Saturday, March 20, 2004

It ain't easy being green

Another two Muppet episodes watched with Maddy and Mike last night (Julie Andrews and Peter Sellers). I'd forgotten how -- for want of a better word -- irrelevant many of the guests were to what was happening on the screen.

The post yesterday brought the thirteen videos for something that it seems will probably be called "Neil Gaiman's Thirteen Nights of Fright". I'll be filming the links in mid-May. I didn't pick the films, but they're an interesting and eclectic bunch of titles, ranging from all flavours of horror to borderline SF, covering about 50 years of stuff. (I don't plan to make a new career of this, I should add. But I'm really looking forward to doing it once.)

Last year, in a hotel room in New York, my agent Merrilee and I sat and figured out the year to come. Deadlines and projects and things to say no to and things to say yes to and so on. This year she volunteered to come out to me, here in the land of the melting snow. Somehow it all seems a bit more hectic and crazed this time, as we try to figure out the shape of my life and work in the months to come. it's fitting in all the goofy things that make life fun, like recording the next CD for Harper Collins (it'll contain THE DAY I SWAPPED MY DAD FOR TWO GOLDFISH, THE WOLVES IN THE WALLS, CINNAMON and possibly CRAZY HAIR) and spending a few days as a horror host...

Let's see.... Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop in Boston is closing. Interesting article here on why.

I like the convenience of bottled water, although not the price. I was amused by this Guardian article, in which we learn that Coca-Cola take tap-water, run it through a reverse-osmosis filter, then add sedatives and carcinogens for taste... Coca-Cola said it was voluntarily withdrawing all Dasani "to ensure that only products of the highest quality are provided to our consumers".

Small public service announcement: Unrelentless is not a word. Relentless is a word. Unrelenting is a word. Unrelentless doesn't mean "even more relentless than if I just said relentless". If it means anything it means "not relentless at all".

A dozen or so people have suggested I watch the "Cat With Hands" film. For some reason, the messages would always come in when I was on a dial-up connection in a hotel or an airport. But I finally watched it, and in the interests of fairness, checked to see what the first suggestion was:

Dear Neil,

On the off-chance that 27,000 people haven't already sent you this, I thought I'd send you the link to a short, creepy film, "The Cat with Hands":

I hope you enjoy (?) it.


I enjoyed it enormously.

Hi Neil,

Just a note to let you and your readers know about a troubling law that may soon be passed in Canada, and which poses a serious threat to artistic expression here. Bill C-12 removes "artistic merit" as a valid legal defence in obscenity cases involving the representation of minors involved in sexual acts - and goes a step further by demanding the defence prove how the work in question serves the "public good." This last point is the most troubling aspect of the new law, as it opens the door to attacks on works of art that, while not pornographic in nature, could still be banned for failing to meet such a strict mandate (works like, for instance, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). We've had real problems with censorship in Canada, so this is a genuine concern. Arts groups are mobilizing against the proposed new law, and we've set up an information page about it at ( It would be great if you could help us get the word out about this matter.


Peter Darbyshire

Consider it posted. I think that artistic merit is an important criterion; otherwise it becomes a problem that Juliet was almost fourteen...

Dear Neil,

I wanted to let you know that the Tori Amos Tribute Show/RAINN Benefit will be happening again (this is our third year) in Carrboro, NC on Saturday, April 17th, 2004 at the Temple Ball Gallery.
Maybe you could spread the word, and mention it in your journal..?

Here is a link:

Your contribution and support of the event last year helped us greatly, and any help you can lend in advertising would be very much appreciated.

There will be about 15 performers from all over the country performing only the music of Tori Amos on a Bosendorfer and other instruments. You can even see the songs they will be playing at:

There will also be some wonderful Tori-related artwork this year in our gallery/RAINN fundraiser. We will have originals by Herb Leonhard, Paulina Stuckey, porcelain doll maker: Pat Kochie, Kabuki and Darevil artist: David Mack, Laurie Paris, Ken Vint, Nanci Wilson, and Eryn Merwart. We will also have prints by Ken Meyer Jr., Paul Elia, Bob Masse, and Michelle Ivy Berg, and David Louie. Here is a link to our sponsors page:

All proceeds from the event will be donated to RAINN (, which supports the nation's only toll-free 24 hour rape crisis hotline.

We are very excited about the event, and hope people will come out to help us pay tribute to an amazing musician and leader, as well as support a very good cause.

Thank you so much for your help!

Lisa Ray
Executive Director

P.S. I enjoyed the Wolves in the Walls very much, and I love that the father plays the tuba.

And a couple of days ago I got an e-mail from Bill Sienkiewicz with his Tori illustration, which is the cover to the calendar. Really gorgeous. (It's the first image at

And I should have mentioned the other day that people can also read the Strange Little Girl Stories at