In Which I Judge My Own Writing Part IX

It is time to judge the book I wrote when I was ten again! This book is called Spy Academy and the Secret of Ethelbertha Harrison, so as you can tell it takes place at a spy school. In this weekly feature  I recap a chapter and provide you with sarcastic commentary. 

Part I | Part IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VI | Part VII | Part VIII

So in the last chapter the kids decide that they have to open the locked door at the eight floor, which means they’ll need a bobby pin, which means they’ll need a chicken (as in food not a live one) to give to Door, who so happens to own a bobby pin (because bobby pins are so are guys this is their only option). But now it’s time for Christmas! And apparently according to the chapter title it’s a very funny Christmas. Why? Let’s find out shall we.

Both Laila and Ricky stayed at the school for the break, because Ricky didn’t want to go home and Laila’s parents had to go to Paris for work. Then there’s a recap of where everyone else went in one entire sentence which is horrible to read. Anyway, the two who stayed behind decide to go to Door, who’s murdering a chicken. BECAUSE SHE’S A CHEF WHO WORKS IN A KITCHEN IT’S REALLY NOT THAT HARD TO GET A CHICKEN GUYS. Oh never mind she’s not actually murdering a chicken. It’s already dead. I have no idea why she’s screaming ‘HAJAAH! GET THAT CHICKEN! TONIGHT YOU’RE IN MY STOMACH’ if it’s already dead but okay. Let’s not question my ten-year old self’s logic.

So I’m starting to remember this chapter and I think nothing really happens. I just wrote about how all the characters spend their holidays. So interesting. Much important for the plot. So while Ricky, Laila and Door just eat a lot, Zoey is sitting on a bench in Castricum (okay this is sort of important because there’s a ‘famous poulterer’s shop’ there where she’ll buy a chicken for Door but since this plot line is ridiculous and makes no sense it really isn’t that important) and sighs because she misses the school and her friends. Then she goes inside the shop and buys a chicken. IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF THE HOLIDAYS. WHY ARE YOU GIVING DOOR A TWO WEEKS OLD CHICKEN OH MY GOD.

Omg. Patricia’s paragraph is so important to the plot. She’s at the dolphinarium and is feeding a dolphin. Oh and the dolphin makes her wet. That’s pretty much it.

So Reane is snowboarding. First paragraph is about her worried parents because she’s missing. Second is of her lying in the snow with a bruised ankle, but have no fear! Her father finds her and brings her back to the hotel. Omg that’s like super important to the plot. Big foreshadowing right there.

Back to Laila and Ricky, who are going to the Great Hall for dinner. And oh my, do I see something relevant happening there? They conveniently overhear Professor Flubbertjes (still not okay that I named a teacher that. Or a character in general) and Heyligers (who glares at Laila) talking. Flubbertjes says that he ‘said that I might believe you’ and ‘Lil, listen, it’s probably a lot of fun, reading those tarot cards, but it’s nonsense! How was I supposed to know that you were listening.’

And then Laila and Ricky show off their spy skills. They figure out that Heyligers was listening to the tour and now thought Flubbertjes believed her (this is really vague, but from a letter that Zoey, Laila and Bryan found last chapter it is deducted that because first years figured out the ‘secret of the projector’, first years will also solve the mystery of Ethelbertha Harrison. Heyligers got this from tarot cards) – what a deduction. And once again 10-year old me calls Heyligers, who is in her forty old: ”Don’t mind professor Heyligers, she’s getting old and has nothing to do, so she keeps herself busy with divination’. I wonder if this too was inspired by Harry Potter (the answer is most likely yes).

Omg I can’t believe how long this chapter is when practically nothing happens. I mean it’s irrelevant that Zoey finds a flier of a petting zoo. Or that Reane is sitting on the couch moping because she’s no longer allowed to snowboard. Or that Patricia gets wet again, but this time it’s the fault of a walrus. Okay but the paragraph after that is actually hilarious. Because it’s so bad.

Laila and Ricky are wandering the empty halls and are just talking about how boring it’s getting, when a screaming figure runs by them. It is Door, running away from Heyligers, holding another chicken (again, one ready to cook, not a live one) because apparently chicken nowadays is really hard to get by: ”I NEED THAT CHICKEN! GIVE ME THAT CHICKEN!” Heyligers yells. Okay then.

”FORGET IT” – Door
”NO! I WON’T FORGET IT!” – Heyligers
”FALL DEAD!” – Door
”NO I WON’T FALL DEAD!” – Heyligers (lol great comeback)
”RUN AFTER ME!” – Door, probably trying some reverse psychology or something
”YES YOU ARE!” – Door
”WHATEVER!” – Door
”NO!” – Door

Aaaand the award for best dialogue goes to…

While Patricia is searching for stranded porpoises (more foreshadowing! not), Bryan is running for his live. He had just been strolling through London, when all of a sudden Royal National Guards started chasing him (why). He reaches a dead end, but he jumps into the air, makes a backward salto and ends up behind the Guards. And then he outruns them. I think they weren’t actual Guards, but some bad guys in disguise, though I don’t know if it’s ever explained.

