Archive for the ‘Events’ Category
Thanks for all your comments on my last blog. Really interesting to hear all your opinions on the issue.
But we don’t care about that – WHO WANTS MORE IDIOTS?
The first is one I should’ve uploaded weeks ago, but you know how it is: one moment you’re ready to update your blog, the very next your rampaging through another dimension on the back of a white pegasus, tracking down the evil Lord Chaos before he unleashes his Oblivion Amulet. Or something.
OlDWIF BOLEM – All Saints C of E Primary School, Winchester
There’s an awful lot going on here with Oldwif, and being that the event was almost two weeks ago (shame on me) I may have forgotten some of the details. But here’s the crux: Oldwif (bottom left, riding a horse) is a veteran secret agent, who’s tracked down some sort of evil cowboy bank robber (top right, riding a cow). Oldwif is on Her Majesty’s Secret Service, reclaiming a stack of gold ingots that the evil cowboy has stolen from a bank. But alas! When he finds the gold he finds the cowboy’s been chewing it like tobacco and spitting it into a golden spittoon. Never beaten, Oldwif stuffed as much of the golden spit into his pocket as he could fit and rode off on his tiny horse. What follows is a high-speed chase worthy of the bestest Western in history, only one of them’s riding a cow and he’s shooting at Oldwif with a spit gun. What an adventure!
(Kids of All Saints – have I missed anything? Tell me in the comments below.)
LOSSANA SHOE-MUFFIN – Oliver’s Battery Primary School
Lossana found a tiny purple elephant in a pile of washing one day, and took it for her own. Soon she discovered that the elephant produced an incredible quantity of earwax, the likes of which she’d never tasted. Not only did it bake into delicious cookies, it also could roll into yarn to knit socks, squidge down into hair gel and be used as the fuse for a giant sticky bomb, or something. Soon Lossana developed her own Elephant-Earwax range of products, selling them outside her house on the weekends. She’s also developing an earwax voodoo-doll to rid herself of her annoying husband, while trying to breed more elephants with the earwax they create. Finally, you may notice she’s only wearing one sock. That’s because the elephant uses the other as a sleeping bag.
Well, that’s all I’ve got until tomorrow. Bet you can’t wait!
I know what you want. You want more idiots. Here’s a cracker from my event at the Marlborough Literary Festival:
Sherbert was brought up somewhere exotic and middle-eastern (we didn’t quite decide where), but she escaped from her Harem and decided to travel the world and become a witch. Hearing that Britain’s frogs had peculiar magical qualities, she crossed the channel using her Harem Pants as a sort of parachute/boat and began to search ponds and lakes for frogs. When she finds one, she catches it in her Harem Pants, sticks it in her tea strainer and infuses it with some hot water, making a most delicious, sweet but astringent cup of Frog-Tea. Sherbert believes that every cup of Frog-Tea bestows upon her different powers, some good, some evil. So far, she’s just got a tummy ache.
Such fun, as always. More festival events please!
Here’s a couple of fun creations from my events at the Hayridge Centre in Cullompton, Devon today. The kids were fantastic and, as you’ll see, bubbling over with ideas!
SPLAKASHACOWHAKANOODLECHICKEN THE 3RD HER MCCABBAGER
Splakashacowhakanoodlechicken the 3rd her McCabbager (who’ll only have you refer to her by her full name) is pantophobic. In other words, she’s scared of absolutely everything. So she hides in a wardrobe with little eye holes, squeezing a whoopie cushion to scare people off. Because, quite frankly, if you were walking down the road and came across a farting cupboard you’d definitely run away.
Named after his three passions in life: mushrooms, bogies and licking people called Bob, Boblick has just had an unfortunate run-in with a family of local pigeons. He tried to steal their eggs, you see, so they retaliated as any pigeon would, by dropping their stinky refuse all over his clothes and face. Blinded by pigeon poo, Bob ripped off his soiled clothes and reached for the nearest thing he could find – a bikini on the washing line. Then he walked into a lamppost, losing all his teeth. Still blind and looking for a place to keep his dirty clothes he found a poodle, thought it was a handbag and stuffed his clothes into its mouth. Boblick can now be found in women’s swimwear, blindly rampaging around the streets of Corne-on-the-Kobb, being a general nuisance.
