Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dear Humanities Class

1) I wrote a book.  Just how, exactly, did I do that?

  • idea (this could take a moment, this could take your whole life)
  • write it down (15 minutes, or many years)
  • take a break (days, or years)
  • come back and edit (add/subtract, always read it aloud, even if you seem insane to outsiders, ignore them, they are the ones with spelling errors)
  • put your baby out there and find an agent or publisher
  • get rejected, get rejected some more, get ignored (this could go on a while)
  • stumble upon someone who loves your work (bonus: local publisher!)
  • listen to them tear it apart (aka. edit it to make it better)
  • work with the illustrator (tell them they are doing a great job, except when they aren't)
  • drive to the printer to pick up 3 really heavy boxes
  • do my best to tell the public
Bonus: Career Awareness!  What's the best job in the whole world?

2) How did this idea of My Detroit Garden come about?

I love books!

I love gardening!







Plus, Detroit needs some love.

Way too many Detroiters (including children) live with food insecurity.

Way too much of Detroit is considered a food desert.

Detroit is called the Motor City because of the auto industry, yet many Detroiters cannot afford a car, and so cannot easily get to the (far) grocery stores.  When you are hungry, you want food that's easy to get, not always the wise choice.  

3) Please, make it better.  Edit my rough draft!

4) How did it turn out?  Storytime!

5) What makes a great children's story?
  • something for the adult reading it (humor, history, sentiment, silliness, clever, etc)
“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.”
― C.S. Lewis

  • something for the child listening to it (humor, can relate to it, talking animals, etc)
"I don't write for children. I write. And somebody says, 'That's for children.' I didn't set out to make children happy. Or make life better for them." -Maurice Sendak

  • sounds good read aloud, several times

  • picture can hold the attention for the amount of time it takes to read the words on that page
6) Your turn.  Let's edit your drafts!

7)  If there is time, read some of these treasures.

8) Go forth, and be interesting.


  1. Great presentation, Keri. So timely that you included a quote from Maurice Sendak given that he passed away this week.

    Love, Mom

  2. Keri, I can not thank you enough for all that you shared with me and my Humanities students. We welcome you back ANY ANY ANY time you have that itch to teach!