Friday, August 24, 2012

Silly Stories for Kids

This is a heap of silliness that I wrote for my nephew, Lucas.  Every week or so I plan on writing up a silly scene (pure free writing - nothing literary here) and mailing it to him.

I'll keep the collection in a tab at the top of the blog in case you want to share some of this frivolous fun with a kiddo in your life.

Be warned that there may be references to puke, farts, burps, gooey things, snakes, lizards, poop, etc.  My main goal is to entertain a 5-year-old boy and maybe, just maybe, help him develop an interest in reading.  So now you're warned.  :)

Here's the first one:

Lucas, Alexa and the Lizards

Lucas Cohoe is a 5-year-old boy when our story begins.  He has blond hair and blue eyes and a clever little grin.  Most of the time he is a happy little boy, but he craves adventure.  Just like his hero, Batman, he wants to beat up the bad guys and save the good guys.  The only problem is that he isn’t sure where he can find this type of excitement.

“I know,” Lucas said.  I can call up my good friend, Alexa, and see if she has any excitement going on at her house.

Alexa picked up the phone on the fifth ring and sounded like she was out of breath.  “Hello,” she said.

“Hey Alexa, It’s Lucas.  What’s going on? Why did it take you so long to answer the phone?” he asked.

“Oh Lucas.  I’m so glad it’s you.  You’re not going to believe what is going on over here.  When I woke up this morning, I thought I would go outside and have a swim.  I got on my bathing suit and put on some sunscreen and out I went.  Well, guess what I found in the swimming pool?” Alexa asked him.

“I have no idea,” said Lucas.

“The swimming pool was filled with lizards!  There were green ones and blue ones and even orange ones,” Alexa said, “I think I even screamed when I saw them.  I was so surprised.”

“I would be surprised too,” agreed Lucas, “So what did you do about those lizards, Alexa?”

“Well, I thought they might be hungry after swimming all morning, so I went inside to get them some cereal.  I grabbed the cereal box and a couple of bowls and spoons.  Then I went into the fridge to get the milk and guess what I found in the fridge?” Alexa asked him.

“I have no idea,” said Lucas.

“I found a clown.  I don’t know how he got in there.  He was kind of big to be fitting into the fridge, but he sort of curled up so that his nose was on his knees and then he just wiggled right in there between the tomatoes and the bologna.  It was so weird.”

“Holy crow, Alexa.  What did you do about the clown in your fridge?” Lucas asked her.

“Well I forgot about getting cereal for the lizards, I was just so surprised,” she said.  “I thought the clown was probably getting a little cold from being in the fridge all morning, so I helped him get out of the fridge and gave him a chair to sit on.  Then I thought I would go downstairs to get him a blanket so that he could start to warm up.  I got all the way downstairs and opened the laundry room door, and guess what I found in the laundry room?” Alexa asked.

“I have no idea,” said Lucas.

“I found a racing car in the laundry room.  It was bright red and it could talk.  Wow, that was a real shocker I’ll tell you.  When I opened the door, the racing car said to me, ‘hey, this is my room’ and he was kind of grumpy about it.” Alexa said.

“Holy crow, Alexa.  What did you do about the grumpy red racing car in your laundry room?” Lucas asked her.

“Well I was a little grumpy myself because this is my house and the red racing car has no business being in the laundry room but he was looking super crabby so I thought maybe he just needed some cheering up.  I decided that I was going to go get my little guitar and sing him a song to cheer him up.  So I went back upstairs, into my room and started searching for my little guitar.  It was hard to find.  I looked in the closet but it wasn’t there.  I looked on my shelf, but it wasn’t there.  Then I looked under the bed, and guess what I found under my bed?” Alexa asked.

“I have no idea,” said Lucas.

“A jar of buttons,” she said.

“Buttons?  Why in the world do you have a jar of buttons under your bed?  That’s just kind of weird,” Lucas said.

Alexa started to laugh and laugh.  “I know,” she said, “it’s so creepy weird.  I have no idea where those buttons came from, Lucas.”

Lucas thought that Alexa was starting to sound a little crazy.  This spooky day was getting to be a bit much and Lucas thought, he should help Alexa get rid of all of these strange house guests.

