How about I use the three photos at the top of this post to tell you about my visit to Lindsay Place High School today?
In the first pic, I'm with Angelica -- a student at the school who is VERY SPECIAL to me. (I try to avoid the word VERY -- ADVERB ALERT!! -- but it's necessary in Angelica's case). Three years ago, around this time of year, I was visiting Lindsay Place and I remarked to my friend, librarian Miss Dunning, how impressed I was with a student named Angelica. Miss Dunning said, "Oh, you mean Jelly!" That was the moment I came up with the name of the princess I'd been dreaming of writing about. And in the first pic, you see the real-life Angelica with the ARC (that stands for Advance Reading Copy) of my spring 2018 book Princess Angelica: Camp Catatrophe. It's the first in a four-book series that's called Jelly in a Jam!
How fun is that?
VERY (second adverb alert, but I couldn't help it).
In the second pic, I'm with Alexa, one of the students I worked with today (and yesterday). She's in Miss J's class. I figured out yesterday that Alexa is a born storyteller. Every time I brought up the subject of plot, Alexa could figure out what was going to happen next. Alexa, get writing! I gave the students an exercise today in which they had to imagine a character who was their total opposite. I asked Alexa's permission to let me quote part of what she wrote: "Some people say I have a horrible personality, but who cares since I'm gorgeous?" That led us to a little discussion about the wonderful, exciting challenge of writing about an unlikeable character (and ultimately, making them likeable).
My last pic has a funny, sweet story behind it. Don't you love the combination of funny and sweet? It's way better than pure funny or pure sweet if you ask me! In that pic, I'm with Miss Dunning, and two students (James and Jess) are coming over with two white roses. What's funny is that I made several wrong assumptions. First, I assumed both roses were for ME! Second, I assumed that either Miss Dunning or Miss J were behind the presentation. So I teased James and Jess about looking like they were forced to be on good behavior! Only guess what? It was their idea. There's more to the story. James and Jess had an ulterior motive! They were doing an assignment for Miss J's French class -- they had to do (and film) a random act of kindness. And guess what? Their random act of kindness was to give me and Miss Dunning each a rose. See what I meant about funny and sweet? James and Jess, if you're reading this -- thanks! (I'm afraid that in all the excitement, I may have forgotten my manners!) The rose is in a vase in my kitchen -- looking lovely.
I spent lunch working with two aspiring writers -- Kendra and Katana. Great to meet you, girls. Delighted to know that you caught the writing bug. The pair are writing an exciting book together and they are both characters in their own story.
I'll be back at Lindsay Place the second week of November for two more days of writing workshops.
In the mean time, happy reading, happy writing. Oh, a quick shout-out to Ryan, who insisted that he isn't into reading or writing. He told me, "My grandmother buys me a book every Christmas. I appreciate it because it's a gift. But I tell her, 'I don't know why you keep buying them!'" I had the students do a final writing exercise, and guess whose writing turned out to be stellar? I'm not saying his name because I don't want to ruin his reputation as a hater of reading and WRITING!
Thanks thanks to the students, and to the most wonderful, funny and kind Miss J, and to the always delightful and devoted Miss Dunning.