Yesterday the postman brought me my first translation into French. Today it was the double audio-tape of "The Ghost of Able Mabel", and "The Spectre of Hairy Hector", read by actor Richard Mitchley. Must listen to them - it's so interesting to hear a voice that's not your own behind the words - andluckily I have a drive down to Leicester coming up soon.
A repeat greeting to the children and everyone at St. AUSTIN'S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL, Wakefield. It was great seeing you all - and many thanks to the magnificent caretaker who helped me cart all my bags and boxes across to the car.
I usually take copies of my books and some examples of art-work etc, as well as a story-telling basket. However, struggling the weight and bulk of all this kit across school sites and along complex school corridors is getting to be a problem. Does the ever-elegant LAUREN CHILD have this problem? Does J.K. ROWLING have a specially appointed school visit footman? And is this why the Children's Laureateship is only for two years, given that they are all multi-title personages? Did MICHAEL MORPURGO write in bed before he was a Laureate? And how does JACQUELINE WILSON manage her luggage and all those ornate silver rings? Answers on a postcard . . . :-)) Bye for now!
Another budge-the-blog post, but to let you know that a copy of "LE FANTOME DU CAPITAINE HARRIBLE" has just slipped through my letterbox. Yes, It's the French version of "The Spectre of Hairy Hector." Fantastique or what? So now, mes petits amis, "Prenez garde au Spectre d'Hector le Chevelu!" Au 'voir!
But no wink wink! I'm writing this to see if it will nudge along yesterday's journal entry, but just in case it comes up, greetings to the Year 4 & Year 2 children at ST. AUSTIN'S RC SCHOOL, Wakefield. Looking forward to seeing you all!
Also feeling a tiny, tiny bit pleased with myself as I've managed to get back into a story I'd just got nervous about, and I think it's going to be all right. I can see the path through the wood again. (This may only make sense to other writers!)
Last night I was shamed! I met a reader - and you know who you are! - who told me that I don't update this journal often enough. I mumbled excuses, but am shamed to see that today is 26th June and my last triple-post was almost a month ago. So apologies, all you legions of readers!
What have I been doing? Well, on June 11th, I was at the 25th Red House Children's Book Award Lunch at the Roof Garden, Kensington, as an "additional author". The last book in my Rickety Hall trilogy, THE TALE OF WHITE WINTER HOLLOW had been voted one of their BEST READS. The Lunch began with a short speech by the new Children's Laureate, Jacqueline Wilson, looking all sparkly and lovely. The Award itself was won by Simon James with his picture book "BABY BRAINS".
(You may still be able to catch pictures of the event, among other parties, on www.achuka.co.uk/achokablog. A most informative site about children's books, by the way! Try searching for "fcbg", too, and you'll find out more about the young readers behind the RHCB Award)
What else? Tidying my house for visitors. Putting back the mess after visitors. Blah blah blah. Many bits of writing work, including revising a short (adult)play, "Last Supper" for the Harrogate Theatre New Writing Festival.
And a visit to ROBERT SHAW PRIMARY SCHOOL, NOTTINGHAM on 20th June. Despite having to get up at 5am to make the trip, it was a really lovely day. I worked with one group of young writers all day, and they worked so hard, despite the heat. WELL
DONE, ALL OF YOU! Now that's it. I am crossing my fingers and hoping this screed enters into Blogworld somehow. And I'll be back soon, okay? So watch this space!
SOMEWHAT LIKE BUSES, THEN?
Dear Reader, you will now see three variations on the same thing - plus this one making four! At least my messagees end up with double the thanks this way. Maybe it's a punishment for not having blogged for so long. And that Cornish coast-line was truly wonderful.
WHERE THE BLOG HAVE YOU GONE?
Dear Blog Machine, why won't you accept my entries? I have several schools & people i want to thank? . . . Third try lucky, eh? . . . .
Trying again, as my last, much longer blog-post disappeared, to say a very much briefer thanks to HOLLINGWOOD Primary School, Bradford; to JACOBSTOW Primary School, Cornwall, to PLYMOUTH CHILDREN'S BOOK GROUP, and to Andrew Edwards & Julie Langford at BBC RADIO LEEDS. Thanks for all your welcomes, and some most enjoyable times.
Fingers crossed as I click on PUBLISH POST . . .
Can't believe how long it is since I last made an entry for this journal. I've been busy at my desk with a couple of urgent head-down "To Do" projects, and I'm about to disappear there again. Meanwhile, a belated wave to all the children and staff at school I visited very enjoyably back on 18th May. Hello there, HOLLINGWOOD PRIMARY SCHOOL, in Bradford!
Just before the half-term break, I had a working break myself,with two days at JACOBSTOW PRIMARY SCHOOL, Cornwall. This was fun, as I was sharing the visit with author Jen Alexander. I hope everyone at the school enjoyed the days, too!
Jen and I fitted in a Wednesday afternoon walk around the cliffs at Boscastle, spoke on Thursday at an Author Supper arranged by the FCBG PLYMOUTH CHILDREN'S BOOK GROUP, and then, on the sunniest Friday yet this year, took a long paddling walk from Daymar Bay to Rock. We ferried across to Padstow for pasty, returning through the rippling blue and gold water again. Ending with supper and sunset at Port Isaac, aka "Port Gwen". Hours of pure magic!
Back up north, and another busy week, briefly interrupted by a call from BBC RADIO LEEDS, who wanted a quick in-studio item on children's books. It was made enjoyable by Andrew & Julie, the friendly presenters. Don't know how they do it! I only had to be there for 8.30am, whil they set out at 6am daily across those radio waves/ Amazing.