monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

Dec
24

'Twas the Day Before Christmas

... and all Monique wanted to do was WRITE -- but there were presents to wrap and a dinner to cook... and friends wanting to come by to visit. I did want to tell you a little about Hadley Dyer, formerly the children's editor at James Lorimer & Co. Hadley is now the very successful author of a YA book called Johnny Kellock Died Today (Harper Collins) and has left the editing world to write

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Guest — Kim
Happy Christmas/Holidays to you too, Miss. Polak!! Hopefully, you'll write another entry before the New Year, so I'll wish you a h... Read More
Monday, 24 December 2007 18:21
Guest — Tamar
Thanks for the good wishes! Hope you had great holidays!!
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 21:16
Guest — Sophie B. X.
I feel guilty about not reading your blog for the past week or so, but I caught up today so all should be forgiven. I haven't had ... Read More
Thursday, 27 December 2007 12:52
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Dec
21

Another Quick Hello!

Here's the link to my Gazette story about how the snow has affected Christmas shopping here in Montreal: http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=bed00925-e759-417d-ba1b-4fb4661a78e5

Wish I had more time for a longer entry,  but I've got three friends coming for lunch today at one. Since I'm Queen of the Multi-Task, I'm about to go for a

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Guest — Kim
I never realized that business was affected to such an extent by of the weather!! I thought more people went shopping because ther... Read More
Friday, 21 December 2007 19:39
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Dec
20

Ever Wonder What a Streeter Is?

Okay, so you never wondered. A streeter (in case I've piqued your interest) is a term used in journalism to describe a story where you interview people on the street. Today, just when I was about to sit down to work on my manuscript, I got a call from the Gazette Business editor asking me what I was up to. It turned out he needed me to write a story for tomorrow's paper about how local

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Guest — Kim
Wow, that's a short time to write an article!! Good thing school's over, I guess it gives you more time to write PS now my mom k... Read More
Friday, 21 December 2007 13:20
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Dec
18

Quick Hello!

Today was one of those days when the writing went quickly and fairly painlessly. Also, I'm working on a section where my character, who is out on a winter camping expedition in Nunavik, wakes up to a terrible snowstorm. It helps that it is snowing again today in Montreal, though it's not stormy like it was on Sunday. So, all I've had to do is tilt my head a little to the right to get

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Guest — Kim
Wow - what a treat: 2 entries in as many days! I hope you were able to get to school in a reasonable amount of time - I left the c... Read More
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:52
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Dec
17

Monday Morning Greeting

Hello, out there! We got some snowstorm yesterday! The college where I work is closed for the day. No such luck for my husband, Mike, who's an editor at the Montreal Gazette. Unlike teachers, newsroom staff never get snow days! Speaking of The Gazette, my story about how people feel proprietary about parking spots they've gone to the trouble of digging out is in today's paper. Here
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Guest — Kim
Lucky you to have had the chance to take advantage of the snow day to write!! (I had a visit to the Canadian Spage Agency this mor... Read More
Tuesday, 18 December 2007 01:05
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Dec
14

How'd it Get to be Friday So Soon?!

It's not just Friday -- it's Friday at four minutes to five. This has been a very busy week. I'm glad I had nice long stretches at the computer. Some days, the writing comes more quickly than on other days. Those telephone interviews I did last week with Isabelle and this week with Mark really helped me gain momentum on my latest book project. Though I have kind-of-an-idea about where

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Guest — Kim
Hi Miss. Polak! I just wanted to update you on what I did today to celebrate the 17th anniversary of my arrival from China - which... Read More
Saturday, 15 December 2007 00:05
Guest — Tamar
Hi Ms. Polak, I find it very funny that someone dug up someone else's car. I spent 10 minutes pushing a car today... not fun! I ca... Read More
Monday, 17 December 2007 02:54
Guest — Tamar
p.s. go for the oatmeal raisin cookies!
Monday, 17 December 2007 02:54
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Dec
12

Quiet Writing Days... Ahhh!

