Portland Museum

Everyone here is getting very excited about the Portland Museum event/book signing on Sunday 2 May. Even the Portland sheep have said they may like to come along! Baaa! I met Kate Wheller from the Museum last week and talked about arrangements for the day. We will be putting up posters around Weymouth, Portland and south Dorset this week. Have also arranged a talk at Budmouth school for July, which I am really looking forward to.
Took some pictures of the Dorchester bookshop that’s featuring the Portland Sea Dragon and if I ever work out how I will display them on here!
Over the weekend I finally sat down and summarised the plot again for book 2, the Enchantment of the Black Dog. It’s a good way to see if the plot and sub-plots hold together. Had to re-write a chapter to keep the mermaid and black dog apart till the end, and it works better. Funnily enough I wrote a bit about the Portland sheep too. V important part of Portland, we love them. (Jazzy wants to keep one in the garden).

Visiting All Saints C of E School

Really enjoyed talking to Year 7 students at All Saints C of E school in Weymouth today. They asked some great questions – how many people does it take to produce a book? what inspired me to write about a sea dragon? who proofreads my work? and lots of other good questions – made me think hard…. We also talked a lot about the process of producing a book and looked at how the editor makes changes to a manuscript and how long the process of editing and rewriting takes.

Dog Training

My friends Mrs Groves and Mrs Greychurch have just popped in with a poster. Mrs Groves feels that over Easter dog behaviour has gone downhill. So she has brought a poster, featuring a list of dog training tips that she would like to see displayed on my blog. In fact, she has insisted. As Gregor, her black and white collie, is sitting on my foot and panting at me, I have agreed. Mrs Greychurch is in the lounge re-arranging the cushions on the sofa. I know she would like to have a quick hoover around. Anyway I’ve told them I have to go out in a minute.

I am always pleased to see them but also a bit relieved when they go home.

As promised, here is Mrs Groves’ Guide to Dog Care

Biscuits are an important part of training your dog. Make sure you have plenty in a tin and lots of sizes and colours, or your dog may become bored of them. Custard creams are always popular.

Practise shouting. A loud voice is easier for your dog to hear.

Make clear hand signs at your dog.

Remember you can buy new table legs at B&Q, and it’s good for your dog’s teeth to chew wood. (If dogs are upset, they may get hiccups.)

Keep a large supply of blankets, as your dog may eat them.

Your dog will like to sleep in a warm spot. Keep a space by the stove in the kitchen for day time use and a rug on your bed at night.

Dogs often sulk and it’s best to ignore them.

Dogs that are a bit overweight should walk every day, even if there are horses, bicycles, hedgehogs or snails to upset them. That’s right, Gregor, they should walk every day. Then they will be slim and able to perform at the Red Triangle Cricket Field Fair at the end of the summer.

Easter and Pirates

I can’t believe it’s Easter and still raining. I guess it’s best just to be grateful that we have not vanished into a black hole after they fired up the Hadron Collider – I am following the news about this with a great deal of interest, esp Dr Brian Cox….

It’s been great to have so much positive feedback about the Portland Sea Dragon, after working on it alone for so long. Thank you to everyone who has been in touch. I know Domini Deane the artist looks at my blog – everyone loves the illustrations for the book and I am being asked what is going to happen next, is it the same characters (esp Gregor) and will Domini illustrate? There is a Portland Sea Dragon page on Facebook where I pick up comments regularly.

I have been working on Book 3 this week, exploring the world of the Portland Pirate! And what happens when a pirate shipwreck rises from the seabed after 400 years. With a survivor… And Mrs Greychurch has acquired a stun-gun from stunyourfriends.com. Hmm