Read All About It!

If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll know that last Tuesday I presented awards to the children who had completed the Summer Reading Challenge.

Here’s what the local rag had to say about it.

Well, in keeping with the theme of the week so far, today has flown. It was here this morning, (which seems about an hour ago) and now it’s just turned quarter past six and I’m thinking about finishing up for the day. Time flies, it seems, even when we’re not necessarily having fun.

Not that I’m whinging. I had quite a nice day. I stopped off at Styal Primary School with the intention of nipping to the front desk, handing over some posters for my visit and hurrying home, but ended up being introduced to one of the teachers, a very lovely and warm lady called Alicia, who showed me around. The school is lovely, and I find that I’m looking forward to kicking off the Book Tour more than ever. So thank you, Styal Primary School, and the friendly faces who greeted me there.

If I had the time I think I’d muse on why some days computers work like a dream (or like they’re supposed to) while on others (let’s say, erm, today) they’re slower than anything on this earth. But I don’t have time, because what time I would have had has been eaten up by the time I’ve spent waiting for my computer to do things. So there! Frustrated? Stressed? Me? Just a little!

I should mention that it’s only two days till my book’s released. Eek!

Slipping By

Goodness this week has just flown. Monday and Tuesday have just been a blur and I’m tired. I can’t believe that we’re almost in Wednesday. The days are just slipping by, and the release of my book gets closer and closer (only three days to go now). And that also means that the start of the Roaming Roman Book Tour is getting nearer as well. I’m at Styal Primary School on Monday, I’ve a workshop on Tuesday and on Thursday I’m running some workshops at Crewe Library. The first event on the tour that’s open to the public is on October 14th at Bollington Library. You can click here to see the other public dates. They’re all free and everybody’s welcome.

I saw a film last night of a book that I’ve always wanted to read but, as with so many others, haven’t had the chance. It is called Regeneration and tells the story of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon’s … well I’ll not spoil it for you. I’d highly recommend a watch though. The book, I believe, is very good as well.

Signing off for now.

Another Well Done!

This time it’s to my favourite book shop who have won The Walker Books Children’s Independent of the Year at the British Retail Awards 2006. Congrats to Andrew, Sue and the rest of team – and might I add that I feel it is thoroughly deserved.

Next week, I feel, is going to be a busy one. Lots of last minute preparation to be done before I embark on the Roaming Roman Book Tour – which kicks off at Styal Primary School on Monday October 2nd. And there’s writing I want to get done, and rewriting. And so it goes on.

Not much else to report. I managed two further trips to the gym; one on my own and one with my girlie to play squash, which she won.

And there’s less than a week until my book is released. It is feeling very, very imminent!

And a heads-up: if you take too many Pepto-Bismol tablets, your tongue can temporarily turn black. Weird, huh?


This morning I received an email from Marion at my publishers. It contained this – the front cover of my book. I think the illustrator, the hugely talented Derry Dillon, has done a fantastic job. Thanks Derry!


I spent part of my evening in Bollington library, presenting certificates, pens and medals to the children who completed the Reading Challenge (a fab scheme which encourages children to read six books over the summer hols – not that it seemed any of them needed much encouragement!). I thoroughly enjoyed myself and wanted to say a big WELL DONE to everyone there – not just to the children, who were all great and very well behaved, but to the mums, dads, grandmas, granddads and library staff as well.

I’m happy, and a little surprised, that I managed to get pretty much everything I wanted done today. I’m tired now though – ten more minutes writing and then that’s it.

Dog Identified!

Well I managed to get most of the phone calls done, sorted and out of the way pretty quickly this morning, which meant that I was able to sneak off for a while and do the other bits and pieces I wanted to do which, boringly, included getting my hair cut and buying some colourful pens (I forgot pencils though, drat!). It also gave me the opportunity to pop into my favourite book shop and make a couple of purchases, although your guess is as good as mine as to when I’ll get the time to sit and read them. Soon hopefully.

And thanks to the fabulous Dee (another extremely talented writer) who pointed out that Welly is a Landseer Newfoundland. As you can see, they’re quite big and very lovely.

Right. Back to work.

Finally Sorted it!

Thank goodness for that – I’ve finally worked it out. You can now (or you jolly well should be able to) leave comments on any of my posts whether you are a blogger or not.

I was good today. I wanted to try to get myself to the gym a couple of times a week in run up to the Book Tour (and, hopefully beyond) and today I went and I ran. I came home with the hope of getting some actual writing done (as opposed to research) and had just sat down to begin when I received an email which I had to act on – it was the final proofs for my book. Now that’s done and sent (with my name spelled correctly on the cover!) it can be printed and all ready for delivery in (gulp) less than two weeks’ time.

It looks like I’ve another busy, fiddly day tomorrow. I’ve phone calls waiting, I need to nip out and buy things, I need (desperately) a hair cut and I’ve got to be back at the library down the road by 5 to present certificates and medals and what-not to the children who’ve completed the library’s summer reading challenge. (I’m very much looking forward to that).

And another thing…

I was reminded of this when I was talking, on here, about the Rogue’s Gallery CD. It’s a record by Jerry Garcia (of Grateful Dead fame) and his friend (whose name I can’t remember at the mo), and it contains some great fun songs for children. But, as the title suggests, it is not only for kids. There are some wonderful songs on here, the best of which, I think is their rendition of Shenandoah – one of my favourite songs ever. It’s a wonderful story set to a beautiful tune – and there’s even a bit of Brahm’s lullaby at the end as well – with strings, a guitar and a mandolin. So now you know.

Back to it. For a little while.

A Happy Ending and a Link

Well, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that Welly the dog/bear/pony got home safely. We tethered him to a post outside our local shop with a saxophone strap (you wouldn’t believe some of the things people carry around with them, would you!), gave him a bone and a bowl of water, and waited until the owner’s father could walk him home. Apparently, Welly had travelled about two miles (by my reckoning) and ‘is always getting out.’ That’s the spirit, Wellers!

I know a fair few people with websites, blogs and other such things and do my best, when I can, to put them up here. Here’s the latest one – the rather fiery Myspace of a very talented writer, James Bennett. If I’ve missed anyone’s on-line page/space/site etc, I apologize; it’s not intentional, I’ll have just forgotten.

Barkin’ Heck, Welly!

Well that was an interesting morning. I was sat at my desk, typing away, and what did I see when I happened to glance out of the window? Well, at first I thought it was a bear, and then maybe a pony. Whatever it was it was BIG.

It turns out that it was a dog. A lost dog. A huge, gorgeous lost dog. And I’ve just spent the last half hour trying to contact his (he’s called Welly) owners and the dog warden, with a little success.

I can best describe him as like a St. Bernard – but he was black and white, like a Border Collie. I had a quick scan through google and have since decided that he must be one of these – a Pyrenean Mountain Dog, or something similar. If there are any dog experts out there who know what he is then I’d love to hear from you. Either way it was lovely to have met Welly and I wish him all the best; although I would ask him that next time he goes a wanderin’ that he might avoid the canal. It does not make stroking him as pleasant as it could be.


I had intended to post a few pictures of the props I’ll be using on the Roaming Roman Book Tour, but only managed two before the batteries in my camera died. And I can’t find the charger, so for now here are two pics of the Domesday Book I made. I hope to use it, not only as a prop, but also as a comments book. Ooh and a big thanks to James, Laura and Sarah for their help. I’ll try to upload some more soon (just as soon as I find that charger).