Tag Archives: Mythology

Selima and the Merfolk Official Book Launch

X7LK8PS_qWo0rAN0ebiwAOGTL6bc3UcwhfVTjT41UdQ,AtJqtkI2GGhu3Co314I7HUttahHA2kdacIOEQVSj-gc,MYMyO6ni_fuF_GzIB0DihMDEVXBlLSKOpfUPXyDEKHMLife is a busy thing that we are forced to attend to every day. Sometimes when we work hard and smart we create milestones that, unfortunately because life is going on, they quickly fade from our memory, or we never stop to acknowledge them at all. Friday 29th May 2015 is a date I will never forget or take for granted.

T5sv-s8u2DOw7-nviqwWHQDplKMZfIShca64bLm-OfU,-tLRRbnZks3pdz6hnxYqmMoaIX6qrLfmUb8UtegRswoI hosted my first book launch for my young adult novel Selima and the Merfolk. It took a lot of correspondence and planning to get everything together (guests list, photographer, sponsors, location, model, costume etc.). As I think about it now, the launch might have been more work than writing the book, even though the launch took about two months to plan, and the book took three years to complete. The pace was different. However, I would not trade the experience for anything. I feel like I have learned so much about the process and business of writing. I still have a lot more work to do as SATM is the first book of a series.

My heart is full of gratitude; I feel the same level of excitement and satisfaction that I did on Friday. The launch worked out perfectly. It began with a lively raffle of books, courtesy British Gas T&T. Their Head of Policy and Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Candice Clark-Salloum attended the launch and presented the books to the many unsuspecting students.

Mr. Kasi Sengor was the first guest speaker. He accurately captured my journey as a writer, as he has been a source of support to me from the beginning. I was very insecure when I began writing (short stories) but with his help I learned to accept advice and constructive criticism.

Illustrator Jason Javis spoke next. He gave an encouraging speech about the process of designing the cover that he did in conjunction with Mr. Derick Smith (Graphic Artist). I appreciate the depth he went into about his process because though the children were shy to question him, I noticed how captivated they were while he spoke. Maybe one of them will be encouraged to be an Illustrator.

Ms. Sophia Lezama of Bishops Anstey High School East read an excerpt from SATM. She read so eloquently that even I felt like I was hearing the story for the first time.

Next was me. I had a lot to be grateful for and wanted to make sure I acknowledged each group of people who helped me along the way, in some shape or form. I am so proud of myself … I didn’t cry.

uI8mTV61q_i7XU_O8zVqRFpkE1ZHa-hUWVcB_H1MBxk,4klOnc4fk-4W3Nxs3a8d6JDfqNragEaX_X2g-IJPFh8,zCfRYNLL_Y42Fx_mKNvBH_iwVCe8-ICpYBFYCwA3650Marios Pizzeria Limited closed the program with three delicious door prizes. Incidentally, one of the winners had only been at the library to view the room that my launch was held, and she decided to stay.

All in all, all is well. Thank you to my sponsors British Gas T&T and Marios Pizzeria Limited. Their contribution added an excitement and quality to my event that I would not have been able to create on my own.  I appreciate their donations, and I am sure that my guests did as well. Thank you to all the people who helped me put the book together, all the teachers and students who attended and reviewed the book, NALIS – for reviewing the book and allowing me to use their premises, my mermaid Melinna, all my friends and family, and the guests who popped in and were compelled to stay for the entire programme.

I will never forget my Selima and the Merfolk book launch and all the support it took to make it successful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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For more photos of the event please visit my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.716696675143536.1073741834.186085661537976&type=3

All photos by Louis Ramdhanie/Spawn Software Designs

 

School Visit – Blanchisseuse Government Primary School

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Last Friday I did something that I had never done before; I visited a school in the capacity of an author. The school was Blanchisseuse Government Primary School. As a ‘brain cooler’ Ms. Noreiga, the teacher who jointly teaches standard four and five read Selima and the Merfolk to her class. She read a few pages a day until they completed the book a few months ago. During the weeks Ms. Noreiga read the book to her class she would send me messages, telling me how much her class was enjoying the book and how insistent they were that she read to them every day. The children also sent messages through her, my favourite was that the book should be a movie. With all those beautiful, encouraging messages I promised that I would visit these students and read to them as they had requested.

