#YALC2018 #BeaCraftivist Activity Guidelines

IMPORTANT NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART IN THIS ACTIVITY IT WOULD REALLY HELP IF YOU HAD YOUR OWN NEEDLE (with large eye) AND SCISSORS (nail scissors) with you or back at your accommodation. I will not have enough of these to issue. Also feel free to bring your own thread.

We all know that book people are passionate people but, that at times, passion and fighting injustice can be draining. That is where Craftivism comes in. I found Sarah Corbett and her Craftivist Collective https://craftivist-collective.com/our-story/ through Unbound https://unbound.com and was intrigued by the concept of gentle/quiet activism.

The Pitch

What does reading mean to you? Want to save our libraries? Love crafting?

With a tv adaptation depicting Ray Bradbury’s Book Burning dystopia Fahrenheit 451 out this year and the failure of our government to protect our libraries or to properly fund school libraries the time for us to craft/write/speak up is now.

Come and take part in a craftivist event at YALC to create a wall of quiet activism. On Friday/Saturday come and collect your Craftivist pack and spend the evening reflecting on your love of books. Bring your completed crafts to create a wall of book love that will be shared on blogs, social media and with MPs. And, if I can find somewhere that accepts it it will be moved to be displayed at a library/bookshop after the event.

Kirsty Stanley is an Occupational Therapist, writer and book blogger at Books, Occupation… Magic! She can be found most places online @kirstyes. Along with her friends she turns 40 this year and is organising this to celebrate the importance of books and reading to personal development. With amazing YA literature being released today we need to ensure teens can get their hands on it.

Here are some links on underfunding of our libraries:

https://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2017/oct/19/uk-national-public-library-system-community

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-42095945

Collect your pack (Fri or Sat)

I have around 350 packs available and I’ll put half out on Friday and half on Saturday. Come over to the Craftivist wall to collect your pack (I might not be there so just help yourselves – on a first come first served basis) and then over the course of the day or evening create your own “Craftivist book” to come back to hang on our wall of quiet activism by 11am Sunday. As soon as it’s ready feel free to add it straight to the wall. You might inspire others with your words.

Basically we will be recreating the YALC wall of books with our own.

If you are only attending YALC on Sunday or you simply want to get stuck in beforehand in case I run out of packs feel free to create your own “Craftivist book” out of materials you have at home and share it on the wall by 11am Sunday.

Craftivist Book Activity Guidelines

Each pack will contain a foam mobile phone case, a material insert, a length of wool, a heart hanger and sticky Velcro hook.

Additionally decide if you want to write or sew your message, and if the latter collect some thread from the box too. If you are writing use the Sharpies provided to write your message but please leave them at the wall for others to use.

Here is my step by step example as one idea. Feel free to tweak or to use your own embellishments.

Step one find the cut thread on one side of your mobile phone case. Unpick it down one side and along the bottom so it opens like a book (leave one side threaded) and leave your unpicked thread attached to use later.

Decide which is going to be the front cover of your book. I think the white side might be easier because you can write on it.

Title your “book” and add your name as the author of your message.

Next is the most important part – decide what your message is going to be. Why are books and/or libraries important to you?

Depending on how much time you have you can either write or sew your message. You can see I did both, and I used my writing as a guideline – no way could my brain work out freehand sewing 🤯. I also chose to share a quote that I love about libraries but do share your own stories and words too.

Then I used the unpicked thread to sew the pages into the book finishing at the top where I then threaded the excess through the wooden heart and tied it off into a knot too big to slide back through the hole.

Add your sticky Velcro hook to the back of the heart which will enable you to stick your message to the book wall.

Finally bind your book and your message with the wool. Take a picture and share. Use the hashtags #beacraftivist and #yalc2018 in your posts. Also feel free to come back here and leave a message in the comments about how you found taking part in the activity and what went through your head whilst creating your Craftivist book. Sarah terms these Crafterthoughts.

Book Wall Display

By 11am Sunday I’m hoping everyone will have shared their books so do come back to take a look at everyone else’s messages, take photos and tweet them out – especially to your local MP. You can find out who that is here – https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

I would dearly love for this display to live on beyond YALC so if you are happy for that to happen just leave your book on the wall.

IF YOU ARE A LONDON LIBRARY OR BOOKSTORE WHO WOULD BE HAPPY TO DISPLAY THIS AFTER YALC PLEASE CONTACT ME HERE. THANK YOU.

Thanks to Dorset Scrapstore for letting me purchase the mobile phone cases and fabric for £7!!! – I cleaned them out of the former. I thought the adaption of mobile phone cases into books was kind of ironic.

Find your local scrapstore here.

https://www.scrapstoresuk.org/scrapstore-locations/scrapstores-directory

If this activity has got you quietly fired up do consider picking up a copy of How to be a Craftivist by Sarah Corbett from your local friendly bookstore or, better yet, if you still have one, ask your library to stock a copy.

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Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues (Written by Erik Burnham, art by Nacho Arranz, Colors by Esther Sanz) – Book Review

Synopsis

Once upon a time, a troop of has-been actors that starred on an old sci-fi show Galaxy Quest, were enlisted by an alien race to save them from an intergalactic tyrant. Despite being way out of their depth, the cast somehow manage to save the aliens and have enjoyed a career resurgence sic de returning from their unlikely adventure. But all that is about to be interrupted by Qint, an alien with a very surprising ax to grind against Jason Nesmith and the crew of the NSEA Protector!

