Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Religion of Dolphins...

I slept for the better part of 13 hours last night, and now feel remarkably human compared to any other point in the last ten days. Actually-rested is good. Maddy and I cancelled one leg of Maddy's Spring Break Adventure, although we still plan to go off tomorrow for a couple of days in the sun for the second leg.

Picked up my copy of New Scientist over breakfast this morning (which, along with Fortean Times, is my favourite publication) and found myself puzzling over an article that began

That a complex mind is required for religion may explain why faith is unique to humans.

Which left me amazed and potentially delighted that journalists at New Scientist had succeeded in interspecies communication to the point of being certain that dolphins and whales have no belief in things deeper than themselves, that ants do not imagine a supreme colony at the centre of everything, and that my cats only believe in what they can see, smell, hunt and rub up against (except for Pod, of course, who when much younger would react in horror, with full fur-up, to invisible things), and that there are no Buddhist Pigs, Monkeys or whatever-the-hell Sandy was.

If you've already answered this and I've somehow missed it, please accept my apologies for being boring and repetive. However, I read your blog daily and don't remember it being addressed.

Why oh why is it impossible to find a copy of Blueberry Girl?

Our local independent got ONE copy in and it came damaged. Their distributor says it will be 3 weeks until they can send more. Our brick and mortar Barnes & Noble took our order and then e-mailed us back that they cannot fill it. Amazon says the book's shipping time is 2-3 weeks.

I finally found a copy at Powell's which claims it will ship in 1-3 days, but I imagine other folks are running into this problem. Normally, I'd just have my independent order it and wait, but I have a tiny girl's 4 week birthday to celebrate.

Thanks for any light you can shed!


I spoke to Elise Howard, my editor at HarperChildrens, who apologises to everyone who found Blueberry Girl hard to get. The demand for the book caught everyone slightly by surprise (it came in at #3 on the New York Times list on its first week out), and all-colour books take longer to reprint than simple black and white printing books, so even though they knew well in advance of publication that they had underprinted, they still had to wait for the books to be printed and come in. 

(They overprint colour covers, as they take longer, which is why The Graveyard Books out there have stick-on Newbery Medals, not pre-printed ones).

Harpers speeded up the reprint process though, and they got reprints in today and have already shipped them out to Amazon and elsewhere, and have a third printing due in on the 30th. Amazon have it up right now as ready to ship (along with some very baffled reviews).

Books of Wonder have copies of Blueberry Girl for sale signed by Charles Vess (they would have been signed by both of us, but that didn't happen for obvious reasons).

First, my condolences on the passing of your father. Having lost my mother about four years ago, I uderstand your loss. Sorry you won't be in San Diego in July. Loed your appearance on the Colbert Report. The main reason for this post has nothing to do with your work. I am currently rereading the Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. As I'm reading the book, I am not hear Alan Arkin as the voice of Schemdrick the Magician as he did in the movie, Yesterday, I realized I was hearing you as Schemdrick. Just thought you'd like to know.

And in my head, Schmendrick sounds a lot like Peter S. Beagle. Which reminds me: There is a new Peter Beagle short story collection out. I've twittered about it, but forgot to mention it on the blog. Peter is one of those writers who just seems to be getting better and better, and his short stories are delights. Here's the link to buy a copy, get it personalised etc.


I had promised HarperChildrens that if The Graveyard Book made five weeks back at #1 on the NYT list, I would get them all cupcakes. It was there for 6 weeks, and last week they were seriously cupcaked. This week it dropped to #2, which means I don't have to come up with something Better Than Cupcakes for a while.

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