Book Dash Jozi, 27 June 2015
Right, wi-fi and coffee organised. I am here.
As the writer on my Book Dash team, I am the long-lead thinker. I have already spent weeks of night turning the story over in my head, brainstorming ideas with my wife Bronwyn (better known to my social media friends as DW or Delightful Wife), whose character she has agreed to share.
Expected at the writers’ briefing now. BRB.
Whoah! I went to Arthur Attwell’s writer and editor brief, chatted to Audrey Anderson, our illustrator, about the first images, and compared notes with Ester Levinrad, our editor, about the story’s direction and then looked up and it’s hours later! There’s a wonderful, calm, productive, collaborative vibe in here at the moment. As soon as I’ve finalised my story text I’m going to post some pictures of our ‘publishing company for a day’ and the work in progress, as well as wax meandery about our story and other background arcana.
See you soon!
We have a title! Welcome to the world, Rafiki’s Style!
Here’s a picture:
Just back from the story read-through with all the writers and editors. You’re in for a treat — twelve wonderful stories in process. I note that my Instagram links aren’t showing up here. I’m going to work on that just as soon as I’ve presented Ester with my cleaned-up draft. Meanwhile, just click through to Instagram the captions to the non-displaying images at the bottom of this post to see the pictures. [I never came back to that, did I? Sorry, I know… life’s becoming too short to fiddle with misbehaving embed codes.]
Just Googled ‘jazzy porkpie hat’ for a last-minute amendment to a character. Rafiki’s grandfather is a cool dude. Walter White, anyone?
The document, ‘Rafiki’s Style_nearly final’ has been generated and sent to Wesley. Time to paint!
I’m very proud to announce that I won both the Earliest Draft Submitted award and co-won the Messiest Desk award! Progress!
Hey, while you’re here or if you can’t see this embedded tweet, check out the #BookDash hashtag on Twitter.
I have been painting the football jerseys of Rafiki and the Cool Cat Crew — they are the most simple parts of Audrey’s illustrations that I might not actually mess up. Now that they’re done, though, poor Audrey is back on her own doing the fiddly bits. I am blogging so that I look busy, but I really must volunteer to do some more colouring.
The wine has arrived, so while I am still compos mentis, I will tell you a bit of background about Rafiki’s Style. It started when my sons (aka Thing 1 and 2) and DW and I were watching football on TV. We recently subscribed to satellite TV and have become deeply drawn into Premier League football. Our family favourite team is Arsenal — initiated by Thing 2, the five-year-old, who wanted to change his surname to Arsenal. We were talking about footballers’ hairstyles. Thing 2 loves Calum Chambers, and his hairstyle, and DW likes Thomas Rosicky‘s hair best. But she couldn’t remember his name and referred to him as “Rafiki”. Next thing, Rafiki had made his way into her bedtime stories to the Things. DW is far more creative when it comes to storytime than I am; I love reading a well-written children’s book — Julia Donaldson is the most fun to read aloud — but DW comes up with original stories. So when we received the Book Dash brief, it was no surprise that I asked DW to brainstorm ideas with me. She helped me come up with the whole first draft.
While on the matter of Europe(an sport), it’s cool to be at the Goethe Institute in Parkwood. It’s architecturally a welcoming, open building and with airy, open facilities which they’re offering to Book Dash for nada. By the by, I’ve been teaching myself some basic German through the awesome language site Duolingo, so I felt qualified to come this morning. But it’s such an open-looking place, it seems you’d be welcome to come in even if you couldn’t speak German. They offer language course I may use to brush up. Why was I learning German, you may ask? I’m hoping to use Berlin as a setting for a future novel, but that’s still up to the publishing deities.
It’s official. I’ve been banned from painting duty. There are only fiddly bits left. Audrey is on her own. Will she manage in the time allotted? We will see, while we drink wine.
Here’s an insight into the edit of Rafiki’s Style earlier today.
Meanwhile, Audrey’s nearly done with her illustrations; she’s on eleven of twelve.
Superhero Audrey has finished the last illustration! Seven minutes to go… cruised it!
And … I’ve written the blurb; Wesley has laid out the layout. We are just waiting for PDFs to be processed, and ….
Team 1 is showing showing their gorgeous story. Just realised I have to stand on the stage and read the blimmin’ thing!
After an amazing show and tell of twelve newborn books, and an invitation to finish the wine, that’s a wrap. I’ll follow up with some spreads and pictures of what we’ve all done.
Read the full story here: Rafiki’s Style