I guess you're wondering who my nine new friends are! Well, I'm just back from a talk and writing workshop at the Dollard-des-Ormeaux Public Library. I met with nine young people (aged 9 to 12) who are part of the library's reading program -- and I don't know about those kids, but I CERTAINLY HAD A GREAT TIME!! (I've been saving up a lot of teaching energy and I think I dispensed most of it in my one-hour-and-a-bit visit!!)

In today's pic, you can see me SPYING (one of the tricks I recommend to starting-out-writers.) The kids were doing a small writing exercise and I spied on what they were writing. One boy named Suhas came up with a really good, really funny story -- but I'm not going to tell you more about it because well... it's a little embarrassing and besides, you'll have to wait and read about it in Suhas's book, right Suhas? (Let's just say it made me laugh out loud.)

We also talked a little about grandparents and how it is sometimes easier for them to share stories with their grandchildren than with their own kids... and it was kind of a wonderful coincidence, that many of the youngsters' grandparents will be coming to visit them in Montreal over the next few weeks. Isha's grandparents are coming on Tuesday; Omar's on Saturday, and Kevin's grandfather is coming some time next week. I say it's a sign from the universe: GET THEIR STORIES. And remember my tricks: make them a cup of tea before you ask them about how they overcame times of trouble in their own lives. (We had also discussed one of my favourite subjects: how trouble makes a good story!!)

I also met the library's very own storyteller, Michelle Wachman, who facilitates this group. Thanks, Michelle, for sharing these wonderful bright youngsters with me today -- and thanks too to Mélissa Tullio for inviting me to the library. Happy writing and storytelling to all my new friends (and old ones too!!)!!