Hanging Out with Kids from Redwood Elementary

April 28, 2015



I was recently invited to virtually visit a class from Redwood elementary school in Del Norte, CA. We used Google Hangouts to conduct our conversation. It's a little strange to be a talking head to a classroom of kids. It's a more stilted exchange because you can't get a good read on the class. I read a chapter from my book and did a question/answer session. Each student had a chance to come up and address their questions to the webcam. They were great listeners and they came up with questions about how I decided to become a writer, how long it took me to write the book etc. My favorite question was, "what kind of tools do you use?"


I told the kids that I used to write longhand on yellow legal pads with a favorite Bic pen. Afterwards I would type up my work, editing as I went. I had some idea that by writing longhand I was measuring the weight of each word I chose. I went on this way until my more practical and more widely published friend told me to ditch the paper and pen and start writing for real.


I told her I would try, but continued to plod along. The next time I talked to her she asked, "Did you try the computer like you said you would or are you blowing smoke up my ***?" (Of course I didn't used that quote when I was talking to the kids.) Not to disappoint my author friend I got busy typing. My laptop is my favorite tool for writing now and it's the reason I finished my book and am working on another one. 

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Susan Griner is an author of children's fiction. She has written short stories and poetry for both Cricket and Babybug magazine. She is currently working on a YA novel set along the Silk Road. She lives in Washington state, but her southern roots have influenced her writing.

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