Sunday, 15 February 2015

Turn an old book into new

 Have you ever found yourself looking at the mountain piles of books in your child's bedroom (or yours for that matter) and wondered where you could store them so you could fit some new ones in?
Its ideal if you have plenty of space or cool storage spaces, and very lucky if you have a book nook. But even if you have wonderful excess space you can still find it becoming overly cluttered, or it may just be time for a change or a good spring clean new look!
Then why not change the room, or add colour!

Books add colour to any room, or revamp a space up and give it a new colourful look that is bright and cheerful.

Some ideas to consider to add colour to your room.  

1. Hang some colorful curtains
2. Paint the bed and the walls
3. Use removable wall decals
4. Add colorful seating or large slouch cushion beanbags
5. Add colorful storage baskets

6. Create a colorful book display, add colorful books.
7. Hang books from walls and ceiling
8. Wallpaper an accent wall with your art
9. Add brightly colored tassels
10. Display a colorful quilt

11. Make a tent
12. Use colorful pillows
13.  Paint or paper the inside of a bookcase
14. Paint or paper craft your journal your sketch books or old books
15. Add a colorful cushion to your bench seating

16. Paint the door and your headboard
17. Add a brightly colored rug
18. Hang a map
19. Display a vibrant painting

What do you do with your excess books

But once you or your child have an excess of books, or books that are tatty, old or just not going to be touched for whatever reason, there are many things you can do to make a difference. You know those books that only ever gather dust. They must either go to a new home, or you make a new book out of them.
 Decide which ones are decent enough to go to a library or a charity shop. Even better to donate to shelters, or places where they can make a difference. Then there may be some decent hardbacks that have been scribbled on, or have a page missing, well if you like creating and arting, turn them into a new working journal. You would cover the inside pages with gesso, then you can paint, stick or blend any amount of colouring mediums to it.
Your imagination is your only limit. See links here on amazing images of colour and how to start building ideas for a new journal out of an old book   colors of the world
                                                                                               journaling -my- journal

Then there will always be the odd few old favourite books that stay with you forever. Those ones you still have today possibly from childhood. The loved books your childhood was made from; your companions of old, trusted and always near.
The good thing about keeping these books, apart from the obvious sentimentality, is the fact that one day you could look through them and realise they are now sought after, a vintage book! Wow, now you will never give it away (well, unless it was worth thousands).
I did find myself with a few vintage children's books and I love them on my new bookcase.
What can be better on a bookshelf than old books and new books together.
Why not look through and see if you remember any oldie books, or see if there are any here you still own.


Taking stock.

I think it is important in life to stop and appreciate the things around you. So many times we get caught up in our busy, daily lives that we really can forget how much we have accomplished. We are always striving for the next winning line, and hoping to soar over the next hurdle along the way. If as writers (or anything in life for that matter) you are always being hard on yourself or others, (there is something so negative about people who are too busy being good at spotting the downfalls of others, that they can hardly see their own shortfalls) then just stop for a moment and take stock of exactly what you have achieved so far. Do you write for the love of your family, or the love of writing? does it give you pleasure? then if so you are on the right path to success and or contentedness. Why would you want to come to the end of the journey so quickly? Why would you want to miss out on all the fun, learning, and love along the way? Let your story move in its own way and at its own pace.

If you are able to share your stories or any part of your writing, if one person is reading, or one person knows where you are coming from, then you are going the right way. Enjoy every minute of it and make the most of these moments that bring you to a new understanding.
Writing: always seems impossible until it is done.
 Be what you can, with what you have and at where you are.


Monday, 2 February 2015

From picture books to Kid literature

We can all remember the time when we first got hooked into a book as a child. Where the magic began.
We may still have that book, or still remember the warm feeling it gave us and the memories it evoked when recalling it back to mind. It is like the first album we bought, never to be forgot. We also must remember the books we loved but can't for the life of us remember what the title was, or who the author was. We just liked the story, and still search for it from time to time through google/good reads. That was how I began on the road to the kid literature community. Through searching for children's books, and wondering how hard it may be for children to find the many wonderful books that are out there, that don't even make it to a bookstore.

 Kid Literature Authors come together only last year to bring you a magic treasure trove of children's lit!
Lit as in literature. From bonny picture books, to captivating and enchanting stories that children will want to read again and again.
Being able to read and write is a must needed basic foundation for knowledge and a building block for family values. This propels us as children into a world ready for discovery. With literacy comes a quality of life that can take us to the far ends of the earth without even leaving our own room. Obviously you can go anywhere in your imagination and to have a book at your fingertips literally is an accomplishment in itself, you have the universe in your hands. 
So a simple basic need in primary school children, learning them to read, is in a way like giving them the world.

