Saturday, 24 March 2018

Now in March as the saying goes, it comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.

Happy March already.
Now in March as the saying goes, it comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.

But in the year 2018 the Beast from the East roared March in with snow blizzards and continued to do so on the way out. No little lambs Marching us out that year.

The weather forecast you may have noticed is often wrong. In fact it is only right half the time.

 We have as much chance of getting the forecast correct as those in the know with their satellite systems. I check my phone and look at my weather app. It shows 39f and I look outside and it is sunny and warm. They have it wrong. Then 2 minutes later their app changes and is now showing it has gone up to 46f.
It goes to show they probably open the window and stick their hand out to check if it's windy or cold, the same way we do. 
It's not rocket science. I could change their updates quicker than them.

Auntie Mary's arthritis is better at forecasting bad weather than they are.

Remember that year it rained all the time? As soon as that tune got to number one in the music charts it never stopped raining, in fact it poured from the heavens day and night. Some tune about 'brella ella's'. I'm not going to name that tune. In case the rains come back again. 

Saying that we did get a full week of glorious sunshine at some point that same Summer. So I will try not to be too English and complain about the weather too much. I shall complain about the time instead. Yes, those sleep robbing gits! They do us out of an hour's sleep in March.
That's a vital hour for most people. I'm sure they keep threatening to stop changing the clock times every year. It might be a good idea if they did as it takes 6 months to get used to losing an hour.

In the meantime we shall wave goodbye to that precious extra hour from March to October. 
And will look forward to getting it back again come the end of October.
What will I do with my extra hour when I get it back? 
Bungee jumping in Honolulu? Scuba diving in the Maldives, or climbing up Mt Kilimanjaro? Actually that all sounds wonderful but how it would really go is someone like this :
 I would have a lazy morning in bed with the sun singing through welcoming the day in. The blissful thought of knowing I'm not going anywhere in a hurry or doing anything in particular sounds like perfection to me. Just taking the time for myself to have a mosey around the garden, speak to the cats/kids when I bump into them and the only thoughts would be what time would be best to go on a nature walk later that day, and choosing art material for my next project while watching the sun go down.

In fact it is a bit of a shock to me when people who say they are bored, are not at the very least learning how to speak Swahili, Mandarin Chinese, or knocking out Mandarin Caprioska for breakfast Mary Berry style.

Time is indeed going quicker and quicker for me, and I thought it was because my life was so fulfilling, but apparently it isn't.

The reason why it seems that time goes quicker can be explained scientifically. (Leans to skeptic side here.) Scientists explain it like this: As you get older your memory capacity shrinks and you have less memory cells, so you don't hold as much information.

Therefore the older you get, the less time you think you have, because you don't store it as well. But you wouldn't remember all that anyway, so let's not worry too much.

We should all grab every moment and each opportunity. Learn new things. Re-discover old ones. Take a moment. 
Take everything in, where once we just rushed past it. 
Take a nice shower at the start of the day to invigorate the mind, and disperse the grey woolen feeling of not enough slumber and too many late nights. Let's instead look forward to the lighter nights and the wonders of nature. Look forward to the birds and insects, the flora and the fauna. The family. 
Turn off the phone, internet and TV. 
Definitely turn off news and don't turn it back on again. It does wonders for your mental health. It's bliss to be ignorant in these circumstances. I promise. 

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Kid Literature and Art Inspiration juggling!

 I was just getting into my post holiday blues phase after the most amazing holiday in Crete when social media started to take over again. 
I jumped right in to take my mind off the fact that I wasn't in a sunny hot country, going for long leisurely walks by the sea every morning and evening.
Then I decide to open my blogger. Which has been growing cobwebs at the most alarming rate. 
I mean I can manage everything right? The whole social media upkeep, with the likes and comments and the shares and the scrolling. Not forgetting the updates, regularly. Keep checking on those who like posts, and reciprocating whenever possibly. So what do you do when you have so much to keep up with?

You have to pick out the main things you want to stick with.  as its unrealistic to manage everything and keep it going at top speed like clockwork. 
So something has to give.
 A few years back that something was me. Totally taking over my life, this social media lark, with all of the promoting and organising all of the statuses and photo posts and then going back to check on the messages. So your brain just doesn't get a rest.
It mushed my brain so much I became anxious and unable to switch off.

Reading someone else's words and story helped me reaffirm my own life and help me get a prospective of things. I knew what I had to do all along, but just needed a gentle reminder from words of a friend.  It then came in the form of a swift kick from reality.
That sort of worked.

