Sunday, June 22, 2008

Glasgow West End Festival

I did two events at the Glasgow West End Festival this week, one on The Wickit Chronicles and one on The Seventh Tide. It made for an early start, but I didn't have to suffer alone - I'm still not supposed to be lifting anything heavy, so I'd roped my son Jamie into coming with me to carry my props. I also gave him the job of taking pictures. This proved to be more of a challenge than I'd realised. Apparently I'm always in motion. Demented might be the best word. Even the ones he got in focus suggest that I was in fact doing karaoke ...

There were some nice pictures of the kids - who were great, both morning and afternoon groups - intent, engaged, fun - but I need to get permission from the schools first before printing them. The rules on this vary from one school to the next, but they are all worried about safety and you need to check before each event whether photography is allowed or not. Sad, but understandable.

I'm off to London this week, so there'll be no posting next weekend - come back the weekend after, though, and I'll do my best not to bore you with holiday snaps ...

Cheers, Joan.

P.S. Many thanks to Teresa Lowe for organising the events and also for being exceptionally nice!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

I was reading Neil Gaiman's book Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and came across this quote from Adams - he was asked if there was anything in particular he wanted to say in the first series?

"I just wanted to do stuff I thought was funny. But on the other hand, whatever I find funny is going to be conditioned by what I think about, what my concerns or preoccupations are. You may not set out to make a point, but points probably come across because they tend to be the things that preoccupy you, and therefore find a way into your writing."

I think that's sort of what I do as well. I don't set out to write an "issue book" but issues creep in anyway. Some of them I don't even notice until readers point them out later. Some of them I notice and readers don't! I'm thinking about this at the moment because I'm doing an event at the Glasgow West End Festival this week on The Seventh Tide and I keep wondering if there are more things that need to be shoehorned into it.

Probably not. The primary moral message of any book with a ferret in it doesn't really need underlining. If my book teaches us anything, it is that Fur Rocks.

And don't forget it.

Cheers, Joan.

P.S. My sister has pointed out to me that I might sound as if I'm suggesting that Fur Not On Animals Rocks - not so. Original owners only!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Wow! 366

We got the proofs for the anthology Wow! 366 that Scholastic is doing in honour of The Year of Reading and to raise money for NSPCC. (I say "we" because three of us in this family submitted stories - look out for "Hunt!" "The Princess and the Dragon" and "Robin Hood Takes a Bath".) (Okay, I'm boasting. I'm a mother. I get to.) It's 366 because a) this is a Leap Year and b) each story is supposed to be 366 words long. However, it turns out that not all computers count words in the same way. You would have thought there really was only one way, but you'd be wrong - which has led to a bit of a nightmare for the editors at Scholastic. But instead of throwing in the towel and calling the collection Wow! More or Less 366 they have run everything through some sort of uber-computer (i.e. one that can count up to 366 and get it right) and then edited their tiny socks off ...

It's due out on 4 Aug. and "we" are going to celebrate!

Cheers, Joan.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Last Day of May

Cheers, Joan.