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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Snakes, Snails, Puppy Dog Tails…Why Do Puppy Tails Get A Bad Wrap?

I’ve been conducing writing workshops at some local schools and I’ve noticed a trend, boys are pretty darn creative. And very clever. Now this shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. The bestseller lists are full of male authors (so is Oprah’s book club). But I guess since the young adult genre is so focused on adolescent girls, we sometimes forget the boys sitting next to them.

Case in point: my workshops center around a class creating an outline for a short story. The times I had boys participating in the class, the stories either turned very spooky (think dead bodies in the basement) or very funny (think pranks and jokes). When I had all-female groups, the stories leaned more toward the romantic and the “popular girls.”

Boys just think differently. Very differently. And I mean that in a good way.

For example, earlier this week, I asked a class of 6th graders to come up with an idea to start a story. It had be something true from their own life. We had lots of stories of broken arms, lost pets, etc. Then one little boy raised his hand and said this:

(I’m paraphrasing)
“One time I took a stick of butter and buttered my entire kitchen floor. Then when my brother came home, he walked into the kitchen, slid and went flying across the room. He almost broke his arm. It was awesome.”

It took every ounce of restraint I had not to roll on the floor laughing. I can’t imagine the parents’ reaction. You know you should be mad. Your kid could have seriously hurt someone. But he BUTTERED your entire floor! Come on, that’s comedy. And think of the patience and forethought that took.

It’s a good thing I don’t have kids. I think I’d buy him an ice cream cone for that one.

So these boys clearly have the minds to write YA, they’re very creative and they add a lot of spark to my workshops. Now if we can only get them to read the genre, maybe the publishing industry wouldn’t need all those layoffs after all.


For starters, NPH (Neil Patrick Harris) was hysterical on Saturday. He rocked that episode, particularly the SNL Short of him playing the Doogie Howser theme song. But my favorite moment of the night, came at the very end when they ripped on the Burger King Whopper Virgins. Have you seen those commercials? They’re so stupid that you think the actual commercial is a spoof. For starters, BK is acting like the people of Budapest, Hungary live in isolation—they’ve got a population of 1.7 million and they have a Burger King and a McDonalds! Anyway, the commercials are dumb and deserve to be ripped on. I couldn’t find the original clip on SNL’s site, so I’m embedding the YouTube link. Hopefully it’s not removed by the time you watch this. ;)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog Diana! Your last few blogs have had me laughing out loud! I do agree NPH was EXTREMELY funny last Saturday. My favorites were the "saving broadway" and "first two names" skits. Very creative - and hats off to everyone at SNL for still being funny without my other heros - Tina Fey and Amy Pholer.

January 15, 2009 at 12:52 PM  

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