Monday, 5 November 2018

TOP TIPS for Starting your own Youtube TV Channel




This week, I created a new Youtube Channel for The Sleeping Storyteller & lots of peeps have been asking me how I did it, so here's my TOP TIPS for getting started!

Before you even start, you need to ...

MAKE SOME FILMS TO SHARE ... 

You can't get much further than opening your channel unless you upload at least one film. Here's one of my films as an example ...




The Sleeping Storyteller Channel is specifically for my work as The Sleeping Storyteller, so I am making films to share my stories, posting soft advertising for my teeny, tiny storybooks, telling people about events etc with regard to The Sleeping Storyteller, so it is very important to make sure that my work is COPYRIGHT PROTECTED ... which is it is PHEW!.


... but yours might be for your personal use, so you might not necessarily have to worry about it. Having said that, it is a good plan to have a profile picture, so people know who you are.



DESIGN A PROFILE PICTURE



You can off course, use a picture of yourself, but you might want to use a logo. I used a part of my logo and did a colour background to make it stand out. Although I designed it as a square, it still came up as a circle for the profile picture and was pretty straight forward to do.

Remember the picture comes up very tiny, so to be sure it is clear, your profile picture (also known as the “channel icon”) needs to be 800 x 800 pixels.

The benefits of having this little icon is that it comes up in the left hand side of your video when you share it to other social media platforms. Like this ... 



DESIGN A BANNER

I found this a bit more tricky and had to have a few goes to make sure that the writing and logo were in the middle of the header, not just on the computer, but also on mobile phones and laptops. 

Youtube will show you what it looks like in a preview. For me, trial and error was my friend. You can see mine as an example by Clicking HERE

The optimal size for YouTube channel art in your banner is 2560 x 1440 pixels. This can change from year to year so if you do it an then later it seems to be odd, check out on google what sizes are current.

Now you have a personalised youtube channel but you don't have a personalised Youtube URL Adress. You can't change it until you have been on for 3 months and have over 100 subscribers. So, if you've read this and you'd like to do me a favour back, then please go over to subscribe at my channel so that I can personalise my url address once I get over 100 subscribers. Thanks a million.

Oh, and for full details of my work, come on over to my website ... it's such great fun being The Sleeping Storyteller.



Sunday, 4 November 2018

The Dancing Boy & his Shadow.



The Dancing Boy & His Shadow

When I watched Sean from Hijnx Theatre Company and Angharad from Artscare Gofal Celf dancing a shadow improvisation, I was moved to tears. We live in a society that does not empower people with learning disabilities to be leaders, so I found something deeply poignant in the role reversal, not knowing who is the 'teacher', not needing to, just experiencing the human connection of the dancers. And Sean moves so beautifully, his love of dance reaches out from the screen. As soon as I saw them, I put down everything I was doing and responded in story, to encapsulate the emotion of the moment.


The following day, I performed the piece as  reading on facebook live to 200 viewers, including Sean & his Mum who wrote to me saying ...

'I felt every word of your story , it was as though you had knowledge of Sean's life and struggles, his love of music and dancing. He was smiling all the way through . I will treasure this lovely story. It was absolutely wonderful and had me in tears. It's given me a little lift and really encourages me and Sean to embrace his passion and makes things very worthwhile. Thank you so much for making Sean feel very special tonight, from a very emotional Mum.

   

This is the facebook live and at the top of the blog, is the film footage edited with the story. I hope that you enjoy it, feel it.

The photo used in the e-flier and the title page of the film is a painting by Virgina Flemming found at www.disabilitypicturebooks.com

If you would like more information about my stories, why not pop over to my website, The Sleeping Storyteller ...



Saturday, 3 November 2018

A Dress for Angharad, now that she is a TV Star




After the busy week that Angharad has had, I reckon she deserves a new frock, but before I tell you about it, let's have a look at what we've been up to.


First off, Angharad & I have been having a very jolly time. We went to film our brand new Telly Series at SHOWBOAT.TV over in Pembrokehsire, invited by the lovely John & Max Rolls to their HUGE telly station. What lovely peeps they are. We had such fun and everyone was so kind. Importantly, they were really understanding of my hearing disabilities and I didn't feel awkward at all. Thank you so much for such a wonderful opportunity.



We filmed 6 episodes!!! I can't believe it, all in one day. The Sleeping Storyteller will run every Monday from November 19th through to Christmas Eve. They will be on the station for a whole week. www.showboat.tv



It is completely FREE to watch them during that week. What a treat! So be sure to tune in.


