Going back to our roots?

I guess we’ve all got different memories and experiences of school. Some probably starting scribbling stories as soon as our fat little fingers could clutch a pencil, some of us preferred putting the pencil up our noses. I love being part of school life, where both of the above are happening daily. That’s why I’ve chosen World Book Day to write my blog. As you read this I’ll be leading a day of wild fun dressed as Super-Punctuation-Woman, covered in commas, exclamation marks and the like, wearing tall boots, lycra and a red cloak (it’s Dad’s Day in school too – what can I say?) and we’ll all be working like mad to bring the reading buzz into the children’s lives, followed closely by the writing buzz. But – and this comes straight from the mouth of my street-wise Year Five and Six book club – the thing that inspires their reading and writing more than anything else is the chance to talk – to share ideas, argue, steal good words from each other, write crazy plans that are messy and full of pictures, and generally relax and enjoy it.

The Romaniacs, to me, is like being back at school, but with a grown-up (well, almost) group of friends who love to talk, even if it usually has to be online. We discuss anything and everything, and one of the great things about being with a trusted group is that you can say what you think without rehearsing it to see if it’s ok. This sometimes makes for foot-in-mouth moments but it’s never boring. So my advice to would be writers, whatever age you happen to be, is to join a group and get talking.

What turned you on/off about writing or reading at school?
Do you think talk matters, or is silence golden?

9 thoughts on “Going back to our roots?

  1. I really loved reading at school. I’m dyslexic and had to read out loud as part of improving my reading. Every day I would go home and read to my family as part of my homework. So back then talk mattered as it helped my learning, but these days I like to read in silence. In terms of my writing, I tend to keep quiet about it until I’m happy with the story… and is a writer ever happy?

    Special request for a picture of Super-Punctuation-Woman 😉

    • Unfortunately Super Punctuation Woman – although more than happy when placing elipses and brackets – is rubbish at remembering to take her camera. Maybe someone else will have taken one. Interesting comments, Catherine. Like a teacher, a writer always thinks they could do better, I reckon. Glad you cracked the reading issue!

      Celia xxx

  2. I loved school and my favourite subject, without a doubt, was English. I loved reading, writing and comprehension. My hand would be the first raised whenever the teacher required a volunteer to read out loud. I don’t expect you believe that. 😉
    My daughter has told me that she likes to discuss books with her friends because reading stimulates ideas and questions and she is interested to hear what conclusions her friends have reached.

    From a writing POV, I have a couple of friends who listen to my ramblings over a hot chocolate or over the internet, as I am working out plotlines and twists. They are very lovely friends who do not glaze over. Talking through ideas really helps me move the story along. Talking is important to me, but it needs to be measured and tempered with quiet.
    Laura x

  3. I remember being in the book club at school. Every half term we were given a leaflet with all the available books which we took home, spent hours deciding which one we wanted, before taking it back to school with completed order form and money. Oh the excitement when the books were delivered to school a few weeks later. I can remember getting, Charlotte’s Web, The Fattypuffs & Thinifers, The Borrowers, to name but a few. I also ordered The Hobbit because I liked the look of the cover and everyone else seemed to be reading it but I never got past the first chapter, just wasn’t my thing.

    Thanks for the post Celia, it has brought a lot of lovely book/school memories back.
    Sue x

    • I remmeber those book clubs too! And the greatr thing is, those books are still being read with just as much pleasure. Plus loads more new authors for children and YA have joined the fun, so choosing books is even more exciting nowadays. Thanks Sue x

  4. I loved writing at school. I wrote a story about Sellone, the baby tortoise, researching everything in the school library about how tortoises hatched. My story was one of those chosen to be put up on the wall in the main corridor, but I had to write it out again in neat on only one side of the paper. I’m sure I drew a picture too. I was so proud! I really wish that I still had that story!

    • Oh, me too – if only we’d kept them all! I had a teacher once who kept a golden book, and put all our special work in it. I met him years later and he still had it, but I don’t know where it went eventually. Thanks for your comments, Jean – come back soon

      Celia x

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