Fralalalalala – Skating through the Snow


Last week I had a chance to visit one of my favourite places in the world: the outdoor skating loop on Apex Mountain in the Okanagan Valley.

The loop meanders through the forest for about a kilometer. I always feel like I’ve entered an enchanted realm where I just have to skate my way through the world. This magical feeling usually comes to an abrupt end when I hit the slope on the way down, as I always inevitably crash into the snowbank (I’m quite good at skating; it’s the stopping that’s the problem).

But when the sun sets and the coloured lights begin to glimmer on the snow along the truth, well this truly is a magical place. So, for those of you who keep asking me how to find the Land of Een, this might be the next best thing!



An early holiday gift for Kendra

Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in KazahAn early Auld Meryn’s gift arrived today in the form of a new review for Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah, which you can read at Charlotte’s Library.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a fabulous review, mostly because she comments on how my plot hangs together. Anyone who has talked to me about my process on this book knows that getting all of the details of the time travel correct caused me weeks upon weeks of angst. Ah, if only I could go back in time to tell myself that it would all turn our all right!

And what’s Auld Meryn’s Eve, you ask? Oh—well, that’s a holiday that the Eens celebrate on the Winter Solstice. It’s rather like their version of Christmas.

If you want to get the full scoop on Auld Meryn’s Eve, I refer you to the Eencyclopedia!

‘Twas the Night Before Yoda Yulefest

Since tonight I’m hosting my annual Yoda Yulefest party, I thought I would re-post my poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Yoda Yulefest, which has gone through a facelift since last year. (Many thanks to kc dyer for helping out this very poor poet!)

Santa Yoda

‘Twas the Night before Yulefest

‘Twas the night before Yulefest, not a sound to be heard
From a geek, from a dork, not even a nerd .  .  .
The sabres were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Master Yoda soon would be there.

The Padawans were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of green aliens danced in their heads.
With a sigh and a smile I took off my clone trooper cap
Put down my action figures and prepared for a nap.

When out in the galaxy arose such a boom,
I sprang from the bed in a fast, nerd-like zoom.
Away to the window I flew laser-fast,
Tore open the blinds like an X-wing crash.

The stars glimmered above in a marvellous sky,
Giving lustre to objects that soared up so high,
When, what to my spectacled eyes should appear,
But a tiny green space ship – and a Jedi so near.

My nerdy senses had clearly achieved their quota,
For I knew in a moment, this must be old Yoda.
With his friends from a galaxy far, far away,
Their names he called out, in a voice clear as day:

“Now Leia, now 3P0, now Luke and Obi-wan,
On Anakin, on R2, Chewbacca and Han!’
To the dunes of Tatooine, to the swampy Dagobah!
But first to the geek’s house; the geek’s house, ha-ha!”

As nerds whimper before a big bully’s fists fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, break down and cry,
So up to the house-top wee Yoda did soar,
With a space-ship of wisdom, and a little bit more…

Holiday Jawas

And then, in a twinkling, I heard from above,
The coo of an alien, like young Vader in love,
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney old Yoda then came with a bound.

He was dressed all in green, from his feet to his ears,
And he looked tho’ he must have lived nine hundred years;
A bundle of sayings he held on his tongue,
Ready to dole out to the old and the young.

His eyes—how they twinkled! His ear twitches so askew
He looked so merry, with his great sack of presents too!
When he paused for a moment to nibble on a cookie,
I hoped he had brought my wish—my very own Wookie.

Then his cane he held tight in his gnarled little claw,
And he started to dance without fumble or flaw.
With his very broad belly and round little face,
He looked far more jolly than old Jedi Mace.

Holiday  Star Wars.

He was truly so small, but I suddenly thought,
This is Master Yoda, and size matters not.
He looked at me then, with a wink of his eye,
And said, “Do or do not, there can be no try.”

Then he smiled and passed on just a few more words,
Of support for all the world’s geeks, dorks, and nerds,
And laying a finger against one green cheek,
Went back up the chimney without even a squeak.

Unburdened of thoughts, he climbed into his vessel,
And launched into the sky, like the Falcon ran the Kessel,
But I heard him exclaim, right before his ship flew,
“Good tidings to all—and may the force be with you.

Santa Yoda Cookies

Got something to sell?

Then you might consider buying advertising space in the Fairytale Times!

As part of a workshop to teach the newspaper-style prepared these ads for our imagined newspaper. (They also did fairytale news articles, and fairytale advice columns).

With all of my students in my various classes, there are far too many advertisements to share with you, but some of my favourites are below.

Now all someone needs to do is create an advertisement for Ratchet Ringtail so that he get some of those inventions moving off the shelves!

Fairytale Advert.

Fairytale Advert.

Fairytale Advert.

Fairytale Advert.

Fairytale Advert.

Fairytale Advert.

Fairytale Advert.

Fairytale Advert.

Fairytale Advert.

Happy Birthday to me

Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes this past week. I am ever-grateful for all of the friendship and support.

In all honesty, one of my best gifts was spending the actual day of my birthday wrapping up my season’s worth of programs on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, where I have been working as writer-in-residence at Kinnikinnick Elementary School in Sechelt and running the Wizard’s Workshop, an after-school program, at Cedar Grove Elementary in Gibsons.

The kids have been so full of enthusiasm and creativity; their love for world-building has been truly infectious. I thought I would share with you (and them!) some of the photos I managed to capture over the past few weeks. You’ll see some Kendra-inspired drawings, as well as all sorts of wonderful props and magical illustrations.

Sunshine Coast workshops.

Sunshine Coast workshops.

Sunshine Coast workshops.

Sunshine Coast workshops.

Sunshine Coast workshops.

Sunshine Coast workshops.

Sunshine Coast workshops.

Sunshine Coast workshops.

Sunshine Coast workshops.

Sunshine Coast workshops.

Sunshine Coast workshops.

Get ready to rumble!

Rumble Pit Game

If you were at any of the launch parties for Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah, you might have played the “Battle in the Rumble Pit,” card game that we were running as part of the celebrations. It was such fun that I decided to post a variation of it on the activities page of the Kendra Kandlestar website.

Head on over there to download and print the cards so you can start hosting your own rumbles. Along the way, you’ll be able to revisit some of your favorite characters and enchanted items from not only the Rumble Pit, but from other parts of Kendra’s adventures.

You can be an Eenling who might use the Shard from Greeve to battle a dragon with a pickle. Or perhaps you will be an Een Wizard armed with a pumpkin trying to defeat an Unger who is using an Een toy for a weapon!

The possibilities are endless—especially if you decide to make your own cards (which I strongly encourage you to do).

Just visit to get started! In the meantime, here’s some card snapshots to whet your appetite.

Eenling Rumble Pit Card. Shard from Greeve Rumble Pit Card.

Dragon Rumble Pit card. Pickle Rumble Pit card.

Een Wizard Rumble Pit Card. Pumpkin Rumble Pit card.

Unger Rumble Pit card. Een toy Rumble Pit card.

Een Spy Rumble Pit card. Wand Rumble Pit card