Friday, January 14, 2005

From the House of Soup

I'm the next-to-last-person standing in a house of people with something viral that probably isn't flu but might as well be, and which makes everyone who gets it miserable. Thank heavens for a sensible country doctor who wanders over in the evening and is reassuring. Judging from Maddy (the first to get sick) it only seems to be a 48 hour thing, anyway.

Last night's long and interesting post was eaten by a Nortons Update, at the precise moment where I learned that closing a window that tells you that Nortons has updated your computer and made it warm and fuzzy and safe and wants to restart it now has the same effect as clicking on okay. Ah well, you live and you learn and you curse computers.

I've forgotten most of what I wrote -- I talked about the deer that ran out into the road and crashed into the side of my Mini the other night, causing a grand total of no damage at all and leaving me with a newfound respect for the solidity of Minis; about how this blog is coming up for its fifth year of existence on February 9th 2005 and how or whether to celebrate it; I said that yesterday I'd finished the third draft of the DEATH: The High Cost of Living script, and would today be printing it out and scribbling on it before doing any final changes and sending it off to New Line; I mentioned that the mysterious and remarkable Roger Avary thing was getting even more mysterious and remarkable; and I drew everyone's attention to the Chicago Tribune article by Rob Elder about Jessa and Bookslut. Also I mentioned that anyone who enjoyed Teresa's infodump on agents might want to go and look at the where Teresa says

Contemplating this universe of bad advice makes me feel at once curmudgeonly and appalled. It makes me want to put out a book called The Oppressively Real Guide to Writing and Publishing. Sample chapter titles:

Why You Shouldn�t Write.
A Taxonomy of People Who Are Out To Get You.
Myths and Legends of the Author Tribe.
Ever Wonder Why They Call It Submission?
Things That Won�t Happen.
Some Mistakes We Have Seen.
Recurrent Episodes in the Life of the Writer.
You Can Still Escape.

She must write this book. The world needs it.

I seem to remember finishing by pointing people to Lisa Snellings' (she of the Neil Rat and the Poe Rat) lovely spanking new website journal.

And somewhere in there I talked about the temperature (minus 9F, minus 23C).


i normally wouldn't want to bother you with this but because you just "finished" a book, and therefore probably have more free time, i was wondering if you could maybe look at the questions submitted at i submitted a few and i am sure quite a few other people must have submitted some, too, but for a long time no new questions have been answered. (i know this idea must seem very overwhelming, but there are a lot of us who would really like to hear responses to our questions.) thanks!

Sorry about that. The problem with's FAQ line is that they go to a department which collects them together and every six months sends me a ten page e-mail of questions. And if it arrives when I'm busy it gets put to one side until I have time. (The way the line is set up, the stuff just comes in and I answer it as I go along.) But I've just sent a message to the Harper Childrens department in question and asked them to send over the latest bunch. (There's still no guarantee yours will get answered, of course. And I tend not to answer things I've answered before.)

I love the idea of more free time, but it hasn't happened yet. It probably won't happen until Anansi Boys, and the MirrorMask "picture book" which will be a sort of novella-length illustrated novelisation, are handed in. Given a couple of other things currently going on it may not happen at all, or not for a while. The 'copious spare time' comment the other day was intended to be taken with a large dollop of chilly irony. (Currently I'd really like the time to sign and number the 300 cool things that were meant to be Xmas presents, but are now New Year's Presents, which are sitting, unsigned, on my chest of drawers.) Time is precious.