Musings from an almost 12 year old

Because I have been so busy this week and haven’t written a review for the book I just finished and I already started another book, here is an original creation myth my 12 year old wrote for school (though after reading it the thought crossed out mind that he may need therapy ;P )



First, Mansquito was born by two disease carrying mosquitoes.

Look,” said the first mosquito, “a man of great proportions has been hatched.”

Mansquito was human, but no one was bothered by this. He quickly learned how to help others with diseases and became a doctor. However, Mansquito was a carrier of the deadly disease malaria, and more than 40% of his patients were victims of his own disease. Despite this, he led a happy life and got his medical license.

Then, one night, while Mansquito was treating his 60th patient infected with malaria, his parents came into the hospital to congratulate him for his success. The patient, however, was not as welcoming as Mansquito was,

Ah!” the patient screeched. He then grabbed a bone saw and killed Mansquito’s parents.

No,” Mansquito shrieked “you will pay for this misery you have brought to me!”

He then sent a hundred malaria carrying mosquitoes at the patient, killing and controlling him.

Then, Mansquito went completely insane. He scampered up to the rooftop of the hospital while chanting:

“You all shall pay,” he chanted, “You all shall be my hypnotic slaves!!!”

He plagued Greece with all the deadly diseases known to man, including malaria. Millions died and become Mansquito’s minions, only a few survive the “Great Human Purge.”

Two years after the purge, Mansquito dominates the Greek people.  Mansquito first started his hypnotic campaign by forcing the Greek gods to make him a god by telling them he would kill all of Man.   Then he put malaria inducing mosquitoes everywhere in Greece. After a while, the death toll started taking one-third of the population, and people were starting to panic. Even the gods were nervous, namely Hades, who experienced a decrease in souls in the Underworld.  Hades went to Zeus to explain the issue.

Hades complained “I haven’t seen any more souls enter the underworld lately.”

We have a new employer,” Zeus replied, “He gets four times as many souls then you do, and he actually does the work”

“Who dares try to steal the reason I am a god?!” Hades roared

“A God of Disease named Mansquito” Zeus responded

Furious, Hades starts to search for Mansquito. Hades searched for days and days until he finally finds Mansquito sitting on his throne surrounded by thousands of dead minions. Mansquito wore a grassy colored robe with ghostly straps and blood stains from minions puking blood.  He also wore a leather belt and an amethyst and diamond crown.

Kindly, Mansquito questioned “How has the honorable Hades beg a favor of me?”

“How dare a disease carrying whelp steal my souls?” Hades taunted.

Angry that Hades shouted with such disrespect, Mansquito commanded his minions to  kick Hades into an unsanitary jail cell. Too make matters worse; Mansquito put a camera in the room to record Hades misery. All over Olympus the gods watched as Hades rotted in a jail cell.

Embarrassed, Hades said to Mansquito “For my freedom, I offer a challenge to kill my best warrior.” Mansquito eagerly accepted this challenge and freed Hades so he could fulfill his promise of a challenge.

Afterward, Hades sent his warrior Zathos to kill Mansquito. Z athos went on to his quest to prove his loyalty to his king.

Zathos had recently died of an arrow to his Achilles spot. Despite that, Zathos was a great warrior. The reason Hades chose Zathos to kill Mansquito was because Hades had given him immunity to disease and mind control. To help him in his battle, Hades gave Zathos a sword of god killing, and sent him on his way.

When Zathos reached Mansquito’s lair, he found a sign that said:

I have made a challenge for you my friend.”

In order to face Mansquito, Zathos had to complete three challenges. The 1st challenge consisted of walking through a pool of sewage while being bitten by malaria carrying mosquitoes. The 2nd challenge was to get through a very difficult maze slowing filling up with neurotoxin. The final challenge was to drink a glass full of sewage, leaving the person who drank it only twenty minutes to live. Zathos completes these challenges and confronts a surprised Mansquito.

