Me & 20 Kids - Please Start The Prayer Chain

I've been asked to speak this Saturday as a guest lecturer at a Summer Writing Camp for kids. The camp runs four Saturdays from 8am - noon and is sponsored by A&T University. My understanding is each week a different author or writing professional is brought in so the kids can talk to a "real" author.

So this Saturday from 10-11 am will find me in a room with twenty kids, ranging in age from 8-11. Can you even imagine??  

I'm experiencing one of those "I'm excited to do it / I dread doing it," moments. I want the kids to have a lot of fun and still learn something and have been driving my critique group crazy, I'm sure, with my constant e-mails asking if they think I should play music or just talk?  Should I give away candy or not? What books are good examples of openings? And on and on and on.  They've been very kind and haven't kicked me out of the group yet.

All this worrying and I'm only with the kids for a short time. I've been asked to talk about myself and my book for about 10 minutes (what it's like to write a book, how it got published, what my writing habits are, etc.).  Then I'm to lead the group through a creative writing exercise. Ideally, this exercise will help come up with the first page of their story.

I'm kind of amazed at how ancy I am. It's just that I'm not used to speaking to this age group. Adults, yes. Teens, okay. Wriggling, screeching, bouncing, hyper, most likely ADD-diagnosed 8-11 year olds?  Aaaaaauuuuugh!!!!!!

At the same time, I'm really looking forward to it. It's something new and if I like it, it may open up new doors to teaching workshops for kids.  That could be fun (with the proper doses of medication).

I've got work to do today, but a good chunk of tomorrow will be devoted to "prepping" myself for Saturday's talk. Oh, and if anyone is in the Madison area on Saturday, I'll be doing a book signing at The Fat Cat art gallery on Murphy Street in downtown Madison  from Noon - 4. There will also be a jewelry artist on site who, I understand, has some fabulous work.

Hope to see you there!