After the filming day, Angharad and I went to visit Sonia the Boat at Morfa Isaf Farm in Ceredigion, to see if it would be a good location to film a story. Sonia is owned by our dear friend, Amanda Painting, who kindly said we could have a look around.


Mandy made us very welcome, she had made Sonia the Boat all spick and span and even put on the lovely log burner for us. 


We all had a cuppa together before Angharad and I started filming and taking photographs.


When we went into the bedroom of Sonia the Boat, guess who we found!! Mandy's teddies!! How lovely. She had brought them down to keep Angharad company. I guess we all have special toys that love us on our journey.

So, as you can see, Angharad certainly did deserve a lovely new frock after filming 6 television episodes, drafting a story idea with Sonia the Boat and having a photo shoot, so I put out a call on facebook and our lovely friend Glenys is going to very kindly have a go.


Glenys asked us for Angharad's measurements, not my strong point, but Jeff, my lovely new husband, whipped out his tape measure and did the deed. He has never measured a doll for a new dress before, which just goes to prove there is a first time for everything.

If you would like to keep up to date with me and Angharad as we embark on this beautifully light, fun and gloriously creative adventure, come on over to our FACEBOOK PAGE or have a look at our new website, which is a work in process but will give you an idea.


Thanks for reading my lovelies. If you visit my blog regularly, thank you so much for coming on this journey with me. I think you'll be able to sense that The Sleeping Storyteller is giving me immense joy in my heart, a lightness and sense of fun that is a very welcome thing to have back into my life.





Friday, 26 October 2018

The Sleeping Storyteller Special Collection


For me, writing stories & making books is a process of love ... 


After writing the stories,



I type them all up, 


edit them, 



do the design of all the covers, 



 format the books for printing 


and design the overall artistic concept.


Then I road test the stories in primary schools,


and at the bedside of those in hospice care.



As you can imagine, by the time they are finished they have become a part of me. They are no longer just a story or a book ... they are a little piece of magic from my heart to yours.




I am absolutely thrilled with them and I hope you will be, too, when you hold them in your hand or slip them into your pocket.


And now the next job begins, to lovingly wrap up and send out The Sleeping Storyteller Special Collection to all the lovely peeps that order them.

Order your Collection Here
plus £2.00 p&p for UK purchases






The Sleeping Storyteller on Facebook Live




Tonight on FACEBOOK LIVE I shared 3 little stories, one about a very moving thing that happened to me today in the park, then the story of why Angharad is so much more than a rag doll and lastly, GWLANA: Gathering Welsh Wool from my new Collection of 7 little stories with BIG messages in teeny tiny books #thesleepingstoryteller 

Please excuse the revving of the rally car engines  from the garage across the road. They obviously have a race tomorrow.

If you would like, you can find out about all my teeny tiny books here: www.thesleepingstoryteller.com/book-descriptions.html



COMING SOON ... 


Monday, 22 October 2018

Your Favourite Children's TV Shows



In getting ready for my own TV Series, The Sleeping Storyteller, I decided to do a bit of research as to what you think makes a good Children's Telly Program. I put a shout out asking my friends on facebook what was their favourite telly show when they were little ... and why? 

This proved to be very helpful. Mostly people were attracted to the characters, the voice of the storyteller and the songs/music which is interesting, because no-one said that they were drawn by the stories themselves, although one person said they liked the 'magic of not knowing what was going to happen next' and another felt politically drawn to the main character for  being 'creative, person centred and overcoming  bureaucratic  control' (in referring to Ivor the Engine)

I thought it might be a rather nice idea to bring as many of your favourites together here, for us to have a look at them side by side. It's a useful resource for me in developing my show, but it's also lovely to watch them. They give a sort of warm glow inside.

Thank you so much to everyone who took part. There are some here that have literally made me weep, just hearing the theme music. One sure thing I have found from this snapshot research, is that children's telly is an important part of how we remember our childhood and form our views of the world.


