|Funny reflection of Mr and Mrs Squidge |
in a water sculpture at Alnwick Gardens
Anyway, a few things to share with you from those days away and some bits and pieces either side...
Number 1. I went to Barter Books in Alnwick.
Oh my giddy aunt! If you love books, you will love this place. It is believed to be one of Europe's (certainly teh UK's) largest secondhand bookshops, and I wandered round for the first hour in a daze, completely overwhelmed by teh sheer numbers and physicality of the books on offer.
Who says print is dead?
We had to go back later in the day so I could do some serious book purchasing (also bought a CD of The Swing by INXS - delighted to find that as my old cassette tape is a little crackly now). Mr Squidge did some computing stuff in the restaurant while I wandered, finding books for the kids as well as myself.
What I hadn't realised is that the name stems from the fact that you can still barter your books - exchange ones you've read for credit on new ones. And I loved the fact that everywhere you look, there are reminders of the station that the building once was - even down (perhaps that should be up) to the model trains running on tracks above the shelves.
I felt completely inspired - and plotted out a new outline for the troublesome first chapter of StarMark over a cuppa. Hooray!
Number 2. I watched Harry Potter and Hagrid perform magic at Alnwick Castle.
Yes, I know they were only actors, but to see the kids flicking and switching their wands to help make Hagrid's toad reappear and later watch the broomstick flying lessons with Professor Trumpington was an unexpected bit of fun.
Number 3. Seen on a menu in a Chinese restaurant - Unicorn bean curd.
That dish WILL end up in a short story...
Number 4. I finished my KLiCbait story, well before the deadline.
In fact just this afternoon, I pressed 'send' and Moon Rocks is now winging its way to the editors...
Number 5. I got to proofread 'A Seeming Glass'.
This is the anthology about to be published by RASSSA, and by gum, it's good!
You know that feeling, when you know your own stories (yep - two of mine are in it) are OK and you're pleased with them, but you also know that pretty much every one of the other authors who have submitted stories are damned fine writers and you worry a bit that your own writing will fall a bit short...?
Well, all I can say is that there was some pretty amazing synergy going on, because the sum of the parts is much, MUCH greater than any of the bits I offered!
This will definitely be a book to get if you like your fairytales twisted...Due to be published any day now...
Number 6. Did I mention I think I might have sorted that problematical first chapter of StarMark?
I did? Well, I'm so chuffed I'm going to repeat myself!
|Me and a book sculpture in the grounds of what used to be Newcastle Polytechnic|
- now University of Northumbria - where Mr Squidge did his degree