Sunday 30 January 2022

Chapbook: Writing the Story

 I am writing the story using Google Docs, I began with my synopsis and in the first chapter, the idea was to set up the story, introduce milk, and start to develop character and place.  I am using a God's Eye View so we can see all that is happening as we follow Milk through her first day...

As I am writing, without an editor I wrote this and then edited and reedited on Google Docs, I then added the final draft to Blurb - below you can see what this looks like and images that I have added.

To read the final draft of the first chapter please click here.

I was happy with the direction the story was taking so I also wrote the second chapter - The Order of St Jude where the journey really begins.  Again I edited and reedited and add the final draft to Blurb.  I am doing this as I go along as there is a short time limit on completion 

The final draft of Chapter Two can be found here

I have started on the poetry and I have now only to complete the final chapter and two poems.  I will also add my further research to complete the process and development of my writing project 

The Book of Lost Things: The Beginning

 I am creating my book using Blurb so I downloaded Bookwright and completed the Cover and set up the book ready to add text.

I began by choosing Pro Design 

I then chose 'trade book' as in the spirit of the chapbook this should be a cheaply produced book and small so I chose 6" x 9".

I then chose the paper, here I chose white uncoated paper for colour as I have not yet decided on the photographs.  I also chose imagewrap in hardcover which made this slightly more expensive but should give a really good finish to the final book.

I then added my project title and I was ready to get going!  

I started wth teh front and back covers and the initial pages with copyright.

I also added a free ISBN number as then this can be sold.  

Here you can see the copyright the photographic credits and my beginning of a contents page.
Now to begin the writing!

Chapbook: Synopsis

 Synopsis: The Book of Lost Things

Angel by Koolshooters

The small book I would like to create will be the first three chapters of a larger work, this is the beginning to 'The Story of Milk'.  Milk is a 30 something woman who feels life has no purpose. One day Milk finds a small St Jude on her doormat and this leads her to St Jude's church where she meets a monk who asks her to participate in a novena and guarantees her life will change if she does.  The story would then take her on a journey through the nine tasks that the monk sets.  

In this chapbook, I would also like to include a collection of three poems that will be on the subject of loss.

The book will be illustrated through photographs which I will curate to work with the text.

Chapbook Project: Initial Research C J Samson

C. J. Samson

 C J Samson (Born in 1952) is an English writer who studied History at Birmingham University and went on to complete a PhD.  Samson became a solicitor and practiced in Sussex and then became a full-time writer. Samson's most successful series is set in the time of Henry VIII and the hero Matthew Shardlake, a barrister at Lincolns Inn becomes involved through Thomas Cromwell in a variety of cases.  The series Samson has created is an adventure through history and is a historically accurate study of the time, through Shardlake history comes alive and we, the audience fall in love with this lawyer.  Samson states; '"I'm drawn to it," he explains, "because it's the moment at which the medieval certainties that had endured for centuries were turned upside down. It was a time of extraordinary ferment: in the space of a few years, the state took on a completely different meaning. And the more I read about it, the more I realised how like the 20th century it was in its anxiety and uncertainty, even though people thought so differently then.' (Crown S. 2010) 

It is clear when reading Samson why it is so fascinating, connecting with the characters is a joy and this is Samson's strength, his characters do have all the same anxieties despite it being different times.  Samson has clearly also drawn on his own experience as a lawyer to create his main character Shardlake.  Samson, speaking in a Guardian interview stated; '"I thought it made sense for Shardlake to be a lawyer for a number of reasons. First, the law was my profession: I find legal practice endlessly interesting. Second, it existed then and now, so it provides a point of contact for readers. And third, it's democratic: it offers a way into any number of mysteries, and puts Shardlake in the way of an endless variety of characters."' (Crown S. 2010)

The reason for looking at Samson is that I want to introduce a religious element as in my own story, there will be a monk appearing and reference to St Jude (the Saint of lost causes) I am interested in how Samson weaves the religious sensibilities of each character into the story (obviously at this time Christianity was in turmoil in England) 

Gaskill in the London Review of Books writes on Samson's Dissolution; 'In this time of Reformation, the superstitions of Catholics and witches are deliberately conflated. Prior to setting off on his mission, Shardlake is briefed by Cromwell, who sits at a desk piled with confiscated relics destined for the bonfire. As ever, Shardlake has mixed feelings, which he admits to us alone and which of course make us like him.' (Gaskill M. 2020) 

Again, connection to the characters is key to the writing and in my own story I have to create a protagonist who will have an appeal, have flaws and at times might do the wrong thing but the reader still roots for that character.  

