Monday, October 22, 2012


| Pleasure. Earl Grey tea and hours spent reading, listening to the new Bat for Lashes album (in her notes, Natasha Khan says "This is an album of healing, of being glad to be alive and letting go of the ghosts..." - words that resonate; I keep attracting the right things for me at the right time), a glistening garden in the morning, and enjoying the view from my couch - a woodcut print I was given that I finally got framed (the framer suggested hanging it like this, as he wasn't sure which way it should go, and I am very happy with the result).

The weather was far too nice at the weekend to be stuck indoors working, so I took most of it off. This means a busy week ahead, but there are times when it makes sense to procrastinate - in this case, I gladly threw out my plans for a couple of days suffused with light, Vitamin D and people in high spirits.

Speaking of work (pleasurable work), on Saturday a friend and I went to a BaborĂ³ talk about writing (and illustrating) for children with the prolific authors Joyce and Polly Dunbar and Steve Hartley. I didn't take notes, but here are some random things I remember:

Joyce Dunbar reckons the golden age of children's books ended a few years ago and emphasised how difficult it can be to get published and how long it can take, which was a bit disheartening and makes me want to rewind a few decades. However, she also said never to throw work away, as it might well be picked up ten years after the idea was conceived; sometimes it is simply not the right time. She compared the structure of a picture book to that of a poem, with meaning to be found in the shape itself.

 Her daughter Polly was asked to change the colour of her heroine's dress for a TV adaptation, because apparently "green doesn't sell". They talked about the ruthless editing and paring down that is required in a genre where the word count is quite low and about the solitary nature of their work. Oh, and we learnt - from Steve - that children love anything to do with underpants.


  1. Indeed,earl grey tea can be such a pleasure!
    I love children books.They can be so relaxing.My collection of them isn't big,but I think in the future I'll buy more of them.After all,we can't always read only "hard" stuff :))!

  2. I love this post! The photos were a pleasure to look at in themselves, and the words too xxx