Posts Tagged ‘children’s books’

This week I will not talk about my other work (other than this!).

This week, I have got my little anthropomorphised character Fred time travelling to Egypt. He is currently walking on the Giza Plateau to watch the Great Pyramid being constructed. It’s a pretty interesting spectacle for him, because not only has he never seen sand before, but he has never seen a man-made monument before. He’s trying to think it through but really has no idea what is going on.

I am enjoying writing this little tale of intrigue; although it’s a children’s story I am working to get the details right, and yet I can stop as I like so I don’t have to get into too much research detail.

It’s letting me play about with some fun ideas too, and gradually I am starting to feel more ‘writerly’, if you know what I mean.

I’ve also been spurred on by a trip I had to the theatre this weekend, to see a Harold Pinter play called No Man’s Land.  It was described as a comedy but it really wasn’t: there were many points in the script which were funny or slightly unexpected and we audience members laughed out loud, but there was a pathos in it, a sadness and a loneliness that I had not expected.  I am not sure I like the work tragicomic, but it does highlight the way the tale leapt from one emotion to another.

Works like that make me want to test my capabilities, push myself to  produce something thought-provoking.  I know my voice in writing is quite light but that doesn’t mean the content has to be, or that I am limited in genre.

I just have to believe I can do it.

Interestingly enough, this week started with the theatre too, albeit on a somewhat reduced scale – I am back rehearsing for the next am dram performance… Once again I am the principle boy – I’m not sure if it’s typecasting yet but once more and I’ll be sure!

It is clear to me that with everything I have on at the moment I need to be really strict about my daily writing again and with that in mind, I am considering an ‘all in, in October’ premise to share my wordcount.  With Fred as my star, I don’t think it’s going to impact on quality of writing, but will certainly help with the quantity.

I will think about it – if I go for it, you’ll know soon enough!

Until next time – whenever it may be!

Happy writing,



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This week I cheated a little and read a children’s book.

Book 38 – The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan Aiken.  I don’t remember ever reading this as a child and yet I have it on my bookcase so can only assume I was passed it in a box of books at some point.  It is most definitely a book for children rather than adults, but it does not speak down to children; it uses language, imagery and ideas that are quite adult in their nature.

The book follows Bonnie and Sylvia, cousins who have just met whose lives change dramatically when Bonnie’s parents, Sylvia’s guardians, leave the country.  Their distant cousin is employed to care for the two girls but as the story develops we see she has no interest in caring for them and is only after the riches of the family.  When the boat Bonnie’s parents are travelling on is reported shipwrecked, things go from bad to worse for the girls.

There’s a neat symmetry in the book between the threat posed by the wolves and that posed by humans; as the human threat changes and the two heroines take action to protect themselves, the threat of the wolves recedes.  It is almost as though the exposure the two girls have to the world outside Willoughby Chase shows that danger appears in many different guises.

There are parts of this book that remind me very much of other stories – a bit of Oliver Twist here, a dash of The Little Princess there – but for all that I found it an engaging and entertaining story; one I’m sure I would have loved when I was about 9 or 10 too!

If you’re looking for something not too overwhelming that you can share with your own children this one might be worth a look.

Until next time,

Happy reading



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