Warm Feet

I had a good week this week. Despite many interruptions and diversions, I still wrote my self-imposed quota of words, worked out several plot dilemmas and found that two story strands unexpectedly linked together. And I think I have a title for the third Dragonkeeper book. (Not quite ready to tell anybody what it is yet.) All very satisfying.

I give credit for this creative week to my new Ugg boots. I have resisted slippers for a long time. I don’t think I’ve had a pair since I was 9. They seemed to me to be the epitome of old age. And I was trying to pretend I wasn’t getting old. So I have sat at the computer all winter (and it’s been a long one this year in Melbourne) with icy feet. I tried bedsocks, two pairs of socks, a rug wrapped around my feet. I even tried to train the dog to lie under my desk as a foot warmer. Nothing worked.

On Tuesday afternoon I couldn’t stand it any longer. I rang my sister-in-law, found out where she bought hers and drove round there immediately. My feet have been toasty warm ever since. And I’m sure it has increased my creative output. As a bonus I can congratulate myself on helping the economy by buying Australian.

16 responses to “Warm Feet

  1. Ms. Wilkinson,

    I, somehow, found your book Dragonkeeper on Amazon in the United States. Since I write children’s fantasy novels also, I bought it and when it arrived read it voraciously until it was totally gobbled up. I immediately searched for the sequel. To my dismay, it wasn’t yet published in the US and wouldn’t be until next year! Unacceptable. So I found it at black dog books and ordered it sent to me. I just finished it and am completely satisfied–except that I would have been happy if it were longer and I would rather not have to wait for the third book. I just want to encourage you to write it. I know how hard it is to slog away at writing, never knowing if it will ever be done and if it will ever be done well.

    One of my publishing credits is a simulation for Highsmith called China. It is a four to six week unit on Ancient China where the students become a member of a clan and compete against other clans in the class to become the clan of the Emperor of all China. They compete by completing tasks related to the culture and history of China–fun things like writing poems using their knowledge, singing songs they wrote about China, and learning to brush paint/do caligraphy. Anyway, your scholarship was very obvious, without being didactic, and enjoyable. Have you read The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen by Lloyd Alexander? You’d enjoy it.

    I live in Laguna Beach, California and could not write without my Uggs. The damp mists are wonderful for the skin and for the mood of my current novel, but when my toes and feet are freezing–I cannot write. I admit I’m a wuss–but I wear them anytime the temperature gets below 70 degrees Farenheit.

    Thanks again for your two books. May the mists of enlightenment surround you and lead you to the completion of your journey.

    Marcia J. Sargent

  2. Marcia,
    Thanks for your kind words re Dragon Keeper and Garden of PD.
    Your China project sounds very interesting. There don’t seem to be many resources for kids on ancient China.
    I haven’t read the Lloyd Alexander book you mention. I will see if I can find it.
    I can’t believe you ever need Ugg boots in California! When I was there some years ago, we arrived in December and it was 82 degrees!
    Rest assured I am working on the third Dragonkeeper book every day.

  3. I have read both your books and I LOVE them when do you think you will finish the next book???

    Your fellow Melbournian,


  4. Cameron,
    Glad you like the books. I am getting to the end of the first draft of the third Dragonkeeper book. There will still be a lot of work to do on it after that though. I am hoping it will be out around next May.

  5. Dear Carole,
    I think that you will remember that you came to my school, PLC, last year during bookweek. I thouroughly enjoyed your visit. I was very keen to read Dragonkeeper but then I realised that it was a long book so it put me off.
    This term, everybody in my class had to study Dragonkeeper. When I started the book, I absolutley couldn’t put it down. It was such a good book!!!As soon as I finished it, I went to my school library and borrowed Garden of the Purple Dragon. I finished it in a couple of nights but I kept wondering what would happen afterwoods. I’m so happy that you’re releasing another book.YAY!
    I would just like to say THANKYOU for letting me realise that long books aren’t neccassarily boring and that you could learn facts from reading. But most of all, I would like to say a HUGE THANKYOU for keeping me entertained for hours on end with your two magnificent books.
    Good luck with writing!

