Spring Book Launch

Spring Book Launch

We are thrilled to announce that “Scribbling Spring” is due to arrive so very soon! It is currently en route from the printer, which means that it is high time to invite our Wandeling readers to pre-order their copies! Let the puddle stomping and pre-ordering begin!

Rain has heralded the arrival of spring in English poetry since its inception. Chaucer sends the band of pilgrims forth as a response to Nature’s call under April’s “sweet showers.” Those after Chaucer can’t seem to get away from under spring’s umbrella, and we at Wandeling Press are no exception. 

But more than merely meeting spring in the puddles, Pudge and Buns discover that the coming of spring resonates with the process of writing itself. Nature sustains the metaphor of composition: scribbling, drafting, and composing. And Buns finds that his writing might flourish by spending more time outdoors.

“Scribbling Spring” is a call to pause from work and hasten outside—to stomp in puddles with little feet and sing along with Pudge.

All pre-ordered books will ship by the end of May, and Wandeling Press is offering a free Easter print-out to those who want to let little easter-basket toting readers know that their copy will be arriving shortly.

 

At Year’s End

At Year’s End

Hello all,

As we near the end of the year, there has certainly been a flurry of action at Wandeling Press. Since the books arrived the day before Thanksgiving, we have not only shipped off all of the original Kickstarter orders, but we have also sold all but 10 books of the first load. Let’s clear the shelves before the load of books arrives in the first week of 2017 with plenty more copies of Woolies for the Winter!

For those of you who wanted to purchase Woolies for the Winter for this Christmas but didn’t get around to it before it was too late to ship, you can still order the book and pop one of these little gift tags HERE in a little one’s stocking, announcing Woolies’s impending arrival.

You can also now purchase Woolies for the Winter locally in Minneapolis, MN at Truly in White Bear Lake and in Hillsdale, MI at the Hillsdale College bookstore.

Other delightful news: TODAY marks the one-year anniversary of Wandeling’s first successfully funded Kickstarter. If you are new to Wandeling, go check out our (very short) history here.  By now, all original Kickstarter orders should have received their copies of Woolies in time to enjoy them for Christmas.


We are, as always, so very grateful for you all!

 

 

 

 

Laura and Betsy

 

 

 

Brown Paper Packages

Brown Paper Packages

Brown paper packages, twenty five of them to be exact, found their way late this evening to Betsy’s doorstep, just in time for the season's first heavy snowfall.

Twenty-five brown paper packages containing 500 crisp copies of our very own Woolies for the Winter.

We can hardly believe it! The day we’ve looked forward to for so long has finally come! The long labored, much anticipated, dearly loved, first book of Wandeling Press has arrived! And it is BEAUTIFUL! We find it difficult to describe all the joy and relief we now feel to hold in our hands the fruit of this year-long publishing process. 

 

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Both Betsy and I are full of gratitude to all of our many supporters who have cheered us on throughout this long journey. How appropriate that on this Thanksgiving weekend, our first post-feast priority will be the packing and shipping of your pre-ordered copies of Woolies for the Winter. We feel confident that you will be just as delighted with this little book as we are now. 

We are also happy to share that beginning Friday, additional copies will be available for purchase here on the Wandeling Press website.

Please be sure to follow us on Instagram  and Facebook to receive updates on upcoming seasonal specials and discounts. 

Thank you each and all!

Much love,

Laura and Betsy 

Already a big hit with some of our favorite little readers!

Already a big hit with some of our favorite little readers!

Hooray!

Hooray!

Suddenly the Rat cried 'Hooray!' and then 'Hooray-oo-ray-oo-ray-oo-ray!' and fell to executing a feeble jig in the snow.

'What have you found, Ratty?' asked the Mole, still nursing his leg.

'Come and see!' said the delighted Rat, as he jigged on.

-Wind in the Willows, Chapter 3, The Wild Wood

As we send out this update, Laura and I feel precisely like Kenneth Graham’s jubilant "Ratty."  (And perhaps we feel a particularly strong affinity with Wind in the Willows for all the alliteration with the letter W.) 

