monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

Aug
30

Busy Brain

I haven't told you, but I've been a little cranky the last few days -- that's because I was supposed to be working on an outline for my next book. Only, I kept getting stuck. But you know

Continue reading
  1815 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Mirian Wright
-fine Adidas socks... Read More
Sunday, 15 May 2011 21:53
1815 Hits
  1 Comment
Aug
27

Draft Four!

Just in case you think writing's easy... today's entry is meant to set you straight. This week, I spent most of my days working on DRAFT NUMBER FOUR of Miracleville, my novel due out

Continue reading
  1897 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Dee Taylor
Hi Monique I could not resist sending you this poem I wrote ages ago - entitled Rewrite She was a writer - An "author" - Not too s... Read More
Sunday, 29 August 2010 14:33
1897 Hits
  1 Comment
Aug
23

Back to School, but not for me!

It's back to school today for Montreal CEGEP (college) students and teachers. Normally, that would mean me -- only I'm on sabbatical again this semester so that I can continue work on another

Continue reading
  1714 Hits
3 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Emily
It's great being back at school! I hadn't realized how much I missed it. ... Read More
Saturday, 28 August 2010 10:31
Monique Polak
Hi Emily! It's fun to hear that there are students who enjoy being back at school. Good for you! It looks like I'll be at Marianop... Read More
Sunday, 29 August 2010 21:09
Guest — Emily O.
That sounds great! I have a short break at 4 .
Monday, 30 August 2010 22:14
1714 Hits
  3 Comments
Aug
18

The Up-Side of Living in a High Tech World

There are plenty of things I don't like about being in a high-tech world: the way a certain man I love never goes anywhere without his Blackberry; the way a certain girl I love sometimes text messages

Continue reading
  1672 Hits
0 Comments
1672 Hits
  0 Comments
Aug
15

79-Year-Old Judge Enjoying My New Ms.

In case you're wondering "Ms." stands for "manuscript." And the 79-year-old judge is my dad! My dad (I generally call him "Pa") reads a ton -- but mostly just newspapers

Continue reading
  1982 Hits
0 Comments
1982 Hits
  0 Comments
Aug
09

Problem Solving

"Writing is problem solving." That's what my friend, author and journalist Joel Yanofsky , told my students

Continue reading
  1723 Hits
0 Comments
1723 Hits
  0 Comments
Aug
05

De Retour!!

After a week in France, I'm thinking in French! So I'm back from a wonderful whirlwind holiday -- and back at my computer, sipping green tea and gearing up for a day of writing.

I was

Continue reading
  1801 Hits
0 Comments
1801 Hits
  0 Comments
Jul
28

Goeje Dag from Amsterdam

Goeje dag means hello in Dutch. I am writing to you today from Amsterdam. And tonight I leave for Nice -- and cooking school.

I just met with Samantha Haywood, a literary agent based here. I

Continue reading
  1851 Hits
0 Comments
1851 Hits
  0 Comments
Jul
21

Thinking About Voyages

I'm off this afternoon -- to Holland, then on to France. In all, I'll be away two weeks, which means I may not be blogging with my usual regularity (it all depends on how difficult it is for

Continue reading
  1612 Hits
0 Comments
1612 Hits
  0 Comments
Jul
16

The Pleasure of Starting to Read a New Book

You know the feeling I'm talking about... you crack open a book, you start reading, and within seconds, you know it's GONNA BE WONDERFUL. Now, that's what I call pleasure.

I've

Continue reading
  1533 Hits
0 Comments
1533 Hits
  0 Comments
Jul
13

What Do You Do Before You Start to Write?

I don't know about you, but I do a whole bunch of things before I settle down to write. Here's what I've done this morning: Got up, wrote in journal (I recommend this as a loosening-the

Continue reading
  1460 Hits
0 Comments
1460 Hits
  0 Comments
Jul
08

Advice From Tom Rachman and Woody Allen

Now that the revision of Miracleville is with my editor, I could be relaxing... only I'm not very good at that!! Instead, I've drummed up some journalism work. I'm doing two stories for

Continue reading
  1693 Hits
0 Comments
1693 Hits
  0 Comments
Jun
29

Revision Time

I'm working on the first major revision of my manuscript Miracleville. It's due on Monday at lunchtime and I'm trying to give it a real push this week. Some moments, I think it

Continue reading
  1626 Hits
0 Comments
1626 Hits
  0 Comments
Jun
23

Louis Sachar Comes to Dinner

YA author Louis Sachar -- best known for his book Holes -- had dinner at our house last night.

So in today's blog entry. I will answer your burning questions!

What did he

Continue reading
  1531 Hits
0 Comments
1531 Hits
  0 Comments
Jun
20

Meet Louis Sachar! (I Did!!)

Oh, what a wonderful afternoon!! That's Louis Sachar with me in today's pic. Louis is the author of many YA books including Holes, which was made into a movie by Disney. I LOVED THAT

Continue reading
  2082 Hits
0 Comments
2082 Hits
  0 Comments
Jun
16

Double Trouble!!

