Rain, rain, go … into my new book!

This 2012 photo is from the Bridgewater Eagles website.

It’s raining.

The rain has cancelled my son’s two games today and all of the games at Christie Pits. But if you read Tagged Out, you know what “rain” means to the kids on The Blues — Mudball!

So, instead of writing the chapter about the Blues vs. the Pirates for my new book, Home Team, I’m instead writing the Mudball chapter.

I’m listening to the sounds the rain makes on my roof, and putting Miguel in that situation. And what it looks like on the window, and on the street, and in the trees. We all have memories of rain, but it’s great to have the rain dictate its characteristics, directly, in its own way. All I’m doing is listening, and writing it down. And calling it “Chapter 9.”

Rain, rain don’t go away — because it’s Mudball time.

Not it!

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Wed., March 8, 2017: E.I. McCulley, St. Catharines

EI McCulley school St. CatharinesI’m looking forward to my visit to E. I. McCulley P.S. in St. Catharines!
We’ll be talking about:

  • Letters and words
  • Writing
  • The news
  • Critical thinking
  • Literacy

I look forward to meeting the students, teachers — and the parents! — on March 8.

Goooooooo Jaguars!

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When characters do their own thing…

playground-children-pixabayI’m writing a scene for my baseball novel, Home Team.

In the scene, Miguel is babysitting a boy in the playground. He stops to talk to someone else, and when he’s distracted, the child runs away.

But here’s the thing. The kid did that on his own–nowhere in my synopsis or chapter outline does it say, “the boy runs away.” He just took off!

So now I need to write a scene where my main character looks for him.

Kids, these days! Sheesh!

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Book an author visit today!

Hillcrest class visit Steadman Nov 2016 2Help your students get inspired about writing and reading. Book an author visit with Joyce Grant!

Customized, fun and inspiring presentations for students from grade 1 to high school, from writers’ workshops to media lit and “becoming a writer.” Skype visits also available.

And if you’re in Ontario, TWUC’s Ontario Writers in the Schools Program can help you save money on the fee and they’ll even cover travel expenses.

Free Gabby teachers’ resources here including a Teacher’s Guide.

Email me today to book, or for more information: joycehgrant@gmail.com.

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Writing in a treehouse

treehouse mediumtreehouse laptopSometimes, writers have to go looking for inspiration.

This time, it was in the middle of a forest in southern Ontario.

I’m working on a new novel, set in medieval Scotland and my characters are about to go on a long trek. I needed natural beauty, trees, birds, a cool breeze and the sounds of the country.

And I found them all in this treehouse.

For more on my new book, click here.

treehouse feet

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Some wonderful Gabby “fan fiction”

Fan fiction from Grade 3 students at RH McGregor.

Fan fiction from Grade 3 students at RH McGregor.

I just love it when kids write their own stories using Gabby and her friends as the main characters. Recently, a class of Grade 2 students at Davisville Public School wrote and illustrated some phenomenal stories. I was presented with a big binder of them, which I will cherish.

And today, a class of Grade 3 students at R.H. McGregor School each read out their Gabby stories. And what great stories they were! In one, Gabby got hit by a truck (she’s fine). In another, she was burglarized and in another she was framed for a bank robbery! She lost her magic word book a few times, and she lost her dog — only to find that Mrs. Oldham had dog-napped it! She lost her glasses, went to Africa, went missing, ended up stuck inside her magic word book, won first place in a reality-based music show, had to hunt down her neighbour, went to a baseball game, asked Roy to the prom, went to the hospital, went to the zoo — and so much more!

Fan fiction by the Grade 2s at Davisville PS.

Fan fiction by the Grade 2s at Davisville PS.

The kids’ writing was thoughtful and evocative and really exciting. I learned that lots of kids like “big adventures” for Gabby — hit by a car?! — and aren’t afraid of a little espionage in their picture books.

As an author, especially one who’s working on the next Gabby book, I learned a lot about the kinds of stories kids want to hear, and the ways in which Gabby can be part of them.

Thanks to all of the wonderful writers at Davisville and R.H. McGregor!

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