As you all know, I know several extremely talented authors. Today I am going to throw a new name on the list of gifted writers whom I admire greatly.
Just released by John Hoddy is his first book in a series, The Bandit Little Red. Set in a fantasy world, his young heroine, Alisa, goes from titled wealth to a fight to survive. I devoured the pages (of which there are many) like my life depended on it. Hoddy’s style fascinated and intrigued me, and I hope you will agree.
click on the picture below to find it on Amazon.com
Adjacent to Miss Badalla’s Curseology class in room 405, is Mr. Theyorie’s Art History class in room 406. Mr. Theyorie wears a carefully preserved tweed jacket with leather elbow patches, beige corduroy pants, and an olive green paisley print tie. In his jacket pocket is a yellowed handkerchief that he uses frequently to wipe snot from his scruffy grey moustache throughout the course of his lectures. His monotone voice drones on about the masters throughout the ages at exactly the right pitch to lull an unsuspecting student to sleep, often resulting in a banging noise as the student’s forehead meets the desk in front of them.
The most exciting part of Mr. Theyorie’s class is when the Curseology students next door get too rambunctious. Mr. Theyorie will halt mid-drone in order to bang on the wall shouting, “Shut up, shut up, shut up!”
If any student of his dares to laugh, Mr. Theyorie will level a scowl at them so fierce the student will shrink in their seat, rendered completely silent.
Once, several years ago, someone asked Mr. Theyorie why he gets so angry about the noise next door. Mr. Theories proceeded to shout for thirty solid minutes about the uselessness of learning such made-up bologna.
When Miss Badalla was nominated by the student body for teacher of the year, Mr. Theyorie promptly lost what was left of his hair. When the newspaper arrived to cover the presentation of the award, Mr. Theyorie had to lie down.
In apology for being significantly more popular than Mr. Theyorie, Miss Badalla made him an amulet to protect against high blood Pressure. Mr Theyorie threw it away.
The following semester Mr. Theyorie had only two students in his Art History Class. When he confronted Miss Badalla for cursing him, she politely reminded him he didn’t believe in curses.
If you are looking through the course catalog of your local college, you will find your typical classes offered; English 101, Algebra, Pottery, Nutrition, that sort of thing. But if you flip to the back of the catalog, under the miscellaneous heading that most people don’t read, you will find a class not offered by most colleges. This class is Curseology 101, taught by Miss Badalla.
When you enter the classroom it looks like any other. Rows of tables and chairs to the left and right of a center walkway. The front of the class has a green chalkboards and a podium, where Miss Badalla scatters her various notes and articles to reference in her lectures. She runs the class much like any other teacher; there are vocabulary lists and chapters of assigned reading from the Curseology 101 textbook. But that is where the similarities to everyday learning stop.
Miss Badalla teaches her students about curses. How to use them, what they are, and how to defend from others cursing you. She peeks out from a halo of frizzy salt and pepper hair, tied back by a scarf embroidered with silver suns and moons. Her hands are laden with numerous rings, all interesting stones like turquoise and Jasper. She wears charms around her wrists, ankles, and neck, each one with a special defensive purpose she teaches about in her advanced class, Amulet Crafting. She wears brightly colored wispy fabrics, and a gray shawl that looks as though it has been dragged down the street by a trash truck, and then hung to dry. Her brown sandals have been patched and mended, and are the only pair of shoes she ever wears. She calls out her lessons in a sing-song voice, wafting the spicy aroma of incense as she passes between each desk. She answers criticism and doubt with the certainty of someone who has seen the effects of the curses she explains.
Curseology will not likely help you achieve your major. Indeed, nobody is even sure if there is credit for taking Miss Badalla’s class. But the experience is well worth the price of one semester of your time.
Method 1: Think of puppies. Curses are based on negative energy. A minor curse, such as Drabulize, can be counteracted by the adorably positive energy of a cute, fluffy, wiggly tailed pup. This method is sometimes difficult, because thinking of puppies while someone is cursing you can be distracting.
Method 2: the counter-curse. While this will not prevent you from being cursed, at least you force your curser into a similar predicament. There is a chance they will lift the curse if you agree to do the same. Curse mediation is sometimes necessary to negotiate these situations.
Method 3: Deflection. This method is safest for you, but very unsafe for unsuspecting bystanders.
Insomniate: To curse an individual with the inability to sleep.
Abdactify: To magically force someone in a position of social power to step down against his/her will, though it appears as if he/she voluntarily stepped down. Often used by school girls to settle popularity contests.
Drabulize: Draining all the color out of a victims entire wardrobe.
Conjactuation: The writing or inventing of new curses.
Floorigating: Causing a person’s shoes to leave behind muddy footprints, regardless of the weather outside or the victims vicinity to mud. Common trick played on housewives with tile floors.