Children Book Author Vincent Eke visits SCBWI Cork Ireland

Children’s Book Author Vincent Eke visits SCBWI Cork Ireland to discuss book publishing experience.

Owl reading bookDate: Saturday, June 21, 2014
Time: 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Venue: Bishopstown Library, Cork

I will be discussing my journey into writing and self-publishing of my books in the series “Mama’s Tales of Kanji” which include my first book “The Turtle’s Shell ” and my second upcoming book in the same series “The Golden Bird“. I will also be answering questions about the path and experience to publishing. Afterwards, I will be reading some except from my book to those in attendance.

In case you want to ask, SCBWI stands for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. See the SCBWI Ireland website for more details about their yearly events and meet-up times.

It would be lovely to see you there.

I wish You a Merry Christmas!

I wish YOU a Merry Christ Mass in remembrance and celebration of the significance of the birth and life Jesus Christ. If Jesus was alive right now what will he want us who celebrate his birth to say and do?

He would say:

Merry Christmas Jesus Christ

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbour as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

– The Bible, Matthew 22:37-40

If one person in any part of this world is in need and suffering physically and spiritually that means that we – the rest of the population of human beings – are also participants in their suffering because all of our lives are but a link in the web of life. It may not look like it but our World is in chaos today because we choose to ignore this number one fundamental law of life as restated by Jesus: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. What affects one affects all of us.

 

He would do:

Merry Christmas-Jesus Christ

Jesus answered them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

– The Bible, Luke 5:31, 32

In other words: if you are perfect you don’t need help but if you are imperfect then you do need help to remember who you truly are and to attain a Godly state again. For truly you are a part(icle) of God.

Let us help one another to remember the true reason for the celebration of Christmas. This is what Jesus and Christmas is all about.

I wish YOU a Merry Christmas!

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The Turtle’s Shell – Mama’s Tales of Kanji Book Launch Videos

The Turtle’s Shell – Mama’s Tales of Kanji by Vincent Eke Book Launch Full Video

Watch the full video of the whole event of the launching of  the book The Turtle’s Shell – Mama’s Tales of Kanji by Vincent Eke.

The book launch took place at the Cork City Library in Grand Parade, Cork City on Wednesday 23 October 2013. The book was officially launched by Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine, Ireland.

Also listen to encouraging speeches by other notable quests such as the Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Joe O’Callaghan; Brian O’Kane, Managing Director of Oak Tree Press; Reverend Nick Cassidy, Pastor of the Cork Church; Eammon Kirwan, Executive Librarian of Cork City Libraries; musical entertainment from Lace. Most importantly watch the author Vincent Eke reading an excerpt from his new children’s book to the audience present at the library.

 

 

Let me know what your thought are after watching the video.

The Turtle’s Shell (Mama’s Tales of Kanji) Book Launching Photos

The book launching of The Turtle’s Shell (Mama’s Tales of Kanji) took place on Wednesday 23 October 2013 at 11am in the Cork City Libraries HQ in Grand Parade, Cork, Ireland. The book was launched by Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine. He was supported by Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork City Joe O’Callaghan. The launch was opened with a word of exhortation and prayer by Reverend Nick Cassidy of the Cork Church.

Entertainment was provided by Lace an African musical band from the Congo. There was lots of Coffee & Tea, soft drinks, biscuits and Chin-Chin (the delicious food snack featured in the book itself) for everyone to enjoy. The book launching was blessed with a beautiful sunny morning after the down pour of rain the previous two days. Overall, it was a very good happy book launch and now the next stage is to go forward to promote, market and sell as many copies as possible of the book.

See below for some photos from the launch. Check out the Gallery for more photos from the book launch.

The first photo below is of Vincent Eke, Author reading an excerpt from his new children’s book The Turtle’s Shell (Mama’s Tales of Kanji) at the book launch.

The second photo below is of Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine giving his speech and launching the new children’s book The Turtle’s Shell (Mama’s Tales of Kanji) at the Cork City Library.

