Me without my camera! For CANSCAIP’s last meeting before the summer break, Bob Barton came to introduce his new historical fiction Trouble on the Voyage with Napoleon now turned Dundurn. His introduction was also intended to show authors how to introduce their work to kids in an interactive way.
It was a dark and stormy night. Bob shakes a thunder drum (what it most resembles) to draw his audience back when he needs to give further instructions–practical point number one: finding a way besides shouting to get kids’ attention again when you need it.
But it really did thunder and lightning throughout his talk, proof that the higher powers agreed with him.
At one point he asked some fifty CANSCAIPers to write for two minutes on what they felt about being in the room. “I’ve been writing all day and now I HATE having to write again for free,” is what I suspect many of us were writing. At least I and my elbow buddy Teresa Toten were “free writing” about that.
However, it was great of fun with some fabulous tips just in time for
the outdoor literary kid festival gigs.
(You know the kind where there’s no place to plug in a screen and projector for a Powerpoint presentation.) Besides the pressure switches off when you’re not giving the workshop and kids’ authors try everything when roles are reversed, from reading scripts, to giving imaginary lectures and interrupting with imaginary questions. So competitive too!
The writers even bought-out Bob’s supply of Trouble on the Voyage and they didn’t use loonies and toonies in ziplock bags either.
I like free writing. It was always my favourite thing to do in school. That and drawing. Actually, sometimes when we were supposed to free write and I knew no one would be looking at it, I sketched instead. I'm a rebel that way.