Today was an excellent day. I spoke at Fairport HS in Fairport NY (where Philip Seymour Hoffman went to high school – LOVED him as the writer in State & Main) and Minerva, the 9th grade building. Everyone was mellow and sweet. I think maybe it is because this is the end of April and school is almost over.

Speaking of PSH, did anyone see Capote?

Now I am in my hotel room (gorgeous hotel on top of a high hill) eating take-out Chinese and catching up on email. Can’t complain about that. If I can get the email monster tamed by the time I head home on Saturday, I will be one happy camper.

Peyton, a teacher in SC wrote in with a great idea for using FEVER 1793 in the classroom: “I’ve had my students pair up and write scripts that could be read as a TV commercial. Their topic was to convince their viewing audience to adopt one or the other method for treating Yellow Fever. Their task was to be persuasive, and I’ve had everything from ambulance chasers to sweet little grandmas take the stage. I was struck by the variety of their responses, and perhaps other teachers might want to try this as well.”

I’ve been meeting a lot of kids who were named after places recently: Brooklyn, Paris, Dakota, Holland, Austin, etc.

Makes me wonder: what does that do to a person? What does that feel like?

6 Replies to “Excellent”

  1. I love that idea for Fever 1793- I’m currently writing a unit plan for one of my classes and was struggling to come up with enough strategies for every day. This would be really good either in the middle or at the end of the plan! Great timing!

  2. Hi Laurie: CAPOTE was a fabulous movie and a must-see for writers. Hoffman -was- Capote. I could not believe I was watching a -movie-.
    (And as for Capote, one of the most gorgeous word painters ever.)

    Have you come to Long Island lately? Do. You will bump into not a few Savannahs and Montanas. I would have said “Where are today’s Shirley’s?” but then I remembered there is town named Shirley on Long Island. :}

    Can’t quite envision a Grandma Dakota but it’s going to happen.. One Day. {}


  3. I’ve been in the dark about the acting ability of the mc in Capote,as I never paid any attention to him before, but the movie was excellent. I could not believe the amount of lying he did however in order to get his facts. And with such a straight face. How could you pretend to be such a friend and lie like he did? I loved the neurosis that Capote showed in nearly everything. Shows how insecure writers are, despite fame. And the look at the other author was amazing. I’d heard stories about her trying to write, refusing to write again, not being able to write….But the character development here was one of such confidence and matter of factness about her writing, that it made me want to read up on her some more. Definitely not the way I saw her in my head. A great writer flick to study.

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