In her short story, Child’s Play, Alice Munroe has a slightly different take. Every year when you are a child you become a different person. Generally it’s in the fall, when you re-enter school, take your place in a higher grade, leave behind the muddle and lethargy of the summer vacation.
Yesterday, the last day of September, saw me waving goodbye (like so many mums in September) to my son as he started new school. I wasn’t quite the anxious mum… he’s 38 after all... but as Keren David wrote in her blog earlier in September ‘It’s a big day.’ And it was! After fourteen years in the Advertising Industry, he was off to do an MA in Creative Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.
The first event for the Course was part of the Bath Children’s Literature Festival where David Almond was in conversation with Julia Green, the MA Course Director as well Writer in Residence for the Festival. There’s no one who loves words more than David Almond and no one with more passion and energy for doing what he believes in doing.
David was talking about his new book, My Name is Mina, which follows the life of Mina before she appeared in Skellig and is a playful exposure of his writing process. He announces:
Staring into space is a good thing to do.
Words aren’t words but are visions.
The book is neat and tidy but the mind is messy.
There is no better place for a writer to be than the children’s book world because it’s so playful.
On asked whether he plans, he shakes his head. Does a bird plan its song?
On the way words fall on the page, he says he minimizes his pages to see the shape of the print on the page.
All this and much more. He doesn’t use the words – energy and passion – but this is what comes through in everything he says. Energy and passion and playfulness.
I envy my son at the start of something so exciting. If only I could write between those Gothic spires of Corsham Court and wander between the green gravestones and peacocks. Abracadabra… what a change it might be!
And abracadabra what a year my son has ahead of him!!!