The third photo below is of Vincent Eke, Author, Joe O’Callaghan, Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork and Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine at the launching of the new children’s book The Turtle’s Shell (Mama’s Tales of Kanji) at the Cork City Library, Grand Parade, Cork.

 The Turtle's Shell Book Launch Photos_11-Vincent-Eke Author

The Turtle's Shell Book Launch Photos_10-Simon_Coveney Minister for Agriculture_Food_Marine

The Turtle's Shell Book Launch Photos_3-VincentEke-JoeO'Callaghan-SimonCoveney

 

Where to Buy The Turtle’s Shell (Mama’s Tales of Kanji) Book

You can buy your own copy of the paperback book from the local book stores below:

Waterstones, Patrick Street, Cork

Porters Bookstore, Wilton SC, Cork

Porters Bookstore, Paul Street, Cork

Christian Bookshop, Tuckey Street, Cork

Carrigaline Bookshop, Main Street, Carrigaline, Cork

… and all other fine local bookstores.

 

Internationally you can get the book from your local library, bookshop and online from Amazon. If you can’t find it in your local library or bookstore, ask the manager to order it for you using any of the ISBN numbers below for the different formats of the book:

ISBN 978-1-909688-00-1 (Paperback)
ISBN 978-1-909688-01-8 (Kindle eBook)
ISBN 978-1-909688-02-5 (ePub eBook)

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Courage

To do anything worthwhile you need courage. Even when the odds are stacked against you or the Courageresources needed to accomplish your tasks are scarce or the road to success is rough you don’t give up, ever! Instead, you dig deep inside yourself for inner strength. You encourage yourself when there is nobody to encourage you by not losing sight of your vision before you.

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anaïs Nin

It is okay to be anxious. The road to a critical decision is always full of anxiety. It is unavoidable. So you may as well face up to it. It is human nature to try and rationalise all the scenarios of a decision even though we know we don’t know what is going to happen in the next moment. Our mind is constantly bombarded by these questions especially the “What if…?” ones. I call this the small ‘’Nagative’ voice. A combination of the words ‘Nagging’ and ‘Negative’:

What if I don’t make it?

What if everything does not work out the way I had planned them?

What do other people think of me?

What if other people don’t like what I am doing?

What if I don’t become financially successful?

What if I fail?

What if I succeed?

Add your own ‘What if…?’ nagative voice.

It is okay to be afraid

It is okay to be afraid. How do you overcome this fear? You embrace the fear of doing the unfamiliar but still go ahead and do what needs to be done. You are only a failure if you don’t face the demon of fear that lurks around the corner of every good and wholesome venture that you have a vision to accomplish. What you fear won’t go away until you confront it and overcome it. Kill the fear and the battle is won.

The fear of doing anything worthwhile in a situation where you face an important decision point in life is like a man drowning in a river who sees something that looks like a log of wood floating towards him. What is the worst thing that could happen? He is afraid to grab it because he thinks it may be his worst fear – a crocodile. The preservation of life dictates that you grab it and ride it to safety. If it is a log of wood – your prayer has been answered. You have been saved. If it is a crocodile then you have a real battle in your hands. At least for a few minutes your mind would be taken off the prospect of drowning as you fight for your life. And the funny thing with life is that sometimes the fight you are afraid to fight may be the one that drags you all the way to the rivers shore.

The log of wood and the crocodile symbolises the vehicle and the work involved that you may have to use and do to achieve your goals. The venture you are afraid to pursue may take you to the peak of success that you have wished and dreamt of. Life has always worked in mysterious ways for those who hold their vision before them. This mysterious ways has been facilitated by the hands of providence.

Your life is already a success

Your life is already a success. In life change is inevitable and it takes courage to embrace every Couragechange that occurs in your life. These changes are those you initiated yourself or those that are forced on you by external forces you don’t control. You are already a courageous person because it takes courage to live from one day to the next. But every additional successes in life demands additional courage. So dig deep into yourself. Go back to the original source of life from where all power emanates, demand for and access what you need to accomplish your goal.