On holiday I decided to live for the here and now while looking forward to positive things in future. It helped blood pressure and anxieties. I also am learning not to think or care too much about others opinions, as we are all unique and yet all the same. Always a learning path to follow. I hope to always find like minded others on that path.

Organisation is the key. But what if you have so many apples to juggle? And you really do not wish to let any fall. Also having supportive like minded folk is another key. 
If you feel like reaching out, click on any of the links below and comment on one of our posts or even send a message. You can find our links on this home page too and if you google Kid Literature Facebook.  
Kid Literature  are mainly on instagram and  facebooktwitter 
Art inspiration are on here > art inspiration instagram  art inspiration Facebook   twitter

 over at facebook

I have 2 children's books out. Teeny magic owl  (free on kindle) and the Sunday Sloth. Both picture book.
Parents, Grandparents and children should watch out for some funny animal tea-time behaviour! Perfect for weekends, and shared reading. The parents will love it! find all updates at twitter handle @kidliterature  and see me here most days

Take Care ~ Karen at Kid literature and Art inspiration. 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

The secret of good writing is to just get started

Why is it sometimes it takes a lot of effort to just get on with it?  ..                                           

..the writing.
You have pens, notepads, digital and otherwise, but it still can look tricky. 
Here is what you can do to overcome that feeling of blank and to get on with the flow of writing.

Tips on writing 
Give yourself permission to write  nonsense. Write things down that don't make sense at first. Write badly. But once you have started to write that nonsense, the good stuff will soon start coming after.
All writers whether good or established do not always routinely feel wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes masterful first drafts. 
So it is ok to write badly and illegible, as this is what is going to come before the legible elegant draft.

Just get those first few paragraphs or words down, any way you can manage. Think of the topic only when writing. This is key. Forget about sentence structure and grammar. Just concentrate on the topic when writing your first drafts. 

Then you must be firm with yourself.
Lock the door. Set yourself time. Turn the internet off initially, especially if you tend to procrastinate a lot and get side-tracked by what is trending on twitter.
Where, for example, you find yourself watching Youtube videos over on the dark side and wonder how you got to that point.
Yes, we all do that. 
Where you feel guilt for not texting back those people who have been waiting for a message, but they have seen you sharing posts to said social media page.

Back to writing.

Write what you want to write. Whatever it is, as if no one will read it. 
Refer back to your ideas you write down on scrap paper or diary. (If you don't do this you should, any little idea that pops into your head write it down for future reference.) 

Write every day and keep a blog or diary.

Try not to proofread as you are writing. There will be plenty of time for that later. Once grammar is learned, we then break all the rules, so write it down any old way.

Once you have finished a first draft leave it for a while, at least a week or so if possible. As then you go back to it brand new and see it with new eyes and see all the mistakes. Then you can correct it with an edit. This is then your first edit. 

Keep all your writings in the same place and no one is allowed to go near it. Always put the notebooks back in the same place. This makes life so much easier. 
The secret of a good writer is to just get started they say. I feel it is more likely the secret of  good writing is just to get started. 
Write those first few words down now.
Then congratulate yourself. 

Look at snoopy fun here 

More writing tips 

Friday, 20 January 2017

To all you writers out there ..

I have downloaded blogger to my phone eventually.
It feels a bit strange and alien. Will it publish ok? Will it look the same as when I blog on the computer?
Well there is only one way to find out.
Back to "to all you writers out there"
Writing away, never giving up. Always striving to write that perfect sentence and hopefully inspiring book.
That's the thing, you, me, we never give up.
We might take a break to spend time with family, or life might have just got in the way and social media is put on the back burner.
We might not be telling everyone every single thing we are doing via social media.
But it doesn't mean we are not writing or editing or creating something new or wonderful.
So to all the writers out there plugging away whatever the weather. Good for you! Well done. You should be more than proud. As you are survivors. Not quitters. Today and every day I salute all you authors that keep writing. And will always write. Support the writers!
I am back on social media after some time out. A new job, family sadness, childcare consumed all my time. Then when I found some time there was a lack of desire for social media.
Thank you to those who supported and stepped in to take the reins to stop us completely going the way of the tumbleweed. 
Keep your eyes open on Kid Literature twitter and instagram for the website for new posts and blogs and books. New art illustrations and inspiration too!
Enjoy your January and be inspired this New Year.  Write down all you wish to achieve and your goals for the year.
After all you are an inspiration to so many.
Take care for now.

