Three Questions for Jody Feldman
What does your writing process look like and how long is it?
My writing process looks slightly different with each new project. It all starts the same, with a nugget of an idea that grows and grows and grows until there’s so much in my mind that I need to spill my thoughts into official words on a page. At that point, to look at me, it may seem quite boring. I sit at my computer and type and type and type some more. Occasionally, I’ll get up and pace around. Or maybe I’ll get a snack. Or go outside to grab the mail. The whole time, though, I’m thinking about the next scene or the characters’ emotions or just the right word to launch me into the next sentence. Then 2-3 months later, I have a very bad, very ugly first draft. After that, the real work starts — the rewriting process. And that can take double or triple the time as a first draft. In the end, if you give me a year, I can give you a book you might want to read.
Why did you choose the names Gil, Bianca, Thorn, Rocky, and Lavinia?
I spend a lot of time picking out just the right names for my characters. I take the process so seriously I actually use a baby-naming book to help me. I could write paragraphs on why I pick certain names, but briefly:
Gil: A good, solid name, meaning trusted, which is the opposite of how the town feels about his family at first. They should know better 🙂
Bianca: Because she’s chosen this name herself, it needed to be one that had a cool, glamorous air about it.
Thorn: This name is quite literal. He can be a thorn in anyone’s side. And there’s his formal name, Thornton, which sound like he’d have a rich family.
Rocky: He can be coarse and crude and cold and unfeeling like raw shorelines in the winter.
Lavinia: To me, this has a ring as proper and (sometimes) old-fashioned as she is.
How did you get the idea for the book and think of all the riddles?
The idea for The Gollywhopper Games was spurred on by my love for toys and games and puzzles and riddles and all things fun. I can’t remember the first time I ever came across a riddle or a puzzle, but I can remember always craving more. So through the years, I worked many, many, many, many, many, many puzzles, which (unknown to me at the time) gave me an education on how to build them. When I’m ready to create some sort of puzzle, I consider many things. A few of those:
*What is the purpose of this in the plot of the book?
*Which character needs to solve it?
*How easy or hard should this be?
*What type of puzzle haven’t I used in this book so far?
Then I go about the process of reverse engineering, often deciding what the solution needs to be and crafting just the right puzzle for the situation. This is very hard to explain, but it’s so much fun for me!
What We Like About Our Classroom and Our School
A cool fact about our school is our mascot is a tiger.
Another fact about our school is we are one of the top-rated elementary schools in Wisconsin.
PLUS … Our Classroom has a hydroponic growing unit and we are working on our first crop of lettuce!.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a very good book! The book has whole pictures that cover up two pages! The book has lots of adventures. Hugo is super smart and loves clocks, he loves working and figuring out how clocks work. The book is a combination of pictures and chapters that explain his life.
Warriors by Erin Hunter
Warriors is about cats who battle each other. They have clans like Thunderclan and Windclan, so they don’t hurt each other. Warriors battle other clans so they can protect their territory. Each clan has a leader so everyone know what to do. I really recommend Warrior Cats.
I have the Band-Aids in the kit. Chenly needs one. Where are the Band-Aids?
A. First aid kit
C. Sand Castle
2. How do you get an elephant in a fridge?
3. A lion is having a birthday party and he invited a dog, three alligators, six hippos, and an elephant, who could not come, why?
4. A girl was walking and came across a bridge. There was a sign that said, “Danger alligators.” There was a rope so she swung on it. It snapped and she fell in the water. Nothing happened, why?
5. There were 30 cows and 28 chickens. How many didn’t?
6. What is heavier a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers?
7. Why was 6 afraid of 7?
8. If you drop me from the tallest building I will be fine, If you drop me in water I die? What am I?
9. Railroad track with no cars. How do you say that with no r’s?
(Riddle answers below)
We Are Talented!
1. B. (in the kit. Chenley …)
2. You open the door and put the elephant in.
3. The elephant was still in the fridge.
4. The alligators were at the party.
5. 10 cows did not eat the chickens. (If you don’t get it, say the riddle, out loud this time, and listen closely. Still don’t? Then say it like this: There were thirty cows and twenty-eight [OR twenty ate] chickens. How many didn’t eat chickens?)
6. Neither. They are both a pound.
7. Because 7, ate, 9. (7, 8, 9)
Special Thanks to Mrs. Burmeister’s Class (in Neenah, Wisconsin)
Ryker, Anders, Gavin, NaRiah, Lydia, Skye, Andie, Breleigh, Shouana, Colton, Owen, Sophie, Christopher, Maya, Caleb, Lucious, Henry, Grace, Tyler, Finleigh, Malaki, Ramsey, Kaya …
You are all awesome!!!
Thanks so much for taking over!