Sunday, May 8, 2011

Anything is possible

Anansi Reading by Shannon

Advice to my writing class: If you are going to write for children, successfully, you need to recapture that sense of the newness and wonder of things. The world might be old but a child is new to it and anything is possible.

There’s an ad running on television which tickles me every time I see it. I am not advertising the product, but in essence, the ad shows two young girls watching their mother put cream on her face. They ask her why, and she explains that it makes her look younger. They ask if it really works and she assures them it does.
Cut to the girls plastering the face of their sleeping grandfather with the cream. One says “ He’s going to look so young  when he wakes up." The other agrees “ He’ll look like a baby.”

ANYTHING is possible to the young..

So, release your imagination

Monday, May 2, 2011

Writing for Children

How to Write
For Children

April turned out to be a very busy month. Not much time for blogging. The part I liked best was starting my annual (nowadays) teaching stint of eight weeks  –  four weeks writing for adults and four weeks writing for children. Students register for both, even if they think they are only interested in one segment. Sometimes they find their feet in the segment in which they were not initially interested.

Last week we started the Writing for Children segment. That introductory two hours is always fun. As writers for children know, you have to get in touch with your inner child; be able to see things through the eyes of a child; recapture the wonder of the newness of things.In that first class as we do exercises intended to ‘remember when’, usually the adults begin to grin, sometimes giggle, and generally relax as they share stories of their early youth.

I am looking forward to the results of this week’s homework  –   to lie on the floor in a room in the house and see things from the perspective of a very small child. I have had some real funny responses. One student once said that while on the floor she realized that her household helper had not swept under the bed for some time and got so angry she couldn’t complete the exercise. Obviously she missed the opportunity to recognize those lovely dust bunnies and scary objects from a child’s imagination.