KaBooM WritersKaBooM Writers

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!


The KaBooM Writers Notebook: Our Blog

Making books, making meaning

One evening last week, several members of KaBooM led a Lexington Girl Scout group in the how-to of handmade book craft.  We showed them When the Bough Breaks, certainly.  But because our time was short and these young women deserved an opportunity to make their own books as places to set words to paper, one of our goals was to provide them a chance to make something beautiful they could take home.  Soon, ten sets of hands were running fingers over paper choices; wrestling with bulldog clips and paper awls; pulling thread through beeswax; and enjoying success with Japanese binding—a technique very different from what we used for our anthology, but one just right for first-time book makers.

Bulldog clips hold multiple pages firm as they are worked into a book.

Bulldog clips hold multiple pages firm as they are worked into a book.

Coating thread with natural beeswax before sewing.

Coating thread with natural beeswax before sewing.

Of course we wanted them to take away more than just beautiful handmade books.  We told them that publishing can mean many things, as setting words to one sheet of paper and presenting them as a gift to someone special is one way that writing moves out into the world.  You have the ability to do this, we urged these young writers.

Scoring the cover folds with bone folders and rulers.

Scoring the cover folds with bone folders and rulers.

We made sure they knew that before we began our own project, we didn’t even know what we needed to learn to ensure our anthology became reality.  Nonetheless here we are, at a particularly exhilarating part of the journey to print.

Book makers displaying the visual aspect of the evening's success.

Book makers displaying the visual aspect of the evening's success.

What we took away was less physically tangible than the crafted objects they proudly displayed in this group picture.  That evening my pockets were full with the energy in the room, the shared delight in accomplishment, the heartfelt appreciations.   Since then I’ve reflected that the fierceness of purpose I took away has far more to do with the making of meaning than of making only a pretty object.  The books we make are fine work because the freight they carry matters deeply to us.   That, of all they took from our time together, is what I most desire those young writers remember and take to heart.

Comments (1) — Categorized under: Gail Koehler

One response to “Making books, making meaning”

  1. […] We have helped children and grandchildren with countless creative projects, and our group has even worked with a Girl Scout troop to make handmade books, but on this day we assembled all kind of papers, notebooks, stamps, glue, […]

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