Karen @kidliterature

Monday, 5 September 2016

This Summer I didn't blog, I spent time with my children.

  • This summer I didn't internet, text or email (much) and I didn't blog and to be quite honest and blunt I didn't get that much done in the way of work at all. I didn't meet targets or goals. Even the laundry got done on the familiar 'as and when' needed basis for a month. (It could be longer.)

  • Did I care?
  • No.
  • I might have done at one time, but these days getting less done had a positive influence over all as I  caught up pretty quick.. so all in all I found doing less was more.
  • So what was I doing instead?

  •  I spent all the time with my children. We went on walks, stayed up watching movies, went out for family days, went to the zoo, talked to the owls, the penguins, even stopped by to chat to a koala.
  • The best day was with the dolphins.We not only saw the dolphins in the wild putting on a spectacular show for us, (yes in the wild, of their own free will)  we also got to see them up close and personal at Zoomarine Portugal.
  •  We baked, we went to the bookstore, library and the book club, where we read stories to children and to owls and cats, (oh yes we did) real owls and real cats, and of course real children.
  • In fact we became more than real, we lived and we loved it.

  • We had sleepovers, we all sat on the bed in the morning sharing laughs and snuggles and laughed so hard at the antics of the cats who also try to climb in bed with us.

  • We ate picnics in parks and on beaches, we made things from old toilet roll holders and cereal boxes, we got everything out of the attic as if we were moving and sorted it out for charity and also discovered one or two things we thought we had lost. Best of all we shrilled with delight at the finds, as if in a car boot sale, or an old curiosity shop and revelled over old photos and old toys of yesteryear. 

  • And just like any other regular family there were sad times too. 

  • And sad that Summer is leaving us soon.
  • So very soon!
  •  Must I stop clinging onto the Summer days and long Summer nights with the chilled bedtime routine I love? I won't protest too much as long as we get an Indian Summer, and it's almost due in the UK.
  •  It does seem as if Summer spits and starts in July and August, and then decides to linger longer in September.
  • If this is to be, then I will accept September well, along with all the newness and colours and the bountiful goodness telling us Autumn is approaching. 
  • I will also take head on Spetember's goals. (Plus work, engagements, book releases, and art.)
  • So let's be sad only for a while and embrace what is around the corner.

Back to school
Whether excited or scared, all kids are going to feel apprehensive in one way or another when they start school for the first time or they go into a new year. So September is an amazing month with the start of the school year, and the tantalising feeling Autumn is approaching fast. Why, I could swear you can even smell it in the air, waiting around the corner ready to roll on in.

For the children: make sure you are reading to them until they pick the books up themselves to read without being asked. They will then love books as much as you, and also it really helps make them excited for school. 
                                It really is as simple as that.
                                So keep it up! 
                                Enjoy your September days :) 
                                P.S. photos are mainly from my personal collection of my                                                                          Summer, I have yet to sort them in order, but do I care? 


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                      Thank you for joining me Karen Emma Hall - Kid Literature author and artist,

Friday, 15 April 2016

Do you want to be an author or just a writer? Building a platform.

 Do you want to be an author or just a writer?
Anyone can be a writer, all you have to do is write. Start with one word then another.
But do you really want to be a published author?
First start with asking yourself why?
Yes, why and then what is your reason for even starting. What is it you want to do?
 What do you need to share with the world and why? Once this is very clear in your mind, make yourself a note of this.
Then give yourself a journal to refer to so you can then write down your reasons and all the whys and whats that will be thrown up.
Let us call your new journal your Authors Journal, or your Writers Journal.
This is a great inspiration motivator tool, so easy and so effective. Write and keep a journal of all your key points and notes you are going to be using and referring back to a lot.

To become a published author you really need to build up a platform first before anything else.
But what should come first I hear you cry! Should the platform come first, or the writings? You have seen one site which suggests the platform, then another that suggests the writing!
So which is it to be?

Well you may well have been writing for years and only thought of being published. So before you go any further you will research and look up, read and absorb what it takes to become a published author and if you have the drive to keep it going especially in the months and years of waiting and being rejected. If you can then you could almost be forgiven for thinking you were half way there, being optimistic of course, and in this vein we shall continue..
can you take this?

