Thursday, February 10, 2011

This is fun.

Revisiting many of our greatest hits in the anniversary of our tenth year. (Send in suggestions for your favourite past blog entries to me on the FAQ line. Or on Twitter, or on Facebook, but the FAQ line is far and away the most reliable. I see some of the stuff that comes in on Twitter, but never see all of it, and I'm really spotty about Facebook.)

So this is taken from It's very different to most blog entries. Possibly the silliest blog entry of all... (I liked it, although I got a sad letter from someone whose girlfriend was a writer on the Disney show, and was a fan of mine.)

I see from USA Today that Christopher Robin is being replaced by a "tomboy girl" in order to appeal to the youth of today. Undoubtedly Disney have done lots of marketing research on this. As we learn from the article, "We got raised eyebrows even in-house at first, but the feeling was these timeless characters really needed a breath of fresh air that only the introduction of someone new could provide," says Nancy Kanter of the Disney Channel.

Here at we're painfully aware that, after five years of me blogging, we're alienating a whole new generation of blog-readers for whom a middle-aged male author maundering on about writing stuff is, frankly, pretty stale. We need a breath of fresh air, just like Winnie the Pooh. Therefore the rest of this blog entry will be written by Skippy, a fictional six-year-old tomboy and computer genius, with a small number of endearing catchphrases.

Neil--Just a quick bit about prices for the 92Y event, specifically for the poor student types (myself included) among your readers. I called yesterday to inquire about the student price ($12.50) and was told that it is not possible to puchase tickets at the discounted rate in advance. The only way one can get the student rate is to go to the Y an hour before the show and buy them then. Thought your readers would appreciate the information. See you in January, Circus

Whoo gosharootie, Circus. Still, I think we've all learned something from that. Hugs!

Alpha, the SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers runs July 19 - 26, 2006 in Western Pennsylvania. The deadline for manuscripts is March 31, 2006. This year, author guests are Wen Spencer, Timothy Zahn, Dora Goss and Tamora Pierce along with a large staff of writers. Twenty students (ages 14 to 19) are accepted based only on the merit of their submission stories. If the $900 fee poses a hardship for some students, we try to arrange scholarships. This will be our fifth year. More details on our website at:

Gee. If I wasn't six years old and completely fictional, I'd be there like a shot. Oh, bitchcakes.

I was at the Dreamhaven signing on the third and when someone asked "What's next?" you mentioned a lot of news that I hadn't heard of yet, but you left out your next book of short stories. I was wondering if there was any update on that?

Whoo. Mr Neil says it's going to be called Fragile Things and will be out late next year and he and Morrow editor Ms Jennifer Brehl are busy puttin' all the stories together and findin' all the ones that he forgot about and fussin' about the order they go in. Gosharootie, you should hear them argue about what goes where. I asked my cute computer, Blinky, and it put those stories into an order in milliseconds. But do they ever listen to me? Bitchcakes, no. Hugs!

Dear Neil,I followed the link in your FAQ to the Greater Talent Network. It reminded me of James Michener's comments in his autobiography about working as a speaker and how much he hated it (apparently he felt the Agency was tight fisted in practice). I wondered whether you enjoyed speaking engagements more and whether you got bored with repeating the same basic topics?Your Sincerely Paul Barnier Australia

The main reason Mr Neil signed up with Greater Talent Network is to have someone to charge ridiculously high prices for him to come and speak, so as people won't keep askin' him and he can stay home and spend more time writin' them funny ol' stories. But when he does give talks, gosharootie, they're always different, because he can't remember what he said last time. I wish I could get them folks at Greater Talent Network to sign me up, and make cute dolls and toys of me and Blinky the Computer.

Hey Neil, Just something that occurred to me. Looking at the pictures you posted on the 2nd. I don't mean you to take this the wrong way... but it looks like you're posing for a publicity shot :) Is that almost an instinctive thing by now? Pointed camera 12 o'clock... assume the position!Regards, Mick

I'm all bored of talking about Mr Neil. Let's talk about me. I'm funny and charmin' and cute, and not all like that ol' fusspot who always looks like he's posin' for a publisicity shot. You know who ought to be havin' her photo taken? That's right! Me! Skippy! Yay! Hugs!

Hi, Sorry to bother you with such a trivial question (I scrolled through the FAQ's to see if it was answered), but why live in Minnesota?I don't mean to be rude at all (and really don't expect a response) but do you find inspiration there? I always picture highly successful writers/artists as living in places that are always warm, sunny, and tropical. It's silly, I know.Thanks.Take care. Sincerely, Celeste

He just likes places that are out of the way. I tell him, go to Hollywood, I tell him. That's where the big bucks are. Or somewhere with palm trees anyway. He don't listen. He just sits in the cold and watches Doctor Who with Maddy (they're just watching the Boom Town episode right now). Gosharootie. What an old fusspot he is. Next week he'll be leaving and Blinky and I'll be taking over the Journal entirely, along with a whole new cast of characters, including Johnnie the Jolly Juicer, Minko the Magic Mink and Beppo the Popcorn Boy. Hugs!


There we go. Thank you, Skippy. I'm currently in an odd sort of limbo, waiting to find out whether I go to the UK tomorrow for some script meetings. How odd. And the thing that's puzzled me most about Sony putting dodgy software on their audio CDs that then went and hid itself on people's computers, was what were all the antivirus programs doing while this was happening? Glad someone else wondered about it too.

And tonight's good news is that CBGBs is keeping its lease for another year -- .

CBGBs lost its lease, but I'd got to read a story on the stage there - "How To Talk to Girls At Parties" - before it did. And a story filled with 70s music, at that.

And if you're wondering what happened to Christopher Robin's hipper replacement, for the curious, according to Wikipedia:

Darby is the 6-year-old red-haired girl in My Friends Tigger & Pooh. Darby is voiced by Chloƫ Moretz (US) and Kimberlea Berg (UK). Her catchphrases are "Time to slap my cap" and "Good sleuthin', everyone!" As revealed in the episode, "Christopher Froggin'," she is best friends with Christopher Robin.


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