Thursday, April 03, 2008

Without tea surging through my system, how will I know what to call this post?

It's Spring. The mud-rivers surround the house, snow is melting, and the cheerful atmosphere of this morning's walk was sort of ruined when the dog shot off delightedly into the woods and came back a minute later with a large woodchuck who would now no longer be chucking wood clamped between its jaws.

(It was just-buried when the man grouting the kitchen floor said that really, he would have liked it for taxidermic purposes. An offer to dig it up was considered, but then turned down as, he said, his freezer was pretty full at present. I guess I'm back in the country, aren't I?)

I am On Diet. I am also Off Tea for now, because it seemed easier to keep track of what was going into my mouth if I stopped drinking tea and started drinking water instead. My uncaffeinated state is a lot mellower and blanker than I am used to and it apparently has a mild headache and the deep conviction that if I just head for the kettle everything will be okay...

The mail brought a copy of Dark Horse's long-promised Michael Zulli adaptation of THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF THE DEPARTURE OF MISS FINCH, with a post-it note from my editor, Diana Schutz on the top corner saying "Finally! A Print job I could approve." I assume it'll be in the comic shops in about a month or so, as the copies make their way from China.

Subterranean Press, who seem to be doing more and more of the limited editions of my stuff these days, have just announced that they are doing a very lovely-looking edition of INTERWORLD, by me and Michael Reaves. As they explain,
Michael Reaves has recently had considerable health problems related to Parkinson's disease, with one round of brain surgery completed, and another in near future. All of the profits from this limited edition will go to Mr. Reaves to help him with his medical and daily living expenses. Soon, we hope, he'll be feeling much better and back to bringing us wonderful novels such as The Shattered World and The Burning Realm, to name two personal favorites.

Which was a really nice gesture on Subterranean's part. Michael's not in great shape right now, and I'm sure it will help. The book is a very limited edition -- only 500 signed and numbered copies, so I think they'll go fast. (Subterranean's M Is For Magic has already sold out.) You can order it here.

Hullo Neil!

I am currently going through the lengthy process of getting my passport and other such things, before my husband and I move to Japan. I've been sort of asking all of my friends who've spent time outside of these United States these questions, and thought I'd ask you as well! What do you find most enjoyable about visiting other countries? Most overwhelming? Most intriguing? And do you know of any exceptionally delicious sushi spots in Tokyo? And what percentage of jeans in those tubs of yours would be black, out of rampant and strange curiosity?

Eagerly awaiting The Graveyard Book,


I love the difference in other countries, the way it makes me re-examine what I think of as normal, the tiny differences in culture and behaviour, the sound of people talking in foreign languages. I love the food (even in countries where I don't like the food, I like the difference of the food), and I love feeling slightly adrift.

Most overwhelming? That sinking feeling you get when you realise that something huge has just gone deeply wrong and you don't speak the language. Most intriguing? Not sure...

And all of the jeans are black, except for the ones that used to be black a long time ago and are now just a blackish sort of grey.


Lots of Vista advice (and an offer of memory, which I think is really kind of someone) which I'll do a round up on in a few days, for anyone else who might have bought a new computer and found it a bit less than they were expecting.


Jody Scott is dead -- she died on Christmas Eve. I only met her once, in the UK, in 1984, when she was over to promote the Women's Press edition of I, Vampire, and I liked her very much indeed -- partly because I liked her books, I, Vampire and Passing For Human. I thought it a pity that she had real trouble getting her other books published. On her website she says of herself,

Ms. Scott attended Daniel Boone grammar school, Senn High, North Park College, Northwestern U. and U.C. Berkeley before crying out in clear, ringing tones: "Enough of this crap. If you wanna be a writer never, NEVER go to college or you'll come out a brainwashed zombie who offends nobody but writes like everyone else or as Monty Python used to say: 'Dull, dull, dull!'--the L's sounding like W's." Our subject then worked as a sardine packer, orthopedist's office assistant, Circle Magazine editor (knew Henry Miller and Anais Nin), artist's model at Art Institute Chicago, factory hand, cabbage puller (in Texas where I was arrested with my buddy Don Scott for hitchhiking and slapped around then thrown in jail for eight days; how stupid can "The Law" be? Its reasoning was: my gay friend {close pal of Leonard Bernstein and Tennessee Williams} had long hair, therefore we must be criminals), blue movie maker, headline writer for the Monterey Herald (that's where I got my spare, lean style), bookstore/art gallery owner, vacation land salesman and at many other fascinating trades, spent six months in Guatemala (in Antigua enjoyed a night alone with Gore Vidal at his house both madly talking) and now lives in Seattle in a falling-apart house choked with ivy and blackberry brambles a stone's throw from Puget Sound and is the winner of the America's Ugliest Couch contest upon which I write every day from 9 AM to 2 PM Pacific time. If you'd like more, send in that check in any amount but HURRY PLEASE! This offer, like its author, ends soon.
And she was right, and it did. Steve Jones and I used to send her occasional cheques for her poem in NOW WE ARE SICK, but I doubt they were enough. You can read the first chapter of I, Vampire here, and second-hand copies are easy to find.

Now I'm going to take the dog for his second walk of the day, and I really hope that nobody dies this time.

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