August 8, 2008

Lots of Good Fun That Is Funny . . .

Yes, I dragged my nearly 14 year-old-son on The Cat in the Hat ride at Islands of Adventure. While waiting in line, embarrassed, he read the walls that contained the text from The Cat in the Hat “. . . lots of good fun that is funny.”

Since he rode The Cat in the Hat ride for me, I rode Revenge of The Mummy – an indoor roller coaster in the dark -- with him. Four times!

I also took our sons to Wonder Works in Orlando. My husband referred to it as the upside down museum because it looks like the building is upside down. Inside, we rode a virtual roller coaster, learned that a mosquito has 47 teeth, experienced an earthquake with a 5.3 magnitude and ate really bad pizza. Not all at the same time.

During down time on our family vacation in Orlando – okay, hubby worked the whole time at a conference – I read. Two delightful books reminded me that writing should be good fun that is funny.

A Beginning, a Muddle and an End: The Right Way to Write Writing by Avi and illustrated by Tricia Tusa tickled my funny bone. Avon, a snail, wants to write. His friend Edward, an ant, helps him. Here are a few sentences from the first chapter that showcase some of the wild wordplay:

Avon sighed. “The truth is, Edward,” he said, “I’ve read a lot of adventures. And I’ve been on my own adventures. But I’m making no progress writing about my adventures.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that,” said Edward. “Do you know anything about why?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s at the end of the alphabet,” said Avon, “next to Z.”

I can't imagine a writer who wouldn't enjoy this little gem.

The other book I read that reminded me to have good fun that is funny was Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex.


You must read it. Now. I’ll wait.


It's that good.

Got it?


Snortle. Chortle. Guffaw.

Wasn't it delicious?

What did you think of “The Creature from the Black Lagoon Doesn’t Wait an Hour Before Swimming?”

Me, too. Loved it.

Can’t wait to read the follow-up, Frankenstein Takes the Cake, but I can’t right now because I’m smack in the middle of The True Meaning of Smekday by, um, yeah, Adam Rex.

The guy writes perfect poetry, illustrates uniquely and has written a tremendously creative novel. Yup, hate him.

Actually I don’t. How could I? He's from my hometown -- Philly. Besides, I’m in awe that he retained that unbridled creative spark most children have, but usually have beaten out of them by middle school. Not Adam Rex. He's all about good fun that is funny.

The True Meaning of Smekday is about a Boov (alien) named J.Lo. Yeah, really. J.Lo. And a spunky 11-year-old named Gratuity. Yeah, really. Gratuity. But you can call her Tip. Somewhere beyond the hilarious text is an important message about how people treat each other and how we can do a better job of it. Even though the novel comes in at over 400 pages, I’m reading it as slowly and deliberately as possible because I don’t want it to end.

If I haven’t convinced you to treat yourself to his books yet, read Gratuity and J.Lo Present: 10 Reasons to Read The True Meaning of Smekday.

Then take a look at this clip:

Prepare yourself for a change of topic with absolutely no transition.

Here it is . . .

Now for a completely silly contest with a grand prize of absolutely nothing: A few days ago, I walked by a store and a receipt fluttered to my feet. Being a nosy, um, curious person, I snatched the receipt and examined it. The single item on it was for a pink cocktail dress. And the cost was $7.99 plus tax.

Can you name the store? (Bonus points awarded if you do it in rhyme.)

Now go have some fun that is funny!

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