Posts Tagged ‘Sid Fleischman’

Creativity Vs. Negativity

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Congratulations to 12-year-old Grant Mower, who is the youngest creative fashion designer I’ve ever seen.  He hopes First Lady Michelle Obama will choose to wear his design of a dress for her. 

Grant has had to undergo bullying from his fellow classmates for creating his art.  Fortunately, he’s got a great mother, who supports his passion.   If your art gives you pleasure why should you let conformers get you down?  He hasn’t, and he’s to be commended for his spirit!

Although I don’t think I’ve heard of a case where a writer was bullied for his writing, I know many who have given up due to rejection or harsh critiques.  

Is writing a love-of-your-life?  Are you happiest when you are writing?  When you have written?  If you are, then stick with it!  It’s one of those wonderful arts you can do any time or place, with just a pen and paper as long as you’ve got the desire. 

Like Sid Fleischman used to say, “Nothing’s wasted but the paper.”  Now with all of the recycling we have, that isn’t even true any more!

Bravo for Grant, and all of the Grants out there!  I suspect those bullies don’t have true passions of their own, nor good parenting behind them to make them feel good about themselves. 


1.  Write about a time you were bullied or criticized.  How did you react?  Include your thoughts, feelings and the dialogue that occurred. 

2.  Create a scene or short story where a bully is a character.  Make sure your bully is not one-dimensional.  Why is she or he acting that way? 

3.  Try a genre of art that isn’t your usual form.  If you usually write fiction, try nonfiction.  If you usually paint, try photography. Experimenting might lead you to develop more sources for your original art as well as developing a new one. 

4.  Watch the video below of Grant and his designs.  Design an outfit for yourself or another famous person.  Next, describe it with words.

Tall Tales with Sid Fleischman

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Happy Birthday Sid Fleischman! Celebrate this Newbery award-winning author by writing a tall tale, one of his many talents. From an interview in The ABCs of Writing for Children, Fleischman says, “Tall tales are highly specialized humor. . . Take Jim Bridger (he really lived) who discovered that it took eight hours for an echo to return from a distant mountain. He turned it into an alarm clock by shouting, “Wake up!” before he went to bed. The next morning, eight hours later, the echo returned and woke him up.”

Exercise: Brainstorm like Sid Fleischman does. In McBroom’s Ghost, it was so cold, “Polly dropped her comb on the floor, when she picked it up the teeth were chattering.”

It was so hot . . .
The mountain was so steep . . .
He was so fat . . .
She was so skinny . . .

Have fun with tall tale humor!