It seems funny to be “away from home” when you are less than 50 km from home. But as I look around myself it does feel like another universe. I am surrounded by kids and teens, from grades four all the way up to grade eleven. I must admit that I cherish these moments, as this is when I get to observe my subjects in their environment. As an author of teen lit, I watch and learn.

Most of these students I know from previous classes. There’s a familiarity with us, as they know my quirks and I know theirs. The ones whom I’m meeting for the first time get comfortable quickly, and the energy begins high. This is always the way with these camps – a high energy the first day as they promise to prolong their time here by never sleeping. This won’t last the week.

I’m here with other mentors – Lee Edward Fodi and Kallie George. Our theme this year is Safari – a strange theme considering it’s pouring rain and quite cold outside. Perhaps, this theme and get our minds off the fact that Vancouver is due to be denied yet another summer – and isn’t that the true purpose of writing? To take one’s minds off the tragic?

My first class isn’t until 2pm, when I will introduce my students to the theme of lost cities. It’s a favourite of mine, and hopefully they’ll be inspired to imagine their own hidden cities. For now, I’ll leave you with the movie we created, with the help of Luke Spense Byrd, that started off our festivities last night.

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