GHOSTLY NON -APPARITIONS, ALAS!
While resting amid my current frenzy (tidying about ten years worth of files & cuttings etc. from my workroom) I idly click Achokablog to read what's new. Then, as idly, through to the main Achuka website, only to find that my book "The Phantom of Billy Bantam" is a "Pick of the Chapter Books!"
Joy & happiness, and a celebratory choccy biscuit, at least!
BUT THERE IS NO COVER PICTURE - JUST AN EMPTY EMPTY SPACE! THE GHOST IS GONE!! Will it appear - or re-appear? - when Achuka gets over its hacked-off state? Was Billy the Phantom Hacker? Who knows . . .?
Hello any reader out there. Yes, I've been away or busy. School stuff, writing, and so on. Plus a week with some other children's writers, all talking as if they needed to rebalance their voices for all the time they sit in lonely silence, writing.
Also developing the first draft of a synopsis that may get to be a book by next winter. A train-ride to London to see my wise editor, who asked all sorts of questions about the synopsis. My answers? Any and all of the following, I fear: a) Yes, well I did think of that afterwards. b) Yes, I will have to think about that soon. and c) Yes, it/he/she/that certainly needs more thought. And so on. But hopeful!
Fitted in a short sneak trip to the Edward Hopper paintings, still powerful despite oddities of painting technique, and then to see the chocolate fountain at the Walker party.
My heart is broken. I had imagined something on the scale of Trafalgar Square fountains, big enough to jump in to, almost - though of course authors & illustrators wouldn't - but instead it was more of a water feature, though chocolatey. Lots of illustrators and authors there, and even some lovely people that I knew too! Sadly, had to rush for the midnight train to Georgia - well, York arrival 12.30pm, in truth.
This week, I'm struggling through the high heaps of office paperwork, all to tidy/file/keep/chuck, like some dull but demented tv makeover. A groaning goodbye for now!
Round Rotherham - and RAIN!
An amazing time last week, as I was invited along to the Rotherham Children's Festival, giving various versions of my "Author Talks" in libraries at Wath-upon Dearne, Central Rotherham, Mowbray Gardens and at Rawmarsh Carnegie Library. Every handover from librarian to librarian went smoothly, and I was one among many visitors. Impressive!
I even got a golden curtain behind me at Central Library. Certainly kinder and more re-assuring than sitting in front of the latest massed Jacqueline Wilsons or Harry Potters works,while the young audience busily compare which of THOSE titles they've read,and look blankly at the rapidly disintegrating me! Yes, I'm shy in a noisy sort of way.
Not exactly disintegrating, but very, very, very damp was the mood on Saturday,when rain not only stopped but flooded out play at the Humber Mouth Family Fun Day in Queen's Gardens, Hull. All that brilliant organization - by brave librarians again - reduced by the dowpour and chill. But we carried on, sheltered by the band-stand, and those who braved it out had a good time. So I got to see anarchist poet and magician Nick Tocsek, the entertaining Two Steves (Barlow and Skidmore), and even met up with a third Steve - Steve Wetherill, the illustrator and author of the highly charming Goz books. Great, now Ithink about it, but WET!!!
So I just wish that those who go on about bringing the Olympics to this damp landscape could have been there! Three cheers for the optimism of librarians, and ex-librarians is what I say!