The Western Australian adventure is nearing its departure.
The Life’s Awesome campaign No. 3, is in it’s final stages of planning and preparing for another trip away. The excitement is building and the focus is becoming more clear, whilst the days count down. There has been moments of fear, anxiety and questioning the intention/ reason for going. But right now, i’m in the zone with my heart rhythmically drumming a convicted beat.
A determined beat can be heard, with 5 weeks to go before i leave. It feels like the right thing to do, with excitement and determination emotionally flowing out of me. I’m really looking forward to having time to create. I look forward to pushing my athletic abilities in big powerful waves and i look forward to sharing my love of story with kids of the west, including Indigenous communities along the way. I’m going there to make a positive impact, to see and feel more of my country and to share the joy, the fun, the importance of STORY (creation, entertainment, written, told, performed, read, shared, history, communication). Although i’m not sure of the outcomes, the success of the trip or the state of my bank account when i get home (back to Byron). The Life’s Awesome campaign, the desire to focus on new writing concepts and my passion for adventure will be a reality very soon.
You can follow ‘the tale of one dyslexic man & his dream’ via this blog, also articulated as ‘The Journey of the Wild West’.
The journey of the wild west is three fold, as you know. What i’d like to share, is the detail of these intensions that are taking me across and up this vast island country i call home. First and foremost, the Life’s Awesome campaign is all about ‘showing up’ and sharing my love for story with a group of kids. I aim to engage the audience via dynamic acting, sharing my truth and hardship i felt as a dyslexic child and talking about the makings of ActiveKidsBooks. The campaign’s focus is to roll out positive change towards the disappointing stats on ‘boy’s lower literacy levels’ in Australia. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Thirdly, and not without surprise. I’m excited to go to WA for its big powerful challenging waves. Surfing is another creative outlet i get to immerse myself in. Its a chance to test my strength, test my coordination and test my wits against the unpredictable ever respectful ‘mother-nature’. Surfing is the balance i have between sedentary styles of creation i.e. writing, and physical creation of surfing! Drawing any line i choose on a moving mountain of aqua. Surfing helps me stay creative out of the water and offers me breathing time to come up with creative ideas.
There is a good reason AKB has published #SurfSafari, #SkateSession & #ShreddingSnow. As the passion i have as the author, i’m super stoked to be able to share to joy i feel with others! Especially to offer a gift (story book entertainment/ good times/ golden moments) that is shared between parent and child.
I’ll be signing out now. Signing out as one excited author/ father/ adventurer, with the future of AKB looking bright and life treating me well!
P.S. Given that its a Football World Cup Year, you may be interested to know that the first draft of ‘Football Friendly’ (AKB’s coming title) has been written. Given the time it takes to illustrate, our forecast for this title to be published and ready, is the following World Cup in 2018. Stay tuned.
One world – One tribe, is how i choose to see our existence on this planet.
As it ‘takes a village to raise a child’ (Jane Cowen-Fletcher), i’m happy to share the stage/ forum/ blog spot with fellow writer George Campbell.
George Campbell, is a passionate freelance writer, advocate for kids literacy and believer of #ActiveKidsBooks. I’m delighted to have him as our guest bloggist (as seen below), as he has written a beautiful insightful piece on ‘how to inspire & excite’ kids…an area i feel passionate and supportive about myself!
Writing for children – how to inspire and excite
So many people think that it is easy to write a children’s book. While it does not necessarily have to be a laborious process, you have to acknowledge that children have a vast and vivid imagination and which can be difficult to engage and excite. Here are a few tips which it is worth bearing in mind when creating a children’s’ book, which will help you connect with and inspire this bright young audience.
Reminisce on your childhood
One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing a children’s book is the opportunity it grants you to reflect upon your own childhood. In order to connect with and inspire young readers, it’s important you can reminisce on your reading preferences when you were a child. What excited you, what scared you, what were your interests and hobbies? If you can isolate these memories and develop an understanding of them, you can tap into the imagination of a child and therefore write exclusively to their interests. Contemplate on whether your childhood interests and emotions were specific to you or a broader element of childhood in general. For example, look at children’s interests today and see if there exist elements which are tune with topics you expressed a keen interest in as a child. This way you can learn if these topics have the potential to become a successful book. For instance, magic and mystery have long been a popular childhood interests. Books such as J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Hobbit“, Roald Dahl’s “The Witches“, the Harry Potter series, even so far back as the legends of Merlin and King Arthur, demonstrate that magical adventures and mystical beasts remain a fundamental resource of immense enjoyment and excitement for numerous generations of children. Subsequently, you can build upon these traditional successful genres and interests in order to create your own range of writing which inspires and excites young readers.
