I don't know how long it will stay up. I don't know if it will be taken down, offered for sale, made available for downloading, or what.
I heard Gaiman read the first chapter at Columbia. He suggested that one listen to at least the first 20 seconds of the latest clip, chapter 7, part 2 (at least, if one has read the book or does not mind spoilers), and I did.
First reaction: Neil, you bastard!
Second reaction: Okay, I have got to watch all of this. Neil is a master storyteller. I don't just mean he writes well. He tells stories well, with words, with voice -- all of it. I want to see the master at work and learn to improve the parts of the craft I practice: telling stories in story and filk circles, telling anecdotes.
osewalrus told me once of a storytelling class where one assignment was to take a specific story -- all the students were given its outline, the bones of what happened -- and tell it at the next class.
Jim Macdonald has a lot of advice for writers. I don't know most of it because I'm still playing with the very early pieces. One piece I haven't taken yet: Find a piece of writing you like. Write it -- well, I suppose, type it, really -- exactly as it is written. This will teach you a lot about what the author is doing.
Because I heard the author read the first chapter of The Graveyard Book, it took me a lot longer than it normally would to read the book. I moved my lips the whole time, and sound came out, the exact volume of which depending on where I was. Part of this is for the pleasure of it, but part is also that I'm trying to learn some of what he does.
I finished the book tonight, and when my eyes were dry enough, I went to Neil Gaiman's website and sent a question about something fairly minor, after making sure that it wasn't answered on the site. I'm pretty sure I'm right, and, well, it doesn't actually matter, except that I want to know, and, well, okay, it matters.