Thursday 24 December 2009


So this is Christmas and I have a herd of elephants on their way to the manger. There's a small one who's already there and calling to the others. There's an old dame of an elephant, big and slow, bringing up the rear and a youngster keeping her company. Perhaps they're singing.

This is my mantelpiece, my Fenwick's Christmas Window, my nativity scene.
People think I'm mad. But I love elephants and I love Christmas, so why not?

I'm surrounded by twinkle lights and wrapping paper and soon I'll be singing carols. And gazing at elephants of course. A perfect Christmas Eve.

Christmas greetings to all those who've posted me (now that the problem's fixed, I hope that more of you will join in). To Sammy (and any other young writer) my advice is just to keep it up, keep enjoying, it's one of the best things.

To those of you who want to read the first three chapters then email me at my website: or . Perhaps I'll put them up there for all to see.

Happy Christmas.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

agent kidding all along

Seismic rewrite not required. Perhaps it was a test. Granddad in teen novel does not have to change to Grandma. Which is a relief. She'd be a pipe smoking, laddette at 97, drinking with the old fishermen and swapping tall stories in the back of a hardware store. Grandmas don't do that sort of thing, do they?

Meanwhile, responses are trickling in from my young readers who've been condemned to commenting on the first three chapters of novel number two. So far I've had: it's good (in a surprised sort of tone) but... ah here it is... some of the words are difficult.

OK. Not so bad. Good to know. I'll take a look and fix it.

Thank you, young readers. LOL

Tuesday 15 December 2009


It was Christmas lunch with the writing group today. Everyone threw in their last pound and stood me a turkey dinner at the Customs House. Thank you, thank you. In return as a sort of reward (double edged, perhaps like an old Gillette razor) I read them PF&L, and forgot to tell them which animals they were (this is a picture book text with no pics), so it was possibly a pointless exercise. Nonetheless they seemed to enjoy it (or they're very good actors) and besides there were a few empty minutes between ordering and receiving Christmas pud, so why not listen to my pointless ramblings? If there's anyone out there actually reading these pointless ramblings, then maybe you're in a similar void between courses. Or don't get out much.

Tomorrow I wear tinkling bell earrings, courtesy of my sisters, and lead the singing group in a rousing chorus of Rudolph rocking around the manger on a starry night in a winter wonderland while mummy's kissing Santa Claus. Or something. All for a good cause.

Soon the spindles will be painted. May be painted. There are 118. Stair carpet comes Friday. But that's another blog.


This is how it goes. So, rather prestigious agent likes teen novel ...and life is a rose garden...but suggests rewrite...ah, well...of course. Life is more a weed patch, on further investigation. It's to be expected. Agents are like that. Aren't they? Rather like the medicine for something unmentionable, it has to be swallowed.

Actually, it's not just a rewrite, more a seismic shift. Say it quickly and it doesn't sound so bad.

Here's the thing. Do I go with my instincts and aim for the the slight tremor of a rewrite and risk being ditched before I even get there, or go the whole world shaking way of the agent and risk being ditched cos it's not quite right?

Is there anyone out there who cares an iota?

I have three things floating around. Two novels and a picture book text. I must be barking.

Get your postcards out folks, and give me your answer, do.

Friday 11 December 2009

new computer

Blogging from my new, snowy keyboard, tiny white computer. There's more room than I know what to do with on my desk. I feel rich. Lee, my computer guru, is just Mr Magic. Thank you.

Thursday 10 December 2009

picture books

Rumour has it that the picture book world is in a sorry state. Publishers aren't taking new people on. They're not selling books. They're even shelving their authors. The credit crunch is biting into everything, even diddy little books for diddy little people. It's a shocker. Those poor wee folk. And yet I've posted my manuscript. Apparently it's good and ready. So off it goes. No hanging about. Price of a stamp. Hey ho.

Plain mad?
Grasping at straws?
Fantastically hopeful?
All three?
Immune to rumour
None of the above?

Answers on a post-card please.

Saturday 5 December 2009

testing the water

Well I've produced the first three chapters of the new novel in a small book. I'm hoping to convince a bunch of young people to read it and give me a critique. Glutton for punishment? Yes, but they're my target audience (especially boys) and if it doesn't work for them, then there'll have to be a rethink. Wish me luck.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

disaster averted

All is not lost. The wonderful Lee has sorted my ailing computer. Let's hear it for him!

OK so I need a new computer, but my hard disk is safe, so the work is safe. One big thank you to Lee, who, incidently, used to play in the same band as me.

Meanwhile, I have it on good authority that some people want to add comments etc to my blog but are having problems doing so. Keep trying you people. Keep trying.

It's lonely out here