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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

True glue

The 'flu trudges on. Spent a couple of uncomfortable days unable to think (or work). Now am in that condition where the fever's done and everything seems to have turned into glue: I have a head filled with thick glue, lungs filled with thick glue, gluey nose, gluey mouth, gluey mind.

I discovered that 'flu has its own red-state-blue-state thing happening: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/usmap.htm

Neil, Just a heads up, Tori Amos will be signing her new book Piece by Piece at the Barnes & Noble at Union Square in New York City tonight at 6pm. I plan on having her sign the lovely pencil sketch portrait in my copy of Hanging Out with the Dream King. By the way, I noticed that my copy with its autographed card was signed by you in red ink. This wouldn't happen to be an obscure "golden ticket" type contest where a bunch of fans get to visit your writing cabin and have strange adventures with you "idea gnomes" would it? Or, maybe the black pens just ran out of ink...Regards, Jim

I think I signed most of them in brown ink, but they took a long time to dry, so I switched to a red pen at the end. I try and stick to goofy colours, because sometimes it's hard to tell if things written in black ink were typed or printed.

Have fun at Tori's signing. Say hi from me.

I thought you'd be interested in this. It seems as if Animal Planet is going to tackle the mystery of Dragons http://animal.discovery.com/convergence/dragons/dragons.html Ken Jackson

I'm really looking forward to this one -- I actually played a small part in its creation, working as a sort of consultant at script stage. (It's the thing I'm alluding to here and a couple of days later, here.)

...

One of the things I always liked about Amazon.co.uk was that it had a phone number with people at the other end, and it wasn't ashamed of having a phone number, and you could ring it and say, for example, "One of the DVDs in the Laurel and Hardy boxed set arrived cracked" and someone at the other end would say "throw it away and we'll send you a replacement", and it was good. Sometimes Amazon.co.uk would send me books that bore no relation to what I'd ordered, sometimes they'd send broken things, but I'd call the phone number and we'd laugh together about it and they'd send the new thing and tell me not to worry about returning the old thing and that would be that.

Yesterday, a CD I'd ordered arrived. At first I thought it was a sort of a post-modern gag that the CD booklet claimed to be a French CD of music specifically for people born in the sign of Cancer, while the CD itself was the thing I'd ordered. Then I realised that, no, it was just a goof. I went to phone them and discovered that the phone number is no more. Now you're reduced to sending in e-mails from the website (and getting very quick replies telling you that they have to go away and figure it out). No more that sense of jolly cameraderie over the transatlantic phone-lines. It is the end of an era.

...

Hey Neil, I really liked your response to Angie's email about the "scene" in Stardust. Although I have yet to read that book, I had similar questions regarding American Gods. I understand that it is an adult book and so not many children are likely to be reading it, but as a sixteen year old high school student I was rather surprised at how much sex was in just the first half of the novel. Personaly, I justified the acts of sex in American Gods with symbolization rather than actual sexual intercourse, and I was wondering if you were going in the same direction. I felt it was symbolising the vulgarity, innocence, and uncontrollable passion of every day people rather than just detailing a romp in the sack. I enjoyed American Gods immensly, even though I blushed a bit every time I was reading it in the same room with my mum. All my love, Liz

Well, American Gods is a very different sort of animal to Stardust. One reason for swearing in the first sentence (and having an extreme sort of sex scene at the end of the first chapter) was I figured it would give anyone who was going to have a problem with either the sex or the swearing a chance to bail out early. And it's not a YA novel, not even by adoption.
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