Happy Lunar New Year!

Shu Rui’s house is not far. There are no sidewalks, but the streets are wide. They’re filled with people because everyone comes home for the fifteen-day celebration of Chinese New Year. It’s The Year of the Tiger, 1998.

I was born in 1989, The Year of the Snake. Everyone says that’s why I talk so much. Grandma always tells me,

Child, you were born under a sign of wisdom. Remember, wisdom is attained by three methods: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.


Find out more about Chinese New Year in The Baiji.


Sign up for the D. Marie Prokop Author Newsletter!

Phidlestix

One of my author pals wrote a fabulous story for Halloween to share with the world. What a treat! I mean, what’s scarier than clowns, right? I love the quote at the beginning. (I’m a quote junkie and I don’t want cured, thank you very much.)

This evil in your eyes is this evil in disguise.
– Legacy of the Grave

Cool, huh? Yeah, and it just gets better. Read it for yourself and follow Ethan A. Cooper on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon!
Here’s another blog post on Ethan’s work.

Content Advisory: Silliness, Violence, Clown

Phidlestix


 

All new subscribers to my newsletter get a free ebook copy of Tigress!

41tyaXyWayL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

The Scientist | Coldplay Acoustic Cover | Narvaez Music Covers | REALITYCHANGERS

Kids are awesome! Life is hard, and they bring such raw joy and renewed perspective. I know a lot of amazing kids. One of them is named Enzo. He was born with Cri-du-chat syndrome and he’s my hero. If you met Enzo, you’d understand. Not only is he a sweetheart, he’s got a contagious smile. I’m so proud of this dude. (And his awesome parents.)

In my short story, Monster-Shark, Enzo plays a cameo role. He inspires a group of kids to include children with special needs into their games.

enzo_and_me

If you’re in the Houston area, consider joining me for the Perceptions Series: Special Needs Book Release Party this Saturday! Or you can buy a copy here! Thanks!


All new subscribers to my newsletter get a free ebook copy of Tigress!

 

 

New Anthology Featuring Children With Special Needs Available Soon!

“Hey! Let’s play a new kind of tag!”

“What’s it called?” Ethan asked with earnest curiosity.

Brayden tried to pretend he hadn’t just made up the game in his head.

“Uh . . . it’s called . . . shark tag.”

“How do you play?” Chloe asked. The rest of the kids quieted so they could hear Brayden explain the game. When he saw all their eyes staring at him, his palms began to sweat. He took a deep breath.

“Well, everyone hides. One person is it. When you’re found, then you’re it.”

“That’s not new! Everyone’s played that game,” Ethan complained.

“No, this is different. When you’re found, you’re both it. You stay together and everyone you find becomes it, too. The it grows bigger and bigger,” Brayden answered.

-excerpt from “Monster-Shark” by D. Marie Prokop, The Perceptions Anthology: Special Needs by Inklings Publishing


perceptions-front-cover

I’m so pleased to announce that the Perceptions Anthology: Special Needs is being released on October 8th! I honored that my story, Monster-Shark, is a part of this unique collection of short stories.

Each story includes characters with special needs, which is an under-represented group in children’s literature in general. I interviewed a special needs mom and used my own experience of growing up with a special needs sibling to create Monster-Shark, as well as asking elementary-aged kids some probing questions about how they could include everyone when they play together.

This story was a group effort, ironically, a lot like shark tag.


Here’s what Inklings Children’s Division has to say about the new anthology-

New Anthology Series Debuts:

The Perceptions Series will debut with volume one, Special Needs.  This new anthology series will feature topics of interest for children.  With stories and poems from a variety of wonderful children’s authors, the first book explores issues in living with disabilities.  As always in the children’s division, the book will include discussion questions and extension activities to enhance the reading.


This volume is a fabulous resource for educators and parents. Please check it out!


All new subscribers to my newsletter get a free ebook copy of Tigress!

41tyaXyWayL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Book Review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The Cursed Child is a rehashing of the HP world, an epilogue, if you will, in screenplay format. Will everyone like it? No. Did I? Yes. Why, you ask? (Pretend I’m answering in a British accent, thereby sounding way more professorial and magical than I am.)

Why did I, D. Marie Prokop, like The Cursed Child?

