Sunday, January 14, 2007

On writing, books and the small press fair

How do you spell ‘beaver’ how do you spell ‘suggest’? I keep getting interrupted in my own writing at the computer to spell a word for my 8 year old. It’s annoying but that’s how it works- how else is she going to find out if I don’t help her? Better if I just pack up what I’m doing for the time being and focus on what she’s writing; that way we both don’t get frustrated.

This is the way she has learned to read actually. It’s been a long process- (starting from the time she could hold a pencil), of her asking me how to spell words she’s interested in - because she is writing a story or a poem or an ad. My middle daughter M, I haven’t the foggiest how she learned but she was reading before she was 5- don’t ask me how. My oldest, now 11 warned me to ‘leave me be. I’ll read when I’m good and ready." and so it happened at around age 8.

Mind you I spent hours and hours and hours reading all kinds of literature to them all- and I still do although they are all reading alone. Story time is a cosy time in the evening and a chance for me to read my favourites, and books that I approve of as opposed to some of the shabbier stuff I think anyway) they pick up at the library. It’s a wonderful time together and we can talk about the book we are reading- this happens naturally with out any kind of agenda. Sometimes though, i do want a book review for the radio show and they are happy to oblige for the most part. (Listen to Evelyna’s interview with Gordon Gorman- she was thrilled!).

My girls all love writing- but it wasn’t always this way for my oldest at least- who now has written 2 novelettes and a collection of poetry is currently working on ghost stories and whose ambition it is is to be a ‘good author.’ I can remember a time when she hated writing and I in my great wisdom, insisted she keep a daily journal! Ha! She did for a while and then she refused. So I let it be, fingers crossed and trusting in her love of literature ( read Lord of the rings to her at age 6- what was I thinking? It’s become the defining book of her life-this is a good thread to follow for a later entry me thinks), her fantastic memory (she memorized realms of Shakespeare at that age too)- and her gift of gab- she loves to speak. So I just kept reading to her. Just goes to show doesn’t it?

Well, now they are all getting stuff written and we are going to send in submissions to a children’s mag called Stone Soup.

But the point of this blog entry- I must say I have diverged-was to write about exciting small press fair that the girls participated in this fall. The small press fair is new for Hamilton- only in it’s second year actually. I attended last year and kids from and teachers from the Montessori school here had a table so I thought, next year- I should get one for the home schoolers too ( that’s one thing- as a parent who is educating kids at home, having a nose like a hound dog to sniff out the good stuff is definitely an asset). I thought, many of the kids i know have work they would like to show case. A mere $10 for the table for the whole day bought as table space where we put B’s spanking new Kitty Corner - a zine for cat lovers)- all 20 copies of them, all their covers individually coloured and Eva’s Lovely Star- a collection of poems dedicated to moi- a fellow zine-ster Will Papple Erskine’s zine More adventures of–Unfortunately, the zine I’d hoped would be ought called upward pup was not ready- it’s a zine by the kids at a weekly community day unschoolers get together and do neat things (another blog entry?) Also, M’s zine on horses wasn’t ready although we tried to tell her that there wasn’t much time and to make haste- she didn’t heed- but she was allowed some of b’s profits because she had helped colour in the covers and also sell them.

It was exciting for us to be in this literary environment with other authors, book makers, zine-sters, artists, culture- jammers and so on. The hustle and bustle of the fair created an ambience of purposefulness; people engaging in interesting conversation, laughter and fun (funny that it should be in this venue that randy made a quick decision to quit his 9 year gig with a local weekly paper after a confrontation with the publisher).

I had to run home (that meant take a 35 minute trip there and a 35 minute trip back by bus) and get the video camera to record an interview with the organizer of the press fair, because i had forgotten to bring it with me in the first place.
On my return I learned that b had sold 10 copies of her ‘Kitty Corner’-and E ( somewhat a little disgruntled) had sold 4. By the end of the evening B had sold all but 2 and E, 11. "I made a pretty penny," said B, proudly.

To add to the excitement, the editor of Carousel mag approached me later and bought a copy of her zine and asked her if she would be interested in submitting to his magazine. Talk about success!

Needless to say k corner 2 is almost ready to roll- added features to include real life cat stories and interviews with cat owners.

Kitty Corner by Br.

Kitty Corner is a zine by B. Kay, age 8. It is about cats. If you like cats I suggest you read Kitty Corner. The reason I decided to write Kitty Corner is because I love cats and I have a cat called Quing (my sister named her. It’s Chinese for star).

If you are getting a cat, Kitty corner has information and cat drawings and cat poetry, cat stories and cat jokes and new stuff all the time.

Tips; Cats need friends and if you have a long haired cat you should groom it every day so it won’t get hair balls. The cat must have food all the time. The water must be fresh all the time. Warning; do not give you cat sugar. It will make it sick. Always change the cat litter box-every day it should have a bed to sleep in.

small press 2005

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...