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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Where did I go? Out. What did I do? Nothing. OR, why I'm coming back to the blog once more...


It's been a while since I blogged. I'm not entirely sure why I stopped – guilt partly. Lou Reed died, and I was going to write a blog about Lou, but I wrote a piece for the  Guardian about Lou and what his music had meant to me instead.

And then it seemed so many things had happened, and I had not written about any of them, and catching up seemed less and less possible. I was not worried because there was Twitter and there was Tumblr and people were seeing what I was doing as I did it.

Despite an epic blast of food poisoning, I survived the World Fantasy Convention in the UK, and went to LA for a conference on magical history, where I also I interviewed JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst about their book S for BBC 2's Newsnight. I don't think I have a new career waiting in TV interviewing, but it was fun and enlightening and I asked my questions as well as the BBC's:



I had a birthday, a quiet one, at home in the Midwest, and saw my dog and my friends and warmed my hands at a bonfire.

I had a conversation at the Rubin Museum with Laurie Anderson. We talked about Ignorance. This was inspiring and magical.



There were the two EVENING WITH NEIL AND AMANDA nights at the Town Hall in NYC. The first was chaos, and Amanda loved it and I didn't, and the second was perfectly structured and ran as planned, and I loved it and Amanda didn't. (The second was on the 23rd of November, the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who: Amanda and I saw the 3D screening of The Day of the Doctor first, and loved it, and Arthur Darvill, fresh from ONCE, joined us on stage to hold placards that night).

I was on WBUR with Tom Ashbrook, talking about Sandman: Overture.

Thanksgiving was spent with Amanda's friends, family and Cloud-club-mates at our place in Cambridge MA.

I gave a talk about creativity to the C.A.V.E. Conference in Las Vegas, and spent time with Skottie Young and Dave Gibbons and went to see LOVE with Skottie and Joe Quesada.

I went to the UK for three days: I had a glorious time reading a letter from Kurt Vonnegut Jr at the Reading Agency Benefit along with a star-studded cast, and then doing an auction with fellow auctioneer Gillian Anderson and book models Benedict Cumberbatch and Nick Cave. We raised over £11,000 for the Reading Agency (a Good Thing).

You can read about it, and watch Benedict and Gillian in letter-reading action at http://readingagency.org.uk/adults/news/cumberbatch-cave-anderson-and-gaiman-join-together-in-praise-of-letters.html

The next night was the National Book Awards, sponsored by Specsavers. I was nominated for three book awards – Author of the Year (for Ocean at the End of the Lane), Children's Book of the Year (for Fortunately the Milk) and Audiobook of the Year. I won Audiobook of the Year, for The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I wore a tie and everything, and was grateful.

I had several mysterious meetings the following day, particularly with the United Nations High Council on Refugees, for and with whom I'm hoping to do something good in 2014, then I came back to the US.

Straight to New York. I has been asked by author Molly Oldfield to read Dickens' prompt copy of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and had agreed if I could do it with a Dickensian beard and in Victorian Garb: I remembered seeing actor Emlyn Williams performing an evening of Charles Dickens when I was a boy, and the clothes and the beard were all. It happened, and was unlikely and delightful.






The holidays were spent in the sun, with the family, and were made extra-wonderful when I learned that Ocean At The End of the Lane had been voted the UK's Book of the Year.

...

And now I'm thinking about the year to come. I'm planning a social media sabbatical for the first 6 months (I talked about it here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jun/14/neil-gaiman-social-media-sabbatical). It's about writing more and talking to the world less. It's time.

I plan to blog here MUCH more, as a way of warming up my fingers and my mind, and as a way of getting important information out into the world. I'm planning to be on Tumblr and Twitter and Facebook MUCH less, although I'll make sure that posts letting people know about new blogs here keep going up, and I may nip out into the world from time to time to plug good causes.

Keep an eye on http://www.neilgaiman.com/where/ which will tell you where I'm likely to show up in person, and how to get tickets:

21 Feb 2014Billings, MontanaAn Afternoon with Neil Gaiman
21 Feb 2014Billings, MontanaAn Evening with Neil Gaiman
24 Feb 2014Calgary, CanadaAn Evening with Neil Gaiman [SOLD OUT]
07 Mar 2014Glassboro, NJGood Art: An Evening with Neil Gaiman
29 Apr 2014Syracuse, NYNeil Gaiman at The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater
07 May 2014New York, NYAn Evening with Neil Gaiman
is the current list.

If you are used to hanging out with me on Tumblr or Twitter or Facebook, you are very welcome here. Same me, only with more than 140 characters. It'll be fun. Or it'll be like watching someone giving up smoking.








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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Like Odysseus he will return at last to slay this blog's suitors and regale us with tales of his adventures in the interim.

My Lords and Ladies of the Royal Court1,

Now, now, don't flip your wigs just yet; this is not yet the return of the illustrious Mr. G -- this is merely prelude, possibly prophecy (if he doesn't make a liar of me) by I, your humble web goblin.

