First, let me explain: "shmall" is what some people call the Cavendish Mall, a shopping centre in Cote St. Luc, the Montreal neighbourhood where I grew up. As you may remember from an earlier blog entry, I've been doing writing workshops with a group of students at Hebrew Academy, which just happens to be located almost across the street from the "shmall." Together with the students, we came up with a pretty great idea: to write a fictional account of a crazy day at the shmall. Today, the students had to bring in their rough drafts -- and I must say I laughed out loud reading some of their stories. I don't want to give too much away, but let's just say an animal escapes from the petting zoo and causes quite a commotion. The students are doing revisions and the plan is for me to make one more set of editing notes. So, in case any of you prize pupils are reading this -- here's some tips to keep in mind while you finish your pieces. Use dialogue wherever possible to bring your writing to life. Include specific details. And be funny. And oh yeah, one more thing -- have fun!!

I know I said I'd tell you about last night's din-din with my writer friends Jane and Lori, but I've run out of time. More friends coming over tonight for a cookie exchange party and I need to make the guacamole!! Tomorrow is busy, too, with the English exit exam at my college, but I'll try to check in then, even if it's only to write a short entry...  oh, check out this pic of the kids in my group at Hebrew Academy. Don't we all look clever?IMG_1243.jpg