Friday, August 31, 2007

Sneep Sweep

I've suddenly drawn all the linework for Tasha Pym's Have You Ever Seen A Sneep? Excepting for the fact that I'm forging through with some things that editors and authors aren't sure will work. We'll see when they are in colour. I'm sure about my plan, even though I wish I had put it a little more gently to my editor the other day. These sketches are from the cover, which is the only thing for which I haven't done anything that hopes to be final.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

If it weren't for those maudlin kids...

Here is that Times Education supplement article I mentioned that features The Trouble with Wenlocks.

Thanks to Crista for finding it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007


I dreamed of a boy with a hunchback who was being chased into the forest by a witch, who was also his schoolmistress and who could turn into a wood-louse and/or a duck-billed platypus. She had an entourage of black pelicans.

I hope you have a nice day.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rain, rain,

rain, rain, rain, rain.

Stanley Wells book two 1st draft tidied up and sent off this morning. I spent the walk to the post office trying a; to protect the manuscript from the rain and b; coming up with many changes I might like to make, or that the editor is obviously going to ask for. Ah well, given the state of my brain over the few months I've been writing it for, it's a small miracle that the thing exists at all.

Here are a few stiff sketches for something else. I haven't been drawing enough...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In progress...


In this very house I have the kind of friend that makes me cupcakes to celebrate finishing writing my draft.

And also cooks other delicious things, and can be heard doing so in the background of this:


This next features a new banjo tuning that I got from an old film of magic Roscoe Holcomb:

More Jauntiness.mp3

And this music is fun too, maybe I can go and see them on thursday.

Monday, August 20, 2007

little celebrations

Well, having worked most of sunday on it, sailing in a pot of Jasmine tea, I just typed what is for now the final sentence of Stanley Wells book 2 (I've no idea of the title just yet). Now I think I will go on a hunt for a bottle of the very expensive single malt whisky that I developed a taste for in Scotland (alongside a very fun scottish accent, which has sadly slipped away). It may take a while to find, so hopefully I won't start the drinking until a decent hour.

By mid-week I want to have gone through the draft and tidied up what I can at this stage, so that I can send it off to find out what my editor thinks.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


...I learned in ukulele class.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Oh and...

The Trouble with the Wenlocks has appeared in Michael Thorn's summer read round up in the Times Education Supplement magazine. He says:

"Written in a simple, accessible, style, it nevertheless has a philosophical patina to satisfy older as well as younger readers."

The article doesn't seem to be up on their website yet.

There and back again

I took a very long bus ride and went for a walk at a place I used to go a long time ago. It's funny though because my strongest memory of the place is not from reality but from a dream I had that was set there. It was the second most frightening dream I had as a child and it was about losing a green stick. The place was not the scary part. The place is quite nice (spot the understatement).

Also there was a party to say goodbye to Rowan (she has more photos here, including one of very scraggly but quite happy me). She is leaving for Sweden now, instead of Denmark. A lot of people will miss her. I am one of them.

In the night there was a shooting star so bright I thought it was lightning, and an incident with a dark bridge and a high speed night-train coming out of Totley tunnel, and both these things were tremendously exciting.

Now then, what on earth am I doing in London? (not much apparently, it's taken me twelve and a half hours to start working today, and now I'm writing journal posts...)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cbeebies Bedtime Hour

Dexter Bexley and The Big Blue Beastie is going to be read on the Bedtime Hour on the Cbeebies digital channel on Sunday 19th August. The slot starts at a round 6.50pm and Robert Glenister of the BBC's Life on Mars series will be reading it. (So far as I know this isn't actually the first time, but it's the first time I've had warning. I don't have digital, but the press officer at Random House has offered to try to get me a copy).

In other news. Some time in the next few weeks I will be making a one off cover for Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for Roald Dahl Day. And on the 15th of september I will be in Cardiff, somehow translating this into a window display in waterstone's bookshop there.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


There was something I learned while I was away that I very promptly forgot. That is; that it can be really nice to have a head full of jigs, reels, polskas, polkas and bowing techniques that you're trying (emphasis on trying) to learn, rather than a head full of worries. A surprising kind of calmness, for a head full of dance music.

I started remembering again this morning, and imagine that I'll keep doing so, on and off...

I saw Goro Miyazaki's Tales from Earthsea yesterday, which I quite enjoyed even while it was dreadfully earnest and not all that pictorially exciting. I remember that my dad read the Earthsea books to me when I was really small, but I can't remember anything more about them but the rumble of his throat between words. Some of the structure of the story in the film did remind me of things from Time's Bones, the book that Pete seems to have stopped writing and should very definitely start on again because it is a great beginning. Of course he can't do that just now because he is in Vermont playing the bagpipes...

Lots of work is starting to happen in this house, even if I don't want to jinx the fact by mentioning it...

Friday, August 10, 2007

A good thing, and an ouch.

I have a clipping that says The Trouble with Wenlocks was Kids' Read of the week in The Big Issue a couple of weeks ago (I wonder what they'll think of Addis Berner Bear in a paper on homelessness...)

This is the tack I just pulled from my foot:

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Words (well, a few...)

So, yes. I am back from my week of fiddle lessons and tent dwelling. There were owls and long moon shadows and deer calling in the night. And fiddle lessons in the day on the banks of the river Nith, where I fleetingly saw a kingfisher. I had a good time with old old friends, and new ones, and with two of the funniest, funnest, sharpest kids I've ever met, and an irritating man who liked to sing about wind (but we got a lot of mileage out of the fact).

I gained a lot, including a book of Thomas Hardy poems that are mostly about loss (not such a bad find in Dumfries, which seems only to specialise in fishing tackle and hair extensions, retailwise).

I'm still short on words, which is unfortunate because now I have two books to write and five to illustrate...