Friday, December 16, 2005

Yet another bizarro Neil Gaiman coincidence, or, "that bitch, Robin Slick"

Yeah, that photo of Neil Gaiman definitely deserved to be reposted. Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas to me.

Nah, I have a reason for putting that pic back up which I'll mention at the end of today's entry. But who needs a reason? I'd make it my permanent screen saver but you know, that would make me weird. Ha, not really, it's more like I won't do it because it's already been done by an internationally respected, happily married female writer pal of mine who lifted it off my blog last week for that very purpose but then had to replace it with Calvin and Hobbs when her husband saw it. (Ha ha - hi there, anonymous writer pal -- don't worry, I won't out you and I agree, Calvin and Hobbs are way cool.)

Besides, I have the infamous one of Eddie Vedder's arm around me post-pizza dinner for my computer wallpaper.

Yes, I know. I'm not only weird, I'm pathetic, too. But hey, good on me, I have mastered the fountain pen! I love it! Oh, I could do a dissertation on flex nibs now. I let Julie write with it yesterday and she went crazy. It figures she'd get into that, too (nervously clutching my checkbook).

So I know I've talked about my friend, author Tom Saunders, and his wonderful short story collection, Brother, What Strange Place Is This? but today I simply must direct you to his blog, where he from time to time posts his short stories, poetry, and examples of his awesome photography. Up right now is a short story Tom wrote (dated December 1, 2005 in case he posts something new before you read this) called Delayed Action which just blew me away, and you can read that, and the rest of Tom's blog, right here.

Eric is at David Ivory's studio this morning laying down some more tracks and that's all I'm saying on that subject for now. He's a very smart, complex kid with tons of talent but he's got a lot of soul searching to do as concerns his future. Gary and I are doing our best to both gently guide him and let him work this out himself but oh my God, it's so hard not to interfere. I have to keep reminding myself that by the time we were his age, we were already out on our own and we've hopefully raised him to be an independent thinker. But in any event, I feel pretty confident he's going to be a big star and having grown up in the music business, I know it's a crap shoot and there's more than talent involved, but Eric's got it all going for him (including two parents who insist that he not take a full time job which would limit his ability to tour and gig so we continue to throw money at him so he can pursue the dream...and buy me a place in the UK when he makes it, ha ha).

Julie is happy as a clam having taken her last final yesterday and is officially on a three week winter semester break. She spent last night baking these truly obscene Christmas cookies while I hung out in the living room on the computer yelling stuff into the kitchen like "Are you making a mess in there?" just to aggravate her.

She made two types of cookies which she invented (yep, she does that and she's amazing) -- one which will make her famous if she ever decides to market them -- a lovely toasted coconut number topped with melted chocolate. The other "experiment", however, I have rather aptly named "booger cookies". Because you see she made lemon shortbread -- totally delicious - but we were out of confectioners sugar so she decided to use this green crystalized stuff we had in the house instead, which you sprinkle on Christmas cookies as decoration. But Julie being Julie had to take it a step further because I mentioned that I think confectioners sugar is merely regular granulated sugar that's been whipped, so she decided to stick it in the mixer and for some inexplicable reason, added a few drops of red food coloring. When she got a very unpleasant brown result (d'oh), she immediately added some more green, which rendered the sugar and food coloring into a thin, olive green liquid. She glazed the yellowish lemon cookies with them, and when I broke out into hysterical laughter and called them "booger cookies" she tried to make them prettier by adding chopped almonds on top.

Trust me, it did not make them look better -- more than ever the topping appears to be something you'd find in a disgusting, used hankie. But here's some advice if you come over the house today. Eat one anyway. They are awesome tasting -- just shut your eyes when you take one and don't think about it.

One final reminder -- please go see the Paul Green School of Rock Music tribute to the Beatles at Indre Studios - the shows are tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Details are in the post below. I will not be at tonight's show because I'm going to stay home and wrap presents (translation: stay home, get drunk, and fuck off at the computer) but I will be at tomorrow's performance for sure. Especially as I've been promised a midnight dinner out afterwards with Gary and the kids because both Julie and Eric are attending as well to support their dad. Gary and Nero have worked really hard on this show and are thrilled with the result, so I am really psyched for both of them and the set list is amazing. Okay, well, for me, there are only maybe five Beatle songs out of their whole catalogue which I don't like (can you say Octopus Garden or Maxwell's Silver Hammer?) but even the very worst Beatle song is still a million times better than Jesus Take the Wheel. Don't worry - I have not forgotten my plan to CRUSH THE JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL MOVEMENT and will probably go full steam ahead with that project next week.

Or not. Depends on how much last minute Christmas shopping I need to do. But in that case, the week after for sure!!!

Anyway, here's the Gaiman bit I was talking about. Because I am (a) an egomaniac or (b) an insecure, paranoid individual starved for attention/affection, or, if I want to be completely honest, I am both (a) and (b), I google myself to see what's up in my world that I might not know about and now I've found a new and better toy, google blog search. Or just plain blog search, or icerocket blog search. Lots of fun, that. You can type in your name and find out who is talking about you in their on line diaries. So imagine my shock to see an entry a couple of days ago that said in its title "That bitch Robin Slick!".

