diana wynne jones

Diana Wynne Jones conference notes

A couple of weeks ago I went to an academic conference in Bristol focused on the works of Diana Wynne Jones. She is probably best known for writing the book that the Studio Ghibli film Howl's Moving Castle was based on, but she has around thirty other books aimed at a variety of ages. Even the ones aimed at children have a surprising amount of psychological and literary depth, and a willingness to explore very dark issues not usually found in books for that age group, giving her work a huge appeal to adults and academics.... Read More...

Midsommar

Last night, I saw Midsommar, a film I've had my eye on for a while. It's received very mixed reviews in the press, but I loved it. I felt it was pretty much what you'd get if you got Alexander Jodorowsky to direct the Wicker Man... Read More...

Japan Roundup

So I've finally put up all the photos I took in Japan. Below is a summary and links to each post. I have also created some designs for gifts and homewares over on Society 6 with my photographs from Japan. You can find them here.... Read More...

Diana Wynne Jones zine

I have a zine of articles about children's writer Diana Wynne Jones (of Howl's Moving Castle et al) I wrote this zine in 2011, also managing to interview her before she sadly died (you can also read the interview online here). The original edition was 1/6 of an A3 sheet, made on a Risograph machine. This was great when I still had access to an A3 Riso machine, but after I didn't it was very expensive and difficult to reprint, so it went out of print. Recently I did a new edition, with all-new illustrations, in a much more convenient standard A6 size... Read More...

Miyazaki’s Reading List

When I was in Japan I went to the Studio Ghibli Museum just outside of Tokyo. Sadly pictures were not allowed inside, but I wrote about it in my zine of the trip. I highly recommend the museum, it's magical. The bookshop was also stocked with Miyazaki's own favourite books, as well as books related to the studio's films. I didn't buy anything, as they were all in Japanese, and it would take me forever to read anything, but I noted down a lot of less well-known books I saw in the shop to compile a reading list (helpfully the copyright tends to list the author's names in roman text rather than try to make it fit katakana). Unfortunately I wasn't able to write down the Japanese author's names in most cases as reading unknown names written in kanji is very tricky. However Miyazaki made a list of classic children's books (including a lot of the usual suspects like The Secret Garden) elsewhere which also includes some Japanese recommendations.... Read More...

Polly’s reading list

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, based on the folk tale Tam Lin and Eliot's Four Quartets, is one of my all-time favourite books. The gifts of classic books that the protagonist Polly receives from Tom, the other main character, are an important part of the plot, but not listed anywhere in the novel. I made this reading list of the books for the zine of essays about Diana Wynne Jones that I made.... Read More...

The risograph lives again (after a fashion)

About five years ago I did two risograph prints, one based on Diana Wynne Jones' Fire and Hemlock, and the other on Euripides' Bacchae. Each print was an edition of 50, and I sold all of them a long a time ago (except for a couple of copies I kept for myself). Now I have a giclée printer though, I have resurrected them as a new edition. This time they're printed on Canson Infinity rag museum paper, which is an acid free and archival watercolour paper for fine art digital printing.... Read More...

Not gate-crashing a funeral

I actually attended this funeral/memorial for children's writer Diana Wynne Jones over 2 years ago. I had meant to write about it for a long time, but I didn't want to write anything without having the programme of speakers from the event to hand, and it stubbornly disappeared until recently when I had a big clear out of papers (and faded with some print rubbed off after 2 years), so here it is.... Read More...

Diana Wynne Jones Interview

A couple of years ago I interviewed the children's writer Diana Wynne Jones, my favourite writer growing up. I was compiling a zine of articles about her work. Unfortunately I didn't finish the zine before she died of cancer, because I'm a terrible procrastinator, and she never got to see it. When I get a chance, I have another entry to add about attending her funeral.... Read More...

Being Editors #1- Diana Wynne Jones

So I've got the first issue of my children's literature zine done. The first issue is devoted to Diana Wynne Jones. There was a lot more I wanted to say on the topic, but it just kept growing and growing, so I cut it short at 60 pages, and I'll probably do another DWJ zine in the winter. (The next issue of this zine is about Oliver Postgate). Thank you to the contributors.... Read More...