Thursday, January 7, 2010

About the New Website!

I forgot to explain about the new website in the last post...

We are constructing several new pages for our website. We are switching to selling e-books on our own site, instead of through Lulu. We will still be having hard-copy books be available through Lulu's print-on-demand services.

New Books! And a New Website!

I always feel much jubilation when I finally get another book finished! I guess that is because I have so many, many computer files for books that are pretty much ready to go, except for needing a little formatting and a cover design. And it seems like the cover designs are what take so much time, that making new books has gone very slowly...

So I am excited and happy to have these two new e-books available. My sons helped me with learning how to format the cover with computer text and graphics, but the underlying picture for these covers was a piece of marbeled paper that I and Molly and James made at the beginning of this school year, as our first craft project. We made lots of other pieces of marbled paper, too, but I especially liked this one. Will probably make some more covers with marbeled patterns, but using some different colors.

In case you don't know how marbeling is done, it's really very simple. You just put water in a rectangular pan, put some drops of oil paint on top of the water, swirl it only very slightly, and lay a sheet of paper on top. Then you lift up the paper and let it dry. And everyone who looks at these says, "Ooh, " and "Ahh."

Oh, ya, I guess I should tell about what's inside these new e-books, too!

These are writing prompt books. A topic is given, for making a picture, with a large box on the page for drawing in. There are lines for writing, under the picture box, so the child can write something about the picture or make a story about the picture.

There are two sets of these, because although we originally used these with 2nd to 4th grade kids, we later decided to try them with some of our middle school-aged kids, and found that they enjoyed them and did some very skillful and creative art and writing with them. Sometimes older school-aged kids don't have many assignments for creative writing; a lot of times their writing is mainly related to school subjects like history or science. But given an opportunity, like using these pages or other simple, open-ended projects, they will often come up with very imaginative ideas for both drawing and writing.

We needed to alter some of the prompts for the older ages set, and make more lines that are closer together for writing. There are 36 pages in each set. This makes it easy to do one page a week through one school year. Or, you can do one page every two or three weeks, and use the pages over several years.