My First School Visit

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Today I was the mystery guest at my son’s school.  It was the first time that I have ever read one of my stories to:

  • (a) unrelated children; and
  • (b) unrelated, not previously paid children.

In a nutshell, it was a big day.  And it was a ton of fun!

I started with a quick PowerPoint™ presentation explaining how I became a writer.

mysteryguest

Then, I talked about the revision process, and how writers have good days, bad days, and sometimes very bad days.  But the key is persistence!  I think the kids may have been surprised to learn that it took me about six years to revise, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, A Wilcox and Griswold Mystery, illustrated by Deborah Zemke (Creston Books Fall 2015).

I also spent quite a bit of time talking about rejections.  Maybe a lot of time since it’s a concept with which I am very familiar.   🙂

Finally, I put on my witch hat before reading, Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep, illustrated by Chris Ewald (Creston Books Spring 2015).

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Why the witch hat?  Good question.  Two reasons.  First, Hildie is about a crabby old witch and of course, a witch story deserves a properly attired reader.  Second, when I attended one of the SCBWI conferences, Peter Sís mentioned that one bookstore owner encouraged him to bring props, like a stuffed parrot, in case his reading didn’t go well.  So, I figured if all else failed we could talk about the hat, or even play catch.  I wanted to be prepared.  I also didn’t have a stuffed parrot. 🙂

I am so looking forward to my next school visit.  Hoping that I’ll have some Hildie sketches to share with the kids next time.  What a great day!

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25 comments on “My First School Visit

    • Jon, I hope Noah enjoyed it. He’s heard Hildie a gazillion times. So, it wasn’t new for him. Although he had not seen the PowerPoint before. I’ll find out his reaction at pick up. 🙂

  1. Wish I could have been a pickle, I mean fly, on the wall! Sounds like a wonderful visit and the first of many to come. What a treat for your son and his classmates.

  2. Sounds like you had a great day with the class. Think it’s important for kids to know about how failure makes us stronger and now you have a book coming out. Hope Noah had a good time sharing his mom! Great prop idea!

    • It was a ton of fun Sarah! Noah was in pretty good spirits when I picked him up from school. So, I’ll take it as a good sign. 🙂

    • Darlene, Thanks so much for popping by. I really enjoyed the visit. Sorry I forgot to send you the post. It’s been a crazy week (not in a good way). Will try to remember to email the next one.

  3. Wow, your first book. How exciting. I hope the kids enjoyed you as much a you enjoyed them. Is visiting schools as terrifying as it sounds? I cannot image it, not yet anyway.Congratulations on your two releases. Bug me for reviews.

    • Sue, the visit was just pure fun! The kids were great. I was very nervous and I think I spoke a bit too quickly, but aside from that I think things went well. (Will remember to s l o w down next time.) 🙂 Will definitely think of you for reviews. Thank you! Unfortunately, have to wait till next year.

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