Blackberry time…

And here comes golden September, with an early harvest of blackberries as well as a bumper crop of new projects for me to work on.  There might not be much time for making jam, though: I’m about to head off to Principe, off the coast of West Africa, for a series of local chocolate-related events, then I’ll be touring for The Strawberry Thief, stopping at various festivals, as well as doing #Storytime with the band at Cheltenham on September 13th. The new CD of A Pocketful of Crows (with artwork by Bonnie Helen Hawkins) is on its way from the printer’s: we should have copies in time for Cheltenham, and we’ll make it available to buy from the website, too.

Subscribers to my newsletter will already have seen that I’m working on multiple projects, including The Battlebridge Fairies on ko-fi, available to all my supporters. Last week I was at a terrific event in Edinburgh for the ALCS, where I spoke to an audience of mostly Scottish writers about the importance of  copyright; the drastic fall in authors’ incomes, the drop in the study of English at A-level and the debt we owe to the next generation of writers: you can read more about one of them here.

Scenes From an Author’s Life:

Right now I’m doing that thing whereby you’re going for a 10-day trip to the jungle, on which you’re only allowed to bring one cabin-sized bag. Ever done that? Neither have I. It goes like this:

Pack bag for the twentieth time. Transfer contents to a different bag. Underwear; check. walking shoes; check. Malaria meds; check.  Jungle formula; check. First aid kit; check. Mosquito net; check. Spend hours agonizing about whether or not to bring laptop. Have small panic attack at thought of being without a laptop for 10 days. Laptop; check. Now for the camera: should I take the good one or the small, snappy, portable one? Luggage space suggests the small, snappy portable one, but if I leave some clothes out of the bag, maybe the bigger one will fit? Decide to take both cameras. And the laptop. And the chargers for the laptop. Who needs more than one outfit, anyway?

Prediction: I’m going to arrive at the venue to find that everyone is dressed to the nines, including tiaras and evening attire.

Wake up in the middle of the night wondering whether I need an extra charger.

Repeat every day for three weeks.