Saturday, September 20, 2008

Still back. Still nocturnal.

(A slight correction to yesterday's post: Lorraine tells me that the tree in front of my gazebo was actually cut down because it was dead and they were worried it would fall on the gazebo.)

I've started looking at the mail that came in while I was away. Lots of exciting things -- I put a few of them down on the tabletop and photographed them: advanced copies of The Graveyard Book from Bloomsbury and Harper Collins, and the unabridged audio book version with me reading and lots of Bela Fleck's version of Danse Macabre on it, an early copy of Gene Wolfe's An Evil Guest (hurrah), finally my very own copy of Lucy Clifford's Anyhow Stories, Scott McCloud's introduction to Google Chrome (you can read it on the web here), the booklets for the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Snow Glass Apples (now sold out from BPAL, but the reviews are fascinating but not quite sold out from the CBLDF), and two foreign copies of Good Omens (one of which, I think it's Czech, has the slashiest cover of Good Omens I've seen to date):

Cool house. I'm not sure if it's really how it is or just the angle from which you shot it, but the way the panels (wooden slats?) run around the bottom of the house makes it look like it's on a circular base. Looking at it I felt life if I could just find the key and turn it, the base would turn slowly and music would play. :)
Neil, what's one thing you still want in life? Something you'd like to learn to do but never find the time for, an untried genre or medium that intrigues you, an experience you'd like to have, that kind of thing. When the most you know of someone is what they've already done and where they've already been (and it's a lot more and further than you've experienced yourself) it's hard to imagine what they still daydream about.

I'd love to write an original musical. I'd love to write an original stage play. (I hesitate to say that here, because when I do my inbox fills with invitations from theatre companies to write one for them, and it's more about time than it is desire.) I'd like to write a full-length film script that was all mine and that I was happy with. I'd wanted to do a travel-non-fiction sort of book for over a decade, but I've started that process now. Beyond that, I'd like to keep learning. (That last sounds kind of dire, doesn't it? One step away from "I like long walks on the beach and then curling up in front of a log fire and listening to thunderstorms." But I really do like learning new information and skills. It makes me happy and stops me feeling old.)

Hi Neil,
Welcome home/back to the blog- I hope you have enough time to recover before the Graveyard Book juggernaut begins. Thanks for sharing the "surveying of the domain" with us; looks like everything was well looked after in your absence.
A link to an article from The Age about the use of your work and that of Shaun Tan and Nicki Greenberg, among other, in the classroom (of a Christian college, no less):

I liked the article, and hope it reaches teachers who need ammunition to be able to bring graphic novels into the classroom.
(Also, it mentions Nicki Greenberg's The Great Gatsby, which is, so far this year, the graphic novel from which I've got the most pleasure -- and which, for copyright reasons, can't be sold in the US or the UK. But it can be sold in -- and from -- Australia, New Zealand and Canada. And if you can get a copy, it's wonderful.)

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