Kobo is having a wonderful sale on Seven Kingdoms Fairy Tale books in time for the launch of the newest exciting adventure for kids ages 8 to 12!
Book 1 is free until October 31st.
Book 2 is 40% off if you use the top secret promo code: OCT40
It works for Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand!
Book 3 is full-price because it’s brand-spanking new!!!
The BAD News:
Today (October 28th, 2020) is the LAST Day for Book 2! So please hurry! I don’t want you to miss it! Especially if you are spending time in the dungeon with kids! You need stuff to read that’s good for the whole family.
P.S. I told you the dungeons in the Seven Kingdoms are famous for their hospitality. You didn’t believe me, did you?
Feel like playing hide and seek? Take a mini-tour of Rheinfels castle in Germany. Extensive tunnels, ruins, and a gorgeous view. It’s the inspiration for the Saffron Kingdom in the #SevenKingdomsFairyTales.
Feeling cooped up? Take a mini-tour of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Germany. People have been defending this rock for 5,000 years. It’s the inspiration for Magenta Kingdom in the #SevenKingdomsFairyTales.
In earlier times, the rivers were the highways. Big and long rivers, like the Rhine River in Germany were important for delivering people and things.
[Is that why Amazon is named after a river in Brazil? I don’t know, do you?]
If you visit, you can stay at the nearby youth hostel or the YMCA hotel in another castle, high up in the village of Kaub. Down at the Rhine riverbank, you take a small ferry across to the island.
This castle is the perfect place for collecting tolls from ships bringing cargo up and down the Rhine River. If you’ve ever seen a modern tollbooth, you’ll agree that this is about the fanciest tollbooth ever!
The first tolls were collected almost 800 years ago in 1257. The castle changed hands several times and new parts were added and reinforced. The Prussians finally stopped charging ships tolls here in 1866. Since 1946, the castle belongs to the state of Rhineland Pfalz in Germany.
Tired of the view from your window? Take a mini-tour of an 800-year-old tollbooth. #SevenKingdomsFairyTales
A week or so ago, I went into a small toy and stationery store to make a photocopy. There was a huge sign over the door “DRUCKEREI PAFFENHOLZ” and since “Druckerei” means printer, I thought I’d find a copy shop. (LOL!)
“The office is in the back,” the salesperson told me, so we went through a door and walked past a row of large printing machines.
This wasn’t a mere copy shop.
But when I asked about a small print job, Mr. Paffenholz offered us a tour of the whole place.
Yes, please! 🙂
Later, I found out this family business has been active for 50 years! That’s a lot of paper and ink.
The first step in producing a printed book is a shoot-out: the pages are “ausgeschossen” which means literally “shooting the pages out”. It’s not the wild west, it means the pages are laid out for printing on larger sheets. Some pages are right side up and other pages are printed “standing on their heads” so that the pages will all be in the right order and orientation in the finished book.
For this, the printer uses a digital printing machine that uses the same technology as “print-on-demand” and handles very short print runs, like groups of 50 or 100. I think they also use this machine to check the incoming InDesign files and print-ready PDF files that come directly from customers or from their in-house graphic designers.
Then we toured the off-set printing process.
The next step was a machine that creates the metal plates for the four-color printing process (CMYK or Cyan, Magenta, Yellow or Key–short for Black). One aluminum plate is etched with the design for each color. Later, the metal plates are recycled.
Of course, I was trying to imagine how I could make a coffee table or something out of them, if I ever had a book printed on an off-set press! Authors are a little strange.
The next machine was shaking a stack of pages together to make them even. It’s like what you do when you bang a ream of paper on the counter to make it “square.” Every so often, the machine operator added a heavier piece of construction paper to the pile. I’m not sure if that was to separate each edition of the book being printed or if it was to weigh the other pages down.
Another machine cuts the pages to size once they’ve been shaken together.
Older machines in the back of the hall could still handle embossing, punching, glue-ing. I’m not sure if they can do Braille, maybe not.
Wouldn’t you love to have a Braille edition of your book? Oh, look what Google found for me: http://www.braillebookstore.com/Braille-Printing Now I have a new ambition. 🙂
Then we went back up to the room-sized machine that prints the CMYK colors using the metal plates created by the other machine. When the metal plates are wet, the etched design is the only thing that takes up ink. Each metal plate does one color.
The paper travels through four connected printing machines like a ticket collector going through the cars of a train. (See photo of company staff above.)
Dodging a small fork-lift, we looked at the control station where the printer adjusts the color settings until they get the effect they want.
“What do you think? A little more Cyan?”
The folding and stapling machines to make the finished brochures and booklets were last on the tour.
NOTE: I didn’t have a camera so I couldn’t take photos even though Mr. Paffenholz gave me permission. The photos here are all from the Druckerei Paffenholz website.
When I got home, I found this book, a perfect combination for a printing family that runs a toy and stationery store!
Hope you enjoyed the tour!
Until December 3, 2018, use this link to sign up, so you get your free copy of TROUBLE WITH PARSNIPS. Thanks for your interest!
The Reading Wonder Giveaway for Middle Grade eBooks includes LOTS of middle grade authors, check it the whole giveaway here.
The charming village of Monschau is in Germany, but Americans and Belgians were filling it up the other day. It’s very close to the Belgian border and so charming that it draws Americans from much further away.
It’s a mix of cultures. I overheard this classic exchange in a café:
“Salt or sugar?” An American tourist picks up the glass dispenser from the café table and shakes it.
Her companion says, “Sugar. No one eats that much salt.”
My German husband and I have been married 29 years, so I’ve forgotten things I didn’t know when I first came to Europe. This exchange resonated with me. I’ve heard it many times before. We don’t realize how much our cultures influence us until we leave home.
When we were first married, we met someone who was researching communication and conflict among international couples.
“How do you know if it’s cultural or if it’s personal?” I asked.
“Couples from the same pairs of countries say the same things,” she* said, somewhat dryly. “When you hear the same thing again, you know it’s cultural, not personal.”
Obvious to anyone outside the marriage. Impossible to see inside an international marriage. Two mini-stories:
We hadn’t been married a month when I asked my new husband if he’d like to take out the trash. “No,” he said, taking what I’d said at face value.
Another time, we watched TV with relatives in a tiny living room. I didn’t realize I was blocking anyone’s view, so when someone asked if I could see all right, I said, “Yes, thank you” and sent the whole room into laughter.
Learning to ask for what you need is challenging in any culture and is less tied to language than we think.
My mom once pointed out how children change their tactics when they reach school age. Babies and toddlers can point at what they want without being impolite or use brand-new words to demand something.
But once we have language skills, no one gives us credit for plain words any more. Older children have to gaze longingly and hope someone notices and offers it to them.
We know children need help to learn language, but it’s easy to think that some kids are born knowing how to communicate and others are “shy” and will never learn.
My upcoming book**, Trouble With Parsnips, is a fairy tale for readers 9 to 12 about a girl who is puzzled that no one seems to hear the important things she has to say. She’s moved on to become an inventor instead.
**The book is taking up all my thoughts and leaking out into every conversation! If you’re remotely interested, you can find out more here. If you’re not, sorry for the accidental commercial!
*I really wish I knew this researcher’s name, because I’d love to read her work. If anyone else knows, let me know in the comments or send me an e-mail.
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