There were about thirty brilliant kids who participated in the first leg of our workshop series at Childs Elementary School in Ypsilanti, none of whom could help having the most unabashed, steaming-hot, why-not creative brainstorms. The subject? Tall Tales. The culminating project? Tall Tales & True Stories, a collection of essays, stories, poems, and comics which will be released by 826michigan in May 2008. “I had trouble keeping my bearings,” confessed superstar intern and workshop leader Jared “J-Hawk” Hawkley. Nine feet tall and able to jump up to eighty feet in the air, Jared fearlessly led the students as they wrote one of the most unbelievable tall tales EVER! We can’t really go into details (mainly because we can’t comprehend something so great), but it involved a root-beer swilling martian squirrel, a dancing catfish, and a daily walk around a backyard pond. Among the other notable events: the students exaggerated “fast” until it became “faster than a cheetah driving a racecar made of light.” They imagined up characters that could swallow the ocean, bite the earth in half, and move the sun back a few inches. These amazing young students fought against that likely and ever-present foe: Time, which came creeping out of the shadows, forcing the workshop to end well before the ideas ran dry. Enjoy being wowed? Buy the book this spring!
Next up at Childs Elementary: comics!