Winter has returned and today the clouds and rain have been fighting it out with bright sunshine. The most cheerful things to be seen were the little gatherings of snowdrops, not at all put out by the fresh Nor'easter that was blowing round their petticoats, and a puzzled robin, who refused to respond to my whistle.
I had to do some of my own work this weekend. Or I would have gone nuts. I'm also thinking ahead to the Time of No More Jobs which is almost upon me, and so I'm taking my courage in my hands and sending out my picture book stories - again. I've been sending stuff out now for, blimey, well over a decade since graduating (and that's not including the god-awful poetry and weird stuff I used to bother innocent publishers with when I was a teenager). I lost my nerve a long time ago. I've had too many rejection letters. There was a spectacularly cruel twist of fate last summer, when an art director rang me out of the blue to tell me he was submitting one of my ideas to the monthly creative doo-dah, and enthused about it, got me all excited, then sent me a 'Dear John' letter a week later to tell me that it hadn't done it for the rest of the team. It's the hope that kills you. But I reckon that, as last year I achieved my goal of going fully freelance, perhaps this will be the year I fulfill a 20 year old ambition to get my own work published. I've got four projects, one is all about cats. Toy cats of course. By the sea, with surfing and everything. Sardine ice creams and doggy rides. It's going out this week, to Egmont books. Send happy thoughts, please.