What I Thought

Galaxy Quest is one of the funniest films ever and I was so excited to spot this in the comic store.

The artwork is good, internally the characters don’t quite look like they do in the films but that didn’t bother me too much. There was a little role call of their images (with their backstory) at the beginning. The front cover artwork is nearer to the film actors but is by a different illustrator.

The story ties in with the film. By using the Omega 13 and rolling back time the crew caused a problem for another alien race who are now out for revenge.

The plot is really that simple. There’s some fighting. Some use of original GQ scripts in the process of trying to avert disaster. I felt it all got resolved a little quickly and easily (this bind up is of 4 issues). There was also not enough Laliari.

I found that the comedy fell flat without the actor’s delivery. Then film really had the perfect cast.

For me this was a one read story… although the cliffhanger story it left on sounds like it could be fun.

Floored by The UKYA Super Seven – Book Review

Ever since I got a sampler of this at last year’s YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) I’ve been desperate to read the whole thing and see if I could work out which author wrote which character. See below for my feeble guessing attempts. YALC 2018 is a mere week away with the Floored 7 speaking/signing on Saturday so I’m looking forward to getting my copy signed by these wonderful women (and also taking part in the Floored quiz on Friday night – I wonder if we can get last year’s #QuizYA winning #TeamBarnard back together).

Synopsis

When they got in the lift, they were strangers.

Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means; Dawson, who used to be on TV, used to be handsome, and is sincerely hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it; and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.

Every day told seven ways in this unique collaborative novel.

Authors

I have read and loved books by each of these authors. Instead of giving you a bio I’ll link you to their Twitter where they hang around being funny and awesome and tell you which one of their other books is my favourite… so far.

Sara Barnard – @saramegan

A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Holly Bourne – @holly_bourneYA

Am I Normal Yet?

Tanya Byrne – @tanyabyrne

Heart-Shaped Bruise

Non Pratt – @NonPratt

Trouble

Melinda Salisbury – @MESalisbury

The Sin Eater’s Daughter

Lisa Williamson – @lisa_letters

The Art of Being Normal

Eleanor Wood – @eleanor_wood

Gemini Rising

A nod also to the illustrations by Laura Callaghan. I especially loved Kait’s illustration progression.

What I Thought

Back in 1994 Sandra Bullock’s character Annie in Speed told us that “relationships that start under intense circumstances, never last.” That film starts in a lift and so does the action in Floored, and it seems from the book’s dedication that so did the inspiration for this story. Clearly Annie is a master of reverse psychology because it seems intense circumstances can bring people together and indeed here it creates a story that I’ll happily keep with me.

This is a contemporary young adult read with common themes such as teen pregnancy, feminism, growing up, deciding where you fit. There’s also diversity in terms of sexuality and disability as well as young characters facing morbidity and mortality.

Each of the six teen characters gets their own chapters and there is an overarching narrator. I don’t think that was meant to be the seventh person in the lift but I could be wrong.

I liked the comedy in it especially the morbid humour in naming their messaging group. The use of text statuses between the group when they weren’t physically together also worked well to advance the story.

I thought it explored friendships really well in terms of how within groups of friends people pair off or create subgroups based on commonality or connection. The time jump forward to the next year reminded me a little of the film Beaches in terms of tone. The shock incident, and meeting, happens early on and the story is then about how they stay in touch or drift apart. It didn’t feel slow paced though and this structure allowed a range of experiences to be explored over time.

Not all of the characters are likeable but all of them are interesting and hold your attention during their narration. I didn’t find myself wanting to skip ahead to x’s bit but was fully immersed.

I enjoyed the nods to some of the author’s other books. Melinda’s character Luvian Fen from State of Sorrow is mentioned in Dawson’s chapter, as is Rhys Gold from Sara’s A Quiet Kind of Thunder. What other Easter Eggs did people find?

And reverse long bottoming as a concept is genius. Harsh, but also sadly true in some cases.

In short I really loved this and if you love contemporary I have no doubt you will too. I’d love the authors to considered coming back to these characters 10 & 20 years in the future too. More please.

Who wrote who??

Original guesses after the sampler to which Mel replied Interesting?!

Dawson – Non

Kaitlyn – Sara

Sasha – Holly

Hugo – Tanya

Velvet – Eleanor

Joe – Lisa

Narrator – Melinda

Guesses when re- reading first chapters

Dawson – Non

Kaitlyn – Sara

Sasha – Holly

Hugo – Melinda

Velvet – Eleanor

Joe – Lisa

Narrator – Tanya

Guesses after finishing

Dawson – Non

Kaitlyn – Sara

Sasha – Tanya

Hugo – Melinda

Velvet – Holly

Joe – Lisa

Narrator – Eleanor

In other words I have no clue. I can’t even really fully justify why these were my guesses. Feel? I suspect I am totally wrong.

Anyway all of these ladies can write magnificently separately and together they have blended so well and created a group of characters you will be happy to meet up with time and time again. In fact I’d love to hear more from them.

If you’ve read the book who do you think wrote who? What reasoning do you have?

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