Kicked off 2012 with Mrs. Symonova’s English Language Learner Writers’ Workshop at Scott Highlands Middle School.  My talk was titled “History from the Heart:  Writing my historical novel, The FOG MACHINE.”  My assignment from Mrs. Symonova was to discuss what it means to be a writer, how I got started, how I get ideas, and how I’ll get my book to publishers.

The kids touched my heart.  They listened to “ancient history.”  Heard about kids like them:  14-year-old Emmett Till, murdered in 1955 for not following “Jim Crow laws;” 12-year-old Janie McKinney, who bravely aided the Freedom Riders in 1961 when their bus was firebombed outside her father’s store; and 12-year-old Ben Chaney whose brother was murdered in 1964 because of his work in the civil rights movement.  Knew about setting, characters, and events in narrative writing (good job, Mrs. Symonova!).  Talked about prejudice (my theme), fully aware it’s everywhere, not just in the south.  Andreas was even brave enough to share his “Pie” poem with me.  It was truly awesome!

Thanks, Mrs. Symonova, for inviting me in.  Kids, I look forward to coming in to sign autographs once The FOG MACHINE gets published!  Keep on reading and writing!

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