I am a collector of things. Of things deposited along the edges, on shorelines and footpaths. Stuff left behind by the sea, or by creatures other than us.

My latest acquisitions are 'sheddings'. Two feathers; the iridescent blue of a kingfisher, and the reddish brown of a finch. And a snakeskin, golden and honeycombed, once belonging to a grass snake. Finding these beautiful visiting cards, it made me think about the pieces we create as writers and illustrators. We shed work, shake them off during flight, move on to the next skin, grow a new feather.

Last week Words & Pictures was full of perfectly formed sheddings:

On Monday Julie wrote an enchanting piece on keeping a diary - check it out, it's really quite magical
On Tuesday Nick brought us another rich collection of blog subjects, from K M Lockwood's honest appraisal of how it feels to be waiting for a publishing break, to Jane McLoughlin's Summer Reading Challenge
On Wednesday Lou delivered another fabulous insight into Writers' Minds - this month, Keris Stainton gives us the lowdown
On Thursday Sarah Underwood gave a thorough event report from the latest Industry Insiders, as part of the London Professional Series, discussing picture books and young readers
On Friday Anna-Violet shared another smile-inducing episode of Mudpie Mo

Nancy Saunders is the Editor of W&P. You can find some of her short stories here, and on Twitter @nancyesaunders

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