Sunday, April 21, 2002

Well, the last several weeks have been a bit of a blur. Keeping Secrets at Dark Creek was the first of the two spring books to come out just after I'd returned from the Salt Spring Island Family Arts Festival (held over Spring Break). Dani and I had a great time even though it SNOWED!!!! I was kept busy all day - teaching a workshop to some very talented kids in the morning, doing a signing/reading at Fables Cottage bookstore in the afternoon, and then doing a performance of one of the King Arthur stories in the evening. It kept snowing for several days, in fact, which made attending provincial soccer team tryouts in Vancouver rather exciting. All the fields were closed so poor Dani had to be at the indoor pitch at 5:30am for her first session. Yikes! Not a happy place to be for a bunch of 15 year-old girls!

While waiting for Jo's Triumph to arrive, compiled packages for four hundred school kids in BC and Nevada (the original Pony Express Pen Pals Project grew in leaps and bounds from my original modest idea!), prepared press releases, and designed a whole new section over at the website.

In the middle of all that (imagine several weeks with piles of envelopes, carefully counted stacks of onionskin paper topped by the official Pony Express 2002 logo, publicity photographs, bookmarks, posters, etc., etc. spread all over my living room and dining room) kept working on The Dark Tower of Carnillo. Perhaps optimistically, I'm hoping to get the first draft done by the end of May. Hmmmm.... Also wrote articles for the new edition of The Canadian Writer's Handbook (about writing series fiction for young readers), the Island Parent Magazine Family Summer Guide, and my regular column... Travelled up to Nanaimo to speak with a couple of groups of kids who complete their studies by correspondence, as well as a really fun trip up to Campbell River to speak with students at several schools.

Tomorrow I'm heading up to Courtenay to visit with students (and to pick up the first batch of student letters bound for Nevada in September!).

After a number of delays, Jo's Triumph arrived this week - great excitement to see the new book! It was here just in time for the signing on the weekend at Cadboro Bay Books on Saturday. As usual, Burdina did a wonderful job of providing snacks, coffee, and even some customers - all required ingredients for a good signing.

The third StableMates book from Sweden arrived - it looks pretty cool. The covers are very different from the Canadian edition - the Swedish publisher has used photos instead of artwork. I have no idea which characters are supposed to be represented by the models they've used - one of them looks far too old for the stories...

That's it for now -