Friday, June 10, 2005

The sigh of midnight trains in empty stations

For anyone who has ever thought "I want to be a writer, but novels are, well, long, and even short stories are sort of intimidating, with all those words in them," finally, the perfect job opportunity. Haven't you ever wondered who writes the fortunes in the fortune cookies...?

And for anyone who's ever thought "No, I don't want to write fortune cookies, I want to write novels. For the novel is the best form of expression there is for a naturally shy person and at least if I'm a novelist nobody's ever going to make me dress up as pirate and travel by rickshaw from bookshop to bookshop signing stock," there's this article in the Guardian, on the writing, selling and marketing of a novel, to make you cringe with contact embarrassment:,6000,1503261,00.html

Also over at Bookslut, there's a terrific interview with Jon Scieszka about his Guys Read project. He makes some excellent points about the way that boys are given books, or not given books to read, and are trained away from books they might enjoy into a world of no books at all...

And I liked this article most because it kept making me think of the imaginary cover of the comic, undoubtedly drawn by Carmine Infantino and inked by Murphy Anderson, as Batman and Robin, hanging their heads, are expelled from a supergroup, walking away while Superman points and says "You're being expelled..." and Green Lantern (or possibly either Spider-Man or Ronald MacDonald) finishes "For violence, sexism and stealing from local branches.",3604,1502264,00.html


In Smoke and Mirrors I mention a statue by Lisa Snellings I own, of an angel in a cage, begging for coins (or perhaps, trying to sell one of the feathers from her wings) while her jester captor sleeps. Lisa's just put up a photo of the statue at
Click on the photo to see a larger version.


And in a cheap commercial move, I thought I'd mention that THE DAY I SWAPPED MY DAD FOR TWO GOLDFISH is either a really good, or a really bad Father's Day present. Why don't you give it to a father and find out?


Hi Neil! Just a heads up for your Filipino fans. Fullybooked has released the time and schedule of your tour:

JULY 9, Saturday:
- Doors to "The Gathering" at the Rockwell Tent will open at 3:00pm

JULY 10, Sunday:
- A Reading and Book Signing at Fully Booked Promenade Greenhills (opening July 8, 2005) will start at 2:00pm

JULY 11, Monday:
- A Press Conference (by invitation) and the British Council Writers' Forum at the Music Musuem will be from 1:30-3:00pm
- A Reading and Book Signing at Fully Booked Gateway Mall will start at 4:30pm
- Winners Dinner (Raffle and Art Competition winners) at 7:00pm

Can't wait!

Sounds fun. I should have a complete schedule for Singapore and Australia very soon (there's a tentative one up at Where's Neil).

Hi Neil,

I wonder if you have any inkling yet of how many gifts you're going to receive here in Manila. Almost everyone I know who is in some creative field has been talking (either to myself or on their blogs) about how they're going to be giving you their albums, artwork, DVDs of short films, etc. I know some people who are likely going to give you their entire comics output.

Anyway, this whole thing is just to suggest you bring extra luggage for all that stuff. :)

Also, you may want to reconsider wearing the black leather jacket all the time. This being a tropical country with warm temperatures (though you'll be here during the rainy season). I recently went to Singapore (my first time there), and while less humid the sun is harsher; I assume because it's closer to the equator.

On my mailing list we are talking about what work of yours we would like signed most. Also what question we could ask that hasn't been asked before, seeing as you're probably the most interviewed comics personality.

Looking forward to your visit,


No... leather jacket? But... but.... but....

Hi Neil, This just in, Beryl Articulatus appears to have been sainted by clockmakers! And i thought you and Mr. Pratchett made her up. See here: three-quarters the way down under Reliquary Clocks. Seems they omitted the part about the miraculous beard though. It appears you're doing God's work. -Mike

Of course it's all true. You think we make this stuff up? At least the House of Clocks has a website, and you know you can trust them. Implicitly. To the end of the world. (I'd not visited the House of Clocks for a while, and it's nice to see that it's continuing to grow and evolve more and more interesting bits.)

I have no idea why I decided this post really needed the quote I put at the top. I mean, usually they have some significance, but that line was playing (the Bryan Ferry version) when I went to type the title, and it's such a nice set of words, I put it down there.

And finally, in a link I received from Jonathan Carroll himself, a house of books.