If any kids from the two schools are reading this, you were fantastic today! Don’t forget to send me any extra pictures or stories you might have drawn or written, or just comment down below on what you think of your creations.
OK. First of all, sorry. It gets to a point where you’ve not blogged for so long that you feel guilty about it, and then you avoid it because it makes you feel bad and then you pretend it doesn’t exist. I got to that stage. So, as an apology, I PROMISE to write at least something weekly from now until Christmas. How does that sound?
We’ve had some brilliant questions for the ‘Ask Casper’ segment, which I’ll get him to answer as soon as possible. He’s been busy this summer, getting up to all sorts of adventures which you can read about in some book or another, I forget what it’s called.
But anyway…who wants to see some idiots? This time we’ve got two characters from Willand School in Devon, both utterly bonkers:
BOOGOOLALA SHOWGISE (Years 3&4)
There’s often a theme that runs through idiots we create in these events. One of those themes is bins. We’ll get to that. When Boogoolala (which is a boys’ name, by the way) was a child, he went shopping with his mummy and bought a set of clothes. It was a nice set of clothes, admittedly, but not nice enough to be the only set Boogoolala would ever wear. Now he’s 23 years old, and struggling in the clothes department. That tiny shirt and incredibly stinky sock are the only remnants of that original outfit. The rest have long-since rotted away or been eaten by mice. Now, the bin. Boogoolala’s house shares a back alley with a reputed burger chain in Corne-on-the-Kobb, which has ridiculously high standards. Any bun that’s cut unevenly, any patty too burnt at the edges, any lettuce with the wrong number of frilly bits, that burger gets chucked in the bin. So Boogoolala roots around in the bins for the tastiest rejects and sticks them to his legs instead of trousers. When he gets hungry, he plucks one off and munches away. And best of all, he’s never more than a square meal away from wearing shorts!
ALLIAH FLAPJACK (Years 5&6)
Alliah was making jelly with her dog. I don’t mean she was turning her dog into jelly, although that would be delicious. I mean Alliah’s dog was present at the moment of jellification. But she made one fatal mistake – she turned her whisk up one level too high. Before she knew it, she and her dog were covered in sloppy strawberry slurges of the stickly slime. Now, we all know that dogs hate jelly, right? So it’s no surprise that Alliah’s dog was so upset about the jelly that it bolted out of the kitchen, breaking the speed of sound (which made its ears fall off).
Alliah desperately wanted her dog back, so she constructed a simple dog-homing device. (You can try this at home if your dog’s ears fall off and you can’t find it. Unfortunately you can’t try it if your dog’s run away with its ears intact. Selfish.) Alliah took her dog’s favourite stick and stuck it to the leftover ear, then listened to the ear like you would with a conch shell. Now, when you listen to a conch shell you hear the sea, so if you’d listen to your dog’s ear you’d hear…your dog! Alliah’s set out on a big adventure, following the noise of her dog-homing device. Whether she finds it…well…that’s up to you!
Two great characters. But I’d like to know something. Which will happen first: Alliah finding her dog or Boogoolala forking out on a new pair of trousers? And who do you like best?
AND STICK AROUND UNTIL NEXT MONDAY FOR ‘ASK CASPER – THE ANSWERS’
I had a great event at Bigland Green Primary School this morning. The kids were full of ideas, including excellent suggestions for this character:
Sponge-Bubble Lollie seems to have the head of a sponge. But that’s not important, because he has bigger fish to fry. He lives on his own in Corne-on-the-Kobb, but he’s terribly homesick. That’s why he carries round his computer all the time, constantly talking to his mummy over the internet. (He also keeps a pet mouse in his swimming trunks pocket which he’s stuck a wire into and uses as a computer mouse. No news yet as to whether it works). Now you may notice his strange attire – he’s wearing swimming trunks and a swimming jacket (you know swimming jackets, right? They’re all the rage in Milan) so that if he gets chased by sharks he can swim away super fast. And that might be the cleverest thing he’s ever done, because look behind him! Yes, that’s right, the river Kobb has burst its bank and a massive tidal wave is on its way. SWIM FOR YOUR LIFE, SPONGE-BUBBLE!
Oh, and he has shoes made of jellyfish.
If you’ve still not asked Casper a question, do it in the comments below. Go on, it’ll be fun!
