Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A huge round of applause for S.P.!

My buddy S.P. from Vancouver sent me in this cool-sounding plot for a novel she's working on. I love it when kids write stories. Take it away, S.P.!

"I started a new story about a month ago and I'm still sticking with it. (I haven't gotten writer's block yet, like I always get). It's called Trouble in Tulum and it's about an eleven-year old girl called Elma Nichols who wins a two-week vacation with her parents and way-too-mature 16-year old sister to Tulum, in Mexico. But when she gets there, she hardly gets to relax at all. She gets wound up in a swirl of protests, purple-haired people, deep, ice-cold fountains, a strict substitute teacher, playing soccer in a monsoon, and more.

"So far, I've written six chapters and 63 pages. I'm really excited about it! So far, I've used dramatic irony, excitement, inner conflict, humour and exaggeration.

"By the way, here's the description I wrote for my book:

"When Elma Nichols and her family win a two-week vacation to Tulum, Mexico, they are overjoyed. Elma wants to swim with dolphins, her sister Madison wants to soak up the sun, and their parents want to relieve all their stress that's been building up. But little does Elma know that she's going to get tangled up in a mystery involving a heated protest, a day trapped at sea, and dozens of purple-haired people. Can she stop the protest, solve the mystery and still manage to make the most of her
vacation in paradise?"

Friday, November 17, 2006

Brussels sprouts more than leaves
This post is dedicated to Dinah's friends C. and M. in North Vancouver.

I just got some horrifying news. I hope you're sitting down. My author, Melanie Jackson, recently served Brussels sprouts to dinner guests. Like, what is she trying to do, alienate the planet? My North Van buddies C. and M. heard about it and are in therapy right now.

Melanie remains irritatingly blasé. "Brussels sprouts are good," she insists. "Would you like to try this nummy recipe I found, where you make them with slivered almonds?"

"Sure," I reply sweetly. "That's number two on my list of choice things to do today -- right after strapping myself to the Skytrain tracks."

Gad. You can see what I have to put up with.

Here's what C. and M.'s dad wrote in his e-mail to me: "M., with a shocked look on his face said, 'But Dinah doesn't like Brussel sprouts.' C. piped up, 'Don't you remember, when Dinah was making the Brussels sprouts disappear at the dinner table, she threw the last one out the window where the bad guy was trying to get into the house. It went into his mouth and he fell into the yard. The neighbours reported a man dressed all in black, limping and chewing something with a disgusted look on his face.' "

Ah yes, how fondly I remember that episode. It was near the start of The Mask on the Cruise Ship. Brussels sprouts as Scud missiles: now that's a good use for 'em.