A Photoshoot and a Misunderstanding
The best way not to be nervous about having your picture taken is to have it taken as somebody else. Enter Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle, striking heroic, elderly poses, yomping about in the heather in a skirt the size of Birmingham, and consorting with scarecrows. I'd like to see that, you say?
You can - here. Painting with Shadows is the blog of Kim Ayres, Photographer Extraordinaire. On our shoot, which was at all times deadly serious, except for the times when it wasn't, I managed to take a few photos myself, of Kim striding about and generally getting the sunset and landscape organised -
and of Renita Boyle balancing her super-size top hat on her glasses before leaping up onto a rock as Turniphead -
My own costume included a hat and ENORMOUS skirt borrowed from the Blairgowrie Players, my father's bird-headed stick, and a big blue scarf clothes-pegged round at the back.
And the misunderstanding? Well, on another topic altogether, I learned about a request for books for prisoners in Wormwood Scrubs and sent a couple of my sci-fi novels for reluctant readers. And then forgot about it. And was then bemused when an email landed on my screen with the subject line "Book Rooms in Prison" ... I thought it was some sort of weird holiday offer. It's only when you stop reading "Book" as a verb that it starts to make sense. To find out how to take part, without moving in, look here.
Nostalgia and Dotting
I was thinking about where I was, round about this time last year, and re-visiting the photos of Roshven.
I remember that spectacularly strange sunset -
This year is full of other good things, of course, but nostalgia still creeps in from time to time.
Today I am dotted about the place:
An Awfully Big Blog Adventure
Girls Heart Books
Reading Bus Patron
(and the weekly Friday Spark over on the BOOKMARK website)
I leave you with an otter splash -
Friends of Your Fledglings
You write your socks off, send your piece out into the world, sigh a little over royalties, and move on. (Of course you've moved on long before there's any question of royalties, and you don't get royalties for a magazine story, but the sentence works better the way it is.) The point is, you can't hold all your stories in your head at one time. It's the ones in the nest that are right in your face - the fledged and flown ones tend to be forgotten.
Which made an email I got this week even more special:
I was hoping to learn if you are the same Joan Lennon who
happened to write a story called "In Search of..." in the 2006 editions
of The Cricket magazine? If it is not then please disregard this
message. If it is I just wanted to let you know how much I
enjoyed this story, it was very instrument in encouraging me to
write-mostly because I only have the first part of the story and I
haven't been able to find any copies with the continued story. So, I had
to imagine how it ended. Anyway, this is a thank you.
I remember that story! It was a 3-parter I wrote for Cricket Magazine not far off a decade ago. It was an awkward length, so I was particularly grateful to find a home for it. But, I thought, magazines have a pretty short life,* so in 2011 I had a go at ebooking 3 similarly awkwardly-sized sci-fi stories -
So I had somewhere to send my young friend, to find out at least one way the story ended. It's a good feeling, meeting friends of your fledglings after all these years - especially if they've got those friends hooked on the same thing that gets you out of bed every morning!
Thank you so much and happy writing!
(* Not so short - my correspondent added, I've carried the one copy of The Cricket through 3 different moves
trying to find the rest of it. I love being part of a quest!)
Back into the Saddle
Whinging, begone! Today I'm returning to work on a book that has a little bit of this -
and a little bit of that -
and a soupcon of t'other -
It's been not far off a year since I put word to page on this one - it doesn't even have a working title - so, wish me luck, yoicks and tally-ho!
P.S. Over on the History Girls this week with a lass called Mabel - come and get an earful!