OK, this is a slightly unusual post for me - I will post again before Christmas, but I wanted to say a few things first - and we have a special treat in store today.  

A friend of mine, a fellow author, has written a lovely children's story, aimed at explaining to children what happened In the  tragic shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut,   As adults, our hearts go out to the grieving families who will now be forced to cancel Christmas this year - it will never be the same again for them.  We are shocked and appalled that this could happen in what is supposed to be a civilised society - we expect to drop our children at the school gates and have them safely returned to us at the end of the day ... if we as adults are horrified that something like this could happen, how confused and frightened must the children be?  

It is thanks to the calmness of the teachers that most survived that horrific event - they put procedures in place and distracted the children, which prevented widespread panic.  Many were blissfully unaware of what was happening.  But many children (even those in other countries) have been touched by this event and some are frightened it could happen again, perhaps in their school.  How can a mother explain to them?  Terry has written a beautiful children's story, which I have posted in Fiction - just  click here.  I think she has handled the situation beautifully - the story works well because it is told from the point of view of a group of mice - this works well because their size increases the fear.  Take a look for yourselves.  

Terry Shepherd has her own blog which you can find here - she is a prolific writer who is able to wrench the hardest of hearts.  She is a remarkable woman and I'm very proud to give her a guest story on my site.

Secondly, I would like to mention a brilliant site for those last minute Christmas stocking fillers - all those unusual things you need, gadgets for your blackberry, laptop skins - they live up to their name.  http://nefing.co.uk/ can literally get you ANYTHING - as well as the stuff listed above they can get you toys and beanbags - they are much cheaper than the shops.  I have checked out the prices myself and can confirm that I have been unable to find anything any cheaper!  The company is run by someone who will be very familiar to regular visitors of this site - Michael Rowland and his son Mark.

Thirdly, I mentioned the Year of Continuous Writing recently.  I have been very surprised at how much interest there has been this year and I'm delighted to say there are almost FIFTY participants in just over a week!  

This is just an update really, to keep those who are interested in the loop.  We are now supported by no less than two highly successful writers - we will be doing interviews with them when the "show hits the road" - more about that when we go Live.  We are hoping for an Ask the Author panel - just a few questions each week will be selected and put to a panel of authors - if you have any questions, feel free to send them to me through the contact page (it goes straight through to me) and it's just possible we will pick your question.  While we will endeavour to ask ALL questions, this may not be possible so please understand.  

I heard this week that Amanda has got a group of images up which depict how the site will look.  We will be asking people to vote on these looks anonymously.  I will include the link when the voting is open.  We want the site to go live around the middle of February.  A massive thanks goes to Amanda for creating such an awesome site! :-)  I couldn't have done it without you.

For those of you who are always looking for books to read, I'm creating a top ten of books for you to check out - both children and adults.  I already have 4 vying for the top spot in the Adults and it will be very difficult to separate them.  The children's books will be voted for primarily by Amanda.  

I will be back before Christmas but, until then, have a wonderful holiday and I hope you have a happy and prosperous new year.  
1/28/2013 10:00:14 pm

LOVE the treatment that you gave to this tragic event so close to Christmas. Bravo!


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