Tell us what your ‘What if…?’ nagative voice has been whispering in your ears. How do you encourage yourself when you are in a difficult decision making situation?

You have nothing to lose when you confront fear than gain everything that you did not have before. Be a winner. Be a champion. Be courageous today.

“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do.  There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” – Edward Vernon Rickenbacker

Photo courtesy photos-public-domain.com

Change

Nobody likes Change. Left to our own devises most people would like things to just remain the way they are. That is only if the present situation is most favourable to them. Why should you put yourself through the hassle needed to change? However, life has shown that it is impossible for things to remain the same for a very long time even if the current situation is most favourable to you. The most permanent thing in life is change. If you look around you long enough you would soon realise that everything is changing.

The lifestyle we were used to, were told to accept and thought would continue forever is changing. Politics and Leadership systems around the World are changing. People’s mindset, dreams and aspirations are changing. The 21st century is set to witness and experience the greatest change that has ever faced the people in this little blue planet we call Earth. The traditional way of doing business is changing rapidly with the fast paced advancement of the Information Age. The status quo is no longer accepted as the only way and solution of how things should be done or how the people of the World should live.

“Live each day as if it were your last… Because one day it will be.” – Jeremy Schwartz

All the wisest men who ever lived and all the religions of the world have reminded us that man must embrace change. Whether the change leads to a positive or negative outcome is inevitable. It is the experience gained from the change that would help us to chart and design the desired lifestyle and world we want to live in. They have also said that in order to make a change you must start today.

Sometimes after going into deep meditation I write down some of the thoughts that have been strongest and  that really resonated with me. Occasionally, when I am in a moment of despair I bring out my journal and read these words again to encourage myself to keep going in my quest to achieve my goals and live the lifestyle that I desire for myself and my loved ones which includes you reading these words. Recently, the though just occurred to me that I should put these words in pictures and put them up in my Pinterest board. The pictures below are the first ones. Feel free to pin them on your Pinterest page or link to them on your website.

Start Today

Start Today Picture

Start today to carve out the life you want to live tomorrow

 

Change

Change Picture

…Life is a never ending loop

Your Yesterday was Today and your Today was Tomorrow

Your Tomorrow will become Today and Today will become Yesterday

The only thing that is constant is Change

Don’t be afraid to change

Get comfortable with change

Life is constantly changing

So keep changing!

Life is a never ending loop…

 

What have you done today?

What have you done today?

Yesterday is gone never to be relived.

Today will be Yesterday lived

How are you living today

To make Yesterday a happy memory

and tomorrow a joyful outcome?

What have you done Today?

 

I hope by sharing these words you the reader would be able to gain some inspiration to encourage you re-evaluate your present situation, make that change, move on, or stick it out in whatever you may be involved in.

“The person who has lived the most is not the one who has lived the longest, but the one with the richest experiences.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Enjoy, live your life without unreasonable restrictions and may unlimited blessings be yours. Do let me know what your thoughts are, what change you are making in your business and life in the comments below?

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Life is a story

Life is a story…

Life is a story photo by Vincent Eke

“Life is a story.
A life is a story.
A life is a story and it is worth telling.
A life is a story and it is worth telling because it’s essence lingers on.
A life is a story and it is worth telling because it’s essence lingers on even after it’s light has been extinguished.
It is your life’s story and you are the storyteller.
Write whatever you desire in it.
Start Now!”

Vincent Eke

Cartoon by Mark Lynch

Powerful Lessons from Just Do It Nike slogan

Powerful Lessons from “Just Do It.” Nike slogan

Just-Do-It How does a simple phrase “Just Do It.” have such a powerful effect on a brand’s product? Does this powerful effect in this simple phrase which became the inspiration for Nike’s “Just Do It.” ad campaign apply to sports activities only? Can anybody else including indie writers apply it to themselves in the accomplishment of their goals? What are the powerful lessons from “Just Do It.” Nike slogan that we can we learn today?

