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Children’s writing – Exactly as they wrote it

Performed by professional actors, complete with music and sound effects.

Listen to the trailer and latest episodes below!

Transcript: Trailer

Alec:  Written By Kids is a podcast where we  bring to life short stories and poems all written by kids.  They are performed by professional actors and then we add music and sound effects.  We are going to play a short clip from a recent story called Zombie Apocalypse by eight year old Yudi

Jack Dwyer:  (music playing)  I went to my room and pressed on a brick that was out of place.  The wall opened up (sliding sounds) revealing a slide the led deep down into darkness.  I slid down the slide to the bottom where there was a secret room.  In that room there was an antique steel box.  It was sealed shut, but I had the key.  I opened the ancient box and took out a small purple diamond.  It was a magical stone.

Alec:  And here is one more short clip from a monologue written by six year old Neil, called What I Look Forward to Most in 2021. 

Will Darymple:  (music)  Then when it’s safe to travel my grandparents will fly into California (jet sounds) and I will have parties with my friends and cousins. (party sounds)  Travel teaches us that we may look different, but we are all the same. 

Alec:  We also interview the young authors and here is Neal talking about his monologue. 

Neil:  Covid has been life changing for all of us in many different ways.  I can not see my friends or go to the park due to Covid-19.  So I decided to write this monologue about my feelings and a plan for the future.

Alec:  So, our goal is to give kids like Yudi and Neil a creative place to share their feelings about the world with the world.  Whether its about zombies and superheroes, whether its about Covid, whether its any of the other amazing stories we’ve been able to share.  Lastly, we always end with the joke of the week.  Like this one, my favorite so far: What do you call a factory that makes just okay products?

Elora:  I don’t know, what?

Alec:  A satisfactory. 


Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript: Pride – by Sejal, 12

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Witten by Kids. Today we have an interview with young author Sejal, then her incredible short story, Pride.  Before we  get to the interview, we have some news, March 5th will be our final episode.  We’ve had lots of fun, met lots of amazing families, heard lots of wonderful stories and told lots of , I’m going to go with, excellent top-notch jokes, and we’re grateful that you were here for it every week. And now it’s time for us to focus on some other things. And if you supported us, thank you. Your support is still going straight to the artists.

Alec:  But until March 5th, we will see you every Saturday, at Written by Kids.  There are still many stories to be told, so without further ado, today’s interview. What inspired you to write this story?

Sejal:  Two things mainly.  The first one is past experiences I’ve had.  When I was a little bit younger there was always one person who seemed to know exactly how to get to me.  And I channeled those feelings into this story. The second reason is, I feel like, sometimes people are afraid to talk about LGTBQ+ people and their rights.  Its such a heavy topic, but I think they deserve recognition. So I thought this would be a good place to do that.