DSC_9734.jpgIMG_3131.jpgThis seems to be my week for hanging out with twins! In today's pics, you'll meet two pairs of

Continue reading
  2250 Hits
3 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — tamar
hahahaha! I actually knew about that but forgot until I read it here... ... Read More
Saturday, 19 June 2010 11:59
Guest — Chi
Hope you and your family are doing well. I have enjoyed reading your blog.
Sunday, 04 July 2010 00:16
Guest — Maïté
Un petit commentaire en français pour le plaisir de Monique J'ADORE la première photo avec les "twins" vous êtes magnifiques et ta... Read More
Saturday, 17 July 2010 19:08
2250 Hits
  3 Comments
Jun
15

Report from Hebrew Academy

Yesterday, I did the last of three creative writing workshops at Hebrew Academy here in Montreal.

I've been working with a group of six lively and bright 11-year-old girls. Because I wanted

Continue reading
  1702 Hits
0 Comments
1702 Hits
  0 Comments
Jun
12

Saturday Afternoon On-line Chat

I spent a fun afternoon with some bright young readers from across Canada -- all without leaving my comfy chair here in Montreal.

That's all thanks to Teenrc

Continue reading
  1632 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — eliana
hi monique it's eliana from the writers workshop i hope you can come next year i cant wait for you to see the book... Read More
Monday, 14 June 2010 19:53
1632 Hits
  1 Comment
Jun
11

Meet Scaredy Squirrel's Creator

This week, I got to interview Quebec picture book author and illustrator Mélanie Watt. (I'm doing a profile of her for the Continue reading

  2228 Hits
0 Comments
2228 Hits
  0 Comments
Jun
09

In Memoriam: Mary Qinuajuak

Today, I want to tell you about a very special person named Mary Qinuajuak. Photographer Thomas Kneubuhler and I met Mary in December 2009, when we traveled to Akulivik, an Inuit community in Nunavik

Continue reading
  1722 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Simon Anautak
Hi Monique!! It was fun with Quinn, Annie and Late Mary with you inviting us to your Spaghetti supper. When we were in Kenya, w... Read More
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 22:21
1722 Hits
  1 Comment
Jun
07

YES Artists' Conference & Workshop 2 at Hebrew Academy

I spent the morning at the 10th Annual YES Artists' Conference, where I participated on a panel called "Creation and Inspiration: How They Made It!" Our moderator was Andy Nulman, president

Continue reading
  1445 Hits
0 Comments
1445 Hits
  0 Comments
Jun
04

Hippity Hoppity Happy Writer

I was just in my car thinking how I'm feeling like a hippity hoppity happy writer. I think those words only when I'm feeling most happy. And the reason I'm HHH (see, I won't make you

Continue reading
  1415 Hits
0 Comments
1415 Hits
  0 Comments
Jun
01

Cooking Up a Story

Yesterday, I did the first of three writing workshops at Hebrew Academy here in Montreal. I'm working with six Grade Five students -- all girls, and all eager to write! In my one-hour session,

Continue reading
  1620 Hits
4 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — tamar
hey miss p! been a while since I have been on here when are you going to HA next? I am asking because I work there!! I also know ... Read More
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 14:32
Guest — Jordana Marciano
hey monique, it's Jordana! Thanks for writing about me on your blog. BTW, it's monday june 7 2010. Sorry I wrote so late. TTYL ... Read More
Monday, 07 June 2010 18:21
Monique Polak
Hi Jordana, I think YOU got the dates mixed up! I wrote this entry last week after our first workshop... I just posted a new blog ... Read More
Monday, 07 June 2010 19:05
1620 Hits
  4 Comments
May
31

Feeling Dutch

I'm feeling Dutch these days. Could be because I keep making Dutch friends! It's also because I spent yesterday at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Netherlandic

Continue reading
  1621 Hits
0 Comments
1621 Hits
  0 Comments
May
30

Two Conferences in One Weekend!

I'm just home from participating in a conference run by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Netherlandic Studies, and though I'd like to tell you about it, I'm going to do a

Continue reading
  1511 Hits
3 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Emily Lawrence
Dear Monique, I am Emily Lawrence from Hebrew Academy. I wanted to remind you that next Monday, you should bring the necklace! See... Read More
Monday, 31 May 2010 18:25
Guest — Monique
Hi Emily! Will do! Hope you're feeling inspired and going to write something wonderful for next Monday!
Tuesday, 01 June 2010 15:40
Guest — Emily
Thank you, Monique.
Tuesday, 01 June 2010 18:56
1511 Hits
  3 Comments
May
27

Audio Interview

Today, I'm scheduled to do an audio interview for a website called TeachingBooks. They're located in Madison, Wisconsin, and through their website

Continue reading
  1607 Hits
0 Comments
1607 Hits
  0 Comments
May
25

The Shadow Self

You may or may not know I review self-help books for the Montreal Gazette. A side-effect is that I can get a little unbearable when someone has a problem -- I'm always recommending books