Since its launch the Nike brand and their sport products have become household name. Many people including those outside of the sporting field have also used it to change their lives. This inspirational phrase was coined by advertising agency founder Dan Wieden of Wieden + Kennedy in 1988 for a Nike promotional sport ads campaign. He first saw how powerful it is after reading about a similar phrase that was uttered as the last words of a man about to be executed. In spite of its morbid origin it has remained a very popular slogan since then. It is arguably one of my best inspirational phrases.

 

The Power in Just Do It.

How can three simple words “Just Do It.” hold so much power and cause such a tremendous change in ones circumstances? People feel and identify with the power in the words because they are simple and true. The phrase itself has finality in it. Whatever it is you would want to do – you either do it now or move on to something else.

Well, we all know this is easier said than done. If we were to obey and apply the wisdom in this words to everything we planned on doing in our lives especially from an early age we would be great achievers. The ability to grasp and apply this motto is one of the secrets to success.

Moreover, when one is at the point of making a decision or at a crossroad implementing the adage “Just Do It.” does not give room for hedging ones bet or looking back. It does not entertain regrets and it banishes the thought of failure to a future day for retrospection.

 

What makes “Just Do It.” so Powerful?

On a closer look at the phrase one would discover that it ends not in an exclamation mark – which would have given one some fuzzy feeling and also offered one a bit of wriggle room for escaping from finishing the dreaded task at hand.

Instead the phrase ends in a full stop. What does this mean? What this simply mean is that you are going to do what you said you want to do right now with no excuses or you should forget about it all together. When there is a task to be done, be proactive and Just Do It.

In this short video below, the brains behind the “Just Do It.” ad campaign slogan tells us how this popular phrase came about and its impact on both the company Nike’s sport brand and the ordinary people who adopted it as their mantra and applied it to change their circumstances.

 

The Application of Just Do It.

Just as many people had used this slogan to propel themselves to do what it takes to succeed so you too can use it to get things done. I use it when I am tired of procrastinating on something I should have done ages ago but felt too unfocussed or reluctant to either do it or complete it. So:

  • Do you want to go to college and work for Google? Just Do It.
  • Do you want to write a book and become a published author? Just Do It.
  • Do you want to lose weight and look more healthy, beautiful or handsome? Just Do It.
  • Do you want to do nothing, go nowhere and achieve nothing in life? Just Do It.
  • Whatever is it you want to do? Just Do It.

 

The Aftermath of Just Do It.

There is a feeling of great accomplishment after you have crossed your heart, thrown caution to the wind and gone out on a limb to do something you have been putting off. Now you can sit back and say to yourself – Just Done It!

Just-Done-It!How has this phrase “Just Do It.” resonated personally with you? Are you one of those who would have preferred it with an exclamation mark or a full stop? How are you using these powerful lessons from “Just Do It” Nike slogan to go beyond procrastination in your quest to accomplish your dreams and goals?

How to Eat an Elephant

How to Eat an Elephant

How Do You Eat an Elephant? One Bite at a Time. This is the principle of how to accomplish your ultimate goal by setting and achieving smaller goals first.

Setting Big and Small Goals

Positive thinkingThe first month of the New Year January is traditionally the month when most people decide on their New Year resolution. One’s resolution may be a big goal such as publishing one’s book. As humans we can be euphorically emotional with our big ideas. When we are faced with a big problem, a big task or a big goal such as an enormous elephant we tend to want to eat the whole elephant in one chunk. We want to solve that problem or accomplish that big goal in one fell swoop. But nature does not work that way. The only exception when nature works that way is when a miracle happens. There is even an exception to that too – miracles don’t happen in isolation, a miracle is usually triggered by a series of built up preparations.

When you are faced with setting big and small goals, a good principle to use would be to apply the SMART goals criteria as outlined below:

Specific – be clear in your mind what your ultimate desire is that you want to achieve, why, how and when you are going to make it happen, even with the smallest goals. Paint a clear picture of your big goal.