 Alec:  And now, Pride.  By Sejal

Alec:  I frown. The whispering continues and I pick out snippets of conversation. Words like “weird” “creepy” “freaks”. Immediately, I know they are talking about me. The girls lapse into silence as I pass, except one of them. A girl with long blonde hair turns to face me. Her hair is tied up in a high ponytail and she fiddles with it using her long, red, nails. Julia. She’s pretty much the ringleader of the “popular” girls. This is only my third week at this school and I have already gotten on her bad side. Then she speaks loudly. “So you have like two moms? That’s..different.” She says “different ‘ with obvious disdain in her voice and gives me a phony smile. I feel my stomach clench up and try to look anywhere but Julia. A girl with long black hair in two neat braids falling down her back shifts uncomfortably when she sees me. I realize it’s Esperanza from my English class. “Julia…” she peeps. “Excuse me, please don’t interrupt.” Julia replies. Esperanza picks up her books before scurrying off to class. I want to sink into the floor as Julia turns her attention back to me. “Gotta go to class,” I yelp quickly. In my hurry to dash away, I stumble on my untied shoelaces and catch my books just in time. Different.. That’s…different. Two moms? “You might want to tie your shoelaces first,” she replies, giving me a smile that reminds me of a snake. Then she and her friends walk away, their conversation already moved on to other things. I tie my shoelaces hastily before hurrying into the bathroom. (door opening) I splash cold water (water faucet sounds) on my face and feel it running down my cheeks. Those aren’t tears, that’s just the water. I don’t cry that easily, right? Julia is trying to upset me but I can’t let her. Still, I feel sick to my stomach as I snatch some paper towels and wipe my face. A minute later, I slide into my seat just as the bell rings. “Today we will begin a very important science project! It will be worth 15 percent of your grade!” exclaims Ms. Peterson, her curly red hair bounces on her shoulders with enthusiasm. There is a collective groan. “However, you will get to work with a partner,”she adds. The class immediately perks up. Rats! Partner work! That means I’m going to get humiliated because I don’t have any friends. Julia runs over to her best friend, Carol. They grab onto each other’s arms and start talking quickly. I look around the room as kids lock eyes and nod at each other. Only, no one looks at me like that. “Do we all have partners?” Ms. Peterson asks. My small “no” is drowned out by the chorus of “yes”s. “Ms. Peterson?” I say softly. There is no response so I raise my hand instead. Still, she doesn’t seem to see me. I sigh, why do teachers love group projects so much? That makes four partner projects that I’ll be doing on my own. As I open the door to the cafeteria, an hour later, I am met with the smell of spoiled milk and the sound of kids talking. (crowd talking sounds) The noise bounces off the walls creating a deafening echo chamber. Who would eat here by choice? I find that the main course is a sort of brown gloop so I purchase a ham and cheese sandwich instead. I slip out of the cafeteria, making sure no one sees me leaving. But I shouldn’t have worried. Everyone is so busy talking and laughing, no one noticed me. “Not like that’s unusual.” I say aloud, surprised at how bitter I sound. I open the door to the bathroom (opening door sounds) and am relieved to find it empty. I put my plate down on the counter and take a cautious bite and shudder. Then, to my horror, I hear loud talking nearing the bathroom and I quickly run for one of the stalls. (stall opening and closing sounds) If anyone finds me here I have a zero percent chance of ever making a friend. The door opens (door opening sounds) and I hear Carol’s unmistakable voice. “Emma, we should totally try this lip gloss!” “I’m not allowed to wear makeup,” Emma replies. “Oh get over it, besides Julia wants us to wear it. If we don’t we’ll sink in the social ranks. This is our chance to get on Julia’s good side.” Carol snaps. I quickly dig through my bag but only find chapstick. Still I put some on anyway. “Do you really want to end up like Betty?!” Carol asks. I can feel my face getting hot. Will the humiliation ever end? I hadn’t heard the rest of their conversation but the next thing I know they are gone. I open the stall door (stall door opening sounds) and stumble out. I lose hold of my sandwich and it falls to the floor. I toss it in the trash with my stomach still growling and head still spinning. It’s a relief when I can finally step off the bus in front of my house. Mom is there in the driveway waiting for me. We walk inside together and she serves me a snack of freshly baked brownies. I love Wednesdays because Mom always gets home from work early. She asks me about my day and the story of everything that happened comes pouring out. That is, except the part about what Julia said about her and Olivia. I can’t tell Mom that because she’d feel awful and like it was her fault. It’s not her fault or Olivia’s. It’s my own fault. I know Mom would say that it’s Julia’s fault not mine. I know she’s right, but still it’s so hard to believe her. I start to cry and Mom hugs me and hands me a box of tissues. “Mom, they were teasing me about you and Oliva,” I accidentally blurt out. “What?” At first she looks confused, then sad. “Oh honey, I’m sorry about the girls at school. Wherever you go, there will always be people like that. You have to stand up for yourself or you’ll feel miserable for the rest of your life.” “But I can’t do something like that, people will think I’m mean. I should be able to go with the flow and not let it bother me.” I reply. “That may be the case, sometimes but not here. If someone is treating you unkindly, you should tell them how you feel. Don’t let it make you feel sad or the bully wins. You’re stronger than that.” she says. “I have to impress Julia!” I exclaim. “Being a good person doesn’t mean you can please everyone. It means doing your best to help others when you can but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice who you are to please someone. If you have to change who you are to impress anyone, then do you really want to impress them?” To my amazement, the more we talk the better I feel. The next thing I know, the box of tissues are gone and my spirits are once again lifted. I should tell Julia how I feel. She doesn’t have the right to judge me. Although I don’t want to pick a fight with her. Next time she says something homophobic I’ll stand up for myself. If she never says anything like that again…problem solved! Still, I’m secretly hoping Julia won’t ever bring up the topic again. A few hours later I hear the door open. I am immediately out of my seat and racing down the stairs. “Oliva!” I cry. “Hey ketchup kiddo!”says Olivia. I give her a giant hug. Ketchup kiddo has been her nickname for me ever since I was young. I loved ketchup and fries so much that for some reason, I squirted a bunch of ketchup in my hair. When I think back on it, I have no idea why I did it. Maybe to loudly proclaim my love for ketchup? I was a strange child, that’s for sure. My thoughts flit back to my conversation with Mom. I love Mom and Oliva and I shouldn’t let people make fun of them. I go back in the kitchen and find, to my delight, Mom has made my favorite meal, spaghetti and meatballs. We sit down and talk about our days. This is the best part of the day. No being excluded. I wonder all the nasty things that Julia and the other girls must think of me. I had a father once upon a time, but he and mom divorced shortly after I was born. A year later, Mom married Olivia. The two of them have always been the best parents imaginable, but Julia doesn’t like them. Why doesn’t she? When I step off the bus the next day and head toward the building I see a clump of girls walking towards me. It’s Julia and her minions again. I’m so tired of this!!! I push past them and keep walking. “What’s up with you?” she snaps. I turn and give her a glare so evil that she takes a step back. “Okay.” She says. Then she and her friends walk away towards the school. I have a strong desire to kick something. My mind flashes back to yesterday’s conversation in the bathroom and I ball my hands into fists. I grit my teeth and walk into the building. I pay complete attention during class and even get an A+ on the pop quiz. I walk out of the classroom at noon feeling good about myself for the first time in weeks. Today I’m not hiding in the bathroom and dropping my sandwich on the floor. I confidently march into the cafeteria (crowd talking sounds) and bravely load some brown gloop onto my plate. I take a large bite and to my surprise, it’s actually not that bad. “Please stop being so mean to Betty. She doesn’t deserve it.” I turn to see Ezperanza standing at Julia’s table. “Having two parents of the same gender is weird though. And I’m not being mean or cruel or whatever you want to say because that is my opinion and I’m entitled to it. I’m allowed to not want to be friends with Betty because of her moms because that is just my opinion. It’s a free country.” I feel a hot rage bubbling inside of me. I shouldn’t say something. It will ruin any chance I have of making a friend. People will think I’m impulsive or something. My mind flashes back to my conversation with Mom. “If someone is treating you unkindly, you should tell them how you feel”, and “you’re stronger than that.” I’m tired of hiding. Julia is wrong and it’s time someone told her so. I realize I have already made my way to Julia’s table. “No, that’s not okay because your opinion is harming others. And I love my moms so I don’t care what you say. And my parent’s choices say nothing about my character so don’t you dare even for a moment pretend that because of them there is something wrong with me. You don’t have the right to talk about my family like that! Stop excluding me and making passive aggressive comments about me! And you’re always peer pressuring other people to act certain ways but we don’t have to please you!” I exclaim a lot louder than I intended to. Then I march over and sit down at a table alone. All of a sudden, the cafeteria is silent. Everyone is staring at me. It’s as if someone hit the pause button on a movie. All of a sudden there is no sound and everyone just sits there gaping. Some people look impressed, some people look annoyed, and some people look like they’re trying not to laugh. But what does it matter that I impress Julia and the other kids. I stood up for the people I love and I’m proud of myself. I don’t feel even an ounce of regret. Then Esperanza speaks. “Betty’s right.” Then, she walks over and sits down next to me. Murmurs of agreement spread across the cafeteria. Then Emma and a few of the girls leave Julia’s table. To my amazement, they sit with me. Then more and more of them pick up their trays and take them to my table. Even Carol is tired of being controlled by Julia. They leave Julia sitting there on her own and despite what she put me through, I feel a twinge of sympathy for her. I walk across the cafeteria and sit down next to her. “Leave me alone.” she says shakily. “Julia-,” I begin. “Just go away, okay?” Well I did my best to help her but if she wants to be alone that’s probably best. It is amazing how good I feel. How peaceful I feel all of a sudden. Because despite how Julia treated me, I am still myself. Being a good person doesn’t mean you can please everyone. It means doing your best to help others when you can but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice who you are to please someone. If I have to change who I am to impress anyone, then I don’t want to impress them. I want to be me and nobody else. Mom’s words finally sink in. My anger from this morning is completely gone, replaced with a serenity I didn’t know was in me. That’s when I catch a glimpse of Esperanza smiling. I had never seen her smile before but it is a big happy smile that seems to light up her whole face. It makes me smile too. One day later, Mom, Oliva and I are in DC. Mom’s holding a sign that says “GAY RIGHTS NOW” and Oliva and I are marching along with her. Pride swells inside me like a warm honey. Olivia is holding a sign with the rainbow flag on it. In the crowd of people marching I catch a glimpse of two black braids. Esperanza. She looks up and we lock eyes. A nod of understanding passes between us.

