Shy Ghosts Dancing in the Classroom

By , September 26, 2014

(It would have been more entertaining for me, though far less accurate, to call this post “Shy Ghosts Dancing on the Desks.”)

Yesterday I visited a group of homeschoolers to read and discuss one of my short stories from Shy Ghosts Dancing: Dark Tales from Southeast Alaska.

A friend teaches the class on reading and writing, and asked me to provide an example of how setting, the forests and water of Southeast Alaska in this case, adds atmosphere to a ghost or horror story.  She’s using the book as one of her resources.

I met the small group of young teenagers at my friends house. The seven of us met informally in her living room. I read one of my stories (The Cry of a Loon, if you know it). We talked a bit about what scares us, how to write about it, and how to get started writing down a story idea. I had a wonderful time, the kids seemed engaged, and we hit most of their teacher’s goals. Not bad for a more or less off the cuff presentation.

When I wrote Shy Ghosts, I figured it might be my one shot, so I threw in as much as I could. This includes a paragraph or two about each story’s origin, inspiration, or other details. I vacillate between liking this, and considering it overkill. But, if the book’s going to be a teaching resource, that justifies that extra material, which makes me feel good.

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