Measurable – make sure you can measure and monitor your progress. Get the help of a mentor to keep you in check. A good mentor would remind you to keep your focus on your big goal.

Attainable – Getting your book into the New York Times Bestseller List is attainable but would take a longer time and frustrating hard work to achieve. But getting your book into your local bookshops and into Amazon Kindle is easier to attain and would take less time. This is an achievable small goal.

Realistic – In spite of your enthusiasm you still have to work on your goal within the constraints of societal norms, other people’s schedules inadvertently clashing with yours and unfavourable natural interventions. Be realistic about how and when you would be able to achieve your goal. Set for yourself small real targets that you can achieve in the short term.

Time-frame – Make a decision to achieve your goals within a reasonable deadline. Everyone has the same amount of time in the day they tell us. That may be the case but your time is best known to you. However, set a deadline for when you would like to accomplish a task, attain a small goal and ultimately the bigger goal. And what happens if you don’t meet the deadline? Well, as long as you are still passionate and determined to achieve your big goal you can go ahead and set another deadline. Under this frame of mind, slowly but surely and as the sun rises and sets, a day will come when your success will dawn on you.

How to Really Eat an Elephant

Firstly you need to sub-divide the big goal of eating the elephant into smaller goals. In order to know how to really eat an Elephant you require three main recipe ingredients:

#1 Risk Taking – Eating an Elephant is a mammoth task so you need time, a business plan, vision, determination and passion. You have to look at the elephant and decide where you are going to start. For starters you can start with one leg. Applying this principle to your big goal, you can start by getting your business plan done or start the writing of the synopsis of your storybook or flesh out the characters of your fictional story.

#2 Resources – You need to have and implement a strategic plan e.g. technical know-how, knowledge. In order to eat an elephant you have to be very resourceful. You can start by brushing up on your writing skills. You can join a local book club, enroll into a short story writing class, join a business network or join an online forum for aspiring writers like yourself.

#3 Leveraging – You need to use tools e.g. cutlery. You cannot come to the table to eat an elephant without the appropriate cutlery. In the same way, you cannot write a book without the essential tools you need to get the job done. These tools maybe buying a desktop computer or laptop if you don’t already have one, buying the yearly published Writer’s Yearbook, buying some notebooks and pens for scribbling your ideas for those times when powering the computer becomes too much work.

Celebrate your Small Achievements

In order to make the task of achieving the big goal less daunting, you should break down or cut up the huge task into smaller manageable pieces. Setting milestones and deadlines is also as important – after completing a task such as copy-editing, jump up for joy. Celebrate your small achievements and reward yourself for achieving this milestone. Go ahead and do something that you enjoy. For example go see the latest 3D movie and spoil yourself with a big box of pop-corn and soft drink.

The Elephant in the Room

The Elephant in the Room - Lionpen PublishingAchieving anything significant in life takes time. In spite of the new technology and information readily available to us today the Elephant in the room is that there are only a few situations where somebody had achieved anything of significance in a short time. You will encounter difficulties in the writing and publishing of your book. So don’t lose hope if things don’t work out as planned the first time. You can always try again.

In the Grand Scheme of Things

Ultimately, in the grand scheme of things eating a whole elephant is easier said than done. But applying a little common sense into the situation could actually help you to eat a good sizeable chunk even if you could not manage to finish the whole elephant. In this vein, breaking down your big goal of publishing your book or starting a business can be achieved by setting for yourself achievable micro-targets or small goals. Overtime all these smaller goals would add up to form your big goal. A parting word of caution and advice is if you were to observe any of life’s wisdom it will be that you should be merry and happy in the quest to achieving your life’s big goal. Be sure to enjoy the journey and don’t give up…..ever!

“Champions know that success is inevitable; that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. They know that the best way to forecast the future is to create it.” –  Michael J. Gelb

What is your #1 best writing tip?

What is your #1 best writing tip?

