with Bruce Van Patter 2006-2007 School Visits

My visit to R.B. Walter Elementary!

Years ago, when I was first starting to visit schools, I came to R.B. Walter Elementary. I was very happy to get the return invitation. They had never seen this creative writing show, and I had never seen their very cool renovated building. It was great fun to come back and help kids to dream up some interesting and slightly strange stories.

Check out these stories:

The four ingredients: a pirate in a ball field looking for a golden chocolate key up against an alien

The story: Our pirate was a cook on a pirate ship. He buried a chocolate key made from a secret dessert recipe he invented. But over time, a baseball stadium was built over his treasure spot! So here he is, having run out onto the field and dug up his key. But what's this alien? He's a pitcher for the first alien baseball team. This is his big shot at showing earth people his pitching skills and he won't stand for a gold-digging pirate wrecking his chances!


The four ingredients: a jaguar in a field who wants a cow up against a tiger

The story: A jaguar farmer has run into a problem. Actually, the problem is running away with his cow! A female tiger thinks of herself as a cowgirl, so she's trying to ride a cow. The cow doesn't like it. Neither does the farmer, who is trying to stop her the only way he knows how!

Workshop stories

Sometimes the sketch that a student comes up with is just so interesting, it gets our story started with a bang. I loved how this giraffe on the right is looking over its shoulder in fear.

We decided the giraffe is trying to take eggs out of the refrigerator of the shack on top of his apartment building.

He wants to make some kind of amazing omelette or something. But that egg has hatched a real problem: it's an alien egg and the baby alien thinks the giraffe is his mother!

And that's no yolk!


What would be a really interesting setting for a quest? In a diner! In our story, the main character, who is a kind of detective, is trying to find out what a mysterious key will open. He has the key, but he doesn't know what it's for except that he needs to open something with it.

So he's working his way around from booth to booth, looking for something that he can try the key on.

In the illustration, he's accidently dropped the key into the pie of a trucker. So he's trying to poke around and find it before he gets a poke in the eye!


This story started with a picture of a girl tripping. When we brainstormed about why she tripped, we said that she was walking her dog and tripped over a rock then found some shoes that belonged to a fairy.

The shoes, of course, give the girl magic wishes. The girl wishes for popularity. But it isn't long before she's back to find the fairy, asking for her to take the shoes back. It turns out that having friends just because of magic is not all that much fun.


This story has some really creative ideas. A girl has a magical sax. It will play whatever you feed it. And this girl wants so desperately to impress this cool guy who leads a jazz quartet. So she feeds the sax some cool jazz. Everything seems to be going well.

But her mom doesn't like this young man. So on the night of a big concert, the mom feeds the sax something completely different: rap music!

What a fun story!

I hope you all had as good a time as I did. You know, being creative is a blast! And you can do it on your own and with a friend just as well as you did with me.

Put your ideas on paper and share them with others. You have stories just waiting to come out.

Keep being creative, and check out the fun stuff on my site!

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Pick the ingredients to stories and click through to see how I've started them. Then you finish the story!

Make a character out of some funny people I've drawn for you!
Over a hundred million wacky headlines wait for you to make them into a story!

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