The last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind. Many thanks to those of you who turned up for the launch of 121 Express on Wednesday afternoon. It meant a lot to me that many of my friends and students turned up to celebrate. Now if only I could post those pictures!! (I SOLEMNLY PROMISE TO LEARN HOW -- but you'll have to wait until I get through the mountain of term papers that arrives nextweek!)
Since we last "spoke," I've worked with two more groups of students at Blue Met -- doing educational workshops. And we also launched this year's Quebec Roots: The Place Where I Live!
Yesterday morning, I worked with students from Massey-Vanier High School in Cowansville. They got up at 5 a.m. to make it to the Delta hotel in time for our workshop! Here comes a sample of a description that Julie, one of the students from Massey-Vanier, produced (and they only had about five minutes to do the exercise) -- she's describing the pleats on the tablecloth in front of her: "the pleats line up like the strokes of a contemporary painting.... More elbows, more drinks, more bleach." I know I left a bit out of what Julie wrote, but you can tell how she manages to capture that tablecloth, its pleats, not to mention the elbows it sees!
Today, I worked with students from Royal West Academy and Bonaventure Polyvalent -- you may remember that I visited Bonaventure Polyvalent when I was in the Gaspe last week. Quite a nice coincidence to run into those students again, as well as their teacher, Lewis Evans. More coincidences: it turns out I'm quite friendly with Mr. Evans's parents -- who just so happen to be amazing educators! Because there were only seven students today, we managed to do quite a lot of "workshopping" -- meaning the students got to hear each other's work. Like all of the students I worked with this week, these young people have LOADS of talent. My advice to them is to go out and soak up stories and WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
Also, I thought I'd share some of the wise things the students at St. Willibrord School had to say about writing (and taking photographs) yesterday. (They were on hand for the launch of the Quebec Roots book.) Joey says: "You have to keep working at something to accomplish it." Meagan explained how she had to go back three times to get a proper photograph of the woman in her neighbourhood who feeds the geese: "I needed to get a cleaner background," she said. That's how it goes with writing, too -- you've got to keep going back to get a sharper image, you've got to keep polishing up your work until it SHINES!
A couple of final notes. I heard celebrated writer Nancy Huston speak at Blue Met yesterday and guess what? She said she sometimes gets ideas for her stories in the SHOWER!! (I've told you that too, right?) And today, I was having the most wonderful chat with Sarah Harvey, one of my editors at Orca, who is also an author. We were saying how there are so so many stories out there. Sarah said, "To find a story all you have to do is read one newspaper." So, if you happen to be in the mood to start writing a book today and you're looking for a story, check out today's paper! More from me next week, though I'll probably be too busy marking to write long entries. One final bits of news: my photographer friend Monique Dykstra will be shooting images for the cover of What World Is Left -- she's doing the shoot at my house on Monday. I just might have to tell you about all that in a blog entry!!
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i can't wait to see the cover of the book or to read the book for that matter!!!
121 express was very good by the way, i finished it the night of the launch! rachel and i started reading our copies when we ended up having to ride on the 121!!! when we passed lauren hill we looked at each other and just laughed
I can't wait to see the cover of What World is Left, either!! Only a few months of waiting left... and I've already finished 121 Express. I definitely liked the ending!
I like the comparison with the "cleaner" photo -- a couple of times, I've taken several shots just to get the perfect one, and it's rather trying on my patience when I just can't get it quite right.
This is Ruby. I was at your workshop on Thursday with the Massey-Vanier group, I was the one with good posture and i described the sprinklers!
It's awesome that you mentioned us on your blog and I just wanted to thank you for the workshop and for being so kind to my friend Hillary and speaking to her the way you did. That was really kind of you. Also, I appreciated the fact that you thought I had good posture since people usually tell me the exact opposite! :-*
Anyway, thanks again!
Blue Metropolis was amazing. I truly enjoyed everything I was taught. I definately will be a better writer due to all the great writing tricks I was showed. By the way, you truly inspire me. I love how you get your stories. You really know how to deal with teenage issues. That's what makes your stories so great. I enjoy reading your books and I hope to see what else you have in store for the future. Thanks so much..
xoxox Britney Fraser