Magical moments at the Korean Folk Village

During my recent writing retreat in Yong-in, Korea, my students and I took a break from the rigors of writing and visited a local folk village.

Here are some my favourite pictures . . .

Here’s a view of the canal (I took this one while walking across a stepping-stone bridge).

Bridge at the folk village.

This is the house of the noble-man. Most of the houses have straw roofs, but of course he has tile (not to mention ninety-nine rooms!).

Traditional house at the folk village.

These totems serve as guardians to the village, to stave off evil spirits.

Stone totem

Stone totem.

The highlight of the visit was watching the equestrian performance. The riders were truly spectacular, standing as they rode, riding upside down, and firing arrows and spears at a target as they galloped past.

Equestrian feats

Equestrian feats.

There was no net for this acrobat—just a pile of sand.


This traditional dance involves many colourful hats. My favourite is the one shown below with the long ribbon.

Dance performance.

This is a shot of an urn used for grinding grain. You can see the straw-capped stone wall behind.

Traditional grinder.

No one could tell me what this game was called, but it seemed more or less akin to horseshoes (except harder).

Traditional stick throwing game.


More mysterious photos

My writing retreat is just wrapping, but here are a few more photos from my super sleuths . . .


Here’s a great mysterious ink message . . .

Myster camp - invisible message


And here’s a crime scene that I set up to help inspire some mysterious stories . . .

Mystery Camp - crime scene

Mystery Camp - crime scene investigation


Agency for Top Secret Writing

Here’s some photos from the writing retreat I’m currently leading in Korea. The theme: Mystery!

The first day, the pupils were identified, given their top secret supplies, and introduced to the Agency for Top Secret Writing . . . Each one was given a code book to keep track of clues and other suspicious activities during the retreat.

Mystery Camp - code book

What’s a good mystery without a message written in invisible ink?

Mystery camp - invisible ink drawing

Mystery Camp - invisible ink

And of course, when playing the role of villain, you need to imagine brewing up your own sinister poison . . .

Mystery Camp - Poisons!

Mystery Camp - Poisons!

Mystery Camp - Poisons!

Mystery Camp - Poisons!

Mystery Camp - Poisons!

Of course, we’ve crafted a lot of stories as well, full of sleuths and spies, detectives and danger!

Mystery Camp - Writing

The retreat is being hosted by the Creative Writing Children Society of Vancouver (CWC). More photos to come!


New review for Crack in Kazah

Roompa Ringtail.Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah just received a nice review from CM Magazine, earning a “highly recommended.” You can check out the full article here.

Spoiler alert—if you haven’t finished the book yet, you might want to avoid this review for now!


Final cover art for the Door to Unger

A while back, I posted my artwork for the electronic edition of the Door to Unger. Here’s the final version of the cover, showing the artwork plopped into the design. And yes, “plop” is the official way to describe it.

Cover design for the electronic edition of Kendra Kandlestar and the Door to Unger.

I hope you like it. Later this week, I’ll post the designs I’ve been working on for The Shard from Greeve.


Mystery camp is coming

This week I’m off to Korea to teach Mystery camp. My top secret agents will get to hone their skills by cracking codes, brewing some poisons and serums, investigating a crime scene, and (of course) writing about it all.

Mystery Objects


Just as I start my new term of creative writing classes, I thought I’d post some of my favourite photos from the Fall term.

I taught some tried and true workshops, as well as a few new ideas as well. I ended both classes with my robot workshop and, as always, was impressed with the creations my students came up with. Some of the robots actually functioned with lights and sounds! And one robot was actually programmed and could function via computer. Pretty darn cool!

As luck would have it, I actually forgot my camera on the day were were building the robots in my one class, but I did manage to snap off a few pics on my computer.

Jason's robot

Joel's Robot

Averee's robot

Emily's robot.

Rachel's Robot.

Painting a dragon egg.

Michael's Dragon Egg

Girls with dragon eggs.

Kevin's dragon egg

Dragon eggs

Writing about dragon eggs.

Letter writing.

Poetry slam.

Simon as a Jedi

Origami puppet.

Shadow puppets.