Wednesday, June 18, 2003

In which you lot do most of the work

Good morning....

For Jason who is worrying over writer's workshop woes - he didn't mention if he writes speculative fiction or not, but if he does, a really great online workshop can be found here: A workshop for science fiction, fantasy and horror writers. I've been a member since 1999 (back when it was sponsored by Del Rey), and before that I was taking writing classes at the college I attended. All of those classes made me feel icky about my writing, but then I joined the OWW and met other authors who were writing and publishing speculative fiction and now I'm published and heading off to Clarion West (in a few hours, actually). The OWW community is very supportive and also very tough. They will tell you exactly what you need to do to become the writer you want to be, but they will also give you a lot of encouragement.


Good to know...

And this is being posted because of the tottering, twanging burglar on the bicycle, really...

At 3.30 am this morning My Partner Viviane and I awoke to the sound and bright flash of a burglar, testing out Viv's digital camera in the corridor just downstairs from our bedroom. Of course we didn't know that that was what it was at the time, but Viv smelled cigarette smoke and we don't smoke. To cut a fairly short story even shorter I am this morning a couple of hand made banjos, a beautiful Italian button Accordion, (the most precious object I have ever owned) and several other things lighter than I was last night.

Thankfully the guy was not interested in computers and I still have my mac complete with a years worth of illustrations for my next book on the hard disks. Suicide, or at the very least the tearful returning of my advance would have probably have been on the cards if they'd been gone too.

Why am I telling you this?
Well A. it's a good sob story and since I read this journal often it felt about as natural as e-mailing the other people who I correspond with over the web.

B. It's keeping my mind off insurance claim forms.

C. I thought it might be nice to let as many people as I can around the world know that Somewhere in Darkest Cornwall at 3.35 this morning there was a man hurtling down a hill on a bicycle, (Yes a bicycle, I Saw the bleeder! This is Cornwall we're talking about). Teetering under the weight of a large accordion and two banjo's making comedy twanging sounds in panic. It's almost worth the sacrifice... Almost.

I have a theory that the neighbours arranged it all.

It would make the day a bit brighter for me if you could post this. And also maybe check out my Jabberwocky book, (which is out in the US now) over at I think it might be up your street anyway.

Joel Stewart, ( in an unpleasantly quiet tumbledown house in Cornwall)

Great looking website, and the Jabberwocky sounds wonderful. I hope you get your stuff back.

Someone was asking about the Edinburgh Fringe production of stories from Smoke and Mirrors. Here's the press release from the theatre company:

Rascal Vanngang are a fresh company from the South East of England made up of committed, professional actors. They work in an amateur capacity within the company to produce stage adaptations of short stories. They are starting this new idea on a firm footing with the world premiere of (Stories from) Smoke and Mirrors. Written by the award � winning author Neil Gaiman (Good Omens, The Sandman, and for the BBC Neverwhere, among others.) These three short stories are wonderfully disparate, and running at an hour they are perfect Fringe viewing.

The Stories.

#1: The White Road �Set in a tavern in an undetermined medieval age, it is the story of a couple about to be married, exchanging stories and dreams with the other guests. However When Mr. Fox�s fianc� recalls a dream she had the mood starts to sour. But was it a dream? And who is the stranger in white?
A tragic tale with many wonderfully unanswered questions.

#2: When We Went To See The End Of The World, By Dawnie Morningside, Aged 11 ��Dawnie has written a school report on what she has done in the holidays. Her teacher invites her to read her story in front of her classmates, however this is like no work Dawnie has written before. It is a tale of Unicorns and broken homes. Of potato salad and roads filled with cats. Slowly we see the truth behind Dawnie. A scared girl, in a far from perfect home, just trying to make light (and sense) of it all.

#3: We Can Get Them For You Wholesale�Peter Pinter is a very moderate man. He never goes to extremes and has no vices, except for the inability to pass up a bargain. (And who among us is entirely free from that?) So when he discovers his fianc� is cheating on him, it is far from in character when he decides to assassinate her. But murder isn�t as simple as that. Especially when you�re Peter Pinter. Anyone could get hurt.

The scenery in the show is kept to a minimum, with all realism (and surrealism) being attained through the acting talents of the cast.
The different stories are comical and tragic, with a vein of subtle, dark humour building as the stories progress.
Though there are no happy endings in these modern day Fairy Tales, it is beyond all reasonable doubt that the audience will leave without smiles on their faces. After all, it�s three plays for the price of one, and you can�t turn down a bargain like that, can you?

Rascal Vanngang: Director, Duncan L. J. Bailey. 72B, Watling Street,
Radlett, Hertfordshire, WD7 7NP, England.

I wish I could be there...

"And in my library, in cases that look like coffins, I have a Sandman muppet and a Destiny muppet, made by the same talented lady who made the Neil Gaiman muppet who used to do storytelling at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. This is Kathleen David, now married to Peter David, Writer of Stuff."

I am quite confused... Did Kathleen do storytelling at the Center for Puppetry Arts, or did the Neil Gaiman puppet? Because if it is the latter, I would very much like to hear about this.


Er, Kathleen used to work at the Atlanta Centre for Puppetry Arts, before she came to New York, married Peter David, became a book editor and had a baby. She made a muppet of me which she told me they used to use as a storyteller or narrator at the Centre. (She may well have been the puppeteer.) They probably still have it. When I'd do signings in Atlanta she'd bring it, and glowing-eyed Sandman muppet #1 (she gave me #2) to amuse or horrify the crowd...