Thursday, October 28, 2010

He shoots - he scores!

We're in Canada. By 'we', before any enterprising sod thinks it would be a good idea to work out where I live, I mean just me and the spudlet; the frog has ducked out of this particular cross-Atlantic trip to stay home and look after the cat.

This is fine, although the spud is beginning to wonder exactly what's going on. He woke up this morning and looked at me hard, then said pointedly "we're having a lot of sleepovers here, aren't we?" "Yes" I said. "And we miss Daddy, don't we?" "Yes we do" I concurred.

Five minutes later he was upstairs in one of his three default positions - talking non-stop to his Grandmother, fawning over the dog or hard at play over one of the thousand new toys his grandparents thought would be a good idea to buy for him.

Today we dragged up from the cellar our 30-year-old Crossfire game, sadly no longer on the market. This, for the un-initiated, is a large board with a wire goal at either end and a large ball-bearing wrapped in a plastic puck in the middle. Each player gets a plastic gun sort of thing that fires ball bearings down a shute and essentially all one does is fire at top speed until the puck lands up in someone's goal.

What I remember about this game is my brother getting all tactical about the ammunition and waiting for me to fire all my ball bearings across the board so he could hoard them. He would then shoot them manaically, giving me no chance to retaliate. The puck inevitably slid through my goal. I thought this was unfair. Apparently not.

Well, it turns out that either this is a boy thing, or blood runs thicker than fair play. Two minutes into our first game and the spud had all the ammunition and a devilish gleam in his eye.

Two minutes ten seconds later, the puck was in my goal.

SOOOO not fair...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gratuitous launch party post

OK, so I wrote a book. About 21 years ago, mind you, but I did write it and the very brave Punked Books have published it. In fact, they opened a new Children's imprint for me - Grimoire books. I swear, I did NOT drug them.

So on Thursday The Big Green Bookshop were brave enough to allow me and a bunch of varigated friends into their premises to launch the thing.

OK, so this was a launch for a book I wrote over 2 decades ago. I'm over it. I'd given up on it. It will never make me rich. So this is like, blah blah blah. Right? So I was being all blase about the entire thing until a few weeks ago when I realised I should probably take it seriously and invite a few people. Beg a few people.

So I did. And then I got Very Nervous. By Thursday morning I was essentially a bag of nerves and by the time I got to the bookshop I was pretty wired. I had, however, bought 2 cases of wine for the occasion. This was a good thing.

People started filtering in around 7 and by 8 the locusts had already demolished a case of wine and numerous packets of Wotsits. I did a reading from the book. I tried to make it interesting. People shuffled. But they clapped at the end... I guess that counts.

It was kinda like getting married, launching one's first book. I mean, it might happen again; who knows? One makes a major public committment to the book, the publisher, everything is rosy, all one's mates come out in support and by the end of the night one can't remember anything except... er... that it was a shedload of fun. Then it's just you and the book, heading into the sunset.

There are people to thank. Parents. Sibling. Spouse. Friends. Agent. Publisher. You know. The usual. I'll thank them if the damn thing ever wins anything.

I think it went well. We drank a case and a half of wine. The shop sold out of their copies of my book, the lovely Kevin from Punked (Grimoire) had to unload extra copies from his Bat-Case and then I think some of those might have been sold. And possibly signed. I think I signed some things. I hope they were books.

These are some of my besty friends. That's me on the left with the big schnoz and the target on my boobs.

I had a steaming hangover the next day.

Anyway, so that's it, the book is launched. God bless her and all who sail in her.

Now buy a copy.


PS, I'll be selling and signing at Witchfest International on November 6th. Put on your duds and come along. You know you want to.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Prompted by the lovely DJ Kirkby whose second novel 'Without Alice' has appeared on the Amazon Bestseller list, I thought I'd venture on and see how my children's book The Green King is doing...

...and I'm up to 106,000th on the list! OK, this is not very high, admittedly but considering I was 1.3 millionth a few weeks ago and 306,000th a few days ago, I reckon I may have sold another book.

AND - STOP PRESSES: THE GREEN KING IS AVAILABLE ON KINDLE: right here for all you techno-bods...

Thanks everyone!

The launch is tomorrow, I will spare you the tedious begging to come and join me for a glass of wine - if you do fancy it, details are here.

One day I might actually write about my son. At the moment, all I have to tell you is that on weekends we are spending considerable amounts of time on the BMX track where I get all puffed up with pride as the seasoned BMXers admire his bravery. He can now make it up all but the 3 steepest hills by himself and we've been invited for proper training next weekend... finally, my potato is turning into a bean-pole - with all this cycling he's becoming leaner and stronger... my little boy is really growing up... sniff...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

All about meeeee!!

