Sunday, April 29, 2007

bees and stuff

I'm home again. (There wasn't a blog entry for the last two days because the hotel in Helena, Montana, had such an intermittently dodgy internet connection -- it would sort of work during the day and then stop working at night, just about the point I'd think "Time to write a blog entry". So I'd sleep instead.)

The Moth event on Thursday night ( was wonderful and scary -- Pico Iyer, Jonathan Ames, Edgar Oliver, Laila Lalami, and a terrified me telling the last story of the night (about my day on Liverpool Street Station in Easter 1977). A quick google found a review up at

I've come away from the PEN World Voices event with a real respect and a great deal more understanding of what PEN is and does. is their website, and I commend it to you.

Then I went to Helena. Got in late on Friday night. Saturday morning, I talked -- first to librarians about the history of comics and comics censorship and the CBLDF and what it does, then about digital stuff (acknowledging myself to be a pixel-stained technopeasant wretch), then for a lunch I talked to librarians about writing and how I became someone who does that sort of thing, and then I talked to an audience of people from Montana mostly. I read to them, then I answered questions, then I signed books for many extremely nice people, and had to confess to most of them that I hadn't really seen much of Montana, what with being in a hotel talking all day. I have to go back -- what I saw was lovely.

While I was signing books in Montana, Charles Vess was in New York, going to a screening of Stardust.

He writes about it over on his blog...
Posh seats for, at most, 50 people. Filling those seats were several of the
movie’s stars (Robert DeNiro, Clare Danes, Charlie Cox), producers (Lorenzo
DeBonaventura, etc.) and many faces both recognizable and not. Matthew Vaughan , the director, introduced the film and the lights went down. Nervous couldn’t half describe how I was feeling at that moment. What if I found myself cringing at what had been done to “my” story. What if everyone started walking out? What if, what if…

And you can find out what he thought of what he saw at

I don't think I'm going to see it until the beginning of June at a screening in the UK. By that point everything will be finished, and I'll see a completed print. Like Charles, I'm a bit nervous -- I last saw a test screening with lots of stuff not there and not finished, but Charles's blog entry and Harry Knowles's comments the other day on AICN are extremely reassuring. (The longer UK trailer for Stardust, with ghosts, is up at

Charles Vess is giving a lecture in New York on May 2nd at the Society of Illustrators, and signing the new hardcover of Stardust on May 4th -- details at

I have worn my white bee suit today and gone and met the bees. The plumtrees are in blossom. And I have to make Maddy's dinner now.

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