As if you needed them, here are some more idiots!
Bob Higglebottom (Hanwell Fields Community School)
Who’d want a miniature golf course folded up in their bag? Bob Higglebottom, that’s who. Bob gets bored sometimes, so he dons a caveman outfit, jumps inside his own ManBag and plays a quick round of golf. He also has his name written on his clothes in fur, in case he forgets who he is. Bob also wears a tiny tiny Santa hat on his head, a sign that he likes Christmas, but only a bit.
Rusula Tooting-Corvesch (Papplewick School)
Rusula is an artist. But she’s no ordinary artist, oh no. Bored with the oh-so conventional painting and drawing, she threw herself (quite literally, in some cases) into her work, experimenting with all sorts of ridiculous techniques. She’s strung pillows to her knees, a simple but effective method in painting broad brushes of colour with ones legs (as long as you don’t mind getting your pillows all painty). Perhaps most importantly, she’s developing a disgusting new technique involving that bag of conkers she’s carrying. She eats them, which of course is dangerous because they’re a bit poisonous and not really very tasty. Then she throws them up onto her canvas (I didn’t promise Rusula was nice. It’s your fault for reading this bit if you’re insulted) and sells them to silly men who wouldn’t know a good drawing if it hit them in the face. (Rusula also does that, if you’re interested. She calls it Bruisism.)
Henglosobom Bob (William Patten School)
Everyone has five legs, right? Henglosobom Bob has five legs, and if anyone says that’s not normal he’ll have your eye out with his hat. Now Henglosobom’s got a problem. It’s baking summer, there’s a hosepipe ban and Henglosobom’s gone and broken his cold vein! That’s right, the vein that carries all the cold around your body has broken so he’s all hot and sweaty and generally not nice to be around. No worries though, because he’s enlisted the help of his trusty Icicat! That’s right, an Icicat is the answer to all your mid-summer needs. Keep him in the freezer* and take him with you on a sunny day. Icicat will keep you cool for up to 12 hours**! That’s a money-back guarantee!***
*Please do not keep your Icicat in the freezer.
**Min. 1 second, max. 12 hours.
***It’s not in any way a money-back guarantee. Please don’t buy an Icicat. Just get a normal one. They are fine and fluffy unless you get one of those bald ones, so don’t get them either unless you like bald ones. But honestly, who likes bald ones?
And that’s all I’ve got for now. Hope everyone’s found their idiot! If you can’t see yours, scroll down to have a look at my earlier posts.
Here we are! More great characters. If you’re on the site after one of last week’s visits, do stick around and say hello! I only bite if you’re sausages.
Bob Payne (Waycroft Primary School)
Bob Payne wears a dress. Bob Payne has a blue bob (geddit? Bob?) in the hair department. Bob Payne is holding an unassuming maggot with a grappling hook which has NOTHING TO DO WITH BOB BEING A SPY OR ANYTHING. Oh, OK. Bob’s a spy. He’s dressed up as a woman to spy on the pigeons in Corne-on-the-Kobb (pigeons are never scared of women). There’s a sinister twist however, when we find out who pulls the strings in this arrangement. Bob is ordered around by his cat, who HATES pigeons and all pigeon-related antics. Before waging all-out war on the pigeons, Bob has been enlisted to carry out a bit of deep-cover recon, as depicted above. Who knows what he’ll discover…
Sophie Lollipop o’ Doodle (St Martins Garden School)
You might have learned by now that there’re a good few idiots in Corne-on-the-Kobb. You won’t get a better example than Sophie. She owns a cow called DizzyLizzie, who (it seems) can float. But Sophie isn’t happy with just one cow, oh no. She’s been told that if you pull out your cow’s teeth, travel to a magical faraway place and plant the teeth in very fertile ground, you’ll grow a whole great batch of new cows in next year’s harvest. So off she goes, dressed up in a massive hot dog to keep her warm and attract the wolves away from her floating cow. There were some other things too about slides and wheels for legs, but I honestly don’t know if such incredible spumes of madness can be put into words.
More when I get them!
Here’s a few more characters, this time from two fantastic schools in Exeter.
