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Sunday, January 05, 2014

Life and Otherwise

Life. I took Amanda to the airport early yesterday morning, to fly to Australia, but the aftereffects of the previous day's blizzarding meant that she didn't go anywhere, and now flies to Australia tomorrow. I've felt guilty about how happy I am to have an extra couple of days with her. (Of course, I don't really get an extra two days: mostly she's off rehearsing for the Sydney Festival -- she's doing ten days there (you can learn about it here, if you are in Sydney), and is going to pretty much have to get off the plane and onto the stage). But we grab meals and yoga and we get two extra nights. And I do not mind at all.

I know where I'm going on Tuesday when we close up this house, which is a relief. (You can follow me on the road trip and learn where I am going that way.)

My friend Cat Mihos (she of the Neverwear website) is out helping me move. Which right now means she is going around the house putting labels on things, and I am writing this blog.

Two days ago, I went with Amanda to the memorial for her Latin teacher and friend, Michael Fiveash. He taught her about mythology. She had asked me to read Keats's Ode on a Grecian Urn as part  of the "Evening of Truth and Beauty". I never met Dr Fiveash, but as long as I've known Amanda she had wanted me to meet him -- even more so since I told her about the book of retellings of myths I'm working on. It never happened: he died before we talked. By the end of the memorial I felt I knew him.

I found myself brooding over what kind of memorial I wanted, in the unlikely but inevitable event of my ever being dead, and decided that whatever else happened, I would like this song by Jake Thackray either played or sung by a friend.


...and while I'm feeling morbid, I thought you'd probably want to know that deaths caused by lightning strikes in America this year are the lowest they have been since records have been kept. Only 26 people died from lightning strikes, down from 432 deaths in 1943 to just 23 in 2013.

Given that lightning strikes are obviously the clearest and most measurable indication of God's displeasure, it's nice to see that God is obviously very pleased with America. (There's a nice diagram here: http://www.wunderground.com/news/lightning-deaths-down-2013-20140103)

...

I have a copy of A PARTICULAR BOOK in front of me. Very soon, I will have read it aloud in its entirety and this event will have been videoed. This will be a special secret thing I'm doing for Patrick Rothfuss's Worldbuilders Fundraiser. I'm also giving them a signed copy of the glorious limited edition of Ocean at the End of the Lane, and of course, there is the copy of Stardust that I donated in 2008, which may be back in the running and winnable once again.

...

This was my very favourite of the FORTUNATELY THE MILK videos made by people to celebrate the publication of the book. It may be my favourite video of recent months. I would have bought Lauren Beukes' novel The Shining Girls even if I hadn't seen this video, because Joe Hill said such good things about it. Here you go:





And according to the Guardian, I "slugged it out with Jonathan Franzen"... by which they mean a lot of people read this edited version of my Reading Agency talk. I'm really glad they did.

Right. I'll steal a question from Tumblr to answer, then bed:

Is the BBC radio adaptation of Neverwhere available for sale in any format?




Yes. It's up on Audible and iTunes for download. It was also produced as a set of 4 CDs, but the AudioGo company who made the CD went bankrupt, and I can't find any CDs for sale at present. I'm sure it will be a CD again, soon enough.

(And thank you all for the encouragement with the social media break. I appreciate it.)

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