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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

hi-ya! yo yo yo yiiiiiii-ha

(I wrote the first part of this yesterday, but rotten weather meant there was no Internet -- this is one of the odd things about having a rural satellite internet connection. In a month they'll a DSL line. I hope.)

Yesterday it rained. Yesterday evening it snowed. Thick wet snow that settled on the slush and rendered country roads impassable. This morning the phone began ringing at around 7:00am as small girls across town realised that a) school was cancelled and b) this was a disaster, not a cause for celebration, as they had Valentine's cards to give to each other, with small packets of sweets, candies, and other such edible delights attached, which meant that the phone was soon ringing off the hook as plans to c) get together and exchange Valentine's cards and sugary treats were made.

I went off to my writing cabin to write and missed all the excitement as a small posse of ten year old girls managed to lock themselves into a room during the few minutes there wasn't an adult there. They hatched plots to free themselves, most of which seem to have involved climbing out of an upper-story window onto a snowy roof and attempting to walk around the house. Luckily they were freed before their plans were put into effect.

There's an article about Beowulf films in the Guardian which I should have been pleased about and instead I found faintly irritating. I didn't mind them not mentioning me as half of the writing team on the film -- that's their call, and space is limited. I found I actually did mind the journalist not mentioning me while also quoting from this journal without attribution or acknowledgment. That's just... tacky. It's at http://film.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/Guardian/0,4029,1412252,00.html. Hurray for it's mentioning John Burrow, anyway.

Neil,

Just thought you would want to see that you were mentioned in a not so good review of "Constantine" the movie based on the "Hellblazer" comics.

http://filmfreakcentral.net/screenreviews/constantine.htm

Also, I am a very quite fan, but a fan nonetheless. My husband is from Hayling Island, Hampshire, and I love reading your blog. Everytime you use an English saying I feel very "in the know" because you invariably have to explain it to Americans the next day. Besides, us mixed English/American married folks have a certain understanding of each other that others just don't quite get.

Thanks for all you do,

Emily

You're welcome. There are a great many photos of me, barely able to walk, digging in the sand at Hayling Island.

Just read M. Atwood's article on her remote-signing monster and I wanted to reassure you that after your book signing in Charlotte in 2003 neither I, my daughter, nor her best friend, Allyson, became pregnant. Allyson did become sick and attributed it to your illness, however she was thrilled to share your germs. Stay Healthy, Karla T.

That's an enormous relief. (Several people wrote in under the impression that I hate or dislike Margaret Atwood, or that she hates me or something. I enjoy much of her writing, and the only time I met her she struck me as being a very shy person who wasn't enjoying being on a promotional tour much. Most people, sensibly, didn't assume anything of the kind.)

Mr. Gaiman,

My name is Mattew Resnick and I am a high school librarian in Great Neck, NY. I am looking to either write a book or professional article discussing how teachers can use The Sandman in their classrooms. I was wondering if you think this is a good idea and if so who do I contact to gain permission to do this article/book. Thank you for your time.

I think it's a fine idea. You'll probably want to make sure that you don't cover the same ground that Steven Olsen does in his new book for schools. But really, you don't need permission to do the book. You may need permission from DC Comics if you're reproducing images from the comics.

Dear Neil,

I just read "Creatures of the Night" and was extremely delighted, especially by the way Michael Zulli portrayed the cats in "The Price" and in general the careful and loving way the story was adapted for the graphic novel format. The same, of course, applies for "The daughter of Owls", which had me close to tears.

That led me to the big question: HOW IS FRED-THE-UNLUCKY-CAT-WITH-HANDS doing? We have a right to know!

And is Princess -the white beauty- still with you? She should be very old by now...

And PLEASE: could you do something with Charles Vess again in the near future?!?

Love,

Jamilah

Right. Cat update. Fred is huge and black -- not as huge as the original The Black Cat, the one I put into the story all those years ago, but still big -- and he still talks when he gets agitated: he wanders around the house going "hurrow? hurrow?" sounding bizarrely human. When I go for walks in the woods, Fred follows along, like a dog. Unfortunately he also terrifies all the other cats: he's bigger than them, and likes being boss cat. Because he terrifies them I throw him out a lot.

Princess is still white, still long-haired, but frailer than she was. She knows that she once used to be the meanest cat on the block, and she remembers being feral and living for years in the woods, but these days mostly she just sleeps and begs for chicken. I don't know how old she was when she turned up here, almost twelve years ago -- at least a couple of years old.

I keep meaning to write something about Captain Morgan, who used to try and push himself up people's noses (and still does, from time to time, but mostly he just snuggles up in a position that makes it really hard to type and then drools on you affectionately). He's getting big, and his ears are the oddest ears I've ever seen on a cat who wasn't actually a Scottish Fold. The top half inch of his right ear is flat and tilted forward, like something from a cartoon. Bizarre.

The next project with Charles Vess is already underway. It's an illustrated version of a poem called BLUEBERRY GIRL I wrote for Tash, my friend Tori's daughter, before she was born, which we're making into a book, that will, I hope, do good things for RAINN and the CBLDF.

Which reminds me: Georgia comics retailer Gordon Lee was arrested recently and charged with "distributing obscene material to a minor" and "distributing material depicting nudity". The CBLDF is going to be defending him.

Tom Spurgeon writes about the case sanely at http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/briefings/commentary/942/

...

Let's see: The auction for Terri Windling's Endicott Gallery is up at eBay -- some lovely pieces of original art up for sale, with four days to go.

There's a marvellous interview with Alan Moore at http://www.enginecomics.co.uk/interviews/jan05/alanmoore.htm. It's particularly recommended for would-be writers.

...

(Maddy is home from school sick today, and titled, but will not explain, today's post for me.)
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