After sundry back and forths with Print Ninja (with minor adjustments for color settings and last-minute image tweaking), Woolies for the Winter has passed every last jot and tittle of inspection. It has, in a word, gone to press! At this point we are simply waiting for the first edition of the book to finish printing and ship by air.

You will be the first to know when it arrives state-side, and we arehopeful that it will be within the month (barring, of course any bizarre delays by bandits or customs agents). We will notify you again when your copies are in the mail headed home to you. We are, we so hope, just weeks away from that moment. 

Hooray! Hooray indeed!

Betsy and Laura

What October Brings

What October Brings

Perhaps it is the change in the weather, the pulling out of sweaters, and the chillier nights or perhaps it is the fact that Christmas is just 3 months away, but it seems that Woolies for the Winter is on many of your minds. It has certainly been on ours these last weeks of September as we have moved the book closer to printing. And we are eager to update you!

One year ago, in October, Betsy and I began plans in earnest for Wandeling Press for its mid-November Launch in 2015. Although this journey to publish our first book has involved many twists and turns, lots of trial and plenty of error, each step forward and each setback has created in us a deeper appreciation for the books we love and an even greater desire to see Woolies for the Winter published. 

So where now do we find ourselves on the eve of Wandeling’s one year anniversary? Well, with scanning woes rectified, layouts finalized with the designer, THIS WEEK, at long last, our inaugural book is in the hands of our printers. 

While we will spend the next week or two negotiating through the book’s final design layout on the printed page, we are essentially one last nod of approval away from printing the book with Print Ninja. 

We are so grateful for your patience as you have waited (and waited) with us for your books. As soon as Woolies officially hits the presses, we will send a notification (likely in a week or two). From that moment forward, we expect the printing and shipping process to take another six to seven weeks before the books arrive in the USA, and then we will ship them on to you.

Around mid November once the books arrive inMinneapolis, we will send out one more mini survey that will provide you a direct link to change your address again if need be before we mail the books to you. You will have two days to make any addresses changes then. (Note: If you would like to change your address before then, you can always use the direct link to your “address setting” from the email sent out by Kickstarter on 12/23/15 titled “Response Needed! Get your reward for backing “Woolies for the Winter.”Let us know if you have any trouble with that.)

In other non-book related news, both Betsy and I have added little baby daughters to our families. Lydia Grace arrived on July 21st and Vivian Mackenzie joined us last week on the 23rd of September. This project is sweetened by those we love and as our circle of pint-sized readers grows, so does our excitement to share Woolies for the Winter

Upward and onward!

Laura and Betsy

Baby, Oh Baby!

Baby, Oh Baby!

Dear friends and more friends,

Over this long Memorial Day Weekend, Laura and I are reveling in time to work together for the first time since October when we first collaborated in person, shot video footage for the Kickstarter Project, built Wandeling’s website, and started this grand adventure. It is such a relief to be in the same time zone and same place to work. Time and space have a profound impact on the creative process; we have certainly felt that separated by hundreds of miles.

And things are moving along, even if later than planned. After we updated you about the troubles with the original scans and after you celebrated with us that a local print shop could “deep scan” to preserve the water color images, we ran into a new tribe of problems including coloration inconsistency that came with the deep scans and finally the news from the local print shop that our project was too demanding for them to continue working with us. This obviously put printing the reward prints behind on the timeline too.

The good news is Wandeling now has a high-resolution scanner and printer of our own–it is perhaps the first tangible thing we have to our name.  And it is working beautifully! Laura and I have carved out a huge chunk of time this weekend to finish those reward prints. Yahoo!

In this process, we have been most thankful to figure out a sustainable and far more efficient process for the subsequent books. Little did we imagine that the painting and the writing would be the most straight forward part of this project! Ah, lessons learned.

And finally, Laura and I have been hard at work on two growing side projects: little baby Kern and little baby Howard are due in July and October respectively. Pursing the physically exhausting  creative process of pregnancy while caring for toddlers and completing the poetry and illustrations for Wandeling’s first two books has added a whole to meaning to multi-tasking. Double the trouble- double the joy!

