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A bump on the head!


Illustration extract Sìne Annia NicGhillebhraithe


Week three into the New Year and I have finally started to get my mind into some sort of working order. It is not that I haven’t been busy, I have. Only there was so much to consider that I had to break things down into little jobs to achieve anything.

Grumpa three is at the typesetting stage. Great excitement here, as it means I can do longer fiddle with the text. The story is complete and the numerous edits done. I have to leave it and move forward.

Since I finally got the go a-head to complete Grumpa three, I need to get into Gaelic mode. Or rather Gaelic children mode, with a little bit help from my friends hopefully.

Despite the delay of nearly a year we may finally see him stepping out in 2021. By we, I mean the whole team behind this project. Obviously as the writer I developed his new story and the whole original Grumpa concept. However it doesn’t stop there. The next stage is followed up eventually when I have either picked up enough courage or forced myself to press the send feature on the PC.

It is not that I don’t believe in the story it is just a case of ‘pre-acceptance’ nerves. Will Comhairle Nan Leabhraichean like it as much as me? Can they see how this story will work? Can they get past the mistakes? The latter is the big one.

Now don’t get me wrong, Comhairle Nan Leabhraichean are not a scary lot. In fact they couldn’t be nicer or more helpful. If it wasn’t for them and the independent publisher, Leabhraichean Beaga; who published my first books, I probably would never have gone on and got my Grumpa stories into print.

After my friends at CNL next comes the illustrator, the creative editor and then where we are now the typesetter. These stages all take time. There are lots of other little bits and pieces in between but basically along with the printer these are my main ‘people’. None of my Gaelic books would be available without their input and work. If any of you are reading this; thank you again, I really appreciate what you all do.

So what about my new Gaelic children’s book then? As in previous Grumpa stories much of the action takes place outside. I don’t do this consciously but it just seems to be the way Grumpa has evolved.

Three books into his little adventures and I still find myself outdoors with him most of the time. Was it because the first book revolved around his garden and bees? I have no idea but his natural place is definitely outdoors.

Maybe it is his dress sense that has determined this. I have no idea why blue wellies are so important to me but they are. His hat matches his boots and his red jumper completes his trade mark look. I just can’t picture him as yet in anything else but who knows maybe one day.

So to all who have been asking when Grumpa three come out, it will definitely be this year 2021. His story once more takes place mostly outside, his shed does feature along with a brief glimpse of the cat. He is of course still rather grumpy but his heart like always is in the right place. You will even meet some of the previous characters.

As to readers, whether you want to read it independently, share it together or test your Gaelic reading skills; it is suitable for 4-8 year olds and indeed the young at heart.

Oh yes and the title of this new book; Grumpa agus na Nàbaidhean Ùra; quick translations for those that need it, Grumpa and the New Neighbours.


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