“Here’s what you need to do, Alexa,” Lucas said.  “Get the jar of buttons and go talk to the clown.  Tell him that if he wants the buttons, and he will because of course clowns love buttons, he needs to gather up all of the lizards and get them into the talking red car.  Then, shake the jar of buttons over the car so that the clown jumps in too.  Give that red car a push, sending everyone off down the street.

Alexa hung up with Lucas and did just that.  The clown ran to gather up all of the lizards and then hopped into the car himself to get to the buttons.  One good push and Alexa was free of them all.  She was so happy that she finally hopped into the pool for a swim.

Lucas saved the day.


I'll try to have some pictures in future, but if any creative peoples want to contribute a little lizard, clown or car pic,.......  lol

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dryer Sheet Mixed Media

This was inspired by a fabulous tutorial by Denice Brown of Art Play Today.  I love the idea of recycling dryer sheets and using something that would have gone into the garbage frees me of any perfectionistic expectations.  I mean really, whatever I do has to be a step up from garbage, right?  :)

Denice suggests using freezer paper and glue to secure the dryer sheets. I looked high and low for freezer paper, only to discover that it isn't a Canadian thing.  Who knew.  So I decided to use painter's tape to attach the dryer sheets to some cardboard.

Here is the tissue paper step.

Then scrapbook paper.

And some paint, stamps, and weird 'found' items dragged around the surface.

Getting the pieces off of the cardboard was tricky and involved a lot more cutting than peeling, lol.  Ah well, got them all off eventually, mostly in tact.  Then I glued them into my art journal.

Now I could create fabulously poetic phrases of profound insight (or maybe just a list of goals for the month).

If you notice that some of my August goals look remarkably like my July goals, please try to keep that to yourself, lol.

Next time I'll try waxed paper or parchment paper to see if they work in the same way as the freezer paper.  We're planning a trip to Washington in the fall.  Forget the booze and smokes, my luggage will be full of freezer paper on the way home.  :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Review(s)

I can't believe it's already been a month since Kadie and Jenny's last readalong linky party.  Time flies faster in the summer, don't you think?


I wanted to read Game of Thrones but couldn't find it available at the library so I switched gears and decided to try out a Kelley Armstrong series that I just heard about (where have I been?).

I started with The Gathering.

Amazon link

This is a young adult book.  Our heroine is Maya.  She was adopted as a baby, has a birthmark that looks exactly like a paw print, and believes she has native blood. She lives in a very small medical research town with less than 200 people and lots of security and protocols.

The book starts with Maya's best friend (who is the captain of the swim team) drowning right beside Maya in a perfectly calm lake.  Weird things continue to happen as Maya starts to notice the animals in her sanctuary are healing extraordinarily quickly under her care, mountain lions seem to be appearing more often around her, and her friends are developing interesting skills and behaviours.

It seems that instead of answers about these strange events, Maya only ends up with more questions.  This novel ends with the group being caught in a huge forest fire and trying to escape.

This book was great.  It was fast-paced and believable with lots of action.  The characters were developed well so that they appeared fleshed out and real, and I cared about what happened to all of them.

This book took me two days to read.  I couldn't put it down without wondering what was going to happen next.  I immediately picked up the second book in the series.

The Calling.  

Amazon link
SPOILER ALERT - I can't figure out how to review this without revealing from the previous book.  :)

The book starts where The Gathering left off, with the teens trying to escape the forest fire.  They are whisked away on a helicopter only to find themselves kidnapped.  By whom? They're not sure.

They escape their would-be captors but have to use their knowledge of the forest landscape and their recently discovered skills to further evade capture.

As the group works together to avoid being caught, they learn more about themselves including that they all seem to have some sort of powers or skills.  Maya learns that she is a skin-walker and will one day shift into a mountain lion.

Again this is an action-packed thrill ride.  I found myself feeling genuine pangs of despair, fear and joy while reading.  This book I finished in one sitting.  I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning because, again, I couldn't stop thinking about what was going to happen next - what will they do now? how will they get out of this predicament? etc.

The next morning, I went back ran to the library to get the third book only to find out that it is not being released until 2013.  What? I couldn't believe it.  Really? 2013?

So, while I would DEFINITELY recommend these books, it is nearly going to kill me to have to wait until the third book comes out so I might suggest waiting until then before you start the series.  And when you do, block out 3 days with no plans but reading.  :)

For this month, I am tackling:

Chapters link

What are you reading right now?