Thank you for supporting us on the way!

We are so thankful for you all.

Betsy & Laura

 

 

 

 

Skipping Ahead

Skipping Ahead

We have all heard the cynical adage, “One steps forward, two step back.” But because Laura and I share a hop-scotching soul, we have preferred to think of this winter as “two steps forward, one step back.” Amidst (and because of) all the hullabaloo with scanning, printing, and copying, Laura and I have been able to press on into our spring book.

As we have made progress, we have realized that it will actually save time and shipping costs if we now hold back the printing of “Woolies for the Winter” and have it produced at the same time as the spring narrative poem. Although this means altering the timeline quite a bit, we think, in the long run, it will be more effective for the Press’s limited resources.

What does this mean?

It means that “Woolies” will not appear in the mail until late spring (late June), but that it will, God willing, appear with its Spring partner book.

In compensation for the extra waiting time, Laura and I will be offering a 25% discount coupon code for the spring book to all who preordered copies of “Woolies” during our Kickstarter campaign. We will send that coupon out via email once we know that the two books have finished running on the printing presses and boxed up to come home to us, so look for that coupon code in early June.

Also, Laura and I are taking this extension through March and into April to finalize and send out the accompanying rewards from the Kickstarter, namely the dramatized audio recording and the print.  We will let you know when those have been released so that you can be on the look out for them in your inbox (for the audio recording download link) and your mailbox (for the prints).

As a final note, if you supported our Kickstarter campaign and have not yet logged in to fill out your survey with your address, please scroll back through your email, find the Kickstarter email prompting you to do so, and please submit the survey with your address. We would HATE to be unable to deliver your rewards due to a missing address.

Thank you again to the Wandeling community for encouraging us along the way and for skipping along with us through winter into spring and through these first stages of bringing two books to life.

 

Betsy & Laura

New Realities

New Realities

My husband, a very practical man, prefers to begin those conversations though which he hopes to relieve some fear or concern of mine with the tried and true opening phrase “the reality is…”

 “The reality is a little toilet water won’t permanently damage our son.”

The reality is he’s is a boy with a natural thirst for danger, thus his desire to jump off of the kitchen table.” 

 Reality, ah yes, what a good place to launch the discussion. Where should we begin? With reality!

 Over the past few months, as Betsy and I have plodded our way through a few delays in the publishing process, I have taken comfort in applying my husband’s preferred phrase to our current situation.

 The reality is this: we have never before undertaken a project like Wandeling Press. Betsy, although a very talented writer and teacher, had never before written a children’s book. And although I’ve painted a number of commissioned works prior to our collaboration, I had never before illustrated a book, children’s or otherwise.  And certainly, neither of us had ever launched our own publishing house. That is to say, until now. The reality is that we are just a couple of newbies. New moms. New children’s authors. New illustrators. New publishers.

 The process of creating the first book of Wandeling Press, Woolies for the Winter, began without a hitch. The artistic collaboration between Betsy and myself was a dream! Ideas flew back and forth between Minnesota and Ohio via, texts, emails, phone calls and countless dynamic Facetime sessions. We collaborated with amazing creatives like videographer Sarah Gerber and graphic designer Matt Crutchmer.  And we watched delightedly as our story came to life and gained the enthusiastic support of our Kickstarter backers.

 And then a new reality. 

 The reality was this: watercolors, depending upon the artist’s technique, can be very difficult to scan without marring the colors and textures of the original work. When scanned, light from the scanner catches all of the raised areas of the cold press (textured) paper creating unnatural shadows and color distortions.  As it also happens, my light style of painting does not translate very well at all when scanned with your typical scanner. To color correct them within Photoshop is extremely tedious and with some scans impossible.

 Once we discovered the problem, the hunt for a solution began. This month-long hunt entailed packing up both the original watercolors and my less than compliant 17 month-old to make several trips to dozens of local print shops.

