Gravenhurst Opera House, Youth Drop-In Day and the Orillia Youth Centre capture Lee Bice-Matheson’s heart

I intentionally saved posting about the Youth Drop-In Day Teen Writing Workshop I performed in Gravenhurst on Monday, October 27th and the Orillia Youth Centre’s Halloween Spooktacular Justin at OYC Halloween on October 30th for a reason. Any time you can gather kids in one room for an occasion is a very special time! This is when I learn about the youth of today and what they are all about. Let me begin with the Teen Writing Workshop:

Set in the rumoured ‘haunted’ Gravenhurst Opera House, Gravenhurst Opera HouseI was not sure what to expect as we drove up to the beautifully built structure, after our work day ended. It was raining and unfortunately I could not bring in

INSPIRE! TIBF GALA NIGHT NOV 13'14

Sasha Grace and Blue Eyes at INSPIRE! TIBF GALA NIGHT NOV 13’14 with Lee and sister Lynn

Sasha Grace and Blue Eyes as intended. The material they’re made from would have been damaged. Nonetheless, I entered with books in hand and writing workshop material already prepared, to the sounds of laughter. I loved it! Walking in, I knew guest entertainer, Johnny Ahsome, had really entertained the kids with his playful nature and board games. Bryan White came right over to welcome me to the group by introducing me. I set up for the workshop with a podium and big screen for the Power Point Presentation. We began with writing anagrams from our names. I gave the group 5 minutes and the best anagram writer won a poster of the first book in the Paige Maddison Series called Wake Me Up Inside. Nick Jasmine and Dylan down in Front Congratulations, Nick! Followed by a presentation on the start of my career as a writer in 2007 to present day. It includes authors John Robert Colombo, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, and Philip Henry. They wrote blurbs for Destiny’s Gate and this is my way to thank them by explaining who they are to young teens. It was well received. Then I read our tagline from Destiny’s Gate: Live from a place of love. It conquers all that is evil. And I asked everyone to write a short story using these two sentences. I was astounded at the talent in the room. I asked each writer to come up to the podium and read their short. Congratulations to the winner for best short story, Jasmine! We hung on every word! Dylan won for the best presentationCongratulations, Dylan! And Bryan White, my host, wrote a heart-wrenching short story that brought tears to my eyes. I was proud of this very special group of teens and their supervisors. They are all talented writers!! It was a night that I will never forget. Thank you for inviting me Krista Storey,  Manager of Arts & Culture for Gravenhurst, and to Bryan, for hosting. I would return again!

I was happy to be included in the Orillia Youth Centre’s Halloween Spooktacular. By this point, I had attended many events for the release of Destiny’s Gate.

Kevin Gangloff introduces Lee Bice-Matheson at the Halloween Spooktacular held Oct 30'14

Kevin Gangloff introduces Lee Bice-Matheson at the Halloween Spooktacular held Oct 30’14

Kevin Gangloff, Director of the Centre, and I, decided it would be fun if I dropped in at 6:30 with costume on and perform a reading from the book. My husband, Kevin, is such a team player. He dressed up as well. Thank you Kevin. A 15-20 minute reading in a room filled with 50 – 60 kids is a tall order but they managed to sit and listen through it all. Thank you kindly! It made writing the book worthwhile. Afterwards, just as they all got up to return to their games night, I whispered, “Oh, but there’s one more thing. The kids snapped around and my husband, Kevin, announced, “You are all getting a copy tonight gifted from Lee Bice-Matheson!” I have never been mobbed before but the supervisors had to come over and lead me out of the group. This meant a great deal to me. I was lucky to have a few minutes with each teen and hear their thoughts on the night of Halloween. Imagine my surprise to discover that they were thrilled to have a book given to them, not candy!! Their enthusiasm was amazing.

Lee Bice-Matheson with tween dressed as a fairy at the Orillia Youth Centre Halloween Spooktacular, 30/10/14

Lee Bice-Matheson with tween dressed as a fairy at the Orillia Youth Centre Halloween Spooktacular, 30/10/14

There was a long line-up and I signed every copy to each tween/teen. It was a night I will never forget. Thank you Kevin and  Todd Greenwood for having me back again. I organized a tour of the haunted Orillia Opera House in 2012 and we had a fun-filled night including games, a book reading from Wake Me Up Inside, dinner provided by Brewery Bay, and the haunted tour by Terri Rossiter. The people of Orillia still talk about this night, which makes me very happy.  I’ve met so many local people that did not know I was the author that organized it along with the Orillia Youth Centre, who asked Georgian College students to host the games. I love the look in people’s eyes when they realize it was me, Lee Bice-Matheson, the new kid in town. Thanks to Krista Storey, once again, who agreed to have this Halloween Spooktacular on Halloween in the Orillia Opera House and suggested I should do it with the Orillia Youth Centre! I love the OYC kids and the staff. They are always most gracious.

We need to listen to our kids and hear what is in their hearts. They are our future. Never underestimate this truth. Anytime you can help to guide a youth in this very troubled world we live in, is essential for the health of our society.  I thank you for all of the opportunities I’ve had this year to promote the Paige Maddison Series, especially with my co-author and son, J.R. Matheson by my side. 2014 has been the best year of my life to date. Thank you to my husband, Kevin, for supporting us 100%! And a huge thank you to all of our family and friends across the globe who support #Indie #Authors. May all of you find, Peace, Joy, Happiness, Health, Love and Light in 2015.

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