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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Anatomy of Melancholy


Hello world.

I'm home. It's raining, as it's been raining for two days, which is a good thing as it's taking care of the remaining piles of snow or the shadowy places where paths are still covered with ice. Looked out of the window yesterday and realised the first snowdrop was out, which made me ridiculously, momentarily happy. Snowdrops were the first flowers I remember being able to identify - I learned about them age 3 or 4 from a book with a title like "A story a week" - and they come with the knowledge that it really is spring.

I'm scribbling away on a Secret Project right now. I don't want to talk about it because that might jinx it. But, at least until about 2.00am last night, when I knocked off and went to bed, it was going pretty well. There were a couple of places where I got frustrated with myself -- sometimes I love writing dialogue too much, and I would write scenes where people talk but nothing happens. And I know I have to write the Stuff Happens bits too.

Maddy and I had, after all the travelling and madness, one day of Spring Break Adventure. It was a really lovely day of it, too.

And I sat down last night and turned on the TV, to see myself talking back from the screen, as they were repeating last week's COLBERT REPORT, which is, I discovered, exactly the same feeling you get when you listen to voicemail and the first message is from you -- a sort of strange embarrassment.  

And on the subject of TV, I thought this ONION video was almost perfect (I would have made the airport official a suited bureaucrat, or even a tribunal of suited bureacrats, rather than the comic-opera type):



Prague's Franz Kafka International Named World's Most Alienating Airport

...

I have a question about journaling - offline. Do you maintain a print journal? Is it "I did this today," or more of an idea bank where you jot down thoughts throughout the day?

Add on, do you type your blog entries mainly spur of the moment, or do you outline them a little? Don't know that it matters, but I was curious.


I don't have a journal. I sometimes think the reason that this blog has lasted so much longer than I ever expected to be writing it is because it really is useful as a journal. If I need to find out when I was last in Sao Paolo, or something, I just search the website.

And if I had to outline before writing a blog entry, I'd never do it. It tends to be a warm-up exercise for my fingers before I start the real writing.

Hey Neil,

Your Chivalry read by Jane Curtin is available for a week or so at http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=9911210 from the folks at Selected Shorts.

Thought you might want to share.

Cheers!

Chris


Thank you!

It's been ages since I read "Chivalry" in front of an audience. I keep thinking that it might be nice to do another reading tour for the CBLDF (the last tour, which was meant to be the last one ever, was in 2000... long enough ago, that anyone who went because it was the Last one, probably wouldn't mind if it wasn't). (Look! A LAST ANGEL TOUR interview with me from back then.)

Thanks so much for piquing my interest in Amanda Palmer, I went to see her concert last night and she's absolutely splendid. She mentioned you and everyone cheered. Then she asked if you ever came to do your "author things" like book signings or conventions etc here in New Orleans. The crowd was silent, she shrugged it off and said that it was strange because this seemed like your type of city. So I got to thinking...how come you don't come here to do "author stuff"? I know you've been here before but Amanda is right it does seem like your type of city! We'd love to have you. Just curious.

Regards,
Jackie Monteilh


It is odd. I mean, I love New Orleans, and have twice come to New Orleans over the last 18 years for conventions, and many times just wandered down to see friends or walk graveyards and haunt old bookshops, but I've never done a book-signing there. Or a reading.

Hmm. Okay. If I do another CBLDF reading tour, I'll see if we can do a proper New Orleans stop.

ı wonder do you write accept stories from amateur writers and do you accept to complete their stories...

regards


I do not, I'm afraid.

Hello Neil,

I found this beautiful quote from you on www.goodreads.com, and I was wondering which one of your books/comic books it is from because the source was not cited. I'm just beginning to read through you canon, and I can't place it.

Thank you,
Meredith

Here is the quote: "When we hold each other, in the darkness, it doesn't make the darkness go away. The bad things are still out there. The nightmares still walking. When we hold each other we feel not safe, but better. "It's all right" we whisper, "I'm here, I love you." and we lie: "I'll never leave you." For just a moment or two the darkness doesn't seem so bad."


It's from Hellblazer #27, "Hold Me". Collected in DC Comics' Neil Gaiman's Midnight Days collection.

...

Pictures of the Dave McKean Mythical Creatures UK postage stamps have hit the web:


Keep an eye on the Royal Mail Future Stamps website for info. The stamps will also come in a presentation pack, with VERY short stories by me on the pack, one for each order of creatures. And yes, you will be able to buy them from outside the UK.

...

For any of your fans trying to find a first printing of Blueberry Girl, you may want to suggest they try the comic shops. I live in LA and went to four major book stores last week looking for BG. Three stores hadn't even ordered it and didn't know what I was talking about until they looked it up in their computers. Then I went to Meltdown Comics in Hollywood on Sunday and they had a stack of the books (yes, that's where I purchased mine). I also just got back from a trip to Comics Factory in Pasadena (it's Friday, March 20th) and they also had some first printings on the shelf. By the way, it's a terrific book, Neil. Charles Vess did a stellar job with the artwork and your words... well, they made my soul smile, as usual.

Great suggestion. (Yes! Support your local comic shop!)



Neil,

You have a point about the New Scientist article. Hasn't animal superstition been proven to exist for quite a while? http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Skinner/Pigeon/

One can of course argue the difference between faith and superstition, but surely the very fact that it is arguable suggests that you'd start from the assumption they CAN have religion rather than the opposite.

-MK


My point exactly. (Well, my point was they seemed to be taking an awful lot for granted.)

Dear Mr. Gaiman,

I saw your recent appearance on the Colbert Report, and it was absolutely brilliant. Made my week. Would you marry me?


I don't think so, but thank you for asking.

...

Audible just dropped me a line to say that The Graveyard Book has just reached the semifinals in their Audiobook Tournament: Here's the link. (If you're an Audible listener and you think it should beat Vince Flynn's Extreme Measures, now is your chance to vote.)

And finally (as a small reward if you've made it this far down) Over at the MCCtheatre website you can learn about the Stephin Merritt original CORALINE musical which debuts this May in New York. Tickets are not cheap. However, if you use the code CLNG when you buy tickets, they drop to $39 each. The code will work until the 12th of April.

Okay. Back to work.

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