Toothpick Coincidence

Juniper Jinx.That’s the name of a character. Not mine though (oh, how I wish I had come up with). This is the invention of a student I taught last week at Suncrest Elementary.

We were designing heroes and one grade-four girl came up with this fabulous name for her protagonist! Toothpick Coincidence. It has quite a ring to it, I think. In fact, I encouraged the student to not only name her character this, but also her entire story.

If this delicious concept wasn’t enough, this student also came up with a very interesting sidekick. His name is GUB and (if memory serves me correctly) this stands for “Gross Underwear Bacteria.” The story itself involves a perilous journey up a nose where Toothpick coincidence has to face his greatest fear. Yes, you guessed it. Boogers.

Well, speaking of sidekicks, I thought I’d post on this page some of the illustrations of Kendra’s sidekicks that will appear in the forthcoming book, The Crack in Kazah. If the characters look a little different than they have in past books, well then that’s because . . . they are.

I could tell you more, but then what would be the fun of that? You’ll just have to wait . . .


Professor Bumblebean

Uncle Griffinskitch battles.

I hate eggs

Krakes hatching.Every kid who meets me knows this. In fact, they gleefully tease me about it. Well, I tend to take such things and use them as fuel for inspiration.

In Kendra Kandlestar and the Shard from Greeve, I dropped poor Kendra right smack dab in the middle of a giant Krake hatchery, just as hundreds of eggs were about to hatch. Of course, if you are at all familiar with that story, then you know that we didn’t get to see the eggs actually hatch. Seems like a shame, so I made sure for Book IV that we revisit that eggicious locale so that we can witness the birth of hundreds of Krake chicks (or Krakelings, as they’re known) all at once.

I actually think the baby Krakes are quite adorable and cute. And there will even be a scene in which Kendra and Oki get to ride the Krakelings. This not only serves a delightful fun, but satisfies the requests of one of my readers (you know who you are, Matthew) who has implored me to have Kendra go on a Krake ride. I’m not sure this scene will turn out quite as Matthew had hoped—but I do my best. After all, I am just the humble chronicler of Kendra’s adventures, and am not always exactly in control of how they turn out.

Krake ride.

Even in Korea, you can get your geek on

I spent today in Seoul with my teaching partner, Kallie George, doing a bit of shopping and just stretching our legs. I always love to go to Insadong, the famous market street, so that I can partake in poo dough (see my post from my last trip to to Seoul), and visit some of my favourite stores.

I’ve been to Insadong many times, but this time I stumbled upon a type of toy museum that I somehow have missed in the past. I only wish my friend James McCann had been with me—he would have loved it! Just check out these photos!

Toy museum.

Toy museum Insadong.

Darth Maul statue in the toy museum.

Earlier in the day, we breakfasted at a cute café near Insadong that was filled with antique furniture and knick-knacks. Just check out some of the colours that played upon the walls:


The café also had a wood-burning stove, and we huddled close to it, craving the warmth. See, while in Seoul, we’ve been staying in an old traditional house and while it has been a very neat experience, we’ve also found it very cold. You sleep in a small room on a mattress on the floor and the only heat comes from beneath the floor. So it’s rather like camping. The bathroom is also in a separate chamber and you have to go outside to reach it.

Here’s a picture of my room (yes, even Korea, I don’t make my bed).

My bedroom in the traditional house.

Here’s the lane leading up to the house, which is over one hundred and fifty years old.


Finally, here’s a snapshot of the courtyard.


It was quite picturesque this morning. I slid open my door to see wet snow drifting down around the crooked pine. It was a moment of magic!