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inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #26 of 2008: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Tue 13 Feb 01 06:53
    
I wrote a post here tonight about the American Gods website, and going
and finding some bits I'd cut out to put in the journal, and then
deciding they needed their own place; but  something went wonky and it
never got posted, and I went off to watch the (surprisingly dull)
Marcus Garvey  PBS documentary instead. How can they make Marcus
Garvey's story dull? (Mutters and grumbles.)
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #27 of 2008: Undo Influence (mnemonic) Tue 13 Feb 01 09:35
    

The copyright industries are trying to arrange it so that nothing ever
lurches into the public domain anymore. They're doing a pretty good job
of it, too.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #28 of 2008: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 13 Feb 01 09:55
    
It's the Evil Mouse's doing.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #29 of 2008: The music's played by the (madman) Tue 13 Feb 01 12:05
    

Love the cover. "Beautiful and foreboding" indeed.
Looking forward to it.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #30 of 2008: Sarah A. Rudek who has too many ties for too little tyng skill. (whispered) Tue 13 Feb 01 15:54
    
Oohh...the Delirium panel thingie would make for a great tie,
methinks.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #31 of 2008: Jinx (jinx) Tue 13 Feb 01 15:57
    
Neil~ Well after seeing it all on the website, I had to go see in
person. So none to happily went to my local mall, which is a mecca for
those lovely type of New Englander's called yuppies. The stickers are
lovely, printed nicely and are interesting. The tee-shirts wasn't of
the nicest quality, I'm afraid I've been spoiled by comic tee's which
tend to be a little tougher, and long lasting. The design of the Death
one isn't bad but I like the original version of the "You get what
everyone gets" better though, the Dream shirt is lovely though.
The jewlery wasn't that thrilling at all actually,...personally it
looks cheaply made, and not of the best design as well.            
They didn't have the candles, or the clothing, and as the picutes on
the site don't really make the cape look thrilling, I'll have to trek
back, in a week or so.
I would love to see anything with Endless other then Death and Dream
personally, I have almost everything that's come out. I really would
love a Desire shirt. 
Jinx who isn't a goth, not that there's anything wrong with that.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #32 of 2008: Michelle Montrose-Hyman (miss-mousey) Tue 13 Feb 01 20:48
    
Len - I'd take the TMBG "Flood" poster, only I've got this problem of
"excess posters" sitting all bundled (in about a dozen bundles) all
over the floor of my bedroom. I really should ebay a few of them... One
of them was going for $45 last I looked, and I've got 3 or 4. Ah, the
perks of working at a record store - promo posters and such. :) You
should see the wall-collage I've got going. It's got nothing on a
friend of mines, but it's still impressive, I think. 

Emily - I don't think I've ever seen that poster. The one I've got is
the Sandman 10th Anniv. poster (fits my bedroom theme near-perfect). As
for the super-toilets, they have them available to adapt to your
current boring ones here in the US... they just cost a fortune (but
it's almost worth it for the expression on your guests' faces when they
come out of the restroom and have to ask you about the 'instructions'
hee hee!).

Neil - I have family in Tokyo. Maybe she'll run into one of my aunts
at the local market! :) (they even speak decent English, well, one of
them does). Oh, and expect to be meeting the remaining mousies when you
sign out here. I've been talking to a few bookstores... :) 

Gail - what did I (or possibly the squeaks) do this time? Oh wait,
Devil Bunny is *evil*, I just tend to be mean sometimes... hmmm.

And for anyone else who is still reading (re: Hot Topic) - after an
unsuccessful trip to the mall for boots (damned store on the Haight all
close at 7: don't they know I don't get off work until 6 and then have
to fight traffic? BASTARDS!), I stopped into HT and, well, I'm wearing
one of the babydoll t's now. They've got a couple of babydoll tees one
with the image at the top of the page from Game of You #5 (iss#36)
page 36, the other with Death from... um... I'm too lazy to look up the
issue. The regular tees are of Dream (can't remember which picture, as
I didn't buy it) and Death (iss#8, page 9, 3rd panel). 

