Vacation, Vacation, Vacation.

That is my excuse for non-blogging this last couple of weeks. Maybe you were glad of the vacation too? But now I am back at the drawing board and ready to hit Fall with a vengeance.

I never fail to be amazed at the ability of American children to pose. We hit Disney for a week with some Brit friends (oh what craziness that was! The crowd on the bus to Downtown Disney will not so easily forget my birthday night out or rendition of Cockles and Mussels!). Anyway, whenever a parent whipped out a camera those American kids were straight into professional poses, teeth gleaming, heads tilted, right shoulder forward. Do they teach it in kindergarten? Maybe things are different from when I was a lass (long, long time ago it seems), but I remember standing poker straight and all photos looking like I was in a concentration camp. And watching UK families in the parks, not much seems to have changed. Also noted, young boys with french manicures on their toenails. YIKES!!!

News in from Matthew Kelly ... they are producing a lovely doll of Max from Matthew's book 'Why Am I Here?' How fabby is that? Here's a couple of pics of the prototype ....

I am quite happy to be back at work ... 10 days seems a long time away from the desk.

Next week I get the manuscript for the PB I am illustrating for Freespirit Publishing, so I am very excited about that and will post more details when I am allowed to by the publisher.

While I was away I took my birthday present with me (a little netbook - thanks to 'im indoors), and I wrote on the plane and a bit in the hotel bar (yes you guessed right, with a cocktail). I managed to do about 6,000 words on my YA fantasy ... it's a departure to be writing for this age group. We will see what happens.

Also roughed out a new PB idea, based on a doodle I did in Los Angeles during a seminar at the SCBWI conference of a little guard and his dragon. So we will see where that goes.

The series of math/problem solving books is tipping over the edge towards submission ... I have to find several days to finish the dummies. Stand by editors!!

On the calendar for the next couple of months ... excitingly back on the Isaac H Evans to teach a drawing cruise in September and then Virginia City, NV in October for the SCBWI mentor programme meet up and conference.  Also a workshop with Toni Buzzeo, a lady I am looking forward to knowing more about. That will be a lot of fun!

And now I have to do something to earn my living, so better get my pencil out. I leave you with a few sketches from Disney, I didn't take a camera and it was so hot down there I nearly melted.

More soon!
aka The Wacky Brit