02 March 2011


1. producing young or fruit especially freely: fruitful
2. archaic : causing abundant growth, generation, or reproduction
3. marked by abundant inventiveness or productivity: prolific composer

As long as the New York Times has a Best-Seller List, someone has to be at the top of it. The Curly-headed girl has decided that would be a good place to be. The Straight-haired girl will probably not publish a popular series of detective stories by the age of 16 and fund her parents' retirement. But then again, she could. There are worse ways to make a living.

Voyageurs National Park held a writer's workshop with Mary Casanova. The girls have long been fans of her writing for American Girl, as well as other books about northern Minnesota. Our local radio theater group, Icebox Radio, adapted stories from her Dogwatch books for radio. We love that she lives locally, and we can see her from time to time.

She was an excellent teacher. Although what she said wasn't extremely profound or very deep into the writer's craft, it left a great impression (along with the free steno pads and ball-point pens). The girls came away from the workshop highly motivated to write, and they have certainly been prolific.

Strike while the iron's hot, I say: We set up our own writer's workshop behind our couch. There's a typewriter on a low table that is just the right size. Nearby is a crate of writing utensils hidden under the plant stand. A good writer's workshop has a wide variety. Clipboards are good since we have no writing surface back there. Dry erase markers and small whiteboards are appealing as well. I keep a stash of magazines to cut pictures for illustrations and a box of small things they can use for writing prompts. We even have a list of reminders for self-editing when they are writing to others to read.
  1.  Do all your sentences begin with capital letters?
  2.  Do all your sentences end with the proper punctuation?
  3. Are all of your sentences complete ideas?
  4. Are all proper nouns capitalized?
  5. Did you use your best handwriting?

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