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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What I Did to Celebrate National Library Week Part One: Vonnegut and Rollergirls

So...

when last seen, I was on my way to Indianapolis, where I gave the 33rd McFadden Memorial Lecture. I talked about libraries (because it was National Library Week) . This was a bit intimidating, as previous lecturers included John Updike, Maurice Sendak, E. L. Konigsburg, Lloyd Alexander, Norman Mailer, Margaret Atwood and Kurt Vonnegut (who had been an Indianapolis resident).

At the end of the lecture I was presented with the Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Award for Literature, a national literary award created and administered by the the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library "In celebration of those whose literary works uniquely document and define the human condition". The award itself made me ridiculously happy, as it's a beautiful sheet of metal with a Kurt Vonnegut self portrait on it, and Vonnegut was a writer who meant the world to me growing up: The Sirens of Titan was my first Vonnegut book, read when I was about ten years old, and it changed the way I thought. (We chatted only once, when he was in London, on the phone. He didn't want to do an interview, but was happy to talk, so we talked.)

This is me backstage holding my Kurt Vonnegut Literary Award.

Then I had dinner with a Roller Derby Team (and some of their significant others and offspring). It's the Naptown Roller Girls. They've been sending me wonderful things for a while now, and using the Octokitty from Coraline to bring them luck. Read all about it at Joan of Dark's blog http://joanofdarkknits.blogspot.com/2010/04/meeting-neil-gaiman.html (and she's just posted http://joanofdarkknits.blogspot.com/2010/04/mr-debauchery-talks-about-meeting-neil.html from the lovely people who were my ride to and from the dinner). I had a wonderful dinner, and even got to wear Joan's husband Dill's hat, which I am assured has its own Facebook page.

This is Naptown Roller Girl Joan of Dark. You may remember her from this blog back in January 2009, when she invented a coffee named after me: http://joanofdarkknits.blogspot.com/2009/01/neil-gaiman-needs-coffee.html


I was up more or less at dawn on Saturday, and I went to Chicago for the CBLDF event (the CBLDF has a spiffy new website at http://cbldf.org).

Oops. Someone just arrived to interview me...


And I'll finish this the next time I get a second.

NEXT INSTALLMENT: Chicago! Stillwater! The Wrath of the Volcano God!

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