St. Francis de Sales school visit

I just had the most awesome school visit at St. Francis de Sales in Sherman Oakes (part of metropolitan Los Angeles). Everyone was terrific. Kind, helpful staff, lots of volunteer parents, and the greatest kids. They were spunky and full of energy -- clearly they've been given lots of support in creative writing, thinking, and speaking up. And my new projector worked just fine -- thanks to all the Gods of Tech for this miracle!

The only group I was a little bit nervous about was my first presentation: 100K-1-2 kids in the auditorium. those auditoriums can be really tough -- they're big, can be noisy, and sometimes it's hard to keep the little wigglers paying attention. But I read one of my books, Pig's Eggs, and we talked about the story, and then using a white board, we brainstormed a story about a dog who felt unloved. We came up with a repetitive phrase "No, no, no!" as he tried to get attention, then became, "Oh, no!" and at the happy ending, "Yes, yes, yes!" 100 enthusiastic kids yelling out "Yes, yes, yes," in the auditorium. Delightful.

To mellow everyone back out, I read my short goodnight book, Moon Glowing, and sent them off.

With the older kids I showed slides of photos from my biographies and talked about my writing process, and the people I did the biographies on, and used a couple of really cool photos as prompts to get them to do a quick write. Just to get the idea that nothing is perfect when you start. In the immortal words of Bruce Coville (who had just been here two years earlier), "Barf on the page." Always good advice, no matter where you are in the writing process.