I fully agree with Jinx on the jewelry. A bunch of ankhs with 'DEATH'
on them. Big deal. You'll do better with street vendors (at least I
always do). 

There are also stickers (the Death one is in the shape of an ankh, the
Dream one reads "That which is dreamed can never be lost, can never be
undreamed"), and postcards (similar images, I think). There are 3 sets
of candles to come out, or possibly 2 - sales girl confused me - and I
was told that one set is supposed to be scented. The pictures of the
Death dress looked pretty much like typical spooky HT generic 'goth
dress' and the pictures of the Dream cape didn't really do anything for
me either. We'll see when they come out.

squeaks, wondering how the Death sticker will hold up to bad weather
on my car window...
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #33 of 2008: Michelle Montrose-Hyman (miss-mousey) Tue 13 Feb 01 20:50
    
Hey, that was a *much* longer post than intended. sorry. 

Any way, I know some of y'all who post here are 'thingies'... any of
you having problems reading the ng? I haven't been able to get access
for a couple of days now.

squeaks, who is off to a bar-night entitled "A Streetcar Named
Clitoris"... this should be interesting.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #34 of 2008: Jenny B. (ophelia-b) Wed 14 Feb 01 05:59
    
Michelle - I haven't been to the thingie in a looong time, but I went
and checked and had no problems accessing from aol.  And then I went to
check through deja and discovered that it is now being run by google
in a very annoying style but I was still able to access it.  If you're
still having problems I'm going to guess it's your newsreader.

Jen.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #35 of 2008: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 14 Feb 01 06:16
    
Mnemonic -- it was recently pointed out to me that if I were a
corporation (which I am, for Hollywood, but this would be a different
one) and the corporate entity owned my copyrights, then they would
never expire. Which, as Gail points out, is Mousework.

Madman -- glad you like the cover.

Sarah -- It would, wouldn't it.

Michelle -- I know exactly what you mean. I always wind up having odd
conversations with people about ankhs with the word DEATH on, and I
always resort in the end to telling them about being seven and being
given a Batman mask with the word Batman on the forehead, and being
pissed off as it wasn't a real Batman mask, as his one didn't have the
word Batman on it. 

About that point in the conversation their voices always take on that
slightly nervous but reassuring edge people normally only  get  when
talking to lunatics with weapons.

I'd strongly suggest feedback to Hot Topic, telling them wheat you
like and what you don't on this stuff.

...

Nice letter yesterday from Sondheim's people giving me a permission on
Old Friends; and Greg Brown came by and corrected me on the words of
In The Dark With You, and gave his permission. So only two more songs
and three poems to go.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #36 of 2008: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 14 Feb 01 06:18
    
I'll be interested to see how quickly the Quick and Dirty Proofs start
turning up on E-Bay. They should be in existence in a couple of weeks,
and I'll be sending a bunch out to authors I'd love blurbs from, or
who I just want to read it.

...

And my new Modem/network card is in the post, for my laptop. So I'll
be able to do e-mail with ease, post to the well and get on top of the
American Gods journal as well.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #37 of 2008: Len (theboojum) Wed 14 Feb 01 10:30
    
Michelle-- How was the Streetcar? (My wife brought home "The Clitoral
Truth" from the library... interesting reading.)

Neil-- Do you think any of the Q'n'D Proofs will turn up at the Strand
bookstore?

Grinning, of course, to learn that you're quoting "Old Friends". 
Always loved song quotes that begin chapters-- kind of like being
allowed to examine the music collection of the author.  Particularly
happy to re-read books and be able to identify more of the quotes than
the first time around; had a great time with the music quotes in
Watchmen recently.

