Writing for children quiets the voices in your head

:[ June 6th, 2010

by Roscoe Stoneman, author of best-selling children’s literature such as Everyone Has Nipples and Snap! Goes the Femur!

Writing children’s literature is hard. You have to know your audience, and your audience is young and naive, and won’t appreciate a lot of your best jokes about Jews. On top of that, it’s difficult to really say what you want to say in language that kids will understand and that parents won’t give you crap for using. So you end up writing things like:

“The Prince saw the beautiful maiden, and his heart was filled with love!”

when what you really want to say is:

“The Prince wanted to plow her like a farmer with a brand new John Deere”

Under no circumstances can you mention the Prince’s boner.

Rhyming is tricky, too. When you’re writing for older kids, you can be more verbose and even use more grown-up words (though you usually can’t use “fuck”), but for younger kids they expect things to rhyme. Luckily, I learned how to rhyme in the army, where we used to march and chant things like:

I don’t know but I’ve been told
Nipples get hard when they’re cold

But not every story involves nipples, so you have to get creative with rhyming. I find it helps to pick character names and plot devices that lend themselves to easy rhyming. If you call your prince “Jack”, then there are lots of good rhymes, like “black” and “sack” and probably a few more. I made the mistake once of having a character called Enis the Pet Rock, which was really hard because “rock” doesn’t really rhyme with anything.

Smaller kids like animal characters. I don’t know why. But animals are usually easier to draw, which is good when you illustrate your own stories, like I do. That’s another thing I learned in the army, by the way. During my second tour of duty in Vietnam, I ended up with a bad poontang infection and spent a lot of time in sickbay, so I took up drawing to pass the time between morphine shots. One of my cartoons even became kind of famous and lots of copies circulated among the grunts. In it, a doctor tells a soldier that he has crabs, and the soldier replies, “I’m allergic to shellfish?!” I was even able to reuse that one for my book Winkie’s Magic Waterbed, though I had to change the soldier into a bunny rabbit.

When you combine good rhymes with animal characters, it’s hard to go wrong. Unless your story is about a duck, which I stay away from because the best possible rhyme is the one word you should never use.

Girls love horses and princes. I don’t know why. But one of my best sellers was Arvalon the Horse Prince, which is a clever social commentary about miscegenation disguised as story about a royal horse who wants to plow a beautiful maiden.

Boys love monsters. I don’t know why. But you have to make them kind of goofy looking monsters, because parents won’t buy merchandise of characters that make their kids shit their pants in terror. The guy who wrote Where the Wild Things Are knew this, which is why he dialed way back on the tentacles. I learned that the hard way when my book Orville Meets the Ovipositor sold poorly. There were some great rhymes in that one, too, as you can imagine.

But like everything else in life, writing for kids is mostly trial and error. For every success I’ve had, like Superwallaby and Stinky Blinky Likes A Drinky, there are disappointments like Poop Adventures and Charlie The Chimp Chases Chinamen. I’ll have some thoughts on how to give snappy titles to your books next time.

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Coming this weekend…

:[ June 4th, 2010

Roscoe Stoneman shares his tips on becoming a successful children’s author.

Seriously.

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Thank heavens for that!

:[ May 26th, 2010

From 25 Horribly Sexist Vintage Ads

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DHL’s Tardis is on the fritz again

:[ May 19th, 2010

Or something. Contemplate this, won’t you?

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Coming soon…

:[ April 27th, 2010

Roscoe Stoneman, Children’s Author.

You have been warned.

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Bask in its glory, puny mortals

:[ April 19th, 2010

It is the key.

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The Earth is telling us to stop what ever it is we are doing and listen up!

:[ April 17th, 2010

by Daniella A. Apple, Gaianaut

I’m getting to hear a lot more about the news these days because I’m in the hospital. I broke my leg by stepping on a seagull at the landfill when I was hunting for treasures so I can make art from the garbage of the decadent western social society. I think I killed the seagull, which would normally make me feel bad but I think it transfered its soul to me when it died and now we are together forever. That’s exactly what happened to Michael Jackson and Corey Feldman, I think.

