This evening I had a very pleasant time with Holly, which began with her mentioning how much she liked the song “Across the Universe” and me playing her the version of the song by Laibach, which has always been my favourite. “Dad,” she said, happily, “This was the version of the song I knew as a little girl. You used to play it. I always wondered why the Beatles one sounded different from the way I expected. I mean you could understand the words for a start.” Then we sat in front of the computer for a few hours and I made her a playlist of more songs she had loved as a small girl, the ones she’d remembered and the ones she’d forgotten, which led to our having The Conversation. You know, the one I’ve known was coming for the last almost-nineteen years.
I dragged songs from her childhood over to the playlist — “Barcelona” and “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “I Don’t Like Mondays” and “These Foolish Things” and then came Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”. “You named me from this song, didn’t you?” said Holly as the first bass notes sang. “Yup,” I said.
Lou started singing.
Holly listened to the first verse, and for the first time, actually heard the words.
"Shaved her legs and then he was a she…? He?"
"That’s right," I said, and bit the bullet. We were having The Conversation. "You were named after a drag queen in a Lou Reed song."
She grinned like a light going on. “Oh dad. I do love you,” she said. Then she picked up an envelope and wrote what I’d just said down on the back, in case she forgot it.
I’m not sure that I’d ever expected The Conversation to go quite like that.
I wish Neil Gaiman was my dad!
ANNOUNCING: the general public release of An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer on NOVEMBER 19th. the 3-DISC ALBUM contains re-packaging with a different take on the artwork.
PRE-ORDER bundles include new items such as a limited edition vinyl LP, tea towels, mugs, journals, and by popular demand - the fuzzy velvet poster.
find more info and order here: amandapalmer.net
I desire that mug in case anyone cares. =)
“Said’s” are invisible. They vanish onto the page. The eye barely sees them — they become one with the inverted commas that indicate that something is being said. They’re the arrows on the speech balloons that show you who’s saying what. Lots of authors, when they start out, remember from school that you shouldn’t repeat words too much, and are careful to replace each “said” with “growled” “uttered” “yelped’ “hissed” “exclaimed” “asseverated” “muttered” “affirmed” and so on, and cannot work out why people dismiss the writing as amateurish. Use them, but use them sparingly. It’s like salt in a dish. Too much and it’s all you taste.
THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS!!!!!!!!! When my writing teacher told our class this, there were people who just found the idea of only ever using said unacceptable. WHY? That’s what you’re supposed to write. Look at any great piece of writing and you will see a billion “saids” with very few filler words replacing that said. THERE’S A REASON AND THAT’S IT^^^^^^RIGHT UP THERE.