Just got "4 Fantastic Novels," by Pinkwater-- Borgel, Yobgorgle, Worms
of Kukumlima and Baconburg Horror.  Have read them all many times in
the past; still kind of see them as second rate Pinkwater (not that
that's anything to scoff at.)  This bugs me, since I can't put my
finger on why, say, Lizard Music is better than Yobgorgle... but I
think it is.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #38 of 2008: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 14 Feb 01 12:51
    
Len -- I was going to say no, as they are only doing a few - most will
go authors and to Borders Books people at some meeting there at the
end of March. But on second thoughts they may send some out to
magazines, who have a longer lead time, and unless real fans in the
office grab them first, they might well sell 'em off at the Strand. 

I really like Borgel -- I just wish it had another chapter or two.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #39 of 2008: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 14 Feb 01 12:58
    
e-mail from Mary Roane:

Hey, yáll!


<Stumbles in, drops pack & asks for water.>

Whewee!  It's a long, tough trip over here, but it's
worth it.  You guys have got the place looking
terrific.  Here, I brought an aloe vera plant, a blue
& white porcelain vase, and a Coutney Davis print.


It's waaaay too late, so I'll try to be brief.  Have
called 2 Barnes & Nobles & 1 Borders'.  Left messages
in all places, then e-mailed everyone I've ever loaned
one of your books to & sent them the phone numbers &
names.  Got a return call from a delightful lady named
Katie Schwartz at B&N on Webster Ave.  She said she
would be happy to contact their New York office & the
department which handles Harper Collins and let them
know that there was customer interest in having you
come out.  Mark & Todd (whom you met at the Humanities
festival) both have friends/relatives in the business,
so if Crown doesn't go out of business, look for
interest there, too.  

Anyone lurking here from Chicago or surrounding
areas--call Ms. Schwartz, or the Borders on N.
Michigan or B&N Evanston if you can.

Len--finally finished all three.....still digesting,
but I thought they were pretty good.

Um, er, um....oh, Neil, thanks for the link!  They're
about to make a nice little sum off of me.  Does
anyone here think that there's a genetic
predisposition to like certain things?  Because I
swear my English grandmother, who I never knew, gave
me this tea addiction, much like I inherited the Irish
love of the mystic (and rain, and the sea, and wool,
and....) from her husband.  Or is it 2:15 a. m. & I'm
babbling?

More later, when (if) I'm sane......

                     Mary (reading Äbout a Boy) 
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #40 of 2008: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 14 Feb 01 12:58
    
e-mail from Jouni:

Michelle- Don't know if this has anything to do with it, but Google has
added Deja.com's (afng included) Usenet archives to their own. This means
that people like me (who read and posted things via Deja.com) can see the
newsgroup and read messages posted in it (well, atleast some of them), but
can't post 'cause 'Google does not currently support web-based posting to
newsgroups. We realize that posting is an important part of Usenet (NO
SHIT!), and we plan to include support for posting in the near future.' Now
there might be some other way/path/site to view afng AND EVEN POST to it,
but atleast I'm too stupid to know/find it.

So, for now, I'm shutting up in the afng... well, actually Google shut me
up.

This pisses me off enormously, I can tell you.

Can anyone help?

Jouni (not verrry happpy rrright now)
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #41 of 2008: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 14 Feb 01 16:12
    
e-mail from Bill Williams:

Jouni and all other Deja-ers:
Check out www.mailandnews.com. Not only do they provide free web-based
Usenet reading and posting, but they offer free email, both web-based and
(the winner for me) POP3. I don't actually use their Usenet service, but the
email is NICE considering the less-than-optimal email reliability of @Home.
--Bill
I have got no further than this:
every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth,
and every other man has a right to knock him down for it.
Samuel Johnson, 1780
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #42 of 2008: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Wed 14 Feb 01 21:39
    
Hi, you guys. Hey, Neil, the new place looks great. Sure, we'll always have
a special place in our hearts for ol' 73, but 104 definitely has
possibilities.