Even if you can't, do not let that put you off writing.
Do not be put off if you are only writing for your own hobby pleasure. This is what will actually keep you going on the days when you may feel like giving up. So this is a very good reason for writing initially, you must love writing. You must have the passion! You will learn to believe in yourself!
Oh yes, you are creative, a creative soul is a soul that writes. Whatever the words may be, even if the words look more like an excerpt out of the 'Jabberwoggy'.
The platform is as much as important as the writing, so if you want to be a published author 'Platform' and 'Writing' will be as if wed for you.
Together, as one. equally as important.
So equal are they, that it doesn't matter as much which you start first, as you are going to be doing both every day and building them both up and up and up.
I wouldn't suggest having many novels under your belt before you even look to see what is involved in a platform. Realistically as soon as you know you want to be a published author, research building a platform straight away. Then get started with the basic tools of your platform straight away.
Below is a few key tools you will want to know about and it will also be a good idea to put these into your journal to refer back to.
Let us say you take the YES road, what next.

What is a Writer/Author Platform?

Your  Authors platform is 
 your visibility as an author.

*If you want to sell more books or simply get your name out there, a writer’s platform is essential.

*The definition of platform, broken down, is your personal ability to sell books through:

*Who you are
*The personal and professional connections you have
*Any media outlets (includng blogs and social networks) that you can utilise to sell books

The most common building blocks of a platform include the following:

*I will start with the most important block and that it is understanding that it’s about engagement; about connecting and interacting with people who are aligned with your message and affected by your story.
*Plan your destination. Knowing where you want to go is the first step in getting there. 
*What are your goals? Who is your current, potential or future audience? What are your short term and long term plans? Write then down in your author's journal we briefed upon further up.

*A website and/or blog with a large readership
*An e-newsletter and/or mailing list with subscribers/recipients
*Make sure you have a social media presence i.e -Twitter, Facebook, instagram, linkedin, pinterest, goodreads, youtube, google+. These are the main ones, start with facebook, twitter and linkedin, then move onto goodreads, google and instagram. If you have the time add on pinterest and youtube as these are -powerful visability landing places. These can also be connected too. You can share from instagram and your posts can be shared straight to your facebook and twitter. 
*When creating your Facebook Fan page be aware that there is a difference between your Facebook profile and a Facebook page. Learn how to create an author Facebook page.  Join twitter and research and read 'Twitter marketing 101 for writers'.
*Research hootsesuite and learn to use this.Or a similar social media management tool that helps you execute your social media campaigns over multiple networks
*Look into joining organisations that support your goals and aims.
*Join groups and communities who share/offer advice.
*Guest contributions to successful websites, blogs, and periodicals.
*An authors page where you will be visible and can show your track book sales and reviews. Also reviews you have done.
*It is important to have a bio, add it to your author page and a goodreads page too. Look to see what other people are seeing, reading. 
*Check you have follow up links at the end of your blogs and pages, so your  readers can follow onto a desired power point page you wish them to land on. 

Further down the line in building higher blocks you can look into:
*Individuals of influence that you know that can help your public relations. Look into your personal contacts too. (organisational, media, celebrity, relatives) who can help you market at no cost to yourself, whether through blurbs, promotion, podcasts or other means. Be willing to chat and message people, firstly introduce yourself and retweet and share and comment on their sites, pages and blogs.
*Involvement in any article or column writing.
*Public speaking appearances
*An impressive social media presence i.e -Twitter, Facebook, instagram, linkedin, pinterest, goodreads, youtube, google+. interacting with your followers, liking and sharing too.
*Further down the line another building block is media appearances and interviews—in print, on the radio, on TV, or online.

Not all of these methods will be of interest/relevance to you. As you learn more about how to find success in each one, some will jump out as practical and feasible, while others will not. My advice is to choose a few and dive in deep—and don’t be afraid to concede failure in one area, then shift gears and plunge into something else. It’s better to show impressive success in some areas than minimal success in all.

Lastly, know that building a platform takes time.

Presenting your work 
 What you do need to know is how to present your work in the most professional manner possible. While nothing can guarantee that your book will be published, check out all guidelines available for publishing a book beforehand.
 Write, and then write some more. If you haven't written anything yet, now is a good time to start, a few sentences each day will lead onto a few pages before you know it. Just keep writing, anything. Editors are interested in professional finished products. If you're a new writer, editors want to be sure that you have what it takes, unique idea's combined with discipline skill,to not only complete a full-length book, but to edit and be able to change and take things out when needed. Once you have finished your first write up then the work really begins.  Have you got what it takes to have a book published? Let us look at some basic points to consider and research and make a layout of. This will be your basic foundations you will be working from.

Getting back to marketing and your book.
 Know your audience. What is your book about? Who is the intended readership? What age range? Illustrated, children's, young adult, adult fiction. These are questions an editor will ask; being able to answer them will help you choose an appropriate publisher. If your book is a novel, to what genre or category does it belong? Make sure you have one particular genre and then learn that market well. Research it.

