I've been all over the place. I went back to the midwest and spent two days with my dogs, and I helped wrap the beehives for winter.
Now I'm back in Cambridge MA, missing the dogs, but starting to feel more at home in this rambling high house. The at-homeness has more to do with furniture than anything else, I think. For example, a desk-chair was just delivered. There's nothing like a comfy chair for making you want to sit and write, if you are me.
I've handed in the latest draft of the HBO AMERICAN GODS pilot, and a short film I've written for another project, and I'm writing a bunch of different things right now.
I'm also proof-reading and copy-editing a bunch of books. Today I got to read through the UK edition of Fortunately, The Milk*, profusely illustrated by Chris Riddell. I laughed a lot at Chris's rough sketches. Can't wait to see it finished. (Skottie Young's illustrating the US edition. I've only seen two pages of his work. It's just as funny in a different, more manic, way. I love them both and am so glad that each publisher went its own way on this.) Fortunately The Milk will be published in September in the US and October in the UK. I just wrote a description of it for the US edition. I explained:
This is quite possibly the most exciting adventure ever to be written about milk since Tolstoy's epic novel War and Milk. Also it has aliens, pirates, dinosaurs and wumpires in it (but not the handsome, misunderstood kind), not to mention a Volcano God.
It contains passages like this:
“You are charged with breaking into people’s planets and redecorating them,” said a noble and imposing-looking Tyrannosaurus Rex. “And then with running away and doing it again somewhere else, over and over. You have committed crimes against the inhabitants of eighteen planets, and crimes against good taste.”
“What we did to Rigel Four was art!” argued a globby alien.
“Art? There are people on Rigel Four,” said an Ankylosaurus, “who have to look up, every night, at a moon with three huge plaster ducks flying across it.”
I love that Fortunately the Milk is two different books -- one in the US, one in the UK: it allows them to be published a month apart, which is much easier on the author.
In the old days of publishing, books in the US were published up to a year before or after the same books in the UK, but that started changing about ten years ago, and the internet changed it, as it has changed so much. People who like authors will buy their books when the books come out, and if the book is published in the US, people in the UK will simply go to Amazon (or some such website) and buy it, and if the book is published later in the US then American readers will head off to Amazon.co.uk (or similar).
When my new adult novel, THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE** is published, this summer, it will be coming out on June the 18th in the UK and the US too. This presents interesting challenges, mostly involving bi-location, and makes me miss Concorde, just a little.
No, I do not miss the sonic booms or the environmental damage, and, having been on one of the Concordes once, I do not miss the plane itself, which was small and dilapidated and chilly and old. But I miss the way one could fly to New York from London and feel like one had made a local hop and land three hours before one took off, and I miss the moment of looking out of Concorde's window and seeing the curvature of the Earth and feeling like all human problems were very small and far away.
(It was about 15 years ago. I had to get to Amsterdam to do a signing in high summer, and the UK trip I was meant to be doing was suddenly cancelled, leaving me without a flight. When the person on Northwest airlines' phone said, "Honestly, I can't believe how many miles it will take to get you there during the blackout week. You could take Concorde for that," and I said, "Hang on, I can use airmiles to fly Concorde?" and she said, "Well, yes.")
Which is a bit of a wander off the subject, which is that it now looks like I'll do a few days in the UK before publication, then fly back to the US on publication day, and then sign like a fiend across America, then go back to the UK and sign some more and then probably come back and do a handful of Canadian signings, and then collapse.
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