monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

2 minutes reading time (476 words)

Sweetest Morning at Mackay Centre

To celebrate the launch of this year's TD-Blue Metropolis Children's Literary Festival, I got to spend the morning at Mackay Centre & Philip E. Layton School, where some students are deaf, blind or visually impaired. I worked with a group of wonderful students who are in grades three and four. Today, my goal was to share some writing tips, and get the kids thinking about their own stories. I'll be back for another session next week, and hopefully, we'll be able to get their stories underway!

Usually, I post a pic of me and some students. In today's pic, though, I am with the PRINCIPAL, Ms. Margetis. But guess what? She USED TO BE MY STUDENT AT MARIANOPOLIS COLLEGE. (Which explains my giant smile.)

So -- back to my work with the kids! I covered some basic writing tips, including the importance of TROUBLE. All three teachers whose students were in my group -- Ms. Melissa, Ms. Glenna and Ms. Anna -- had already taught the students about complications (which is perhaps a nicer word than trouble!!). As Ms. Anna explained, "Complications make a story more interesting." Exaxtly!!

I also explained to the students that I collect cool names to use in my books. And several of the kids had cool names -- including Xander (with an X! how distinctive!), Devontae (you have to be a star with that name!) and Kahmar. Then I explained that I also collect cool hair (not specimens! just descriptions). That way I can give cool hair to the characters in my books. Coolest hair today belonged to Kahmar, who has dreadlocks and who explained to me, "They grow like that."

I learned from Ms. Melissa that Xander, Samuel (AKA Sam) and Kahmar work on books in their spare time! Apparently they are also talented illustrators. I was most impressed!

But I'll end today's blog entry with my favourite favourite favourite (that's a lot of favourites!) moment. After I told the students how readers are interested in reading about trouble -- or complication --  a student named Aiden looked at me and asked, "Can we start now?"

THAT MADE ME SO HAPPY. As I told the students, even with 34 published books to my name, writing continues to be difficult for me. But like Aiden, I'm also eager to get started on every new story. (Or in my case, to get back to work on a story I've already begun.) That feeling of excitement, of eagerness, well... it's what's behind every story, and every creation.

I'm already looking forward to next week's session. Can we start now?

Thanks to Blue Met for sending me to Mackay today -- and to Ms. Margetis, the teachers and all the helpers for sharing your kids with me. And a special thanks to Leyla, who was my scribe. See you all same time next Friday!

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Monday, 24 June 2024

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