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Journal
Saturday, February 21, 2009
CATCHING UP AGAIN, AGAIN!
Yes, dear reader - if you are still there after my long silence - I have an excuse for not posting for ages. So please read on . . .
It's been BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! Over the last month, as well as doing several school visits (see below) I've been revising a long manuscript, The main task had been to change all 90,000 words from present into past tense, and there's definitely no quick computer button that does that. Unfortunately, on the way I found several other things that needed a bit more attention. About a fortnight ago, this final version was done, and emailed off to my editor. I'm still waiting to hear from her, but my agent read it and is very happy. That's so reassuring because, believe me, she doesn't say the "good" word easily!

I've also been busy on the texts of some early readers. One task was re-revising FLORENCE & THE DRUMMER BOY. I've also been busy with a set of four books called FOREST FAMILY. They're about lots of ancient hunting and gathering and that sort of thing, though the exact titles aren't quite settled.

Oh! Rattle at the letterbox? Now the postman's just been, bringing me proofs for FLORENCE and for differently foresty book, THE DEEP DARK FOREST (fairy tale stuff!), both for my comments asap. FLORENCE arrived in a b&w version , though she will actually be in colour. She is almost ready to go to the printers, so my job is to check the text through, but also to make sure that any corrections I suggest fit into the spacing allowed for the text. Too late for anything else by now.

THE DEEP DARK FOREST is still in that lovely stage when the illustrator, DAVID LOPEZ, has created his first rough sketches, although he'll have done lots of preparatory work before creating these pages. My job here is to gently check that the pictures fit the story, though it's also exciting. This is when I see any clever twists the artist has added to my telling. This editor wants comments on both sets of proofs by Monday morning, and I've a booking on Sunday. If I find an odd moment, I've got a Christmas story idea to draft for the end of March, and that months is already rather full with WORLD BOOK DAY visits.

Moving on! This month also brought me a CD copy of the animation series for young children I'd worked on last year. Great fun, as I could watch all the series, not just my own three scripts. The series is called JUST SO DARWIN, and is due for somewhere on the BBC sometime this year.

Now here we go, people. The latest visits! VERY LOUD GREETINGS to everyone I met at the ROWLEY REGIS LEARNING COMMUNITY CHILDREN'S BOOK QUIZ finals in Sandwell, and especially to the three clever teams from TIVIDALE HALL, TEMPLE MEADOW and HIGHFIELDS primary schools.

Well done to all the children who I heard reciting their poems so thoughtfully at the SHEFFIELD CENTRAL LIBRARY heats of the BBC "OFF BY HEART" event. The famous GERVASE PHINN was there in his role as the Yorkshire regional judge, and poet MATT BLACK kept the children entertained while they waited, so all in all it was a very pleasant event.

Many thanks to the wonderful HAWORTH PRIMARY SCHOOL for a super day - the flowers are still beautiful! - and also to everyone at ST THOMAS OF CANTERBURY CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL in BOLTON for a happy time.

Finally, a flutter of wings to all who came along to last Sunday's Magical Bird Stories at RHS HARLOW CARR GARDENS, and looking forward to meeting more of you this Sunday - tomorrow!

That's it. I'm done till the next time. If you want more, I'm also a contributor to AN AWFULLY BIG BLOG ADVENTURE - created by several children's writers, so each day is a very different voice. Give it a look!

Bye for now - and I'll be back sooner than last time. Promise!
 
A blog about the life, times and travels of a Children's Writer, Storyteller and Book Week Visitor. For more writerly thoughts, pop over to my other blog The Year Of Mouse (http://theyearofmouse-pennydolan.blogspot.com/) Squeak!

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