Happy Fifth Birthday, Auralia! (Enter to Win One of Two Prize Packages)

Happy Fifth Birthday, Auralia! (Enter to Win One of Two Prize Packages) September 4, 2012

Today, Auralia turns five years old!

That is to say, Random House’s WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group published my first novel, Auralia’s Colors, on September 4, 2007.

I’m still in a state of grateful disbelief and giddy enthusiasm. So, in the spirit of Bilbo Baggins, I’m giving stuff away to some of the party guests… Here’s how you can join the party. (It’s easy.) You might be one of two to win a prize package. (Details below.)


Raise a glass, and write an original, imaginative toast to Auralia.


Then, email it to me ( or, if you want to “go public,”  post it as a comment here. Include an email address so I can contact you if you win.

No, it’s not a toast to me. I was just the messenger. It’s a toast to the character. It was Auralia’s vision, after all, that threw House Abascar in violent chaos, that got the attention of the sinister Seers of House Bel Amica, that awakened the conscience of a beastman named Jordam, that inspired Cal-raven to gather the refugees of his fallen house and lead them on a journey across the Expanse in search of a new home.

All because of the colors that Auralia gathered from the forest.

Feel free to include photographs, videos, or mp3s with your toast. But it’s the toast itself that will be considered for prizes.

And speaking of prizes: 1st Place.

  • A hand-carved wooden teleidoscope, so you can have your own colorful visions.
  • Your name (or, more likely, a variation on it) referenced in my next fantasy novel (whenever that might be). You might even end up as a character! (For example, Brad Davidson might become a treasure hunter named “Vidson Bradda.”)
  • Plus everything included in the 2nd Place package (below).

2nd Place.

  • Copies of all four books in The Auralia Thread signed by cover artist Kristopher K. Orr and myself.
  • A print of Karen Eck’s amazing “Auralia’s Colors” artwork, signed by the artist.
  • A signed print of Rachel Beatty’s Map of the Expanse.
  • Auralia Thread bookmarks

Sound like fun?

Okay, just imagine you’re at a party somewhere in the Expanse and you’re asked to say a few words to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Auralia’s emergence from the Cragavar Forest, the day she brought the world colors we had never seen before.

What would you say?

Deadline: Noon (Pacific Time) on Monday, September 10th.  

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9 responses to “Happy Fifth Birthday, Auralia! (Enter to Win One of Two Prize Packages)”

  1. To my dearest Auralia,

    It seems we have known one another for a long time, in bits of blue fluff blowing across a lily pond, in the way mohair locks curl and shine, in the way simple thread is reeled from silk cocoons—twenty cocoons to make a single thread the breadth of a human hair, and each cocoon wound with a full mile of silk. I toast the way you know how to make a gift just right in color, texture, form and function, a vessel for your love.

    I toast you when the spindle turns at my feet, when one ply of jade and one ply of violet form a yarn of surpassing beauty, and I don’t even care if I ever find a use for the stuff, because the making of yarn is pleasure enough. When I do get around to the loom and the shuttle, I think of you with the surprise of how fabric always seems like a miracle. I think of you when a single red thread binds the whole world together in the kind of light for which the world hungers.

    Dear Auralia, I admire the way you returned, unbidden, and shifted from the work of soft earthy matter to a work in glass, a mosaic from what was molten and broken. You found a way out of your exhaustion and frustration, and you loved as you were meant to love.

    And Auralia, I am ever looking to see where I might find you again, around any corner, in the yellow beard hairs of a wild cat or a scrap of ribbon in a bird’s nest. You will come back to me in a blaze, and the world will be sparked all over again. We will make stuff: we’ll make it up as we go.

    Until then, may you clap over the bright fires of the finest distillations, and may you paint for creatures who struggle to heal. May you find rest to do battle, wherever battle for beauty is needed. And may you spin a thread, fine and true and strong, to bind together the world. For truly it needs to be bound, and there is no one better than you for the task.

  2. To Auralia, who saved me from a growing belief that this world can be entirely understood.

    I read Auralia’s Colors for the first time as a sophomore in highschool, and for a couple years I refused to read the next book. I didn’t want to hear an explanation for all that had happened, nor did I want to know what happened next.

    She was a beautiful mystery to me, a piece of a world with its own charms and intrigue that somehow managed to stand out from her exotic setting. She believed in something nobody else so much as understood; even she didn’t understand it all. Slowly I came to see this glorious mystery impressing itself on the real world around me rather than just being a thing of fantasy.

    Auralia constructed hundreds of shining things–things that ignited the imagination of a nation while at the same time giving comfort to the individual. One of her creations seemed to be a place of intense, visceral terror, a piece of art where she fled from all those same people she was helping. It was a place with which I could identify, but that place didn’t exist at all.

    Auralia didn’t see the same world that you or I saw. She didn’t see the place with corrupt Abascar, misguided Jenta, lost Bel Amica, or rejected Cent Regus. She saw a world fraught with the footprints of the Keeper. She saw an end, and she tried to show others that end. Why? How could she not?

    She helped me rediscover that same end in this world. She helped me to see that beauty is real. She is helping me show those around me the same thing.

  3. A toast to Austrial – where creative native people still live – where there is wilderness and wonder that I would love to visit – a place of adventure and daring that I hope stays this way forever!

  4. A toast – When life shrouds you in mystery, may your aptitude propel you and yours to better days – Auralia

  5. I thank Auralia for any little peep of understanding of what she sees , for the good of us all. For it to be sorted out would be the sweetest sip of all.

  6. There comes a time in every person’s life when they start to see the colors of this world. Not just the way each color looks, but how it feels, how it flows over the skin like water. We’ll sometimes see it in our depressive state. We’ll sometimes see it in manic joy. But rarely do we see these colors with a child’s eyes. We’re always looking back in hindsight, remembering. And we rarely remember with much clarity. Shapeless things haunt our eyeballs, unsure creatures with whispered sounds. Sometimes we wonder if we ever actually existed at all, or if we were just born this very moment. But when Auralia walked into the world things took on sharpness. There were so many colors, and each color had it’s own story, and it’s own life. And those colors danced together brightly, illuminating glory. For a moment, a small one, but lifechanging one, we knew color. We knew the spectrum and the wavelength, we traveled on beams of light to universes unseen before. And we saw behind a rainbow waterfall Love Itself. There was little uncertainty, but so much mystery. It was like staring into a chaotic abyss of roiling ocean, each molecule a different color. And we knew that for all the moment would last, and for all our exploration of what Auralia had brought us, we would never know the end of it, there would be no cessation of new questions to ask, and new stories to tell, and new colors to discover. We would be eternally something of a child, staring at a new flower for the first time, dipping down to smell it, and giggling as the colors get stuck up in our nose.