big woo, books i've been reading, kids' books i've been reading

Farewell Christopher Robin, 1669

I’m officially novelisting as the day job: hurrah! No more guided tours from me.

It was time to stop: I was starting to sound like Mark Gatiss doing the Stumphole Cavern sketch every time I talked about ceiling bosses. But I will miss being asked about architecture and history and where the toilets are, and quite often knowing the answers. I’ll miss the little ripple of laughter I always got from the obligatory Shakespeare anecdote. Above all I’ll miss being able to call this ‘the office’:

Kiddie deathlit: like buses, apparently. Second of the ‘three came along at once’ is Jenny Downham’s Before I Die (YA, hardback). Like Sam in Ways to Live Forever, Tessa has a list of things to achieve before her terminal illness wins – but Tessa is 16, so we’re into sex, drugs, rock and roll territory. There’s something mournfully pedestrian about Tessa’s list, and about her life in general, however extraordinary her circumstances: she’s an unflinchingly horrible teenage girl, whose real tragedy is that she’ll never live long enough to grow into the gentler, more interesting woman lurking beneath. Just as unflinching is her best friend, Zoey, retained because she’s the only girl in school selfish enough to ignore Tessa’s illness, yet utterly destructive to be around as a result (until she undergoes her own emotional renaissance). The prose is striking, recalling most the powerful simplicity of Mark Haddon’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Sadly towards the close, it becomes overlong and repetitive, with an infuriatingly self-indulgent fifty pages at the end that makes you long, guiltily, for the inevitable. But it’s a memorable, if gruelling, read. I’d have some chocolate on standby if I were you.

Next up, The Bower Bird, about, er, a girl with a terminal illness. Then again, I did receive a certain adventure story with a glowing neon orange slipcover from Amazon just this morning…

Advice on how to not be daft online, for the endpages of Big Woo. Did you know that the internet is a train full of spidermonkey enthusiasts? No, I have no idea either.

Being a domestic goddess (minus the hoovering), gossiping wildly with my now-ex work colleagues, watching Primeval even though it’s awful, failing to go to the cinema.


7 thoughts on “Farewell Christopher Robin, 1669”

  1. Ooh, get those endpages, eh? Fun or what? Good to have you join the ranks of layabout writers. When are we next going to mooch in Costa?

  2. Here was me, thinking people come up with all the stuff they want to put in the back of their book, not ‘we’ve got some left over, do you want to put things on them?’ Funny old world.Thursday? I might have done something useful to earn some mooching by then. Not to mention reading a certain new novel…:P

  3. Well, still have a residential job so I work evenings. But daytimes I am now officially writing. (In theory at least: right now I appear to be professionally watching Prison Break. Oops.)Thank you!

  4. Hello susie!Its your nephew.The older one on the nicky side.I’m trying to sound mysteriousand failing pretty miserably tbhwhats the latest news on new book?i’m hoping you know who this is…i can’t divulge my name internet safety and all,i watched a documentary the other day with mum about some internet rapist guy who hunted down boysand a bloke sat there going”YOU SHOULD NOT TRUST YOUR CHILDREN. THEY WILL TRICK YOU IF THEY CAN.”All the years i spend working up the trust and then some fat psychologist goes and spoils it! Thanks a bunch!

  5. Tsk, Angry Kid. Your l33t internet safety skills need brushing up, what with your username leading directly back to a blog post with your realname email in it. (Also: ‘it’s your nephew’ =/= mysterious. Next time put on a fake moustache and sunglasses before you start to type? Bonus points for an amusing fake accent.)Book stuff all twiddling along: will hopefully manage to update this weekend with the latest. Seems like I have actually been too busy writing to, um, write. Random.Look forward to nosying around at your new gaff, anyway. And yay, welcome, nice to hear from you etc.

  6. yeah wellmy amusing accent is probably rubbish by most standards, I’m known in drama for being terrible at any accent you can think of, except japanese bizarrely.Yeah, my internet safety owns, don’t knock it.I watched a Panorama with mum the other day, about Popcorn_Puppy the like internet rapist 40 year old freak guy.IMO anyone whose name on a site is Popcorn_Puppy sounds like a rapist and really should be avoided even if they aren’t.Your l33t internet safety skills?l33t?you’ve spent far too much time on here, even I’m not sure what that means…Invisible alias guyx

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