monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

2 minutes reading time (429 words)

Wanted to Practice My French, Mais...

I was invited to do a presentation this morning at the Foire du Livre St-Hyacinthe... only I drove the hour-and-fifteen-minutes to get there -- and there weren't any students! GRR!

I tried not to GRR! for long. (Just a short GRR! while I was there and a little more GRR!-ing on the drive home). Instead, I tried to make the most out of what seemed to me not a very well organized event.

I did that by chatting up several of the other writers who were there. First, I talked to François Gravel, the author of a whopping 65(!!) books, most for young adults. Gravel (that's him with me in today's pic) is the author of the popular Klonk series. Because I'm always thinking of you, dear blog reader (even in GRR! situations), I asked him if he had any writing tips for aspiring writers. Here's what he told me: "Try not to think about it. When I stop thinking, I get ideas!"

Like me, François was a long-time CEGEP teacher. Only he taught economics, not literature and humanities. He is married to YA author Michele Marineau, best known for her book, La Route de Chlifa. They both work at home in separate offices. But every day, after lunch, they each have a cup of green tea and play a game of Scrabble. François says he and Michele love talking about words.

I also met Chloe Varin, who at only 25 years old, has already published three books for young adults. I bought one of them -- Planches D'Enfer. It's about skateboarding and snowboarding -- and I hope it'll be another way for me to practice my French. Chloe had advice for you, too. She says: "Lis beacoup beacoup" -- which means read a lot, a lot! Then she added, "Write a lot too. Put your emotions into words."

I also enjoyed meeting Mariane Cayer, who was working in the bookstore associated with the event. I already knew Mariane through her blog, Les Lectures de Prosperyne -- and so I was excited to meet her in real life. Check out her book blog. Mariane says it's easier to explain the kinds of books she doesn't like -- since a list of what sorts of books she likes would be too long: "I don't like thrillers, poetry or horror."

So, if you're facing any GRR! situations today, you might also try to make the best of them. I'd have liked to work with some students in St-Hyacinthe this morning, but it was still good to connect with some fellow writers.

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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

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