 Research the market. Publishers do not just want you to email them to say will you be interested in my book, Instead, they want you to find the right publisher for your book. Find out who produces books like yours. Browse your local bookstore, and make a list of publishers who offer books in your category. If you're writing a children's book, for example, note who publishes books for the same age group or of the same type (e.g, picture, thriller, mystery).

 Do your homework. Look up promising publishers in the current Writer's Market or Literary Market Place in the library reference section. There, you'll find the publisher's address and the editor to contact. Specialised market books are also available for poetry, novels and short stories, children's books, romances, mysteries, and science fiction. Writer's Market also tells you what a publishing company is buying, its rates, and how to approach the editor. For example, some publishers want to see your entire manuscript, others want a query letter outlining your story idea, and still others want a book proposal and a chapter outline. Some accept unsolicited manuscripts; others only accept books from agents. If you need more information, write or call the publisher to request writer's guidelines.

 Prepare your manuscript. These days, editors won't even look at a manuscript that isn't prepared professionally. Print your manuscript on high-quality white paper. Get someone else to overlook your work. Get it proof-read. Double-space your manuscript and leave a 1-inch margin on all sides. Number your pages. Check your spelling  Don't mix fonts, and don't overuse boldface or italics or exclamation marks, try not to repeat words too often too close together.
 Submit your package. Always send the editor exactly what is requested. When emailing manuscripts, go over exactly what they ask for, if they want the first three chapters, then that is what you send, or the first 1000 words, or even just the synopsis. If you are mailing a large manuscript, use a manuscript box. Address it to the correct person, check and use names of the person.
 Include a large stamped, self-addressed envelope.

The waiting game. It may take up to several months or longer to hear anything at all. Longer for entire manuscripts. Because of this reason it is  acceptable to submit your manuscript to more than one publisher at a time. Make sure, however, that each is open to "simultaneous submissions."

 Keep going with the writing While waiting for a response to your first manuscript, get started on your next. Or, build your portfolio with articles, short stories, or other material that will put forward your skills. Start up or keep up your social media platform.

Don't give up. If your manuscript doesn't find a home right away, and nine times out of ten it will not, you just keep trying. Don't take rejection personally; sometimes you are just not in the right time at the right place. just move on to the next publisher on your list. Often it takes time, effort, and many submissions to get published. Successful writers are those who don't quit. The very act of putting your book, article, story or poem on paper places it under your copyright. You can formally declare copyright ownership by typing the words "Copyright, the year and your name on the first or title page of your manuscript You can also substitute the copyright symbol for the word "copyright." It is not necessary to register your work with the Copyright Office to protect it.

Should I get an agent? This depends to a great degree on what type of book you are submitting. Often, you do not need an agent to submit a nonfiction book to a publisher. Check the publisher's requirements first. If you find that a large percentage of the publishers in your chosen genre or subject area require agents, then you should look for an agent first.

Should I publish my book myself? With today's electronic publishing technology, it has become easy and relatively inexpensive to produce your own book. Well-targeted nonfiction books often do well; self-published fiction, however, is very difficult to market. Unless you're experienced in graphic design, it's wise to hire a professional to produce a quality product.
Be aware that self-publishing means more than getting your book printed. It also involves marketing, advertising, distribution, and sales which means setting yourself up as a small business, with all the tax and accounting responsibilities that entails.

Is it better to self-publishing or go with a vanity publishing house? Vanity presses take your money, bound to you to a lot of rights, take others from you, and give you little in return. If you're willing to pay money to have your book published, do it yourself so that you can retain full control over the process, the rights, and the proceeds. For more information on vanity publishing, see
 Publishing it yourself means you get all the satisfaction, all the money, and you are not bound by certain elements and rules. Self-publishing in itself is a whole new business for you to research, it can be very hard to get your social media platform going but also very rewarding if you are dedicated and strict with yourself and have the passion to keep it up.
remember,  a well-written, interesting, original manuscript is what you need, to take it forward in self-publishing, or to a publishers. Even before you think of sales there is so much to do. most of all, ask yourself, so you have the passion and commitment? Do you have skills in writing an original manuscript?
A last word for writers, do not give up at first hurdles, all of those famous authors are only famous because they did not give up. Remember to write because you like to, expect nothing in return and you will be rewarded, surprised or more one day!

More blog articles for writers by Karen Emma Hall

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