Just a small post to say that the snow is falling and falling and falling, and walking the dog is like walking into a Christmas Card, and that http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/christmas08/entertainment/neil-gaiman-hanukkah-with-bells-on-1203307.html is the small, true memoir I wrote for the Independent on Amanda Palmer's tourbus in Chicago two weeks ago.
It should have been a ghost story, but there you are.
Mostly the emails that break one's heart don't ever get posted here. This one I replied to, but, with names removed, I'm also putting it up here...
Hi Neil! My name is [name removed]. This is going to be pretty random, but I hope that you actually recieve and read this message. I have been dating [name also removed] and [he] informed me that you were his brother. This christmas I want to make him a personalized journal with photos of his friends and family. I was wondering if you had any photos of your family, the rest of your brothers of even your father. I'm having some trouble collecting photos from [him] and your father's side of the family. I understand that you might not take this message seriously but I honestly hope you do. If you have any doubts about whether I am actually dating [him] or just some crazy fan call and ask him about me, but please don't mention the journal. I don't want the surprise to be ruined. Thanks for you time and hopefully I'll have some pictures in my email inbox soon?
...and I told her that I don't have any brothers, just sisters, and that I didn't know the gentleman she had named, and that I was sorry. And I really am.
I never know how to respond to people who have been dealing with people who pretend to be me (it's happened a few times now) or pretend to be friends with me. This is the first time someone's claimed to be family...
Russell Cherrington wrote in to let me know that Harrods still have copies of the Bloomsbury signed and limited edition of The Graveyard Book for 25 pounds. (Most places in the UK are, he told me, out of them, and they're on eBay for 75 pounds.)
what order should I read The Sandman in?
It would probably work best if read in order, but it doesn't matter that much. Just make sure you read the last two books last. (Which reminds me: this is one of the most interesting pieces I've read about Sandman in ages.)
Also, an Amazon oddity that made me happy -- The Thirteen Clocks, by James Thurber is riding high in the Amazon.com top 100. (#33 as I type this.)It's the one I did an introduction for, and that my burbling about in this very blog helped bring back into print. I'm hoping that people will get it as presents and that they will read it aloud to each other.
It's a wonderful book.
(Edit to add: Aha! It's Daniel Pinkwater's fault! http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98558194 Listen to the talk.)
(And the UK Amazon is selling The Graveyard Book for 50% off. Which is disconcerting.)