 This presented its own difficult reality: it is very hard to be taken seriously while arguing with the clerk at a high-end giclee printing company that the color integrity of your hedgehog illustrations simply must be maintained. Add to this the fact that your exhausted pint-sized colleague can only handle so many trips in one day and so chooses to voice his frustration by throwing a full-on temper tantrum at your feet.

 This is the reality behind Wandeling Press. Betsy and I are two real moms attempting to write, and paint and scan and publish while all the while editing papers, teaching classes, caring for our own homes and chasing after the two little kiddos who inspired this adventure. This undertaking is messy, comical and so worthwhile. Our books are inspired by the sweet everyday realities of motherhood and sometimes delayed by life’s more difficult realities as well.

 Thankfully, we were finally able to procure some top-notch scans with the necessary color corrections and we are back on track. These before and after images should help give you an idea of the problems we faced.


As always, Betsy and I are very grateful to all our supporters for their patience and encouragement as we work to bring Woolies for the Winter to your bookshelves.  

Ever onward,

Laura

Young Women’s Art Contest Announcement

Young Women’s Art Contest Announcement

Just at the tail end of our Kickstarter Campaign, we also concluded a young women’s illustrators contest to pair the winning poem by Rebekah Rosamilia with an illustration.

We are pleased to announce that Emilie Ludwig has brought us our winning illustration.

We have been honored to work with the poetry of Rebekah and with Emilie’s digital artwork. We would love for you to get to meet them more personally in the spotlights below:

Our winning author and poetess: Rebekah Noelle Rosamilia from West Stephentown, New York

Tell us a little bit about your family: I’m part of a family of seven: my parents and four brothers. Two are at college (ages 20 and 21), but my mom homeschools my two other brothers (ages 18 and 12) and me.

What do you love most about poetry? There are so many aspects of poetry that I absolutely love, but one of my favorites is how it can connect with others when other forms of writing can’t. Since it often portrays emotions in a rawer, more concise way, it can pull in the reader and whisper, “I’m feel this way too” in only a few lines. Poetry is a wonderful way to comfort others or get your feelings onto paper without the length or limitations of stories.

What is your favorite genre of literature? Fantasy

What authors inspire you? J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Andrew Peterson, and Brandon Sanderson

And our winning artist and illustrator: Emilie Ludwig from Melbourne Beach, FL.

Tell us a little bit about your family: I have six awesome siblings, two and three sisters, plus my amazing parents. Living and homeschooling in an 875-sq. ft. house for two years made us very familiar with each others’ annoying habits, as well as not so annoying habits, and I really consider my siblings to be my best friends (albeit sometimes irritating friends), as we all have things we are passionate about in common, such as certain books and movies, and, of course, school.

What do you love most about art? There are many things I love about it, but for me personally it’s probably the freedom of it. It’s not as limited an area as many other things I do, and when I draw, it’s probably the only thing in which I can see all the mistakes even hours after drawing something and yet not despair or get stressed about it because it’s a work in progress. I love the fact that everyone can draw different things—landscapes, portraits, fantasy characters, etc.—and yet their art can all be beautiful, sort of like different works of literature.

What is your favorite genre of art? I don’t really have a favorite genre. I greatly admire the artists of just about any time period, especially the Renaissance and the impressionists, but my forays into online art sites such as Deviantart have also exposed me to many different art styles it’s impossible to pick. Personally, as subjects go, I love drawings of people, especially book or movie characters. I don’t look at photorealism much; I love how each artist can take a subject and put his or her own unique spin on it.

What artists are currently inspiring you? A hard question. I’m doing a research paper on Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, so naturally I’m getting reacquainted with their art a bit. Disney character concept art such as that by Glen Keane is also really interesting to me (I almost always only draw characters from one place or another). However, as I’ve made a transition to digital art, the artists that have probably inspired me most so far are Alice X. Zhang (http://www.alicexz.com/) and “Yuumei” Wenqing Yan (http://www.yuumeiart.com/). “Burdge”(http://burdge.tumblr.com/), too, has made a huge impact on my style. At this stage, it’s an absorbing of others’ styles to find my own.

 

We would also like to take a moment to introduce you briefly to the young women runners up as well:

Sarah Welton-Lair from Ithaca, New York.

