Friday, 26 February 2016

The "Grimm" side of fairy tales

It’s no secret I like stories that are kind of spooky—one of my favourite authors is R.L. Stine, who writes the Fear Street and Goosebumps series. So when my Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Kratky, told us to research fairy tales for Tell a Fairy Tale Day (today!), I was surprised—and excited—to learn that most classic fairy tales have a “dark side.”

I know what you’re thinking—every fairy tale ends with a happily-ever-after, right? In the beginning, they didn’t. In fact, early fairy tales—like Snow White, Cinderella, etc.—weren’t even written for kids! Especially the stories written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the famous Grimm brothers.

Take Snow White, for instance. In the Grimm version of the tale, Snow White’s mother was the “wicked” one, and it wasn’t just her heart she wanted—it was her lungs and liver, too! Not quite the Disney version I’ve watched with my sister, Amelia over and over again. <groan>

Probably unsurprising then, the Grimm brothers were criticized for writing stories that even I, for one, would never read to my little sister. After all, no one wants a bedtime story that gives them nightmares…

Well, except me, maybe. <he he>

Gotta jet! I’m writing my own fairy tale in class today, and THEN, I need to select which story to read Amelia tonight. Maybe Rapunzel…that one’s safe, right? See you next week!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 19 February 2016

Ready to run? Me too! But first...

I get it. The weather’s been fantastic—sunny, warm, melting snow everywhere. It’s almost deceiving, as though spring might be just around the corner. It’s true, the groundhog predicted it…but this IS Alberta.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trade in your indoor shoes for those brand new kicks you got for Christmas…erm, or was that just me? It just means there are a few extra safety precautions to think about.

So, with the temperatures hovering just below or above zero for the next few days, I thought I’d share some running wisdom, as passed on to me from my coach.
  1. Don’t run alone. I know, I know. I like the peace and quiet too, or the sound of music pumping through my headphones. But there’s still ice out there, and if you slip and hurt yourself—well, you want to make sure there’s someone there to help you.
  2. Speaking of slipping, shorten your strides and keep your feet low to the ground. That’s the best way to avoid an accident if you hit an icy patch. It’s also easier on your muscles if you’re just getting back on the program.
  3. Dress for the weather. Sounds silly, but even though it looks warm out there, you should still layer up—think about windbreakers, hoodies or running jackets that wick moisture – ideal, which is why one of these is on my birthday wish list- for instance.
  4. Don’t forget your water bottle. It’s easy to forget to hydrate when you’re running in cooler temperatures, but it’s just as important. Not sure what can happen if you drink too much—or too little—water? Check out the Superman Duffy comic, TRANSPIRATION!
  5. Be seen. Even if you’re heading out at first light, you should wear reflective gear or a flashing vest. You want cars to see you.

I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s worth it. Running at this time of year means you won’t overheat like in the middle of summer, and the paths are quiet. Of course, if the temperature takes a turn for the worse (like I said, this IS Alberta), you can continue your training in an indoor facility. Spring will come soon enough!

Gotta jet! Be safe out there.

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 12 February 2016

CONTEST! Sharing the book love

I’m not really into Valentine’s Day (except the small box of chocolates Mom buys my sister and I), but I DO love to read, and since Sunday is also International Book Giving Day, I thought I’d share some book love.

As you might know, there are 11 published comics in the Chase Superman Duffy series—with three more to be released by next March! I thought it might be fun to have a bit of a quiz about them. You don’t have to have read them to play—the books are listed here and the answers to the quiz can be found in the book descriptions.

Email me your correct answers at and you could WIN a full set of the comics, including book #12, AS YOU WISH, which comes out soon!

Okay, ready?

  1. In which Superman Duffy book does Chase run into mermaids, seas monsters, and dinosaurs, oh my?
  2. Chase is inspired by which famous astronaut in It’s a Blast!?
  3. Cut! To the Chase… is a modern re-telling of which Aesop Fable?
  4. What is Chase’s sister’s name? (Hint: It’s the title of one of the books.)
  5. In 5-7-5 Errand Boy, Chase receives a chore list in the form of what type of poetry?
  6. Who does Chase meet in Fields of Home?
  7. In which Superman Duffy comic does Chase race a car?
  8. Tasting My Story isn’t just a mystery—it’s also a __________ . 
  9. Why does Chase need to go Beneath the SOIL
  10. Which Superman Duffy book deals with climate change?
  11. Ahoy, mateys! Name the Superman Duffy comic that features pirates.

Easy, right? I thought so! Now, send your answers by the end of Sunday (Feb 14) to qualify for the grand prize—a complete set of the comics!

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 5 February 2016

Going to the library...YOU should too!

As much as I love to read (and I DO love to read!), I spend very little time at the library. I know, I’m hanging my head in shame right now. I don’t even know why—there’s one not far from my house, and I’m (usually) good at returning my books on time. I just don’t stop in…much.

That’s going to change this weekend. I’m still on track with my 2016 New Years Resolutions, but buying new books all the time can be…expensive. My mom suggested I visit the library. It’s a great idea, and here’s why:
  1. Research. Contrary to what you might think, not everything can be found on the internet, and sometimes what you DO find isn’t factually true. Nothing beats old books for authenticity!
  2. Librarians know their stuff. I don’t often get stuck for what to read, but occasionally, I’ll ask a librarian for a recommendation. I’ve yet to be steered wrong! (One librarian actually got me onto the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, which is awesome!
  3. FREE books. Well, aside from the (small) cost of your annual membership (if your community has fees…)
  4. More than books! There aren’t many places left to rent movies these days—but you can even find new releases at the library. Same with magazines and newspapers.
  5. Events! Check your local library for book clubs, workshops, author readings and more.

There’s a sixth reason too (tee hee)—most of the Superman Duffy comics are at the library! And if they’re not, you can request to bring them in. Cool, right?!

Tomorrow, I plan on visiting the library and checking out a few novels—maybe the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid if it’s not out on loan. You should too, especially since it’s NATIONAL LIBRARIES DAY.

Gotta jet! See you next week!

— Chase Superman Duffy