Friday, May 21, 2010

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Yesterday was a busy, but very fun day.

In spite of the rain and traffic I arrived on time at the library in Harris Elementary School in St. Charles to talk to more than 400 students in KG-4th grade about "The Life of a Writer." The visit was set up by Ruth Guffey from the Saint Charles City School District Partners in Education Program. The school's Literacy Leader Melissa Armbruster oversaw the program. (Thanks, Becky, for sending my name to Ruth.)

For the event I joined Sarah Weaver and Stephanie Bearce. Sarah is a young, an enthusiastic and an intelligent reporter who talked about some of her reporting assignments, including President Obama's visit to St. Charles in March. Stephanie is a vivbrant and knowledgeable retired teacher who has written several non-fiction books and is working on a fiction book.

The real stars of the program, however, were the students. What a joy it was to be in their presence! They asked great questions and had some charming answers when they were asked questions. I was amazed that the kindergartners knew the difference between fiction and non-fiction. All the children were attentative and appreciative and just so sweet.

After leaving Harris School, I met up with my sister Kathleen and friends Gerri and Patty to go to the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis. The four of us are volunteer gallery attendants for the Splendors of the Vatican exhibition which runs through September. The crowd wasn't as large as last Sunday so I had some time to examine some items in the collection more closely.

Last night I typed up several current event papers for Cari (that are due today) and didn't get to bed until early this morning--around 2 a.m.

Today is catch-up day. I'll be signing the kiddos up for two short summer day camps and Ill be updating the Saturday Writers website, which is long overdue. And housework is calling my name.

Tomorrow (and for the next 10 days) I'm hoping to receive more entries in my no-fee, easy-to-enter short story contest in honor of National Short Story month.

You can find complete guidelines on my May 3 post. In a nutshell, stories should be unpublished, in English, no more than 2010 words, and e-mailed to me (copy and paste in the body of an e-mail) dvolkenannt (at) charter (dot) net by May 31. Open to writers in the USA and Canada. First place winner receives a copy of the out-of-print Cuivre River Anthology (Vol I). Top three winners receive certificates.

Hope you all have a great weekend. I'll be back on Monday!

19 comments:

  1. Hey Donna! I had forgotten that was yesterday! I'm so glad you were able to attend and had such a great time. It really is enlightening and uplifting, for everyone involved!

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  2. Hi Becky,
    It was great. The kids were a hoot. It's so true: Kids do say the darndest things.
    Donna

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  3. I wish I could remember writers coming to my school when I was kid but I really don't think any did. What a thrill for the kids to go home and tell their parents they met three real writers that day!

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  4. You really did have a busy day! I don't recall ever talking to a writer about the career of writing until after I decided to jump into the waters myself. Great opportunity for the children to hear about the writer's life.

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  5. Nice read...sounds like you had a great day! Where is the Vatican exhibit being held?

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  6. Sounds like the school event was a hit! I'm not surprised. Congrats :)

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  7. Sounds like a great day for everyone!

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  8. That's so nice that you spoke to kids about the writing life. I've done that with adults many times but it's the kids we need to get interested in writing (and reading!)

    Later this year I'll be back in Missouri to research my next book for Osprey. We'll have to finally meet!

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  9. Donna,
    You do live an interesting and busy life. I used to do supervise and teach in an inner city summer program for k-6th graders, and in order to get them interested in wrting, I'd bring in one of my clips with my byline and tell them that their words too could earn thousands of dollars. That's all it took. Not that any of my work ever earned thousands, but did that ever hook them!They told group stories, wrote essays, interviews and even funny clasified ads: will trade my aggravating little sister for a Hot Wheel collection.
    I know you enjoyed your presentation as much as the children did.

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  10. Sounds like both you and the kids had a great time. Enjoy your weekend!

    Pat
    www.critteralley.blogspot.com

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  11. Hi Madeline,
    It was a great time. When I was a kid we didn't have any writers come talk to us. The only visitors I remember were missionary nuns who talked to us about becoming a nun and teaching children in far away places.
    Donna

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  12. Lisa,
    It was inspiring and a great opportunity to listen to the young children and watch them in action.
    God bless our teachers!
    Donna

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  13. Hi Claudia,
    The Splendors of the Vatican is being held at the MO History Museum through mid September. The museum is on the fringe of Forest Park in St. Louis, off of Lindell.
    Maybe you can get to St. Louis and see it.
    Donna

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  14. H Jemi and Tammy,
    Thanks. It was a visit to remember.
    Donna

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  15. Hi Sean,
    Please let me know when you get back to Missouri to do research for your book for Osprey. It would be great to finally meet you. Maybe if you have some time and are in the metro-St. Louis/St. Charles area you can visit a writing group I belong to called Saturday Writers and talk about your research and writing.
    Donna

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  16. Hi Linda,
    Sounds like you've had some amazing experiences with young writers, too. Love the Hot Wheels ad.
    I agree that money is a great incentive for kids. You should've seen the looks on their faces when I told them I get paid to read books.
    Donna

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  17. Hi Pat,
    It was fun. Hope you enjoy your weekend, too.
    Donna

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  18. Hey Donna,
    whew, sounds like you had a busy day! I can't believe the kids knew the difference between expository, how to and poems. I don't remember learning that til at least fifth grade. I'll try to get the pictures posted over on my site in the next day or so. My week has just been crazy!

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  19. Hi Sarah,
    I forgot they also knew the differences you mentioned.
    You had a busy day last Thursday, too. Hope you had fun at the Cards game and your new job is working out well.
    See you at Saturday Writers.
    Donna

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