Harry-Joe-Bill Choo-Choo-Train (West Exe College)
Well then. Poor old lonely Harry-Joe-Bill (or Harry-Joe-Bil for short) doesn’t have many friends. But when he found himself sloshing down the Corne-on-the-Kobb sewer with a candle stick for light, he found many rats with many talents and decided to start a circus. They have much fun, balancing on balls, tap dancing and swinging on trapezes. Nobody comes, of course, but the rats seem to like it and at least it keeps Harry-Joe-Bill off the streets.
Bernadette (Bernie) Mc.Cucumber (ISCA college)
Bernadette is just horrible. She lives in a smoky laboratory and spends her days testing on animals. Testament to this horrible fact is her clothing – a bear skin coat, snake skin trousers and one hamster earmuff. (The other hamster sits in her pocket, screaming because he knows he’s next.) Then there’s the comparable successes like the rat with the extra-long tail, the reanimated gerbil with a jetpack and her useless but catchy ‘Bottle o’ Snakes’. Bernadette’s a horror, we decided. A real baddie. Anyone want to write a story where Casper takes her down a notch?
More great characters coming soon.
The first two events of the tour have been more fun than I could ever hope for! The kids of Hyde Park Junior School and Leigham Junior School were responsive and full of ideas, gladly sharing stories of their idiocy and chipping in with suggestions for our collaboratively-created characters. Here they are, and what a pair they make:
LORD FRANKIE-BOTTOM ODD (Hyde Park Junior School)
What an odd gent Lord Frankie-Bottom Odd is. Born into aristocracy, Lord Frankie-Bottom dropped a boiled egg at a young age and became devoted to looking after its cracked shell and delicate interior, at some point coming to believe the egg was his own grandmother. Absorbed by love for the egg he lost his house and now resides in a dustbin (pictured bottom left) where he counteracts the terrible smell of his 40-year old rotten egg with a yummy donut in his top pocket. He also wears a fez because fezzes are cool.
STEVEN OOLEAN (Leigham Junior School)
This guy’s no better. He’s a crafty old feller, bent on acquiring the ultra-rare red and orange spotted potato that grows only once a year in Corne-on-the-Kobb. Of course, humans can’t smell these rare potatoes, but Elves can. That’s why he’s hired an elf to live on his hat, to sniff out the rare potato and dig it up. Unfortunately the elf will only work after payment of its favourite snack, snot. This is why Steven carries a pocket ‘o snot which he acquires from other villagers (without their consent) using those horrid little spikes in his left hand. He’s a disgusting man, Steven Oolean. He lives in an upturned KFC bucket and has chicken weeds growing in his front garden. Avoid him AT ALL COSTS.
Honestly, I love my job.
So the big thing coming up for me is the Spill the Ink Tour, a big roadshow organised by HarperCollins where a few children’s authors (4 this year) travel around the country for a week, visiting schools and bookshops to spread the word about our books.
I’m lucky enough to be part of it this year – an incredibly exciting prospect as it’s my first real author tour. I’ll keep you up to date on all the adventures we get up to on this blog, but you can also visit the hub of the action HERE!
If things go to plan, my events at schools will involve the kids making some pretty special creations, which I’ll stick pictures of up on here too. (Believe me, you don’t want to miss that.)
A couple of other things for now…once Spill the Ink (or SPINK, as my editor has taken to calling it) is over, I’ll be getting started on the ‘Ask a Character’ feature. It’ll be your chance to ask anything you like to one of the characters in my book. First up will be Casper himself, so get your thinking caps on and work out what you want to ask him. Anything goes (except for rude questions, obviously, and boring questions or questions about lobsters or in fact any seafood, to be honest. Also don’t ask him about anything with the letter ‘d’ in it, and he doesn’t much like question marks so make it more of a statement). You’ll have your chance to ask Casper your question in a later post, so save them up for now. Write them on your hand in permanent marker, or even on your head. Remember though, if you do write questions on your head you’ll need to write them backwards so you can read them on a mirror. Thank me later.
Secondly, a couple of people have been asking about reviews. If you’ve come to this site having read the book I’d love you to get in touch in the comments section below. Tell me what you thought! (Currently the email address on the left hand side doesn’t work, so don’t try that unless you really like receiving failure notifications. There are also loads of places on the internet that you can leave a public review, like here or here, but definitely not here.
See you at SPINK!