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Thursday, August 05, 2004

I don't want to bring everyone down, but I've just heard that Paula Danziger died on July 8th. Being barely out of my twenties in my very early thirties, I remember very well her appearances on 'Going Live' alongside Gordon the Gopher (who sadly remains with us). She was an American children's novelist, who used to turn up every week in big glasses and a headscarf, and discuss the latest kids' books. As an impressionable 16 year old who was five chapters into writing a teen novel about a boy called Jasper (don't go there), she was my absolute hero. She also happened to be the funniest woman alive, and if this blog wasn't public I might even admit to having had a small crush on her.

Speaking as someone who has to bribe himself with bagels before he can write more than three lines, I was particularly pleased when she announced one week that before starting work on a novel she buys herself an expensive gift, then tells a friend to look after it and not let her have it until the book is finished. Without those tactics, she said, she'd never write anything. I know the feeling.

So it turns out she died last month at the age of 59. Which is really quite sad.

But on a brighter note, with less than three weeks to go until Lisa's birthday I've stumbled across the perfect gift. She may not know it yet, but Lisa will be ripping open the wrapping on the 25th to find her very own DYKEdoll - the world's first ever lesbian action figure. Every home should have one.

Have fun with a lesbian

They come in a range of styles to suit all tastes. But a word of warning: don't click on the section marked 'Add Ons'. Trust me, you don't want to know. Although I must admit, you have to admire the craftsmanship.