Friday, May 12, 2006

bearsongs and eggshells

Lacking bear pepper-spray, I walked home across the garden last night singing very loud bear songs, which went something along the lines of, "Lalala, I am singing very loudly to alert the bear to my presence, Lalala because most of the websites I've found talk about making noise and giving bears lots of time to get away, Lalala also I do not want to startle a bear at all because according to everything I've read on the subject bears do not like being startled." You don't have to worry about rhymes with bears. They don't mind about rhymes. Or tunes. Or scansion. Frankly, hypothetical bears are a very easy sort of audience.


When I was a young journalist, I probably knew -- there in my head, when I needed them --several hundred phone numbers. I'd dial them regularly, and they'd sit in that place they'd be when you need them.

I realised yesterday that I now know at most a dozen phone numbers, and all but one of them predate my getting a cell phone in 1999. Either I press someone's name, and the cellphone calls them, or I pull the cellphone out and check the number if I'm dialling (there's an odd, antique word) on a landline. It's become my phone-number memory. My fingers and head no longer need to learn phone numbers, so they don't.


Lots of people have asked why I haven't linked to the cover of FRAGILE THINGS, and it's mostly because I don't have an online image to link to. But as I mentioned before, I do have a mock-up of it that the William Morrow art department did, which I finally took some photographs of the other day.

The plan is for the title and my name and the back cover copy to be printed on an translucent sheet, and for the images to be on the actual boards of the book. (The back cover has a diagram of a human heart on it from an old anatomy book.)

Odd -- they aren't uploading. Bugger. I'll see if I can get it to work another way.

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There we go. As I say, this is just a mock-up, but you get the general idea. And the anatomical heart on the back is a little less, er, fluffy and gentle than the images on the front.

BBC Points West actually did a whole piece about Stardust at Castle Combe last night. They attempted to film Sienna Miller (is that right, I'm not paying attention), but a burly security man played at being a stage curtain with a large bit of black cardboard. One camera man got through during a non-shooting bit. One of the locals who is an extra was telling the crew how he had to grow a beard specially, and didn't have to wear his hat. Then they interviewed some tourists about what they thought in discovering a film being shot. That was about it. There was also a snap or two in the always inaccurate Western Daily Press. HTH flamingkitties (hiding in Wiltshire)

Thanks for the tip-off. Found it at
with the realplayer footage at this link. And yes, Sienna Miller's playing Victoria (or Vicotria, as the BBC has it).

I also smiled to see that the IMDB cast list for Stardust seems to have added a fictional (?) person to the cast. (I don't quite get IMDB, sometimes. And Alfred Molina isn't in it either.)


The last time I was in Australia, on my day off at the end, Eddie Campell showed me his book The Fate of the Artist, and I loved it. And now, just in time for me to zoom back to Australia for the Sydney writer's festival, it's finally coming out --
for details...

And I just looked at the Sydney Writer's Festival website at which mentions that my talk next Monday is "Selling fast" so if you're in Australia and hoping to go to that one, you may want to get your tickets now. (Then again, I'm on four other things, so if you don't get to that one, you can catch me at one of the others.)