It seemed like a good thing to do! Long may these diary entries run.
It’s only been two months, but I’m starting to come to terms with the routine of life once more, after the death of my mother. Children and work are enough to think about without dealing with loss of a parent, but I’ve been surprised how it really has made things go a little topsy turvy.
Normally, because of the thorough process I go through to plan a book, I first proofread essay online and then I find it relatively easy to type and write at a minute’s notice – a necessity when being a parent. The plot and structure’s all in place, and I just need to pick up my fingers and type. But grief put pay to that. Maybe it was because the book I was writing dealt with a child seeking vengeance and closure after the murder of a parent? Maybe it was too dark a storyline? I wanted to work and make good use of my time, but grief just stopped me in my tracks.
So I stopped writing and simply let myself draw and draw and draw. Drawing was a tonic, even if I gravitated time and again towards sad-looking hamsters. Harold seemed to know what I was going through, and was the best person to show those emotions.
It’s funny how people always say you should write about what you know. Well, I was now in the position to know about cancer, so I could have attempted a book about that and stood a chance of getting longlisted for awards. Cancer books won prizes, didn’t they? But actually, I couldn’t write about that.
The thing that got me writing was something joyful and happy. It was a story about my dear friends Pigsticks and Harold, and it was their friendship, and sense of fun that got the wheels turning. Pigsticks is so positive, and just wants to live his life to the full – what could be a better spark than that. And Harold is so gentle and tender, and full of worry and care for everything. They’ve been at the heart of me getting back to work. They’ve even made me realise what it is I truly love about my job.
So anyway, I dedicated their second story – The Tuptown Thief – to my mum and dad, knowing at the time that mum was dying. She never got a chance to read it. I think she would have liked the fact that it was basically a Miss Marple story, set in Pigsticks’ world.
I’ve just received an advance copy, and I’m really happy to have it here in my hands. A lot’s happened in the few short months since it went to print.
The most exciting news in the LEGO world is that this all female set has been released.
I write many reviews of LEGO sets for Dorkadore and it’s always clear that female minifigs and characters are in the minority. This set is a great and positive addition.
It’s a special edition, started and released through the LEGO Cuusoo/Ideas site (in the same manner as the Ghostbusters ECTO-1), and the first stock has already run out by the looks of it.
This has to be a step in the right direction, doesn’t it? And let’s all buy it to show how much we want more kits with sexual equality in mind.
I recently came across these amazing telegrams at my parents’ house. My grandfather’s son (my mother’s half-brother) was injured in the D-Day Landings, and I thought it would be nice to share a little bit of personal history on this the 70th anniversary of Operation Overlord. Dated a week apart, I can only imagine how my grandfather felt in the days between receiving the first and getting the second.
This past week I’ve been making a window display for Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey, at Tales on Moon Lane bookshop in Herne Hill. These things are always a lot of fun, but the sheer joy of seeing your pictures blown up all large and oversized is almost impossible to describe.
Here they are in place, alongside the awesome-looking Dylan’s Amazing Dinosaurs book display.
And here’s another one up close.
And while I’m here, Pigsticks & Harold and the Incredible Journey has been getting some brilliant reviews, which is incredibly humbling and heartwarming. I’ll make a post about them all soon, but for now here’s a recent one on the 100 Scope Notes site.