For the past two weeks, I've been immersed in songwriting, fiction, and poetry workshops with kids aged 5-10. So. Incredibly. Fun.
We have a rule in my classes: Good Collaborators Help Each Other. When you're stuck on your poem or song, you raise your hand and say, "A little help, please!" Then the rest of the class will chime in (often very loudly and excitedly) and try to help you find that rhyme for "Jupiter" or figure out what the secret portal to Mermaid World could be (a bathtub drain, it turns out...in case you were wondering). You then have the option to use their ideas, or not. Often, just talking about it will spark a brand new idea you never would have come up with on your own.
It's a fun exercise, and it certainly reflects the way I work. When I'm stuck on a plot line in a story or a verse of a song, I'm not the kind to sit and wait it out. I take a walk with Kevin, call up my sister, email a writer friend, and talk it out.
So it's my turn, now: A Little Help, Please!
I'm taking a blog vacation in August to finish up a book I'm working on, go to my brother's wedding, and do some summery things like kayaking, gardening, and blackberry picking (if the sun will ever come out!) And of course, some pleasure reading!
What have you read this summer that I shouldn't miss? I'm taking all suggestions: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, young adult, middle grade, picture books. What's out there that I should pick up to make this summer complete?
(Flickr photo by gaspi *your guide)