or interests you would like to share with our interested readers?
Chaffy: Hmm, hobbies or interests. You know, there are so many things I am interested in I am not entirely certain how to answer your question. I do have a few hobbies as well.
RSM: How about interests first?
Chaffy: Yes, well, I am certainly interested in my duties in Chrysalis. I spend a great deal of time in meetings, gathering and organizing information for archiving in the Chrysalis records. We keep track of many things, all the changes in the land and inhabitants of the nearby settlements, and as you can imagine there is a substantial amount of effort involved. Nevertheless I enjoy almost every minute of it. Chrysalis itself is another interest, after my original design it has grown tremendously. It is a manifestation of other interests, in designing and furthering and experimenting with different ways of doing things, better ways, in some instances, perhaps worse in others, like life, trial and error, experimentation and retention. Toss out the bad and keep the good. Hopefully over time becoming more refined, more open, more airy, more alive.
RSM: Those are certainly lofty goals.
Chaffy: It would seem foolish to be without such goals. Without lofty goals, without dreams, we shall only languish. Our dreams are what push us forward, our pursuit of what could be, if we are only willing to put forth the effort. Chrysalis is the physical embodiment of such goals, such dreams, and we are ever attempting to refine it, to make our dreams a reality. For within its walls are contained the dreams of many, all those who helped design it, a piece of them, their ideals are there, the messages they have left about life and beauty are woven into the very heart of it.
RSM: You speak very fondly of your home.
Chaffy: I am very fond of my home, and what we do there. As you know the information we gather is spread far and wide, with the intent to help those still involved in the migrations, to help keep them safe. That is the true mission of Chrysalis, one we pursue everyday. RSM: What about hobbies?
Chaffy: Drawing, painting, designing, building: thinking up ideas and seeing them manifested.
RSM: I must admit your answer makes me feel comparatively lazy.
Chaffy: There is no reason to take such an answer and compare oneself to it. We all create and add to this world in our own way, things both real and imagined. Not everything I mentioned do I do in any particular order, of course, but sometimes I have a burst of activity and do them all at once. All such activities are interpenetrating, often I create visual representations of things on paper before building a real, physical example. Even with ideas, sometimes there are distinctly interesting ways to visualize thoughts or ideas. I suppose one can call all these activities hobbies.
RSM: Certainly. Hobbies are not defined in any particular manner. While some of your hobbies may be a little abstract, they are hobbies nonetheless, and thank you for sharing a bit about them. Next in my list of prepared questions I would like to ask if you have any thoughts or insights regarding the events recorded in The Edges of Things?
Chaffy: Thoughts or insights... My first thought is one that has remained with me, the subtle ways Lillybeth and Hinsberth were able to accomplish what they did. I have been around long enough to hear the way those of us with a few years of experience often speak of the young, often not in an overly flattering way. I think it an artifact of some strange kind of cultural pathology, one which is replicated from one generation to the next. Those ducklings on The Farm reveal this unfortunate tendency in vivid relief. I admire them as much as any of my colleagues, as much as anyone I have ever known, regardless of age.
RSM: They will be very happy to here that, I am sure.
Chaffy: I would be flattered if they were.
RSM: Any insights you are willing to share?
Chaffy: There are many, but regarding The Edges of Things I will only say this: my life has changed, profoundly, and in more than one way.
RSM: Care to elaborate?
Chaffy: I would, but some of the changes are rather personal, and I would not wish for others to know quite yet the what's and whys of them.
RSM: Sounds rather mysterious.
Chaffy: It is. Life is mysterious. A wonder, but mysterious. And I, for one, would not have it any other way.
RSM: Nor I.
Chaffy: It is nice to have agreement on that point. Kindred spirits, as they say.
RSM: One last question I usually pose to our interviewees if we have time is whether there is anything you would wish to say to our interested readers, on any topic, just some parting piece of wisdom or something you have learned which you might desire to pass on?
Chaffy: What a clever way to put me on the spot!
RSM: Sorry.
Chaffy: Life is mysterious, a wonder. There is a deep element of awe in everything around us. Do not lose your sense of awe, your sense of wonder, your sense of the possible.
RSM: Thank you Chaffy. And thank you again for meeting with us today.
Chaffy: You are quite welcome.

The Books

Abselard

The Morning Conversation

R. S. Markel has invited Mr. Abselard, a dear porcine friend, confidant and resident of The Farm, to share a few thoughts on a wide smattering of topics gleaned from the pig's venerable tradition of the morning conversation. We do hope you enjoy this new addition.
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Hinsberth Running

Newsletter

Sign up to receive R. S. Markel's newsletter "The Anati Daily" and receive updates on news and events and the forthcoming third installment to the heartwarming Lillybeth and Hinsberth trilogy.
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Hinsberth Presents

Speaking Engagements

Follow your dreams! Author, illustrator, scientist, engineer and generally curious character R. S. Markel is available to present The Wisdom of Ducklings at your next event or engagement.
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R. S. Markel
Photo by Tracy Burke Photography

Welcome!

I am a writer and illustrator of books for young (and young at heart) readers who have a passion for exploring fantastic places, impossible events, and the magic and mysteries of our world. Please feel free to read a bit about my work and peruse the character essays and illustrations. I do hope you enjoy this small glimpse into the whimsical world of Lillybeth and Hinsberth.

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