She took me a little way into the woods and she pointed out the missing guinea fowl, who believed herself to be perfectly camouflaged, sitting quietly on an awful lot of eggs. It's been a strange year. I've only blogged a couple of times, mostly because I've not had anything to write about except one thing, the hugeness of making Good Omens. We wrapped the shooting part mostly in March, and so everything we've been doing since is "post-production". This means we and when I say "we" in this blog it's normally Douglas Mackinnon the director and me edited the six episodes.
Sometimes this was simple, but mostly it wasn't. Good Omens is complicated. Episode 1 in its original shape was 75 minutes long and very confusing for people. Episode 1 now is about 52 minutes long and nobody watching it gets lost at all, even during the baby swap. Episode 5 wound up too short and episode 6 wound up too long, but that was okay, because we'd long ago realised that the only way to make something of this scale was a 6 hour long movie, so so we moved bits of Episode 6 earlier. Each episode was tightened and experimented with and worked on until it gleamed.
The editors we were working with were Will Oswald for the first three episodes and Emma Oxley for the second three And once it was edited and "locked", then the music could be written by David Arnold and recorded, then the team at MILK could begin to work on the Visual Effects, the big obvious ones like the M25 London orbital motorway turning into a flaming ring around London, or the huge floating head of Derek Jacobi filling Aziraphale's bookshop, and the less obvious ones, like the missing details of our Soho street.
And while this was happening the Sound Wizards at Bang!
Not to mention the technical challenges of the different voices that will be coming out of Miranda Richardson's mouth she plays Madame Tracy, the medium : Johnny Vegas and Michael Sheen also provide voices that we will hear Miranda utter We have over speaking parts. That's a lot of ADR. And then there's Gareth Spensely at Molinare, who is credited as colourist, and who is a Warlock who makes it look even more beautiful than Gavin Finney did when he shot it, and sometimes makes scenes shot in the morning become scenes that happen at dusk, and does other things equally as odd.
And there's Beren Croll doing the "online", working his own visual magic, and placing the astonishing visuals and the peculiarly handmade graphics that Peter Anderson Studios have made for us where they need to be And in all that, the last nine months have flown by. Here's the trailer we did, if you haven't seen it, or just want to see it again. We aren't done yet. There's about a month to go before it's all wrapped up.
We were hoping to have been done earlier, which is why my wife and small son and retiring nanny are off on our "Hurrah! Neil has finished Good Omens! I am on my way back to back to the UK dividing my time between London's Soho, where our various post production studios are, and Cardiff, where Bang!
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So many memories. Two days ago we went to Sarasota, to visit my Cousin Helen. She will be years old in a few weeks. She is as smart as she ever was. Fifteen Years ago, I wrote:. May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now , that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.
Half a decade ago, I wrote:. And it's this. I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.
You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something. So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever. It's a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.
So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave — let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we're faking them. And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it's joy we're looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation. So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy. I meant, and mean them all. I wasn't going to write a new one this year. Be kind to yourself in the year ahead.
Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It's too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand. Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin. Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them. Hug too much.
Smile too much. And, when you can, love. Friday, June 29, Harlan Ellison. Posted by Neil Gaiman at AM. Monday, April 16, Another talk with Laurie Anderson. One of the people I love talking to most in the world is Laurie Anderson. Laurie Anderson is an experimental musician, avant-garde composer, storyteller, film director, writer and genius.
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I played her music, but it never occurred to me to see her live. Amanda finally took me to see Laurie perform in Boston when we first started dating, and I remember my utter delight in the way Laurie owned a stage, and the honesty of the art and music she made. Laurie and I met for the first time at New York's Rubin Museum and we talked about Ignorance, we talked again in on the stage at Bard College about childhood and technology and so many other things. Each conversation was magical and fascinating: we each learned things about the other, and the audience learned things about both of us, along with things about art and comics, music and film, digital and analog, emotions and truth.
She's a polymath in the best sense. Now we are continuing the conversation, on stage at the 92 nd St Y. I'm looking forward to it so much. It's tomorrow night, Tuesday the 17th. There are still tickets left. I promise the conversation will be more than interesting. Photo by Michael Palma from the Rubin Museum talk. He has lots of other great photos at his website too. Sunday, October 22, Wedding thoughts: All I know about love. My friends Sxip Shirey and Coco Karol were married yesterday. I wrote and read something for them at the wedding party.
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This is everything I have to tell you about love: nothing. This is everything I've learned about marriage: nothing. It's not the kisses, or never just the kisses: it's what they mean. Somebody knows your worst self and somehow doesn't want to rescue you. It's the light from a distant lighthouse bringing you both safely home. Because there are things you cannot know before you experience them.
Because no study can prepare you for the joys or the trials. Because nobody else's love, nobody else's marriage, is like yours,. And that's all I know about love. Friday, June 16, For James Vance, and his family. I read James' Vance's work before I met the man. I loved it. Powerful, moving and smart.
