Hi blog readers!
First, I want to say that I never got as many comments as I did following last week's visit to Honoré Mercier School. Thanks to all of you for being in touch. I will try to imagine your faces the next time I get a little discouraged during the writing process... and that'll help me keep on writing!!
I spent today at Rosemere High School. It was my second of five visits I'll be making there this winter.
I worked with three classes (that's my first group in the pic to the left -- note how hard they are working on a writing exercise!) as well as the school's Book Club (that's me and librarian Madame Plante with the Book Club members in the second pic. I am squeezing the shoulders of a very bright boy named Mikael!).
I did my best to inspire students to write and I also shared some of my tried-and-true writing tips. But because I am a kind of SPY, I also observed the students at Rosemere High. Amongst my observations: a student named Melissa who has a habit of shredding paper into tiny squares (I have never met a human shredder before!!); and a student named Amanda who matches her nail polish with her clothes (today she was wearing an egg-yolk yellow top). I also told the students to write down FUNNY things that happen, since these can possibly be used in stories, too. When I was telling Mrs. Weir's class about my book 121 Express, which is based on a real bus where the kids go crazy every afternoon, I asked Mrs. Weir's students what they thought I brought with me when I took the bus myself. "Advil!" a student named Kelly replied, and we all cracked up.
The Book Club students had read my book The Middle of Everywhere and were eager to learn more about life in the north. Mrs. Weinstein's students had also read the book; they, too, had good questions -- and were especially interested in the relationship between fact and fiction (Did I really see a polar bear? Well... I have to admit... I didn't!! That's where IMAGINATION and RESEARCH come in!) Mrs. Weinstein's students also impressed me because they knew my favourite writing rule (thanks to Mrs. W): "Show; don't tell!"
When I asked Mrs. Lewkowicz's class where they can go to find stories, a student named Alexina pointed at her head. I thought that was a great answer! But you know what else? There are stories EVERYWHERE, ALL AROUND YOU. In addition to going inside your head and using your IMAGINATION, you can also use your powers of observation and your interviewing skills to find even more stories.
I'd write more, but hey, I've got an assignment I'm supposed to be working on for The Gazette. Whatever school you go to, wherever you are, even if you're not a student any more... good luck finding stories, and especially the one story you really need to write!!
Hi Monique! I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed meeting you. You have so much energy and so many stories to share. Your positiveness and devotion to writing have inspired me greatly. Thank you for the passion you spread all around you.
Alexe (RHS Book Club, Sec.5)
Hi Dana and Alexe, Thanks so much for posting those comments! Dana, I hope I get to work with your class again -- I had fun with you guys. And Alexe, I was really impressed by everyone in your book club. Maybe you should do a book about a book club!! See you next week!