What do you love most about poetry? Poetry, to me, is painting with words. Some people have an artistic gift and can create paintings, sculptures, and other works of art to express their feelings. Others have the gift of movement and can express themselves through dance. But for those with the gift of words, poetry serves as an outlet for expression; the precise word choice and flow of rhyme and meter paint as beautiful and vivid a picture as any artist.

What is your favorite genre of literature? I particularly enjoy reading fantasy. On days where I have nowhere to go and nothing to do, I can explore uncharted territories and meet kings and queens through the pages of fantasy novel. But beyond all that, the genre of fantasy helps me to find the magic and beauty in everyday life.

 

And finally Katie Marriott from Beaver, Utah

What do you love most about poetry? I love that in poetry the words are put together to express an idea, image, or story as beautifully as possible. I love that you don't have to care so much about practicality; you can just let your imagination run free.

What is your favorite genre of literature? Nineteenth-century Novels

 

Well said, ladies! We are so pleased with the work these young women have created and have been honored to host their work on Wandeling.

 

 

 

Delays and Discoveries

Delays and Discoveries

   Just last week, the BBC published an article announcing a Beatrix Potter story that has been discovered after 100 years. We have, with interest, followed the unveiling and publication plans for Kitty-in-Boots (Is it just us or does this sound a bit too much like Puss-in-Boots?) Leave it to the Victorians. Then again, Potter’s Kitty is a female kitty who lives a double life— the old lady “called it ‘Kitty’, but Kitty called herself ‘Miss Catherine St. Quintin’. Cheesebox called her ‘Q’, and Winkiepeeps called her ‘Squintums’.” How marvelous is that?!

This publication of Potter’s forgotten work has also made us feel better to know that sometimes the delay between the actual composing and the final publication can take over a century because the last month for Wandeling Press has been full of watercolor challenges.

 

We are so happy to report that the final scans of the watercolor illustrations are done (!) and resubmitted to our graphic designer. We have been holding our breath for nearly on month on this score, so it is a major sigh of relief for us.

 

Back in December we mentioned that we had seen the first mock-up layout. It was incredible to see the text and images together on the page, but we ran into a tricky snafu: getting the watercolors to scan properly. With the fine detail and the light coloration, Laura’s watercolor illustrations did their best to defy all scanning efforts. (not to mention the trouble Laura had getting the print shops to cooperate with our needs.) After various and sundry visits to a number of different print shops and scanners (including mailing the prints back and forth to printers both in Minnesota and Cincinnati) and after using a number of different scanning methods (who knew!?), this last week we have finally been able to capture all the glory of Laura’s work. A hearty huzzah!

 

While we are very thankful to have been able to preserve the image quality that the illustrations demanded, this scanning scurry has cost us a good bit of time. Thankfully the delay coincided perfectly with the Chinese New Year holiday that our printer was taking, so as soon as we are able to get the new images into the book layout, we should be on our way to the printer.

 

In the meantime, we have been working on books 2 and 4 on Spring and Fall. It is so much fun to think about anything outside of winter—like puddles and sprouts and piles of leaves.

 

Huzzah indeed.

 

Don't Stop Now! We are just getting started.

Don't Stop Now! We are just getting started.

Our little dream has officially snowballed into a reality.

We passed our initial funding goal for "Woolies for the Winter" yesterday with a whole 6 days left to go. And there is no slowing down; in fact, momentum is building. 

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The last 24 days have been a flurry of energy, thanks to you all. 

  • Within the first 48 hours of Wandeling’s public release, we received over a dozen emails from women writers and illustrators interested in partnering with us.  
  • We had arrived at 20% of our funding in the first 12 hours.
  • A week ago, Our alma mater joined in the fun, then teachers, professors, mentors, and then complete strangers.
  • A total of 166 Friends, and family, and family of our friends and friends of our families have come around to launch us.
  • Even Kickstarter has caught our vision. Two days ago we were named THEIR STAFF PICK in the publishing category.
  • Yesterday we reached our initial funding goal, leaving us a whole six days to press beyond it. 