Because, like the most recent version of Harry Potter, I’m a middle-aged, tired, over-worked parent who, deep-down, really wants her kids to like her. I also miss the glory days of inhaling children’s and YA literature as easy to digest and as undeniably delicious as Harry Potter. Though I am NOT off sweets as an adult, there are many things I miss about being young. As a parent of teens, The Cursed Child felt like J.K. included me in the story this time also. There were tears and stuff. Grown-up, muggle-style ones…

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is unrivaled, in my opinion. Her fantasy story about an adolescent misfit wizard inspired millions of children to read fiction. Respect is due. And I hate to let a good story end. Therefore, I thoroughly enjoyed this epilogue-of-sorts. I also appreciated the format. I read a LOT, but I have a jam-packed life, and screenplays are much easier to digest quickly. I took it slow simply because I have a stubborn side that didn’t want the magic to stop. Again.

Anyway, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I won’t go into details. I’ll suffice it to say, the story was okay. Not fantastic, but okay. It was new-ish, with gobs of nostalgia to take you back in time without a time-turner. Remember Bane, Platform Nine and ¾, Dolores Umbridge, Cedric Diggory, the Mauraders Map, Moaning Myrtle, and the Invisibility Cloak?

Good times . . . again.

Quote #1

TROLLEY WITCH: These hands have made over six million Pumpkin Pasties. I’ve gotten quite good at them. But what people haven’t noticed about my Pumpkin Pasties is how easily they transform into something else . . .

She picks up a Pumpkin Pasty. She throws it like a grenade. It explodes.

Quote #2

HARRY: You really think this could all mean something?

HERMIONE (with a smile): It could do. But if it does, we’ll find a way to fight it, Harry. We always have.

 Harry Potter And The Cursed Child: The Play

harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child


All new subscribers to my newsletter get a free ebook copy of my new YA short story, Tigress! Please leave a review!

Only With The Heart

One book in particular caught her eye.  The title had faded golden letters—The Little Prince.   She opened the thin volume and began reading.

It was a quirky children’s fantasy story, but Hani fell in love with the demure, charming, lost little prince from the very first page.  The narrator, a pilot who crashed his plane in the desert, befriends a stranger, a little golden-haired boy who claims he came from another planet.  The pilot listens as the prince tells him all about his planet and his special concern for a flower, the rose he has sworn to protect.

The little prince shares his deepest thoughts with the pilot, claiming grown-ups are too serious and miss what’s important.  The prince claims life is sometimes too mysterious to understand and one must accept both the mystery with the reality.

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,” Hani read.

 


The Little Prince is now a Netflix Original Movie. Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s fantastical tale is reimagined and retold for a new generation. I highly recommend reading the book. Its whimsical story is paired with original watercolor pictures drawn by the author, a celebrated French novelist, journalist, and pilot.

The movie attempts to depict to this imaginative story in a new way, but while beautiful on the screen, movies fail to let people exercise their individual imaginations, which is partly the point of the story  to begin with. I may be too “grown-up” in my opinion, but this story is close to my heart and highly revered, which is why I shared it in The Red Knot. It’s also difficult to support the movie’s additional plot of a little girl blindly befriending a weird old man and then lying about spending time with him to her mother.  Um… stranger danger? If only they had made him her grandfather or something. It was slightly creepy, honestly. And dangerous in reality.  But the fox, the rose, the snake, the aviator, and The Little Prince were brilliant and magically portrayed. The message of what is essential came across and that’s what really matters.

See with your heart!

the-little-prince-quote

 


SIGN UP FOR THE D. MARIE PROKOP NEWSLETTER!

 

Throwing Dreams Into Space

One of my in-progress writing projects is a YA steampunk novella, and has the premise of a future, dying Earth being abandoned country by country to survive somewhere in space. Randomly, the country I picked to follow on their journey was France. They leave to co-colonize a terra-formed moon, joining hands with another dying planet’s people to survive. It’s a story that delves into the seeds of inequality and the need for civil rights and change. I researched French culture and history. I adopted the names of some of France’s Tunisian-born footballers to name one family. I included quotes from famous French authors and philosophers before each chapter.
I began this story before the horrendous tragedies occurred in France, Belgium, Baghdad, and Atlanta. Before the tears.
Writers don’t always know why they’re writing what they’re writing. I know the themes of inequality and civil rights aren’t new. It feels like they will never be new or un-relatable. This makes me sadder than I can say/write.
There are simply too many sad days. Social media can make us feel alone or united, depending on the moment. Hope must be sought out. I’ve been a little low on hope lately. But I read those old quotes and try to cling to the hope they harnessed.
Here are some-
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Victor Hugo
“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers
“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.” – Anais Nin


Sign up for the D. Marie Prokop Author Newsletter!