Ok, I’ll be honest, life has not been straight forward here for quite a while, and a lot of things have needed to get done, and in order for them to happen a lot of other things haven’t got done. One of the things that hasn’t got done is this blog. But several weeks ago Nirvana Climo mailed me with artwork she had drawn from The Toymaker, and I asked her if next time I posted on the blog I could post it too? And then other things came up and they needed to be done, and though I kept remembering that I hadn’t posted Nirvana’s pictures yet, I never quite managed to get to do it. Then last night, Jordan Fry – an old friend who was in the first class at Central School to hear The Toymaker when I wrote it week by week – said ‘why haven’t you done anything on your blog for such a long time – like A YEAR!’ So, no more excuses, this post is for Nirvana and Jordan.
I really like seeing artwork people have drawn from one of my stories – it’s all to do with the thrill I get of a story that started up in my head, ending up and taking root in someone else’s head. I love that. Nirvana drew Valter, and I have a soft spot for him – one day he might just turn up again in another story. I’m not sure if Valter is more worrying when you can see him, or when you can’t. These are Nirvana’s take on him – I think she’s got him just right. Thank you Nirvana.
Other things that have happened in the twelve odd months since I last posted have included the writing of a new book. It is a collection of short stories of a very dark and ghastly nature, and barring all accident and omission, it will be in the shops this coming October published by David Fickling Books. The working title is ‘The Wrong Train’ and it looks like this at the moment. I’m looking forward to doing any edits, getting involved with the cover design, and seeing the advanced copies. Better still, looking forward to seeing it being read by someone.
Our lovely old dog, Spanner is still hanging on in there – she is so slow now, deaf as a post, doesn’t see too well anymore, and spends a lot of time asleep. But she still lies on the floor next to my chair while I’m writing, and she isn’t short on giving advice when people have to take GCSEs, which is what has been happening in this house these last few weeks.
It seems strange talking about Christmas when it is just the end of May, but if you scroll back through these posts to December 2013, you’ll read about our Christmas tree that year, which was so ridiculously and accidentally huge that we christened it ‘Spruce Willis’. Each year for quite a while, I’ve kept as souvenir the bottom bit of the trunk we have to saw off to fit the tree into the pot, which is a nice idea, but all that happens is that we have ended up with a load of lumps of wood gathering cobwebs. But, Andrew, a friend of ours, turns wooden bowls for a hobby, and yesterday he took away all the trunk bits from the last few years, and the VERY SAME EVENING came back with the lump of Spruce Willis, but now looking like this! The bowl is just big enough to put something special in come Christmas – maybe chocolates, probably chocolates. He’s still got the bits of the other trees (including Spruce Banner from last Christmas) and I’m waiting to see what he comes up with for them.
There, I’ve written a post. Thank you Nirvana, and thank you Jordan – if you hadn’t nudged me last night, I still wouldn’t have got this down.