monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

2 minutes reading time (410 words)

Just the Right Amount of Trouble in Richmond, Quebec

Because I'm taking part in an event called La Nuit de la Lecture this weekend in Mebourne, Quebec, I was invited today to visit the nearby Richmond Regional High School and also St. Francis Elementary.

I'm always telling students that STORIES NEED TROUBLE -- that though we'd rather not have trouble, it makes great story material. So listen what happened to me. I accidentally took the scenic route to the school, and instead of taking me TWO HOURS it took me nearly THREE! Grrr! At one point, I knew I had to turn right on a steet called Principale. The trouble happened when I saw a street that went right. Only the street sign was covered in a thick layer of fresh snow. So... I got out of the car to wipe off the sign, but I WAS TOO SHORT TO REACH IT! It's an example of trouble that in retrospect is funny -- though I wasn't amused at the time!

When I finally arrived, I worked first with Miss Sullivan's Sec III class. When I had them do the memory of being ten years old exercise, a student named Harrison wrote this: "I'm in my dad's class. The boys always had a bite of our sandwiches before lunch. Our teacher never really appreciated that." Harrison, I think a story about a kid whose dad is his teacher would make a great book. WRITE IT.

At St. Francis, I met Miss Stpehanie's Grade Fives. These kids wanted to do a Q&A with me -- and they had great questions. Matis asked, "How much time does it take to write a book?" I explained that there are a lot of steps in book-writing. The first draft usually takes me between six months and a year, then another six months or so re-wiriting... and then I have to wait for the publisher to add my book to their catalogue. Noah asked, "What made you want to write?" I told him that I want to write because I LOVE STORIES. Stories I read, stories I hear people tell... every kind of story.

I'll try to add a picture to this blog entry tomorrow. Thanks to the kids for being fun, thanks to Siu-Min Jim for arranging today's visit. I promise to make up the time I lost sign-cleaning in a Skype with the kids. Thanks also to ELAN's ArtistsInspire grant program. Now if only I was five foot six!!





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Tuesday, 05 March 2024

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