Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Shaughnessy Elementary School Visit

Yesterday I had a wonderful opportunity to visit with five classes of grades 6 and 7 students at Shaughnessy Elementary School in Vancouver, both to contextualize and read from Caravaggio: Signed in Blood, and to conduct a short fiction-editing workshop. Little known fact: as a high school student I delivered newspapers in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood kitty-corner from the elementary school, on the other side of Granville and the other side of King Edward. I hadn't had occasion to return to the neighbourhood until now.

The students were keen writers, and during the workshop it was rewarding for me to see them catching some of the common weaknesses in their stories and make improvements to them. As the librarian, Ms. Hapton, said, the students had been taught many of these writing techniques in the past, but sometimes it just seems to "stick" more when it comes from a special guest. If so, I was happy to provide the glue.


From the pictures below, you'd think all we did was play with swords. The cameras always seem to come out at this point in the presentation! WE WORKED ON WRITING! HONEST!




And lest you think my size was an advantage in the little contest above, note how well the student is parrying. I never had a chance!

If you'd be interested in having me visit your students, send me a message via the contact form in the right-hand sidebar and we can work out the details. I'm even available to conduct a Skype visit if your school is outside of Metro Vancouver.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Chapters Strawberry Hill--Book Signing


Signing books can be a lonely business sometimes--thank goodness Chapters Strawberry Hill is in my parents' neighbourhood! My mother was the first to stop at the table.

Actually, the event went quite well. From about 1:30 until 3 pm there was a steady flow of traffic, giving me the opportunity to chat with people as they paused at the table, some of whom told me they'd heard me on the CBC. (My small bowl of Almonds Florentine was less of a draw than I thought. I ended up eating more than was good for me afterward.)

I also enjoyed meeting the neices of Dr. Shimi Kang, author of The Dolphin Way, who enjoyed an impromptu sword fight in the front of the store. I bet that was a first for everyone!