Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ed on the Web and Travel for Kids

If I didn't periodically google myself, there's quite a lot of stuff I'd never know! Of course, when the things I find aren't in English, I still don't know, but here are 2 things that came up in my most recent trawl-through that made me smile - a travel site of Fun Things To Do for kids visiting East Anglia that mentions Ely Plot on the same page as Lucy Boston's Green Knowe books, and a site called Ed on the Web that has a review of The Ferret Princess PLUS activity sheets including a word search, name the baby ferrets and draw their picture, and write a poem beginning "I laugh when I see a ferret dancing the tango" (and I do!). Here are the links: Travel for Kids and Ed on the Web - and thank you very much to the people behind the sites!

Cheers, Joan.

P.S. I'm on the Awfully Big Blog Adventure site again this week, so see you there!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

SA and PNG

South Africa and Papua New Guinea are filling so much of my brain these days that there's little room left for anything else. (Let me quickly add that the relative size of the flag pictures has nothing to do with relative obsession on my part - I just couldn't figure out how to download images of equal size.) We are in the final countdown, or panicked frenzy, if you prefer accuracy over cliche, of sending the last of the boys off to these ridiculously faraway countries (one to each). It is enormously complicated. Anxiety reigns. Tears ensue. I am of course talking about me, and not the boys. But sometimes, good advice is given. Discovering his mother in a widening puddle of tears, one boy remarked, "You should take a break. Go write a book." He was absolutely right. And any day now, I will do exactly that.

Stiff upper-lipped, Joan.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What colour were Queen Victoria's eyes?

After spending a goodly amount of time happily hanging out in medieval England and then Viking times, I'm moving on to the Victorians. 1890s, to be precise. As with all history, I find that some of the things I thought I knew just aren't true. The colour of Queen Victoria's eyes, for example. I could have sworn they were brown. I have already described her as having "dark sorrowful eyes, like raisins with an unhappy past." Well, that's got to go, for starters. They were, apparently, large, protruding, and china blue. How many other fondly held misconceptions will be biting the dust in the days to come, I wonder? Watch this space.

Still I know I'm in for a great ride - the Victorians had that wonderful quirky energy which led them wildly, enthusiastically, sometimes tragically, into trying just about anything. That's a gift to any writer! And if you don't believe me, I've bunged in two images from the Natural History Museum to prove the point! (The first one's the ceiling of the Central Hall, and the second one is part of a huge case jam-packed with tiny, tiny stuffed humming birds ...)

I love my job. Cheers, Joan.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2009 and all that

Happy New Year!

My plan is to take 2009 by the scruff of its neck and shake it vigorously - in a Quakerly sort of way ... The NHS is going to have to get by without me, I've decided, and I'm going to write like a mad, demony writing thing and, I don't know, take lots of walks. I've started by finishing The Disappearance of Rob Grey which will (I hope) be just what the people at Barrington Stoke were looking for. Next I'm going to steam ahead with a Victorian mystery series for Catnip Books. And I am very much NOT going to think about how in less than a month I'm going to go from 2 sons still at home to no sons still at home.

This is me, not thinking about it.

I feel the need of some soothing nature coming on ...

Posted by Picasa