As far as the new book goes, the sequel to The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel is back on track. After the massive rewriting/editing job I was working on last week, I still had another, smaller section that needed some work. So, I finished that up early this week. I turned a journey through a sewer where there was one small problem into a flight through the sewer where Eric and company were pursued by a horde of beasts and attacked by some nasty creatures. The whole Chapter is muuch more tense and scary now. That's become my writing mantra lately--instill a sense of urgency. I'm not all the way there yet, but I'm getting there!
With that finished, I was able to start moving the story forward again. In addition to adding about 500 words in the rewrite, I wrote about 1,000 words of totally new stuff. So, my word count now stands at 26,500, and I've just started chapter 32. My first book was only 27 chapters and it was 200 pages and 53,000 words long. Obviously the chapters in the new book are shorter, mainly because I'm cutting back and forth between two sets of characters. Eventually, they'll meet up again, but they seem to be doing everything in their power to keep that from happening.
Today, I was privileged to spend some time with Mrs. Baird's 7th grade classes. I sat in on three classes, and really had a blast. These were the oldest students that I've met with so far, and I was a little nervous. I wasn't sure how into it they would be.
Thankfully, I didn't have to worry. For the most part they were enthusiastic, and asked great questions. I also enjoyed hearing about their writing projects. Mrs. Baird let me read a few of them, and they really had some great ideas--things that I never would have thought of, but which were extremely creative.
I am always amazed at the ideas and insights that students of all ages provide when I visit. I remember the affect that authors who visited my classes had on me when I was in school. I can only hope that my visits have a similar affect for at least one or two students. That alone would make this whole writer thing worthwhile.
I was talking to Mrs. Baird and Mrs. Riter, another teacher at the school who is a friend of mine and a big supporter, between periods. We were talking about how this generation's texting and emailing has become more important to them than actually talking. It's true things are changing, but being able to speak to people directly is a skill that we as a society cannot afford to let die.
Thankfully, one thing that seems to be going strong is our students' love of reading and literature. When it comes right down to it, kids can't pass up a good story. But they have to be introduced to those stories and the main source is our teachers. So to all the teachers out there who are so passionate about reading and writing and are dedicated to passing that on to your students, thank you!