Continue reading
  1387 Hits
0 Comments
1387 Hits
  0 Comments
May
20

Snail Mail

These days, most readers contact authors over the Internet... but yesterday, I actually received two old-fashioned snail mail letters. Both are from students at Hadley Junior School in Glen Ellyn,

Continue reading
  1500 Hits
0 Comments
1500 Hits
  0 Comments
May
19

Moving to a New Rhythm

The new rhythm I'm moving to is a SLOWER one. That's because my marking is nearly all done (just two late assignments left)... and I'm back at my desk most of the day. It's nice not

Continue reading
  1642 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Philip Tabah
Hi Mrs. Polak! I just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday! I wrote the date down (in my little notebook that I carry around) when ... Read More
Thursday, 20 May 2010 11:07
1642 Hits
  1 Comment
May
18

Upcoming Children's Writing Conference

The bad news is that picture book author and illustrator Mélanie Watt is out of town and my interview with her has been postponed till June. The good news is I have a wide-open day, with lots

Continue reading
  1357 Hits
0 Comments
1357 Hits
  0 Comments
May
17

I Used to Think Taking Pictures Was Easy...

I used to think that compared to writing, taking pictures was easy! Until, that is, I started hanging out with photographers.

Monique Dykstra is one of those photographers. We have worked together

Continue reading
  1408 Hits
0 Comments
1408 Hits
  0 Comments
May
13

Louis Sachar Coming to Montreal This Summer

I was excited to learn that children's author Louis Sachar will be coming to read in Montreal this summer. You may know Sachar's YA book, Holes, which is one of my all-time favourites

Continue reading
  1374 Hits
0 Comments
1374 Hits
  0 Comments
May
10

Proud Teacher Clucks

I think perhaps most of all, we teachers need to teach our students to be independent. That's why when students come to see me for help with their writing, I make a point of NOT doing all the work

Continue reading
  1619 Hits
0 Comments
1619 Hits
  0 Comments
May
06

Got Talent? Then Use It!

IMG_1414.jpgIn today's pic, you'll meet my "Writing for Children" class. Our semester ends

Continue reading
  1365 Hits
0 Comments
1365 Hits
  0 Comments
May
02

Inside and Outside

IMG_212121.jpgToday's pic is the OUTSIDE of our house. I wanted to show off our spring garden -- still

Continue reading
  614 Hits
0 Comments
614 Hits
  0 Comments
Apr
28

All Oprah All the Time

Why, you may be wondering, is my mind on Oprah Winfrey, host of the world's most popular talk show? It's because I'm reviewing Kitty Kelley's recently released unauthorized bio of Oprah

Continue reading
  1488 Hits
0 Comments
1488 Hits
  0 Comments
Apr
25

Days 3 & 4: Blue Met

It's Sunday morning, and my desk need some serious tidying. That's because it's covered with notes I took during the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, which comes to an end today. Yesterday

Continue reading
  1439 Hits
0 Comments
1439 Hits
  0 Comments
Apr
23

Day 3: Blue Metropolis

I'm home, taking a little breather between Blue Met events. I did another student writing workshop this morning and this afternoon at five, I'm on a CBC panel called "The Human Face of

Continue reading
  1644 Hits
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Amber
Hello Monique! "The Human Face ofGenocide. The "of" Needs to be capitalized and needs a space Anyways I just got back from schoo... Read More
Friday, 23 April 2010 16:26
Guest — Jonathan
Hey Monique! Jonathan here, from this morning! First I just wanted to say that I really liked your workshop! It reminded me of th... Read More
Friday, 23 April 2010 21:52
1644 Hits
  2 Comments
Apr
22

Day 2: Blue Met

I really shouldn't be writing this blog entry! That's because in exactly 20 minutes from now, 20 dinner guests are due to arrive here! They're all friends involved in the Quebec Roots project

Continue reading
  1506 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Amber
"projectand" is incorrect! ;D Anyways sounds like you've had a busy day today and good luck getting your banana breaad out of the... Read More
Thursday, 22 April 2010 21:19
1506 Hits
  1 Comment
Apr
21

Day One: Blue Met

IMG_12121212121.jpgIt's Day One of the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival here in Montreal  --

Continue reading
  1676 Hits
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Charlene Seale
Hi there, Wow, we just can't stop talking about it. My students were so inspired by you, Monique. Even though Kayla is shy, she... Read More
Friday, 23 April 2010 15:11
Guest — Monique
Hi Charlene, Thanks for writing -- and for sharing your students with me this week. I'll try to post that pic on the blog!
Saturday, 24 April 2010 11:54
1676 Hits
  2 Comments
Apr
19

New Friends at Macdonald High School

IMG_1010101.jpgHello hello, dear blog readers! I'm just in from a long, but happy day. I started at Marianopolis

Continue reading
  1618 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Melissa
Hey, i dont know if you remember me. I was the one who wrote magazines with kim. Thank you for giving me feedback on Bitten. Fact ... Read More
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 19:08
1618 Hits
  1 Comment
Apr
17

I Love Sheree Fitch

Today, I did something I haven't done for ages -- I took a class instead of giving one! I did a one-day workshop with Nova Scotia children's writer Sheree Fitch. Sheree called

Continue reading
  1808 Hits
0 Comments
1808 Hits
  0 Comments
Apr
16

"The More You Can Learn the Better"

IMG_9999.jpgThat's what a student named Shaugn told me this morning. I was back at Vanier College, again because I was participating in the Kleinmann Family Foundation 17th Annual Cegep Symposium on the Holocaust and Genocide.

