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Anti-Hero or Villain?

July 31, 2020-Do you know the difference between a villain and anti-hero? Is there a difference? There sure is! Let’s explore.

  1. A villain is the character that readers love to hate. They’re usually devoted to crime, malicious, and devious. They’ll do whatever it takes to get what they want no matter what the cost. They usually have little regard for anything other than the execution of their cause or master plan.
  2. An anti-hero is who the reader roots for even though they have major flaws. They’re a heroic character that does the right thing, but usually for the wrong reasons and only to serve themselves. They lack conventional heroic qualities. Anti-heroes are usually not trustworthy, courageous, or honest. They are the definition of “grey area”.

So, why does this matter? Using villains and anti-heroes can help round out your writing, they can add depth, conflict, and drama where your story needs it most. Don’t be afraid to play around with your characters and develop them into one or the other or add both to liven up your plot. Life isn’t black and white and your characters shouldn’t be either!

OIP

 

 

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3 Things

July 29, 2020- We’re creating new content for our YouTube channel that will be posted soon, but for now, let’s hear about three simple things you can do to market your self-published book. Subscribe to our channel Pandamonium Publishing House for book trailers, upcoming events, tips for authors, and more!

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Daring to Read

July 27, 2020- In some parts of the world, half of the women lack basic reading and writing skills. The reasons vary, but in many cases, literacy isn’t valued by fathers, husbands, even mothers. Photographer and TED Fellow Laura Boushnak traveled to countries including Yemen, Egypt and Tunisia to highlight brave women — schoolgirls, political activists, 60-year-old moms — who are fighting the statistics.

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Grandpa’s Gift

July 24, 2020Have you read The Old Farmer’s Treasure? Well, I’ve got exciting news; Grandpa’s Gift is the sequel to The Old Farmer’s Treasure and will wrap up the story with one final clue. The boys are now grown, and they’ve got to risk it all to find the truth. Will they work together or will they be torn apart by the choices they must make? Coming December 2020, from Pandamonium Publishing House!

Watch the trailer for Book 1, here and remember to subscribe to our channel: 

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Ikea and Parkinson’s

July 22, 2020-Do you know about Parkinson’s Law? It states, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” What does this mean? It means that if you give yourself a week to write a blog post, it will take you a week to write it. If you give yourself a year to complete your novel, it will take a year to complete it and so on. However much time we give a project is the time it will take to complete it; that’s one of the reasons we procrastinate. We always get it done on time, so why do it early?

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Ikea, has a different approach. He knows about Parkinson’s Law, and to combat it, he shares this idea; “If you split your day into ten-minute increments and you try and waste as few of those ten-minute increments as possible, you’ll be amazed at what you can get done.”

I admit I do this often. When I need to complete a task, especially one that I don’t like, such as social media scheduling, I set a timer for ten minutes. I do as much as I can in ten minutes and then move on to the next thing. It’s not very often that I don’t complete my tasks this way. It’s a simple and effective way to get started and to set and meet deadlines. I repeat this multiple times per day. Don’t worry; it’s not the same as multi-tasking as you’re only focusing on one thing at a time! Give this method a try for your writing tasks and send me an email to say how you made out: pandapublishing8@gmail.com

Happy Writing, X LLB 

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A Healthy Mindset for Starting a Business and De-bunking Stigmas

July 20, 2020-I’m so proud to introduce our guest blogger today! It’s our very own Erin Cutler! Check out what she has to say below: (We love you, Erin!)

Picture a young artist after 4 years of post-secondary education, finally receiving their Bachelor’s Degree of Illustration and ready to jump headfirst into the big wide world of opportunity. Looks hopeful right? Well for me, anxiety-inducing was a better word. 

A year ago today, thinking about my future in freelance illustration and starting my career triggered avoidance, negative thinking, massive anxiety and sometimes tears. When you dream big in a world of conforming and financially contributing to society, how do you start small? How do you take this beautiful, authentic and creative passion that is larger than life and turn it into a reality? If these questions riddle you and hold you back from going after what you love… then read on my friend, I was you. I sometimes still am you, and I’m reporting back with good news!

So, what’s the good news? First and foremost, the good news is that you are enough and you deserve success on your own terms. Society has a vision of success and a work till you break mentality to achieve it. Though that lifestyle works for some, it may not be beneficial for everyone and it may be the reason you feel held back. Starting your creative career is daunting enough, having expectations to conform to anyone else’s standards other than your own is crazy talk. Start with focusing inwards. Figure out who you want to be in the world and what success means to you. Take care of yourself and find a work-life balance that makes you feel good. 

