If you're a kid who loves to write, who invents stories for the fun of it, you just might become an author!
That's what happened to me, and also to the two other women in today's pic. That's Montreal playwright Colleen Curran in the flowery jacket, and my tall friend is picture book author Bonnie Farmer, who is also based in Montreal.
Bonnie is the brains behind a lovely little exhibit at Atwater Library. It's called Little Books and she's displayed the childhood works of several Montreal writers.
Colleen grew up in a writing household. Her dad was Gazette sports reporter Pat Curran. "He used to type his stories at our kitchen table. We grew up watching someone who wrote for an audience and got published. I thought everybody who wrote got published," Colleen told me last night at a reception to celebrate the exhibit. Colleen wrote a lot as a child, but she couldn't find any of her "little books." So instead she loaned the typewriter she used to write on when she was a kid!
Like me, Bonnie is a teacher. She contributed some stories she helped ESL students write in the 1990s. These days, Bonnie teaches kindergarten, where she observes that kids seem to want to make books. "Kids take bits of pieces of paper and draw on them, and write words, and glue and staple them into books," she told me.
As for me, I lent the library a "book" I wrote in Grade Five which I called "The Diary of Ooma Lella." It's the diary of a woman who dies during the Ice Age. In many ways, that book made me feel like a writer. I still remember how much my teacher, Mrs. Browman, liked it -- and I remember how she looked at me in a different way after she read my book! And guess what? I'm still friends with Mrs. Browman.
My mum died last January and I've been helping my dad organize the house and throw stuff out. I was very moved when I found "The Diary of Ooma Lella" in my mum's collection of favourite books.
Why am I telling you all this?
So you will know that every story you write, or your kid writes, is important.
Here's to teachers like Bonnie Farmer and Mrs. Browman, to parents who encourage their kids' creativity -- and to little books!
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