It is good manners and good practice never to visit people (especially children) without carrying a gift of some sort. Fortunately, I was able to organize quite a few treats for the students. Brand Manager for Marios Pizzeria Limited, Ms. Amrita Bajnath accompanied me. The children received Ms. Bajnath with open arms; they were very responsive to her. Marios Pizzeria Limited donated books to the school as well as several pizza vouchers with certificates of achievement for the many challenges the children enthusiastically participated in.  British Gas Trinidad and Tobago donated books to the school as well, and Movie Towne donated movie passes that we used as prizes for the challenges. Selima and the Merfolk T-shirts were also given as prizes.

The pictures speak for themselves. We had a BALL!!!!! Not only did we have the most beautiful setting, under the shade of a cashew tree, our backdrop was an unhindered view of the ocean. The weather was fantastic, and the clean, strong ocean breeze only added to the experience.

Among other things we spoke about folklore; three students even told me stories. I read to them from what I had selected, and what they spontaneously requested I read. All the children were in full participation, so much so that Ms. Bajnath had to step in to help me choose students to answer the questions.  What was most outstanding to me was that the students who knew the story (some standard three students joined us) still remembered so many details. It has been several months since they heard the story.

I hoped that my visit would be pleasant, needless to say, it exceeded my expectations, and I think the teachers and Ms. Bajnath’s as well.

Thank you to the teachers and students of Blanchisseuse Government Primary School. You have made my first school visit such a success and a fantastic experience. I would surely visit the school again when book two is published.

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More photos can be view on our facebook page Selima and the Merfolk

All photos were taken by  Spawn Software Designs

NALIS Trinidad and Tobago, First Time Authors Appreciation Programme 2015.

1st Time AuthorsI didn’t even know that I was included in the First Time Authors Appreciation Programme until I received an email from NALIS last Saturday. I was informed that I was part of an exhibition at the Heritage Library, along with thirty-two other authors. This programme has been hosted by NALIS and UNESCO for several years, to encourage and promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright.

I am not certain if NALIS will have its usual formal ceremony this year, but whether they do or not Thank You NALIS for including Selima and the Merfolk. This programme is the reason that I learnt of and joined the Writers Union of Trinidad and Tobago, then subsequently began writing short stories, and now I am an author working on my second novel. I am very appreciative that I have come full circle and am now moving on to write as many books as my time permits.

 

 

 

 

Bocas Lit Fest 2015

Yesterday was the last day of the Bocas Lit Fest. I didn’t attend as many events as I wanted to, but I thoroughly enjoyed the ones that I did. Friends and family came out to support, and I even sold a few books, so all is well in Vanessa land.
Being that Selima and the Merfolk is my first novel, it was quite an honour to be featured on a panel (DIY Lit Panel). It was a great experience, and I am very encouraged to work on my second book.

These are a few photos from my Bocas experience.

TRINIDAD! GET YOUR COPY OF SELIMA AND THE MERFOLK FOR YOURSELF AND FOR A FRIEND FOR CHRISTMAS

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Great News!!!!!!!!!

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Hello All,

Today I have great news! After several months of dealing with the ups and downs of self-publishing, I finally have paperback copies of my novel available. It has been a long road, but all my experiences, good and bad were certainly worth the product I have today. I am satisfied with the quality of the writing as well as the physical books.

For now paperback copies are available from me personally. Requests can be made through the contact page of this blog or Facebook ($100.00 per copy).

My foreign supporters can purchase hardcover, paperback or e-book copies online at Barnes and Noble  and  Amazon.

Thank you to everyone who were involved in the production of this book, and to everyone who has supported me along the way. I hope that everyone enjoys reading this book as much I have enjoyed writing it.

Build Up To #NaNoWriMo

nanoEventful is not the word I want to use to describe my week, but it is more tactful than the word I chose not to use. I am starved for mental stimulation, so I am very excited to attend the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Plot and Structure workshop tomorrow at NALIS POS.

