Sunday, April 26, 2009

London, Paris, New York. Also Lexington High School.

Good morning world. It's thundery wet Sunday morning here, which is rather wonderful.

I had a few days of all my children at home -- Mike is back with a broken leg, Holly came home to work on her dissertation, and Maddy, well she's always here anyway although actually she's in Chicago right now with her school orchestra -- but it ends today as Mike goes back to work in San Francisco(he's doing really well, has been doing all his exercises, is at the point where he can drive, even with a broken-leg-boot), Holly goes back to the UK, and I go off to Maryland to give a Monday Night talk, reading, etc. 

(Details of Monday Night Talk reading etc  at

From there I go to New York (events on Thursday night and Saturday). Then on Monday the 4th of May I will spend a Coraline day in Paris (where there will be some kind of a signing, which I will announce here the moment they tell me when and where it is) and then to do a couple of days of Coraline press in London (where there won't be a signing, because nobody thought to check with me when one was being organised, so I was inadvertently double-booked and it had to be cancelled just before it was announced).

So from Tuesday for ten days I'll be New York, Paris, London. Like on the perfume bottles.


As a consequence of being in London, I will miss The Lexington High School school play.

I don't actually make a habit of going to school plays. In fact, I suspect at pretty much any given moment I am missing a school play somewhere in the world without feeling in any way regretful about it.

This one, however, I am missing with regret.  This is because Amanda Palmer (seen below, in a  photograph taken last week probably while she was learning how to fly, by Lindsey Byrnes, girlfriend of Tegan from Tegan and Sara, whose music I really like) is part of the creative team, so I got to stop in and watch a little of the rehearsal, and really wanted to come back and see the whole thing.

When my friend Lisa Snellings came out to install the statue in the nook, she brought me Neutral Milk Hotel's CD "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea", which she told me I would like. And, eventually, I did: it's not the kind of music you fall in love with bumping into a song here or there on the iPod. It's the kind of music you love when you hear the whole CD over and over again, and then suddenly you can't decide what your favourite song is so you have to play it all through again. And again.

Amanda and director Steve Bogart and the Lexington High Schoolers have taken "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" and the story of Anne Frank, and crafted a play out of it, and the students and Amanda will be performing. You can read an article about it here and over at Amanda's Blog - and it'll be happening on the 7th 8th and 9th of May. Details and how to order tickets are all up at


Me, watching the warm-up. Photo by Leo Gaskell.

Got a lovely call from Dan DiDio at DC Comics to say thanks for Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader -- it's getting enthusiastic reviews (review meta sites here and here) and DC is getting feedback on it from readers and retailers, it's selling astonishingly well.  Which I mention because what left me with a huge smile on my face was the "Thank you", much more than the sales or the articles or anything. So easy to forget to say (I forget all the time) and the best bit of it all.


Dear Neil,
I'm mid-way through The Graveyard Book, and have 1) a monster girl-crush on Miss Lupescu, and 2) a lycanthropic question. Does the idea of werewolves as the Hounds of God have a precedent anywhere? (Because it is a most awesome idea, and further reading is always exciting. And if the idea originates with you, can I start spreading it around until it becomes folklore...?)
Thanks for your time (not to mention your writing.)
Yours sincerely,

I'm pretty sure it came from a sentence in Carlo Ginzberg's The Night Battles (Witchcraft & Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries). (Amazon link.) A book I learned about from John Crowley (I wrote about his suggested reading list for fantasy writers here -- and that book was on it).

Can you please send me (or direct me to) the *full* lyrics for your "Ballade of the _Fantastick_" which _1602_ provides large excerpts from? I would like to learn it -- and sing it to fellow filkers and other friends. (I have already found a tune to fit it, both as to meter and as to mood.)

I don't even know which notebook it was in. Argh. I think you should engage with the folk tradition here, and make it up.


And finally, I linked to this on Twitter when it first went up, but now people are stumbling across it, and sending it to me:
It is funny, and has an additional gag aimed in my direction.

Right. The day waits.

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