Thursday, October 29, 2009

Environmental Homemaking - and Sao Paolo here I come!

I have just (Oct 29) sent off the manuscript to Environmental Home Refurbishment: The Earhscan Expert Guide to Retrofitting Homes for Efficiency, which will be published by Earthscan in June 2010. It will be published in hardback and is expected to cost £34.95. The draft cover design is right. Thanks to everyone who helped put it together!

I'm now preparing to go to Sao Paulo to deliver creative writing workshops in two schools, meet my Brazilian editor, Otacilia, for the first time, and Felipe, the comics artist I've been working with for over a year! Otacilia has promised parties, good food, fascinating peopple and a trip to talk and sign at the Porto Alegre bookfair on November 13. I feel very lucky!

I've also been working in October with Film 15 and animator Mikey Ford on the Animation Tank, with local primary school kids. They now know how important stories are - and have some great ones to turn into films in the next few months!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Take the time

Take the time

How often are you able to take the time


The time


The time

How often are you able to notice

The blinking first star of the inking evening

The criss-crossery of branches cracking the sky

The blown sand twisting like long blond hair

Take the time

To be there

Intelligent witness

Unpressured I.


The time


Your time

Don't fill it

Let it fill itself

Take hold of moments

Mark them off

How often can you abscond

With minimum cost

And watch

The pink pregnancy of cumulus at dusk

The pheasant ducking under the bent hawthorn

The dug dykes draining the golfing green

It forces you to realise

Your tiredness

Why you need to

Take the time

Instead of it taking you.


I've been so busy I haven't blogged in a long time.

I have spent the last few months writing a book on sustainable refurbishment of domestic properties for the publisher Earthscan. I am blowing away a few misconceptions about what works and what doesn't work - things like roof-mounted wind power and air source heat pumps.

I am desperate to involve myself again with creative work. I have to finish that book by mid October, then I am doing some teaching work with kids to do with scriptwriting.

In November I am so lucky to be invited to Brazil where for two weeks I am doing some writing workshops and appearing at a bookfair in Santo Alegre. Then off to Curitiba and back to São Paulo.

I still haven't started on the fiction book for kids, The Drowning, that I got the grant to do, and that's what I really itching to get down to, and hope to start work on while I'm away. It's becoming less and less worthily about global warming, although it does figure, and more about mystery, intrigue and Welsh mythology coming alive in the future.

When I come back however, Earthscan want me to start work on a book about solar technology, but I am currently holding out for a better contract and because I want to do the Drowning.

I am taking the - gulp - daring and risky leap of selling my web design company in order to concentrate full-time on writing. If anyone wants a job let me know!

This all sounds like I am raking it in. In reality this writing business barely pays the bills. But it sure beats working for the man.