I like how that sounds -- Markin' Mama -- though perhaps it is a slightly rude way to describe a woman of my age!! However, Markin' Mama more or less captures what I am up to this week. It's the last week of classes at Marianopolis College, where I teach in Montreal, and all my students are handing in their work. I've already gotten through two sets of assignments and I have twomore coming in tomorrow.
This morning was the end of my "Writing for Children" class. I'm always a little sad when a class ends, especially when the students are as good as these students were. Of course, I couldn't keep a class forever, so the letting go at the end of term is just a natural part of the process. Still, I'll miss "my" kids.
All semester, students in that class have been taking turns doing short presentations about children's writers, focusing in particular on the writers' tips. I think sometimes the students got a little tired of hearing these mini-presentations, but I have to say I enjoyed every one. I'm always eager to know how other writers do what they do. Sometimes their tips are familiar to me; sometimes I learn new things.
Today, my student Felix shared some writing advice from Paul Zindel, author of The Pigman. Here's what Zindel has to say: "Start your story with a grabber and don't give up." I like that bit about starting with a "grabber" or catchy beginnning. Zindel's advice comes at a good time for me since in a couple of weeks from now, I should be ready to start my next YA project. So far, I don't know where my story will begin. Felix told us Zindel also believes in the creative power of daydreaming... so y'know what?... when my marking is done... I'm going to take off a little time to DAYDREAM. Of course, I'll let you know how that goes. Hopefully, I'll daydream up a "grabber." Good luck with whatever you are working on today... and with your own daydreaming.
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