I struggle a lot with anxiety and one of my most useful techniques is dreaming big but thinking small. The prospect of the future brings me great fear and uncertainty, it’s this giant unknown you just can’t control no matter what you do. Starting small means literally doing the very first step that you need to do to get to where you want to go. For me it meant walking into my office space, sitting in my chair, opening my laptop and writing down a list of all the companies I want to work with. Focusing on each step until it is complete, quickly took me from looking up companies to reaching out to companies. If I never focused on the next small task, I’d still be worrying about how I was going to make rent 5 years from now. Focus is everything.    

My last word of advice, for all my fellow creatives, is to be kind to yourself. Being an artist can come with the pressure to produce creatively invigorating work with every brush stroke. The reality is, sometimes you might be working on 100% and other times you could be giving it 50% because the other half of you is putting your energy somewhere else…and that’s okay. I’ve had breakthrough moments where I was producing amazing art and feeling really healthy at the same time. I’ve also had moments of anxiety, grief and health concerns that severely divided my attention from my work. It’s healthy to take a break from being the best artist that you possibly can be. When you work on yourself and put focus into different areas of your life, your career will flourish. A healthy mind and a well-balanced life will encourage creativity and a willingness for growth. 

So now picture this, a recent anxiety-riddled grad goes to therapy, adapts cognitive-behavioural tools, builds confidence in their abilities and redefines success. What we are seeing here is the beginning of a healthy, flourishing creative career. Big dreams take patience and tender care, they take love of oneself and the ability to prioritize the small steps.

Lastly, you got this! Go get that dream career, anxiety is real but it’s also manageable and you are strong and capable.

Erin Cutler is a Canadian Freelance Illustrator. She has illustrated 3 children’s books for Pandamonium Publishing House and works in editorial. Some of the books she’s illustrated include Pants, Miranda the Very Loud Mouse, and Grandma’s Table. Her work can be seen in Murze, Shameless, Geez and Harpy Magazine.

You can purchase Erin’s books here: 

Pants!

Miranda the Very Loud Mouse

Grandma’s Table

Check out Erin’s portfolio site at www.illustrationsbyerin.com. You can also follow her Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/illustrationsbyerin/) or (https://www.instagram.com/inkling.illustrations/).

 

 

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Putting the Pieces Together

July 17, 2020– She’s one of our own and we love her to bits! You know her as the author of Pants and Unfrogged, Tamara Botting; she’ll have two more books coming in 2021, so be sure to look for them in stores, on Amazon, and on our site. I’m thrilled to have her guest blog for us today!

I’ve had a longstanding love of Disney’s animated masterpiece, Beauty and the Beast. I wore out my first VHS copy of the film (yes, I’m that old and yes, it can be done). I bought the DVD as a teen, then bought the DVD again a few years later when the special collector’s edition came out. (So far, I’ve resisted the siren’s call of the Blu-ray). To this day, I can quote the opening of the film verbatim.

So, when I found a 1,000 piece Beauty and the Beast-themed puzzle, I decided to splurge a bit. (Hey, it’s not like I was going out, so why not bring a little entertainment home?) The thing is, as much as I like the idea of puzzles, I’ve only worked on a few over the years, mostly when I’m at a friend’s house, and they have one in progress.

Now that I’m working on one all on my own, I realize it’s a much bigger task than I’d anticipated. There’s a lot to work with, and a lot of pieces to try and fit together. And sometimes it takes a really long time to realize that what you thought was part of Belle’s dress is actually Beast’s waistcoat.

In a way, working on a puzzle is sort of like working on a book. Sometimes you find it’s easier to work on the framing; other times, you find yourself diving right into the middle of it. Sometimes the piece you thought should go in one place actually belongs in an entirely different spot.

It can be really easy to get discouraged when you have part of it coming together in one spot, part of it coming together in another, and for the life of you, you can’t figure out how those two parts come together.

But if you keep picking away at it, keep coming back to it, and keep on just telling yourself that you’re going to stick with this and get it done, eventually the parts will fit together. The bits that seem to have no home prove to actually be really important parts of the whole picture.

And once you have it all put together, you get to enjoy not only the completed project, but also the fact that your table is now clear, and you have room to work on a whole new project.

Because let’s be honest – whether writing or puzzles, it’s pretty hard to stop at just one.

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