Cook Elementary School, Syracuse, UT
May 2, 2008
I am so impressed with the 6th graders at Cook Elementary School. They are so smart and their teachers are sharp. I spoke to about 70 kids about reading and writing. It was so much fun and I'm so happy that Judy Hooper invited me to her school. What impressed me most about the kids was their intelligent questions. I loved their energy as well. They were excited and interested and just a fun crowd. There are some big time readers and writers among them as well. One girl's fame preceded her. Jayme has read practically every book in the library and is even writing stories at the age of 12. She asked me a question about writing and I heard myself in her. She's got the perfectionist thing going , like me, and isn't happy with her work once she finishes it. I feel the same way.
My message was to revise a little more and then let it go. Also to outline and to work on a good hook, and a good ending. The hook, or first line, is just so important. A snappy opening line is critical in page-turning fiction. The kids seemed to really like my reading as well. I read page one of The Golden Cord and they were into it.
Anyway, what a fabulous time I had with those kids and the staff. Judy was incredibly nice and I now remember how cool 6th graders are. That was a magical time for me and I read some amazing books at that age. I just hope the kids will love my own book. Time will tell.
Paul Genesse, Author and Editor www.paulgenesse.com