Spent the morning with a group of local, homeschooled children, writing stories!
It was great - I love the way that children don't limit their imagination like some of us adults.
The younger children took three objects from my story bag and we ended up with... a dragon who loved baked beans and he stole the princess's necklace. She managed to get it back by trading the necklace for beans. Or... the queen who needed to rescue a flying elephant who was in prison, and afterwards they went home for tea and she had a shower. (Sweaty work, rescuing flying elephants!) Or the bad king who stole the good king's heart, and the policemen had to put on swimming goggles to go down into the ocean to catch the bad king and make him hand the heart back.
Each of these stories - by the end of the morning - had been made into teeny illustrated books!
The older children got the story starter 'The antique glass bottle contained...' and built their stories around a framework of questions. Sure, we had some stories that took their influences heavily from film or TV, but there were some pretty unique ideas. In fact, sometimes I wish I could pinch a few and 'grow' them myself! I can't remember all of them in detail - but inside the bottles there was crushed unicorn queen horn, spider venom, the spirit of the Spider King, poison, medicine...
As these older children started writing, we got chatting too, about how the first draft doesn't have to perfect, how some people like to go at a story full tilt and some like to think about it a bit, how some stories use the same ideas but develop them differently and all sorts of other writery things.
It was certainly different leading a session in someone's (rather gorgeous) kitchen rather than in a school environment, but it didn't stop me or the children enjoying ourselves.I'd certainly consider running sessions for homeschoolers again.
Then this evening, I was tagged in a review of StarMark. It's posted on here, on Everybody's Reviewing.
To say I'm overwhelmed is putting it mildly... Have a read, see whether you agree if you've read the book yourself. Or maybe read the review if you haven't, and see if it makes you want to give StarMark a chance...
Either way, right now, I'm one very happy Squidge.