You will, no doubt, be asking yourself what the point of this first pic is! I took the pic this morning, during my third day of writing workshops at St. Thomas High School. I was in the middle of telling Miss Murphy's grade nine class about how writers need to observe interesting details -- when I noticed that a student named Koby had a rather interesting eraser. (That eraser is the large blob in the pic.) Then, because part of Koby's pencilcase is mesh, I noticed he had two smaller chunks of the same eraser inside his pencilcase. At first, I thought maybe he had munched on the eraser, or that maybe Koby was the kind of person who does not approve of waste. But Koby told me that the little chunks of eraser come in handy. He also said, "I make a lot of mistakes in writing." Hey, Koby, maybe it'll cheer you up to know that I'm a professional writer -- and I make lots of mistakes too! I don't use an eraser very much these days, but I do hit the delete key on my computer a lot!!
When I was talking about how it helps to make writing a regular habit, I asked Mrs. Killorn (who was subbing for Miss Murphy) to tell us about her son Alex, who plays left wing for the Tampa Bay Lightning. "Does he only practice occasionally?" I asked Mrs. Killorn. She told us that Alex practises seven days a week. She also told us that he began playing hockey at age three. She said she knew he was going to be a serious hockey player when as a little boy, he played without any encouragement at all. So you see -- practise matters whether we are talking about writing -- or sports!
In this next pic, you'll see a group I am calling my LUNCH BUNCH. These are all students who turned up at the library to keep me company during senior lunch -- and to show me their work. Thanks, you guys, for totally making my day. I liked all of the stories I saw -- and I was impressed by how you all have a strong sense of voice in your writing. That's super important. And don't forget -- DEATH TO ADVERBS!!
I'm heading out now to teach Journalism and Writing for Children at Marianopolis College. You'd think I'd be tired -- but instead I feel energized after working with the classes (and my lunch bunch) at St. Thomas. I'll be back again on Monday for my final set of writing workshops there. Come for lunch and bring me your writing if you feel like it! Special thanks to teachers Miss Murphy, Mrs. Killorn, Mr. Katz and Mr. Cloney for sharing your classes with me -- thanks to librarian Carolyn Pye, for the invite and for feeding me delicious fruit -- and of course, thanks to the kids for being wonderful and for caring about writing and stories!!
Thank you for your time today! I appreciate the suggestions that you have given me in terms of my writing and all the journalism advice. We look forward to your next visit! :-)
Thank you so much for today! I really enjoyed the way that you were able to see a different flare in all of us, and seeing how physical cues connect to mental cues and thoughts as well. Thanks again, and see you soon!
Thank you so much for today. It was great when you came to our class and pointed out all the little details about different people, things nobody noticed about their classmates, and maybe even themselves. I also thoroughly enjoyed the stories you told about your adventures in writing.
Hey thanks for the comments, Averie, Adamo and Anna! It was a great pleasure for me to work with your classes -- and I'm already looking forward to round two coming up on Monday!!
Hi, I just want to say that your presence here at St Thomas is EXTREMELY INSPIRING! I just want to let you know that I am thankful for your describing of your experience as a writer. I want to do something like that when I grow up (probably not writing; I don't write). I'd probably do something like program a computer game or something. Either way, you have inspired me. And I WILL NOT forget anything that has transpired in that class on that faithful day! ...huff...dramatization gets me tired. Anyways, see ya on Monday!