Do your research
A highly effective way in which you can improve your ability to write for children is to first research what literary formats are currently popular. You need to be aware of what types of books are currently being published, for example, formats such as picture books. With modern technological advancements, a vast majority of children lack patience. From interactive computer games and television series to even modern online teaching resources such as Maths Doctor, information is much more rapid and easily accessible to this current generation of young readers. Therefore your books need to be as well. Don’t spend too long introducing the premise of your story or their attention is likely to wane. If you can be sharp and to the point, you are much more likely to quickly pique their interest and thus sustain their excitement throughout the rest of your writing.
In order to develop a keen eye for what books in which young readers will be interested, it’s worthwhile frequenting a variety of bookshops, book festivals and libraries in order to learn which books are best received by young audiences. Many bookshops offer group readings of children’s books. This grants you an opportunity to witness firsthand what elements of books excite children the most. This provides a resource from which you can garner inspiration and moreover share ideas by communicating with other authors and parents. Subsequently, you can place yourself in the mind of a reading child, developing a well rounded understanding of their interests, which will enable you to directly appeal to your target audience.
Ultimately, when writing for children, remember that these are young minds viewing aspects of life for the very first time. Many concepts will be as yet unknown to them and this is your opportunity to introduce them to a whole new world. This can be an immensely enriching experience for both reader and author. Place yourself in their shoes. When writing, assume that your reader knows nothing about previous associations concerning the genre in which you are writing. This grants you a golden opportunity to introduce young minds to a plethora of contemporary and traditional issues, enlightening them to a broad spectrum of both imaginary and real worlds.
Active Kids Books, now in its 5th year since the very entertaining launch at #ByronBayWritersFestival in 2009. One title released then, and three titles in hardcopy to speak of now. It’s all due to the support I’ve been given along the way. Without the belief and assistance of so many people i.e. #JeremyAustin #VictoriaLowe #JanetJudge #SarahMa #DennisKolcze #Mum #TomWillmott #DannyWills #MichelleDawson #BreeDelian #CorbinHarris #RyanKolcze #EmmaHawkins #TechaBeaumont #RadKidsEverywhere #AwesomeParents #ActiveKidsBooksStockist #MartinChatterton #PlusMoreLove. To them i am super grateful!
Reflecting on the evolution of AKB and its supporter’s. It’s clear to me now thats it’s never been a ‘one author’, ‘one illustrator’ process. We have all co-created these titles together. Whether it’s been inspiration, opinion, wisdom, friendship, world events, surfing playtime, teacher, parent/ child’s feedback etc. In a way, a mass pool of people, unknown of it’s extremes, have help co-create the three titles so far and will continue to assist in the process of coming titles Football Friendly & Disco DJ’s…
I love the concept of co-creating a ‘gift of richness’ to share with generations of kids in coming time. The more the merrier i say. And its for this reason i’ve decided to take this even further and add, as part of the WA ‘Life’s Awesome’ Book Tour this year (May-July), the hands on collaborative process of co-creating a published book with as many kids as i cross paths with; themed: Spiritual Adventure of the West, from the authentic voices of its kids.
From the tours beginning, at Margaret River Writers Festival. Right (Write) through to the final stop in the Kimberly. The aim is to gain input, art work, written text, feeling, format etc. from the kids of Western Australia. And produce their published co-created book for them. Ready for public review by term 4 of school (full-moon November 6th).
Many people will need to be thanked, post publication of Spiritual Adventure of the West, from the authentic voices of its kids, comes into fruition. However, two special gorgeous women need to be thanked and acknowledge for their support now!
Madeleine Anderson & Anneli Knight have kindly donated their time to promote, to advance, to share Active Kids Books (AKB) with those we have not reached as yet. And its with their kind hearts, their contribution of energy and belief in AKB that i’m truly grateful and thankful for. Many thanks gals, your support is cherished.
As fellow writer, i recommend you check out the lovely Anneli Knight; a highly intelligent passionate writer/ journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, author of ‘Flirting with Finance’ and other non-fiction goodies -http://www.anneliknight.com/
And what a good place to wrap up this blog, highlighting the love and kindness that connects us all here at AKB…Much Lov CHa:D
The big stage is different for us all. Level of involvement and passion can rate ones interest higher than than another’s. The feature of this blog is to focus on three passionate ‘action-sports’ enthusiast, as they prepare for their big stage event only days away; Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning & blog writer Christian Sullivan.
