Saturday, November 21, 2015


Saturday, November 14, 2015

26 Children's Winters

This week I got the chance to visit my objects and sestude* (titled "Goodnight") in the 26 Children's Winters exhibition at the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh -

Winter - Keeping Warm - Bedtime

Objects:  Copper Warming Pan 1900s, Teddy Bear Pyjama Case 1970s, Hand Knitted Wool Hot Water Bottle Cover 1970s


and then


you run
     from the comfort of hug and hearth
     across chilly bedroom floors

you leap

and snuggle
     a fledgling
     in a downy nest

warmed by
     coppers full of embers
     the colour of firelight
     the scent of heat on sheets

     hot water bottles
     slurping inside their covers

     a plush bear clutched tight
     one eye watching out
     for pyjama thieves

(And we've just got news that there will be funding for a booklet - I'll let you know more about that later!)

* a sestude is a 62 word response

Monday, November 09, 2015

My Amber Necklace

To celebrate the launch of her new novel 'The Christmas We Met', Kate Lord Brown has invited a number of authors to write guest posts on her blog about their favourite piece of jewellery.  This ongoing series has resulted in tiny stories that are fascinating and lovely.  It's called Family Jewels and I am very pleased to be a part of it! 

You can read about my amber necklace, modest cousin to a necklace in Silver Skin, here.  Thanks, Kate, and good luck with the book!

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Top Ten YA for 2015

Forget the fog and the rain - Silver Skin has found a place in The BookBag's list of Top Ten Books for Teens 2015!  (And I've got the furry boys to pose with some copies, for those who have been asking for more cat pictures - something for everyone!)

(feel free to suggest captions ...)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Only For The Fearless

Not sure how to embed this chilling video, so I'll just invite you to follow this link ...

... but only if you're brave enough.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Autumn Sunsets

I'm away to London this weekend, so I leave you with some views of autumnal sunsets from my roof at home, looking up the Tay towards the Rail Bridge.

And, if you wish, you can listen to a Ravi Sankar evening raga here - it's no hyperbole to call him the master, is it.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

No Need to Pack My Pitchfork, Then

Okay, I'm an idiot.  I'm going to be taking part in the final 26 Pairs of Eyes event at the Foundling Museum in London next weekend.  It's part of the Bloomsbury Festival.  It's titled 26 Pairs of Eyes Torchlit Performance.  I'm really looking forward to it.  And I had this really clear picture of it in my mind ...

(attribution: Mike Pennington)

But of course it isn't going to be outdoors - it isn't going to be a procession, even though that's how the word performance entered my brain - it's going to be indoors, in a museum packed with irreplaceable artefacts and paintings and wooden floors and wooden staircases, with members of the public and writers trying to read from flammable pieces of paper in the dark.  And yet, still, I was surprised when the email about logistics for the event arrived and included these words:

"What to bring:  A hand-held battery torch."

Also, "Electric candles/tea lights will be dotted about the museum so the setting won't be completely pitch black. There'll also be floor lighting and spots illuminating our 26 objects (or at least those with a writer alongside)."

So no pitchfork-waving peasant mob - no Up Helly Aa - no singed eyebrows.  It's still going to be magical, just not mental.  And without this as the end result -

(attribution: Ann Burgess)

I'd invite you to come but it's already sold out, which is extremely gratifying.  The beautiful booklet is still available here, though.  And you can read that by any form of lighting you please.