For far too long we have gone without word here from Mr. G. He tweets, he whosays, he releases triple albums with his lovely wife and puts more girdles 'round the earth than has an elderly burlesque troupe, yet no blog has he posted in two months. But he has not abandoned us! I tell you that he will return! And I tell you this because he told me this, and told me to tell you this. In his words, he will be "doing a proper blog post" in the near future.


At the point when Google presided over the shotgun wedding of Blogger and Google+, apparently all blog posts by Mr. G became attributed to "Unknown". Why did no one tell me this? I have now fixed things.


Since the first of November, and continuing on through the end of the year, a contest has been running among independent U.S. book stores. The prize is a visit from Mr. G, and to win a store has simply to sell the most copies of THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE during the contest period.

Below you may find a list of all participating stores, along with where to find them online. Christmas is a week away, so if you act quickly there may yet be time to get in some holiday shopping and help push your local store into the lead!

Kings English
1511 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
http://www.kingsenglish.com/
https://twitter.com/kingsenglish
https://facebook.com/kingsenglishbookshop

Fiction Addiction
1175 Woods Crossing Rd #5
Greenville, SC 29607
http://www.fiction-addiction.com/
http://twitter.com/FictnAddictn
http://facebook.com/FictionAddictionBookstore

Wellesley Books
82 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02482
http://www.wellesley.indiebound.com/
https://twitter.com/WellesleyBooks
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wellesley-Books/208745159156382

Mostly Books
6208 E Speedway
Tucson, AZ 85712
http://www.mostlybooksaz.com/
https://twitter.com/mostlybooksaz
https://www.facebook.com/MostlyBooksAZ

Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
http://www.bookpassage.com/
https://twitter.com/bookpassage
https://www.facebook.com/bookpassage

Books Inc Palo Alto
855 El Camino Real #74
Palo Alto, CA 94031
http://www.booksinc.net/PaloAlto
https://twitter.com/BooksIncPA
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Books-Inc-Palo-Alto/5475664447

Rakestraw Books
522 Hartz Ave
Danville, CA 94526
http://www.rakestrawbooks.com/
https://twitter.com/rakestrawbooks
https://www.facebook.com/rakestrawbooks

Bookshop Santa Cruz
1520 Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com/
https://twitter.com/BookshopSC
https://www.facebook.com/BookshopSantaCruz

Prairie Lights
15 S Dubuque St
Iowa City, IA 52240
http://www.prairielights.com/
https://twitter.com/Prairie_Lights
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prairie-Lights-Bookstore/27924083261

Boulder Book Store
1107 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302
http://www.boulderbookstore.net/
https://twitter.com/boulderbooks
https://www.facebook.com/boulderbookstore

Books Inc Burlingame
1375 Burlingame Ave.
Burlingame, CA 94085
http://www.booksinc.net/burlingame
https://www.facebook.com/BookIncBurlingame

Carmichael's Bookstore
1295 Bardstown Rd
Louisville, KY 40204
http://www.carmichaelsbookstore.com/
https://twitter.com/carmichaelsbook
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carmichaels-Bookstore/124136360956856

Eagle Eye Bookshop
2076 N Decatur Rd
Decatur, GA 30033
http://www.eagleeyebooks.com/
https://twitter.com/eagleeyebooks
https://www.facebook.com/eagleeyebooks

Between the Covers
152 E Main St
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
http://www.betweenthecovers.com/
https://www.facebook.com/btcbookstore

Learned Owl
204 N Main St
Hudson, OH 44236
http://www.learnedowl.com/
https://twitter.com/learnedowl
https://www.facebook.com/learnedowl

Lyon Books
121 W 5th St
Chico, CA 95928
http://www.lyonbooks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/lyonbooks

Micawbers Books
2238 Carter Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108
http://www.micawbers.com/
https://twitter.com/micawbers
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Micawbers-Books/58197328761

Towne Center Books
555 Main St
Pleasanton, CA 94566
http://www.townecenterbooks.com/
https://twitter.com/TowneCenterBks
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Towne-Center-Books/142569542253

U C Davis Bookstore
2828 Cowell Blvd
Davis, CA 95618
http://ucdavisstores.com/
https://twitter.com/UCDavisStores
https://www.facebook.com/ucdavisstores

Snowbound Books
118 N 3rd St
Marquette, MI 49855
http://www.snowboundbooks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/165471948623/

Magers & Quinn
3038 Hennepin Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
http://www.magersandquinn.com/
https://twitter.com/magersandquinn
https://www.facebook.com/magersandquinnbooksellers

Books Inc Alameda
1344 Park St
Alameda, CA 94501
http://www.booksinc.net/Alameda
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Books-Inc-in-Alameda/90600029491

RJ Julia
768 Boston Post Rd
Madison. CT 06443
http://www.rjjulia.com/
https://twitter.com/rjjulia
https://www.facebook.com/rjjuliabooksellers

Over the Moon Bookstore & Artisan Gallery
5798 Three Notch'd Rd.
Crozet, VA 22932
http://www.overthemoonbookstore.com/
https://www.facebook.com/OvertheMoonBookstore


Happy Holidays!
  1. I don't know what possessed me to start this blog post as Lord Buckley -- do the kids even know who he is these days? -- but there you have it2.
  2. It could have been worse. I could have rapped about Christmas jammies.
  3. There is no third footnote.

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