Friday, October 28, 2011

Another burst of paperwork today.
I need to buy some new folders to keep it all in... At the moment there is a shelf with boxes full of mixed papers towering over my bed, and that's not a good arrangement. I bought a shredder today, which already helped a great deal. It has a see through bin, so I can watch the confetti gently snow down. That's more cheery than you'd expect.
I also printed out some nice covers for my accounts. The dreadful things might as well look pleasant.
I know I will end up with some neat and precise books (with drawings of startled animals in the margins), but preparing them is really stressing out my poor non-linear brain.

I'm really looking forward to getting back into the studio when this is done... it's such a wonderful place.
We are painting a mural in the corridor at the moment.
Lack of studio time is making me miserable. I'm going to cut back on everything else for a while, not run around and organise or play city games especially. It's fun, but now it's winter, I want to sit somewhere homely and draw.

Nothing more to say. I've moved the goose-shaped lamp into the living room. That's about it. It's been raining. More interesting news as they come in, watch this space.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oskar Schlemmer, Triadisches Ballet

I just rediscovered an important childhood memory. I saw these costumes in a museum once and was mesmerised...

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm totally still here!
I've started teaching, which is great fun. I always try to help the students to break their project into workable chunks, and when I get back to the B&B in the evening I think: Gee, I know what I need to do next MYSELF! - Then I do some writing until midnight. It's a lovely way to spend a day.

I'm writing another chapter or two for the ending of my old novel, I realised what part of the story is still missing... I really hope it'll all tie together when this is done.

Also it's getting colder, I find myself wearing my fox suit over my clothes in the evenings.

I'm planning a number of new things as well... a picture book app, a new ambient game.
I think I'll never stick to one thing to do, even when I'm doing well...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Apple Crumble and a nasty word that has "ookkee" and "ping" in it.

Today I made an apple crumble, even though apples are on the list of things I'm not supposed to eat. I'm sure someone will want it, and it smells good, and I had lots of breadcrumbs saved up.
I'm not allowed any of the things I love to eat for a while, as it turned out that pickles are not a major food group for a REASON, no matter how much I like them. I have turned so acidy that I could spit in your eye and blind you, and the doctor says this needs addressing.
So I am having adventures re-discovering alternative tasty foods, today it was buttered corn on the cob.

I'm also still doing my annual bookkeeping, if you haven't heard from me in a while, that's why.

And I am editing the novel. I'm working on a couple of things that I remembered no one ever understood when reading the first draft, mostly why some of the characters feel and act the way they do. It turns out that just as not everyone thinks extra sour pickles make a lovely main dish not everyone has the same set of emotions and experiences as I do. So to make the tale a proper story I need to make the emotions and thoughts of the characters more clear. It's interesting work. Much preferable to bookkeeping.

I also have new layouts to work on for a new picture book - I'm supposed to get the artwork ready this year, so that's another thing keeping me busy.

All is well, and I do love autumn.

South Ken Kids Festival! I'll be there! Will you?

This year's South Kensington Children's Festival, organised by the Institute Francaise, features MOI! Well, also these people:  Quentin BlakeStephanie BlakeMarc BoutavantLauren ChildKitty CrowtherPolly DunbarSara FanelliChris HaughtonJohn HegleyJoĆ«lle JolivetDavid McKeeJulien NeelAxel SchefflerHannah Shaw, and Olivier Tallec...
So book yourselves in and see what happens!
I'm particularly excited about the drawing duels with those excellent artists.

Saturday 26th of November:
Workshop: Draw Cats Galore!
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Book signing
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Game of Consequences
5:00 pm - 5:45 pm

Sunday 27th of November

Drawing Duel with Marc Boutavant
11:15 pm - 11:55 pm

Drawing Duel with Stephanie Blake
12:00 pm - 12:40 pm
Book signing
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cat In Darkness

I drew this illustration today, it might become the cover of my novel or just an interior picture.
I will have finished editing the second draft soon, then I shall make it into an online document and give my friends access so they can edit and annotate it. I think that's a good way of doing it, because the changes and comments will be anonymous and no one needs to feel shy for criticising anything, and it's only a copy so it doesn't matter if someone decides that a whole paragraph should just vanish.
I will keep you updated on the project... I'm very excited about it actually, and enjoying it a lot!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Autumn!

Aah, it feels like my favourite season has begun. Soups! Stews! Harvest celebrations! As you can see, I  started celebrating this weekend. It's very important to expel all those bad spirits before starting on your tax return.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I'm editing, editing, editing my novel. All the parts are written now, but some of them were written ten years ago, some in a state of utter panic, some yesterday and some copied from a notebook I filled on a train journey to Cornwall.
The continuity is dreadful. I had to consult many maps to fix some of that, and hunt objects and characters back and forth through the story, and follow others to find that their moods and opinions were swinging around from scene to scene in a dreadfully confusing way.
But it is slowly starting to feel like a real novel.
I've found a lovely cafe, and shall sit here and eat brownies and drink tea until I've ironed out the joints, or until it's definitely time to go home.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cardboard Monkey!

I'm working on a pattern for a die-cut monkey toy. This is the first cardboard prototype...
Checking out the paints

Checking out the decals

Trying the paint sample clogs

Throwing shapes in the paint spinner 
in repose 
Just Hanging (we sell lovely coloured cables here)

Tree Ghost

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Adventures in Ebooks

There has been much talk about authors and ebooks and how should it work and what are we doing and must we and do we want to and is the world ending.
I have come to the conclusion that obviously YES we must, and to find out how it works there is no better way than doing it, and yes I most certainly want to, and no the world probably isn't ending, but if so people might enjoy reading some books in the meantime.

So anyway, I have this novel that I wrote years ago, sent to some publishers and then put in a drawer even though they all said: My goodness, this is mad, but we would like to work on it with you. At the time I didn't feel like working on it at all, or even reading it again, because I wrote it during a time of considerable turmoil that I didn't want to be reminded of.
I always assumed it was a load of rubbish, but recently I decided to have a stab at editing it, and I discovered that actually it is rather wonderful. It's has a strange, vivid buzz to it like nothing else I've ever written. I enjoyed re-reading it very much.

So now I shall make it into an ebook. I'll edit the heck out of it until it's smooth and shiny (back then my grammar was even more eccentric than it is now, and I am sure there are some scenes in there that need not be, and two chapters are missing entirely). I will have it designed and formatted and then I'll get it out into the world. Let's see what happens!
I'm rather excited...

More soon!

BTW here is a chapter:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Desk Incident

If you should ever feel like buying one of these swivelling monitor arms, check whether your desk is in fact hollow before you clamp it on, or this will happen:
My desk this morning.
So today I went to the timber shop and bought a new desk top, carried it home and nailed it on with big nails. I'm tired now, and happy to have chicken soup with rice to fortify me. I took a quarter roast chicken home from a pub last night, in shreds, in a bottle, which seemed the easiest way. It looked terrible in the fridge, but now I have soup. And frozen yoghurt with strawberries. Thank you, past Viv, for your wisdom, for all I want to do now is lie on the sofa and eat and recover.