Along with the NaNoWriMo challenge in November, I am also set to challenge myself in some other personal habits I need to change. Sometimes you need a mental and physical cleanse to revive yourself. I will need to do a lot more than ‘speak to the universe’ to succeed; an absolute commitment is necessary. I have a full-time job and will be working by myself for the last half of November, and then life happens seven days a week.

I have a few bad habits that I want to curb, and some I need to stop altogether.  A terrible diet and too much TV has taken over my once productive life; those are the main causes as to why I procrastinate so much. I’m not going to give up Scandal or Criminal Minds, but I will go on a TV diet. Snacks and processed flour make me lazy and tired so I’ll have to breakup with those energy suckers too.

The bottom line is I need to get organized. By the end of this weekend, I will have my schedule and notes completed, and next week I will practise my routine.

Good luck to all the NaNoWriMo participants, I hope we all have good reason to celebrate on November 30th.

Reviving My Writer’s Life

ShutterstockTypewriter2To get back into the habit of writing regularly, I will be attending two workshops in the next few weeks.

1. Plot and structure offered through the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge.

2. An introduction to speculative fiction, hosted by NGC Bocas Lit Fest.

Fifty thousand words in one month is very scary to me. It took me three months to write the first draft of Selima and the Merfolk, and the entire project, thus far, has taken three years. I honestly won’t be mad at myself if I do not complete the challenge; what is important to me is that I stay consistent.  I’ve never put much effort into planning what I intend to write because so far the initial idea has flowed smoothly for the most part. However, a thirty-day restriction has me reconsidering my no-strategy, strategy.

Today, I sat down to plan Corallian, and I didn’t get very far. I sidetracked to google other opportunities to write. I found a few free competitions and a website that I would like to submit articles.

I still think I should jot down some of my ideas for NaNoWriMo, but I don’t think I should be too specific. I don’t want to lose the excitement I get when an idea comes to life while I am typing. For me, moments like that is what keeps me at my desk until my neck feels like it is going to break off. I go to bed with a smile when I know that I have done what I was supposed to do that day.

NaNoWriMo 2014

nanowrimoAs I have mentioned before, I do not like to post on my blog if I do not have anything positive to write. Selima and the Merfolk have been a much longer road than I thought, and I have admittedly allowed myself to be consumed by the challenges that come with the business of writing. Thankfully, I think I have found the perfect distraction – National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo is three weeks away. It runs for the month of November, and the goal is to complete a fifty thousand word novel within that time frame. I have never participated in anything like this; it has made me more excited about writing than I have been for several months. Without question, this is going to be a huge challenge for me. However, it is precisely the kind of discipline I need to get back on the proverbial horse.

I am hoping to befriend some buddies to keep me company. Fifty thousand words mean I’ll have to write and an average of seventeen hundred words a day, so I am going to have to make a schedule and stick to it. Selima and the Merfolk, Book II has been living in my head for several months. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to put my head down to begin writing.

I would appreciate and enjoy it if my followers would join me on Facebook and Twitter from Saturday November 01st 2014 when I will start posting about my progress and all that goes with completing this challenge.

For more information click on the NaNoWriMo logo or this link National Novel Writing Month

DIARY POST 25: TAKING IT EASY

20140802_123751[1]It’s been just over a month since my book, Selima and the Merfolk has been available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Xlibris.com. The excitement is still there, and I’m sure I’ll be excited for a few months again. Sometimes my friends comment that I could relax now but in reality the work has just begun.

I did small promotions the second and third week after it was posted, however due to a delay in receiving printed copies and promotional materials I have decided to hold out on promoting until I have everything. Many people have shown an interest in purchasing copies, and I even got an offer to have it sold at a very reputable store. I was very impatient for weeks. Fortunately, I’ve realized that impatience was keeping me up at night. I began to worry so much about everything. Making myself crazy seemed to be on my ‘To Do List’ every day. Only when I was able to let go of trying to control my destiny, was I able to sleep a full night through. I just have to remind myself that worrying has never solved a problem. Truly I don’t have a problem, I have a delay, but that delay has given me time to organize some other important business, so I guess it was a good thing I got delayed.

What was I complaining about again?