At the other side of the world Zoey is feeding animals at the petting zoo. For some reason she’s working for the owner, even though she had to pay an entrance fee?? What the hell?

And then it ends with Laila and Ricky reflecting on their holidays and looking forward to their classes and friends returning. What a great chapter. Really couldn’t be left out. That would be such a huge impact on the plot.

Sooo… If someone were to ask for your food, would you run away too? Let me know in the comments!


In Which I Judge My Own Writing Part VIII

It is time to judge the book I wrote when I was ten again! In this weekly feature (though I took a break from blogging and when I returned I kind of forgot woops) I recap a chapter  and provide you with sarcastic commentary. It takes place at an academy for spies and they have started their first day of class.

Part I | Part IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VI | VII

So it’s time for chapter six, which is called ‘punishment’. Wow. I wonder what will happen??

In the last chapter Bryan decided to go and ask professor Heyligers’ first name, because she could be Lilian. So Bryan goes towards her before class starts and asks her what her first name is. Heyligers doesn’t take this very well:

”My first name?”
”How dare you! If I want to tell you my first name I would do so when I introduce myself! You can’t immediately ask my first name as soon as you step inside the classroom?”

Zoey and Laila decide to get up and help Bryan, by telling Heyligers that they made him do it. And this is where the chapter title comes in: Heyligers tells them that they have to clean the classroom after classes are over. Because that makes sense (none of this makes sense what is this oh yeah my ten-year old self’s attempt at ‘conflict’).

Team 1’s next class is ‘cracking safes’ (I just literally translated it I can’t believe the class was actually called that – no wait yes I can). Disclaimer: I had (and still don’t) have any idea how you do this. So in the story they take a stethoscope, put it to the door and listen. I’ve seen them do this on tv, but I’m sure this won’t work on every safe. I’ve also seen them use finger prints to decipher the code. But all of this knowledge is based on tv and playing Ace Attorney sooo… Bryan immediately knows what he needs to do and succeeds pretty quickly. Even when the teacher has just told them that it’s incredibly difficult. SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE.
No one else wants to try it, so the teacher just decides to end the lesson there. Wow. All of these teachers are so good at their job. And the entire class runs out of the room cheering like little kids instead of almost adults. What. I honestly can’t picture this. Maybe it’s because I’m thinking of my old class, but still.

It’s time for ‘fighting training’. I was so good at naming things like wow. Also the teacher for some reason uses the formal you (in Dutch) to the students, which is super weird because the formal you is used when speaking to your elders/someone you respect or need to respect, not by teachers speaking to their students.

Anyway, nothing interesting about that class, so it’s time for team 1’s punishment. They divided the work, but not in a fair way: Zoey is dusting, Laila is cleaning the blackboard and watering the plants and Bryan is sweeping and cleaning the windows. Um. That makes no sense. But nothing in this book does so let’s move on.

Once they’re done, Zoey decides to snoop around a bit (because let’s not forget that they’re spies in training). She finds a letter in the desk drawer addressed to Lilian:

Dear Lilian, if it’s true what you said (that these first years figured out the secret of the projector), it is possible that this year the mystery of Ethelbertha Harrison will be solved by first years!
I’m happy that the tarot cards I’ve given you spoke the truth, since it’s difficult to find good cards.
If you find first years trying to open the door at the eight floor, don’t punish them too severely and don’t continuously keep an eye on them, let them be!
I can’t write anymore than this, in case the letter is intercepted.

I don’t know where to start. The projector is mentioned here. Once again this entire letter makes no sense. Tarot cards?? Where was I going with this? Combined with the visions Zoey got (see the prologue) this is getting way too fantasy/paranormal, which it wasn’t supposed to be. And is it difficult to find good cards? Can just anyone use them? Who knows, not ten-year old me (nor current me). Why research right.

Zoey goes to copy the letter and then it’s time for talking about their day again (whyyyy). Zoey reads them the letter and they decide that they need to open the door on the eight floor, which means they need a bobby pin, which means they need a chicken. Quick recap: they don’t have the right kind of bobby pin, and instead of thinking ‘ay maybe we could buy one’, they remember that Door has own (probably several) and thus they decide to make another deal with her in exchange for food (this time chicken because she’s no longer into meatballs). And it’s not like they can get a chicken at say, the schools’ kitchen. Gosh no that’s ridiculous. Renaming this book: Spy Academy and the Plot Holes and No Sense.

Would you do anything in exchange for food? (don’t lie I know all of you love food at least as much as I do) Let me know in the comments!