And yet another slither of yeti music, this time the theme tune for Albrecht! As you listen, imagine him charging around the Himalayas trying to outwit a Bigfoot!
The Mythical 9th Division have a theme tune, which is probably the most important thing for any bunch of world-saving yetis. The theme tune will soon be gracing the trailer for the book, out in June, but for now I thought it would be nice to simply post the music here.
Go superfly yetis!
How many words do I waste when writing? A lot. Simple as that.
I’ve been writing and rewriting and finding things quite tough these past few days. I know what I want to say, I know how the characters should act, but getting the scenes just right is proving difficult.
Yes, having a stomach bug at the same time as everyone else in the house has made life significantly harder than it should be, but I need to get used to that. This book ain’t gonna write itself!
So what’s been such a problem? It’s the character interaction within the scenes. I could say so much, but it’s knowing what not to say, that’s important. I write a lovely moment between characters, then delete it, because it says too much. Like I say, wasted words.
But then there’s a poster on my living room wall that says ‘Make do and mend’. This is one of those great Second World War statements, that while working for daily living, doesn’t quite add up for writing a novel. Instead, I like to think that for writing, there’s an added comma between the ‘Make’ and the ‘do’.
I’m forever mending the scenes, patching sentences, tidying up words. It’s the lovely time of graft – that 99% perspiration they all talk about. I’m satisfied that this book isn’t the easy one a writer always dreams of, but I’m surprised by how hard I’m making it for myself.
At least I get to step away and draw the characters. That helps.
After Katie’s marathon three-day labour, I finally met my daughter Cecily for the first time at 09.42 yesterday morning.
There’s no way to describe the emotions involved with witnessing a birth and being present throughout the whole of labour. Like some biblical epic that would have your bum sat on a cinema seat for well over three hours, Cecily’s arrival seemed to take every back road and country lane before reaching its apocalyptic finale.
And what’s so strange about it is that she looked so alien at first. Chalky skinned and oddly non-human, it was near-impossible to see her as our child. But then, I started to see her properly. I heard her cries and her gurgles, saw her eyes and felt her five fingers clench just one of mine, and eventually I started to appreciate exactly what she was.
She was beautiful.
I’ve just come across my brother’s drawings of Star Wars. He must have been about 8 years old at the time, at a guess. He’s almost 35, so you can understand why they’ve browned a little.
They’re brilliant and hilarious, and to start with here’s the Wookie!
So it’s nearly Halloween, and I like to write silly poems.
The Monstrous House
The house was made of monster bones,
Just like the garden shed,
Built of fell and nasty beasts,
I’d battered on the head.
My flowerbeds were blooming,
Red roses trailed the mud,
Mixed with rotting vampire flesh,
And scattered with their blood.
My washing line was over-full,
With witches and their cats,
I’d hung them up to dry their brooms,
And tattered capes and hats
Fang-toothed birds would come to watch,
This garden of disease.
Gobbling flies and rotten fruit,
They chattered in the trees.
But people loathed this grisly home,
Disliking all the gore,
Armed with spades and pick-axe tools
They flattened it to the floor.
And if you missed it last year, here’s my Halloween podcast, with more poems and stories read out by me. In bad witchy voices.
I’ve been visiting many schools of late to give drawing workshops, so I should put my money where my mouth is and post a new drawing. Here are my yetis in their Charlie’s Angels pose. We’re thinking this might go on the title page of the book, which means the removal of a repeated yak drawing that I’m very fond of, but them’s the breaks.
If you didn’t know already, I just finished off the first draft of The Missing Yeti, the second Mythical 9th Division title. Any writer who’s ever submitted a manuscript will understand that I’ve now entered the phase of nail biting while sitting under a gloomy cloud of impending doom. For a generally optimistic chap like myself, it’s quite difficult to maintain this phase, but I promise you, I’m trying very hard.
How could they not like a book which has a baby yeti in it, though? One that wears nappies too…
It was an exciting day yesterday as I received a proof copy of the first Mythical 9th Division book. The yetis are real, and happening. It’s incredibly exciting.
And to celebrate, I’ve made a short introduction to the books. Meet Captain James T. Ponkerton, leader of the Mythical 9th Division.
I had to find a new mouse for Mousebeard’s Revenge yesterday. Such are the difficulties of plotting and planning books, I always get the number of Almanac entries between chapters wrong and have to find a new one right at the end of the writing process.
But not to worry, I’ve actually got a number of extra mice lying around. Not real ones of course, just rare horned, nasty or steel-jaw varieties that got the chop from the books for one reason or another.
And this time, the reserve who came on in the 88th minute to secure a win was the Grey Mouse. Or Portly. Because Portly was always one of my favourite characters in the book, and it seems apt that the very last mouse in the very last Almanac entry is him.
It’s been a busy few days, popping down to the south coast to Bourne Community College – possibly the nicest bunch of teachers and pupils ever – and then heading to the Shoreditch Festival to do a Mousehunter painting for Victoria Park Books
I hadn’t used my brushes for a while (you may not know, but I started out life as a landscape painter) so it was a blast. It reminded me how much I like painting, and I now have to find time to paint again. Maybe next year…
And then on Saturday evening I ventured to ventured to Brockley and met up with the most talented bunch of writers and illustrators ever. Sarah McIntyre writes and photographs it all here If ever you wanted to feel rather talentless, they’re the people to hang out with.