So, it’s been a jolly busy week already in my wee world of writing! I mentioned in last week’s post, that my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s books and I had been invited to Ilminster E-ACT Academy in Bristol, as part of their ‘book week’. Well my all-day author visit to this smashing school was on Monday and it was fantastic! I had so much fun with their 260 pupils and they were a joy to spend time with. The theme for my visit was ‘Imagination’ (my all-time favourite word!) and I used several quotes from inspiring people, to underpin this tremendous tool that we all have within our brains. One of these quotes being….”Logic can get you from A to Z, while imagination can get you everywhere…”, by Albert Einstein. Another was…”Imagination is a muscle that needs to be fed with life’s experiences and flexed from time to time…”, by Malorie Blackman.
I was asked to lead their assembly that morning, so I told the children and staff about my journey to becoming a children’s author, although I originally trained as a Vet and was in practice for 10 years before I started writing! I then read them an extract from ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, book 6 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series, which is due out on February the 28th. The rest of my morning was spent running woodland-related literacy activities with their six infant classes. One particular thing stands out in my mind here and that was regarding a lovely lad in one of their Year 1 classes. I had asked them to create their own woodland character and to use three adjectives to describe it (following a discussion of what they would see in a wood and the adjectives that I have used in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ books to describe my own characters). He had drawn a brilliant bunny, given it chicken-pox, slitty eyes and yellow teeth. When it came to the ‘show and tell’ time at the end of the activity, this hilarious and rather clever young man, very proudly stood next to me at the front of the class holding up his drawing and said…”Here’s my rabbit! He’s sick (chicken-pox), evil (slitty eyes) and is dirty, because he doesn’t clean his teeth Miss!!” Just brilliant!! 🙂
After lunch I had a ‘Q&A’ session with their school council. The children asked me some really fabulous questions on being an author and hopefully I gave them a good insight into the world of writing, publishing and marketing. I then ran a creative writing workshop with their junior children. We played some ‘warm-up’ games ranging from, ‘Let’s take a word for a walk’, to ‘Showing not telling’, to get their imagination ignited and their words flowing. The thoughts and ideas and then the original pieces of prose, that they created all by themselves, were fantastic. One young man said to me at the end of the workshop, “Wow Miss! I didn’t know I could do that!” His comment blew me away. I suspect the memory of that lovely lad will remain with me throughout my writing life.
The rest of the week has been busy with the usual social media promotion and connecting that is essential in this day-and-age for any author, along with sending illustration placements to the publisher (Abela Publishing) as formatting is well underway for ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’! I’ve also been completing author interview questions for two magazines (who shall remain nameless for now!) as well as preparing for a reading of ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ this Tuesday on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio in America! Thank goodness it’s nearly Friday!!
On a lighter and more whimsical note, the ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk have been having heaps of fun in the snow that fell during their recent snowstorm! ‘Skittle Spider’ has been enjoying a spot of downhill skiing, whilst ‘Sonny Shrew’ has adapted his awesome skateboarding skills and mastered the amazing art of snowboarding! ‘Mr Bilberry the blackbird’, proud postman to the ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk, has somehow managed to keep postal deliveries going during this particularly testing cold snap. While ‘Mrs Scarlet the squirrel’, who runs ‘The Woodland Store’, has kept her shop open so the ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk have been able to grab their essential chestnut crumpets and snowberry juice!
Well, I’d best say goodbye and get on writing book 15 in the ‘Whimsy Wood’ series, as it’s not going to write itself! I’ll leave you with a beautiful image of the blue birds in ‘Whimsy Wood’ during the recent snowstorm and a few links that may be of interest to you. Wishing you all a rather early (it’s nearly here!) yet whimsical weekend 🙂