Thanks, John M. King School!

WHEW! It’s been a whirlwind of writing, school residencies, and other fun stuff for me since our great time together at John M. King this past October. Have you all been busy, too? I bet you have been, knowing all the exciting projects and events you had going on while I was at your school… (I saw a story about Camp Manitou on the news the other day, and thought of you all… and your ‘ziplining’ stories!!)

I’m finally getting around to blogging about our time together, but I certainly have been thinking about you all a lot. I had such a fun time sharing my writing process with you, and watching and learning from you about how you approach the art of writing. I was especially excited to hear from quite a number of you that you are going to continue writing at home in your spare time – that’s fantastic, and I hope it’s going well! Here’s a little ‘thank you web’ I made for you all 🙂

Thanks to John M King School
John M King Web

Looking back to October, I was trying to decide on my favourite day or session with you, and it was tough — because there was something special about each one. I loved how quickly and creatively your character webs sprung to life, and you all did a fabulous job putting together your storyboards. That’s not an easy thing to do, but you went for it!! A couple of highlights for me: when you came up with new and very ingenious ways to use the sticky notes to plan, like making an “idea board” to keep track of thoughts about your story that popped into your imagination. I also loved the opportunity I had to work with small groups to create storyboards together. You had such intelligent discussions about just which events to include (and which didn’t make as much sense) and came up with some great ideas — way to go!

Another favourite session (boy, I have a lot of those, don’t I?) was when we came up with ‘impact words’ to help bring our stories to life – different words for ‘went’ and ‘said’ to make the mood and action in our stories more vivid. Your lists were off the charts – in fact, if I kept writing down your ideas, they would have gone ‘off the boards’ and right onto the walls! Check out some pics below – sweet!

So, those are some thoughts about the creative ‘stuff’ we looked at together, but another huge highlight for me was meeting all of YOU! You were kind, funny, smart, curious, insightful, warm and generous. I felt very welcome in each of your classrooms. You had lots of fantastic ideas, and listened not only to me but to each other. That’s how we inspire each other – so keep it up!

A big thank you to the teachers, administrators, the Engaging Fusion program, and to all the students at John M. King for a memorable time together. Keep on reading and writing and doing the things you love!

Till we meet again,