Start with emails, at about 8 a.m., with my breakfast tea: answer two from readers and write to my son James, niece Alana, and friend Jacqueline in France, who was disappointed to miss my daughter Susan on her trip through Metz.
Phone the film producer to discuss progress on the Nim’s Island script.
Download pictures of cruise ships and make a screen saver with them, replacing last week’s sea lions. Cut out a couple more deck plans from the many I printed out yesterday, to make a composite for the ship in Nim’s new adventure. I need to know exactly how she gets from A to B and what she sees on the way.
Go on with Chapter 3 of Nim’s New York adventure from where I left it yesterday. Quickly get stuck and take the dog Bear for a walk to try and think it out. Pick up the mail on the way home and find an unexplained cheque from my publisher. Email them to find out what it is and why it came to me instead of my agent.
Another email offers Spanish contract for Ark in the Park, with Edelveiss, the same company that produced Nim’s Island there, in both Spanish and Basque. Respond happily.
Reorganise Chapter 3 so that it now begins with Jack’s, and then Alex’s stories. Nim’s story is now clear, and I finish the chapter.
My husband comes home for lunch today, so instead of meditating I have a cup of tea with him and read (‘Jacques le Fataliste et son Maitre’, by Diderot; written in the 18th century, with the most refreshing irreverent approach : ‘reader, you might think I should stick to Jacque’s adventures now, but…’ )
Prepare a report nominating Pamela Horsey for the Leila St John award (for services to Children’s Literature. Phone a couple of people in the industry for corroborating details.
Write a cover letter and package up books to send to the Fox studio executive who’d asked to see them when we met in LA.
Read email sorting out mystery cheque: advance for Thai edition of Peeling the Onion. Reply; put cheque back in envelope so it can be reissued to agent and paperwork kept simple.
Walk Bear and mail letters. After dinner and dishes I phone Pam to warn her that I’ve nominated her.
Watch DVD of Kolya, a lovely Czechoslavakian film, practice a few tai chi exercises, and go to bed. Irritating cough, the tale end of a cold, keeps me awake for a couple of hours, and I plan more details of Nim’s journey…
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Monday, September 05, 2005
My daughter Susan in the middle, with my nieces Chelsea on the right and Alana on the left.
Visiting family is always the best part of a trip, and a big birthday party or two makes it even better. We celebrated my mom's birthday, and then my dad and his twin sister, the models for the characters Mokie and Bik, turned 75! Although the book (named, you guessed it: MOKIE AND BIK) won't be out till July 2006 in Australia, and a bit later in the USA, I was able to show them some wonderful roughs (early illustrations) from Jonathan, the illustrator for the Henry Holt (American) edition. They were thrilled! After all, they'd had a very unusual childhood, living on a boat in Vancouver Harbour, but it's still a strange feeling to see your life depicted in fiction. (Although, if anything, in this story, I've had to tame the facts down slightly to make the fiction even vaguely believable...)
It was a great time to do more research for further Mokie and Bik books, as the more we talked, looked through pictures and walked on beaches, more stories seemed to turn up. Which of course is what stories tend to do whenever we're open to hearing them.
Of course walking on beaches can be just plain fun too - especially when we met up with my brother and his family on beautiful Quadra Island. The sunset there was the most beautiful one I've ever seen (and the salmon the most delicious!)