Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nine pictures from my life (and one drawing)

I'm not going to say a lot about Campfire, not what happened or who was there, because it was a very private sort of a thing.

At first I was suspicious. I've seen a lot of late 1960s and early 1970s SF television, and whenever a bunch of creative people are taken off by a private plane to a mysterious location, they are normally either brainwashed or replaced by exact duplicates who are sent back to society with a mysterious and probably fatal agenda.

Private plane. Check. Mysterious location. Check.


So I spent much of the journey to, and the first day at, Campfire convinced it was all much too good to be true, and expecting that when I went back to my room there would be my exact duplicate waiting in the wardrobe, holding a silvery gun...

Everything pointed to that. Aha, I thought, when the buses pulled up: THE COMPOUND. I was expecting barbed wire and enormous dogs and no way to let our loved ones know what had happened to us when the robot duplicates returned in our stead.

The Compound turned out to be a really nice local restaurant.

You could bring someone, and (as Amanda is still in Cabaret, and Maddy was on a school field-trip) I brought my literary agent, Merrilee Heifetz, not as my agent but as my friend of (now) 23 years. She had as good a time as I did.

Photo by Seth Godin

I left Campfire reinvigorated, excited about art, and looking forward to getting back to work and happy to be writing again. I saw some old friends, made a number of new friends, learned so much about so many things, and was happy.

These are two of the new friends I made -- Aubrey de Grey (on the left) and Dr Sarah Marr (who blogs at Aubrey, who has a beard that rivals the young Alan Moore's, is an astonishing speaker and advocate for treating aging as a curable disease, and I spent most of the four hour flight from New York asking him hard questions and enjoying his answers. Their website is, and I'm hoping to write more about Aubrey and at some time soon. (And Sarah's promised me my own special link from here to when I do.)

And then I came home. (I came home with a signed copy of Armistead Maupin's Mary Ann in the Autumn, having told Armistead Maupin how much I felt Sandman had owed to Tales of the City. I'm reading it now and loving it.)

In the time that I was away, Maddy had grown even more, had a haircut and turned into a self-assured young woman....

Seen here with her actual and original dad, and almost definitely not a brainwashed or android duplicate sent back into the world to wreak havok:

Cabal is still recovering from his operations: his spine was decompressed, and now he's walking again. He can't run yet, and so he's always on a lead (er, leash to Americans) to stop him dashing off after an interesting rabbit.

Last night, in the small hours, he couldn't get up, and started screaming with pain. I've never heard him do that before. I know that German Shepherds have ridiculously high pain threshholds, so if it was hurting, it was hurting him more than anything has before. This was bad. I held him until he was able to stand, then gave him his medicine, and then worried about him, and still do, and will continue to do so until he's walking and running again without difficulty.

Meanwhile, Lola has grown several inches and put on many pounds (mostly by eating both of their dinners, I am convinced) and is beautiful and fast and incredibly smart.

But Cabal is still My Dog, and she is, well, not my dog in the same way. She's a good friend, he's family.


A couple of quick reminders: If you know what W00tstock is, you won't need to go to to have it explained. If you don't know, you should go to and read what you find there.

On November 2nd, I'll be standing in for Wil Wheaton at the Austin Texas W00tstock. There is much information on the evening and ticket-ordering information at I believe tickets are going extremely fast. And if you don't want to see me, there will be other people there, people of talent and humour. And if that isn't enough, I'm afraid Paul and Storm will almost certainly sing their Captain's Wife's Lament song.

Austin. The one in Texas. Three days before Guy Fawkes Night. Which they probably don't actually celebrate in Texas.


At one point I'm talking about the nature of privacy and blogging, and mention Amanda, who ponders (and, I think, in the end, disagrees with me) over at in the kind of blog entry that has as much interesting stuff in the comments as in the journal.


And I got to see "Falalafelosophy", the episode of ARTHUR with me in it, playing a walking talking authory black cat named Neil Gaiman. It airs in the US on the 25th of October, although it's already crept out into the world in Australia and (I think) Canada.

It's funny and sweet, and it says things I believe in. I hope that every kid who watches it decides to make his or her own graphic novel.

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