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text 2017-11-25 06:35
Wringo Ink. Short Story for the Genre Play: Poindexters & Pinkies



Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on November 25, 2017.




Scene 1

The scene opens in a laboratory, showing two bearded octogenarians in lab coats. One bespectacled scientist is tipping a conical flask full of frothy vomit green liquid into a beaker. The other one is sitting across from him and observing with one eye closed to make up for his misplaced glasses. None of them is a redhead and there is a complete lack of annoying sisters clad in pink, pirouetting all over the lab.


“Easy on the Sibling Rivalry, Maaz. You know what happened the last time!” he says, checking if looking through a beaker would help him see better.


“Those tentacles…” Maaz says and both brothers shudder as they remember.


“Ugh never mind the tentacles. Do you remember that cleavage?” Shehzad opens his palms wide enough to hold a grapefruit in each hand.


“Thanks, bro”, Maaz puts down the flask and gives his brother a disgusted look. “I’d only just managed to get it out of my mind.”


Shehzad replaces the seeing beaker with a magnifying glass and retorts with, “It is a good thing that you don’t have a brain then. Ain’t it?”


Used to his brother’s insults, Maaz ignores and starts searching for something, “Whatever. Where did I put the syrup of Running Away From Your Responsibilities?


“Too long, bro. We agreed we’d call it RAFYR. It’s by that beaker. Just a squirt, mind you” Shehzad reminds his brother with one of his eyes comically enlarged behind the magnifying lens.


“Stop lecturing me, Shehzad. I know how much of what goes where” Maaz manages to grab the RAFYR after dropping a beaker or two in his pursuit.


“Fine. Fine.” Shehzad gets up and starts pacing while trying to remember, “What are we missing? Ah yes”, he says spotting an amber bottle full of viscous liquid, “a dollop of Exam Fear” he goes to stand next to his brother and adds the last ingredient, “and we’re back in business!”


Meanwhile, Maaz tallies the number of ingredients on his fingers twice until satisfied, “All right! I’ll whip it up nicely while you get in the chamber. Mind your beard.”


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review 2017-06-11 18:40
Dealing with Dragons
Dealing with Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede

I distinctly remember buying this book at the same time I bought The Bad Beginning. I never finished A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I read all of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I really want the nine-year-old to read them. I think she'd enjoy the series.


I think of this series as fantasy for non-fantasy readers. It's fantasy, but there's lots of accessible references to other fairy tales/myths. I meant to read them in publication order this time around (Book 4 was published first and then the others came after), but I forgot when it actually came time to read them. I thought about skipping ahead and then backtracking, but I think I'm just going to press on to Book 2.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-26 14:16
Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles #1)
Dealing with Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede

Dealing with Dragons

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review 2017-01-09 00:00
Dealing with Dragons
Dealing with Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede Dealing with Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede Princess Cimorene, after a being told that everything she wants to learn and do just isn't done by Princesses, runs away. She uses the advice of an enchanted frog and becomes the princess of the dragon Kazul. She is soon having the time or her life. There's something funny going on between the dragons and the wizards though, and Cimorene has to figure out what before its too late for her new friend.

This series turns fairytale expectations on their heads. There's a lot of that going on these days in middle grade and young adult, which is awesome, but it was much more rare back when I was combing the kids section at the library for something new to read. I remember being intrigued by the watercolor covers and checking out all four in the series at once, the librarian and I were on good terms.

I read this a long time ago and remembered loving it. I remembered enough to leap on it and rate it when I stumbled on it on Jan 15th 2011. What made me remember it? Looking back it seems I was on a roll adding favorites from childhood: [author:John Bellairs|101070], [author:Bruce Coville|10087], and [author:Diana Wynne Jones|4260]. Dealing with Dragons holds up well twenty-something years later, and I'm glad the series was recently reissued - these editions all come with a foreward from Wrede detailing how she was inspired to write the Enchanted Forest Chronicles (long story short, Jane Yolen made her) and what she was attempting to do. I love it. Except for the covers, each is more hideous than the last. I tried selling a customer on the story, and she took one look at the simpering Cimorene and blushing eye-lashed Kazul on the cover and turned away with all the scorn a 9 year old girl can muster.

Put a little more effort into these please, give the artists more money, get better focus groups, something.

Next: Searching for Dragons
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review 2016-11-08 00:06
Crankenstein - Dan Santat,Samantha Berger

Crankenstein is a book about a little boy that becomes so cranky that he turns into a monster called Crankenstein. This would be a great book to talk to any grade about emotions. We all have our own monster moments and laughter is the quickest way to tame it. An activity that could be used along with this book is a chance for students to write about a time that they became a Crankenstein. It's also a great transition into talking about ways that we can deal with our anger without lashing out at others. 

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