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Journal

Long time, no see...

Looking back, the last journal entry was just before the birth of Yoghurt-Moghurt. Wow. Quite a lot has happened since then…

For a start Yoghurt-Moghurt — we no longer call her that, by the way — is now 18 months old, toddling and chatting and trying to put on her brothers pyjamas by herself [don’t ask]. I have changed jobs, moving into teaching fulltime [a great experience, and something that I should have done earlier]. The Wombat — Yoghurt-Moghurt’s brother — had a nasty accident over the summer and lost his front teeth, but there doesn’t seem to be lasting harm, and he’ll be followed closely until his adult teeth pop through and everyone is reassred that all is definitively okay.

On the writing front, things has slowed down. Teaching and having two small children to care for means that I don’t get a lot of time. I did finish another novel [that I’m currently re-editing as I’m still not happy with it]. I took up another novel that I’d started years ago, but decided that this wasn’t going to be the time. While the story is fun, the pacing is off, and quite a few things that I thought were original ten years ago have now appeared all over the place, so I can’t really move on unless I think I’ve got something to bring to that space. The first chapter however is more or less standalone, so I might put it online here.

As I get annoyed commuting, I planned out a new novel from September to December. While there are still some details to be worked out, I’ve started on it, and it will probably be my major [personal] project for 2012.

And quite recently a couple of things came along that brought me no little pleasure. First of all, Black as Snow got picked up and tweeted about by a site that points out free ebooks. This brought a swell of visitors and downloads — over 600 since Christmas — so now downloads on that little story have gone over 1000. The second thing was much more surprising. Some time back I was contacted by Yoza, a South African site that makes short stories available over cellphones for teens there. As my short stories here are available under a Creative Commons licence, they asked permission to use and adapt Perfect Teeth. The other day while flipping through my stats and analytics I stumbled on it. Wow. Not only that but kids who read these stories had taken the time to comment. That was a real heartwarmer. For information, The Yoza Project — and I’m quoting here — “The Yoza Project, originally known as m4Lit (mobile phones for literacy), set out to explore the viability of using mobile phones to support reading and writing by youth in South Africa (SA). If mobile phones proved to be a legitimate alternative and complement to printed literature then their potential for increasing youth literacy practices of reading and writing in SA, and indeed the developing world, would be significant. Most developing countries are book-poor and mobile phone-rich, after all.” See About the Yoza Project. The project was founded by the Shuttleworth Foundation which you may have heard about as Mark Shuttleworth is also the founder of the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution.

More will be coming in 2012, but until then, my best wishes to all…

Posted: Saturday, 7th January, 2012

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About

Welcome to my adventures in writing scary [well, I hope] YA fiction. More complete info here.

Photo: Photo Booth by Apple

If you are a publisher or agent for YA fiction, & would like me to send on a ms, please, please ask.

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a full-length novel

black as snow Juliet has just moved to the country. She doesn’t like her new school, she doesn’t like living on a stinking farm where it always rains. Then she starts seeing a pony, waiting outside at night in the rain. And she’s sure it’s waiting for her...

Before she knows it, she is called on for help by a trio of strange creatures who live in the woods nearby. And then the rabbits... Oh yes, the rabbits.

Fantasy, comedy, and more than a touch of spookiness in this strange tale where things quickly get Black as Snow.

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Appreciation

You can always buy me something from my Amazon Wish List [France] or Amazon Wish List [UK]

Update : It’s not possible for a wishlist to be 'multi-national'. So I have duplicated the French one for the UK. I’ll get a US one up here sometime as well.