An Out of Town Visit

This past Friday I had my first major out-of-town school visit. My destination? The Genevieve Didion K-8 School in Sacramento. I had so much fun. The parents, teachers, and staff were wonderful, and the students were very attentive and asked great questions.

I gave three presentations by grades: K – 2nd, 3rd – 5th, and 6th – 8th. My first two presentations discussed the historical aspects of the Declaration of Independence. I had a whole new PowerPoint presentation that I had designed just for this visit, and it was fun showing the kids some of the differences between 2011 and 1776.

My last presentation was about the writing journey. I discussed my writing career briefly, then went on to talk about how my book was published, from idea to final publication. The kids had lots of questions about the writing process, and I was also able to share from personal experience how crucial it was to make sure your work is error free.

After my presentations, I was taken to the library where a small luncheon had been prepared in my honor. Sandwiches, salads, snacks, and sweets were spread out for me and the teachers, parents, and staff to enjoy. Later, I was driven back to the airport, where I flew home.

It was a long day for me, but a very enjoyable one. Thanks to everyone at the Genevieve Didion School for their superb hospitality and a truly amazing day!

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Improving As You Go

The past few days have been a flurry of activity. I was a participant for Literacy Day at  Hidden Trails Elementary School in Chino Hills on Friday, attended the Family Festival of Books in Chino on Sunday where I shared a table with friend and fellow writer Nancy Sanders, and on Monday I gave a short presentation to three different groups of children at Buena Vista Arts-Integrated Magnet School in Montclair. Each event was unique, but educational.

As a writer it is necessary to make appearances to help promote your book, encourage literacy (you want to keep people reading so you can keep writing), and discuss writing as a career. Although each presentation and/or event will be different, I try to be adaptable as well as teachable in the situations I find myself in. I try to take away a tip or tidbit or lesson so that my next appearance or presentation is that much better.

It’s fun to interact with the kids, and it’s great when you talk to teachers and principals who can offer constructive helps to make your interactions more vibrant and relate-able. Improving as you go not only helps you as a presenter, but it makes your visits more memorable to young potential readers.