Speed Writing

In the past several weeks, I’ve written and revised four manuscripts for illustrated chapter books to be used in English Second Language schools for JLS, an English language school based in South Korea. The titles include: The Queen and Mr. Cunningham, The Impossible Dive, The Witch’s Fingers, and The Cheesy Man Giant. They’re all currently with illustrators; I’ve already been paid for three of them, and I can’t wait to see the books, sometime in 2010. They’ll be in use in the JLS schools by next summer. The editor I’ve worked with is based in British Columbia, and he has been very gracious and efficient throughout the process. It’s been a totally different approach to writing for me; the gratification is certainly much more immediate than in standard trade publishing! It’s been fun blending my ESL knowledge with my writing life.

The course I was taking at Acadia, “Strategies for Teaching a Second Language”, is now over. I learned so much about teaching French, and also got to improve my own French as most of the course was delivered in French.  It was also a bit of a trip down Memory Lane, spending time with young adults in a classroom setting – it had been a couple of decades since I’d last had that experience!

Spent a day earlier this week with 20 Primary/One students – it was lots of fun, but I was exhausted by 2:30! They’ve got a ton of energy, and a million questions/comments, it seems. We started the day with a “snowball” fight in the gym – the teacher had made snowballs out of pantyhose and polyester batting, followed by a session of “follow the leader” that left all of us a bit breathless. I spend 20 minutes or so in that class every day which made it easier as I already knew all of their names.

Caroline Pignat’s Greener Grass wins GG!

I’m so thrilled for Caroline Pignat – her young adult novel, Greener Grass, just won the Governor General’s Medal for Children’s Literature! The book was published earlier this year and edited by Peter Carver (who will be editing my Lost Boys novel as well!) I met Caroline at Peter and Kathy Stinson’s writing retreat in Port Joli two summers ago; I haven’t read her novel yet, but the excerpts of her writing which she did read at PJ were remarkable,  her talent obvious, and I’m sure this recognition is very well-deserved. I must stop by The Box of Delights to see if they have a copy… I can’t begin to imagine how excited Caroline must be!