Bonjour. I greeted you in French today because I'm just back from a visit to College Brebeuf, where I spoke to Lawrence Szigeti's English as Second Language students. Lawrence invited me in to discuss my short story "Row by Row," which is going to be published later this year in an  anthologyedited by Zsolt Alapi, who is co-chair of the English department at Marianopolis College, where I teach.

Of course, I also managed to talk to the students about writing in general -- and about YA literature. A couple of the students stayed to chat with me after class. Claudia, who's 18, told me she used to write a lot when she was younger, and that she even won prizes for her compositions. "I lost it," she said about her old love for writing. Claudia hopes to become a surgeon, and though she may have lost her interest in writing, she still enjoys reading, especially love stories. Her favourite author is Dominique Demers.

I also spoke with Alexandra, who's 17. She likes writing and painting, and this is what she says happens to her when she's involved in doing something creative: "I get into a trance. I'm into my story. I get happy changing the words. When I write or paint, I get into my thing and forget everything else!" Spoken like a real writer, Alexandra!

Well then, I have about an hour-and-a-half before I have to leave for Marianopolis. That means it's time for me to get into that "trance" Alexandra was talking about. I had news yesterday from Sarah Harvey, who's editing my historical novel What World Is Left. Looks like she's pretty happy with the manuscript. Now I've got to go through it one last time for some final "tweaking."

Hey, tomorrow I go to LaurenHill Academy Junior Campus to do workshops for students there. And I don't know if I've told you this yet, but my latest book, 121 Express, was inspired by stories I heard from LaurenHill students. In my book. students at the imaginary "Lorne Crest Academy" go wild on a school bus called the ... you got it ... 121 Express. I'll be out most of the day tomorrow, but I'll make sure to write a blog entry to tell you how things go.

The crocuses are out in our front garden. Talk to you soon!