The length of time between this post and the last represents how long it took me to recover from Book Week. Two weeks? Not too bad, I think, given that I had a solid ten days of work, a husband overseas, a sick dog, a daughter turning eleven, and two copyediting deadlines smack bang in the middle.
It was an energising, exhausting and above all, fun week (or two, in the case of some libraries). We talked about images and broken bones and the dangers of too much cotton wool around kids. And ducks. We talked about the way a duck seems to be insinuating itself into everything I write at the moment. After some gnashing of teeth, I have decided not to fight it. When the duck calls your name, it’s a good idea to follow it. In the words of the incomparable Michael Leunig, “I think a nation is in trouble that cannot accept a duck.” Watch this space for some duck-related books hopefully coming your way in the next year or so.
Oh, and poems. We wrote some poems too. Kids, if you haven’t sent me your sun/moon/crane/trees/whatever-you-like poems yet, you still can. My favourite is still the poem which was written after the workshop on a Subway napkin. I can think of no better place for a poem to find itself, in the middle of life and lunch and your choice of condiments. I’ve received so much marvellous stuff that I’m toying with the idea of putting together a page for you all. I was happy to be reminded of how amazing kids are, and of how they will always surprise you with brilliance if you only let them.
It was Book Week, 2008. We fuelled our minds. With bones and invisible tortoises and girls flying madly across dried-up lakes. With the sun as a sky-lemon squeezing its juice across the souring earth. And with ducks. Always with ducks.