Virginia City and the NV mentor (NOT MENTAL!!) programme is a distant memory already. OK, not really, missing all my new found writery friends very much. I won't go on (again!) about what a fab time I had, in case I make you jealous and I would. It just got better though. 2 x's winner in the raffle and I won a review with senior editor Cheryl Klein at Arthur A Levine Publishers in NY. Don't know who they publish?? Google them! Have to tell you it is a wonderful opportunity to make it to the top of their slush pile.

So here's a few of my comrades-in-arms (and moi) out on the town in Virginia City ...

(talented Heidi Sheffield, Sarah (Messy) Mcguire, fabulous Craig Lew, cutesy Amy Allgeyer Cook and The Wacky Brit.)

This is a great goal I can now set myself to get my YA in shape. I wrote furiously on the plane and am beginning to see it come together in my mind. Whether I will get it together on the page is another thing ....

Here is a quick sketch of Reno I did in the airport (really!) I had hoped to draw more when I was in Virgina City, but, alas not enough time. And the altitude did get to me, like they said. And they were right, this Nevadians.

Since I got back I have been working hard on the first go round of revisions for Free Spirit Publishing, done some late nights, finished yesterday. So a breather before they come back to me ...

Waiting for the contract with Charlesbridge ... yippee!! More on that soon I hope.

I am in earnest now in my search for an agent (just in case any happen to be idly reading this blog in their free time .. right ....?) So although the math concept PB's are now at dummy stage I am not sending them out to editors until I hear back from the agent query.

Meanwhile working on new ideas and thinking about APPS. Emma Dryden gave a very informative talk on the way forward with IPAD, she is working with Ruckus Media.

PIXEL SHAVINGS!! The new GLOG is launched (Group  bLog for the uninitiated.) Myself, Russ Cox, Sheralyn Barnes, Carrie Clickard and Fred Koehler will be posting every few days our sketches and art. Come along and join at http://pixelshavings.blogspot.com it's going to be a lot of fun. We are all author/illustrators.

The leaves are falling here in Maine and we have had some good Nor' Easters already. It looks like winter is nearly with us. I am good with that, because I have a heap of ideas to keep me warm.

In my breathing space today going to be working on a piece for the 2011 Tomi de Paola award for NY SCBWI conference. The theme is Heidi ... so I am researching Alpine views.

Lastly, thank you to Teri Sloat. She gave me permission to create. Sounds crazy I know. So I will be doing it Teri!

And my fellow mentees from Nevada I love ya and I miss ya and I can't wait till April!! Margarita Pong!

Hasta la Vista
aka The Wacky Brit

PS. NOTHING NEW ON THE BEDSIDE TABLE!!!! Going to visit my long suffering library this morning.

I joined the Darkside

I said I wasn't going to do it. I said  blogging and facebook was enough. And then, suddenly, in between morning toast and the long dark hours till elevenses, I broke down and joined Twitter. Why? Why? I think I was being tweeted subconsciously. So now here is another thing to add to the more-things-to-use-to-procrastinate-with list. And I don't even understand it. I don't even have a mobile phone (really!!) or an i-anything.

OH ... tweet me at 'thewackybrit'.

But still, there are lots of scrumdidally illustrators and writers out there tweeting and the Twitterness kindly suggests I follow them so I do. I even have, to date, 27 followers, and I feel guilty as I have not tweeted anything in the least interesting as yet. But I am sure I will learn something, meet some interesting people and perhaps figure what it all means. I have to say I am mildly attracted by the fact that tweeting sounds a bit rude. But then the British are the masters of innuendo.

If you hadn't noticed (or maybe you  live in New Zealand) it's FALL. Or Autumn (let's not go too Americaspeak). How did it get to be October so flipping fast???

I looked out of my window (a treat this week as I've been glued to the pencil layouts for the BOOK, which I am delivering Monday morning ... sigh of relief, as the deadline moved) and took a photo or two. You have to remind yourself there is a world beyond the studio at times. Here they are ...

There is a lovely little river beyond the trees. (In England we would have called it a major water source). You never know maybe next week I will open the front door and go outside and take some shots. But can't over do it, or I will be in therapy.

No drawings to show you this week ... can't post any of the pencils I have been working on as under wraps still. How exciting!!

I did escape from the drawing board today though. I went over to my friend Russ Cox's house for the day. And guess what we did? Hired a life model and did some drawing! It was a lot of fun, even though I didn't think I'd feel like drawing squat. However when you get going you forget you've been drawing 10 hours a day all week and  just want the capture what's in front of you. We had a great model. Wish I could post some on the blog ... but keeping it child friendly, just in case. Also had a lovely lunch ... nice to have cookery friends!

Blimey guv, it is only 4 DAYS until I hop over to Nevada and Virginia City for the SCBWI mentor programme meet up and conference .... it's going to be a HOOT! Looking forward to spending time with like minded crazy folks of course, meeting some experienced illustrators and getting lots of  information. My mentor is Priscilla Burris, and she is such a fun person. I know we are going to have a great time.

Still to do ... layout the other 2 picture books in the math series, I really would like to take them with me, but time is running out. And I haven't touched my portfolio ... groan ... I fear the midnight oil will be a burning.

Trying not to worry about the fact that on Nov 1 I have a photography exhibition opening in Bangor, ME for a month. GULP. I have decided to hang the pieces dry mounted and raised from the wall. The reason for this, let's not beat about the bush, is money. I took the first 5 to the framers and they dry mounted and laminated them. Went to look at them today ... not good. The lamination had bubbled and they looked bloody awful! PANIC!! So decided just to dry mount the others, so hopefully will be ok. But still have to get the spoiled one's printed again and running out of time. No pressure right?? All will be well .... (repeat and believe).

I was really happy to see that the Children's Corner I've started on the Wacky Brit's Blog is going well. I have had more people visit the pages on Mondays than any other day since I started blogging and lots of good feedback from folks using them in schools, libraries and just to give to their own children and grand-children. Hope you will make use of the pages every week! Please let me know if there is something special you would like.

Things I have to do:
1. Finish set up of the Illustration GLOG ... had no time last week.
2. Register for the New York SCBWI Conference in January 2011 ... (note to self: earn some money first)
3. Do illustration for Tomie dePaola award and maybe that might pay for conference cancelling out point 2.
4.  Do some mail outs!!!!!

YAWN. Sorry to be rude and do that in your face ... going to have a bit of down time with 'im indoors and then an early night. No rest on Sunday or Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday - I will be working hard to get all I need done, done. (Note to self sleep on the 3 planes that will get you to Reno. Hopefully)

Thanks for reading ... next week join me for the blog from the WILD WEST in which I will tote a Winchester and down several whiskeys as they slide down the bar. Well the second part might happen!

OH! I am on Blog radio again ... tune in Monday 11th at 4pm EST  You know you want to.

See ya later, y'all!
aka The Wacky Brit.

PS I went to the library this week and this is what I am reading:
HEADS - Matthew Van Fleet (so so cute!! Can't imagine how they put it together.)
THE ODIOUS OGRE - Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer ... ( Didn't do much for me really)
CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS - Peter Brown ... (very engaging ... love Mr Brown's work)
IT'S A BOOK - Lane Smith - (Very funny and apt. Unusual illustration style and colours).
WHEREVER YOU ARE MY LOVE WILL FIND YOU - Nancy Tillman (very poignant ... one for the parents I thought and a gift book, but beautifully illustrated.)