It's been a little while since I blogged but I was encouraged to by the reemergence of some old friends and former pupils. Time changes everything including people, some more than others. The first to surface was the mother of a former pupil who happily stopped and chatted about how successful her children were becoming, and rightly so too. later that evening her daughter face timed me and told me about her dreams to become a writer and how well she has done at college with her creative writing course. Ellie is an immortal child, or adult as she now is. By that I mean she has the same happy disposition that she always displayed when I taught her and although grown up had still retained the appearence I remembered. The fun and humour and the work ethic is all there just as it was and talking to her took me back a decade to a very happy time.
Later the following day I was sipping a McDonalds latte when a lovely young girl approached me and asked me if I was Mr Clifford. I owned up and she introduced herself as Georgia. She was in the same year as Ellie and I remembered her well. Unlike Ellie, her face had changed with the passing of time and I wouldn't have recognised her but for her confident nature in approaching me. We passed a few minutes catching up and again I was reminded of happier times. I always enjoy catching up with my old pupils and in schools like the one we all attended the sense of family still holds true.
It's been a few days of reflection as I wind down for a week off and a much earned rest. The art work for my two new series of KS1 books is coming along very well and Laura my artist has produced some stunning work for me. I took her to see the features that pervade through the series of story books and as it turned out the real person who stars in and inspired the idea for the books. Can't say too much more about that at the moment. We'll be starting another count down soon for the new Navajo Spirit Book which is now published but not available in print yet. Walking with the Smuggler should be going on Kindle this coming week too. A few things to sort out and off we go again on the editing drive that consumes much of my time. A very special book that I'm working on for the young adult market that should be published by Christmas. The work never ends and I'm glad of that.
It seems funny writing a blog without the proverbial countdown heading above. Not to worry a new countdown soon as the third Navajo Spirit book is prepared for launch. Exciting stuff coming up for KS1 too, although I don't want to say too much about that yet. Have an absolutely amazing artist for my new picture books. There's lots of things coming up for the future, uncertain things, risky things which seem more risky for the fact that there is little left here for me except family. The challenge of a five, possibly six county tour is exciting and I know I can deliver what I have to offer the schools and the children. The prospect of having a good look at parts of the country I have visited before is good too. The pace of life is appreciably slower and there is opportunity of enjoying it. By contrast I will miss my visits across the border to my home county of Sussex and the lure of the Romney Marsh.
There was a time when I was looking forward to summer this time round, the thoughts of sharing my passions with some of the people who have become close to me in the past few years, opportunities for that seem to be slipping away. still you know what they say, when one door closes another opens and the opportunity for slipping away before September is now a real option. Life can be a battle at times and sometimes you just cant win them, I recognise that, and the difficulty just drives me harder. If you cant go left then choose right so to speak. We are but pebbles in the oceans of the world, scattered by the tides of life to experience different things, places and other pebbles. I do believe there is something good for everyone in this world, whatever waits for me has yet to be revealed it seems. A few temptations along the journey but that is all they turned out to be, disguised as something else to lure and make promises they have no intention of keeping.
So by now you will have seen the cover page of my new book. Personally with my love of all things Marsh, it pleases me every time I look at it and reminds me that outside of Sussex it's my favourite place to be. I guess I'll be looking at it a lot when I'm away. I have high hopes for the sales of this book which will be officially launched in two schools in E. Sussex very soon. If there are any schools out there who would like to partake in the launch of my Navajo series of books, please get in touch with me through my website. The series is very appropriate for year 5 and 6 children and therefore open for primary schools to launch it.
For the next few weeks the blog will revert to every 3 or 4 days until the new countdown starts. I'm taking a little time off and getting some rest