Thursday, October 14, 2004

ups and downs on a puddly day

Good morning. It's a sort of a grey, puddly day outside, and I am blinking muzzily at the world. Sent off the third (and I hope last) draft of the BBC Radio 3 play version of "Mister Punch" to Lu Kemp, my producer, yesterday night. Am still trying to finish the Mirrormask script book -- I've written all the extra material for it, and right now just need to talk to Dave McKean about script and formatting. A sample five-page scene that Dave had done was waiting for me when I got back to this wonderful retreat (I took a couple of photos of the place with my camera yesterday, and will post them before I leave on Sunday), and I was astonished at how well it reads, with script and storyboards running down the page together -- like a new kind of graphic novel, really.

Getting onto the internet is not impossible, but it's not quick or easy right now. (It may be next week.)

Hi Neil, I have request regarding your journal that would make it a lot more accessible to people. Could you ask your webmaster if they can syndicate it on A lot of people have online journals up on livejournal, and myself and many others would be grateful to have access to your wonderful journal while looking over our other friends journal entries.thanks! and please keep writing! your books are my bread!- cynthia silvestri graphic designer, would-be writer

Some helpful person started syndicating it a while ago, and, according to it's now More Popular Than Garfield (but nowhere near as popular as Calvin and Hobbes).

It's at And I should really put this one into the FAQs, shouldn't I?

Neil-So the general consensus among the Tori community is that the album is coming out mid-February, which would mean that SOMETHING should leak by now?Have you heard any of it? Anything about it? At all? Is there anything Tori would let you tell us? Because neither the music press nor Epic is spilling anything, and you know how much we love reading your reviews. :)

I'm like everyone else outside of that Cornwall house, including all the people at Epic Records. None of us have heard anything of the actual album yet -- Tori's playing this one really mysterious and extremely close to her chest. She played me seven unfinished songs, last Winter solstice, when I stayed over in Cornwall, and I thought they were very fierce and beautiful; then she called me a couple of months ago to check a few things about Melusine, and sang me the song in which she appears (but has also just told me that that song won't be on this album, and actually is for the one after). She seems to be enjoying having a really intimate relationship with the music. ("We're still dating," she told me. "Going out for coffee together. Just the two of us.") But she's promised that I'll hear it before the next Winter solstice, and I'm very happy to wait and see.


I've just deleted the thing about how I phoned Dave and heard all about the technical meltdown on Mirrormask, and how they hadn't slept for 3 days trying to find the bug, because just as I finished creating a gmail account, for people to offer help at, Dave phoned me back and told me they'd just isolated the mystery bug and fixed it. Which was actually why I went online in the first place. So not to worry. (And I only had to worry for 15 minutes.)


Instead, an exercise in "what if...":

Hi, Neil.I don't know if you've seen this, you haven't mentioned it, but I know I found Patrick Nielsen Hayden's blogger through yours, so you might have. It's a fascinating little exercise by Will Shetterly, and the comments extend the idea even further.It's like alternate history in reverse, and I thought you might enjoy it. Cheers,Will

which reminds me that novelist Will Shetterly is currently auctioning off all sorts of things in his current novel. Have you ever wanted to be a fictional character? Ever wanted someone to dedicate a novel to you, or your loved one? Check out Will Shetterly's journal -- he's eBaying off the dedications and a character role. As Will explains in the eBay auction site...

Now I'm under contract to Tor Books to deliver a sequel to Dogland titled The Secret Academy. I've decided that what's good enough for Shakespeare is good enough for me. (Yes, by winning this auction, you may also feel like Queen Elizabeth or the Earl of Southampton for no extra charge.) What do you get besides the chance to say that you're my patron? You get to have The Secret Academy dedicated to you, or to anyone or anything that's acceptable to both of us. You get a signed copy of the manuscript and a signed copy of the first edition of the novel. You get to know that you helped support literature in North America. You may even buy me dinner sometime.

Fox Movie Channel is (are?) beginning to put up stuff, including a trailer, for the shortly up-coming "13 Nights of Fright" hosting you're doing. The above page has a photo on it of your silent assistant about to bite you in the neck; she is wearing what I assume is The Dress, alhtough you can't see much of it.

It's a bit surreal to hear the narrator in the trailer say "author of 'The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish" to swelling music and lightning in the same tone of voice that's sometimes used for things like "but Jason didn't really die--he now haunts the lake killing innocent campers with a candle stick and a pizza cutter---bwahahahaha!". Can't wait to see it! Craig Steffen

Yup. That's The Dress. Or a very small bit of it, anyway.