Because I’m in the hospital I get to read the newspaper every day. I normally read the papers when one of them blows under the Highway 274 overpass, but usually they’re a few days old and yellow from hobo pee. The ones in the hospital are sanitized or something so you can’t even smell the pee anymore. There is also a TV but I don’t watch it because I don’t want to become some sort of zombie and have to follow Peter Mansbridge’s orders. And what happened to Knowlton Nash, anyway? I bet he knew too much.

The newspaper is full of stories about earthquakes all over the world. And something named Justin Bieber which appears to be a disease or something. Always wear condoms! Always! And now there is a story about a volcano in Iceland that is blowing up, and since Iceland is part of Norway I think we all know that someone is up to no good. All I know is that the Norwegians will only turn off the volcano when they have gotten what they want, and I don’t need to tell you what that is. I wish they would catch Justin Bieber and die.

What is really happening is obvious if you’re not a sheeple who is manipulated by the Corporations and Peter Mansbridge. The Earth is telling us to stop! Whenever there is an earthquake it either means that Mother Earth is angry or maybe Glooscap is dancing, but either way it is a big warning sign to the nations of the world to stop what they are doing and listen. Personally I think the Earth is telling us all to get rid of chemicals and vaccinations, but it could be other things too, like giving legal rights to our pet companion animals. Knowlton Nash would know, which is why CBC froze him.

The Iceland volcano turned off all of the airplanes in Europe, apparently. Shouldn’t the Delta and Pan Am and Air Canada and Air Jordan all take a good long look in the mirror and ask themselves why the Earth itself is rising up to disrupt their schedules? Now I’ve never flown before because I think you lose your soul when you pass through the wormhole, but lots of people do so clearly this is a message that should be heard loud and clear. Funny. People won’t listen. I’ve been telling them for years and they never listen to me, so why would they listen to Earth?

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The Sutters can eat a big bowl of cancer

:[ April 8th, 2010

by Reginald Phlegmingham, Flames Fan

‘Sup, bitches? I can tell you what’s up: my patience with my favourite team, the Calgary Flames. Or as I like to call them these days, The Sutter Circle Jerks. Oh I know what you’re thinking: “Doesn’t Reggie usually just point out Lord Edmund Bryll’s many glaring flaws?” True that. But right now I’m filled with righteous fury at the cluster fuck in Calgary, so I need to blow off some steam. Eddie gets the weak shit, ‘cuz that’s all he rates — but step back, because Reg is about to drop some weapons grade beat down on the Sutters. Assholes.

So there I was the other night, crammed into the Saddledome with 19,000 other fans to watch the Flames take on the San Jose Dipshits. As usual, the place smelled like Sportchek. I was in my luxury box with some of my homeboys from the local oil industry, who didn’t so much watch the game as tolerate it as background noise while they messaged their mistresses from their Blackberries. The usual shit, you dig?

But I wasn’t wasting any time on my Blackberry, I can tell you that straight up. My mistress? Ho can wait until the game is over, is the way I roll. Nope, I was watching my team get bounced from the motherfucking playoffs by a bunch of pussies in teal jerseys. Okay, so technically they weren’t eliminated until later in the evening when the Avalancheisn’tevenaproperteamname beat the Hongcouver Cafucks in overtime. But the Flames pretty much made sure they would miss the playoffs by basically playing like guttershite. Damn.

Who is to blame for this season’s fuckuperry? Let me give you a hint: In a just world, every last member of the Sutter family — including their wives, kids, dogs, and fucking goldfish — would be relegated to coaching PeeWee in Frozen Teat, Manitoba. Naw, that’s too harsh. The kids of Frozen Teat deserve better than to be coached by those inbreds.

Since the run to the Stanley Cup Finals in ’04, Daryl Sutter has architected a team that was perfect for bombing out in the first round of the playoffs. Those fuckers do more bed shitting than Lord Eddie when he forgets to wear his Depends. This year they couldn’t even wait until the playoffs to do that. After hiring his brother in the off-season, sending away the Dion for a collection of knick knacks from the Maple Leafs’ junk drawer, making a bunch of other trades a masturbating chimpanzee would avoid (Steve Staios? WTF?), swapping away all of his draft picks from now until Judgement Day, and crafting a roster who couldn’t score at a drunken cougar convention, Daryl and his kin should be quarantined to their pig farm or whatever the fuck it is they farm out in Hicksville, Alberta. I’ll tell you what they farm out that way: shitty hockey coaches, that’s what.

