Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The following story...

So to follow that last post up, I have to say that I began reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman today. I’d been wanting to for some time and had finally collected a copy of my own this weekend. Early on, he says this (page 13):

“Richard had noticed that events were cowards: they didn’t occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once.”

How disappointing not to be the first to come up with this idea. Even more, it is depressing that he said it so much better and more succinctly. And then, too, how queer that we used the same turn of phrase.

I must confess a further strangeness in that it is only after reading the comment posted by Miss Eliza on that last post which prompted me to begin reading this book at this moment. It’s a bizarre sort of whirlwind of connections, which is underscored by what was contained in Miss Eliza’s comments, and of which I will now repeat here:

This reminds me of a post I read on Neil Gaiman's website today, it's the real truth that should be universally acknowledged:

Strange moments of juxtaposition that make you feel like you're living in a novel:

It had been the kind of day that meant I never quite got to look at the post. After dinner I opened the various packages on the kitchen table.

The first thing I opened was a secondhand copy of The Inner Hebrides and their Legends by Otta F. Swire, and I opened it to a random page and read, "...the third of May, when the Devil and his angels were cast out of heaven (and therefore 3rd May is a day on which no important undertaking should be begun and on which it is unpardonable to commit a crime)..."

That's interesting, I thought. I could put that in a story, the next time I need a date of ill-omen. I put the book down.

I opened the next envelope. It was huge, and came from Bloomsbury books in the UK, and contained – well, what it contained was on the note accompanying it, which said, in tidy handwriting:

Dear Neil
I'm delighted to enclose proofs of the Bloomsbury edition of "Instructions" (to be published on 3rd May).
With best wishes,

That's a bit heavy-handed, I thought. If I were writing this, I'd drop the 3rd May date in on something that happened tomorrow, to give everyone reading a chance to forget.

Real life is so strangely written, sometimes.

To add one more oddity, this book seems to be about this very thing - odd occurrences and connections that lead us to the most unusual situations... sometimes even to the incredible and unbelievable.

"...big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey."


Heather said...

glad you're reading/enjoying some gaiman. :)

if it makes you feel any better, I was about to post on you most recent entry saying "you make blogging an artform." Can't wait to read that book you publish someday - it's bound to be witty as all get out.

whichwaydidshego said...

Heather, you are so sweet. The artform comment really blesses me. And I have to say, I'm really enjoying writing this, which is fantastic because one reason I started it was to get in the habit of regular writing... so that I can get to that book! Thanks so much for your kind words!

Miss Eliza said...

Yeah for wibbly wobbley timey wimmy! Everything under the sun right? Glad you're enjoying Neverwhere!