Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Instead of Doing Homework

Simini and I have been brainstorming. She's a great illustrator. I like to write. So we feel pretty qualified to organize a collaborative work with some of the best in the business. I ask you now, general public, to consider the following plan of utter and shocking brilliance:

First, contact Danielle Steel.
Kindly ask her for the rights to re-illustrate her children's book masterpiece, Freddie's Accident.
Intrigued? You should be. Check out the manuscript. Favorite excerpts include -

One afternoon, when his sisters and some of their friends were playing in the backyard, Freddie decided he had had enough of girls. I'm not going to analyze this one too deeply.

Suddenly, Freddie kicked the ball right out into the street. Without looking left or right to check for traffic, he ran into the street to get the ball. He knew John would be mad if he lost it. Freddie ran right after the ball without ever looking to see if there were any cars coming, and suddenly, there was a terrible screech. Someone was shouting at him, he could hear a car horn right near his ears, and just as he heard it, he felt something very big knock him down and hit him very hard on the shoulder. Who knew getting hit by a car could be so excrutiatingly extended and bland?

"Remember," the doctor said, "never run into the street after a ball. Never cross a street without looking, or without a grown-up. Never play in the street. And never, ever go anywhere with a stranger." Gee, thanks, doc!

Freddie's Mommy made him some soup that night. When he came into the kitchen, she told him to sit down at the kitchen table. And when Megan and Allison came in and started chasing each other around the room, she told them to sit down too. "It's very dangerous to run around in the kitchen. Stay away from the stove. There are hot pots here, and you could get burned if you touch them, or spill them." One trip to the hospital in one day was more than enough, she said, and Freddie agreed with her. He knew many of the other kitchen rules: Don't use sharp knives; don't play with kitchen equipment; and don't use any of the machines without a grown-up. And, of course, don't use the oven or the stove, and don't ever play with matches. And don't breathe. And never leave the house without your bubble suit! And be sure to bathe in Purell thrice daily!

Got a feel for it? Good.

Now, Simini suggested, and I concur, that Freddie's Accident might be better exploited, er, I mean, developed as a graphic novel chapter book for young readers. Each chapter could be a new accident:

Freddie and the Lawn Mower
Freddie Learns about Rabies
Freddie's Frozen Flagpole Debacle
Freddie: Watch out for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning!

Thi$ idea i$ $ounding $uper $well...

Of course, for illustration, we'd have to go with none other than the feminine, delicate, sensitive artist, Allie Brosh.
Artistically bold and honest.

I think our next step is to set up a Twitter chat with our team. Feedback?

Friday, September 17, 2010

For You, Lurlene

I had to read a Lurlene McDaniel book for my Adolescent Lit class. We've got to survey the good, the bad, and the ugly, people.

As restitution for my suffering, I'd just like to take a moment to openly mock Lurlene McDaniel.

Actually, it's the easiest thing I will do today. I will reproduce here, verbatim, her "You'll Want to Read These Other Inspiring Novels by Lurlene McDaniel" list. The mockery will then be perfectly self-inflicted.


One Last Wish novels
Mourning Song
A Time to Die
Mother, Help Me Live
Someone Dies, Someone Lives
Sixteen and Dying
Let Him Live
The Legacy: Making Wishes Come True
Please Don't Die
She Died Too Young
All the Days of Her Life
A Season for Goodbye
Reach for Tomorrow

The Dawn Rochelle novels
I Want to Live
So Much to Live For
No Time to Cry
To Live Again

Other fiction by Lurlene McDaniel
Angel's in Pink: Kathleen's Story
The Time Capsule
Garden of Angels
A Rose for Melinda
Telling Christina Goodbye
How Do I Love Thee: Three Stories
Angel of Mercy
Angel of Hope
Starry, Starry Night: Three Holiday Stories
The Girl Death Left Behind
Angels Watching Over Me
Lifted Up by Angels
Until Angels Close My Eyes
Till Death Do Us Part
For Better, for Worse, Forever
I'll Be Seeing You
Saving Jessica
Don't Die, My Love
Too Young to Die (didn't we already have this one???)
Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever
Somewhere Between Life and Death
Time to Let Go
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
When Happily Ever After Ends

and my all time favorite,

drum roll please...


Excerpts from Angels in Pink: Raina's Story forthcoming.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hilary's Rules for Completing Long Reading Assignments

First, the Qualifications for Long Reading Assignment Status:
1. Longer than 5 textbook pages OR longer than 2 academic publication pages, the latter of which intimidate me inexplicably.
2. Regardless of length, beastly philosophical approach OR intense word choice OR both.

Second, the Rules:
1. You must read the equivalent of one page from an academic publication before being rewarded.
2. You do not have to perfectly understand each page, but you must get the overall gist before being rewarded.
3. If you cheat, you have to read two horrible pages in a row. No exceptions.

Third, the Rewards:
1. Paint two finger nails (one coat limit, please).
2. Watch one episode of Vlogbrothers.
3. Go to the bathroom and read one chapter of Elsewhere. To prevent cheating, the bathroom is conveniently claustrophobic and dank.
4. Go upstairs and say hello to Simini. 5 minute limit.
5. Only one reward per page read.

In an Emergency:

It's going to be a long semester. Photo credits: Simini.

The End.