Years later, when I was creating a line of comics for Tekno Comics, I asked James to write "Mr Hero", because I suspected that someone who could go so deep could also do funny and light and sweet, and he could. We became friends. James met another friend of mine, who was writing Tekno Comics: Kate Worley. They fell in love, they had two children together. I met Sara Benincasa eight years ago, when she interviewed me in a bathtub.
I was in the bathtub. Sara wasn't even wet. She's an author and comedian and the sort of person who has strange ideas and acts upon them.
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So when she tweeted me the other night and asked me if I would read the Cheesecake Factory Menu live, if she raised half a million dollars for the charity, I did not ask any of the obvious questions like, why would I read the Cheesecake Factory Menu aloud? Instead I said I'd like the money to go to Refugees, please, and sure. And then Sara did something even more unlikely. Wilson and Theodore X. A fantasy prone person is reported to spend a large portion of their time fantasizing, have vividly intense fantasies  People with FPP are reported to spend over half of their time awake fantasizing or daydreaming and will often confuse or mix their fantasies with their real memories.
They also report out-of-body experiences. A paracosm is an extremely detailed and structured fantasy world often created by extreme or compulsive fantasizers. Wilson and Barber listed numerous characteristics in their pioneer study, which have been clarified and amplified in later studies. Fantasy proneness is measured by the "inventory of childhood memories and imaginings" ICMI  and the "creative experiences questionnaire CEQ. Fantasizers have had a large exposure to fantasy during early childhood.
Parents or caregivers who indulged in their child's imaginative mental or play environment during childhood. People with fantasy prone personalities are more likely to have had parents, or close family members that joined the child in believing toys are living creatures.
They may also have encouraged the child who believed they had imaginary companions, read fairytales all through childhood and re-enacted the things they had read. People who, at a young age, were involved in creative fantasy activities like piano, ballet, and drawing are more likely to obtain a fantasy prone personality. Acting is also a way for children to identify as different people and characters which can make the child prone to fantasy-like dreams as they grow up.
This can cause the person to grow up thinking they have experienced certain things and they can visualize a certain occurrence from the training they obtained while being involved in plays. People have reported that they believed their dolls and stuffed animals were living creatures and that their parents encouraged them to indulge in their fantasies and daydreams. Exposure to abuse, physical or sexual, such that fantasizing provides a coping or escape mechanism. Exposure to severe loneliness and isolation, such that fantasizing provides a coping or escape mechanism from the boredom.
Regarding psychoanalytic interpretations, Sigmund Freud stated that "unsatisfied wishes are the driving power behind fantasies, every separate fantasy contains the fulfillment of a wish, and improves an unsatisfactory reality. Openness to experience is one of the five domains that are used to describe human personality in the Five Factor Model.
Thus, fantasy prone personality correlates with the fantasy facet of the broader personality trait Openness to Experience. Absorption is a disposition or personality trait in which a person becomes absorbed in his or her mental imagery, particularly fantasy. Dissociation is a psychological process involving alterations in personal identity or sense of self. These alterations can include: a sense that one's self or the world is unreal derealization and depersonalization ; a loss of memory amnesia ; forgetting one's identity or assuming a new self fugue ; and fragmentation of identity or self into separate streams of consciousness dissociative identity disorder , formerly termed multiple personality disorder.
Dissociation is measured most often by the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Several studies have reported that dissociation and fantasy proneness are highly correlated.
This suggests the possibility that the dissociated selves are merely fantasies, for example, being a coping response to trauma. However, a lengthy review of the evidence concludes that there is strong empirical support for the hypothesis that dissociation is caused primarily and directly by exposure to trauma, and that fantasy is of secondary importance. They believed that they were pregnant, and they had many of the symptoms.
In addition to amenorrhea stoppage of menstruation , they typically experienced at least four of the following: breast changes, abdominal enlargement, morning sickness, cravings, and "fetal" movements. Two of the subjects went for abortions, following which they were told that no fetus had been found. All of the other false pregnancies terminated quickly when negative results were received from pregnancy tests.
Maladaptive daydreaming is a psychological disorder, a fantasy activity that replaces human interaction and interferes with work, relationships and general activities. People who suffer from excessive daydreaming are aware that the scenarios and characters of their fantasies are not real and have the ability to determine what is real, elements that differentiate them from those suffering from schizophrenia.
A study reported on 90 excessive, compulsive or maladaptive fantasizers who engaged in extensive periods of highly structured immersive imaginative experiences. They often reported distress stemming from three factors: difficulty in controlling their fantasies that seemed overwhelming; concern that the fantasies interfered in their personal relationships; and intense shame and exhaustive efforts to keep this "abnormal" behaviour hidden from others.