Two things have prompted me to start this blog, a beautiful new grandson and the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference in Winchester. The weekend was a lot of fun but nerve wracking too because I had to do some work at it; a two hour illustration workshop and a key note talk.
But I needn’t have worried. SCBWI members are wonderfully friendly and supportive. Afterwards I wanted to stay connected with them all and thought blogs, theirs and mine, might help with that. But writing and illustrating isn’t the only important strand in my life and there are others I’d like to connect with too – grannies everywhere. I hadn’t told anyone at the conference I was a granny because everyone there was young and had young children; mentioning grandchildren tends to be a bit of a conversation stopper in these situations. So I kept quiet. Oh dear. I’m very new the whole granny business and obviously have a lot to learn.
One thing I’m learning is that grandchildren can breathe new life into old. This happens in so many different ways but for the writer and illustrator, grandchildren inspire new ideas for stories. The other thing I’m learning is that I’m not alone in being a very part-time granny. There’s a new generation of grannies who don’t see their grandchildren very often. The job market and gap year travels are sending our children abroad and the chance of them meeting someone of a different nationality and settling overseas is high. This pattern has created a generation of grannies who rely on skype and weekly video calls to develop a relationship with their grandchildren.