By Darvell Hunt
I made fun of a popular children's book writer and got a signed copy of one of his books as a prize. Talk about positive reinforcement for bad behavior!
It was all in good fun, though. And even children's book writer Rick Walton was present and joined in with the laughter.
Last week I attended the weeklong "BYU Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Workshop." All those who attended could participate in a daily writing contest on four of the five days and I was awarded second place on Tuesday. I'd thought I'd post my winning entry here on the blog.
The contest assignment was to write a 300-word scene putting two writing conference faculty members into an elevator with a wandless Harry Potter. Now before you read this, I should tell you that I chose to write about novelist Martine Leavitt and children's book writer Rick Walton. Martine has won awards for writing young adult novels about homeless boys in Canada and Rick is a prolific children's book writer who is known for his goofy children's stories.
Here's my contest entry, entitled Alabama Alligators and Bolivian Bats. It doesn't bother me that it doesn't make a lot of sense, because, hey, it's humor!
Alabama Alligators and Bolivian Bats
By Darvell Hunt
“Hello, little boy, are you lost?” asked Martine Leavitt.
“My name’s Harry Potter,” said the boy.
“Harry Potter, scary squatter, stuck in the elevator and wants some water,” Rick Walton said and giggled.
“Water? No, not water,” Harry said. “I need my wand. I seem to have lost it.”
“You’re lost? I knew it!” Martine said. “Where do you live, Harry? Can I help you find your way home?”
“Home?” Rick’s eyes brightened and a big grin spread across his face. He pulled a pen and pad from his back pocket and began scribbling.
“No, I’m okay,” Harry said. “But if I had my wand, I could get us out of this elevator.”
“Let’s see, Alabama Alligators, Bolivian Bats,” Rick chanted as he wrote.
“You want to get out of here?” asked Martine. “Are you running away?”
“California Crickets, you thought I’d say cats!”
“Away from the Dursleys? Yeah, I’d love to run away from them.”
“Dogs from Dover Delaware, Elephants from . . . uh, Efrica.”
“Oh, you mustn’t run away, Harry!” Martine said and then looked at Rick. “Elephants from Efrica?”
“First draft. My editor’ll fix it,” he said. “Um, now then, Floridian Frogs and Gophers from Ghana.”
“You ignore him, Harry,” Martine said. “He’s just a silly children’s writer.”
“Silly me, silly you, Harry’s gonna live in a great a big shoe!”
“Shoes? Oh, Harry, do you need new shoes?” Martine asked.
“No, I don’t need new shoes, I need my wand! Sheesh. I think Snape might have taken it.”
“Um, no, Saskatchewan Snakes and Tibetan Tigers won’t come until, oh, maybe page six,” Rick said.
“Oh, yes, we’re moving again!” Harry said with a cheer. “Boy, I’ve gone face-to-face with Voldemort, but you real-life muggles sure scare the living bejeebies out of me!”