I have read all of Samson's books and did not want the last one to end.  Great writing you want to keep reading and wanting more. 

References 2022. C. J. Sansom: The Official Website - Homepage. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 January 2022].

Crown, S., 2010. CJ Sansom: a life in writing. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 30 January 2022].

Gaskill, M., 2020. Malcolm Gaskill · Man Is Wolf to Man: C.J. Sansom · LRB 13 January 2020. [online] London Review of Books. Available at: [Accessed 30 January 2022].

Initial Ideas & Milanote: Creating a Chapbook

 This term I would like to create a chapbook which is a small book that can be on any subject.  Often a mixture of poetry or prose and originally sold cheaply on cheap paper.  This project is for Digital Arts and Media Project I, as I am teaching these this term, and this, will be an example of a project.  I will be using my Google drive to write and then I will use blurb to create the book.  This means I should be able to make an E-Book and also a hard copy book.  I will use either stock images and/or my own images to illustrate the book. 

This is my milanote to show my initial ideas and ideas for research. To see this large click here: Zoe's Chapbook Ideas

In my next post I will show some initial research in more detail...

Tuesday 18 January 2022

The Book of Lost Things: Final Advert

 Here is the final piece...

This is the final advert - I was happy with the composition and I thought that the image really worked well.  I liked the text in the window of the bus and the suggestion of an angel with angel wings around the girl.  I wanted to put the book cover on a blank template of a book but as I had limited time I decided that it was better to do this properly later as I wanted to really get this right using Photoshop. 
As a first draft of the design I think it works - I would improve using the actual template book so that the book really stands out and I would try to improve how the logo sits with the rest of the poster as I think this needed work. 

Creating the Advert: Lost Things

 I will be creating my advert using Photoshop.  Due to the short deadline I will be using a stock image.  When I create the real book I will shoot my own image for the cover. 

I will begin with the logo - this will be created using tailor brands logo generator.  The publisher I will create is called woodpecker publishing and I am hoping to make a simple and effective logo that will match my design well.


I created this logo, I used the woodpecker and grey so that if I used a black and white image this should work well without detracting from the main text.  I had other choices, please see blow however I chose this one and customised it as it was what I wanted for my brand.

Next I chose the image I would use for my background for the book and a blank book template to add to the image.  This will work to add my design to the book and the advertising around this

I then opened Photoshop and created a blank canvas A3 white 300ppi.  

I then added the blank book template and rotated the canvas for a landscape poster.

I then needed to choose an image for my cover  - these were the images I considered: 

I liked the idea of angels and this reminded me of the Wim Wenders film, and I remembered the angels over Berlin.

I chose this image, I then used the text tool and added the title to the window, I change the size using the transform tool and the font I used here was Lucida calligraphy

I then added my name and then selected the image, copied and pasted into my main canvas - I dropped the book template and just stuck with the cover and added teh logo 

I then added a quote from a magazine and hopefully, an advert would have an impact to interested readers!

See my next post for final poster..

The Art of Advertising: Ideas & Plan

 This week we are creating an advert, therefore, I am going to advertise the book I would like to create later in the term.  This book is called 'The Book of Lost Things' and will be a collection of poetry and prose.  

I have looked at how books are advertised and I shall discuss those here.  I will start with Philip Kerr as Bernie Gunther is one of my favourite detectives!

This is an advert for the three books and shows the title of the series clearly and the author so immediately I know who they are by and which books it is advertising. The books themselves are set down the right side.  The advert is made into three sections on either side.  The quote in the middle by another author champions the books and this is the selling point of this advert. The black and white of the background match the style and background of the three books and the colour scheme uses the orange from the third book in the title cleverly using the rule of thirds composition to draw the reader's eye.  The author's name is in black all the way through and the font matches the fonts used on the covers. 

I do not know this book but the cover suggests a sexy story of some kind, this would be aimed at women and the photo of the man on the cover the elegant script, and the tagline all suggest a female audience.  The advert again uses another author to praise the book and to encourage sales adding that it is a 'sexy, delicious, good time' 

This advert is like many from Waterstones where it advertises 'book of the month' type adverts to lure customers into the store.  Here it is a thriller of the month so the reader knows the genre of the title. The backdrop again matches the book cover itself and all the typography is in yellow to match the title of the book linking this in the readers' mind.  There are no additional quotes or taglines on this - the tagline on the book 'you won't want to leave until you can't..'  supplies the concept for the story. 

