lemony snicket is our man

April 7, 2014

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Since we’ve been talking about college application essays, I might also add that Lulu wrote two application essays on Lemony Snicket. Apparently this was a bad idea, as she got wait-listed at both schools. Then again, one might assume that a school which wait-lists applicants who write essays on Lemony Snicket has a severe lack of imagination. In which case writing essays on Lemony Snicket is probably a good idea–after all, who wants to go to a college that lacks imagination?

I’m rather fond of essays on Lemony Snicket. In fact, I wrote one myself, and it’s up at Literary Mama today. It’s an essay on my family’s shared love of Snicket, the writer who has served as a literary mentor to each of my kids, even though he isn’t real.

Well, he isn’t real if you lack imagination.


For the Love of Lemony Snicket

I think you’d like it, Mama,” H. said, passing the box of cassettes forward from the backseat of the car.

Our Mary Poppins audiobook had just ended, and we had another hour to drive. The box contained the audio version of The Wide Window, the third book in the Series of Unfortunate Event seriesI did not think I would like it.

“Aren’t these books depressing?” I asked. “About orphans who have nothing but bad luck? I don’t like depressing books.”

“They’re not depressing.” H. was nine. He had read the first few books in the series on his own. “Just try it.”

There was such earnestness in my kid’s voice and so many miles of Interstate 80 before us. I clicked the first cassette into the player.

It couldn’t have been more than a few paragraphs in, around the point when infant Sunny Baudelaire shrieks, “Toi!” and narrator Lemony Snicket explains, “By ‘Toi!’ she probably meant ‘I have never eaten a peppermint because I suspect that I, like my siblings, am allergic to them’ but it was hard to tell” that I stopped the tape and said, puzzled, “This is funny.”

“These books are funny,” H. said. “I told you you’d like them.”

You can read the rest at Literary Mama.

P.S. There’s an accompanying writing prompt at Literary Mama, with a chance to get published on their blog. Try it out!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations April 10, 2014 at 6:54 pm

WE heard the first 2 books in audiobook format at our house. We did enjoy the writing style of the writer but the subject matter was a bit depressing. My kids had no interest in continuing the series. I completely dislike these books that have kids all alone in the world running around in midst of troubles and adventures without an adult in sight to care for them. Ugh! 😐 Why can’t kids have adventures and grow up with their parents around?


patricia April 15, 2014 at 9:37 am

Well, I understand that these books aren’t for everyone, Tereza. My kids and I have a somewhat warped sense of humor, I suppose. At least there’s a world of books out there! Something for every family.


tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations April 15, 2014 at 5:41 pm

so true.


rhythm April 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

I, too, love Mr Snicket. He is sooooo funny! And I like that the kids are so resourceful. That they can THINK! And overcome. Nice essay!


patricia April 15, 2014 at 9:42 am

Thanks for the kind words, Rhythm. My kids and I admire the Baudelaire siblings for just the reasons you do. They’re smart cookies.


Danielle April 23, 2014 at 4:11 pm

I just discovered your wonderful blog via Amanda (The Habit of Being) and am enjoying discovering your posts.


patricia April 23, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Hello, Danielle! I always love to meet new readers–especially fellow writers. Thanks so much for stopping by!


Stacey April 29, 2014 at 6:05 am

Patricia- So glad to have discovered your writing, your blog and your book through Literacy Mama. I will be back!


patricia April 29, 2014 at 7:30 am

Nice to meet you, Stacey! (And thank you so much for buying my book. It’s shipping out today!)


Stacey April 29, 2014 at 10:05 am

You’re so welcome! I laughed when I saw your because I came to Literary Mama, and found you, for inspiration as I write a post (hopefully for literary reflections) about writing beside my 10 year old daughter 🙂


patricia April 29, 2014 at 10:28 am

Sounds like we’re kindred spirits!There’s nothing like writing alongside your kids. The learning goes both ways.


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