There are Greg Brown lyrics in the new book?  Excellent! He's great.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #43 of 2008: Michelle Montrose-Hyman (miss-mousey) Thu 15 Feb 01 00:09
    
Neil - lunatics with weapons? Is that supposed to be a reference to me
and my blades? (although it would explain the nervous laughter some
people tend to utter around me when I babble) :) Yeah, ankh w/DEATH
sticker somehow seemed reasonable (and is now being sported on a car
window), but as an actual piece of jewelry - nope. 

Len - Streetcar was fun for a while. Neat poetry readings and fire
dances and photos... and I was flipped off in the most silly way by a
mime. :P It all would have been much MORE fun if personal (read:
ex-boyfriend) crises hadn't interfered... but that's another story.

Jouni & Bill - Figured out the Google/Deja thing a little late, but
could only retrieve a half dozen messages from 3 days... hah, not
likely. I still can't get messages from those 3 days, but Mindspring is
cooperating again, so it looks like I'm back on.  Thanks again!

Oh, and Rocky (and other NY area people), Scott Connor posted this to
afn-g earlier today:

"I'll be at BosKone in Framingham, MA this weekend.
Charles Vess and I are driving up tomorrow morning; assuming
everything goes
okay we should be there until Sunday.  Then, off to NYC for a visit
with the
esteemed Mike Kaluta.
So.....any Thingies in the area want to try and get together?  I don't
know
particulars yet, but if anyone wants to get in touch, we'll be staying
at
the Sheraton in Framingham.  Charles is the art Guest of Honor, and
will be
bringing a big hokin' load of his art for the art show.

If Morgana is out there, I'll treat you to any non-calamari dish you
like
if it's doable *LOL*  ; )"

Oh, and there's a chance I'll be catching the "Vagina Monologues" out
here with some friends of mine. :)

squeaks, who also wishes everyone a happy (if slightly belated) flying
baby with arsenal day.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #44 of 2008: Len (theboojum) Thu 15 Feb 01 07:06
    
Hmn... still haven't seen the Vagina Monologues... slightly worried
that I will disappear in a cloud of estrogen...

Neil-- Borgel is, I think, the best of the bunch (tho' Baconburg has
its moments, esp. the beat poetry.)  I never noticed till this last
read how mythic Borgel is...it seems to be a pretty conscious
Pinkification of the Hero's Journey (known to an old professor of mine
as Campbell soup.)  I like the divine popsicle and Borgel's animal
fables are good too.  I also like the way Rolzup is mentioned... love
to see another Alan Mendelsson (sp?) book one day.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #45 of 2008: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Thu 15 Feb 01 07:38
    
Mary -- you're welcome. I've been trying different teas from them,
lots of  pyramidal and escheresque tea bags and am coming back to the
Ty Phoo really fresh (foil wrapped) as my favorite.

Elise --  good to see you.

Michelle -- despite the fact that you are my favourite stalker, I
didn't know that you were heavily into sharp objects. (I thought that
was Trevor.) So I'm afraid I've never been quite nervous enough when
talking to you.

...

Had fun with the americangods.com site yesterday. You can replicate my
strange experience with booksense if you input a midwestern zipcode
(55416 was mine) -- I tried a New York zipcode and everything was fine;
it found the book and everything.

Let me know if there's anything about the book you'd like to know in
the journal...

...

Working on the Ramayana outline for the last few days, and trying to
figure out whether I'm going to fly or drive to Florida for ICFA.

...

Len,  it wasn't until I met the square from another author (Harry
Steven Keeler of all people) that I realised it was completely unmade
up...
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #46 of 2008: Len (theboojum) Thu 15 Feb 01 08:49
    
Neil--  I'm feeling very stupid today, but... huh? (kindly elucidate
last post.)

(and can one get ultra-fresh Ty-Phoo tea _not_ on line?  Do you think
one of my local Asian supermarkets will do?)
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #47 of 2008: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Thu 15 Feb 01 11:48
    
Len -- pinkwater calls it Bughouse Square, I think; it's Washngton
Square in Chicago.

