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!