One rainy day, three mice sat huddled underneath a mushroom on the edge of a field. The rain was coming down so hard that puddles started growing beneath them. Soon, one of the mice decided to climb on top of the mushroom to get out of the water. It was to the great woe of this mouse that he was the first to discover the newly genetically engineered venus mouse-trap mushroom.
This is a great exercise for writers, whether novice or pro. It’s quick and fun and can be used as a warm-up or to push through a writer’s block.
Here’s what you do:
- Get a 3×3 Post-it-Note and a pen,
- Turn on good lighting and grab a magnifying glass if you have one,
- Write. Don’t worry about plot or punctuation. Just have fun! Your complete story must fit on a single Post-it-Note (using the back is allowed).
When I first started to write this was how I learned to put words on a page. I figured if I could fill three inches, another eight wasn’t so hard. And if I could do that, a chapter wasn’t so daunting and . . . well, you get the idea. I’ll be posting some of my original Post-it-Note stories over the next few weeks for you to enjoy.
Having come to the end of the month I realized two things. First, that I don’t know how to count; if you include all of the series and trilogies there are way more than twenty-six books on my posts. I hope you’ve discovered at least one or two new favorites among them! Second, I still have a lot of books I didn’t include. But that’s the way it is: so many books, so little time. So for my final AtoZ Challenge installment I’m going to give you my own trilogy of favorite bedtime books. Cheers!
1: The Winnie-the Pooh books by A.A. Milne. You never outgrow these cuddly stories.
2: The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett. The Pied Piper like you’ve never read before.
3: The Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey. I never realized how funny they were until I had a six-year-old boy to read them to.
Page 403 of HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE is a special page. Especially in the copy that sits on my bookshelf. Picture this: me at twenty-something, a cup of coffee with cream and three pugs smooshed together in a comfy chair in front of the picture window in the living room of the Cape Cod I’d recently bought with my husband. At the end of Chapter Twenty-two (page 402) I got up, stretched and refilled my coffee cup then returned to the chair. Naively (oh, so naively) I began to read again. Little did I know what I was in for.
First was the dog. I never actually saw the dog, but I’m sure there was one. Right around “Fred and George had had a great success with their Canary Creams,” all three pugs went berserk, jumping across my lap to get to the back of the chair where they could perch to bark furiously at the audacious invader. This, of course, sent the coffee sloshing everywhere: all over me and the chair and, of course, the page I was reading. Page 403.
After a quick clean-up and some grumbling at the pugs I returned to the now soggy book. And I read. And read. And read. I just couldn’t stop reading. The end of each chapter was more suspenseful than the last. There was no way I could put the book down. Three hundred thirty one pages later, I emerged sore necked and bleary-eyed from a reading binge that had lasted uncounted hours. If I were a more superstitious person I would believe that there was more than pure change behind the coffee stain that now embellishes page 403. By the way, it also bears a warning on a Post-it-note stating: Point of no return!
If you want a great book that you just can’t put down, it’s this book. Sure the other installments in the series are great too, but this one is my favorite. If, or rather when, you do read this book, however, be warned: don’t pass page 403 unwittingly. It truly is the point of no return!
Who can resist the allure of a treasure map, especially one marked with a mysterious X? How about some bold buccaneers? Or buried gold? TREASURE ISLAND by Robert Louis Stevenson has them all. This classic has been enchanting readers since 1883 (longer if you count the serialized publication). And even now in the day of global positioning systems, magnetometers and long range locators, this hunt for treasure is still exciting from dubious beginning to bloody end.
THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss is a hefty book. It’s volume alone makes this a better choice for highschool-age kids and possibly the more ambitious middle-schooler. But it’s definitely not one to be missed so if your kid is still a youngster, tuck this book away for later. Who knows? The series may finally be written by the time your kid gets around to reading it. But, then again, probably not. Patrick Rothruss is notoriously slow getting his books out. In the meantime enjoy what he’s written because it’s great. The first book in the series tells of the childhood of Kvothe and how he lost his parents, lived as a street urchin and ultimately won his way into a school of magic. The adventure he travels along the way isn’t an easy one and life is so hard and dangerous for Kvothe that you’ll likely be on the edge of your seat for all 662 pages.
I admit it. Yesterday’s post was a bit brief to say the least. I probably should have done ‘U is for Umm’ as if ‘Umm, I can’t think of anything to say.’ I’m hoping that today’s post is better. So here goes:
“There was something coming up the street on the opposite side . . . Something VERY tall and VERY black and VERY thin.”
It was also one of the VERY best of Roald Dahl’s characters, THE BFG (that’s Big Friendly Giant for those not familiar with this gem of children’s literature). Along with Matilda, The Witches and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the book, not the movie) The BFG is one of my favorites of Dahl’s books. After being kidnapped by the giant, the heroine of the story, an orphaned girl named Sophie, becomes friends with the BFG and hatches a plan that includes the Queen of England to capture the BFG’s child-eating neighbors. This book is great fun for kids of all ages.