Then we can combine the ability of reading to children and showing them how to enjoy a story from a picture book. This is better adapted first in the very early years as babies on your lap with a book to look through, the wonderful picture books that start the whole process off. 
But for some of those children who do not have book loving parents or who were never interested in a book and especially in a time where gaming technology is the new must have in today's society, some may ask- do books still have a place in today's modern society? 
When living at a faster paced lifestyle is it all to easy in the short run to just hand them a gaming console to make your life simpler?  ... 
Well of course these games are a blessing surely when they can keep the kids quiet until bedtime. It has to be so much easier to keep them happy and quiet and out of your way. Maybe we need to stop and think that through.
 There is obviously a lot of plus points that come with console or mobile games and with parental supervision and time allowances certain child friendly games can be fun and  creative. But it is the games that require a higher score and that are not the most suitable for children that can cause problems. If any game gets a hold of your child to a point where they show distress symptoms when asked to put them down, or you see a pattern forming where the child is in their own game/mobile world for a lot of the day (maybe even night) and would prefer to interact with this world rather than family outside of it, then that can be a problem that must be avoided. It is so paramount to allow only certain times for these devices and parents/carers need to be vigilant to prevent distress symptoms from occurring in the first place.
 By making more time for children, and showing an enjoyment in whatever activity they are doing, and always listening to them and being encouraging can be the tools to use to avoid this addictive technology slide and often unsocial behaviour in children. Reading and sharing time with your children and showing them the enjoyment of books should be a big part of their life. Books are needed today more than ever for this reason. If they see you read regular, they are more likely to do the same.
Picture books are the key to introduce young children to more of the world. They can travel to the moon/another planet/another country! They can meet creatures and people they may never know about, and also imaginary animals who can speak and other magical things just as examples. This gives them an appetite to pick up books for themselves eventually. Once they get to the age of 7, 8 and up-over  they may want to read to themselves. 
If you have a young reader (6-10 years) who is reluctant to pick up a book after the picture book stage, or finds it a chore, give them the diary of a whimpy kid then later the dork diaries, for examples and they will find fun laughter and enjoyment and then you can introduce them to more in-depth books like Harry Potter, Jacqueline Wilson, to name but 2 in the kids section of the local book store. It is your job as an adult to make going to the bookstore or library a treat! Go on their Birthdays and Christmas, and Easter, and a Weekend! Why even take them on your own Birthday. And as important as that- let them see you reading them, and also picking your own books. When they bring books home from school, if you show a pleasure when looking through the book, then they will pick up on that, and good habits are formed.
As parents and carers these are the basic and very important things we can do for our children. I had always loved reading to children at home and in the classroom, to bring pleasure through books.

                                                                   Kid Literature 

The Kid literature community started soon after a little research online, and then I realised how hard it was for children to actually find some books, especially indie author books. At that time it seems like the people we want to read our books are looking for us blindly in the dark, children who are still getting the hang of the internet, and lets face it would need to possess a debit card to purchase some pocket money priced e-books for their e-readers/kindles.
 So you have to rely on the people who provide and care for children to download them, so then we need them to be able to find us easy. It seemed like a big task.
Initially I wasn't sure what to look up first online, and like everyone else I had to research many topics related to children's books, as well as promoting and marketing books, and the best key words to use, and many other tips along the way. I kept a list of key words and sentences to refer back too whenever I needed to recall anything. We need a sign online directing children with the words, this is the way to children's books you will love that are not at the top of any list.
And because the majority of the time our books are not placed  in the middle of WHSmith  'book of the week' shelf then the challenge gets bigger.

Most indie authors need to be committed and write for enjoyment and satisfaction. If an author gets to do a school visit with their book that is an achievement. You have to know how to promote your book and market it. 
If you find promoting your book a burden then unfortunately it isn't even the slush pile for you. Even on days when only the slush pile will do. No, you will no doubt will give it up as a bad job before long, as you have to at least enjoy writing and always know that anything else is a bonus.
 Kid Literature came about through the constant dedication and passion for getting more books into the hands of children, amazing books that may never sadly reach them. And to also make children's literacy popular again for everyone and any age.
Kid Literature has a never waning passion for literature and letting everyone know the importance of showing children the enjoyment of  reading.

So the passion grew and we branched out into the twitteraci. 
A community of united-singing-from-the-same-song-sheet people, had no hesitation  in helping build up their group and before long Kid literature was on many other social media sites  online.
It is wonderful to bring authors together and lift spirits, offer moral support for those who have never even written a word but had always dreamed of writing, right through to the successful author.
On twitter we enjoy promoting every kind of creative person, many of your lovely stories and  illustrations, and your idea's, and tips and review feedback. We show articles relating to all forms of literature and we promote up to Young Adult books.

We want to sprinkle the magic about a bit more, right into the hands of children.
 To bring out their enchantment of reading and the wonder of a picture in a book that can inspire many little minds into great minds.  inspire, to make someone want to say read it again! When we hear the magic words, read it again! we know we have achieved so much. So much as parents, carers, teachers and creative inspiring people who decided to put one word in front of another. 
On twitter you will notice us with the handle @kidliterature and the hashtags #kidlit #kidliterature  #amwriting #Mondayblogs 

Facebook links are to be found at the top of this page, as is the founder's page and other social media links.