Earlier today I visited one of my favorite places in Lismore: Liosmor Mochuda National School Oh how much I wish I was a child again, and with that a child enrolled in this two classroom school and had miss England as my teacher...
Alas, I only get to visit this school on an occasional basis- usually to do with books and or reading.
Today was such a day. Lucky me!
I had written to the principal about my latest book Flying on Little Wings and how this book started off as a handmade book. I was invited to come and talk about it!
My aim was to share with the children that books don't necessarily have to look like the books we see in the shops.
I illustrated how Flying on Little Wings came about, I showed them the tiny few centimeter big mock-up with pasted-in images and scribbled-through words. Its follow up with poorly printed pages and still with text undergoing editing.
The final leather bound handmade book was handled with such care, it was lovely to see.
I continued on the theme of books not necessarily looking like books and shared with them the Family Tree book I am still (occasionally) working on, and the 'concertina booklet' I had made a few years ago with images of the "Doors of Lismore." I was shown their own work in the form of diaries and study projects.
It is so lovely to catch the real attention of a few and see their creative brain working...
As it was "Hotdog-Friday" I stayed for lunch and had the most inspiring chat with a few of the budding writers and artist who were already considering their own publications. "I would love to talk with your throughout the whole lunch break!" said one of them. Another one loved my book Hatched. She paged through the book with great interest- mostly at the possiblity of combining art and writing. For me that makes for a most rewarding day. To have inspired the possibility of being who you want to be- a writer or an artist? Go for it- don't wait to long! Don't ever give up on your dream!!
Two actually started on their project there and then. How exciting! I can't wait to see the results.
I will be back in the school in May to work with them on a project:
Years before the publication of Hatched I had an exhibition in the local library and as part of this, there was a series of mounted poems exhibited (some edited versions made it into Hatched). As I still had these boards, I have asked the children to illustrate the poems with either drawings- paintings- collages or whatever they come up with. I will ask the library if we can exhibit these works before the end of the school year.
I feel so lucky to be able to share my love of writing- art- and nature with fresh young minds.