Associate Artist and Lochgelly Lead Artist Hazel tells the next part of the story of the Lochgelly Expecting Something’s group’s book project, Ellie’s Egg.
Part Two: Ambitions
Expecting Something have written and published a book called Ellie’s Egg. I wrote all about how the process began here, and I just wanted to let you know how it ended.
So, I last left you as we were about to have an inspirational session by established author Debi Gliori. Read her blog about the session here. Debi generously gave us some great suggestions for edits to our text. Despite the fact that she was realistic about how tough it is to get a children’s book published, we all (including me) left with that as a new ambition! Never underestimate how powerful it is to listen to an inspirational story of success despite the odds.
Then we had a session in which we read the book out loud over and over, and Leyla Josephine has put the voices together here. This helped us cut a few parts (some of which I really loved – like the bit where the egg was eaten by a whale, abducted by aliens and fell into a volcano) but the story was so much stronger without them. We changed the name Wilhelmina to Rina at the last moment because it read out loud better. Letting go of the things you love is a hard part of any creative process.
With the print deadline getting close, our amazing illustrator, Kate Charter, came in one last time to get input from the group on the front cover design.
We looked at a printout of each page, cutting up the words and experimenting with arranging them in different ways. It was really exciting to see how she had used the paintings we had made as backgrounds and textures.
And it was off to the printers – a chance to reflect and take a break. We knew as we began on this journey there would be challenges: collaborating with an ever changing group (members are joining and moving on regularly); differences in taste and opinion among the participants of a large group; and concentrating on something tricky whilst ensuring a fun and playful energy is directed towards the room filled with babies and toddlers. But part of our remit is to increase confidence and overcoming challenge is an essential part of that.
In our final session before Christmas Santa visited us to gift the book that we had made together to all the families. It was actual, pure Christmassy magic. What a fantastic experience to see what we’ve made in print. The group is delighted with their book and so am I! It’s full of love, honesty and hope.
Expecting Something works with new, young and expectant parents under 25 and their babies in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh and Lochgelly, Fife, providing a weekly safe space to spend time with their babies and peers whilst engaging in artist-lead creative activities.
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