I've been away from the blog, playing hooky. Doing what, you ask? I thought you'd never give me the opening.
Check out the photo above, taken the day before yesterday. That's me playing billiards in Naulakha's game room. Naulakha is the house Rudyard Kipling built near Brattleboro, Vermont, and lived in for several years before moving restlessly onward. A friend rented it from the Landmark Trust for a week and invited Marianne and me to come visit. So we did.
Kipling wasn't particularly happy with his American neighbors or, ultimately, with his life in Vermont. But while he was living in Naulakha, he wrote both Captains Courageous and The Jungle Book.
So I got to sit in Rudy's writing room at his desk, writing. You can imagine how happy I was.
Unfortunately, Neil Gaiman's already written The Graveyard Book, so the obvious opportunity to slingshot off of the man's greatness has been taken. But I was contented anyway. And I still am.