The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

John Reynolds Gardiner---A God

       When you get to personally meet an author of one of your favorite books, it's like you're a groupie and they're Mick Jagger and you're backstage, drooling all over the place...

        That's kind of what it was like when I met John Reynolds Gardiner at an IRA convention, quite a few years ago.

         Gardiner is the author of Stone Fox, one of my all-time favorite books.  My third and fourth graders love it, the novel brings up many issues (because the two main characters are both "right" even though they are competing against each other) and I cry every year when I read aloud the last two chapters.  (I tell myself it won't happen again, but inevitably, it does.)

         When I met him, I noticed he was wearing a ring with a large stone it.  I felt like I was meeting the Pope, and was tempted to kiss his ring...That's how much in awe I am when it comes to his book.

        During his workshop, he spoke to teachers, advising us to not discount a young writer merely because they make frequent spelling and grammatical mistakes.  He admitted that in his slim novel, he had made 138 errors that had to be cleaned up by editors.

        Great stories can be written down, and after celebrating and praising the plot, the characterization, the quirky phrases, then the editing and revising can happen.  Great writers might be poor spellers.  They might confuse their tenses.  But let their creativity shine through.  Don't squash their spirit by focusing in on just the deficits...

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