"Finally, I finished it, did a word count
and sent an apologetic email to my publisher —
‘I have accidentally written a novel.’"
-Neil Gaiman, 06/24/13, The Majestic Theatre, Dallas, TX
This week I am thankful that a good friend of mine had an extra ticket to go see Neil Gaiman speak at an Arts & Letters Live event, hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art. We get a flyer for A&LL at the beginning of the season, but I almost always forget who the major players are since they are scheduled for months out.
I absolutely loved Gaiman reading from his latest novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which is semi-autobiographical. To hear an author read his own work with the intended inflection is an incredible experience. He also talked about how certain parts of the book are autobiographical, like the opening drama of the seven-year-old main character and his father discovering that the family's boarder had taken their white Mini and committed suicide in it. Gaiman explained that while it actually happened to his family, he was not related the story by his own father until he was into his 40s, reminiscing about "whatever happened to that car."
Gaiman is also the author of American Gods, Anansi Boys, Stardust, and a number of other novels, as well as The Sandman series of comics (DC Comics) and quite a few children's books, like The Graveyard Book, which won the Newbery Medal, and Coraline, which is probably a familiar title due to the movie of the same name.
Gaiman is also releasing a new children's book, Fortunately, the Milk, in September of this year, and due to the magnificence "of the [Majestic] theatre" decided to award us with a brief reading from its pages. It was no less gripping and fantastic than his reading of Ocean, and I preordered it online while I waited to have my book signed. During his talk he stressed how important it is to "do the voices" when reading books to children, and I could not agree more. I wish I had that talent, and am so glad AC can do wonderful voices for SC when he reads to her; alas, I must stick with audiobooks when it is my turn.
Speaking of having a book signed, I am very thankful that I only had to wait two hours before getting the opportunity to meet Gaiman in person and have him sign the book of short stories (Fragile Things) I had brought with me. According to twitter, the signing lasted until 2:30am. It is no wonder he announced that this tour would be his last in which he stays to sign books. I also was able to spend those two hours speaking with the people around me about books, which was awesome.
What unexpected thing are you thankful for this week? Leave a comment, then check out some more Thankful Thursday posts here:
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