Tag Archives: Writers Diary

Moruga Mania Part I – Santa Maria RC Primary School

Santa Maria 3It is a privilege to have an opportunity to do what you love, but it is a blessing to enjoy and share it with others, especially children. Last Thursday my sponsor, Mario’s Pizzeria Limited and I visited three schools in the Moruga district. Our first appointment was at Santa Maria RC Primary School.

Santa Maria is a very small and modest school. It reminded me of my first primary school, Las Cuevas Government. The Principal, Mrs. Gopaul – Francis contacted Mario’s to commend them on their current initiative, and she invited us to introduce her students to my books, Selima and the Merfolk. Presently, Santa Maria is on a literacy drive in their community. Mario’s and I were happy to help as we appreciate that the community is crucial to nurturing our children.

My session at this school was delightful. The children were exceptionally well-behaved and respectful. These mannerisms were prominent at all three Moruga schools, so I must congratulate the principals and teachers who I have noticed are a close-knit group.

The children were a pleasure to read to and we had a lot of fun in the question and answer segment. Mario’s Brand Manager, Ms. Bajnath was on hand with pizza vouchers for the winners and crowns for everyone. Mario’s also donated copies of Selima and the Merfolk to the school library. This collaboration was another successful venture. I hope to have an opportunity to visit this school again. Meeting wonderful children always makes me hopeful of the future.

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OMG Magazine Feature

OMG Magazine FeatureI am featured in this weeks OMG Magazine on pages 20-23. OMG is a local digital magazine with a very large following. They feature many different local artists and personalities.

OMG was my first formal interview and photo shoot. I was a lot more nervous for the shoot than the interview because posing makes me incredibly self-conscious, and I was fighting the worse cold I ever had. Ever since I can remember I was always the girl who would rather take the picture than be in it.

Two Fridays ago, my book launch was covered by a local newspaper. Although I was ecstatic to be in the paper (my first time), the photo was very unflattering. I didn’t dwell on it too much because it was a good article – Newsday Article. I crossed my fingers and toes that I would like OMG’s pictures and promised myself to practice not closing my eyes when the flash goes off.

My photographer was Mr. Stephen Doobal. Mr. Doobal was very professional, and he made me feel comfortable. I explained to him that I was a writer and not a model, so please have patience with me, and he did. Being self-conscious is to my detriment now. I am not Naomi Campbell and will never be. However, I am pleased with the entire article and hope to work with OMG again soon.

Thank you Mr. Stephen Doobal and Ms. Amelia Ramjarrie.

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.

 

 

 

 

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.