Thursday, June 26, 2008

Suddenly: 300 children

I'm just back from Cambridgeshire, from the "read it Again" award ceremony. It's a great award to be nominated for I think because it's actually voted for by thousands of real-life children! It was the nicest book event I've been to so far, actually. They really do impressive things there to promote picture books.

I held a speech in front of about 300 children... They looked like less as an audience, but felt like more when getting their autographs. I'm really good at writing my name with a big flourish now, which is good. And I managed to only say two unsuitable things while answering questions. Well maybe four. But not very. And my speech was ok as well, they said. It was quite short.
I think I said: "I didn't expect to be the first person to be asked to do a speech today because I am far down in the alphabet, and frankly I am quite frightened. I thought I might be, so I brought my stuffed monkey. Here he is. He he makes me feel a lot better. Uhm. Well. I would like to tell you what my favourite book is and when I started drawing but I honestly don't know at all. I just really like books, and I think I've always been drawing. About the book I wrote which I've been told you've all read I can say that I think it is mostly about this: Sometimes when you want to be strong but you feel small you need something to make you strong, maybe your mum or your favourite pyjamas or your stuffed monkey. And that's ok. You can still be a hero. Or make a speech for example. Erm. That's it I think. Thank you!"
Then I got a trophy (not the winning one but a highly commended one) and I can't believe what sharp edges it has. I wanted to say it was the pointiest trophy I ever got but in fact it's the first one, so that wouldn't have been very impressive...

Afterwards I went for tea and baked goods with some of the other people involved (who were charming and let me have all the cinnamon swirls, even though the cafe only had two of them and everyone else had to eat mostly biscuits) and I ended up detailing how you best keep warm in a wetsuit, but they did ask, so that was ok. Yes. I rather liked them, actually.

I'll post some pictures when I get them, my camera ran out of battery but I've been promised to be sent some.

And now I can drink up the second half of the miniature bottle of red wine I got given before the speech (don't like to drink more than a small glass at a time, so swiped it in handbag).
I think I did well! Next time I think I can probably make the speech without the monkey. Hm. Yes. Good.


Eric Orchard said...

Huzzah! Great speech, Viviane! I love that you had a monkey in your hand and a piccolo of wine in your purse. Very cool. Great speech too. Funny like your books.
Pictures please....

Anonymous said...

your drawings and sketches have such a life and freshness about them that seems to slip past my work. i get so anal that i think i loose the spirit behind it, and you art is about 100% spirit.
beautiful, espessially the blue cat! love his long black nose.

Viviane Schwarz said...

Hello Joe!
I just looked at your blog, what great stuff!!!
Thank you for the compliment!
I injured my arm and back some time ago and had to work in short blasts or not at all, and it seems to have stuck that way, which I am now happy with. But I sometimes imagine how great it would be to immerse myself completely in a drawing for a long time, and getting so good at the craft that I could completely trust myself to draw anything, and draw wonderful detailed beasts like you do... so there you go! :)

Viviane Schwarz said...

:) Yes, stylish me, no? I also by accident was wearing Timothy's Mum's very outfit.

I seem to have a half-bottle of wine in my bag quite regularly these days, it just keeps happening that too many people order a whole bottle at once, and I take it home mostly for cooking chicken in (tends to be house-wine). I'd like to say that I also carry chunks of fine cheese and a trusty swiss army knife for bottle-opening and slicing the cheese while sitting by the riverside with a friend on long summer evenings, but that's not really such a great idea in London (wielding alcohol and knifes in public, I mean).

Pictures upcoming I hope!