Monday, September 12, 2011

The Moon over the Corn Field

The moon is full.

There's a storm coming, with a cool breeze blowing across the warm evening, and the cornfield is alive with rustles and whispers. The white dogs in the moonlight slip in and out of the corn like ghosts, and I cannot stop my head building nightmarish scenarios no matter how hard I try.

I went for a longish bike ride with Maddy today and we watched Doctor Who (we're almost caught up). She put up with me feeding her interesting salads for dinner. ("How is it?" "Well... it's.. interesting, dad.")

Life is quiet right now. I'm home in the midwest, Amanda's in Boston, we won't see each other again for two weeks. I miss her, but I'm enjoying being on my own and getting work done without regard to anyone else's schedule or needs, and I would be willing to bet an enormous pie that she's having a wonderful time catching up on work without having any attention on me. I dunno. It works for us.

We had a long phone conversation today about the tour we're doing in Oct/November, during which we decided 1) How long the show would be and thus 2) how long we'd each take for solo bits. I've decided to read different stories at every venue. We also decided that the LA Hallowe'en Neil and Amanda show would have a costume competition of some kind. (Here's a video of me walking the line to get into the costume competiton last Hallowe'en at the House on the Rock. It will be a shorter, less formal affair than that was.)

Astonishingly, over $100,000 has now been pledged to the Kickstarter project, and we talked about what that lets us do for the CD package, for the "surprise" thank you gifts (we decided what they are going to be today - something special that Amanda had wanted to do for Who Killed Amanda Palmer, but which she couldn't afford), how we're going to keep people informed of what's happening and what we're doing and making with that.

I really like pre-selling things as a way of bringing them into the world - it means we're making enough for the people who want them, we can afford to make them as well as we want, and it means that people are getting something real. We aren't worrying about marketing costs. We don't have to get a record label, and then try and persuade them to make the thing we want. We just do it.

If you are thinking of doing a Kickstarter (or an Indiegogo or similar, for those outside the US), can I point you at former Web Elf Olga Nunes' excellent essay at Everything that Olga suggested, we put into practice. Garrett Gibbons's blog at is also really useful and wise.

And make your video interesting, watchable, and clear. A goofy song about baby hamsters and time machines may get your Kickstarter funded. I just watched a Kickstarter video from a good friend which was very beautiful and artistic, but didn't actually tell anyone what the project was or why it should be supported, and I do not think it will get its funding, which will be a shame.


I'm a huge fan of Public Radio International's "Selected Shorts". I subscribe to their podcast. I loved their Sherman Alexie show a couple of weeks ago, am looking forward to listening to this week's Stephen King story that my phone just downloaded.

So it is with pride that I cut and paste from an email from Jennifer Brennan at Symphony Space letting me know (and now letting you know) when the two shows that they made from the evening we did earlier this year will be broadcast:

Show 3. Love in Real Life

October 13 2011

“A Life in Fictions,” by Kat Howard, performed by Marin Ireland

“The Thing About Cassandra,” by Neil Gaiman, performed by Josh Hamilton

Show 12. The Magical Imagination of Neil Gaiman

December 15 2011

“Troll Bridge,” by Neil Gaiman, performed by Neil Gaiman

“The Circular Ruins,” by Jorge Luis Borges, performed by Boyd Gaines

(I was particularly happy about all this because Kat Howard's story was picked by the producers from the STORIES anthology I edited with Al Sarrantonio, and I had nothing to do with its selection - although I'd been smart enough to notice it was good when Kat (whom I had taught at Clarion) emailed it to me to read when she'd finished it, and I read it, loved it, and sent it to Al with the suggestion that that we bought it.)


I called Dave McKean a pornographer on Twitter. He asked me not to do it again, because, he said, he suddenly found himself followed on Twitter by some very shady bots. But I am proud to say that he has now added pornographer (or eroticist, perhaps) to his CV.

When I stayed at his place, two weeks ago, he gave me a book called Celluloid. It's his newest graphic novel, a wordless Dave Mckeany book-length sexual fantasia. It's being published all over the world - in the US it's out from Fantagraphics, in France by Delcourt. It's really human and beautiful and fantastic (in the literal sense of the word). A woman gets frustrated waiting for her man to come home, finds a projector and enters a world of sexual fantasies. (I think my favourite is when she has an encounter with someone who I assume was Diana of the Ephesians.) Lots of different art styles, all of them very much Dave Mckean.

You should buy it from your local comic shop. Or, if they're out (or if you're too embarrassed to ask them for it) get it online. Lots of places sell it. Here's an Amazon link if you want to check it out.


And finally, a mysterious mystery of great mysteriosity from Edinburgh. Paper book-sculptures that support libraries have been appearing. Ian Rankin has been drawn into their web. (Can book-sculptures make webs?)

It's been suggested that this artist might have had something to do with them. I have no idea whether she did or not, but her book sculptures are wonderful either way.

You should follow both links. They will do your heart good.

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