November 21, 2011

Updates on Multiple Contests

There are some fantastic things going on behind the scenes right now, so here's a quick update.

First, I need to announce the winner of October's giveaway. Congratulations to Diana, who has won a free Nook 1st Edition Wi-fi! Sorry it took so long to make this announcement, but things have been crazy around here the past few weeks.

As many of you know, I've been really busy this month visiting schools. Right now, several competitions are underway.

At Stansbury High School, I've initiated at least 6 classes in a writing contest of poetry and short stories. The submissions have already been rolling in and the final deadline is November 30.

At Canyon View Middle School, students are competing in an illustration contest. As of right now, entries for this contest are also due by November 30. Students in grades 6-8 will be illustrating a high-tension scene from my novel, Insight. For those of you who are dying to know which scene, it involves a kidnapping. :)

For the competitions at Stansbury and CVMS, I will post their submissions here for you to read, so look forward to a lot of fantastic material in the near future. All competitors understand that my website viewers will be voting on their favorites. That's right, you get to be the jury! The winner of each competition will receive a free Beholders t-shirt and a permanent link to their work on my website.

Blog posts about the workshops at Stansbury High and CVMS are also forthcoming, so keep checking back!

November 3, 2011

Orchard Elementary School Workshop - Take 2

Today was a FABULOUS day! Terron and I were able to host another workshop at Orchard Elementary with Mrs. Johnson's 6th grade class. This was my first workshop and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The kids eyes lit up seeing Terron dressed in his Beholders' gear. They also thought it was so cool they were meeting THE author of their recent book addiction. I sat back and enjoyed the questions/comments for a large majority of the time, taking the entire experience in and snapping lots of photos, adding a few silly comments every now and then too. GO TEAM MELLAI!! During the Q&A session, the kids were pretty upset with Terron when he would give them his "poker face" in response to a question he couldn't answer about the future books. All together, they would sigh loudly and add snark remarks "ugh, come on, really, ahhh, NO"... very funny.

It was really cool to see how much these kids loved Insight! I caught a few of them drawing the Beholder's "eye" on a scrap piece of paper during breaks. My favorite moment actually happened when I was leaving. Terron had just passed out the books to the kids who had brought money to buy them, and one boy
completely lucked out by bringing a $20 so he was the only one able to get a Beholder's t-shirt. So many of the others were really bummed they didn't have one so he was on cloud 9! But as I was leaving I was walking to my car outside and 2 boys were sitting next to the building during recess looking at the maps in the back of the book. One said, "OH LOOK, there's Itorea!" and his friend responded, "YEA, that's awesome!". It was liberating knowing how much this book brought joy to these kids, that they would take time during their recess to look at their NEW book!!

In every workshop Terron asks the kids to write a mini story in 15 minutes using one part of a "day" listed on the board. Two of the kids were having a hard time getting started, deciding which part of their day they wanted to expand on. I helped them get their imagination going and watched them run wild after that! After the time was up we read a few of the stories out-loud, here's a quick overview.
One was about a boy who woke up ready to play Xbox Live with his friend he met on vacation and lives out of state. The second was about a boy who was buying his lunch when aliens abducted him and when they finally brought him back they had stolen his lunch (how rude!). The third was about a girl who went to dinner with her mom to Applebees and towards the end of their dinner a man named Bob sat down at their table and he smelled like rotten fish. And the final, fourth story, was about a girl who was deciding what to buy for lunch, bought her lunch, she lost her money and ended up getting stuck with her friend's tuna sandwich. There was A LOT more detail to all of these stories, but how creative these four stories were (along with the ones we didn't read).. and all within 15 minutes. Imagine what they could come up with given more time!

All in all it was a very rewarding 4 hours and I am very excited to hopefully be able to work out helping Terron with more in the future. What an awesome thing he's doing for all of these kids and bring a new love for reading/writing into their lives! AWESOME!
Q & A session

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While Terron was arranging a presentation I took photos of every one in the class (I don't have all of their names, sorry!)... that was a lot of fun! Such a big personality class! 

In the middle is Mrs. Johnson who hosted the workshop... HUGE THANKS!

This guy was the poor soul who was stuck doing a self portrait with me, he seems to be ok with it!
Showing us how to salute, Rayder style!
ok, from now on they just start to get silly, love it!

PS.. Did I mention that this class and I were able to hear TWO samples from Book Two: True Sight?!?!?  Oh yea, you all should be very, VERY jealous!! : )