If you are interested in helping us farther along the way, what can you do to help us in the next six days?

  1. Visit our Kickstarter Project and watch our video.
  2. Share our project link with those you know, particularly in the children’s literary world. Please do mention our project as a Kickstarter staff pick in publishing
  3. Introduce book-loving and book-writing friends to our website.
  4. Check out how we are currently encouraging collaboration in the creative work among young female writers and artists.
  5. If you are intrigued by what you see, consider backing our project or recommend a copy of Woolies for the Winter as a Christmas gift for you and your family. Laura is even making a print-out your can use as a stocking stuffer to announce the gift (since it won’t arrive until the real dead of winter, February).

We want to invite you in to the fun and the fray. It is not too late.

How much further shall we wandel on this, our first adventure? How far can we go?

Further in, for sure.

Wandeling for Young Women Writers

Wandeling for Young Women Writers

 

Earlier this November, we launched a poetry contest for young writers, ages 15-21. We had a number of excellent submissions, and we are excited to introduce the winning poem. The poets were asked to write a poem in verse of three to eight stanzas exploring the wonders of winter. They were asked to consider wonder with its positive, magical connotations (as in “That’s Wonderful!) and its negative, violent ones (as in Horatio’s exclamation in Hamlet: “It [the ghost] harrows me with fear and wonder”).

Without further ado, we bring you Rebekah Rosamilia’s winning poem for “Wither the Wandel Poetry Contest” in which Rebekah’s winter greets us as a weaving woman.

Winter

By Rebekah Rosamilia

Age 16

She enters gently, hesitant;
Her feet tip-toe on dying leaves;
She slips behind her sister’s flames
And creeps below the hanging eave;
She finds her place on bare-branch seat
And pulls out knitting, close and neat.

The stitches of her detailed work
Are heavy, white, and tumble down
Over her knees, onto the floor
Like one thick woven, homely gown
That covers all in cozy sheets
Of frosty nights and rosy cheeks.

Her smile is gentle, voice is soft,
Yet storms may flash before her eyes
When stitches catch or fingers slip,
But soon they’re followed by a sigh
Of ice-brushed air and snow on barn
That Winter weaves into her yarn.

 

Our lovely first runner-up poem, by Sarah Welton Lair, leaves us dusted by a snowfall:

Snowfall

A quiet, crisp December night
A walk toward home despite the black
Alone, outside, no warmth, no light
But there’s no going back

Shivering I trudge along
Feet shuffling through the slushy slop
I softly sing an anxious song
When suddenly I stop

A delicate flake of crystal snow
Falls right in front of my chapped nose
Then spirals gracefully below
And lands in soft repose

I lift my face up to the sky
To meet a flurry stretched for yards
That seems to my inventive eye
A rain of frosty stars

Each snowflake moves in nimble dance
First chaîné turn, then pirouette
They swirl and drift as if entranced
Some spinning in duet

The road home now seems not so long
Though cold remains, I need not flee
Each snowflake in that fairy throng
Will keep me company

Soon lights appear like lanterns bright
Which speak of family, food, and rest
I reach my porch, now clothed in white
I have fulfilled my quest

Then off to bed fast as can be
Turn out the light with eager hand
For I know when I wake, I’ll see
A winter wonderland

 

And our second runner up, Katie Marriot, captures the advent spirit and the longing for life and spring again.

Winter Waiting

A snowflake wanders from the sky, 
And lands on where my body lies
Deep beneath the cold, hard cry
And sorrowing death of yesterday. 
Wind sweeps through the barren trees. 
They shiver against its tempting chaff. 
Too weak to stand some fall to knees, 
Roots only holding them through the wrath. 
Over me, soft flecks of snow lightly wend. 
I hardly feel their chilly calm. 
I know this cannot be the final end. 
Before a sacred throne I soon will bend, 
And be revived in Spring’s loving arm.

 

Today, Wandeling Press now begins its illustrator’s contest in which we are inviting young women illustrators to illustrate Rebekah’s winning poem by December 19. Check out the details here.