Wednesday, November 23, 2011

McGlynn and the Cleveland

A note to the students of McGlynn Elementary: My next book is not really about a bunch of kids trapped in a snow storm, but the idea is growing on me.

First, some background. During my presentation, my laptop misbehaved, going to sleep before its bedtime, and the projector promptly displayed an entirely white screen with a blue box in the middle and the phrase "No Signal!" directly in the center. Around this time, one of the students asked me about my next book, and since we had just been talking about covers, I joked that the image of the screen was the cover of my next book. The white space was snow, the blue box was a mysterious house, and the title represented the fact that all phone and communication lines have been cut off, etc. We ran with the joke for a little while, and they all knew I was making it up as we went along, but after thinking about it some more, it's really not such a bad idea for a book. Which means someone has probably written it already.

Anyway, on to Cleveland Elementary, another great school. Thanks to the kids for your very, very insightful notes. It's great to know that the central messages - becoming an expert in everything you write about and never, ever handing in your first draft - stayed with you. A few of my favorite comments from the notes:

"I really liked your presentation. I really thought you would just stand there and answer questions but you were a lot better than that."

"I liked how you told us about the weird people you meet..."

"You're really lucky you have only three kids...When you showed us all the messy writing you did it was great because when Mrs. Wesley [teaches us writing she] has us organize our thoughts on paper the way you did."

Thanks again for letting me pop in and talk about reading and writing....