From the Book: Mitch & Makhaya – Cave of Ages

I thought to drop in an extract from the book I am busy on. This is my young readers book by the name above. Take a read and let me know your thoughts or views. . .

CHAPTER 5

The old woman looked down from her hidden position on the side of the hill. She could see the young boys kicking the ball to and fro on the soccer field and on the closer side of the school to her, a group of girls throwing a ball through the netball hoop. Another group sat together chatting to each other leaning against the wall of the administrative building of the school.

She watched them for a while, envious of their youth and energy. Her life had been one of watching and waiting. She was The Keeper. Her job had had moments of anguish and of confrontation with people she had preferred not to have occurred. It had been many, many years now of watching with nothing happening. She felt in her old bones that she was soon to have another confrontation. She thought she had seen them, those she had encountered before. Maybe this was the time.

She sighed and scratched her nose, a slight itch irritating her.

She had perfected the art of camouflage, not being seen by the farm workers, the farmer himself and many of the children when she was but meters away from them.

She gazed upwards to judge the time of day, her white eyes reflecting the glare of the sun. Her body had become old and wizen over the years and her hair had turned white. She had to use mud to cake her hair so that she could remain hidden and so had gotten used to a helmet of dried mud in place of hair she remembered being able to run her fingers through. But that was the price of her position as The Keeper.

She gazed down once more at the children as the school bell sounded and they made their way back to the various classrooms. When the last of them had disappeared into class, she slowly rose, stretched out her back and turned towards the hill. She took three steps towards a clump of bushes and disappeared.

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Down a Different Path

Mitch & Makhaya

I started this blog with hopes and determination to get my book, Mitch & Makhaya, out within a few months. Fate spelled out another path and a year later I still hold the hope of completing my book.

However, as an author I did get something published. But, in addition to that, started our own publishing house. Now that’s not too bad a change of destiny.

My Maths Buddy

After extensive research into why kids struggle with Maths at school, we found an answer. It was an interesting and eye-opening path. We spoke with many youngsters and almost one for one, found that they had difficulty with the words and terms of Maths. and to add a little secret. .  many teachers had similar problems too!

Hence, out of the long hours of research and development came a new and unique dictionary, My Maths Buddy maths dictionary. and here is one of the main reasons it works: 100% a creation of laypeople. Yes, we did have everything checked by Maths experts BUT the idea was to address kids at the level they normally communicate.

We’ve had fantastic endorsements and feedback to date and with the book on the market, mainly in South Africa so far but reaching internationally now, we’ve sold just short of 3000 copies in just under seven months.

This month too, we are about to launch, in partnership with the NGO Education Africa, the One Book One Learner Project which is a project giving companies and individuals the ability to donate My Maths Buddy to underprivileged kids. its one thing to ensure those who can afford to get such tools do get them, its another to make sure those who cannot afford to obtain the book are enabled by us to do so. after all, intelligence is not determined by income. So here is a Project anyone can get behind. Its covered briefly on our Blog at this time.

We have kept up a regular briefing of developments of My Maths Buddy at our Blog, so you can check out some of the testimonials and happenings there.

So with my attention on this new, exciting and effective help for kids – now starting on translations of it as well as the new My Science Buddy’s coming – I’ve had little time for Mitch & Makhaya. Hopefully I’ll get to them before they get too old to have exciting youth adventures!

First Birthday Celebration!

Tomorrow is our company’s first birthday!

We will be 1 year old!!!

We would like to thank all those great people who supported us and believed in us from the very beginning and all those who still working with us, believing in us, supporting us, communicating with us, read our blogs and liked us on FB.

Our first product, My Maths Buddy, has really taken off and proving to be a needed resource for schools, teachers and kids at school. We have now started translating into Afrikaans and soon to do a couple of the other major international languages.

We are also due to open our UK subsidiary in a month or so. So thank you to all who helped us to get this far.

You can keep up with us on either

www.facebook.com/mymathsbuddy

www.facebook.com/palangapublishing

www.mymathsbuddyblog.com

or visit our website at www.mymathsbuddy.co.za

 

Image courtesy of DailyClipArt.net

Do the Survey!!

Palanga Publishing is about to begin its venture into the world. Our research and investigations into what is needed and wanted has been exhaustive but exciting. We are due, within the next few weeks, to begin the promotion of our first publication.

This will be on Pre-Order for the first few months before its official launch.

Hence the survey.

So, my request is that you take the time, do the survey and watch this space for the announcement of the first publication.

It may not be what you expect. . .

It may take you by surprise . . .

But it will surely be something of value and of great help to many.

The countdown has begun!

Research – The First Step to a Good Result

I come from a background where estimating and predicting events or developments was a key part of my job. Taking this to heart in a career of writing, I would place research as either the first or definitely a high priority cornerstone to any writing career.

That said, I have been reading and reading and reading what other people say about how to write and produce a novel. A favourite of mine is the book by two US writers and publishers, Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry.  Easy to read and very practical, I found “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published” a real help.  There are a number of others that make for good reference material such as the Dummies Guides and Idiots Guides

From my past experience in research as mentioned above, I would say that anyone else looking to become a writer or in the same position as myself, would do best for their careers by firstly researching how to be a writer. Maybe there are a number of experienced authors out there with a different view or a contribution to mine whom I’d love to hear from. However, it seems total sense to me to know ‘before you go,’ like you would do in any other career. If one wanted to become an engineer, he would study engineering and so forth.

So my main attention now is on research – both on what a writer is, how better to formulate this new career and then also on my first book.

One lesson I learnt in research is that it is always best, although sometimes more time consuming and arduous, to do your own research and rely as a second tier, on other researchers data. It is one thing to surf the net and spend hours in books in the library. This is definitely legitimate research but I would term it second tier.  It is, for me, the most adventurous, exciting and rewarding to do it by visiting places, speaking with people, taking pictures and really getting one’s hands dirty in the quest for the information needed to locate the story, develop the characters and define the plot.

Research is an exciting activity, whether on the net or out in the wilds. I think that this is one of the main attractions for any writer. Of course, there is the main activity – writing!