RAINBOW



SOOTY & SWEEP



ROSIE & JIM



TRUMPTON



BIZZY LIZZIE @ WATCH WITH MOTHER



THE FLOWERPOT MEN



CAMBERWICK GREEN



POGLES WOOD



THE HERB GARDEN



THE WOODEN TOPS



RUPERT BEAR



TALES OF THE RIVERBANK



TWIZZLE



IVOR THE ENGINE



ANDY PANDY



THE DAILY FABLE



THE CLANGERS



BAGPUSS



TORCHY THE BATTERY BOY



PIPKINS



MR BENN



And not forgetting my own favourite ... 
JACKANORY





If you would like to follow my behind the scenes shenanigans as I prepare for my very first TV Series The Sleeping Storyteller, come and LIKE my new facebook page ... it will be lovely to see you.





Thursday, 11 October 2018

Storytelling as Bereavement Support for Children



In tonight's Facebook Live Storytelling Session, I talk about my book 'The Amazing Adventures of Superboo' and how it helps grown ups to broach the taboo subject of grief, bereavement, death and dying, with children, in a way that is filled with love, light and humour. It takes the reader on a gentle journey through the cycle of life. Edited with a class of 7 and 8 year olds in Primary School, Superboo is sensitive to the emotional intelligence of little ones and was recommended by the child editors, for those aged 7 plus.


The central character, Superboo, is a little cavalier king charles spaniel, who leads a double life as an unlikely Superhero. The first chapters are designed for you to get to know the characters and as the story develops, Superboo is visited by her guardian angel. Without giving away the story, although she dies in the middle of the book, Boo is still with us until the penultimate chapter.

If you think Superboo might help you and you would like to buy a copy, they are just £4.50 to cover the publishing costs and £1.00 postage and packaging. You can pop over to my facebook page and drop me a message to say you would like one and we can arrange for you to paypal me. I only have a few left. I doubt that I will do a re-run but I may record it as a talking book. That might make it even easier for parents as a resource.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on my new website for 6 brand new short stories in teeny tiny books, just right for little hands, that are currently at the publishers, all dealing with those subjects we sometimes find it hard to explain.





Sunday, 7 October 2018

THE SLEEPING STORYTELLER TV SERIES: She writes stories in her sleep!



I am set to start quite likely one of the most exciting adventures ever; one that I could not have dreamt would even be possible. The immensely popular Internet TV Station, Showboat TV, have offered me a 6 part pilot TV series, with my own Storytelling Show! I am going to be on the telly box for the run up to Christmas, the last story being aired on Christmas Eve! 


My show is called 'The Sleeping Storyteller' and I will be telling the stories that I write in my sleep. Yep, that's right, in my sleep!

As some of you will have read already, since becoming hearing impaired, my tinnitus keeps me awake all night. I do not go into deep sleep for a very long time. In this twilight zone, I have been writing stories, poems and songs by recording them onto the voice recorder of my mobile phone IN MY SLEEP!!! Yep, I know, it's out there, even for me, which is why I haven't really stepped into it, until now. I didn't even know I was doing it, until I happened to look on my mobile phone and found literally 100's of recordings.


My first book, Soul Ink for the Morning, contains 100 little poems from my voice recorder and has been received very well throughout the Summer at the Book Fairs, so I decided to start typing up the stories that I have also spoken into my phone whilst sleeping, too. It is these that will form my new pilot, The Sleeping Storyteller TV Show.


It's absolutely unbelievable, isn't it? But it has just sort of happened and so I am embracing it. I am going to be a television presenter! Oh my days! I am smiling from ear to ear, just typing it.

Fate had a BIG hand in it and as you come with me on this adventure, you'll find out why I believe it is all meant to be. Be sure to FOLLOW my blog by adding your email address in the box provided, top right of the page, that says 'Follow by Email', that way you won't miss out on the fun.

Right now, there are all sorts of exciting things happening behind the scenes, like designing a new website and making the characters into toys, as I prepare for filming at the end of this month!!!!!!!! GADZUKES!

MAHOOSIVE thanks to the very lovely John & Maxine Rolls at Showboat TV for opening this incredible opportunity for me to share my stories in a deaf friendly environment. I can't begin to tell you how much it means to me. Thank you for your faith in me and for believing in me. I'm going to stop now, or else I will have to go and get the tissues. All love to you, dear ones.





A Peep Behind the Scenes at Book Fairs



Author: Carol Lovekin at Parlour Press, LLandysul Book Fair 


WOWZERS! What an incredible Summer it has been. A Summer of stories, poetry, publishing, books & learning about Book Fairs. 



When I published my books Soul Ink & Soul Seeds at the start of this Summer, Jeff and I decided we would try having an Author's stall at some Book Fairs , to test the waters. It was a great way to network and to find out if selling books at fairs is a viable outlet in financial terms. 

