New birds

I have finally sent my PDFs off to Newman Thomson and they will hopefully be printed at the beginning of next week. We had a bit of a sporty day yesterday as I had to get my ISBNs and barcodes from Nielsen, for which I needed to register my publishing name. I had thought of Wayward Books (as my beekeeping business is Wayward Bee), but that’s spoken for, so after some hasty thinking I went for Wayward Bird which I rather like as it’s a bit abstract and not too formal.

We then we had a mild panic about the VAT as Ed was concerned that it may fall in to the standard rate tax band. A hasty spreadsheet by Paul showed that the total area is less than 25% of the book’s total area (19.3% to be precise) even including the tables, ticklist circles and the two Notes & Sketches pages at the back. Relief all round.

So, that is two books off to start their new actual rather than virtual existence. I found it extraordinarily fizzy and I was exhausted by the end of the day. I know I was investing in my new venture and spending money is always a bit nerve-wracking, but it was not exactly a bank-breaking amount, but I suppose this whole project has just so much of me in it, I am feeling both excited and nervous to see the end result. Having an email to me addressed “Dear Publisher” was quite a thing; it’s all getting very ‘real’.

Meanwhile, back at the artwork. I have painted a song thrush and a house martin for my next urban-based books, and have also painted a Notting Hill scene, although I’m wondering if I should add more details. It’s behind all the other bird info though so it will get a bit lost; I will have a play around with the layout a bit later today.

Here is my song thrush, from a photo by @neil.turner.wildlife – once again the umber and ochre were slightly hard work but then I do seem to find this happens.

I did paint another one but managed to get the legs wrong so started again. I will be chopping up my dud paintings and putting them in journalling packs on my Etsy so they won’t go to waste. I have stickers arriving today too!

Here is the house martin, from a photo by @isgoqu who takes the most incredible shots (I spotted a wonderful bee eater pic on his account which I may do for my Rare Vistors book…).

Here is my completed Notting Hill scene:

All my buildings look as if they are in Amsterdam. I find if I try and draw straight lines or use a ruler the wonky bits look even worse, so I just go freehand with maybe a few horizontals to keep me vaguely level. It’s cute though I think. I did debate doing some wisteria or cherry blossom but foliage isn’t my strong suit and it would also make it time-specific so given there is very little of the scene that will actually be visible, I’m not going to challenge myself too much!

I am really hoping my first two books arrive next week.


  1. The Notting Hill scene makes me think of the pastel-coloured houses in Elgin Crescent – a brightened up version of. I lived there briefly – quite a while ago – and I remember Holland Park, near by, where the blue tits and robins used to come and feed from your hand. Some of the wildlife in other parts of London is also unusually tame – or at least unafraid of humans. And they seem to be getting even friendlier. On a recent-ish visit to London I had to kill time for a while and had a wander along the serpentine. l remember finding myself within touching distance of a heron. You could see every detail. Stunning. Out here in the sticks you’d be lucky to get with fifty feet of one. That tame London wildlife can be real treat for out-of-towners! Good luck with the books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s wonderful! Thank you so much for your comment – yes I am hoping the books will encourage people to look at the birds they have nearby 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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