This post is a response to a discussion titled ‘What is your #1 best writing tip?’ that I had started on LinkedIn Books and Writers Group which has taken up a life of its own. A lot of good writing tips have been suggested by both published authors and aspiring writers. As of the time of writing this post there has been 72 comments and it’s only been a few days.

writing tipsThe definition of a tip as used in this context is a tried and tested helpful hint or other piece of information that helps one to perform better at a job or get a job done in a smarter and quicker manner – in this case it would be in the act of writing. When used wisely a tip can help one cut down the amount of time and energy spent doing a job – be it a tedious, technical or simple work.

My #1 best writing tip?

One writing tip at the top of my list would be to identify my most productive happy hour of the day and place to write. I have observed that my best writing comes out of me in such a conducive environment.

Another one of my writing tip would be when I am stuck for ideas or feeling too lazy to write – writer’s block to some – one of the places I go to clear out the cobwebs is my local shopping centre. Anywhere in the world you go to the market place has always been a hot spot for drama. I find a free spot on a bench in the centre of the main hall and just observe the throng of people going about their business. In only a short time I would start to notice scenes and character traits unfolding themselves around me that I can infuse into my writing.

More writing tips from other people

Here are a few of the #1 best writing tips from other published authors and aspiring writers that has been contributed to the discussion.

Don’t edit while in the process of getting the words down. It bogs you down and helps you to lose your train of thought. Instead edit after you have written it. If I stopped to edit everything I was trying to get down on paper I would be too involved in that process instead of the story I am trying to bring to others.

– Jerri Aubry, Behaviour consultant at Advance education

Never give up, even if you feel like it!

– Beth Rich Martin, Writer, Author and Consultant

My grandfather said “Bobby, if you want to be a writer, you need to know human nature. Without that, you have nothing.”… So, if you want to know my best writing tip? Know your fellow humans because that’s not as easy as it sounds.

– Robert Crawford, author of American Zen and The Toy Cop

Criticism is about improvement, not insult. Use it to your advantage, not to your tantrum.

– Jennifer Pillowtaylor, Writer, Jenn’s Writing and Editing Service

Years ago, at 2 in the morning over a game of liar’s dice in a bar, an editor gave me some great advice. He told me always to apply the ‘Fresh fish for sale in this market today’ rule of writing. Think of that as a sign in the front window of the fish market, then cut the message down to one word. Apply that rule to sentences, then paragraphs, and sometimes even whole chapters. Not so different from Hemingway’s advice to confine your sentences to ‘the exact sequence of motion and thought that made the emotion.’

–  Maynard Allington, Author of novels, short stories and magazine articles

Man sitting down to writeMy #1 best writing tip is to just sit down and do it.

– Jenny Roche, Freelance writer

Tip 1: Read aloud what you have written before you finish it. You’d be surprised what you discover by reading your work to your partner or spouse.

Tip 2: Never stop writing. If you can’t write your novel, or book, or story, write in a blog. Writing is a skill like running or cycling or playing music – you need to keep practicing to be good and to remain in shape.

– Ian Chadwick, Author at Municipal World

Get ready to be criticized, fairly or not. It takes a strong character to keep writing.

– Judith Clancy, Author of books:Exploring Kyoto, Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide and Kyoto: City of Zen

When you’ve completed your first draft, assuming you are using Word, do a search for ly. Yes, ly (no period). You’ll be amazed at how silly some of your verbs are made to look by the juxtaposition of the adverb. I’m a friend and fan of Carolyn Howard Johnson and she’s spot-on in her Frugal Editor book. Your mining of adverbs may also suggest metaphors that will really improve things. Do another search for some overused words like often, too, only, even, very, really, almost, always, far, fast. Get Carolyn’s book. Finally, my best advice: simplify, simplify, simplify, with thanks to Thoreau.

– Jim Ure, Owner, Laughing Trout Publishers

 

What is your #1 best writing tip? Do you also have any special place where you go to meet your muse for that special writing tip and inspiration? Use the comment box below or/and go to LinkedIn Books and Writers Group discussion and share your tips with us.