The last few weeks have been busy with school visits, editing bits and family events. There’s been little time for generating new ideas. This is always a scary thing, because trapped almost-ideas become like bees buzzing inside my head. I don’t want to forget that wonderful thought I had, so I repeat it over and over in my head, against a time I can write it down and test it. Add a few more thoughts and the humming becomes almost audible.

Last week, I travelled to the country to visit some young students. I was on the road before sunrise, driving through the waking city and beyond. The trip up was consumed with ordering my thoughts for presentations and doing vocal warmups. A child in a session asked if I’d considered a sequel to one of my picture books. No, I said. I hadn’t. But I will now. Then it was morning recess and a conversation over a cup of tea with one of the teachers set the bees a-buzzing. The sessions all went well (Thanks Preps for your wonderful letters) and the 2 hour journey home gave me thinking time. I stopped at a cafe for lunch and wrote down the bones. By the time I reached home, I’d loosely plotted two new stories.

Time will tell if the stories will work. But it was just magic letting the stories out.