Continue reading
  1407 Hits
7 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Akeem
Hey miss Polak it`s Akeem I just wanted to thank you for coming to our class and sharing your story it was a great experience to m... Read More
Sunday, 18 April 2010 19:55
Monique Polak
Hi Akeem, I know I didn't get to chat with you for long, but I must say I really felt your interest in my talk. I think you are a ... Read More
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 23:42
Guest — Sara Drost
Just a note of appreciation for your informative account of my sister's class. As a former teacher, we appreciate hearing about t... Read More
Friday, 23 April 2010 16:28
1407 Hits
  7 Comments
Apr
14

The Gift of Listening

Okay, so I'll admit it: I am not always the best listener (maybe because I do so much talking!!). But it's a skill I am working on.

Today, I was at Vanier College as part of the school

Continue reading
  1738 Hits
0 Comments
1738 Hits
  0 Comments
Apr
08

Writing Lessons from a Photo Editor

IMG_77777.jpgI  know what you're thinking -- what could a photo editor have to teach us about writing?

Well, you'd better keep reading, because today, Marcos Townsend, photo editor at The

Continue reading
  1514 Hits
0 Comments
1514 Hits
  0 Comments
Apr
07

YA Writer Lori Weber Pays a Return Visit to Marianopolis

My friend, local YA writer Lori Weber, came to work with my Writing for Children class this morning at Marianopolis College. Lori is the author of five novels for young adults, the most recent of which

Continue reading
  1742 Hits
0 Comments
1742 Hits
  0 Comments
Apr
06

Time to Breathe!!

During the most hectic days of the semester, I sometimes feel like I don't have time to breathe. But this week isn't like that. Ahhhh... it feels good. I used the long weekend to do this &#

Continue reading
  1431 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Sarah MacNeill
Monique! I have been thinking about you and how I haven't said a cyber "hi" in so long! that's great news that you are once again ... Read More
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 13:40
1431 Hits
  1 Comment
Mar
31

Helping Students Gear Up for Trip to Nunavik

IMG_666666.jpgI spent part of this afternoon at Royal West Academy in Montreal West. It was a special visit

Continue reading
  1649 Hits
0 Comments
1649 Hits
  0 Comments
Mar
30

Another Visit to Beaconsfield High

IMG_55555.jpgHello hello dear blog readers,

I've posted a pic from this morning's whirlwind visit to Beaconsfield

Continue reading
  1828 Hits
0 Comments
1828 Hits
  0 Comments
Mar
29

Passing On My Opa's Advice

This morning, in my Writing for Children class, I passed on some advice I got long ago from my opa (the Dutch word for grandfather). I had just handed back some terrific assignments (I'd asked

Continue reading
  1536 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Bill Nygren
Hi Monique, Found your blog while I was "googling" the Follow Through Factor...I am the author Gene Hayden's husband (and as suc... Read More
Thursday, 15 April 2010 11:53
1536 Hits
  1 Comment
Mar
24

Handsome Editor Visits My Journalism Class

Now why, you may be wondering, would a happily married woman like myself notice that an editor who was visiting her Journalism class is handsome? Don't worry -- he's my husband!

My husband

Continue reading
  1488 Hits
0 Comments
1488 Hits
  0 Comments
Mar
23

Hello Nebraska!

IMG_4444.jpgAdmittedly, today's photo is not very good. I took it at my friend Viva's house yesterday

Continue reading
  1689 Hits
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Pam Olsen
It was so great that reading and language arts teacher Stacy Oberembt Skyped you from her classroom through Skypeanauthor.com. It... Read More
Wednesday, 24 March 2010 20:10
Guest — Monique
Hi Pam! Thanks for those encouraging words! I think if all I did was write write write, I'd miss the opportunity to meet young peo... Read More
Monday, 29 March 2010 20:35
1689 Hits
  2 Comments
Mar
19

"All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy"

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" -- that's an old expression used in James Joyce's gorgeous short story "Araby." The line popped into my head when I

Continue reading
  1876 Hits
0 Comments
1876 Hits
  0 Comments
Mar
17

Correcting Frenzy!

If you're wondering where I've been, the answer is on the living room couch, CORRECTING ESSAYS. My fingers are getting sore from all the writing -- that's a bad sign for my students since

Continue reading
  520 Hits
0 Comments
520 Hits
  0 Comments
Mar
11

Just So You Know...

