I had a lovely time at Wandsworth Town Library on Aug 9th 2018.
I was invited to read both The Rare Monkey stories. We then coloured in some monkey masks.
It was a pleasure to meet so many creative children.
Some photos are below.
In 2016 I was introduced to yoga through youtube and the videos that Lesley Fightmaster, a wonderful yoga teacher based in the States, creates for her youtube channel.
Lesley has a saying that keeps popping into my head…
Be an observer, not a critic.
Perhaps this keeps coming to mind as I’m trying to develop some new creative ideas and again push out of my comfort zone. Perhaps because I often feel a lot of fear and anxiety and I’d like not too.
I hope you too can remember Lesley’s quote and practice being an observer of your practices, rather than be a critic.
I’ve embedded a link to one of Lesley’s youtube videos below. Click through to find her youtube page. Give her yoga a go – she’s an amazing teacher.
This has been on the cards for a while, but I’m finally doing it. I’m currently creating The Rare Monkey with the Colourful Bottom – a storytelling children’s show.
It looks like the shows first outing will be the 26th August, as part of the Faversham Fringe, however I’ll be posting more news and updates on this website and my social medias, so keep an eye out.
The Rare Monkey with the Colourful Bottom – a storytelling children’s show is looking to be around 45 mins long with a short craft session taking place at the end. I’m designing it to be easily adapted to any space and work around children of any age. I’ll be telling the story of my much loved children’s book in an imaginative, physical, lightly interactive way. A relaxed show with giggles guaranteed.
Lots of work to do. I’m looking forward to sharing my story and it’s message of self love and kindness to, hopefully quite a few little ones.
Gosh, a nice achievement.
Bertram’s have decided to take some copies of The Rare Monkey with the Colourful Bottom for their warehouse. This means book stores can order and receive the book from Bertram’s within one working day.
This is lovely news and a nice achievement for a tiny solo-publisher.
Over and out for now.
Thank you always,
A huge congratulations is in order for Love Art (a creative space based in Tooting Market) for winning TimeOut’s Love London Awards 2018, for Most Loved Local Culture spot in Tooting!
Pop the bubbly – huge congrats for Love Art! This award is truly deserved.
Love Art is well worth a visit and while you’re there, check out the rest of Tooting Market. It’s wonderfully unique. Don’t forget to sign this petition too to spot Cross Rail closing the market to make an air vent. Mad.
On another note, I’m very honoured that Love Art has been stocking both our Rare Monkey books for a while now. They stock a fantastic selection of books, prints, jewellery, cards, gifts, toys and other beautifully selected and interestingly artistic items. Go to Tooting, go down the market and visit them.
Image taken from Timeout’s Website.
The Christmas period is now long ago and the new year is in full swing.
Jef and I created a short film back in 2014 called Brightside. It features three wonderful sisters and actors who I had the pleasure of meeting that year. The film was made for a short film competition and is based on the saying, ‘look on the Brightside’.
A few weekend ago Brightside was shown (along with many other short films) as part of the 3rd Cranbrook Video Festival.
The film is also available on vimeo and can be seen below. Please do have a watch and let me know what you think 🙂
Gosh, December is here and it is nearly that time of year already!
Again it’s been a pleasure and a whole host of new learning experiences as I worked towards this Christmas. This year I took part in just the one Xmas fair, being The Princes Trust Christmas Fair and instead worked on building relationships and getting to know better a select number of bookstores. I’m very, very pleased to have gotten more familiar with some of the fantastic work most of these stores do and am pleased to be supplying stock to those that felt our books might suit them this Christmas. I do love supporting independent bookstores and think books are wonderful gifts to give! I’ve also seen a spike in online sales too, which is fab as I enjoy wrapping up and posting out every book.
Below are some photos that I’ve taken and mostly tweeted in the run-up to this Christmas.
I do hope you have a fantastic festive period this December and get some real quality time to spend on yourself and with your loved ones.
