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The Order of Oddfish


Pulsating Brains, Erudite Karp, Florida Drama, and Other Miscellany

February 9, 2012

Observe the pulsating brain in the jar. Observe IT! Bow to IT! KNOW ITS INSCRUTABLE POWER!

This was my nephew Theo’s Christmas gift to me. What a doozy, eh? The flashing lights! The subaqueous cogitations! I keep it on my writing desk now. I will bring it everywhere I go for the rest of my life. I love it. Thanks, Theo!

Speaking of nephews and disembodied brains: Theo, if you remember, played Charles Wallace in our 90-second version of A Wrinkle in Time that kicked off the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival last year. Actually, did you know this year is the 50th anniversary of Wrinkle? To commemorate this, this Saturday (2/11) Thalia Kids’ Book Club at the Symphony Space in New York is putting on a blowout event. There will be readings of Wrinkle by Jane Curtin (!), as well as appearances by NYPL librarian and my partner-in-crime Betsy Bird, as well as 3 Newbery medalists: Rebecca Stead (of When You Reach Me, who also appeared at our 90-Second Newbery screening in New York), Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia) and Lois Lowry (The Giver)! And also R.L. Stine (Goosebumps), whom I remember not in his 1990s horror-writer incarnation, but when he was Jovial “Bob” Stine back in the 1970s and 1980s, turning out hilarious books that I read and re-read again and again: The Absurdly Silly Encyclopedia & Fly Swatter and Don’t Stand in the Soup: The World’s Funniest Guide to Manners. What tragic thing happened to that changed “Jovial Bob” to “R.L.”, from laughter to horror? The mind boggles . . . then wanders . . .

Oh, wait! What I wanted to say is that they’ll be showing our 90-Second version of A Wrinkle in Time at this event. I wish I could be in New York to be in the room for that. It’s an honor. I hope it gets at least a chuckle from Jane Curtin, who is in my personal Quadrivium of Awesome Stern 1970s Ladies (joining Sigourney Weaver, Candace Bergen, and Jodie Foster).

Remember the Order of Odd-Fish fan art gallery show / costumed dance party? Perhaps you remember how a marvelous stranger jetted in from San Francisco, showed up at the party dressed as Sefino, and proceeded to stay in character the rest of the evening (he’s on the left):

His name is John Karp, and on his blog St. John Karp this week, he has a very insightful essay about The Never-Ending Story that also happens to mention The Order of Odd-Fish a few times. It’s worth reading, especially if you’re a fan of The Never-Ending Story, and baffled at how the movie is so different from the book. It’s a fascinating take on the story overall. Thanks awfully for the kind words in there, John!

So . . . the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival in Portland is coming up, March 3! Co-hosted by me the lovely and talented Laini Taylor, author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Lips Touch, and much more. The deadline for entries from Portland is Monday, February 13. I’ve already received some great ones. Keep them rolling in!

In the meantime let’s enjoy a two videos from the previous screenings that I haven’t had a chance to post yet. These are from the Lighthouse Homeschoolers Drama Club in Lakeland, Florida. The first one I received from them is of Richard Peck’s A Year Down Yonder, adapted by Kyle, his brother, Bridgette, and Sarah. The book is about a girl during the depression who must go down from Chicago to downstate Illinois and live with her tough, eccentric grandmother. Here we see when Grandma Dowdel foils some local boys who want to vandalize her “privy”:

The olde-tymey sepia effect was a nice touch, and all the acting was great. Grandma Dowdel! What a juicy role that is. ALSO: the cream in the face, and the instant replay, was a hoot.

The drama club also did When You Reach Me, adapted by Evie, Kyle, Kurt, Alvaro, Sarah, and Lili:

Another superior entry from the Lighthouse Homeschoolers club! The “Laughing Man” totally stole the show. I like how Julia strolls up, “explains” time travel, and then saunters away as Miranda gives a completely baffled look. And even a well-placed “Wilhelm” scream! Plus, the way Miranda looks at the camera at the end is priceless.

Thanks, Lighthouse Homeschoolers!