Christian, who fuels his passion for ‘action sport’s’ through writing about it; http://everyoneneedsfreedom.empowernetwork.com/blog/ is an authentic individual thats been involved his whole life. As rider to writer (like me), there will always be a love to participate. Yet, with kids and older bones upon us, its nice to slow down and be involved in other ways. And its the joy of sharing what we love, that stokes us out in full. Speaking on behalf of Christian, we enjoy offering our authentic gift to others, it fuels a passion of a different kind within us! Click the link to see ‘Everyone Needs Freedom’ blog feature on Active Kids Books and myself; http://everyoneneedsfreedom.empowernetwork.com/blog/active-kids-books-kids-books-with-a-action-sports-theme
It’s not just Christian who will be blogging about myself, Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning. The latter two are neck and neck going into the last ASP surfing competition of the year. The inaugural big wave comp, the Holly Grail of Surfing – The Pipeline Masters in Hawaii. This is the big stage in which the amazing aqua athletes will test each other for the last time. Vowing for the 2013 crown. It all begins tomorrow (8th Dec. 2013).
Come this time, where big waves, history and final standings are delivered. The Pipeline Masters is where the final chapters of the 2013 ASP series will be written. And we have two amazing athletes, two World Champions and two men with impressive biographies that can win. Will it be Mick Fanning for the third time in his life, or Kelly Slater for the 12th? Both these guys have played a role in my career and in my life, and i wish them both all the best!
It’s to early to call which way it will go, so lets let history decide for us. Keep an eye out for ‘action sports’ writer’s like Christian Sullivan, and gain that understanding of how big the stage really is for those involved.
Radically yours; CHa:D Kolcze
Kelly Slater-Mick Fanning-Christian Sullivan-Action-Sports-Surf-Kids-Books-Pipeline-Billabong-Surfing-Safari-Awesome-Book-Rad-Aloha-ActiveKidsBooks-Chad-BookAward
Surf Snow Skate Kids Awesome Sale
The short story of an Independent Publisher.
I try and try and try some more, to find and entertain young audience around the world. Being the person i am, an Indie Artist with passion and drive, i’ve created the product and now i try and try and try to share/ sell my gift with the nation.
A lot of time and energy gets spent trying to circulate my gifts with the nation, for little financial return. This would have me down-in-the-dumps for longer than the emotional wave flows though me, if it wasn’t for the currency of love and praise. I’m so very proud of what i’ve created and it’s empowering when people praise my work, praise the choice Jeremy and i made to include all the unique authentic qualities you see in #SurfSafari #SkateSession #ShreddingSnow (www.ActiveKIdsBooks.com).
Active Kids Books (AKB), is popular within young families and has sold small quantities of its books around the world (generally through knowing me personally). We can boast that our books are distributed by Aust. leading indie distributor; Dennis Jones and Associates, yet they struggle against the big publishing houses like Scholastic, Random etc. And reality shows, AKB will be the flavour of the month (3wks to be precise), when first launched then back listed forever after. However, being who i am and somewhat enjoying the creative game that now exists with marketing. It’s this game (as i see it), I come to write this blog in reflection to some of the more courageous and creative ways i’ve shared my gifts of late.
AKB’s whole budget (not that i ever had a budget, just a dream and personal savings), has been spent on illustrations, publishing books and creating this website for blogging etc. So i have had to be creative and clever in my marketing/ promotional campaigns. Continually scheming of new ways to have my books seen or known to beautiful mums/ awesome dads/ rad + geeky kids and cool groovy grandparents.
It was most likely these groovy grandparents that witnessed the inside toilet door AKB flyers, created for the 2012 Byron Bay Writers Festival. Sharing the news of our newly released kids book ‘Shredding Snow’, with a target bunch of literary folk at this acclaimed festival in my home town. What no one knew (till now), is the financial saving i made on reduced entry fee and level of effort i went to in the name of promotion. As i snuck in the back-way of the festival, after wading through the high tidal ocean, climbed a large sand dune to get a look in and casually walked through the staff entrance at the back of the festival. Mean while my heart was racing out of control, yet the sense of responsibility towards providing for my family was ever greater and so i breathed through it.
Sticking with the four day long Byron Bay Writers Festival. In 2011 i talked a few friends into joining me, as we chalk stenciled AKB illustrations and inspirational messages on the pavement around town. Yet, its the more the recent gorilla marketing undertakings that i see as funny and a step up from innocent chalk stencils. Besides the ‘self challenging – physical efforts‘ of skateboarding six marathons in seven days, as carried out in 2011 with the ‘Life’s Awesome‘ campaign. It’s been the little house of books, Paper Aeroplane shop window placement and the most recently a thank-you on the walls of local library that have lead me to write about it all.
