Saturday, 22 November 2008

Cold, colder coldest.

There is discussion in our house about whether or not it is cold. For teenagers who do not need to wear a coat to school and those who grew up in Cumbria, it is not cold. The dog is growing a winter shagginess and doesn't seem too bothered. I, however, am frozen. It is hard to write when your fingers and toes feel like they're being nipped at and it makes it tricky to play the Ukulele.
I have a few chords now and am speeding up moving between them. The mouse has yet to inspire a story but I think he will. I'm pretty sure he will.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Return of the Mouse

I am very pleased to have the little wooden mouse with the leather tail and ears back on my desk. So where has it been all this time? Earlier this year my daughter packed a rucksack and went to Thailand and Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, Fiji and America. It seems that mouse went too.
The return of the mouse has coincided with the arrival of my ukulele. I wrote about The Double Bass Mouse so perhaps I'll get an idea for a story about a Ukulele Mouse. I hope I can learn to play it - I'd like to be able to strum a tune while I sit at my computer thinking about what to write next.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

I can, canoe?

I have been in the Ardeche region of France this summer - famous for its chestnuts, apricots and Rhone-Valley wine. One day my family, our friends and I canoed the Ardeche river (well, 32kms of it) along with hordes and hordes of other tourists and our dog.
It is called a descent because you paddle along with the flow of the river and every so often descend via a cascade of water between a tumble of rocks.
Skilled canoeists manage to make the descent inside their canoes, deftly manoeuvring themselves between the rocks and over the rapids. I, on the other hand, invariably hit the rocks, bounced out of the canoe and ripped downstream like some old pooh-stick only to bob to the surface with my swimsuit in disarray and my hair plastered across my face. No husband, no dog and no canoe in sight yet miraculously I still had my fist tightly gripped around my paddle. Happy Days.

Monday, 28 July 2008

The Lost Mouse

I don't know how long it has been missing but today I discovered that I no longer have a small, painted wooden mouse with a thin leather tail. I used to have two of these mice but I gave one to Vicky. The other one used to sit on the mantlepiece in my bedroom but when I thought to look for it today it wasn't there. Phil at Graham Hall happened to ask me if I had a mouse and that was when I went to look and found it gone. I have a large collection of small things and it is difficult to keep track of it all but I am certain that the small wooden mouse was around quite recently. I use these little things for story-writing workshops so perhaps I took the small mouse somewhere and left it behind. Or perhaps it's just off foraging for crumbs or making tiny holes in the skirting board behind the sofa. With a bit of luck it'll turn up - I'll let you know.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Swifts and a Tern

Yesterday I watched the Swifts feeding on Hampstead Heath. They were flying low over the meadow so that I could really feel how fast they were going. I say feel rather than see because it wasn't possible to track them with my eyes - they were too fast. A couple of times one came right by my head and I heard the throb of its wings. I tried to focus on the insects that were 'swimming' in the air above the grass and every so often a swift whizzed briefly into view. I was looking at a butterfly when the blur of a swift streaked past and the butterfly vanished.
Afterwards I stopped and watched an Arctic Tern flying over the boating pond. It was such beautiful flying - so graceful and seemingly effortless. And I love the way the Tern's head is pitched forward at an angle so that it can peer down into the water. I saw it dive and though it missed what it was going for I thought that, a targeted fish, just like the butterfly, wouldn't have a clue what had happened to it.

Monday, 26 May 2008

The Heartstone Books

In answer to the kind emails I have received asking me if there is another Heartstone book coming out - I'm afraid the answer is no, not at the moment. I have been sidetracked by a story set during World War Two. But,I haven't forgotten the Reynolds family and many aspects of the plot for the third book are in place. I'll let you know when I get stuck in!