Friday, 23 November 2012

Pygmy Shrews and Sore Ribs

Morning! No wait, it's afternoon. Sorry. This post is much later than I intended. I only woke up three hours ago! Here's why...

Yesterday I took the train up to London to have some fun at the Natural History Museum (and do book research, honest!). If you've never been, you must. It's awesome! Here's what I saw...
Very, very big things like dinosaurs, blue whales and these antlers which were the size of a large delivery van!
Very, very small things like blood cells, diamonds, these beetles and a Pygmy Shrew the size of my thumb!
Very, very funny things like this startled Chameleon and freaky Long-Spined Porcupine Fish!
It was SO COOL I didn't want to leave and, at closing time, they had to drag me out. Luckily, there was stuff happening outside too, like ice-skating, Christmas lights, fairground rides and high winds blowing people over (!). And I saw these -  a carved stone pterodactyl and a carousel horse.

If that wasn't excitement enough, I then hopped on the tube and went to Hammersmith for a comedy gig in aid of Friends of the Earth - 'Laugh or the Polar Bear Gets It' - where I giggled until my ribs ached. They are aching still!




Saturday, 17 November 2012

Manuscripts, murals and more deadlines

You may recall a blog I posted earlier this year in which I listed all the projects I was working on over the summer. It was a long and scary list and it's length and scariness finally prompted me to resign from my art department job so I could focus full-time on freelance writing and illustrating. Most of my deadlines seemed to be in October and November, so I began to plan some much needed time off. Huh! My mistake!
From 'Everything is Fine - and Other Lies I Tell Myself' (published by Headline 2013)
Last week I delivered a manuscript to Barrington Stoke and the illustrations for my next novel, 'Everything is Fine - and Other Lies I Tell Myself' (here's a preview), then I breathed a sign of relief... for about 2 minutes! Because, instead of booking an autumn holiday as planned, I'd already said yes to another three projects! Eek!
Esther, from 'Everything is Fine - and Other Lies I Tell Myself'.
So, this week I'm finishing sketches for a mural in a local school, designing characters for two new books for a French publisher, working on cover ideas for my book for Barrington Stoke AND writing proposals for my next two YA novels to present to my new editor. I'm even working during the Christmas break (painting the school mural before the pupils come back in the New Year)!

When will I have a holiday? Let me check my diary. 2014?