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November 20th 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - East Coast Tour Bus

Here is the tour bus for Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It was parked up while Jeff Kinney and Miami Book Fair was being rained on. The driver told me that this bus tours just the east coast.

There's a pretty amazing back story behind Jeff Kinney and his very funny books. I remember him saying that when he did book tours in the beginning only a few kids turned up and it was all very...wimpy. But now it's a $1/2 Billion dollar business.

More reading here:

Top 10 Places To Visit in London

1. Houses of Parliament

The houses of parliament is an impressive building indeed! You can get a better sense of it from chapters in The 58th Keeper It is also referred to as the Palace of Westminster because that’s what it was...a Palace. The first royal Palace was built on the site in the eleventh century, After a fire or two over the years Parliament buildings were built.You can’t miss it when you visit London unless you’re absconded by people with thick accents, blindfolded and shoved into a black cab during a blackout.

2. Big Ben

If you ask any Londoner, “Where’s the clock tower, please?” you will get frowned upon, spat at and then thrown from the top deck of a double Decker! You may never make that mistake again and will always call it, Big Ben.
You can visit the insides of it too. See where Peter Pan hangs out. And if there are security guards about stop them and say: “Excuse me. do you have the...time?” ---

2. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official residence (when she’s not staying at no. 312 C Henchman St. London W14). King George bought the place off John Sheffield. As it stands today it’s only 77,000 square meters. So, hardly enough room to swing a small nation. However, the Queen suffers it stoically and tends to the gardens while overseeing a vast herd of corgis. There is rumour that you can visit the Palace and actually meet and talk to the Queen for just $99.99 during August but that could be false... Failing that, in the summer you can tour the nineteen state rooms with the other riffraff, er... people.

3. London Tower

Get it wrong and this is where you would have ended up. Not for stealing a loaf of bread perhaps, but certainly for treason. If you visit the Tower you’ll find it distinctly creepy. Black ravens hop about looking to peck your eyes out if you attempt to take pictures, Yeoman warders (knows as Beefeaters) will prod you with spikes for loitering, and if you should enter without paying you will be executed and have your head stuck on traitor’s gate--deservedly.

4. London eye

Built as a amusement park by King Henry the VII in 1526 the London eye was original made of fine British oak. This is definitely worth a visit - and what better way to get an bird’s eye view of the great city.

5. Eat at a Fish n' chip shop

If you’re really hungry...well, let’s say you haven’t eaten in three days, and you’re actually are starving, then you’ll love Fish n’ Chips. Try and eat them olde school, wrapped in newspaper and dripping with enough salt and vinegar to melt ink and granite counter tops. Mmmmmmm....

6. Hyde Park

Every great city needs great parks. London has several, the largest of which is Hyde Park. Formerly private hunting grounds it’s a superb place to relax from touristy things, rent a boat and splash about or even ride a horse. Situated right in the centre of London you’re never far from it. Jump in any cab to escape there...(if the sun’s out)

7. Covent Garden

Don’t let the word ‘garden’ fool you as there aren’t many shrubberies around in Covent Garden. Some foolish people call it ‘convenient garden’ as it’s a nice spot to meet up. Always bustling with wonderful places to eat. It’s central and if you just want to plonk yourself down and watch the world then this is the place. Try The Punch and Judy pub for a refreshing, warm pint of beer.

8. Stonehenge

It is little known fact that Stone Henge was built sometime before April 22nd 1995 …(give or take several thousand years), and well before anyone could find out facts about stuff on the Internet. It’s quite a way outside of London. But if you need to get out of the great city then jump on a coach or rent a car and drive there. And If you can work out where on earth the stones come from then please feel free to email me. I will laugh at your ideas.

9. Shakespeare’s Crib

OK, not exactly close to London, but this is where genius is born! Not just a prolific playwright but a tremendous businessman. Removed from school ate age 13 young William went on to right stuff...
Visit Stratford upon Avon and Warwick castle (day trip from London) to get your muse engaged.

10. The Natural history museum

The Natural history Museum is jaw-dropping mainly because the entry fee is 100% of nought.
What a place to see dinosaurs and everything in between. Not just for kids, adults will love it too.

That's it!. 
Most of these places are covered in The 58th Keeper where you will be taken deep inside these landmarks and get to know strange secrets...

My Book Tour Starts December 5th

Hello book blogger/reviewers for MG/YA crossover: The 58th Keeper
My book tour will start December 5th 2011

I will hold interviews, give away things and make myself known.
I will be signing all Kindles with...a Stanley knife.

Interested to review -click here.

Keeping a Journal--do you?

In my short story series The Caldecott Chronicles (out November) I write about an Earl who keeps a journal detailing the invasion of his property by the undead in the summer of 1896.

His journal is written on-the-go and contains graphic sketches often splattered with..slime, guts, cordite... ink. Here's one below--there are twelve in total.
Dr. Fotheringham needs another brain...

Apart from his precious Purdey shotgun the journal is the one thing he treasures. 


Over the last few years I have (really) tried to keep a journal of events and my writing. I think I imagined I would sit down one day when I'm old to re-read them... after which I would die with a sickly grin on my face.

Like all journal keeping for me though whether written on on-line on paper (!) my efforts are sporadic.
I am the same with photography. Sometimes I'll take lots of photos and lots of notes and then months will slip past with nothing--I just forget. 

This article from the NY Times shows how a reporter found a journal written by a girl in 1934 and then tracked her down in Florida aged 96. 

Why do you keep a journal? 
 Is it digital or paper?
Do you mind when others read it? (because they will!)

Punctuation is Powerful

I am doing a lot of editing lately. Placing a comma in different parts of a sentence can completely alter the meaning. In fact there are whole discussions on commas, types of commas and where and how to use them--but don't  worry I won't get into that today.

An English professor wrote these words:

"A woman without her man is nothing"

on the chalkboard and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.

All of the males in the class wrote:
"A woman, without her man, is nothing."

All the females in the class wrote:
"A woman: without her, man is nothing."

Zombie Pit Trap

                                                  (Click to Enlarge)

When the Zombies come, and you know the'yre coming, you'll need to purge the neighborhood of the walking undead as quickly as possible. I recommend the:

  'Zombie Pit Trap':
This highly effective yet simple structure lures Zombies in from all dark places. Drawn to a living creature, such as a sheep (available from your local Zombies will drag  themselves towards the movement, noise and smell. The later version 1.2  of the Zombie pit trap will have solar panels driving the meat grinders, but for now it can be simply hooked up to any diesel powered generator.

  • Simple
  • Environment friendly
  • Inexpensive
  • Tends to clog
  • Sheep need prodding 
  • Springboard Traps need greasing

*Sheep can be substituted with playing children, however, they may need to be fenced.
Elderly people are not good as their slow movements are not attractive to zombies.

I have already started work on the prototype, digging out a sizable pit
at the local park.

All suggestions are welcome and I will also happily post your creations here too.

We need to stick together...



Recycling at its best! (sell back to Zombies. It won't cost them an arm and a leg..or it may!)

Try and get the Grip-Rite will get messy.

No Harm will be done if it is winched high enough


Do I need to explain?
Have a pet Zombie? Feed them this-->

Read an excerpt of my Zombie short story Here