An Interview with Lillybeth

Lillybeth was our first interviewee. Our meeting was no easy matter to arrange, for this little character is always on the go. We found Lillybeth to be quick, curious, honest and rather challenging; her notions and insight, bordering always on the philosophical, seem well beyond her age.

The Interview

RSM: Hello, Lillybeth. Thank you very much for taking time to speak with me today.
Lillybeth: Sure. You are welcome.
RSM: For our interested readers, I have a few questions I would like to ask. First of all...
Lillybeth: What is that around your neck?
RSM: We call it a tie.
Lillybeth: A tie... What is it for? It looks very uncomfortable.
RSM: Well, I suppose it is only a matter of decorum, an aesthetic of sorts.
Lillybeth: I am not certain it is very aesthetictal. It seems as though it might catch on something. What if you were flying and it snagged on a tree branch?
RSM: Yes, well, of course I can't fly, so it is really...
Lillybeth: I forgot you could not fly. I will not be able to fly when I begin molting. My mother will probably keep me indoors. Are you molting?
RSM: No... no, I am not molting. As you can see, I do not possess any feathers.
Lillybeth: No feathers!? Not even one?
RSM: Not one, at least that I have ever noticed... What are you doing there?
Lillybeth: I am writing these words in my journal, "No feathers, cannot fly. Must walk everywhere." (pauses) You must be lost?
RSM: Lost? Apologies for being a little slow, but might I ask for a bit of clarification?
Lillybeth: Without flying, you probably do not know the sky. Do you look up? Or do your eyes maybe only notice the ground, up to the tree tops? The sky is such a big place, with so much to discover.
RSM: Regarding your comment, about "knowing" the sky, I... I am not certain. I cannot recall ever having been asked that particular question, it might require a bit of reflection on my part. You are correct about looking up, it has certainly been some time since I stopped to just look at the clouds. When I was young we — my friends or siblings and I — would lie on our backs, flat in the grass and look at the sky, watching the clouds, imagining they looked like faces or animals or the like. I think it a common pastime amongst the young the world over. Perhaps you do have a point. I should take notice of what lies above my head; I should look skyward more often. But for the moment I would like...
Lillybeth: There are many curiosities, many mysteries to solve there.
RSM: In the sky?
Lillybeth: Yes, in the sky. In the clouds. It is so cold and heavy higher up. The clouds are always changing. You cannot see it, but the wind is there, always pushing this way and that, like an invisible river with waves all twisted and tangled altogether. And there is something more: the sky stretches unbroken to everywhere, there is no end to it that I can find. The ground is on one side, and one can only fly so high, but my father told me you can soar in a straight line, and just keep going on and on, never stopping. It is a forever bounded on two sides!
RSM: I see... I believe I will have to 'chew' on that one for awhile. Undoubtedly you are very enthusiastic about the sky and what you have said is indeed interesting. However, if possible, for our readers I would like to continue on with my prepared questions.
Lillybeth: Sure.
RSM: Regarding The Edges of Things, what were your thoughts as the story unfolded?
Lillybeth: My thoughts?
RSM: Yes.
Lillybeth: I believe the author captured them rather well. He has an uncanny knack for that.
RSM: I see. I am sure he would be happy to hear that.
Lillybeth: But there were a number of things he missed. And some things are not quite right.
RSM: Yes? Might you elaborate? I would love to hear more.
Lillybeth: There are too many of them! I do not have so much time. But to mention a couple of examples: firstly, I am certainly not odd. I do like to imagine things but I am not nearly so flighty. And secondly, most of the time my shirt is on straight, and right side out. I believe he took a little liberty with some of the descriptions.
RSM: Well, in recording such stories I believe there is a bit of poetic license and a certain amount of embellishment for dramatic effect. Not that I disagree with those particular points, of course. Lillybeth, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I see Millybeth and Hackleberg are waiting patiently and I know we are running short on time, but do you have anything else you would like to add for our readers?
Lillybeth: I did read a bit of the manuscript, and even with the author's embellishments I think it a fun story, even if not exactly true to events. While the events in The Edges of Things were happening, everything was so uncertain and seemed quite perilous. I worried quite a bit over what was going happen next right until the end. I worried so over Hinsberth and Milchester. With everything we went through, Hinsberth and Milchester and the pigs and everyone else, I hope all those who have a chance to read the book do enjoy it. I hope you find the time to look skyward. Wherever we are, the sky is always there, always the same, familiar yet changing, like life itself.
RSM: That is certainly something to think about. Lillybeth, it was indeed a pleasure speaking with you today, and thank you again.
Lillybeth: Thank you for saying that. It is not always the case someone says it is a pleasure to speak with me. Sometimes I notice an odd look when someone is listening to me speak, but I do like to talk, and you are welcome. I would like to have an interview again. There are so very many things to talk about!


Abselard Placard

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 their morning conversations. We do hope you enjoy this new addition.


Hinsberth Running

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The Author

Photograph by Tracy Burke

Welcome. I am a writer and illustrator of novels 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, interviews, and illustrations. I do hope you enjoy this small glimpse into the world of Lillybeth and Hinsberth.

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Character Quote

"I am so sorry Mr. Hinsberth. I almost forgot — you are real."
The Edges of Things

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