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Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Let�s see...

Wasn�t a big fan of 2002, really. It seemed sort of bitty and like I didn�t do very much...

So, to take stock (much as Sam Pepys would do on his first entry of the year)...

I wrote five and a half short stories in 2002.

The five were �Bitter Grounds� (for Nalo Hopkinson�s Mojo: Conjure Stories [April 2003]), �October in the Chair� (Peter Straub�s Conjunctions [Oct 2002]), �A Study In Emerald� (Reaves/Pelan�s Shadows over Baker Street [2003] ), �Closing Time� (Michael Chabon�s McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales [Feb 2003]), and I wrote the short story in Tori Amos�s Scarlet�s Walk tourbook �Pages from a Journal Found in a Shoebox Left in a Greyhound Bus Somewhere Between Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Louisville, Kentucky� [Aug 2002].

The half was a rewrite on an old comics story called �Feeders and Eaters� which I did for Stephen Jones�s Keep Out the Night anthology [Oct 2002], where writers rescue unjustly forgotten or neglected stories.

I wrote some comics, none of which have been published in 2002:

Six short stories � most of them are about 20 pages long � for Endless Nights (I wrote one for each of the Endless, but the Death story was written at the end of 2001).

A four page comic for Gahan Wilson to draw for the third Raw Junior Little Lit book.

The first three parts of 1602 for Marvel (The first is double-length. Parts Two and three are 22 pages. I think I'm just under half way through it. Andy Kubert's art is wonderful)

I wrote some films:

Four drafts of The Fermata for Robert Zemeckis. Based on the Nicholson Baker novel, a sort of dark romantic comedy about stopping time.

The first draft of Mirror-Mask for (and very much with) Dave McKean. A mixed live-action/animation film that Dave will be making for Hensons.

I wrote the second draft of Death: The High Cost of Living, for Warners for me to direct. (This was very satisfying when it was done, as I�d hated the first draft, which I'd completed in March 2001, and was really happy with the second.)

Several treatments for the Ramayana for Dreamworks, the final one being pretty much a script without dialogue. (The last thing I heard from Dreamworks was that they didn�t think there was a future for traditional two-dimensional animation that didn�t prominently feature TV comedians, so I think we can assume that�s dead.)

Wrote words and music for two new songs for my assistant Lorraine's new band, Folk Underground (one called �Folk Underground�, one called �The Butterfly Road�)

A handful of introductions � to Robert Silverberg�s The Man in the Maze, an essay on Richard Dadd for Mark Chadbourn�s The Fairy Feller�s Master Stroke, an intro to Alisa Kwitney�s Sandman: King of Dreams book for Chronicle, an introductory reminiscence on bookshops for Greg Ketter�s book of author's bookshop tales, Shelf Life. An article on Terry Pratchett for the Financial Times, which I rewrote as an introduction to a collection of Terry�s books for his German publisher.

I narrated the �Life, the Universe and Douglas Adams� video biography.

I recorded the US Coraline audiobook. (I'm really proud of this, by the way. And Stephin Merritt's Gothic Archies songs for it are a marvel.)

I reviewed Michael Chabon�s Summerland for the Washington Post.

And then, at the end of the year, I directed a 27 minute film I�d written called �A Short Film About John Bolton� for Ska Films.

I did a small tour of the US for CORALINE (and two complete readings of the book, one in July in San Francisco, one in October at the Chicago Humanities Festival). I did a big tour of the UK (with several appearances at the Edinburgh Festival) for Coraline.

Was given the Hugo Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the SFX award and the Locus Award for American Gods. Was nominated for the Minnesota Book Award, the World Fantasy Award and the British Fantasy Award for American Gods. (I�ll stick these on this list of things I did, although they aren�t really things I did in 2002, if you see what I mean. I mean, I didn't do anything. But a 2002 summary would look odd without them.)

In October 2002 I fought and won, at jury trial, on every count, a legal case against Todd McFarlane and his various companies, and the jury threw out his countersuit. (Looking back on it, this was the thing that soured me on 2002 the most. It was a great deal of pressure, and a huge drain emotionally and financially and most of all of time through the year � time spent meeting with lawyers, reviewing documents, gathering information, and so forth � all of it simply spent trying to make a very dodgy publisher keep to agreements.) I suppose that if, in the future, just one sleazy publisher thinks twice before trying to rip off an artist or a writer with an �If you got a problem with that, sue me...� it will all have been worth it. But I would much rather have had the time to write in, or just to recover after the UK tour. (I�m pretty sure that without the court case I�d probably be about half-way through �Anansi Boys� right now, as opposed to about two pages in).

And, of course, I kept this journal. If I interpret the figures correctly, there are about 100,000 people reading it every month, which is very odd. Some of you don't read my fiction and just like the journal. Several of you (mostly my family) use it to try and keep track of where I am and what I'm doing.

Hmm. I suppose that looking it over, it�s not that bad. I mean, I did a lot of things in 2002. There just wasn't, with the possible exception of the film (and Endless Nights, but that's not out yet), one big cool thing I can point to.

Haven�t finished the Silverberg �Legends� novella yet, though, which should have been on the 2002 list. So I�ll stop typing this, and go and finish that.

Happy New Year.
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