Finally, Mansquito challenges Zathos to a battle and attacks him with mosquitoes plagued with West Nile Virus. To Mansquito’s surprise, Zathos was unaffected and struck Mansquito down. Mansquito then pulls out a secret sheath that contained a 3-foot long sword made of gold. Mansquito then charges Zathos, locking blades for what seems like an eternity. Then, Zathos manages to fool Mansquito by pretending to surrender, then throwing a pot of hot oil on him. Mansquito started to shriek from the pain and shock of losing.

“No, this can’t be, it’s impossible!” Mansquito shrieked.

Suddenly, Mansquito’s body exploded into a ton of disease carrying bugs and vermin due to the heat of the oil. They were coming out of his ears, nose, eyes, and mouth. His flesh and bones were starting to turn visible. This continued for three minutes until all that remained were his clothes and skeleton as well as a few organs that were untouched by the bugs and vermin. Zathos was rewarded with eternal life when he returned to Hades and lived forever as a warrior to fight in many wars. However, his quest was only half complete. The bugs and vermin flew and scuttled to all the countries in the world. When Zathos heard the news, he spent forever looking for cures to all diseases to rid the world of the carriers of diseases.




Guest Review – The Hunger Games by my 12 year old son

Today we have a review of the Hunger Games from the perspective of the low-end of the target audience, my 12-year-old son!

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins,  is a thrilling book that takes place in the country of Panem.  The country is ruled by the capital which is intersected by 12 districts.  After a civil war and the 12 districts were defeated, the capital invented the Hunger Games.  The Hunger Games consist of 1 girl and 1 boy from ages 12-18 from each district.  These children have to fight to the death, on live tv, until one person remains for the reward of fame and fortune.

Katnis is the main character.  She is a 16 year old girl, from district 12, who takes her 12 year old sister’s place in the Hunger Games.  During the games she is resourceful and manages to get a bow and arrow during the games, her preferred weapon.  She is good-hearted and loves her family so much that she risks her life and faces death to spare her sister.  She is temperamental but it takes a lot to make her show it.  Katnis has two love interests, Peeta and Gale.

Peeta is the local baker in district 12 and has a crush on Katnis.  He is the boy representative from district 12 for the Hunger Games.  He is physical strong and works to help Katnis stay alive, including faking her death.  He ultimately betrays the other districts, which leads to serious injuries.

Gale is a minor character in this book and not a part of the hunger games, but it is implied that he also has a crush on Katnis.

I think the story is a good book because it provided a lot of suspense and thrills.  I really enjoyed the survival part of the plot and the author  makes you feel like your part of the story.  Katnis and Peeta indirectly revolt against the capitol’s control because they refuse to allow one of them to die and the other to live.  Instead the both agree to commit suicide with poisonous berries to end the Hunger Game with no winner, which would leave no point to the game.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series and hope those books are as exciting as this one.

Review: How to Ravish a Rake

How to Ravish a Rake
How to Ravish a Rake by Vicky Dreiling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Amy Hardwick has one last Season to shake off her wallflower image and make a love match. If she can’t, she’ll set aside her dreams of romance and return home to a suitor who can provide security-if little else. What she doesn’t count on is the inappropriate-and irresistible-attention lavished on her in a darkened library by rake extraordinaire Will “The Devil” Darcett . . .


When Will is caught in a tryst with the tons shyest miss, he knows he must offer for her hand. Yet Amy is not the shrinking violet she seems to be. Passion lies beneath her prim exterior and Will is eager to release it. But winning Amy isn’t simply a matter of seduction; first, Will must convince her that he’s mended his wicked ways

This is the third book in Vicky Dreiling’s inaugural How To series featuring Hawk’s brother Will and Amy (from the first 2 books). I did receive my copy as an ARC from the author.

