I received a wonderful gift on my last day as author-in-residence at ELC school in Bangkok: a package of letters and fan art from the students. Many were thanking me for my time at the school (in particular, they seem very grateful that I taught them how to write with invisible ink), but many more were purely about the Kendra Kandlestar books. I have to say, I simply love it when kids send me drawings of their favourite Kendra Kandlestar characters and scenes. Here’s just a smattering of some of the artwork (and one very funny letter).
I was taken to a delightful restaurant bar the other night in Bangkok called The Bookshop. What a marvellous place! Bookshelves floated above and old-fashioned tomes fluttered up and down. Everywhere I looked, there was a feast for the eyes.
Unfortunately, my photos just don’t do it justice!
It felt something like entering an Escher drawing. Or perhaps the magical library that we find in The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. And then I thought of this wonderful painting of Alice in Wonderland by Iassen Ghiuselev:
One of the students at my author-in-residency in Bangkok took notes during my “So You Think You’re a Villain” class. If you’re thinking of taking over the world, then pretty much all the information you need is below. In particular, I think the golden nugget here is that “villains look monsterious.”
My time at the school is now at an end. I am feeling very blessed and grateful for getting to working with all the wonderful students. The two-week stay allowed me to see a real progression in their writing. I especially love to see their brainstorming and how it spilled over into their written outputs . . .
As for the younger students, I concentrated on pure inspirational and motivational activities. We designed enchanted boxes, decorated magical trees, built secret doorways, and wrote in invisible ink!
I wrapped up my first week as author-in-residence at ELC international school in Bangkok and am just about to embark on a second week. Here’s a few more photos from Week 1—we mapped our worlds, crafted some characters, and built a few more doorways!
What I love about this series of photos is that really shows how some of the drawing and hands-on activities started spilling over into brainstorming and writing. We’ve fuelled them up, and now they are off to the races!
Another great feature of this residency is that I’ve been able to have some one-on-one appointments with many of the young writers to closely read their stories and give feedback.
My first three days as author-in-residence at ELC school in Bangkok have gone by like a blur. It’s been great to reconnect with so many of the students and teachers that I met last year. I’ve been pretty amazed at how clearly they remember me and all of the activities we did last year.
It’s one of the reasons I’ve tried to introduce some new projects and approaches to storytelling this year. So far, we’ve created hidden worlds, secret doorways, enchanted boxes—and all sorts of characters. Here’s a few photos of the kids’ projects.
Earlier this year, I posted some photos from my “magical doorways” class. I was so pleased with the results, that I’ve taught it twice since then. The photos below are all from weekend workshops. Each student designed and “constructed” a doorway, and then used it as inspiration for a story.
Personally, I loved observing the individual design processes. Check out some of their creations!
And origami ones at that? Well, whatever the case, here is a bunch of them! See, whenever we read an Origami Yoda book in one of my creative writing classes, it prompts a mass folding. Here’s some of the ones from the Grade 3/4 class that I led last Saturday . . .
Some illustrations I just can’t get right.
Here’s yet another version of this scene from Kendra Kandlestar and the Search for Arazeen, in which the magical airship, the Big Bang, approaches the City on the Storm.
Last year, I posted my first attempts at this scene, but, upon reflection, I decided I still wasn’t happy with it. So I decided to redo it again.
I’m still not sure if I’m happy with it . . . but for now, I will live with it. I have to get onto some other illustrations (not to mention the edits of new planned editions for the Kendra Kandlestar series).
Here’s a drawing that I actually finished inking on my recent trip to Korea, and now I am finally getting around to posting it. This is for a crucial scene in Kendra Kandlestar and the Search for Arazeen, in which Kendra finds herself in the clutches of Shuuunga, the Unger witch.
This scene was a difficult one to write . . . and I’ll be interested to see how readers respond to it. Let’s just say, that after this scene, Kendra’s life will never be the same again!