After my day at St Catharine's School (where I talked to over 1000 students, plus did writing stuff with about 300 more), my friend A took me to a nunnery to calm down! Actually it was the garden next to the nunnery, with wonderful rocks and trees and a huge pond with fish and a waterfall. Just the best thing for zoning out for a while.
However, there was one thing that struck me as something to remember as a writer - the gold temple above is called the Temple of Absolute Perfection. Never a state I'm likely to achieve in my writing, so no point stressing about it. We always just write the best story we can, and maybe perfection is over-rated! We finished our visit with a cup of tea in a restaurant behind a waterfall.
This is my memo to myself about concentration and focus. This man paints pictures on bottles and domes - but he is painting on the inside. He uses a long, thin paintbrush and does it very, very carefully. Again, however hard I work on my writing, he puts my level of concentration to shame, but maybe it's something to aspire to.
In the last few days of my Hong Kong trip, I read the latest Louise Rennison/Georgia Nicholson book Luuurve is a many-trousered thing... and, true to form, she made me laugh. All of the books in this series look deceptively simple to write, yet she manages to create the point of view of a self-obsessed teenage girl while being funny and portraying really effectively what it's like. There's not much around in YA that's humorous so I'm not surprised these are so popular with both teens and their mums!