So the last three days have been what I consider heavenly. Not much to do, except WRITE!! Though I manage to keep writing during the school semester, it does feel like I'm juggling a lot of balls when I'm teaching full-time... and now, I'm down to just one ball... or two. I've been moving forward on the George River project. Did I tell you that last week I had a very good phone

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Guest — Kim
Hi Miss. Polak! I'm definitely planning on taking some time to do what I like - now that Exams are over, it's a lot of fun to be a... Read More
Friday, 14 December 2007 01:52
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Dec
07

Visit to John Abbott College

I spent yesterday afternoon at John Abbott College, where I spoke to Deirdre King's Journalism class. Lately, when I've been doing school visits, I've been speaking mostly about being a YA writer -- so this was a change for me. But part of what I spoke about was the link between being a reporter and writing fiction. Reporters have to get things right; fiction writers can play with the
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Guest — Marilyn
Hello Monique. Im Marilyn and you visited my journalism class at John Abbott. You told me to write to you about good journalism sc... Read More
Sunday, 09 December 2007 02:32
Guest — Sophie B. X.
(Still remember me?) I actually read half of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius but had to stop to study for exams last yea... Read More
Monday, 10 December 2007 21:46
Guest — Phil Cutler
Good evening Monique, I found your visit with us at John Abbott very helpful and I am sure most of the other students did as well.... Read More
Tuesday, 11 December 2007 00:08
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Dec
05

School's Out! Here Comes Writing Time!!

Classes are over at Marianopolis College. I've been marking like a fiend. Ask my husband who got a little miffed when I brought term papers with me to the grocery store on the weekend!! It's always a bit of an adjustment to go from teaching to writing full-time, especially over the holidays when there are so many other demands on our time. This afternoon, I'm going to phone my friend

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Guest — Kim
Thank you Miss. Polak for telling my story Somehow stories always (or rather, often) sound more interesting when they're someone ... Read More
Thursday, 06 December 2007 01:05
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Nov
30

I Should be Marking Essays!!

My students submitted their final essays this week, which means there's a big pile of 'em on the living room floor -- and a smaller pile (those are the ones I've already graded) in my schoolbag. All this to say I don't expect to be doing any new writing until the middle of next week. When I'm not writing, I miss it -- it's kind of like not getting to be with your crush!!! <
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Guest — Alice
Universal to put Gellar in Wonderland By Borys Kit and John Gaudiosi Universal Pictures is making “Alice,” an adaptation of v... Read More
Sunday, 02 December 2007 00:59
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Nov
23

It's great getting feedback on this blog!!

Just time for a quick entry today, but I wanted to say thanks to those of you who've been posting comments on this blog. It's fun to know that even with the many things we all have to do, we're making time to read people's blogs. Darinka Popovic, teacher-librarian at Rockheights Middle School in Victoria, B.C., shared an interesting memory about clotheslines (she doesn't share
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Guest — Kim
Miss. Polak, you never mentionned this blog to your English class!! I only just found it now and read all of the entries in one sh... Read More
Sunday, 25 November 2007 02:13
Guest — Anita
Hi Monique, Hope you're staying warm. When I left Winnipeg for Book Week a little over a week ago it was still fall. When I retu... Read More
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 11:45
Guest — Rosa
This is really fun to read, even the writing tips which we've already done in class. So how much time do you spend writing every d... Read More
Thursday, 29 November 2007 04:18
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Nov
19

Today's Visit to Westmount High School

I did another school visit today -- at Westmount High School in Montreal. Again, I'm feeling very inspired by the young people I met. The school librarian Susan Chau (Miss Chau to the students) arranged the visit. (She is the same librarian who helped me when I was writing a story for The National Post newspaper about bibliotherapy.) My friend and fellow writer Lori Weber also visited Westmount
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Guest — Lawrence Lin Chia Yen
;DThank you very much for the talk that day for us, grade 11 students. It was very insightful and it helped me alot. You gave me i... Read More
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 01:14
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Nov
16

