Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring Blossoms

Just outside my living room window is a beautiful magnolia tree in full bloom. It is one of my favourite sights of spring. In fact, my whole neighbourhood is in blossom — shimmering pink and white trees on every street, bursting with colour and life. It is a magical time in the city!

I like to take a long walk every day to energize my writing brain, and there is rarely a more inspirational sight than these gorgeous trees.

Happy Spring to you all!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Happy Spring Break!

In my corner of the world, Spring Break has arrived, and the children and teachers have two weeks of well-deserved holidays.

At the wonderful schools I've been visiting recently, there's been evidence of much learning and hard work going on — by enthusiastic students and educators alike. Congratulations to all of you!

Have a lovely holiday! Enjoy the sunshine!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Thank you, Berkshire Park Elementary!

I was visiting a school last week and enjoyed speaking with the students so much. Hello Berkshire Park Elementary! Thank you for inviting me. 

The students had many great questions about books and writing, and it was a real treat to talk with them. Some of the questions that stood out were:

When you write a manuscript and it doesn’t get published, are you devastated?

(Yes! — although this happens to every writer, and we know it is part of the job. We trust our editors and publishers to know when a manuscript is working or if it is right for them. And then we put that manuscript away in a drawer. We might go back to it later to see if we can improve it. But usually we start writing something new.)

Did you always know you wanted to become a writer?

(No, but I always knew I loved books. When my mother was expecting me to clean my bedroom or do other chores, she often found me reading instead. Later in life, I discovered that kids who love to read as much as I did, often become writers.)

What about kids who love to draw?

(They often become artists or book illustrators.)

Which book of yours is your favourite?

(This is always a hard question to answer. Every book is a favourite for some reason. But my current favourite is a book that will be published next September. It’s called Bear’s Winter Party and is the story of a lonely bear who wants to make friends.)

Do you make a lot of money?

(About 5 cents on every book.)

Whaaat??? You should make $50,000 on every book!

(That would be nice but it doesn’t happen for most writers. Usually we have to work at other jobs to earn our living. We write because we love to do it, not for the money we might be paid.)

Can someone who is 10 years old publish a book?

(There aren’t many places to do that, but you can have your stories or poems published at a website started by my friend and author, Margriet Ruurs. It is called KidsWWwrite and you can email your stories to:

Good luck to all the budding authors and illustrators at Berkshire Park School, and everywhere else. There’s nothing more satisfying than creating a piece of writing or art that you are proud of.

By the way, I loved seeing your stories in the display case just outside the library. Well done!