“Gordon” Smith visited us last week and had us cracking up and getting delightfully grossed out by his stories about growing up as a wild child and his take on writing. As the writer of the Escape from Furnace series, he stressed that his ideas about writing weren’t about sitting behind a desk tapping words into a computer, but actually trying things and experiencing life. He shared an anecdote about writing a story when he was a teenager. He wanted to include rocket-powered boots, so he and his friend created their own take on it using ski boots and gun powder!!! He also talked about wanting to know what shooting a rifle felt like, so he and a friend went out “hunting” cow pies in a pasture. Let’s just say the story ended with a waterfall of cow poop falling on his younger brother.
And he looks like such a regular guy… Our other favorite story was about him building a Wheezer, which is one of the horrific creatures lurking around in the furnace prison books. They have gas masks literally sewn onto they’re faces, and roam the prison corridors at night abducting boys. Here’s his mock-up with one of them posing with one of our students.
Creepy, no? Here are a couple more pictures with some of our kids.
We want to give a huge shout out to Amy Cheney, who arranged this visit for her students at the Alameda County Juvenile Hall and was kind enough to share Gordon with us. You rock, Amy, and we know your students love you, too.