Being an author’s great ‘n all, but do you have a boyfriend?
I had to ask her–how old are these kids? Six to seven years old, was the answer.
What the heck do I say to six and seven year olds about writing? I decided to talk to them about emotions–what do books and TV shows and movies make you feel? Plus I prepared a slightly sanitized version of the first 300 words of The Reluctant Reaper. (Less death and religious references.)
I arrived to find a very excited class all lined up nicely on the carpet on the floor. I barely got my name out when hands shot up and questions and comments abounded. Everything from “Do you brainstorm?” to “Do you have a boyfriend.” These kids were on target and also not so much. ;-D I figured the young girl who asked if I had a boyfriend was more the Twilight target market.
They loved my reading and wanted me to read it over. (Which I didn’t.) I’d brought props such as a really big eraser, stapler, calculator and pencil for the “attack of the feral office supplies” scene. They all wanted to feel the eraser.
Afterwards, I sat with a group of children and read their non-fiction (they knew the difference) accounts of their recent Terry Fox Day activities which raised money to help fund a cure for cancer. One little girl really stood out. Not only was her handwriting extremely well formed, but she also had the best story–complete with a beginning, a middle, and an end–all in about 150 words. I asked my niece later if she were older than the other kids. In fact, it turned out this talented girl was the youngest in the class–the only child to still be six years old at this time of the year. I was delighted to meet an author in the making.
Oh, and one little boy insisted on singing a song about a frog to me. Awesome.
My niece took a wonderful picture of me with the kids, but of course you can’t post kids’ pictures on the net without parental permission so just imagine Ms. Grant surrounded by kids. The child in the middle is holding up the huge eraser bearing the words “For Really Big Mistakes” but speaking to my niece’s class? Sure wasn’t.
(Cross-posted to my Storm Grant livejournal.)