Stay Rare and look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
Back in 2014 when I working towards publishing The Rare Monkey with the Colourful Bottom as a physical book, I was also thinking very strongly about publishing it as an ebook.
And since then I’ve frequently been thinking about it…
There’s a long list of pros and cons surrounding making an ebook. It’s very exciting that ebooks are easier to promote and send to over seas customers, but on the flip side, there can be issues with formats and tech upgrading quickly.
After doing some recent research, I’ve decided that at this time I’m not going to be creating an ebook.
Well, for one big reason really and that’s that I still love that reading and looking at a physical book is an activity that takes a child away from looking at a screen.
Btw I love screens: I’m look at one right now, but as the internet, TV, apps and more require a screen, it’s nice that reading a good book doesn’t.
As with all things, my mind might change, but for now I’m happy with the above decision.
I’ve just ordered a load more physical copies of The Rare Monkey with the Colourful Bottom. This is my third print run of this title, and as a tiny solo-publisher, I’m pretty chuffed about that.
Thank you for reading and stay Rare Monkeys.
Over the weekend I found out some very special news.
The Rare Monkey Can’t, Couldn’t, Can! was shortlisted for the prestigious Rubery Book Award (Children’s) 2017.
“A simple, gentle book about a monkey who doesn’t feel he can do anything. He visits other animals – an elephant, a lion and a tortoise amongst others – and is frustrated by his inability to copy their ways. He eventually discovers what he can do and learns that every animal is different and has its own way of doing things. It’s a lovely book with a valuable lesson demonstrated in a pleasing way.”
”The Rubery Prize is a prestigious international book award seeking the best books by indie writers, self published authors and books published by independent presses, judged by reputable judges.”
Check out the Rubery Book Award’s website here for more details.
Support us and buy your copy of The Rare Monkey Can’t, Couldn’t, Can! directly from us here.
Tucked between Rock House and Hastings Library is the start of Rock Alley.
Continue round the corner, down the alley and you might think you are in New York, as metal, fire escapes line the back of the buildings.
Look down, carry on walking and you’ll see closed up entrances to caves that go deep into the White Rock. Look a little higher and you’ll see parts of the White Rock itself; pigeons roosting in the rocks crevices and flying between the Rock and the building opposite; which looks like an old stable block, but now covered in colourful graffiti.
On the 10th of September in this alley, MSL hosted Storylines. An event that responded to the history of Rock Alley and the surrounding area through art and storytelling.
I’m very grateful to have been one of the Storytellers involved in this event.
I spent a lot of time researching what went on in and around this part of Hastings between 1816 to 1872 and am happy to say, I learnt more in those few weeks about some History of Hastings then when I used to visit the town every week.
I was particularity interested in the local historian, writer and publisher Thomas Brandon Brett (Born 1816, Died 1906). He’s left us volumes of hand written and independently created work, that is free to access in Rye (soon Hastings) library and gives us a wonderful insight into Hastings during his life time. He also claimed to have worked 18 hours a day – he may not have been the most modest guy…
If you were at Storylines on Sunday and joined me while I told my story, thank you for being such a giving audience. I hope you enjoyed a quick delve into some of the things Hastings folk got up to around 1870.
If you missed it, check out the two short videos below.
I told my story three times throughout the day and tailored it to each audience. The videos are of the third (whole story) and second (just 2 mins of the story) times I told my story.
If you are keen to know more about the Rock Fair, it was a two day event that always took place on the 26th and 27th of July. It started before records began and over the years featured travelling circuses, theatres, Victorian ‘freak’ shows (for better want of a description), penny whistles, food (gingerbread was a big thing), drinking, gambling and did I mention, drinking?!
Over the years the Rock Fair become more associated with drinking, gambling and the labouring and working classes. By 1865 it was banned by the magistrates and Hastings council. By 1870 Hastings two other major fairs were also banned. Fetes and bazaars by the middle and upper classes were encouraged.