This post is all about... meeeee!!!! Me me me me me. Or rather, my book.

No WAIT!! Don't go!!!! Sheesh.

Seriously, this will only take a moment and you can scroll right on down to the toy give-away just underneath this post. Seriously. I promise. It won't hurt.

Anyway, so I sort of have a book coming out. It's called er... yes that's it over on the right... it's called The Green King. It is an actual book and not followed by the letters IPA; it is not therefore a beer. Or a pub. No, it's a children's book in fact.

No no no, don't bugger off quite yet, I'm about to invite you out for a drink. Settle down a moment.

A drink? Yes, I'm launching the Green King, with wine, at the Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green, North London on Thursday October 14th, 7pm to 9pm, which is in no way nearly in a week and I am in no way panicking about it not even slightly. Not at all. So there.

OK maybe I'm panicking a little teensy bit.

Anyway, so I'm inviting you all, yes you! All 2 of you who have read this far... there will be some wine and a few little munchie things (cough cough crisps cough). Yes, my hospitality will be unparalleled. And there will be juice, just in case there are actual children, or people who perhaps want to get up one day.

A bit about the book perhaps: it's aimed at children 8-14 but, apparently, the odd grown up has been known to read it and, shockingly, quite actually like it. Or so they say...

And, if you do know any children of around the right age, you might consider it a wild-card Christmas present? Hm? And in case you're wondering if the child in question might actually like it, here are some excerpts from actual letters I got from a class of 9-year-olds, to whom I read bits of it the other day:
  • “I liked your book the Green King I think that it will be a best sellers list” – George, 9
  • “When it comes out I am going to buy it” – William, 9
  • “Your book is realy good and adventures” – Megan, 9
  • “I like mystery books and yours is the one” – Ellie, 9
  • “I loved your book it was amasing” – Jamie, 9
  • “I loved your book and it was awesome, it was the cind of book that I love” – Reegan,9
  • “The whole thing was absaloutly brilliant” – Alex, 9
  • "I thought your book was great. I really enjoyed it" – Harry, 9
...Harry continues on, bless him.... "However a few improvements are maybe:
  • pictures
  • a d.v.d. to go with the book"
Yeah Harry!!! Go get those film rights!!!

OK, so I would seriously be over the moon if anyone fancied making the trek up to the shop and downing a few vinos at my expense, maybe even buying the book and making the bookshop happy and, most importantly, saying hello so I can put a few more faces to bloggers.

Oh, and there will be air-kisses too! I go left then right, just so you don't get confused.

Please won't you come? And, er, bring someone?


And if not, the book is available either here on Amazon or from the publisher here or from the link in my RH menu. I'm loving watching it climb the rankings in Amazon - I went from eleventy million to around 40,000 in one day after reading in the schools. Am now back down to 306,000 so help!

Friday, October 01, 2010

...that sort of day

We had plans today - involving, unsurprisingly, the BMX track - which were rained out. The entire day was pretty much rained out to be honest. I woke up with Charlie's feet in my back and as I shifted out of his way I woke the cat.

Waking the cat means instant access to cat-paw hell. First he sits beside our heads and swats us in the face. This escalates rapidly into a quick-march across our heads, back and forth and back and forth. He then goes for the soft parts - eyeballs mainly but he's recently started stomping across my nipples every morning and occasionally the frog's balls. He's also worked out that waking Charlie is the best way to get us up and so if Charlie is in bed, Charlie becomes the main target.

This morning however he interrupted himself halfway through the process in order to be sick on the floor. Shortly after I cleaned it all up I realised that he'd also taken a poo on the bed; a much better way to get me up as it turns out, particularly as he'd been pawing me in the mouth and I had a sudden, over-powering urge to scrub my face with bleach.

So that was us up and looking glumly out the window at the bucketing rain. Not getting to the BMX track was OK as it turns out, which was a surprise as Charlie has been wearing his new full-face helmet everywhere this week in anticipation of his next go around the circuit. He's worn it to bed, to nursery, and, hilariously, in the playground like some sort of mini-Stig going down the slide. He's still quite wobbly on the bike but really gaining in confidence; I was actually quite looking forward to watching him go.

Anyway, so my little spudlet voted with his tum and instead of lurching out into the cold, we washed the sheets and had a rainy-day sort of day which, it turns out, involves a lot of cake; a pleasant diversion from the cat's insides.