Wednesday, July 28, 2004

morning things mostly

Harper Collins wrote to tell me that The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish section of is now up and running.  My favourite moment is when Galveston the Rabbit swims past, using his ears.  There are desktop backgrounds for download there, bits of audio you can listen to, and so forth.

And back in March I posted the story of how I didn't get my photo taken with Lenny Henry dressed as Beyonce Knowles (him, not me. I was wearing a black tee shirt and a black leather jacket). Lenny now has his own website -- the deeply wonderful, where he plugs comics wherever he can. Lenny's on tour right now Down Under and is blogging about it.  I noticed he linked to the BBC press office site, where they have a small clip of Lenny as Beyonce, for anyone wondering what I was talking about back in March. (Yes, I know this is old news to anyone in the UK. Sorry.)

Hi Neil.Is that Johnny Theremin story "real"... or, something to make me giggle and cheer me up.. seeing that I've got a bit of a flu bug right now... and, don't find many things giggle-worthy..??If it is not... would you care if I wrote it..??I'd of course give you credit for creating the characters you mentioned... as long as I could make the dinosaurs have flourescent coloured skin.My head hurts... must sleep.-]@/\/\!3
Nope, it was just something I wrote to make people smile.  Feel free to write it if you wish (that applies to any of you.  Personally, I think Johnny Theremin should have his own website, where neon signs flash on and off in the background spelling out the names of seedy bars, and people share stories.).  And someone wanted to know if he or she could call a band "The Men Without Tents" and of course you can.

Hi Neil,In case you or your readers are interested, I've just completed annotations to the first issue of Books of Magick: Life During Wartime (Si was kind enough to drop by and offer a few clarifications as well).

I'm already having a great rip with the new book, and can't wait to see what you two have in store for us.Best wishes,Matt
Thanks Matt. I think Si is doing an excellent job. And I've loved Dean's art since he filled in on half an issue of The Kindly Ones many years ago. I'm just reading Si's script for Issue 5 right now, and it's terrific.
This came in, which will puzzle anyone who wasn't at the San Diego MirrorMask panel:
Neil, I believe that you were supposed to post the current fish count.I'm simply curious at this point.And just in case enough people don't tell you this: you rule, and youre a really swell guy, which makes us all love you even more. Hugs!Noelle
I promised that as soon as I found out how many fish were in MirrorMask, I'd post the count on the journal. I have not yet found out.

Hi Neil! Is there a site (to your knowledge) that has a run-down of the copyright laws specific to writers, and an explanation of what things like 'first movie rights' and 'first serial rights' and all that rather scary looking jargon-type stuff actually means? Can you also get 'second movie rights' and third ones? And once the writer has sold a story-- short or otherwise-- to a magazine/anthology/whatnot, are there any rights that they automatically retain?Sorry for the barrage of questions, but is being singularly unhelpful (I think it can smell fear) and you seemed like a good alternative. Thanks!~Rae
The trick with Google is to know how to ask it. It also helps if you know what you're looking for.  I googled "first serial rights" and found this incredibly helpful page on writers' rights from Writerswrite: .

To answer your question, first serial rights are the right to publish something first in a serialised format (like a magazine). That's all they are buying. There's no such thing as "first movie rights", if someone buys the movie rights, they buy (or more commonly, option to buy) the movie rights. And all rights to something written remain with the author, except for those that someone specifically buys -- so if you sell the rights to your short story to Amazing, that's all they bought: the right to publish it. They didn't buy the right to sell your story as a theme park attraction unless you gave away or sold those rights. (Which is why you as a writer want to be very wary of someone buying "All Rights".)


I was fascinated to learn that in Florida, this legal judgment appears to make it explicit that two American people with male birth certificates and passports, or two American people with female birth certificates and passports, can legally marry each other, at least in Florida, as long as one of them was classified as a member of the other gender at birth, and has gone through some gender reassignment in the meantime. I doubt that that was what the court was trying to establish, though.