I'm a bitch? I am not! Crazy, yes, a big overgrown kid, for sure...but a bitch? Oh man, you should have seen me when I first read that. I went white; my stomach fell...I was fucking terrified. What did I do now? But despite feeling like I was going to vomit from anxiety, I couldn't help myself, I clicked on the link, and it took me to a woman's blog...a woman who calls herself "Liarbyrd" I do not know but who also lives in Philadelphia and also did NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) last month. Apparently, she blogged her novel...and one of her characters was "Robin Slick, an aging groupie". was kind of hard not to take that personally and get all, well, uber paranoid, but rather than get upset, I decided to be flattered instead. Anyway, I go to her blogger profile page and see her favorite writer is Neil Gaiman. Too funny. Anyway, I checked her out further; didn't read anything which would indicate she's a lunatic or had any personal vendettas against me, so I moved on and went back to working on my current book. End of story, right?

Nope, not in my world. Cos' yesterday I couldn't resist it -- I blog searched her again to see what other names she's called me in her NaNo novel and what other adventures my aging groupie character got into, and I almost fucking fainted when I saw a post titled Neil Gaiman Answered My Annoying E-Mail. So you know I had to immediately click on it, and ha ha, as you will see, she did write to him and was lucky enough to have her letter posted and commented on in his blog (which I'd even read a few days ago), but she neglected to sign her name. So she gets the great man's attention, but anonymously! Oh man, that is so something I would do, maybe I can't be angry at Liarbyrd whoever she is after all.

And of course you know I could not resist leaving her a little note on her blog to the effect of Nah nah nah, Neil Gaiman may have published your post in his blog but he came and visited mine and left a comment.

But how weird. Here's this woman from my same city -- I don't know her and let me tell you, the writing community in Philadelphia is SMALL and we all know each other -- she just happens to love Gaiman (okay, we all love Neil so that's not too much of a coincidence), but in one week, I find out she's writing a book with my name in it, Gaiman comments in my blog, and answers a post she writes to him in his blog.

Coincidence? I think not!

Man, life is strange. Oh well. Go see the Beatle show at Indre tonight. Or tomorrow, and come up to me and say hi. I'll even give you some cookies...



Myfanwy Collins said...

Robin, that's quite creepy what this other writer did. Do you feel you have an idea who it might be? Do I need to come to Philly and kick some ass?

RobinSlick said...

Oh good, I'm not the only one who thinks it's creepy. I managed to convince myself I was over-reacting.

I also realize by putting the link to her blog in my post, I was giving her recognition she might not deserve...including the fact that up until I just made that post, no one but her immediate friends knew Neil Gaiman published her email. But you know, I don't want any bad karma -- I don't want to give another writer any shit and she may be a very nice person -- I just don't know. What's freaking me out a bit is that I was very active in NaNo for four years and met a lot of people at the various get-togethers so she may actually be someone with whom I had a nice conversation. I was fine with it all up until I read "aging groupie" because it hits a little too close to home and thus is mean-spirited. Though we all know I look twenty, so it can't be that. Ha.

I honestly don't know what to make of it. But look at it this way. If her work isn't published, I have nothing to worry about. If it is, hey, I'll ride on her coattails and say to her fans "Hey hey, wanna meet the real Robin Slick?"

Ha ha.

Or, you can simply come to Philly and kick her ass for me, Myf.

Myfanwy Collins said...

I don't think you were over-reacting at all. You have an unusual, interesting name. It's not like there are a million Robin Slicks out there.

And as usual, I love your attitude, Robin! And I will kick ass for you any day.

katrina said...

That is really weird. Too weird, if you ask me. I hope you can find out who it is, Rob.

Patry Francis said...

Wow. I'm off to google blog to see what kind of bitchy things I might be doing without my knowledge.

But to give the nano writer the benefit of the doubt, maybe your name just glommed onto her subconscious mind. Happens to me sometimes--or I worry that it has. A name for a character seems SOOO perfect, then I wonder where it came from. Did I ever meet someone with that name? Did I read it somewhere?

RobinSlick said...

I would give the NaNo person the benefit of the doubt if my character in her novel was not an aging groupie as well. Not that I'm "aging" har har, but I do have an 18 year old and a 19 year old and I know the names of all of the Beatles so I'm obviously not twenty years old anymore.

It's no secret that I hung with rock bands in the past and continue to do so fact it's the subject matter of my current book and anyone who googles me or goes to my Publishers Marketplace page will see that. If you go through the archives of my blog, in the past year there are photos of me and my kids with everyone from Jon Anderson of Yes to Eddie Vedder to Marky Ramone. So there were just too many similarities and I just find it somewhat weird but okay, I will go with my first instinct and be flattered instead. Besides, I'm old school. I think all artists should support each other. Trashing artists should be left to the critics, and we all know what we think of them!

Hey, I'll have to check out your novel, P. Francis.

Liarbyrd said...

Hi, Robin, I am Liarbyrd. Let me just say that your name was an accident. I have never met you (despite both being in Philly, and apparently in Nano).

The character Robin Slick was so named because she was an embezzler (Robbin') and nearly got away with it (Slick). And the "Slick" reminded me of Grace Slick, hence the music connection. Everything about the character was fabricated.

I might have seen your name on the Nano board and it stuck in my subconscious.

I also have a character named Constance Flood, who is a bit of a drama queen with the water works. Now I can't wait to have the real Connie read my blog.

RobinSlick said...

Whew, that's a relief.

But very cool of you to write. I was a little weirded out, but not really.

Hey, how about our Neil Gaiman connection. Crazy, huh.

I'm sure our paths will cross eventually in this city. Take it easy and good luck with your novel!