While my manuscript (Wild Rose) is being read by the publisher I have been able to focus on other things, including two short stories. Both of them saw the light of day for the first time this weekend during a SCBWI Mini-Conference.
The Boy with Two Shadows is about allowing children, especially boys, to take risks. Hal is allowed to stay on at the beach after the rest of his family have walked up to their holiday house on the cliff above. The beach is a sheltered one and Hal, who learned to swim at an early age, plays in the shallows and finds pirate treasure in the sand hills. As he makes his way home, just on dusk, he discovers that he has two shadows. One is his familiar, day-time shadow and the other is a scary, misshapen moon-shadow. How Hal learns to deal with this new and frightening part of himself provides the climax of the story. Sarah Foster, who is the Publisher of Walker Books Australia, has taken the story away with her for consideration.
The other story is the third in the Miss Llewellyn-Jones series. It is called Miss Llewellyn-Jones and the New Puppy and was part of a session at The Place (SLWA) that was open to the general public. This was a very funny Conference event called Dueling Authors and Illustrators. Three pairs of illustrators were given the task of making roughs to go with picture book texts. This is a normal part of every illustrator’s job. But in this case there were complications. Not only was there an audience and a time limit, but the illustrators could not see the words of the unpublished story they had to illustrate. Their roughs had to be quickly drawn as the words were read to them, one page at a time. Although this put a lot of pressure on the illustrators they managed to come up with some very funny pictures and, with plenty of encouragement from audience and organizers, managed to enjoy the whole event. Afterwards their drawings were offered to the younger members of the audience who went away with signed artwork from some of WA’s best illustrators.