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Saturday, June 22, 2002

The weirdness of the American upper midwest (where I live these days) is that you get long dead cold winters, followed by indeterminate springs, which transform, after weeks or days or occasionally hours, into sudden and intense summers of nightmarish fecundity: suddenly the world turns into a hothouse and everything grows, and grows, and the only problem is that you get complete ecosystems happening. For the last few years I've remembered to order the Trichogramma minutum from Gardens Alive. It's a tiny box of things that hatch out into minute wasps which make sure that weird orange worms don't eat your rowan tree. (It takes them about 4 days on full munch, I learned about 5 years ago.) This year I forgot, or rather, I was on the road too much, which meant that yesterday I was up a ladder, earnestly picking the orange worm things off the leaves. (Er, I gave them to Maddy's goldfish, who probably thought it was Christmas.)

The grape-vines are tangling their way over the trellis I put in last month. (Even the one that was absolutely, unmistakably utterly dead.) The pumpkins are flowering, the asparagus is ready to rest. (You have to stop cutting it around now, and let the asparagus stalks grow into giant ferns, which feed the roots all ready for next year.) The garlic is ready to flower, which I used to let happen, and now know that I have to stop, so they keep putting their energies into the bulb, although I used to love the tiny garlic-cloves that grow on the flower-head when it goes to seed.

It looks like it'll be a good year for raspberries and cherries, a mediocre one for black and redcurrants, and a dud for apples (sigh). There are strawberries everywhere.

It feels like the summer will last forever right now. It won't, though...

Just thought you'd like to know.

...

Amazon.com has its review of Coraline up at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/books/0380977788/reviews -- for some reason they've put up both the Amazon.co.uk review and their own. Both of them really enthusiastic.

I don't remember if I posted the Green Man Coraline review or not. (No relation to Charles Vess's Green Man Studio and Press...

(Charles, incidentally, is going to be producing some new Stardust paintings for his Stardust portfolios. I'm excited...)

Let's see. Yesterday, the main post was the one I put up after talking to Lucy Chapman at Bloomsbury. It was giving those of you in the UK (and in Europe who plan to travel) more information on the signings/events in August.

I may forget someone (and there may be some still to come in)... I think we're looking at Sheffield, Manchester, Edinburgh Festival, Dublin, Canterbury, London (Forbidden Planet signing lunchtime on Thursday the 25th, with a Foyles Event -- a reading and Q&A in the evening. Probably a Harrods Children's Bookshop as well) Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh Festival Again. Obviously, if you live in, for example, the southwest, you will be justifiably grumpy that I won't be doing a Bristol or Swansea signing, and there's no evidence of a Birmingham signing at this point either. But on the other hand I'd be willing to bet there will be people coming in from Finland and France and Denmark and Spain and such places (I won't even go into the Hong Kong and Singapore people who fly in to the US for signings...). And I'm actually getting to Dublin for the first time since Neverwhere...

(And the predominance of Scottish signings is because I'll be in the Edinburgh area for the Festival. If Bristol were a little nearer Edinburgh...)

(oh! That reminds me. It looks VERY likely that Dave McKean and I will be going to Singapore next Spring as guests of the British Council. And that I'll be doing a European Tour for Coraline a little later in the Spring. So some of the people who travel a long way can take it a little easier this time around.)
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