Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Katie's first school visit!

I'm telling you what. - I have never been so busy as working on this full time job of pre-publishedness! Good night! How does one manage the real thing?

After the "pre-pub" magazine cover, and a super fun trip to SCBWI-Atlanta. I went to Madison, Mississippi to talk to my nephew’s fourth grade class about revision. The timing could not have been more perfect because all of my finished works are currently being revised.

I began by telling the kids how we are all born with certain God-given gifts and the best way to figure out what those gifts are is to think about the kinds of things they like to do. I said that although I am a full-time writer, I sometimes need to make some money. When this happens, I do my "other job" which is called "substitute teacher." They all giggled knowing first hand about this job. I had them laughing when I told them that the first time I subbed for the 8th grade the kids were flat crazy! All dancing, and talking, and throwing large crumpled up paper balls around the room. It was total CHAOS but it gave me an idea. I explained how I confiscated their large paper ball and asked them to play a little get to know ya game with me. I played this same game with this fourth grade class. I held the ball and told them what I like to do (write) and then I threw it across the room to another child and they had to tell me what they liked to do. It was an exercise in not only getting to know them, but they were hopefully thinking about their own likes, and thereby -their GIFTS.

Then I talked about writing. I brought a stack of old manuscripts all covered up in red ink and SF's dummy of her picture book with the same sort of edits. We talked about books and screenplays and how revision only makes them better. "Why else would I do it?" I asked them. "Because I sure don't have a teacher breathin' down my neck making me do it." I explained that I do it because the book gets richer and richer like the tiresome chore of whipping heavy cream into butter.

At the end of my time I taught the kids to whistle really loudly because that is another useful gift I have. I can whistle so loud it'll make your pants fall off! Here's a young boy practicing :-) Anyway, thanks Madison Elementary! I had a great time! And thanks Thomas for inviting me :-)


P.S. That top pic is the only one I took in Atlanta :-( but it is with my new precious friend Betsy who is new to the blogosphere. Go introduce yourselves!


Sara said...

"I can whistle so loud it'll make your pants fall off!"

Hee. That sentence is my inspiration for vivid writing for the rest of the day. :)

Katie said...

ooo Sara! I have missed you!!! I will pop over and visit today :-)

Glad to inspire :-)

You received a double smile!

Shelli said...

wow you are beciming a celeb - any paparatzzi? good job!

Tyler said...

Haha, I was thinking the same thing, Sara.

Good job, Katie! That was brilliant with the paper ball thing, getting them involved. Sheesh, classroom visits, magazine covers...gettin' yourself out there!

Christy Raedeke said...

What fun! I absolutely love your analogy of whipping cream into butter--that is so right on.

I'm going to go check out your new friend Betsy now...

Katie said...

I am so glad y'all like my two attempts at semi-metaphors (sorta) which I generally SUCK at!

So I am going to practice them more... I heard a great one in the book I'm reading. The girl said something about not being able to do something because it was stuck with her like "hair on soap!"


(That's a new word I'm trying out too :-)

SF and Katie said...

That looks like so much fun! Great post Katie, and how fun to get to talk to kids about using their gifts.


Irene Latham said...

SO COOL that you gave whistle lessons. I am totally inspired. Too bad my whistle is soft and girly. Sigh.

a brilliant blog said...

i knew you and Betsy would hit it off.
Lots like talking to the fourth graders was a success!
Lucky them to hear you!!!

Little Ms J said...

Oh, I love it! You're one of the cool parents (and it sounds like you're a cool sub too).

a brilliant blog said...

write another blog. I'm ready for the next one.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Wow, it never occurred to me to make school visits before I'm even published! Looks like it was fun :^)

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, thanks for sharing! I LOVE hearing about school visits because I am always looking for new and exciting ways to engage the kids.

Sounds like your nephew's class had a ball!

Betsy said...

Hey girl!!! I have been so busy trying to win Shelli's contest by "commenting my butt off" that I have not been over to Plot This in a week or two. And there I am!!! You are looking so much "perkier" than me. Can I say that here??? I need to rethink some wardrobe choices next time - hmmmmm...

The Southern Breeze conference was so great for me in so many ways. It got me to really take my writing seriously for one. But also to reconnect with Shelli and Jessica and to meet you!!

After this contest is over, I will be more present over here.

I loved your idea of throwing the paper ball around with the kids by the way. I sub at my kids school all the time. Sometimes you need to kill some time and maintain some control! Way to go!

Later girly. :)

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