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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

From the distant past

Before this blog ever existed, I inhabited other places you could only get to by modem. First Compuserve, then Genie, and then the Well, and answered questions and so on in each place, and hung around. I've no idea if there are any archives anywhere of the Compuserve stuff or the Genie topics, but The Well is still there, I'm glad to say, and every few years I go back and am interviewed and hang around the inkwell.vue area for a few weeks. It's a wonderful place, and accessible to anyone from the web: http://www.well.com/conf/inkwell.vue/

So, in context of the current Fragile Things interview, which has only just begun, I found myself reading a post from the 20th of June 2000, written while I was writing American Gods. Which I am reposting a bit of here because a) there's lots more cool stuff like this on the various Well topics I did (here's the first, the second, the third, -- and b) if ever a story was meant to be on this blog, it's this one.


...last week Maddy woke me up early in the morning.

"Daddy," she said, "There's a bat on the kitchen window."

"Grumphle," I said and went back to sleep.

Soon, she woke me up again. "I did a drawing of the bat on the kitchen
window," she said, and showed me her drawing. For a five year old
she's a very good artist. It was a schematic of the kitchen windows,
showing a bat on one of the windows.

"Very nice dear," I said. Then I went back to sleep.

When I went downstairs...

We have, instead of dangling fly papers, transparent strips of gluey
clear plastic, about six inches long and an inch high, stuck to the
windows on the ground floor. When they accumulate enough flies, you
peel them off the window and throw them away.

There was a bat stuck to one. He was facing out into the room. "I
think he's dead," said my assistant Lorraine.

I peeled the plastic off the window. The bat hissed at me.

"Nope," I said. "He's fine. Just stuck."

The question then became, how does one get a bat (skin and fur) off a
fly-strip. Luckily, I bethought me of the Bram Stoker award. After the
door had fallen off (see earler in this topic) I had bought some citrus
solvent to take the old glue to reglue the door on.

So I dripped citrus solvent onto the grumpy bat, edging him off the
plastic with a twig, until a lemon-scented sticky bat crawled onto a
newspaper. Which I put on the top of a high woodpile, and watched the
bat crawl into the logs. With any luck he was as right as rain the
following night...


Of course, if it was now, I'd scan in Maddy's bat drawing to go with it. (I wonder if it's anywhere findable.)

PS. A small, half-puzzled plug for the first corporate publisher blog I've seen that truly doesn't suck: http://olivereader.com/. Technically I suppose they're actually one of my publishers, but that's not why I'm plugging them. I think it's because it's now something I can point publishers at when I say "you could always do a blog..."

PPS: From Dan Guy and the Webelf, the silliest of fun website toys: http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/labels/clouds/dynamic_term_cloud.php
The new toy! Shows the top twenty terms from each month, growing and shrinking dynamically over time.
Give those two time and they really will make the Blog Post Magic Eightball.

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