Stories, Stories Everywhere

Hello out there! I'm just back from a morning at Lindsay Place High School in Pointe-Claire, on Montreal's West Island. I certainly hope I inspired the students (I told them about how I got into writing, how I get my ideas... and I read a bit from my books), but one thing's for sure: THE STUDENTS INSPIRED ME. 
I spoke to three grade eight classes and though there wasn't much time
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Guest — Cody mac isaac
w00t!!!!!!!!!!!!!monique is an awsome person to meet she is very inspiring~!~!`1 ;D
Friday, 16 November 2007 20:43
Guest — Joy
thanks!! I would like to say thanks for coming in our class. You inspired me! You were right I was very interrested. I love bod... Read More
Tuesday, 20 November 2007 01:44
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Nov
15

Heading Out for a Run... and to think about my story

Hello, out there! Just a short entry, but it's about something I think is an important topic: how writers like me get our ideas. I find, and I've heard this from other writers, too, that my best ideas don't necessarily come while I'm sitting in front of the computer screen. 
I'm a bit of an exercise nut (I try to workout every day, either by going for a run or doing weights
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Guest — Anita
Tub time is good idea time for me, Monique. So when I think to myself, "Oh, go soak your head!" I'm actually being good to myself... Read More
Friday, 16 November 2007 13:07
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Nov
08

What My Writing Friends in Toronto are Up To...

When I was in Toronto last weekend, I didn't just attend the childen's writing conference I told you about -- I also made time for FUN. As I'm always telling my students, it's important to engage in what psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud called "pleasurable play." Time-out for having fun makes us happier, less stressed and more productive. 
On Friday, I had lunch with two of
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Nov
05

Home Sweet Home, but Feeling Very Inspired

I always tell my students to avoid the word "very" -- but sometimes, a person just can't help it. I'm just back from the Packaging Your Imagination conference in Toronto and I'm feeling VERY inspired. The conference is run by a great group called CANSCAIP (that stands for Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers). But let me get to the interesting
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Oct
31

Exciting Evening with Friends from Nunavik!

Well, as life sometimes does, it served up a great gift yesterday. I think I told you I'd heard from my friend Sapina Snowball in Nunavik that she was coming to Montreal for a career conference. Yesterday, when I got home from school, there was a phone message from her. She explained that she'd arrived late on Monday and had been at her conference all day yesterday... and that she was leaving
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Guest — Sapina Snowball
yeah, we had a good short night together.. and yeah, you got the town spelled just right! it was very nice seeing you again...!... Read More
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 23:22
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Oct
26

Preparing for a Talk about Writing -- and Researching

I got through that pile of correcting  I was moaning about earlier this week. Mercifully, many of the essays were excellent. I didn't tell you, but the assignment was to analyze a joke using the Freudian model we have been studying in class. The class, in case you're wondering what kind of class studies jokes, is called "The Stuff of Nonsense."
Today, to celebrate my freedom
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Oct
23

Want to Read about Bibliotherapy?

In a previous blog, I told you how I was writing a story for The National Post newspaper about bibliotherapy -- how reading books can help us cope with life's challenges. If you want to check out the story, here's the link:
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/artslife/story.html?id=0757758e-b5bd-471b-ac45-717b63ce4888&k=84179
I'm still working my way through
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Oct
22

I Shouldn't be Writing a Blog Entry Right Now...

I shouldn't be writing a blog entry right now, but as you may have noticed, I am. What I should be doing is marking term papers. Only I miss writing too much!! As you may know, I teach full-time at Marianopolis College here in Montreal.  This week,  my students' major mid-term assignments are due... about 80 essays came in this morning, and I'll get more work on Wednesday. All this to
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Guest — Alyssa
Hi Monique! I hope your marking is going well. Just wanted to say I feel your pain... only I'm writing the exams, not reading them... Read More
Tuesday, 23 October 2007 21:10
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Oct
15