I try and i try and i try to work with the libraries governance, receiving encouragement and support from the ground but nothing eventuating or unfolding from higher authorities. Nothing, not a ‘no’ and not a ‘yes’, to the addition of my ‘congratulations letter’ for the new library’s opening. In which several other authors do feature. So to let you in on a secret. I recently went and added this ‘congratulations letter’ i had created several months earlier, to the relevant wall dedicated to these framed notes of appreciation. And yes, i had to take down existing framed feature to replace it with mine. I felt like world renowned artist; Bansky.
Now unlike Banksy, i’m not saying my actions are commendable. Nor do i see them as anarchy or wrong, just a single soul striving to make a go of life. And to share all this, you will make your own judgment if i’ve crossed lines or not. I’m here mealy sharing the story of my life’s journey, as i continue to play the game as an Indie Publisher.
So what’s next as an Indie Publisher of Active Kids Books? How do i create new accounts, share my playful literature with the nation and feed my passion + family?
If your looking for a colourful educational gifts this year, jump online and take advantage of my spontaneous 40% off special www.ActiveKidsBooks.com/sales
Now, its with great pleasure i get to thank everyone who has supported AKB so far. I am super grateful and delighted to know that my gifts are shared. And feel its a win-win bond that will last as long as the book exists.
#Banksy #SurfKids #SurfBooks #KidsSurf #SurfingGroms #Surf #AwesomeKidsBooks #AwesomeKids #SnowKids #SnowboardingKids #BooksForBoys #KidsXmasGifts #BestKidsGift #SkateboardingKids #KidsSkate #TommyFranklin #ByronKids #ByronSurf #KidsSki #BookSale #Children’sBookSale #ChildrensBookAward #FreeToy #KellySlaterBook #IndiePublisher #IndependantArtist #BestKidsBook #ActiveKids #Waves #BeachKids #VictorianLowe #Scolastic #ShreddinSnow #SurfSafari #SkateSession #ChadKolcze #LIfesAwesome #MaisoTheActionMouse #SchoolsSurf #LocalLibrary #ReadingHour #BookWeek
#ActiveKidsBooks is stoked to endorse the initiative by #ByronBaySurfFestival and the young tackers Art Comp. My daughter has entered a piece of art ever since its been running (3yrs), and its been an awesome process we share together over several weeks of preparation. She won the ‘over all’ two years ago, when she was 5yrs, with her towel canvas spray can ocean scene. This year she’s painted up her softboard, using again cans & mixed media. I wish her well and all the other groms who put in time and effort to enter. The BBSF crew make a great fun day of it, with games, give aways and well known dancing man #TommyFranklin will be grovin’ out in his all inclusive way. Being the author of #Surf Safari and other similar titles, i love and support this fusion of grommets, art, surf and fun!
Would love to see ya’ there hey, or this time next year! YEW…
We are proud of what we do. And given we have a product we believe in, one that can be purchased by you. We happily share this RAW uncut Youtube video with you here - https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B30fkfwHRRtkNUljT0F0dWczSUE/edit?usp=sharing
Given a successful, yet short Book Tour/ Family ski trip to NZ’s south island. We would like to take this opportunity to thank those that joined in and opened their hearts and doors to ActiveKidsBooks. Back for our second time in three years, this time boasting new title ‘Shredding Snow’, it was the same inviting and warm welcomed vibe that we received from the happy friendly folk across the ditch.
AKB books can now be found in Scorpio Bookstore – Christchurch, Selwyne Region Libraries (near Mount Hutt), Methvan Bookstore – Methvan, Paperplus Bookstore – Wanaka and a few school libraries – Holy Family, Wanaka Public, Hawea Flat.
Contact us NOW ‘books order’, or request ‘guest speaker’ visits…YEW!
During our recent New Zealand Book Tour, my 9Yr. old son kindly filmed me during my ‘guest author/ motivational speaker’ role at Lake Hawea Flat schools. Given my interest in authenticity and positive role modelling, i feel compelled to sharing this raw unedited footage taken on my iPhone.
For reasons being; 1. the schools i visited while in NZ will have a memory of my intended fun/ engaging/ empowering appearance. 2. establishing a blog entry, with a raw exposed video twist . 3. Plus, Im proud to show off my adventurous joyful style, when performing to primary school children. Standing by my focus on excitement and fun, paired with children’s literacy.
As i aim to inspire kids to Dream BIG and live a healthy active lifestyle, see for yourself by clicking this video link - http://youtu.be/AjWVwyURs54
#HeweaFlatSchool #HolyFamilySchool #WanakaLibrary #Children’sGuestAuthor #KidsStoryTeller #ShreddingSnow #SkateSession #SurfSafari #ActiveKIdsBooks #ChadKolcze #KidsDreamBig