I also had this hair brained idea that I could organise a Book Fair in our village ... and so I did. 



The first Book Fair was at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. It was very lovely to be back there and off course, the venue was spectacular. I used to be the Creative Director of the Children's Storytelling Trail at the Garden, so it was really quite magical to be in the Great Glasshouse again. 

I met lots of lovely people, but the truth is, I didn't sell any books outside of my friends who kindly came specifically to give their moral support. I didn't mind though, as the Book Fair stall was free and I had slipped in last minute. The Garden is near where I live, so we treated it as a lovely day out.


Then we went to Carmarthen Book Fair organised by Sarada Thompson and her partner, John. They are both renowned authors in their own right. It felt like a great honour to be part of their Book Fair. I got in last minute because my dear friend, Lazarus Carpenter, asked if I could share his table with him. I sold lots of books, talked with a wide range of people from different parts of West Wales, as well as meeting a small gathering of woman with hearing disabilities, sharing our truth with each other. My friends came to visit me as it was close to home, which was so kind of them. I was exhausted by the end of the day, but WOW!

My wonderful new husband, Jeff came with me to all the fairs. I could not have done it without him. He is an absolute star. We had really good fun meeting people. 



Also, at Carmarthen Book Fair, we met John and Maxine Rolls who own a TV station over in Pembrokehsire. What lovely people they are. I told them all about my books and how, since the onset of my hearing disabilities, I have been writing stories and poems in my sleep. I showed them my new books and they invited me to come and be interviewed at Showboat TV.



The next Book Fair was a complete surprise. I was on the waiting list of the very popular, most established and biggest Book Fair in West Wales, Narbeth Book Fair organised by renowned authors, Judith Barrow and Thorne Moor.

One of the authors pulled out last minute, so we ended up taking their place. I had half a stall, which was more than enough. There were 45 authors at Narbeth Queen's Hall. It was huge, with great workshops happening in off shoot rooms. We met so many amazing people. What a joy. I sold a few books in the morning, but nothing in the afternoon. Still, we didn't mind because the experience was worth its weight in gold.



And then, my own Parlour Press Book Fayre in Llandysul at The Porth Hotel. It was magical. I made sure that the whole event was deaf friendly and so for me, it was absolutely blissful. We had the most amazing feedback from everyone, I sold lots of books, more than I had sold all Summer. I also launched The Parlour Press Anthology on the same day. I had put out an advert of social media and 10 poets collaborated with me, to produce The Parlour Press Anthology 2018.


What an absolute treat to see the people from my Creative Writing Workshops at the Book Fayre, the Poets performing readings, Authors sharing their work. Just lovely and off course, the sunshine helped us. I did some fb live readings for the poets that had taken part in New York and japan.




I learnt so much on my Book Fair adventure. Especially from my own Book Fayre. It reminded me of who I am, what I am capable of. I had forgotten that I am actually quite good at organising events. I thought I couldn't do it anymore because of my hearing, but making it a deaf friendly event, meant that I had control over my environment. This Summer has gone some way to re-building my shattered confidence, not completely, but has given me the courage to step fully into the next exciting phase of my life.



And so my Summer of Book Fairs comes to a close but as that door closes, so a very exciting door is opening ... a door that I never thought would be an option for me and that has come to me in such a beautifully spiritual way ... It seems that each part of my life is a stepping stone to the next ... you can read about it in my next BLOG ...






Tuesday, 25 September 2018

The Real Reason Why Trees Let Go in Autumn?




I saw this post today on a friend's facebook page and it is right, off course, trees are about to teach us a lesson in letting go, but the real lesson is in WHY they let go of their leaves, not simply that they do.

That's the thing with Mother Nature. She has so many lessons to share with us, if we understand from the viewpoint of nature itself, rather than our definition of it. 

I used to feel quite sad at seeing the trees stood naked and bare without leaves, until I found out that the reason why the trees purposefully drop their leaves in the Autumn, is to preserve their energy and water supplies for the inner core, to keep strong through the tough winter months ahead. The energy that it took to hold onto their leaves, is released, the leaves drop, they are no longer needed and that energy is now re-focused into the core of the tree trunk, holding her fast.

So, the lesson is that sometimes we need to let go of all the things we no longer need, that no longer serve us, however radical that may sound because  by re-channelling that energy, we can build a stronger core to hold us strong. 

What are the leaves that you will be letting go?