Thinking about Vancouver Island... and clotheslines

This time last year I was gearing up for my trip to Vancouver Island. I was there for the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Book Week and did I ever have fun!! I met so many interesting young people, heard so many great stories, and saw such gorgeous rugged terrain. I am also thinking about Victoria because I got an email this weekend from Darinka Popovic, the teacher librarian at Rockheights
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Guest — Darinka
Now you have brought back another image--clotheslines. Thank you for creating the picture. I never really thought of clothes lines... Read More
Monday, 19 November 2007 04:48
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Oct
11

Thursday hello

Ever have one of those mornings that slipslides away? That's what's happening to me today. Luckily, though, I still have nearly two hours till I have to leave for school -- and I'm planning to use them more efficiently than I used the last three hours (though I did go for a run and I picked up some groceries en route). 
My editor's second set of notes for the school bus story has landed
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Guest — Sapina Snowball
Hey Monique, I'm speechless.. haha.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 18:53
Guest — Kim
I remember that clothesline assignment - one cold morning, while I was walking down "Villa-Maria Avenue" (at least I think that's ... Read More
Sunday, 23 December 2007 00:55
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Oct
05

Reading is Good for Mental Health

Well, I just finished writing a story for The National Post newspaper about something called "bibliotherapy." Though there are no universities that train people to become bibliotherapists, a lot of librarians, English teachers and therapists know that books can help people deal with difficult problems. I'm going to tell you about a few of the people I interviewed for the story. This
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Oct
02

The Lasagna was Dry, but the Conversation was Great

So I promised I'd report back on my evening with children's writer Marsha Skrypuch, who was in Montreal for the launch of her latest book, Prisoners in the Promised Land: The Ukrainian Internment Diary of Anya Soloniuk (Scholastic). As I've already told you in the title of today's entry, my salmon lasagna didn't turn out that great. On the bright side, though, I learned a lot from
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Guest — Marsha Skrypuch
The lasagna was not dry, my dear. It was delicious. And the lemon dessert was to die for.
Sunday, 28 October 2007 17:28
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Sep
28

It worked!

Yippee! Now ALL my blog entries say "Posted by Monique Polak." Here are all the people I need to thank: Gord and Gio at Ecohosting here in Montreal, and my new friend Mark in Malaysia. I'm feeling downright computer-literate tonight!!
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Sep
28

Still testing

I should be making salmon lasagna, but I'm still working on getting rid of "Posted by Adminstrator." So here goes! This time, I think it's going to work. This blog should say on top: "Posted by Monique Polak." Let's go, Computer, do it right this time! 
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Sep
28

Friday hello

Only time for a quick blog entry this morning. I'm trying to get rid of that annoying "Posted by Administrator" tag that has appeared on the top of each of my blog entries so far. I've been busy figuring out how to do that (with a little help from technical support people) --  and you'll be able to tell from the top of this posting whether I found the solution. Let's just
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Sep
27

Hello from George River!!

The thing is, I'm not really in George River (which is about five hours away by plane from Montreal). I'm sitting at my desk in Montreal, but I've been writing about George River, so in a way, I've spent the morning there. 
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I am writing a book set in George River, which is in Nunavik, in northern Quebec. I was there last February. So far, all
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Sep
21

Why Starting a New Book is a Little Like Falling in Love

Starting a new book is a little like falling in love. That's because you're very hopeful and everything seems possible. That's why it's very important to take advantage of the burst of energy that can come with starting a new book (and falling in love)!! 
To be honest, I was not planning to start a new book just yet. As you may know from my website, I teach full-time at Marianopolis
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Sep
20

Hello hello! Anyone out there?

It's Monique P, writing to say I've now got my very own blog! For one week last month, I was a guest blogger on the Orca Book website -- and I liked it. In this blog, I'm going to tell you a little about the writing life. Only today, I didn't get much writing done. Sigh!! Sometimes, ordinary life gets in the way of the writing life.... But at least I learned how to set up this blog
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Guest — katie
hey i was at ur nchs presentation today and i just wanted to check out ur site and say hi im loved ur book flipturn it was so good... Read More
Thursday, 24 April 2008 23:56
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