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Because I'm taking part in an event called La Nuit de la Lecture this weekend in Mebourne, Quebec, I was invited today to visit the nearby Richmond Regional High School and also St. Francis Elementary.
I'm always telling students that STORIES NEED TROUBLE -- that though we'd rather not have trouble, it makes great story material. So listen what happened to me. I accidentally took the scenic route to the school, and instead of taking me TWO HOURS it took me nearly THREE! Grrr! At one point, I knew I had to turn right on a steet called Principale. The trouble happened when I saw a street that went right. Only the street sign was covered in a thick layer of fresh snow. So... I got out of the car to wipe off the sign, but I WAS TOO SHORT TO REACH IT! It's an example of trouble that in retrospect is funny -- though I wasn't amused at the time!
When I finally arrived, I worked first with Miss Sullivan's Sec III class. When I had them do the memory of being ten years old exercise, a student named Harrison wrote this: "I'm in my dad's class. The boys always had a bite of our sandwiches before lunch. Our teacher never really appreciated that." Harrison, I think a story about a kid whose dad is his teacher would make a great book. WRITE IT.
At St. Francis, I met Miss Stpehanie's Grade Fives. These kids wanted to do a Q&A with me -- and they had great questions. Matis asked, "How much time does it take to write a book?" I explained that there are a lot of steps in book-writing. The first draft usually takes me between six months and a year, then another six months or so re-wiriting... and then I have to wait for the publisher to add my book to their catalogue. Noah asked, "What made you want to write?" I told him that I want to write because I LOVE STORIES. Stories I read, stories I hear people tell... every kind of story.
I'll try to add a picture to this blog entry tomorrow. Thanks to the kids for being fun, thanks to Siu-Min Jim for arranging today's visit. I promise to make up the time I lost sign-cleaning in a Skype with the kids. Thanks also to ELAN's ArtistsInspire grant program. Now if only I was five foot six!!