Walking into Storymakery, you are immediately transported into a world of possibility. You are surrounded by bright building block colors, a well-laid out creative process that leads you through an “imagination forest”, and a highly-educated staff. You are quickly assured that this is not only a place to create a story, but a safe nook to let your daydreams become a reality.
Started by Payal Kindiger for her daughter who has a big imagination and loves creative writing, this Orange County mom has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management with over 15 years of experience working in the high-tech industry. When she talks of her new launch of Storymakery, this innovative self-publishing experience for children, her eyes light up. She assures us this is not about making a “perfect story”, but creating a lifetime momento to cherish over the years.
My 9-year old daughter was excited to try this experience, as she has been telling us stories woven full of mythical creatures for years. We have encouraged her to write them, however the process seemed too daunting to her. Yet in this Storymakery, she found herself loving the self-publishing experience.
First, she started in The Character Studio, where she created a mermaid, of course. However, not only did she create the main character’s outer appearance, she also developed the mermaid’s inner qualities and challenges. The owner, Payal, shared that many children when looking at the colorful list given to them of challenges often relate to the “picky eater” or “doesn’t do homework”. She even had to come up with a motto or catchphrase for her main character.
After this was completed, she got to explore “The Imagination Forest”. In it are white trees filled with colorful swinging leaves, each offering a different plot line. There are holiday stories, pirates, dinosaurs, personal development, superheroes, mermaids, and even plots containing getting shrunk in size. The writing experience is customized to your child, with different levels for different writing abilities and how much assistance they require.
Emerging from “The Imagination Forest”, she sat down at The Writing Studio to develop two supporting characters and to write the story. She received as much assistance as she wanted typing, at times dictating what she wanted to happen as the staff quickly tapped it out. After they finished the story, next it was time for The Publishing Studio. This is where she picked a background and placed her characters in images on different pages of the story. She also got to design the front and back of her book, as well as write a dedication on her book.
Then it was time for printing! As she eagerly peered through the window watching her book being printed and bound, the whole experience became something she could hold in her hands and share with others. When we left Storymakery, the small book clutched firmly in her hands, she asked breathlessly if she could keep writing more stories. What a creative gift that truly does keep on giving.