Friday, 31 January 2014

Day backwards!

Ha! Did you see what I did there?

It’s Backwards Day—one of my favourite “holidays” of the year. The day it’s perfectly okay to eat dessert before dinner, or even soup for breakfast. Actually, my Grandma told me people in some countries—like Turkey—eat soup for breakfast all the time. Now that’s backwards, right?

Last year, my Mom laughed at me for celebrating Backwards Day. She even teased me for putting my slippers on the wrong feet (to be fair, I did kind of trip up a lot), and for wearing my T-shirt inside out.

But this year, she’s really getting into the spirit. We’re having PANCAKES for dinner. (I know, lots of people do that everyday…) And, Mom wore MISMATCHED socks this morning. I don’t know if that’s technically backwards, but for my Mom that is definitely NOT NORMAL. She even pairs her socks together before she throws them in the laundry so they stay together. I don’t need backwards day to wear mismatched socks—I do it all the time!

Anyway, my whole family is getting into the holiday. Dad has his ball cap on backwards, and my sister, Amelia, has been spelling her name backwards all morning. It’s kind of fun, right?

Oh—and don’t forget, Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day! I’m going to make a wish for a late Spring. Maybe my wish will be backwards and we’ll actually get an EARLY Spring? Hey, it’s worth a try.

Gotta jet! Have a great DAY BACKWARDS!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 24 January 2014

Welcome to my nightmare

Are you scared?

Yeah, me neither. But I admit, it’s taken me a few years to stop looking for monsters under the bed. Mom used to say a spritz of Windex would chase them away—but I’m old enough to know that’s not true. (I think that’s how she tricked me into cleaning. Ha!)

Nightmares are normal, but for kids like me, with overactive imaginations, bad dreams can come a little more often. And I can tell I’m in full-on creative mode because this past week, I was awoken by THREE nightmares—one even included my sister coming back to life as a zombie!

So, how do I deal with nightmares?

Well, the first thing is, I should probably stop reading scary books right before bed. I know, I know. I promised to read more books this year, and I do love a good scary story (did you know R.L. Stine is writing new FEAR STREET books? I’m so excited!) — but I think I need to keep my reading to right after school, or on the bus, or even in the morning while I’m eating breakfast. I also shouldn’t watch scary movies or TV shows right before bed.

I’ve started writing in my journal about my dreams, too. Mom and I talk about them, of course, but when I write down what scared me about the dream, or even some of the details from the nightmare, they don’t seem so scary. AND, some of those details are great for stories I may want to write sometime…because for me, the best way to get over a nightmare is to write about it!

Obviously, I’m still going to be scared sometimes (spiders, for instance, give me the creeps)—but that’s okay. I think fear can be healthy. You just need a strategy to conquer that fear. What do you do?

Gotta jet!

- Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 17 January 2014

All about popcorn

Popcorn is one of my favourite snacks. Not only is it easy to make, but a simple internet search brings up hundreds of recipe ideas. My current favourite is a delicious (and spicy) treat—just add 8-10 drops of hot sauce to the canola oil before you pop the corn. Yummy!

But with International Popcorn Day right around the corner (January 19), I started thinking about popcorn in a whole different way. Like, did you know that popcorn is perfect for crafting? No, seriously. For example, you can make a simple snack garland for the birds by stringing together day-old popcorn and dried fruit. Scroll through Google for some more great craft ideas.

Or, what about making family movie night a little more creative? Decorate small paper bags with crayons, markers, stickers, or whatever fun stuff your mom has in her craft room. Fill each bag with your favourite popcorn flavor and settle in for the flick. This Sunday, we’re going to watch How To Train Your Dragon, for probably the hundredth time. Ha ha.

And, if you’re looking for a more fancy popcorn recipe, you should give this a try.

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy

P.S. – Here’s five really cool popcorn facts! How many did YOU know?

1. When black popcorn is popped, it becomes white.
2. Popcorn was the first food to be microwaved deliberately.
3. If popcorn is salted before the kernels are popped, it becomes tough.
4. If popcorn kernels dry out, they can be freshened by adding 1 or 2 Tbsp (15-30 mL) of water to the jar and shaking it.
5. Archeologists found some popped corn in a bat cave in New Mexico that was 5,600 years old.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Feeding my idea factory

We’re talking about the history of flight in school and of course Amelia Earhart came up. She’s one of the most famous pilots in the whole world.

In case you don’t know, Amelia Earhart’s plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in October 1937 (a LONG time ago) when she was trying to fly across the world. Most people think she ran out of fuel and crashed. 

But, I did some research and not everyone has the same idea. There are some pretty crazy theories out there. 

Here’s my top 5.

1. She was a spy.
2. Her plane was shot down and she was captured.
3. She assumed a fake identity.
4. She was abducted by aliens.
5. Her plane got sucked into the Bermuda Triangle.

I don’t really believe any of those, but they got me thinking. ANY ONE of those theories would make a GREAT story.

I started Google searching, and I came up with a bunch of conspiracy theories, urban myths (things/ideas people thought were true but have no evidence to back them up) and fun statistics and facts. All of a sudden, I was writing down story ideas and character descriptions.

Like, maybe I’ll write a story about how the Bermuda Triangle is actually a UFO headquarters and everyone who has ever been lost in it (even Amelia Earhart) lives there—and is trying to get out! Think of all the characters!

My Language Arts teacher says we’re going to write a few short stories over the next couple of months. I’m feeding my idea factory with some great research. What would YOU write about?

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 3 January 2014

One more resolution

I know, I know, I talked about New Year’s resolutions last week—and people will be talking about them for at least the next month. (Dad says most people jump ship by February, after the glow of the New Year wears off…) But I just had to add ONE MORE resolution to my list.

I worked really hard on my story for the comic book contest. The deadline was supposed to be December 31, and so I pushed and pushed—I even wrote on Christmas Day! I asked my Mom to read it, Grandpa too, and then, when it was almost perfect, I double-checked the website to make sure I’d followed all of the rules.

And guess what was written in bold ink, right on the first page of the regulations?


The deadline has actually been extended for THREE months.

After I got over the shock, I realized I had two choices:

1. Submit it immediately
2.  Spend another three months making it even better

I went with option 2. Which, is why I need to add another resolution to my list.


It’s not my greatest virtue.

Even if I HAD gone with option one, I would have been a wreck for the next few months thinking about it, wondering if I was a finalist. I know winning isn’t everything—but this is something new and different, and I want to do well.

I’m still proud of my story. But now, I get to polish it. And make it SHINE.

Until then, I’m going to work on having a little more patience—not just with “things” but with people, too. Like my sister, Amelia. Yeah, she kind of annoys me – did you know that she’s so caught up with her love of bugs that she’s going around the basement looking for spiders? Don’t insects hibernate in Canada? Anyways, do you blame me?

Want to share your resolutions? Go ahead! I’m all ears!

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy