Archive for September 2012

Back to Writing “The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden”

 
 
 
And now I’m back at work, bit of a shock! Especially since we’re having a series of sunny fall days.
I’m working on “The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden,” which is due at the editor’s by mid October.
Always lots to do…

Summer Trip to the Netherlands

 
 
 
 
I won’t go on about my time in the Netherlands. A fantastic 50th birthday party of a dear friend in Den Haag. Two concerts at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Art galleries wherever I went, from traditional to way out there.
Informal concerts in Rotterdam and Den Haag.
A trip across Rotterdam Harbour in a water taxi.
A walk through the fields in the country near Haarlem.
Oh yes, and a thatched Dutch windmill.
Not a pace I could keep up in my ordinary life!

International Board on Books for Young People Event

 
 
 
 
I stayed at Imperial College in Kensington, where the IBBY events were to be held (International Board on Books for Young People). It was a thrill to meet writers, translators, illustrators, librarians from Indonesia, New Zealand, Spain, Finland, Greenland, Ireland…and Toronto.

On the 25th of August, I went to the morning sessions of the IBBY Congress. Three Japanese people talked about the children of Fukushima, who were exposed both to the tsunami and to nuclear radiation. Huge efforts are being made to rebuild libraries, read to the children (who had to stay indoors, due to the radiation levels), and involve them in art projects to help them deal with this double trauma.

Then I heard Shaun Tan speak. So interesting, funny and original. I’ve since read several of his books. His imagination is way out there, and yet there’s such depth to his books – and no easy answers. I feel privileged to have heard him.

There was a display of all the Honour List books in Sherfield Hall. Very exciting to see The Nine Lives of Travis Keating sitting on the shelf!

The Honour List nominees from all over the world had lunch together, then we all went to the presentation ceremony. Large screen descriptions of our books, very classy diplomas, and a full house. Great fun.

I had dinner in a Russian restaurant with Maria Turtschaninoff, a Swedish-speaking YA fantasy writer from Finland – I have since read excerpts of an English translation of her book Arra and enjoyed it very much. Her English, fortunately, was excellent.

Then off to a hotel near Heathrow so I could get to Terminal 5 at 5:30 the next morning. The less said about that, the better.

My Trip to England and the Netherlands

 
 
I’m back from England and the Netherlands – what an intense twelve days! I’m exhausted and five hours’ jet-lagged and I wouldn’t have missed this trip for the world.

In London
, I met two cousins (my only remaining relatives there), one at the Tate Modern, one at the National Gallery – two opposite poles when it comes to art galleries.

One of the themes of the trip was that minor little question, What is art? Got the short answer? Let me know!

Concerts both evenings, one at the Royal Albert Hall, one at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. And then there was figuring out the tube (otherwise known as subway), the money, and which way is the river – I have no sense of direction whatsoever.

For me, who did some of my growing up near London, it was a thrill to come out at the Embankment and hear Big Ben chime eleven. Or to be walking to the Tate, and see on my right St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden
Jill MacLean's latest book The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden , published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside and is available in bookstores and on-line!

This book is the completion of the Newfoundland trilogy which started with The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, followed by The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy.

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Nix Minus One

Jill MacLean's book Nix Minus One , published by Pajama Press and now available in bookstores!

Nix Minus One is geared for readers in Grade 7-8 and up.
Published February 15, 2013

Goodreads

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