I got a text from my roommate telling me to turn on NPR in 10 minutes when they’d be interviewing Neil Gaiman for a children’s book segment. “The graveyard children’s book author” is actually what the text said, but I deduced Gaiman.
For those of you who haven’t read The Graveyard Book, it’s about a young boy who is orphaned and raised by the dead in a graveyard. Dammit Gaiman, you and your “death for children” brilliance.
Here is my favorite question from the interview, transcribed on the website later in the day.
How did you manage to make such a morose topic so welcoming and light? I love to write stories that have a little bit of creepiness to them, but always manage to over-do it and turn it into a horror story. — Sarah Matthews, 14, Florence, Ala.
Gee, you definitely sound like you’re a writer, Sarah … The most important thing to concentrate on is telling the story. Make it interesting. In the case of The Graveyard Book, I loved turning ideas upside down, but I also loved being very, very honest with kids.
When I was a kid, I had to walk past a graveyard every day to get home from school — which was fine in the summer — but in the winter when we had to come home in the dark, it terrified me. I would’ve been 9, 10, 11 at this point. It never occurred to me that walking past this graveyard, there was absolutely nothing in it that was dead that could hurt me. The only thing that could ever have hurt me in that graveyard would’ve been something living. So I like the idea of putting that in my book. The idea of the graveyard as a welcoming place, it’s a very natural place. You know, people have lived, people die.
For some reason this did not cross post on my blog and essays section.
It’s an essay on death in SPACE.
This picture was posted on imgur with the following request:
Photoshop Request: This is the photo of my daughter and her best friend who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Can you photoshop the bakground [sic] to something pretty or fun.
This is what the internet came up with…
“I found my mind turning increasingly to illness, to the end of promise, the dwindling of the days, the inevitability of the fading, the dying of the brightness. Blue nights are the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but they are also its warning,” she writes.
And later: “I was no longer, if I had ever been, afraid to die: I was now afraid not to die.”
New York Magazine sent by Avi