Autographing arms, writing in cursive and frog jewellery: adventures in School and Book Club Visits

Now that I've survived the yearly over consumption of chocolate cycle: eat an inordinate amount of chocolate, observe out loud to no one in particular that you can't believe you ate that much chocolate, feel every moment of self loathing, once through self loathing stage you realize that chocolate will now be on sale and that you could eat a bit of something sweet - I can tell my bloggowers about two recent school visits and one book club visit at Monkeyshines Books.  

The two school visits were for the It's a Crime Not to Read literacy program which is a partnership between the Calgary Public Library, the Calgary Police Service, and Rotary. 

Highlights: I felt like a rock star when kids asked me to autograph their arms (c'est what?!). 

Lots of great questions such as:

Q: What's the best part of being an author?
A: Speaking to a group of kids who love reading and writing. 

Q: Do you write in cursive?
A: C'est what? (Before I answered this I had to cognitively time travel back to the 14th century to remember what cursive meant. With further authorial probing the boy revealed that he wasn't good at cursive and was afraid that he wouldn't be able to be a writer because he couldn't write cursive. I assured him that most writers use computers because their handwriting is rubbish and besides most writers are bad spellers and ain't so good with grammar either).

Q: Did you know you were foreshadowing?
A: Pretty much, that's kinda my job as a writer. 

As I sat there bejewelled in frog related bling I got this question: 
Q: Are you consciously aware that you're wearing frog jewellery? Do you do that naturally or is it part of your frog thing? 
A: Pretty much part of the whole frog thing. (Note to self: buy more frog jewellery). 

When I do school visits I give the children a writing exercise and if they feel comfortable they share what they wrote with the class. I received this email from one of the organizers of the It's a Crime not to Read school visit:

Hi Jan,

Thank you again for the great presentation. It is not easy to do in the gymnasium setting, but I noticed that the students were captivated by the excerpts that you read.  We have had several come into the library to place holds on Dead Bird Through the Cat Door and Dead Frog on the Porch. One of the boys who shared his story struggles with both reading and writing. We were all a little surprised not only that he shared, but that he had something to share. Thank you for inspiring him. I look forward to reading your next book.

Wipes tear from eye. No, thanks to all the kids who inspired me. 

And to end off this blog post on the continuing theme of awesome young people I wanted to share a link. At the book club I met 16 year old Emma Rouleau. She was there with her younger brother. She is the creator of amazing, original felt stuffed toys. She designs and creates each one and she's started her own company called Felt Original Toys. Check it out.   

One of Emma's felt original toys
I like this little guy: Kukyo


Angie said…
That. Is. Awesome. All of it. I love the frog ring!
Jan Markley said…
It was awesome Angie! Lots of fun and glad they enjoyed it. I love the frog ring as well!
Candy Gourlay said…
how can frog jewellery be wrong? love the ring! note to self: include frog in new book.
Jan Markley said…
Candy, if frog jewellery is wrong, then I don't want to be right! Too bad I can't corner the market on wearing frog bling! Yes, more frogs in more books!