Tag Archives: children

Year of Stories – Week 20

This week you get three free short stories instead of just one! They all centre around the same character; meet Leon the dragon.

A dragon and a mudge! Made by Tally Heilke.

My friend Tally Heilke has put together some awesome hand-crafted plush figurines based on some of the characters in these stories, and they’re available through her Etsy store, so check them out!

Here’s the blurb for the first story in the series, Leon Meets a Mudge:

It’s almost Leon the Dragon’s birthday, when he will get to show everyone what colour fire he breathes! There’s just one problem: he doesn’t know how to breathe fire yet…

Read it now.

What If Our Baby Grows Up To Be A Volcanologist

What if Larissa’s and my baby grows up to be a volcanologist? It’s a very real possibility!

I think I’d really like having a volcanologist in the family, if for no other reason than that I would get to say “volcanologist” a lot. The word’s even fun to type, let alone speak out loud. Try this out: insert “volcanologist” into one conversation and see how much it improves your entire day. Add the word “eruption” on top of that, and you’ve got endless funtimes.

I’m not much of a worrier, but I think I’d probably get a little tense if I knew that my baby was staring into the mouths of volcanoes all day. I wouldn’t want to hear that my kid was playing the starring role in a real-life disaster movie. And lava may be one of the most compellingly imaginative substances in the entire world (major props to God for inventing it, by the way), but it’s also super scary. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from classic video games, it’s that touching lava will kill you instantly. And it destroys magic rings, too.

I think I could get over all that, especially if we continue to live in the Ring of Fire.¬†Here on the west coast it would certainly be useful to have some inside connections with earthquake- and volcano-predicting agencies… That would be a definite plus!

As with anything, there would be positives and negatives to having a child who was a volcanologist.

Volcanologist. Tee hee.


Thanks to @meaganhogg, who suggested that I do a What If Our Baby post about being a geologist. I liked the suggestion, but I hope you don’t mind that I decided to take it a step further.

Flash Fiction: “Representative”

For those of you who don’t check out TypeTrigger very often, or have never been there, you really should. I can’t say enough good things about the site and the community there.

If you really don’t want to head over there and check out the stories I’ve written, or all of the other great writing, here’s the latest bit of flash I did, in response to the prompt “representative.”


Representative

“I am a representative of the Poppledop Gang,” the pudgy blond boy told me, “and this is a list of our demands.” He was standing at my door wearing an ill-fitting little suit and waving a clipboard under my nose like it was a weapon. I had no idea who he was or what he wanted, but it was kind of cute.

“Demands?” I asked him. “But you haven’t given me any reason to listen to them yet!”

“Oh,” said the boy, apparently caught off guard. “Sorry, I should have said that first.” He looked down at his clipboard. “Ok, we, the Poppledop Gang, have taken your cat, and also your dog, and if you do not submit to our demands, we will put them both in a cage and you will never see them again!”

“Oh dear!” I said, very sweetly. “My cat and my dog are best friends! How could their good relationship possibly last if they are forced to spend time together?”

“And there will also be a badger in the cage,” he told me.

That was an unexpected wrinkle. “Where did you get a badger?” I asked.

“Don’t believe me?” he threatened. “Here are our demands. 1) Free ice cream for all gang members, in perpetuity. 2) Private use of your backyard for Poppledop Gang business, no questions asked. 3) We get to rename your pets whatever we want.”

“Uh huh,” I said sarcastically. “Yeah, sure, I’ll agree to that.”

“Oh good!” said the boy. “Can I have some ice cream?”

“No.” I closed the door and went to look for my pets. I couldn’t find them.

An hour later there was a knock at my door. I still have no idea where they found that badger.

“Peter Pan” and “Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens”

Peter Pan was my favourite Disney movie as a kid (until my parents brought home Aladdin), but I had never read the book that the movie was based on until earlier this month. I found it a lot of fun to read, and I definitely intend to read it to my kids (if and when I have any, of course).

Some elements of Peter Pan definitely hearken from an earlier age: Wendy is just delighted to be able to spend nearly all of her time cooking and cleaning for a tribe of unruly boys, as any self-respecting young woman would be; Peter and the Lost Boys–along with John and Michael–kill pirates, actually kill them; and the representations of the Indians are pretty heavily stereotyped. But the sense of adventure and excitement in the book are still strong, as the characters fly around Neverland and get mixed up in all kinds of fun and trouble.

The writing is quite clever at times. I love how Mrs. Darling is described as having one kiss hidden in the corner of her mouth that you could never quite get to, no matter how hard you tried, and Nana, the children’s St. Bernard nanny, is anthropomorphized in a very amusing way.

Overall, I’d recommend reading Peter Pan, and reading it to children, but there are parts of it that will need some context and explanation so that they don’t convey the wrong ideas.

I also read Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, and while it had some amusing parts, some fun concepts (babies are little birds from an island who get sent to parents to grow into babies, and children’s personalities depend on what kind of bird they were), and some emotion (Peter Pan returning to his mother, hoping she has kept the window open for him to fly back in), it didn’t, ultimately, have much purpose or story. It feels much more like a small collection of semi-related stories without any real sense of direction. That isn’t necessarily a problem, but it makes the whole thing feel like less of a book somehow, if you know what I mean.