    Your enertained PLC student,


  6. Dear Ms. Wilkinson,

    I’m awed at the opportunity to actually leave you a message. I’m a teacher at Marsden State School (in South-East Queensland) and have been for the past 13 years. For the past 3 years I’ve read Dragonkeeper to my Year 7’s. Every year the children are so engaged and enthralled by the story. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book so absorbing. Personally, I love it too. Last year a couple of my students penned a letter to Warner Bros. recommending they make Dragonkeeper into a movie! We regularly chatted about the wonderful detail and how we could so easily imagine the scenes and how it would look on the big screen. My year 7’s this year are busy planning to talk with you via the Learning Place chatroom on September 4th. I’m not sure who’s more excited – me or them??? We actually read Dragonkeeper in Term 1, which was some time ago now and I’ve been searching the net to try and find a summarised version that we could study whilst preparing our questions for you. You wouldn’t happen to have any ideas???
    I can’t wait to get to school on Monday and share this website with the kids, and let them know I’ve left you a message. I also can’t wait to let them know the third book is in the making!!! How very exciting. Anyway, better go. Could easily go on and on. Your book is superb and thankyou so much for time.
    Sheree Maksoud (Teacher 7A – Marsden State Primary School)

  7. Hello, Carole Wilkinson

    My name is Josh F….. (I won’t tell the rest beacuse my dad doesn’t like me giving out my full name.)

    Anyway, Anywho, Anyhow. I have just read “DragonKeeper” and it’s the best book I have ever read & I am on of the biggest readers in my school. Better than the Harry Potter series. I am reading “The Garden of the Purple Dragon” and I am on page 165 (chapter 5). The book is right next to me. I read “Dragonkeeper” in two days beacause it was so great. It was a definate triumph!!!

    Anyway I just wabted to tell you that on the 21st of August I am going to a reading Lunchon (for book week) in Sydney. And I am hoping you will be there beacuse I would love to meet you. My librarain (oops…had a mental blank is that how you spell it) has invited me to come to the reading lunchon and I hope I can get you meet you it would be truely amazing!

    Anyway I hope to see you there, but if you aren’t there that’s OK. If you are there I’ll make sure I say “hi” and tell you that I posted a comment.


    Can’t wait to read more of your books!

  8. Sheree,
    So pleased to hear that my book is being useful in the classroom. And thank the kids for recommending it to Warner Bros! I’m looking forward to the on-line session too. I can send you a synopsis.

  9. Josh,
    I’m afraid I haven’t been invited to the Luncheon, so I won’t be there. Hope you have a great time.
    I am thrilled you enjoyed Dragonkeeper so much. Hope you enjoyed Garden of PD as well.

  10. Jennifer,
    Yes I remember visiting your school. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I wasn’t feeling very well that day, so I was worried I’d been a bit dull.
    Very pleased that I have encouraged you to read longer books. There’s plenty more for you to read out there!

  11. HI Carole

    I LOVED your book’s (Dragonkeeper and The Garden of The Purple Dragon) sooooooooooooooo much!!

    but i was very disappointed when i finished the second book (garden of the purple dragon) and there was so many questions left whizzing aroound my head unanswered. i hope those questions are answered some day.

    Thank you so much

    Nikki Sparkes

  12. Nikki,
    Sorry you found the end of Garden PD disappointing. I am currently writing the third and final book in the series. Hopefully all your questions will be answered!

  13. I LOVE UGG BOOTS!!! You did the right thing to buy them!!! what colour are they? i’d love to sit at the computer all winter but my parents tell me to get off…

  14. Bec,
    The Ugg books are working well. THey are pale so they are getting a bit grubby. I don’t have to share my computer with anyone!

  15. Carole,

    My Uggs are not only grubby, my golden retriever loves to pull out swaths of the sheepkin lining, so I can’t roll them down–they’d look moth-eaten.

    I live one street from the ocean–the heat sink of the sea and the moist air combine to give me plenty of days where my tootsies need cuddling while I write. Average temperature at my house is 65 degrees Farenheit even when it is 80 degrees inland.

    May your ideas flow like the Yangtse River in flood. Marcia

  16. Marcia,
    It’s Spring at last and my Ugg boots are hibernating in the wardrobe. Though Melbourne’s weather isn’t always reliable, so they could well be woken up again.

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