Sorry I’m a day later with this – I felt sluggish again yesterday. This flu bug doesn’t want to let me go just yet.
OK, I’ve got my calendar in front of me. Let’s go!
January: I had my first CWIG meeting in London. CWIG is the children’s writers and illustrators branch of the Society of Authors which advises us on all sorts of things from how much to charge on a school visit to what to do if you are being sued. Being invited to serve on the committee was such an honour for me. We meet to discuss important issues concerning children’s writers and illustrators. We also arrange conferences and meetings for our members. The one and only Gillian Cross is the Chair.
February: This was the month I decided to write elsewhere so I had a stint of working in local cafes and libraries. It was good for the planning part of my book but in the end I still write best at home, where the ideas know where to find me.
image of ‘Strays’ (one of my favourite cafes) from www.cosycoffeeshops.co.uk
March: A busy month for school visits. I also did something different – I ran a writing course for ‘Homestart’ mums. They wrote a story for their children and had it produced in a booklet. The highlight of that was one mum who began reading bedtime stories to her children after I’d talked about what a magical experience it was. ‘And you know what?’ she said. ‘You’re right!’
April: I visited Northern Ireland – County Down – to work with the wonderful Down Museum Services there on their ‘Sporting Heroes’ project. I’ll be blogging about the children’s work soon as I’ve just received their sumptuous booklet.
May: Several highlights in May. On the 1st I presented medals at the ESFA Finals. If you follow the link you’ll see Girls FC and Walker Books sponsoring the girls U11 football teams.
May was also the month I visited Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine and met the friendly students and staff at Peshersk International School. Hello everyone! I hope you are well.
June: June brought the madness of the World Cup to South Africa and with it England’s dire performance. I had a hectic ‘World Cup’ tour with Tom Palmer and our Reads United act. We visited Portsmouth, Wrexham, Ipswich, Rotherham, Derby and Kirklees all in a 10 day period. Great stuff!
July: Highlight has got to be my son Joe’s graduation from Edinbugh College of Art. He worked his socks off and his illustrations are immense:
August: Can’t I Just Kick IT? #9 of Girls FC published. Go Tabinda!
September: A week in Italy. Ooh, it seems so long ago! Especially as I’m writing this on a grey, cold, damp day, all bunged up and feeling bleugh…
October: Shout About Books Festival in Lancashire. You cannot beat northern hospitality. My funniest memory was the day Tom and I were due to appear a the Little Theatre just outside Blackpool and the theatre seating got stuck. I couldn’t help because of my delicate nature so could only watch helplessly as Tom Palmer, Karen the theatre manager + the sporting librarians from Lancashire Libraries pulled, shoved, heaved and twiddled for 20 minutes before catching the mechanism just right. The kids arrived with three seconds to spare!
November: Visiting Glasgow for the first time and meeting the bonny folk at Scotia Books.
December: Despite having flu, spending Christmas with my family has been the highlight of December. Having everyone in the house, watching too much TV and having a laugh – what more is there, really? And now that it’s gone, I do miss the transformative beauty of the snow and frost, don’t you?