An evening with David Mitchell and Lana Wachowski

A lovely evening. Mitchell read from the first passage of Slade House (which I read a week or so ago, I’ll try to tell you about it soon!) and then he and Wachowski had a lovely conversation about art and immortality and writing between genres (as it were).

There were quite a number of moments I wish I could have recorded, but here are the two I wrote down.

On writing between genres, or being told your book should/shouldn’t have something because you’re not in X genre:
“If a book needs a dragon, it should have a dragon.”

On reading reviews: he said he certainly never reads the bad ones, because they’re so demoralizing and haunt you for months, but then he said he doesn’t read the good ones either:
“…even the good ones are wasps at the picnic of a calm mind.”

WOW what an image.

I’ve been a huge fan of his books for a long time now (the other book I took with me to have signed was Black Swan Green, which is one of my all-time favorite books) and it was wonderful to hear Nathan (the first character in Slade House) read in his voice. He doesn’t have a straight-up English accent, there’s a bit of a lisping quality around his Rs that I wondered if originates from his time in Japan/Asia…

I can’t wait to see what he writes next.

This. Remember this.

Coretta Scott King: “I must remind you that starving a child is violence. Suppressing a culture is violence. Neglecting schoolchildren is violence. Punishing a mother and her family is violence. Discrimination against a working man is violence. Ghetto housing is violence. Ignoring medical need is violence. Contempt for poverty is violence.

Charles Eisenstein: “Love is the expansion of the self to include the other. And that’s a different kind of revolution.

both quoted in this amazing post by Eireann Lorsung.

To which I’ll add: “Love is the answer and you know that for sure.” –from another poet for peace, John Lennon.

The Very Few Places I’ve Been Outside the U.S. [Updated]

1. Canada.
-Winnipeg: too many times to count.
-Toronto: only the airport.
2. England. Three months (all summer) in 1988. 18 days in 2000. Assorted other mini trips in 2003/04/05. A week in January 2007.
-Cornwall: Falmouth, Truro, Constantine.
-Assorted other towns in the Southern tip.
3. France. 2004
4. Australia. 2006.
5. Belgium. 2007.
6. Japan. 2008.

7. Ireland.