Just So You Know it isn't only singing in the morning that makes me happy (though today is the perfect day for that old song, "Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day!" --

Continue reading
  1420 Hits
0 Comments
1420 Hits
  0 Comments
Mar
10

I Have an Awful Voice

I have an awful voice, but I love to sing! When my daughter still lived at home, she'd beg me to stop... and my husband does the same.

This morning, the students in my Writing for Children

Continue reading
  1431 Hits
0 Comments
1431 Hits
  0 Comments
Mar
08

Uh Oh, Beautiful Weather in Indiana!

IMG_333.jpgNow you may be wondering why beautiful weather in Indiana would cause me to go, "Uh oh!"

Continue reading
  3513 Hits
0 Comments
3513 Hits
  0 Comments
Mar
07

March Break Coming to an End... and a Lovely Book

Hello out there, So if you're like me, your March break is nearly over. I have to be back in my classroom tomorrow morning at 8:15. All I can say is YIKES. Not because I don't want to see my

Continue reading
  1227 Hits
0 Comments
1227 Hits
  0 Comments
Mar
02

Special Day with Another Gang of Talented Young Authors

Hello, hello, it's me again (well, who else would it be? It's my blog after all!),

So I'm just back from the final day of this year's Young Authors' Conference in Montreal

Continue reading
  1559 Hits
4 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — leah
it was me who told you about the bath crayons
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 20:59
Guest — Ann B
Hi Monique, I was one of your volunteers at this morning's workshop. I'm pleased to tell you that more than half of the "enthusia... Read More
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 22:20
Guest — Be
Thank you for your inspiration today. My daughter (in your afternoon group) is all fired up now and writing quite a tale!
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 23:08
1559 Hits
  4 Comments
Mar
01

Report from the Young Authors' Conference

IMG_22222.jpgI'm just home from a happy day at the Young Authors' Conference here in Montreal. It'

Continue reading
  1659 Hits
6 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — jaimey finkel
hey monique i was one of the students that you had today i just wanted to thank you again for coming and i really appreciate it... Read More
Monday, 01 March 2010 20:40
Guest — Monique
Hi Jaimey, Hope you had another great day today at the workshops. Thanks for posting your comment!
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 18:39
Guest — S-R Mestel
Hi! I was also one of your students, but from tuesday. I really had such a great, good, fantastic time!!! You have given me happin... Read More
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 19:35
1659 Hits
  6 Comments
Feb
28

Super-Conference!

IMG_1111111111.jpgSo I'm just back from Toronto, where I attended the Ontario Library Association's

Continue reading
  1794 Hits
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Mahtab Narsimhan
Hi Monique, Loved our walking chat (shows how well we multi-task, eh?). Hope to meet up over coffee sometime; in TO or Montreal... Read More
Monday, 01 March 2010 07:57
Monique Polak
It's a date, Mahtab!
Saturday, 20 March 2010 02:30
1794 Hits
  2 Comments
Feb
24

Writers Share their Writing Secrets

Even when I was growing up and getting published was just a dream, I always loved reading what writers had to say about writing. I remember hoping that if I paid careful enough attention, I'd figure

Continue reading
  1881 Hits
0 Comments
1881 Hits
  0 Comments
Feb
22

Can You Spell

IMG_111111.jpg"Theriatrics" was the word that won Christopher Scarvelis the Canwest Canspell Regional Spelling Bee here in Montreal yesterday.

Scarvelis, 13, goes to Loyola High School -- and let

Continue reading
  1516 Hits
0 Comments
1516 Hits
  0 Comments
Feb
18

A Story That Made My Arms Get Cold

The way I know if a story feels amazing to me is that my arms get cold  when I hear it (or tell  it). Just ask my students -- they've been there in class when this has happened to me.

Continue reading
  1268 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — CHARLOTTE21
Commonly, some teachers want to analyse the analysis essay writing technique of their students, however not all students are able ... Read More
Monday, 22 February 2010 13:49
1268 Hits
  1 Comment
Feb
15

Trouble -- in a Story -- is a Fine Thing

If you've read my books or been in one of my classes, you'll know by now that I have an unnatural interest in trouble. Not in my own life, of course, but in my stories! (And for those of us

Continue reading
  1462 Hits
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Brittany
Ms. Polak, as soon as I read this blog entry, I posted that saying on this website called Plurk. And my friend responded, "What if... Read More
Monday, 15 February 2010 21:42
Guest — tamar
you always were obsessed with clothes lines... when do we find out what the new book is about?... Read More
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 19:33
1462 Hits
  2 Comments
Feb
13

Thinking About Reviews

You write a book and if you're lucky enough, like me, to find a publisher, you send it off into the world... and then, people read it and respond.

