Meet Jane!

Meet Jane!

So the new story I’m working on is not at all part of the Dream Series, except in one way – the main character is referenced a couple of times in DREAM STUDENT; she lives down the hall from Sara in the dorm.  And she also shows up when Betty & Howard Barnes visit Mallorca in BETTY & HOWARD’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE.

She’s Jane Barnaby, and when you finally properly meet her in her own book in a couple of months, you’ll see what happens to her when her advisor asks her to perform a simple task over Christmas break.  In the meantime, here’s a quick introduction to her in her own words – a letter from her to her father shortly after moving to England for her studies at Oxford…

September 14, 1990

Dear Daddy,

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write, but I’ve been incredibly busy.  Before I go any farther, I want to thank you.  First of all, for everything, because I wouldn’t be anywhere without you.  Second, for making me get on the plane even though I know it’s driving you crazy to have me so far away.  And third, for convincing me to come two weeks earlier than I would have if it had been left up to me.

Everyone has been very friendly and helpful, but despite that, there are so many things that are far more difficult than I imagined.  For example, I spent all morning and part of the afternoon at the bank setting up my checking account.  It would have taken a half-hour at most back home.

That’s nothing compared to the paperwork I’ve had to fill out at the University.  There’s a form for absolutely everything, except possibly for going to the loo (I’m trying to use the British words.  I’ll never hide my accent, and I don’t want to anyway, but I think they appreciate me making the effort, vocabulary-wise).

Actually, there probably is a form for using the loo, which probably has to be filled out in triplicate, submitted to two different offices and signed in blood, and I just haven’t run across it yet.  But I have gotten a lot done.  If nothing else, I’m definitely, officially, properly enrolled at Magdalen College, Oxford, so you can tell everyone back home about that!

It’s beautiful here.  As soon as I have a couple of rolls of film shot, I’ll get them developed and send you pictures.  Almost everything is so old here – there are parts of the campus where, if I didn’t know better, I might think it was the year 1790 instead of 1990!  You were right about the weather, though.  It’s been gray and damp every day.  It feels like November, and I guess that’s one more thing I have to thank you for.  I’ve been wearing my new raincoat every day!

I promise I’ll write more often.  How does twice a week sound?  I’ll tell you more about my dormitory, and the food and the special form I have to fill out if I want to have wine with my dinner.  Hopefully by the next time I write, my advisor will be here, so I can tell you about him, too.  Until then, I miss you and I’m thinking of you.

All my love,




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