The ty-phoo round bags at
http://www.britishimports.com/cgi-bin/hazel.cgi?client=46578980&action=SERVE&i
tem=typhoo.htm
are the ones (they no longer call it really fresh as they did a few
years ago when they added the foil bags). I don't honestly know if you
can get them in Asian supermarkets... I used to bring them in from
England.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #48 of 2008: Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 15 Feb 01 13:03
    

Well, ick.  I called the alleged lady at Barnes and Noble in Jack London
Square yesterday morning.  Her name is Kathy Cage.

I politely introduced myself and asked what the procedure was for
requesting an author visit to the store.

She sharply asked me if I was:  The Author?  The Publicist? A Friend?

Well, no, I said, I'm a fan.  I know that this author will be booked at
some stores in San Francisco, and since I live in the East Bay, and I know
there will be great interest, and I think that people who attend will want
to spend their dollars in the store, so I think those dollars should be
spent in the East Bay, and particularly at your store.

Well, she sniffed, do we even sell his books?  (Notice that no author name
has been mentioned yet.)

I said that I didn't know for sure, but I assumed that they did.

I could hear her draw herself to her full height, then say, "Well, we have
our PROTOCOLS here at Barnes and Noble.  Have you gone to our Web site to
look?"

"No.  Could you do it for me right there at your terminal?"

"No," she said.  "There are five other people here waiting to talk to
me.  I don't have time."

"Oh, I get it," I said.  "You are blowing me off.  May I please speak to
the store manager?"

"Fine," she huffed and put me on terminal hold.

So, I go to the web site and find 87 hits for Neil Gaiman.

I call back.  This time, before I am put through, the person answering the
phone asks who is calling.  I give my name, he puts me on hold, he then
gets back on the line and tells me to call a different number.  I ask for
the manager's name: Ray or Greg he tells.  "May I speak to one of them," I
ask.  He puts me on terminal hold.

It was not a good way to start the day.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #49 of 2008: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Thu 15 Feb 01 16:38
    
Sounds like the basis of a useful piece of feedback to their Customer
Relations people, or better yet, to whoever store managers report to, since
the store managers are the ones who can/must train their employees.

Smart companies want to know these things and want to fix them. Clueless
companies want to ignore them as time-wasting interruptions not worth the
bother. Unless having the company's name and description of the problem
written up on a world-readable forum in which numerous fans, decision-
makers, rival booksellers, and some who are all three, and others besides,
is a problem they can wrap their minds around, they're likely to make the
short-term-gratification choice.

Me, I like short-term gratification as much as the next bozo, but I can
remember which bookstores treat my friends well, and which don't.

And that store would do well to look at famous customer relations failures
and profit by the experience.

OK, end rant.
  
inkwell.vue.104 : Neil Gaiman: Countdown to American Gods
permalink #50 of 2008: Michelle Montrose-Hyman (miss-mousey) Thu 15 Feb 01 20:01
    
Linda (and Elise) - If B&N wants to play it that way, fine. I have a
wonderful plan: We will attend every other signing possible, take
photos of not only Neil, but also of the droves of fans. Then we gather
them, along with some numbers from another bookstore (I have a couple
of friends who will try to help with this). When all is collected, I'll
skip over to B&N, find a general manager, and politely enquire as to
why a couple of their patrons were so rudely received - then I'll dump
a bunch of photos and numbers in their collective lap and go home. Then
I think I'll never go back.

But then, I've been known to get people fired for pissing me off
before. They usually deserve it. It takes A LOT to get me that mad.

Neil - Sharp and pointies are most definitely a Walker-trait, but it's
an interest we share. No need to be nervous, I only ever carry the
legal ones around ('cept if needed for photo shoots <shhhhh>).

Speaking of which, looks like City Optix is picking up a couple of my
photos... but not for their current spread. ?

-squeaks, who is late for band rehearsal, again!
  

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