I know of one author -- short-listed for

Continue reading
  1490 Hits
3 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — P
Congratulations! I read the review, I'm proud to show it to my friends and family and say "That's my teacher!" ... Read More
Monday, 15 February 2010 01:20
Monique Polak
Hi P! Well, it's usually me who feels proud of my students -- so it's fun, too, when it's the other way around. Tnx for checking i... Read More
Monday, 15 February 2010 17:23
Guest — tamar
what a great review it was! short but sweet
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 19:31
1490 Hits
  3 Comments
Feb
12

Meet Neale McDevitt

Yesterday, Montreal journalist and short story writer Neale McDevitt came to do a talk at Marianopolis College and also

Continue reading
  1753 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Bryan Stone
I know Neale McDevitt and hung out with his dad Bob too.
Friday, 26 February 2010 01:55
1753 Hits
  1 Comment
Feb
08

Work and Play... and an Upcoming Conference

This morning, in my "Writing for Children" class at Marianopolis College, I was trying to explain a tricky concept. The students are beginning work on the texts for their own picture books

Continue reading
  1245 Hits
0 Comments
1245 Hits
  0 Comments
Feb
05

A Visit with our Friends at Tukisiniarvik School

Photographer Thomas Kneubuhler and I spent this morning with our friends at Tukisiniarvik School in Akulivik, Nunavik. Now how did we manage to

Continue reading
  1462 Hits
0 Comments
1462 Hits
  0 Comments
Feb
03

Courage

I've been thinking a lot lately about courage. Maybe because the man in the room next to my mom's at the rehab centre has had an arm and a leg amputated on account of his cancer, yet he still

Continue reading
  1472 Hits
0 Comments
1472 Hits
  0 Comments
Feb
02

Proud Teacher Checks In

One of the courses I'm teaching this semester at Marianopolis College is Print Journalism. This week, students had to write a letter to the editor.

Continue reading
  1543 Hits
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — tamar
I think that without the assignment, the younger generation wouldn't voice their opinion. Since I am all for young people voicing ... Read More
Tuesday, 02 February 2010 20:18
Guest — Amanda Meltzer
I was so bummed when my two letters never got published!! But I will keep trying - even though there's no more bonus marks for me!... Read More
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 17:51
1543 Hits
  2 Comments
Jan
29

Laying An Egg

Since my mum got sick before Christmas, I am spending more time chatting with my dad. (Quick report: my mum is doing much better, but is still not well enough to return to her own house.) Well, this

Continue reading
  1882 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — L
Hello Ms. Polak, I write to you because I need your help for finding a quote you showed us in your Stuff of Nonesense class, a fe... Read More
Sunday, 31 January 2010 14:05
1882 Hits
  1 Comment
Jan
28

12:19 P.M. on January 28, 2010

I record the time and date, because I'm about to jump into a new project. I've spent the last little while on the floor in my office, reviewing notes. And now, I'm going to do it -- write

Continue reading
  1384 Hits
0 Comments
1384 Hits
  0 Comments
Jan
26

The Air Is Thick With Stories

IMG_22.jpgLately, I've been telling students how to me, the air feels thick with stories. What I mean is there

Continue reading
  1445 Hits
0 Comments
1445 Hits
  0 Comments
Jan
25

Home Invasion Gets Mentioned on CBC Sunday Edition

Yesterday morning, I came home from a run to find a message on our telephone -- it was my friend Deena, calling from the side of the road near Hamilton, Ontario, where she lives. She had been listening

Continue reading
  1690 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — tamar
so cool!!! 8)
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 00:44
1690 Hits
  1 Comment
Jan
21

Names, Names, Names!

So it's almost the end of my first week back as a pumpkin (I should say teacher -- that's a reference to a previous blog entry where I said I felt a little like the pumpkin in Cinderella

Continue reading
  1336 Hits
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — tamat
glad to hear mum is out of the hospital! i am reading "dear john" by nicolas sparks... finding it a bit slow but not one but TWO ... Read More
Friday, 22 January 2010 01:00
Guest — Sophie
Hey Mrs. Polak! It's been a while since I read your blog. I like the new theme - you've always liked red. Hope everything is wel... Read More
Saturday, 23 January 2010 17:19
1336 Hits
  2 Comments
Jan
19

The Baby Starts Kindergarten

What baby? My daughter's 26, a long way past kindergarten!

No, the baby is the new manuscript. About six seconds ago, I submitted it to my wonderful editor Continue reading

  1264 Hits
0 Comments
1264 Hits
  0 Comments
Jan
18

Pumpkin Turns Into Carriage

In the fairy tale Cinderella, a pumpkin is transformed into a carriage. I feel a little like that pumpkin today... or maybe more like the carriage! This was my first day back at Marianopolis

Continue reading
  1265 Hits
0 Comments
1265 Hits
  0 Comments
Jan
17

I Shouldn't Be Writing this Blog Entry!

The reason I shouldn't be writing this blog entry is because I have a ton of things to do... but I've got lots to tell you, dear blog reader, so here I am, writing a blog entry when I shouldn

Continue reading
  1695 Hits
0 Comments
1695 Hits
  0 Comments
Jan
13

On Thin Ice!!

