Among school children

An expedition to the school where Lorraine is deputy. L picking me up at Three Bridges station, opposite a pub called The Snooty Fox. Then to school, and meeting a few teachers and so on before L set me up in the staff room in a ring of chairs. Then I had an afternoon with six of the top writers in the school, who had written stories for me. They were all ten or eleven, and you could see they had some real talent, and markedly different styles.

We looked at how you begin a story, and read through the openings of their stories, which ranged from fantasy comedy, to a drama involving shot horses, another about everything in the world being stood on its head so that that Mexico and Egypt were snowy and the central character actually tidied up her room, to a story where schoolgirls made funny and bitchy remarks to one another, and another was a mysterious love story. All were liberally sprinkled with magic and imagination. Interesting for me to see how much the girls wanted to be characters in each other's stories. All their stories started excellently but became more mundane as they went on. Extremely impressed by the the girls and their work though.

I read them the first chapter of Invaders of Guernsey, which they listened to in big eyed silence which was quite gratifying. I also showed them with a TV ad I'd worked on, a piece of junk mail, A Guernsey Double, and played them a bit of Clameur, which they also listened to with more interest than I had anticipated. Fielded lots of questions, including very grown up ones like 'how do you get an agent'.

It was fun, though curiously tiring. Respect once again to teachers. Lorraine drove me back to the station and I headed home,  she returned much later after tiresome meetings, and we sidled off for a tradition-busting Thursday curry.