Farewell to the Super Kids

Our creative writing camp in Yong-in has wrapped up after six days of super action. Here’s a shot of all the kids in full superhero costumes (designed by themselves):

Super Kids.

And here is a pair of snapshots of two super mentors (if I do say so myself): Super Wiz and The kcellerator.

Super Wiz

The kcellerator

Well, it’s time for us to blast off to Seoul for a couple of days! Hopefully our young apprentices will enjoy the rest of summer, stamping out the forces of boredom and bringing creativity and imagination to the world . . .


Super Hero Camp ~ Day 5

Whew! Superhero camp is coming to an end—and with a climatic finish, replete with masks and a super battle tournament!

Here’s just a few of the masks which my super partner, the kcellerator (a.k.a. kc dyer) helped the kids construct (she also tells me that it’s important that I give her credit for the photos).

Super hero mask

Super hero mask

Super hero mask

Super hero mask

We ended the night with a super tournament—each student battled a superhero or super villain against a fellow student’s by striking virtual blows with the roll of the dice. This photo hardly conveys the raucous arena that was our classroom; kids were screaming and yelling as the fights unfolded.

Super battle.

Tomorrow, we wrap up!

Superhero Camp ~ Day 4

Today was one of superhero logos and theme songs. We took on a task we’ve never tried before: super hero T-shirts! The kids first had to design the best logo possible to go with their stories. We didn’t let them know that they would be eventually be applying the design to a T-shirt, so it was quite a surprise to them.

You can check out some of the great designs below, including the one I did for myself. After the T-shirts, we started writing theme songs. This proved to be a pretty difficult task—mostly because the kids took on the challenge in earnest. Hopefully I can share some of their work by the end of camp. In the meantime, you can check out MY theme song on youtube.

Super hero logos.

Super hero logos.

Super hero logos.

Super hero logos.

Super hero logos.

Superhero Camp ~ Day 3

It’s hard to cover all things Superhero in just a six-day camp, but we’re doing our best! The day began with my teaching partner, the kcellerator (a.k.a. kc dyer) leading a unit or lairs. The students then started producing schematic of lairs for their superheroes or supervillains.


There were some pretty ingenious designs being produced. (Though I will say there were a few design flaws here and there; who wants to hang out in a secret lair that can only be reached via fireman’s pole when there is NO toilet?)


The second workshop of the day focused on comic-book illustration. After all, you can’t have a superhero camp without comic strips, right? We’ll be producing an anthology of all the work written in the camp, so my idea is that each student can have a one-page comic strip that will introduce his or her section. So far, there seems to be some pretty exciting designs under construction!

Superhero comic.

Superhero comic.

Superhero comic.

Superhero comic.

Finally, we ended the day with a viewing of the final Act of the brilliant web-series, Dr. Horrible, which prompted much discussion about what makes a hero and what makes a villain.

Tomorrow? Well we really have something special in store!


Superhero Camp ~ Day 2

Day 2 of superhero camp is complete! Our day began with gadget building, as students designed and constructed amulets of power, rings of might, and a host of other wonderful devices.

It never ceases to amaze me how our students  can take the odds and ends we bring all the way from Urban Source in Vancouver and construct works of art. I don’t think the photographs do the super gadgets justice–but trust me; they are amazing!

Superhero gadget and story

Superhero gadgets.

The day was then taken over by super villains. We examined some of the famous super villains from comic books and discussed some of the things they have in common. (What just goes on in a research laboratory anyway? Most of these super villains seem to be scientists who go insane!)

The students then set to work designing there own super villains. Then, in the spirit of Dr. Horrible, we began writing applications for admission into the Evil League of Evil. This is a great activity for teaching a more academic style of writing, but in a very creative way. Over the next few days we’ll judge the applications and see which (if any of these villains) will be welcomed into the League!

Super Villain

Super Villain

Super Villains

Application to the Evil League of Evil worksheet

Oh! One more thing—I’m loving how the students are decorating their superhero kits. Just check out this one:

Superhero kit.

Super Hero Camp ~ Day 1

CWC Super Heroes

The first day of our superhero camp in Yong-In, Korea, is complete!

The kcellerator (a.k.a. kc dyer) and I were up late last night preparing the superhero kits, which included glow-tube bracelets, rings of power, rocket candy (for super energy) and an assortment of stickers and tattoos. You can see all the kits ready to go, as our camp mascot, Super Cosmo, looks on.

Suprhero kits

We started off the day by introducing our theme and setting the kids to work on designing their own superheroes, complete with costumes, super powers, and—of course—a super vulnerability.

Superhero design

Of course, all good superhero stories need a good crime to get the ball rolling, so we made our own ransom letters, describing a heinous crime. They turned out really well (though this is an activity that requires time and patience, which, incidentally, are good qualities for superheroes AND CWC students).

Ransom letter.

Ransom letter

Ransom letter

Tomorrow . . . we begin to craft our SUPER VILLAINS!

Good company?

Famously, I do NOT like Anne of Green Gables. Yes. I know. It makes me a terrible Canadian.

In any case, I recently found myself in Penticton, BC, for the Peach Festival parade. Much to my companions’ delight, they found my book in the window of a used book store. And sitting right nearby . . .

Well, you can see for yourself!

Kendra Kandlestar and Anne of Green Gables

Faster than a speeding geek . . .

Super Wiz

For the next week you can call me SUPER WIZ. Why? Because tomorrow is the start of my superhero-themed writing camp in Yong-In, Korea.

The kcelleratorWe’ll be building superhero gadgets, designing superhero logos and costumes, blueprinting our own lairs, and even writing (and performing) our own superhero themesongs. Of course, super villains are a big part of this, and we’ll be plot to take over the world (but first we’ll have to craft a letter of application to the Evil League of Evil).

My super teaching partner this week will be The kcellerator (a.k.a. kc dyer). I wish I could have brought ALL of my sidekicks to camp, but alas, I had to settle on recreating them in cartoon form . . .

You can try and guess who is who:

Super SidekicksCaptain McCann

The Marcinator

Chuck the Kid

Super Skitch


Super Kallie

By the way, thanks to all of those who suggested songs and soundtracks for the Super Wiz theme song! I’ll post a final version when I have something!

Get crackin’ — Kendra’s almost here!

Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in KazahKendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah is now available for preorder on Amazon.com in both hardbound and paperback editions. Which proves it’s almost here!

So, if you have been as grumpy as Uncle Griffinskitch, or as anxious as Honest Oki, or as ornery as Juniper Jinx—then let your mind be at ease. The book . . . is . . . soon . . . here.

Oh—and here’s the final cover, with a few small modifications. And, yes, it features a bunch of eggs cracking. And, of course, I DESPISE eggs. Which you know—especially if you have every been tortur—er, I mean taught by me in one of my classes.

In the next couple weeks or so I’ll post a sneak peek of the book—Chapter 1 (and maybe even Chapter 2, if you ask nicely).