Today photographer Thomas Kneubuhler and I were out "on thin ice." Usually, that means people are getting into trouble, but not us! We went out snowshoeing this morning on Lake Mistissini

Continue reading
  1786 Hits
0 Comments
1786 Hits
  0 Comments
Jan
12

Hello from the Cree Nation of Mistissini

So today's entry comes to you from the Cree Nation of Mistissini. I am writing to you from a computer at Voyageur Memorial School, where I'm working with photographer Thomas Kneubuhler on a project

Continue reading
  1393 Hits
0 Comments
1393 Hits
  0 Comments
Jan
10

Heading Back to James Bay

Tomorrow morning, really early, I'm catching a plane to James Bay -- this time, I'm headed for a town called Mistissini. I'll be meeting up with photographer Thomas Kneubuhler and we'

Continue reading
  1364 Hits
0 Comments
1364 Hits
  0 Comments
Jan
07

The Most Special Dress in my Closet

IMG_99.jpgMy day started with an e-mail from a reader named Elise. Elise wrote to say that her favourite part of

Continue reading
  1384 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Thea
That dress is very pretty I'm beginning to read What World is Left? ... Read More
Wednesday, 13 January 2010 22:04
1384 Hits
  1 Comment
Jan
06

Ordinary Things... and a good day at the computer

Today, driving home from the hospital (my mum is beginning to recover, but it looks like she may be in the hospital for a while still), I heard a wonderful interview on CBC Radio with Scottish author

Continue reading
  1197 Hits
0 Comments
1197 Hits
  0 Comments
Jan
04

Ups and Downs and Finding Ways to Handle Them

Well, there've been a lot of ups and downs around here the last few days. My mum who has been in the hospital for nearly two weeks, was getting a little better last week, and then she took a real

Continue reading
  1292 Hits
0 Comments
1292 Hits
  0 Comments
Dec
29

Ever Notice How Life Takes the Shape of a Story?

Maybe it's because I spend so much time writing and reading stories, but to me, it often feels that life takes the shape of a story. What I mean is that life has beginning, middle and end; there

Continue reading
  2498 Hits
0 Comments
2498 Hits
  0 Comments
Dec
28

Thinking About My Mum

IMG_222.jpgI've been away from the computer for a few days -- not just on account of the holidays, but also because my mum has not been well. She came down with a mysterious virus last week and she's

Continue reading
  1361 Hits
3 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Thea and Niki
Hello we are two girls from St-Thomas and we hope your mother gets a lot better soon! Thea & Niki
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 18:24
Guest — Monique
Thanks Thea and Niki! Your message gave me a real boost! Enjoy your days off from school.
Wednesday, 30 December 2009 10:04
Guest — Thea and Niki
Your welcome. Looking forward to hearing your good news!
Wednesday, 13 January 2010 21:59
1361 Hits
  3 Comments
Dec
21

Stories that Just Won't Go Away

I know I need to write a story when it just won't go away. It's kind of like a pesky fly in summer... only it's a good thing, and not pesky in an annoying way.

Last week, when I got

Continue reading
  2825 Hits
3 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Maïté
Monique, Tu m'impressionnes toujours! Quelle action et quelle efficacité. Cette histoire sera notre petit cadeau de Noël, j'aime ... Read More
Monday, 21 December 2009 14:36
Guest — Carol-Ann
Monique: Thanks for posting the details and pics of your jaunts to Harrington Harbour and le Grand Nord. I always find it so ins... Read More
Wednesday, 23 December 2009 13:20
Guest — Maïté
Monique, Je continue en français vu que tu sembles apprécier On a raté la sortie de la Christmas story dans the Gazette. Noam av... Read More
Sunday, 27 December 2009 00:54
2825 Hits
  3 Comments
Dec
17

Stories Worth Hiding

IMG_555.jpgHello, hello! Today I had fun with more teenagers -- I did two writing workshops at St. Thomas High

Continue reading
  1561 Hits
5 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Katie
I'd like to thank you again for coming in today! I learned a lot, and my notebook is full of short and important tips for writing... Read More
Thursday, 17 December 2009 17:22
Guest — Chistopher Ciafro
This the first part of a short story i'm working on. What do you think? Chapter one "One final question. Do you have any job expe... Read More
Thursday, 17 December 2009 20:07
Guest — Thea
Thank-you so much for coming to St-Thomas yesterday and teaching the group and I how to become successful authors. I am starting t... Read More
Friday, 18 December 2009 19:13
1561 Hits
  5 Comments
Dec
16

Return Visit to Lake of Two Mountains High School

IMG_1537.jpgSo I'm back from "le Grand Nord," and feeling very inspired by the stories I heard,

Continue reading
  1486 Hits
0 Comments
1486 Hits
  0 Comments
Dec
10

More From Me in Akulivik

IMG_1607.jpgIt's Day Three of our visit to Akulivik. Winds today are gusting at 45 kilometers an hour. so my morning run only lasted 10 minutes -- after which I went into the house where I'm staying and

