Monday, 27 April 2015

Every day is different!

Last week was a marathon of a week but enjoyable for all that!

I do love it when I get the chance to do a variety of things and last week was particularly interesting.

On Monday I travelled over to Glasgow to take part in the Aye Write book festival which takes place in Glasgow's magnificent Mitchell Library. This is the 10th Year of the festival.

Aye Write is in two halves and in past years I have taken part in Wee Write, the children's festival which is usually a few weeks earlier.  But this time I was asked to run a workshop for adults on Writing for Children.  I was delighted to discover that it was sold out, and it was a lovely group of interesting and interested people.

'Writing for Children' is such a wide subject that it is difficult to do it justice in a two hour workshop as those coming to it might be interested mainly in one area or another, although many writers who write for children write for more than one age group and more than one genre. It is part of what makes it so fascinating and rewarding.  I hope those who attended enjoyed it and found something that worked for them.

There were quite a few interesting questions and as always there is rarely only one way to do something so I find myself being contradictory and hoping that I can get across that this is how writing works, there were very few absolutes and almost always someone will be able to show an example of how the opposite has been done and it has worked, often spectacularly!

At the end of the week I was listening to a panel of writers being asked which is the most difficult to write, the beginning, the middle or the end of a book. Each writer had a different answer and very good reasons for them.

On Tuesday I travelled up north to Aberdeen for two days of school visits in the city.
I like Aberdeen and it is just as well as I spend quite a lot of time there!

 I was visiting primary schools on Wednesday and Thursday,  5 of them over two days so there was little time to stop in between.
All of the visits were with Hamish McHaggis books and it is always a joy to see how the schools and the children take to Hamish and his adventures,  In some schools my visit was to launch them into a period of exploring Scotland with the books which works well, especially as there are Scottish Book Trust resources for teachers and the schools seemed to know all about them.  Some of the children already had Hamish books at home and delighted in telling me which ones they had.

In one school, when I mentioned another of my books, part of a reading scheme. I wrote it some years ago, and I was delighted to discover that they were using it and two others of mine in the school. It is a favourite , part of the Rigby Stars called The Giant and the Frippit.

On the Thursday it was World Book Night and I had been invited to the Aberdeen Central Library to speak to parents and children as part of the celebrations.

It was fun!

There was also a Teddybear Sleepover in the library that evening, but Hamish decided he wanted to come home with me even though he and Library Ted were getting on fine!

Seems like they had a wild time in the library, when everyone else went home!

That night I headed home because the next morning the final day of the week was going to be more challenging than many in the recent past.

Soon it was Friday morning and the launch of Scotland's first YA (Young Adult) festival.

It had been quite a while in the making but all of a sudden it was here and I was going to be spending a good part of the day with 10 groups of teens ( anything between 5 and 15 at a time)  in a constant changeover between 6 authors.  At Cumbernauld Theatre this first celebration of Scottish YA authors was taking a fairly novel approach.  While three of the authors did big auditorium sessions the other 6 of us were to have a chance to chat to small groups. I was a bit daunted but excited by the prospect even though I wasn't sure how it was going to work.

But it did work well as you can see on my ABBA blog on 28th April  'Yay YA!  What a great day!'

It was a great end to a very busy week. 

Now I plan to spend quite a lot more time writing!  Hopefully the weather will be kind and I can get out to my shed.