Okay, if it weren't for the pandemic, this week a team of Canadian children's authors, illustrators and performers would be traveling across the country, meeting young readers as part of the Canadian Children's Book Centre's (CCBC) Book Week. I'm lucky to be part of this year's virtual roster!

I kicked off the week with a visit to Ecole Arthur Pechey in Prince Albert, Saskatechewan. There turns out to be an upside to virtual visits.... Tomorrow, apart from a return visit to Arthur Pechey, I'll be traveling to Cranbrook, BC., and by Wednesday, I'll be in St. John's, Newfoundland! All this adventure without having to worry about catching a plane -- or losing my luggage!

This morning, I worked with Mrs. Mercredi's Grade Seven class. The Grade Eights are at home this week, on account of the pandemic, so some may have been watching from their kitchens!

I began by asking the students if they'd ever met a writer before. Sarah said, "I think I met a writer before" -- but she wans't quite sure! I told the class they'd probably remember meeting ME! I also warned them they'd need a nap after my presentation! (If you've met me before, you'll know I'm on the peppy side!!)

I shared all my writing tips! I told the students how my writing is good for the environment -- because I RECYCLE. For example, I recyle students' names. Today, I met two young men named Grayson -- hey one of them is in today's pic. I had never met anyone named Grayson before -- so meeting two in one morning seemed like an auspicious sign! The Grayson in the pic got the answer right when I asked, "What is the cousin of writing?" Grayson said READING! Writers, as I told the students, need to do a lot of both these activities if they want to develop as writers.

When I talked about recycling names, a student named Sara said, "I heard J.K. Rowling gets names from graveyards." Super cool! Which makes me think that next weekend, we should all try to take a walk in a graveyard -- and bring our notebooks!

That's the thing .... writers are always writing -- even when it doesn't look like it. We also talked about the importance of trouble in a story, and how it's generally best to avoid causing trouble. Life sends us enough of it! But as I told the kids, if I hadn't had a somewhat troubled early life, why, I'd never have become a writer.

I'll be back at Ecole Arthur Pechey tomorrow. I hope tomorrow's classes will be as lively as today's. Thanks to Vice Principal Ms. Gunville for organizing the visit; thanks to Mrs. Mercredi for sharing your kids with me (and I love your name too, Mrs. Mercredi); thanks to the kids for getting my week off to an amazing start; and of course, thanks to the gang at CCBC for making Book Week possible for all of us!