Well sir, I’m done with these bunch of half-assed pantywaists. The minute the Flames are no longer contenders is the minute I go shopping for another team to cheer for. I’ll be back once they start winning again. Does that make me a fair-weather fan? Yes. Do I give a shit? No. The Phlegmer is a winner, and he sticks by winners. Losers can all get AIDS and die.

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I could use some Rex Hudler enthusiasm right about now

:[ April 5th, 2010

Very low right now. Wish I could high-five my way out of it.

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iLine for the iPad and make lots of obnoxious iPuns!

:[ April 3rd, 2010

by Ingvar Jævel

Hello again to you all! Once again it is I, Ingvar! From Norway! This time it has only been a short while since I last wrote to you all! Consider yourselves very lucky! The last time I sent my own mother a birthday card was 2006! Right before she ran off with that asshole Swede!

Today I am very excited! Last time I wrote I told you all how I joined Scientology and then was forcibly un-joined from Scientology because I made Tom Cruise cry! That is okay because I didn’t find much spiritual fulfillment in Scientology! Only gibbering lunacy! And Jenna Elfman’s naked boobies covered in maple syrup, but that is a story I am not supposed to share! We Norwegians are discreet!

Now I am seeking spiritual fulfillment at the altar of America’s truest well of religious fervour! The Apple Store! I am waiting in line outside of a famous Apple Store waiting to “buy” a new computing device that will make life perfect and also make my dick longer! Not that it needs to be!

The famous Apple iPad will change the world by giving people the ability to talk about how world changing it is! I can’t wait to “buy” one and then tell everyone around me that it is perfect and beautiful and better than any computing device I have ever owned! I will tell them this before I have turned it on! I will tell them that if they do not own an iPad they are worthless and unworthy of my attention! I would tell them that anyway but now I can blame it on the iPad!

I will update this post once the lineup moves and I get a chance to “purchase” a famous iPad! I will let you know about its important features! Like the amount of RAMS it has! And whether you can watch important things on it, like Japanese Tentacle Porn!

UPDATE: I tried to get to the front of the line by telling the “Genius” at the door that I am a friend of Steve Jobs! But the “Genius” did not believe me! Steve is going to be so pissed!

UPDATE: The girl behind me tells me she loves Apple products because they “just work”! I tell her I love Apple products because they can show me Tentacle Porn! She is now very quiet! I think she is contemplating my wisdom!

UPDATE: The line is finally moving! I make mooing sounds to show everyone how they are acting like cattle! It is a hilarious joke but nobody laughs I think because they are waiting for the iPad to tell them it is okay to laugh!

UPDATE: One “Genius” asks me if I am Swedish because of my accent! Ha ha! It is a good thing I have a good sense of humour otherwise the “Genius” would never get the smell of dog shit out of the upholstery of his car! Instead he should be able to wash it off the door handles with only a little effort! Swedish indeed!

UPDATE: I just now notice that I do not make any iPuns at all so far! So here are some for your enjoyment! iDon’t iNtend to pay for my iPad! iTuck one in my jacket and iScuttle for the iExit! Puns are funny!

UPDATE: I now have an iPad! I am bigger than Jesus! The one problem is I can’t find where to stick the hex wrench to bolt all of the parts together! Fucking Swedes!

UPDATE: The last update was a joke of course! Swedes could never make something as beautiful as an iPad! They haven’t figured out how to make circuit boards out of knotty pine!

UPDATE: The iPad is very pretty! I show it to some homeless people and they were very impressed! Better than their lame ass computing devices, I can tell you that for sure!

UPDATE: I am posting this update from my iPad! I am better than you! Also, I have an iPad!

UPDATE: Now I am taking the famous iPad to a coffee shop! I want to see if the iPad can help me get laid! If so, then Steve Jobs’ life will not have been in vain!

UPDATE: The pretty girl at the coffee shop was very impressed with the iPad! She was not impressed with the way I pointed out her many personal flaws! But she put out anyway! Such is the power of the famous iPad! To my surprise it is not only good for Tentacle Porn!

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