Steve Swinburne is enthusiastic. You get the feeling that if he were a truck driver, he'd be enthusiastically swooping down America's highways, laughing and singing and blowing his air horn every time a kid in a passing car pumped his fist. But he's not a trucker. He's a writer, and the St. Croix Reading Council brought him to the island as a visiting writer, going to elementary classrooms to inspire young writers and to share tips, tricks and techniques of his craft.
Friday he was at the Good Hope School, working with the third, fourth and fifth graders. I covered his visit for the Source. I'm particularly pleased with how the story came out and hope you can take a minute or two to check it out.
When you're writing about a writer, it's always a little daunting. You know he'll probably see the story and don't want him to purse his lips and think, "Well, that's kind of drab." And you sure as hell don't want it to be riddled with typos, cliches and bad writing. You're inspired, actually, to put a little extra effort into it.
Since the subject is writing, you want to find a way to show what he was talking about – illustrate the idea that writers make choices with their words. Mark Twain said something about the difference between the right word and the almost right word was like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
So I tried to use that in the story, show something about my own word choices. It brought a smile to Tori's face, I'll tell you that. And that's always important to me.
Anyway, if you have a couple of extra minutes, I hope you'll have time to take a look.
And you can learn a lot more about Steve Swinburne here.