Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the blog...

...not a creature was stirring, not even a dog.

My children are all here (are they children when they're adults? I suppose they must be...) and I'm enjoying it no end, having all three of them here. They're all asleep here right now, or, more likely, trying to get to sleep somewhere upstairs. Holly and Maddy were last seen in the same bed, playing cards. Mike is up in his attic bedroom.

I'm downstairs with the sleeping dogs, I'm typing this, and everything's quiet.

Cabal's been having trouble walking on his back legs. He went back to the U of M animal hospital, and they gave him an MRI and told us he doesn't need another operation -- they'd thought he had a growth on his spine and that removing it would mean two months of minimal movement (all Good News) but they don't know what's causing it (Bad News). Right now, I'll take the good news. Lola is bounding and happy.

I've promised the girls I'll have a more or less early night. We'll go next door tomorrow morning and spend the day with their mum. Open presents, all that.

I am, of course, hoping for a lamppost.


Dear Mr. Gaiman,

Last year, during Christmas, you posted a link to Tim Minchin's "White Wine in the Sun" Christmas song. Even though I'm Jewish, I still very much enjoy Christmastime and this song really was the best part of last Christmas.

I was secretly hoping you'd post it again, so that this Christmas would kind of be like last Christmas, but then I realized you probably wouldn't intentionally repeat yourself.

Unless someone asked.


You're right. I wouldn't.

Well, unless someone asked.


Dear Mr Gaiman,
Thank you so much for “Blueberry Girl” Jasmine (two and a half) and I love it. It is so much what I wish for her that no matter how many times I have to read it I am still moved (not true of Thomas the tank engine)!
Jasmine asks for the “Fish book” (I think Blueberry is still a bit of a mouth full) all the time and I am always willing to be reminded to look to her future and take joy in her, instead of getting bogged down in making her wear winter coats and nappies and the stupid things you neglect or annoy your kids for.
What magic to have a little children’s book I know well enough to quote and yet don’t hate! Thank you.
Best, Kirsteen

You're very welcome. Also, you live about a hundred feet from where I went to school when I was eight. (It was a school called Aston House, and was demolished 40 years ago.)


Happy things, and time to close a few tabs:

IGN did their top 25 Albums of the Year, and Evelyn Evelyn was on it.

This Baby It's Cold Outside sock puppet video:

(More information, and downloadable sock puppet costumes at

Mitch Benn's website still has his "Happy Birthday Neil" song up. If you haven't heard it... well, it was a happy thing for me this year.

Which reminds me: I never said thank you here to the CBLDF, for their Birthday Wishes page. They do a tireless job, and I love being able to help.

Wisconsin Public Radio has a wonderful show called To The Best of Our Knowledge. They just did an excellent show about Fairy Tales, where they interview Salman Rushdie and A.S. Byatt and -- at the House on the Rock last Hallowe'en -- me. You can listen to it at or download it to listen to later.

New Scientist, to which I've had a subscription for about a decade now, got me in to judge the ultimate winners of their Fast Fiction competition. 350 word stories set in futures that never happened. Here's the announcement of the winners... They gave me ten stories and I had to pick a winner (It's this) and two runners up (here's one and here's the other). The standard was amazingly high and all ten winners are going up on their blog, a new one each day.

I wanted to remind people that there are five free short stories up at Two of them aren't available anywhere else.

I missed putting this up when it came out: a wonderful little Mervyn Peake gallery from The Guardian. I love Peake's art, and love his writing.


Right. I'm knocking off for the night... there are some more cool things to post, but they can wait a little longer.

Here's a photo taken this evening by Maddy Gaiman. The Santa hat is, I think Holly's. (See the huge red box with the bow behind me? I am half-convinced it contains a lamppost.)

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