This is a vintage advert for Stephen King.  At the top there is a quote that is clearly from a review - the title and cover picture and author name come from the book cover itself.  National Bestseller is saying that everyone is buying it.  This makes you want it as everyone else might have read it! 

These adverts show how books are advertised mostly through good reviews that are quoted or endorsed from other famous authors.  The most important thing is the book itself and in modern ads the book is the feature and then there are quotes placed around this.  All the adverts use typography and composition to draw the reader's eye to the most important point in the advert.

My own advert will show the book cover and then add a quote from a review.  I am intending to use a black and white photographic image and then I will need to play with fonts and colours to really draw the reader's attention.

I will make a logo for the publisher which I will also add to the piece.  

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Class Sequential Images

 In class we created a set of sequential images in pairs.I created mine with... 

The concept for my sequential images was lambs in Spring.  The idea was I could show the movement and expression of the lambs as a practice project and to see how this worked creatively.

I used a Olympus E3 DSLR camera to take these images.  I used an ISO of 500, F5.6 aperture and shutter speed of 1/800

I then used Pixlr to create a canvas to present my images on my blog in a professional manner.

Next I opened my images in Pixlr to check these and edit for quality control

I cropped all my images using the crop tool 

IU also checked the lighting and quality to make sure they all looked consistent


I selected each image using 'select all' and then edit - copy and then I pasted into my canvas.

I then added text using the text tool on Pixlr

I changed the font Adolfine and the font size to 120 for the title and 100 for my name.  I also made the text bold and left aligned the text for presentation.

Here is my final image that I have created for this practice 

Reflection: I was happy with my final presentation of my images.  This is a good practice using digital editing editing software.  In my final images I will plan and create a real concept that will express sequential photography that will look professional and have a deeper concept. 

Sunday 9 January 2022

Welcome to Spring Term 2022!

 Welcome to the Spring term.  Here we are again, still hanging on and not in lockdown!  As always I am writing a new post to bring in the new term.  I have recently been looking at contemporary women photographers and I thought I would share one with you that I found to be striking.

Haley Morris-Cafiero is an American photographer and I was drawn to her work as it is both self-portrait and performance.  In Wait Watchers (2011-15) Morris Cafiero takes portraits of herself on the street but it is the reactions to her that they portray.  In Cops (2011) policeman take the mickey out of her in the street, amazing this seems to be acceptable and below in Sunscreen (2015) a woman laughs at her with no shame.  


Cops (2011) New York By Haley Morris- Cafiero

Sunscreen (2015) Cocoa Beach, Florida By Haley Morris-Cafiero

Rogers and Houghton write; 'Cafiero manages to capture the palatable disdain f for her body is at once shocking and depressing but the photography empowers herself, cleverly turning the negative gaze back onto the viewer and in doing so, makes a spectacle of the audience itself' (Rogers & Houghton, 2017:43)  Gaze and Reflection are a reoccurring theme in Cafiero's work, she states about her work; 'I consider my photographs a social experiment and I reverse the gaze back on to the stranger and place the viewer in the position of being a witness to a moment in time. The project is a performative form of street photography. I place the camera on a tripod and take hundreds of photographs' (Morris-Cafiero 2021) 

In The Bully-Pit Cafiero takes on Cyberbullying as she had suffered this intensely herself. Here Cafiero investigated the social profiles of the bullies and she states: 'I photograph myself costumed like the people who’ve attempted to bully me. Finding photos online, I recreated their images using wigs, clothing, and simple prosthetics, while small imperfections mirror the fallacy that the internet will shield their identities. Finally, I overlay the parodies with transcripts of the bullying comments, almost as if I were “subtweeting” them.' (Morris-Cafiero 2021). In the image below the artist has parodied the social profile of the bully and placed their words on her t-shirt.  The image here feels almost classical in composition and the use of the colours and lighting.  The artist looks upward, as in a classical painted portrait.  The post-modern knowing comes from the bare light bulb, terrible rug, and leather armchair, This is a clever use of classical composition and postmodern performance photography. 

From The Bully-Pit (2019) By Haley Morris-Cafiero


Rogers F. & Houghton M. (2017) Firecrackers: Female Photographers Now, Thames & Hudson. London

Haley Morris-Cafiero (2021) Artist Website [Online] Available from: (Accessed 09/01/2022)