Saturday, February 09, 2008

another birthday post...

Strange things keep turning up in the right hand side of the page. (If you're reading this on a feed, you might want to click over to and refresh a few times. I'm just saying...)

Hi Neil, I was just wondering, why don't you have comments turned on on the blog? I'm sure there would be tons everyday. Still, it would be fun to read other's comments and such. Just wondering. Love the new pics on the blog today. Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLOG! Hope your'e around for at least 7 more years.

Thanks and I love this blog (and you too!),


Because seven years ago, when it started, things like comments were unheard of, outside of a couple of the secret blogging laboratories on the Moon, and when, a few years back, Blogger introduced them, I was happy with the way things were - mostly because I knew the volume of stuff that comes in on the FAQ line, could only imagine the volume of comments we'd get, and knew how horribly interesting a good comment place can be. (Making Light is the best example, where the original post is the tip of an iceberg, and then things get really interesting or strange -- each comment thread can be a good day's reading, filled with interesting stuff.) Which meant, I suspected, that if I turned on the comments I'd ever get any actual work done again.

Hi, Neil.

I know you watch Boing Boing and that's where I found this, but I wasn't sure if you caught the post since you're been in "The Graveyard Book."

Some authors hoping to plan a sci-fi convention that focuses on young adult. :-) Makes me all warm and fuzzy, really.

Tina @ ALA

Good to know. I think it's a great idea. (Also, I was pleased to hear that Fourth Street is returning.)

If the snow effect you're talking about is the same one I saw at 3000m in the Haute Savoie (which makes it sound more impressive than "on a skiing holiday"), then it's called diamond dust. Single ice crystals formed in very low air temperatures, like being inside a frozen cloud.

It takes something special to make a dozen lads on a booze/wintersports holiday all shut up and gawp, but that did it. On a sunny, blue-sky day too, the air just sparkled.

It sounds like a local version of that. Right now we've got an "arctic front" with 45 mph winds gusting the just-fallen snow around in blinding howls, and I'm not looking forward to dogwalking...

Hey Neil! Any chance of getting a direct link to the original post for what comes out of the oracle?

We talked about it a while ago, and then forgot. I'll ask Da Goblin. In the meantime you can always cut and paste it into the site search engine at
and unless it's something unusual (I just tried it and it gave me a question mark) it should be easy to see where it came from.

[Edit to add, Da Webgoblin assures me that the link has been there for ages. You just have to find it. I asked the Oracular Orb if this was the right course of action, and it said "Lots of people think this is a stupid idea, including Lord Blackadder." The Webgoblin and I, however, will Stay The Course.]

Has the Oracle ever said anything other than "You have to actually shake it?"

I am starting to lose faith in its power.

You didn't read the instructions at, did you? I'd particularly refer you to the bit that says "don't just click on it. Shake it." If you click on it, it will say "You actually have to shake it". Only when shaken will the curtain between past and future be lifted, and only then will the oracle pronounce oracularly.

Mr. Gaiman,

First, thank you very much for your blog. It is a delight to read each day--particularly so when you describe just how much work you put into your writing.

I was wondering, though, about where you write. You have talked about your pens and paper and your ink, and I have seen many references to the small cabin in which you write, but I was wondering if your could (if you haven't already) describe the writing shack. I'm always curious about the conditions in which writing is produced, and the idea of a writing shack fascinates me. Do you always try to write in the same place? Before you had a writing shack, did you find similar places to write? Do you find that you grow attached to the place itself and that writing in other conditions (i.e. places, pens, papers) is difficult?

Thanks, again, for sharing all of this with us, and I apologize if my questions have been asked and answered elsewhere.



While I was typing this the sun came out. I may take a few photos of the gazebo at the bottom of the garden, which is where I'm currently doing a lot of writing, mostly because it's the easiest place to write with a large white dog, and post them. The rest of the writing is occurring in the small hours of the morning on a sofa.

I can write pretty much anywhere, in truth, although I like going places I've not been before. I like travelling, in moderation, and I like being in new places, and I especially like being in new places to write.

Meanwhile, here's a ten-year-old-photograph of me in the Patagonian town they named after my kind...


The Mysterious Thing Post will go up tonight.

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