Tuesday, January 14, 2003
There. Lifts head above the surface and blinks again, four thousand words later. The novella's done in first draft: 16,000 words of Shadow in Scotland. Now I just need to tidy some things, title it, check some odd historical details, and it'll be done.

Let's see: This link is to the Publisher's Weekly Off-the-Cuff Awards, a set of very informal bouquets and brickbats from Booksellers. Coraline was awarded Best Audiobook for kids by the Booksellers of America. Which is fun, seeing as we got the same honour from PW the week before. And it's me doing the reading, which makes me feel like I must have done something right. (Although I'm sure that Stephin's music and Dave McKean's pictures helped rather a lot.) (Thanks to Lucy Anne at the Dreaming for the link.)

Incidentally, I should add that The Dreaming ( is an amazing resource in its own right for stuff on me and on Sandman -- in some ways much better than this one. If you haven't poked around there, I highly recommend it.

Bob Morales, an old friend of mine and currently writing Marvel's The Truth sent me a link to this: -- a story about an industry that believes itself exempt from basic health and safety rules, in a fairly scary sort of way.


And to type that final 4000 words hooked up my old Northgate Omnikey Ultra keyboard. It's missing an F9 key, is 12 years old, has travelled in luggage and in the back of cars to a lot of places, I've typed many novels on it, and I keep expecting to retire it soon. Instead, I buy new keyboards, and rapidly find myself missing the feel of the Northgate -- it's a really nice sort of clicky spring and give under your fingers. You can program the keyboard if you want to, but I don't -- I just like the way it feels. And am faintly puzzled why, with most other peripherals having got so much better, there don't seem to be any keyboards around as pleasant to type on as the old Northgates. (Don't take my word for it. I just googled "Northgate keyboard" and got lots of articles by people saying the same thing, including a PC World article by someone who mentioned that someone was now doing a clone of the old Northgate Omnikey, although the keys don't feel quite as nice.

I'd feel like some kind of weird old fogey, going "well, in my day young feller-me-lad the keyboards were better" if only everything else wasn't better now. I don't want a 1990 monitor, or mouse, or printer, or computer, or gods-preserve-us tape drive.