The history and the future of tag is now available on:
The third installment of A Child’s First Book of Lies will come out in two days, on Friday, April 24th, 2020.
This is a silly parody of children’s non-fiction information books and an opportunity for students grade 6/7 and up to look at the concept of fake news.
So come learn everything untrue and complete lies about the topic of children’s games by visiting:
The video recording of myself reading Audrey (cow) will stay up on my Facebook page for the duration of our Covid-19 virus isolation, and perhaps through the summer.
As this is a story told through thirty-three voices (narrators), the cast list has now been shifted to this website. You can find it here:
This is a short heads up that I will be giving daily readings of my middle grade novel, Audrey (cow) on Facebook Live starting Monday, March 30, at 11:00 am PST (2:00 pm EST).
Please let any grade 3-6ers know about it, or if your family’s quarantine daily breaking point is around that time, take a breather with moi. There is a cast of thirty-three narrators telling the story. My acting abilities being what they are, I think that I can guarantee at least fifteen distinct voices among them.
Find me at: Dan Bar-el – Children’s Author
You can download the cast list from:
Click on “Character List” in my listing.
Wishing everyone good health in body and spirit.
A kind review in Quill & Quire this month, written no less by noted author, Charis Cotter (The Swallow: A Ghost Story).
I am very happy to announce that The Very, Very Far North has been included in Indigo’s Best Kids’ Books of 2019 list!
I went to see 2001 a space odyssey with my twelve year old brother when I was six. What the hell were my parents thinking? It’s more a testament to my brother’s particular sophistication at his young age. I certainly didn’t know what was going on, but I remember being utterly in awe of the psychedelic “Star Gate” sequence accompanied by the avant-garde music. I remember, too, being haunted for weeks by the giant foetus at the very end. I’ve seen the movie many times since and formulated my own theories to the meaning.
All this has come to mind because I took Friday afternoon off to see a recent film, Ad Astra, on a big screen. I’ve come to realize that I am drawn to movies about outer space in a way similar to what amusement park rides must be to thrill seekers: they both exhilarate and terrify me. It’s not the Star Wars kind of space film that does this. It’s not the Star Trek version either, although I do like the speculative ideas in which Star Trek explores. I suppose it’s more of the spiritual variety of space film, and I’m not even sure whether my attraction relies completely on the story, or just those moments depicting the silence and the emptiness of the universe, the lone human travelling farther and farther away from the only planet they might feel safe, towards … towards what? A closer understanding of god or merely the void, the darkness? Those moments, as depicted, make me shiver.
The astronaut characters in these movies are often damaged souls, struggling or highly introspective, which as film critic, Anthony Lane rightly points out, is completely opposite to reality. “Anyone prone to anxiety wouldn’t have been allowed within a quarter of a million miles of such a quest”. I wonder if this reaction or craving of mine is rooted only in that six year old’s experience in front of a giant screen, or does this speak to everyone’s personal precipice, as science and curiosity carries us forever onward? In the long ago days of maps with oceans leading towards a cliff’s edge, my counterpart may have sought seafarer stories for the same reason. But outer space, as depicted, is not storm-ridden. It’s a smooth, silent ride to infinity. And to be honest, it’s not really silent. There is always a soundtrack accompanying these sequences which play on my emotions, upsettingly discordant, or eerie or profound – not the John Williams’ space opera version. In my early twenties, I took a few stabs at writing a play involving an astronaut who refuses to return to earth, who has conversations with what might be god or a figment of his delusional mind. The play didn’t go anywhere. What I did know for certain was that in the soundscape to this production, Alan Stivell’s Renaissance de la Harpe Celtique would be heard, pulling on the heartstrings, as it were. That playwriting effort was it for me. I’ve never had a spark to write another outer space story since, yet I am always wanting to be told one.
I can’t say that Ad Astra is a successful film, in my opinion. It’s a little bit Kubrick, a little bit Heart of Darkness. If seen through a spiritual prism, I think I see where its intentions were, and as I’ve said, because of that, there are those moments within that visual narrative, that squeeze at my throat. What a thing to be praising, right? But ultimately, it’s about awe. Fear and exhilaration. The unknown. The opposite of boredom. Or cynicism.
Thank you Alex, of the Randomly Reading blog, for this review of the book.
This review comes courtesy of Kirsti Call (and the alliteration comes courtesy of moi).
This review comes from Kasey Giard of The Story Sanctuary.