Thursday, 9 September 2010

Foxes, child-geniuses and tough words.

Ok so I've had an article printed in The Independent this week and I might be going on This Morning soon because of it (much to the jealousy of many of my peers who have all made it obscenely apparent that they fancy the 'silver fox' that is Philip Schofield), and my books have had various lovely reviews here, here and here;

but you know what? The most exciting response to my book has been the following review which was sent to me from an 11 year old girl called Megan who has a disabled brother, and quite frankly, it's excellent;

‘Just Because’
A Short Review by Megan

Hi, my name is Megan. I have a brother called Joe who is a bit like Clemmie, the little girl in the book, as he can’t speak and can’t walk very much. I love the part that says some sisters can be mean. They scream and shout pull your hair because that’s what my brother does to me. Sometimes he bites me because he can’t talk and he gets frustrated. Like Clemmie, my brother has been to the moon is a space ship made out of an old cardboard box. I especially liked the part about Simon the pet bug because my brother likes looking at bugs and touching them, err! My favourite parts of the book are the beautiful illustrations of Clemmie and her brother, and the adventures they go on.

I think the book is really magical and is essential for any big sisters with a brother like mine or a sister like Clemmie. This book will definitely be added to the collection of books I read to my brother before he goes to sleep at night.

I think the book is brilliant ‘just because…’.

See, I told you.

Oh and in worky news I've been working on Zoo Girl which is about a girl who gets abandoned in a zoo and then adopted - and although the book is only 14 words long it's the hardest text I've ever worked on, dang it.

That's it for now. See you soon. Take care now.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Aliens, fishmongering and swine wisdom

I'm back! And the Greenbelt workshoppy thang went swimmingly with over 50 people there and in 2 hours we created a fabulous picture book called 'A Small Alien at Greenbelt' - here's a few spreads from the book and pics of me in standard festival-issue wellies:

And in other news - here's the thing, all this getting out there amongst the people and promoting my own goods is all fabtaculous and all that but people are so damned nice and, as it happens, I really don't know how to cope with compliments. I wish I did - I wish I were the kind of woman who takes a compliment graciously in her stride with a charming self-deprecating yet knowing smile and nod of the head, perhaps even a gentle touch of the complimentor's arm and a heartfelt 'thank you'. No, instead I get terribly self conscious, shuffley of feet and avoidy of all eye contact and in a desperate attempt not to reveal any inadvertent arrogance I tend to shake my head wildly and insist that the complimentor is utterly and ridiculously wrong to the point of insanity and whilst it's meant as a playful tap on the arm it usually comes across as if I am then striking them in punishment for their lack of artistic judgment and sheer imbecility. If they started the meeting thinking I was worthy of a compliment they certainly leave thinking otherwise. I'll work on it. Next time I'll just say, 'yes I am rather brilliant aren't I?' And offer them my hand to kiss.

And this is all only because my chosen career is a public one - one which begs to be seen - and therefore acknowledged - if other people could be more publicly seen in their nursing/teaching/cleaning/policing/admining/construction workering/fishmongering roles they too would face uncomfortable compliments more often.

And now for my quote of the week (ok so this is new but i thought i'd just sneak it past you)which comes from one of my husband's many doppelgangers Daddy Pig when Peppa asks what he does for a living:
"I take big numbers and transmute them to calculate their load-bearing tangents"