Continue reading
  1438 Hits
0 Comments
1438 Hits
  0 Comments
Dec
09

"Ai" from Akulivik

IMG_1596.jpgSome Inuit say "Hi" the way we do in Montreal, but most say something that sounds more like "Ai." This morning, my new friends here at Tukisiniarvik School in Akulivik were teaching

Continue reading
  1663 Hits
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Secondary 3,4,5 - Tuksiniarvik School in Akulivik
Ai Monique! This is the Secondary 3,4,5 students at Tukisiniarvik School in Akulivik. Why did you put out picture on your websit... Read More
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 11:59
Guest — Monique
Ai Annie, Mary, Calai, Simon and Yolande! Fun to get your comment. Thank goodness you like that photo! Where are Taalia and Jason... Read More
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 12:13
1663 Hits
  2 Comments
Dec
08

New Friends in Puvirnituq

IMG_1594.jpgGood morning today from Puvirnituq, a village of 1,600 people on the Hudson Bay side of Nunavik. It took about 90 minutes to fly here yesterday from Kuujjuaq, which is on Ungava Bay.

I spent

Continue reading
  1638 Hits
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Monique
Hey, Harry, Sure I remember you! Thanks for writing. And good luck carrying the Olympic torch. Don't drop it!! Best regards from M... Read More
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 14:18
Monique Polak
Hi Monica, What's up? Thanks for posting a comment! I miss your sense of humour!
Friday, 29 January 2010 21:36
1638 Hits
  2 Comments
Dec
03

Hello from Kuujjuaq

IMG_1578.jpgToday I am writing to you from Jaanimmarik School in Kuujjuaq. I have lots to tell you, but I cannot find some punctuation marks on this computer -- so you will have to excuse me if I don t include

Continue reading
  2083 Hits
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Elaine Grimsey
Hi Monique, I just happened to come across your writing. Remember me ... You came to my house one afternoon with Andrea and baby ... Read More
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 13:22
Guest — Monique
Hi Elaine, Thanks for your message! I so enjoyed myself at your house that afternoon. Glad your mitts were done in time for Christ... Read More
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 15:26
2083 Hits
  2 Comments
Dec
01

Hello from Kangiqsualujjuaq

IMG_1571.jpgIf Kangiqsualujjuaq is too hard for you to pronounce, you can just call it George River. I'm

Continue reading
  2266 Hits
3 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Melissa Morgan
I Love Your Blog!! How are you doing? I'm doing alright but very excited that Christmas is coming very soon... Hope you have a gre... Read More
Friday, 18 December 2009 19:26
Guest — Monique
Hi Melissa! I love getting news from the North, so thank you very much for your message. I am glad you are enjoying my blog. That ... Read More
Monday, 21 December 2009 11:35
Guest — Sapina
I love the picture!!
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 23:19
2266 Hits
  3 Comments
Nov
29

Heading to the Far Far North!

My long underwear and thermal socks are packed! First thing tomorrow morning, I head to Nunavik. The Kativik School Board has invited me to visit four Inuit communities: Kangiqsualujjuaq, Kuujjuaq, Povungnituk

Continue reading
  1195 Hits
0 Comments
1195 Hits
  0 Comments
Nov
26

New Friends In Harrington Harbour

IMG_1568.jpgIMG_1546.jpg

Continue reading
  2313 Hits
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Sharon Chubbs-Ransom
Hi, Enjoyed meeting and chatting with you so much! Just wished we could have had more time. Bill's Cove looks good Monique2.... Read More
Thursday, 03 December 2009 05:51
2313 Hits
  1 Comment
Nov
22

Time To Hit the Road

...or in my case, the sky.

Tomorrow afternoon, my photographer pal Monique Dykstra and I head for Harrington

Continue reading
  1695 Hits
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Armen Attarian
Hello Miss, I have been able to visit your blog on and off despite the hectic semester here at Marianopolis. I heard the wonderf... Read More
Thursday, 26 November 2009 01:13
Guest — Monique
Hi Stella, Michael, Emily and Armen, I love getting comments on my blog. Thanks to all of you for writing! Stella, I promise to ke... Read More
Thursday, 26 November 2009 13:25
1695 Hits
  2 Comments
Nov
18

By Golly, I Won!

IMG_02.jpgI really wasn't expecting to win the Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children's and

Continue reading
  1447 Hits
4 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Leone
Way to go, Monique! So happy for you!
Thursday, 19 November 2009 16:10
Guest — Monique
Thanks Leone and Frieda for your good wishes. I'm still on Cloud Nine!
Sunday, 22 November 2009 21:46
Guest — Rachel
Wow!!! Congratulations!!!
Thursday, 26 November 2009 20:49
1447 Hits
  4 Comments
Nov
17

Meet David A. Poulsen

IMG_01.jpgIMG_00.jpgThis

Continue reading
  1643 Hits
0 Comments
1643 Hits
  0 Comments