THAT SPARKLING DARKLING PLAIN!
I am so, so, so, so glad to hear Philip Reeve's latest title A DARKLING PLAIN has won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. I have loved all four books in his amazing Hungry Cities series. No, more than loved - I am absolutely bright emerald with jealousy and admiration for his ideas and writing. Truly, books to celebrate! Many congratulations, Philip Reeve, and thanks for the enjoyment,
A busy day today, away down the A1 to visit ST JOSEPH'S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL at Moorthorpe. Had a good time talking or telling stories to the children (HELLO, HELLO EVERYONE!)as well as helping Mr. Jordan the Chair of Governors open the brand new school library and also judge the wonderfully designed hats in the Hat Competition. Thank you all, and thanks to Wendy Mitchell of Wakefield SLS, too.
(More on The Big Writing, I'm afraid, folks!)I've been trapped by the dynamics (or lack of) between three of my characters. I could feel something wasn't connecting, though all were pottering along. Then this morning I saw how to sort them, and I think it will work, hooray! Longing to get back to my manuscript, but the house needs attention, annoyingly. Food to do, bother! And I must check out my route to Sheffield for tomorrow. (And set my alarm!)Brrrrrrrrrrrrrring!
One of the most magical moments in writing is when - suddenly! - a setting and its scene and even a new character appear in your mind, and not only does this solve certain plot problems, but it becomes far more exciting than anything you've droned on about in your synopsis. Maybe, just maybe, this story will work. Fingers still crossed. Okay, back to plodding on!
By the way, greetings to everyone at ST.THERESA'S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL, SHEFFIELD. Looking forward to seeing you on Thursday!
TAKING MY ELEPHANT FOR A WALK
There's a time when a writer has finished the story, the book is well into the publication process, and you have to start thinking about what you might say to people about it - without setting them off into a bored doze. So, today I visited the great and enthusiastic readers of the KS2 class at BECKWITHSHAW PRIMARY SCHOOL to tell them about my forthcoming book "THE THIRD ELEPHANT". (It's quite different to my spooky stories!) Anyway, the children really cheered me up when they liked the cover and the blurb, and even the piece I read out, as well as being very patient when I explained it wouldn't actually be out till April 2007. Now I'm feeling rather more confidence in talking about this book, so THANK YOU ALL!
But odd to practice talking about elephants and India when the "writing me" is now back win the middle of a longer historical fantasy.
Have just had four brilliant days away with a great group of children's writers, staying at an idyllic old house in Oxfordshire, bathed in September sun.(House not me!)
But, to quote Michael Rosen quoting big brother Rosen quoting Dad Harold Rosen on a recent "Desert Island Discs", which I was playing while driving down there,it was definitely more than a touch of "THE NOISE, THE NOISE!"
It was truly as if everyone had sat quietly & meekly in their studies for six months and suddenly, there we are all together again, desperate to get as much ranting, chatting, gossiping and laughing done as possible. Making up for lost words,perhaps?Thanks to everyone!
Himself and me away from our desks, on a long-promised day out! A drive across the Yorkshire Wolds to Flamborough Head. The sun shone on the white chalk cliffs around the coves and, from the beach, the lighthouse looked like a Hopper painting. Caves and arches with views through to the blue sea beyond. A total pleasure, including the quick paddle in gaps between the seaweed.
Afterwards, on to Bridlington. First, a tour of the fish harbour (with aromatic moments) and then another paddle on the South Beach as the sun began dropping beautifully in the sky, usefully illuminating the watery depths (well, inches) and some little waving things below that must be razor clams or lugworms. Eventually, my nerve broke . . . A bit too R.L. Stine, maybe?