Thursday, December 15, 2011

Snow Globes

I was visiting a friend yesterday, and on her fireplace mantle, I noticed the most intriguing snow globe. Inside the perfectly shaped glass dome, was a replica of New York City. I could see the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. I could even see Central Park with tiny horse drawn carriages roaming the streets and paths.
I was entirely captivated by the little world held within this water-filled globe. I had to shake it. And when I did, sparkly snow swirled around the city and eventually settled again on the streets.
Snow globes! Who thought of this quirky idea? And where was the first snow globe made. I realized I had just found another MUSE! After dinner, I went home to my writer’s studio and did some research. Here is what I found:
It was the turn of the 20th century in Vienna, Austria. A surgeon asked Mr. Erwin Perzy, a medical instrument specialist, to make the Edison light bulb brighter. The surgeon wanted a brighter light for his operating room.
Perzy knew that shoemakers often placed a globe of water in front of a candle to make brighter light. He figured he would use the same strategy with the light bulb. He would sprinkle the water with white grit for even more light magnification.
Since the white grit simply fell to the bottom, Perzy scrapped the idea for making a brighter light. But he was intrigued with how the white grit floated to the dome’s floor. It reminded Perzy of snow. This fascination led Perzy to create the first snow globe.
In fact, Perzy patented the idea and began mass manufacturing this new toy. By 1908, the snow globe had become so popular that Austrian Emperor Franz Josef gave him a special award for his toy making skills.
And the company is still thriving today. Erwin Perzy’s grandson, Erwin Perzy III, runs the business, and has made special snow globes for President Clinton and President Obama’s youngest daughter.
Today, snow globes are made by many other manufacturers. And some are much more fancier than Perzy’s Original Snowglobes – which still come on a simple black base with minimal subject matter inside the globe.
With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these “what if” questions will help you get started:
WHAT IF your main character got trapped inside a snow globe? How did it happen, and what did she/he have to do to get free?
WHAT IF New York City was really inside a snow globe. Is there a larger world outside of the snow globe. Who does this snow globe belong to? What happens when they shake it?
WHAT IF your main character had kept something secret inside a snow globe? What is it, and what would happen if somebody or something found out about it or wanted to steal it?
The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own “what if” question in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.
So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us!
With Imagination,
Professor Watermelon
The word of the day is “Austria”. Here is the definition: a country in central Europe. Vienna is the capitol city.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Frankenstein vs. Terminator (By: Ryan T.)

Chapter One: Frankenstein Gets a Pet

Once upon a……. whatever.  So, once there was a freaky maniac named Frankenstein.  He really was always alone. He sits in his mansion watching TV and eating potato chips.  Finally, he got his tushy up and said, “I NEED A PET!!!” 

So, he went to the freaky pet store, and he went in and there was a real vampire sitting at the front desk.  “Hello, welcome to the Freaky Pet Store. How can I help you?” he said in a deep voice.

Frankenstein said, “Oh, can I have an 8 foot Cobra please?”  

“Sure,” said the vampire. “Here is the food, and give him 5 cups of blood to drink every day, and this one is well trained.

“Thanks!” said Frankenstein.

“No problem,” said the vampire.

So, Frankenstein went home and he said to the pet, “I am going to call you Bob.” The Cobra smiled.

“Looks like you like your name,” said Frankenstein. Bob nodded.

So they went home and Frankenstein made Bob some food.

“Ok, so this is your food and here is 5 cups of blood,” said Frankenstein.

Bob wagged his tail and ate it with delight.  Frankenstein smiled, and he sat on his chair and turned on the TV, and he went on to cartoons, and then the TV shut off, and then guess who showed up on the TV screen? It showed the Terminator.

Chapter two: The Talk

The Terminator popped up on the TV screen.  

The Terminator said, “Hello! Got a pet too?”  

“Yes, I did, and who are you anyways? Said Frankenstein

“Well, I am the Terminator,” said the Terminator.  

“I have heard many stories about you,” said Frankenstein. 

“So, I have a pet dragon and I bet he can beat yours,” said Terminator. 

“Oh now that is a different subject. I believe that my pet, Bob, can beat your dragon,” said Frankenstein.  

“Well, if this is going to be a argument, there is a volcano crystal in my world and it makes you powerful. I am going to get it,” said Terminator. 

“Really,” said Frankenstein. “I am going to get it before you.” 

“Really! Then, I will pull you and your pet into my universe, and we will see about that,” said Terminator. 

“Noooooo!” said Frankenstein. Right when he said it, he saw the room twirl around and then he was gone.

Chapter three: Terminator’s world

Frankenstein fell on hard ground. He got up, and his pet was confused. 

“I think we are in Terminator’s world.” said Frankenstein. 

Bob nodded. Then Terminator went over to them. 

“Hi, this is my world. As you can see, you are going to battle me and my dragon,” said Terminator. 

“Terminator, what have you done?”  said Frankenstein.

“Well, I teleported you to my world,” said Terminator. “You have to battle me, ok,  so let’s go.”

He guided Frankenstein to a place. 

“Here! Wear this, and here is a sword! We are going to battle each other,” said Terminator. 

So,  they both put on their gear, and they stood at the edge of the volcano. 

“So, Frankenstein up on top of the volcano, there is a crystal in the air. Grab it and run down as fast as you can,” said Terminator. 

They stood there and waited for it to begin.                

Chapter four: The Battle

“Let’s go,” said Terminator.

So, they ran up the volcano, and Terminator swung his sword at Frankenstein. Frankenstein blocked it. Then, Frankenstein started battling with his sword, and then he ran even more.  Then Terminator tripped him, and Frankenstein landed on the ground.

This is your last look,” said Terminator.

Bob bit him hard.

“owwwwww!!!!” yelled Terminator.

Frankenstein kicked him, and Terminator flew and landed face first. 

“It’s on!” said Frankenstein.

Frankenstein ran up, and then Terminator jumped in front of Frankenstein. 

“Give up!” said Terminator.

“No,” said Frankenstein. 

They had a sword fight, and then terminator cut Frankenstein. 

“Oww!!” said Frankenstein. T

Then, Frankenstein kicked Terminator hard, and Terminator fell to the bottom of the volcano. 

“Oh, it’s on,” said Terminator.

Terminator called his dragon, and it was an electric dragon.  It struck lightning at Frankenstein, and it hit Frankenstein in the stomach.  Frankenstein fell to the ground huffing and puffing.  He felt like it had struck his soul out.

“Ha ha!” said Terminator. “I’m winning!”

“Not anymore,” said Frankenstein.

His eyes turned gold.

“What the heck?!” said Terminator.

Frankenstein smiled and threw his sword at Terminator, and it hit him. 

“Oww!!” said Terminator.

“Frankenstein! Someday I will get you!!!!!!” said Terminator.

He had a big black hole, and Frankenstein ran. Then, Terminator threw a grenade, and then Frankenstein caught it and threw it back at Terminator, and it blew up. 

Frankenstein ran up the hill, and finally he got the crystal.  Terminator jumped at him with a sword, and then Frankenstein grabbed a sword on the ground and stabbed Terminator. 

Then Terminator turned into gold dust.  Frankenstein went down the volcano, and he saw a portal. He and Bob jumped in the portal.  Then Frankenstein and Bob were at home with the crystal.