Amy happens to be my favorite of Ms. Dreiling’s three heroines so far. She is an introverted thinker who must deal with a lot of social anxiety. This leaves her tongue tied in social situations and confused in larger crowds, which explains the idea that she is aloof, first mentioned in Duke. Amy is the type of heroine that many women can relate to. While insecure, she is strong enough to face it and begin to overcome it. She does so by using her natural talent as a way to move past her anxiety and relate to people, especially the ladies of the ton.

William, Hawk’s younger brother, has been living his life on the run from his family. He keeps his exploits public and is as charming as possible as a way of garnering attention, especially from his family. Will is like many overlooked children where any attention, even for bad behavior, is welcome. But he is conflicted because he fears his family’s intervention and disapproval due to his anger at them. Instead of confronting his family with his feelings, he prefers to stay away. This becomes impossible when Hawk cuts off his allowance and Will makes a major mistake in trying to garner funds. Despite his family issues, he is loyal, steadfast, and honorable.

Will and Amy’s story is endearing and refreshing. They are very different people who handle difficult feelings in the same way, withdrawal. Ms. Dreiling caught perfectly the swirl of emotions that anxiety can cause in a person and how it can easily rip apart the fragile self-esteem. Unlike other stories where both the heroine and hero have to go through extreme emotional upheaval to grow, Will and Amy gradually work their way through their problems. Despite them not knowing each other well, they quickly learn to rely on each other for strength and the importance of fully believing in each other.

It was an absolute thrill to finally read a book where when the twist comes, the hero and heroine act like rational mature adults instead of following the first emotional impulse that flits through their brain. Of course given both Amy and Will’s tendency to withdraw from adversity, it underscores their development and why they are so perfect for each other. As in her other two books, the hero and heroine compliment each others strengths and weaknesses and bring out the best in each other. The rapport between Amy and Will is light, witty and bewitching. Watching Will fall in love with Amy was utterly delightful and easily made this my favorite book of the series.

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Romantic Places – Brandywine Waterfall Cuyahoga Valley National Park

I love waterfalls.  They are both impressive, powerful, and romantic.  There is something peaceful in watching the water pound the rocks below, in the sound of the rushing water, and even the feel of the spray (if you can get close enough).  So when I get a chance to go hunt them out I do (that and lighthouses), hence given the beautiful weather this week in the Cleveland/Akron area, we made a hike out to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and to Brandywine Falls.

Our first stop was hiking the Towpath Trail to Standford house.  We say lots of birds and some of the new   growth starting to peep out, but the trails were extremely muddy due to the rain.  I got a great picture of the towpath trees creating a canopy over the trail.

I adore pictures like these.  I have one in black and white up on my wall, in 3 parts, of a small path through birch trees.  I can’t wait to see this in the summer with full foliage and again with the fall colors.  Thankfully, this trail is well gravelled and lacked the extensive mud we found on the way to Stanford house and beyond.


So after finishing our 3 mile hike we returned to our car and drove over the BrandyWine Falls.  The falls cut down into a gorge and the pathway down to them is a nice wooden walk path with steps down to the base of the gorge.  The area is still fairly wooded which gives you such fun physic anomalies as this tree growing out sideways and clinging to the rocks.




And now to some shots of the falls

top part of the falls

the long drop down

right side of falls

Start of the falls

The falls are 60 foot drops over Berea Sandstone with the softer layers of Berea and Cleveland Shale.  You can tell the areas of shale in the pictures because the falls take on a bridal veil appearance, as in the middle parts of the top pictures.  It’s harder to see the bridal veil patterns over all due to the heavy amounts of water coming over the falls (as you can see in the right side falls picture) due to the massive amounts of rain we have had in the area over the last 6 months.  Here, you can compare my March 2012 pictures to some May 2004 pictures (and a short 5 second movie clip).   As you can see in the 2004 pictures, the waterfall is much tamer and lacks the heavy cascading water that is seen on each side of my pictures.

There are a few other waterfalls in the area that I am going to have to track down and I think I may plan a lighthouse tour for when my parents come in July.