Alec:  Last question. If there was only one thing that our audience remembers from the story, what do you want it to be?

Sejal:   Well, I would want the message that they take with them is to be kind and inclusive, cause I think the main problem for Betty isn’t only Julia  not including her but the other kids who don’t really do anything about it. So it’s easy to not reach out to others if they are in need of a friend or someone to stand up for them. But if you go that extra mile  it can really make a big difference.

Alec:  Okay, Lo,  are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready

Alec:  What breed of dog can jump higher than a skyscraper?

Elora:  I don’t know. What?

Alec:   Any of them.  Sky scrapers can’t jump.

 Elora:  (laughter)  Oh, you got me.

Alec:  Gotcha

Alec:  Bye, I love you

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Transcript: The Ocean City Girls – by Jena, 7

Alec:  I’m Alec.

Elora:  I’m a Elora and this is Written by Kids. Today we have an interview with young author Jenna, then her moving story, The Ocean City Girls. Before we get to the interview, we have some news. March 5th will be our final episode. We’ve had lots of fun, met lots of amazing families, heard lots of wonderful stories and told lots of, I’m going to go with excellent top-notch jokes.  And we’re grateful that you were here for it every week. And now it’s time for us to focus on some other things. And if you supported us, thank you. Your support is still going straight to the artist.

Alec:  But until March 5th, we will see you every Saturday on Written by Kids.  There are still many stories to be told, so without further ado, today’s interview.  The audio for this interview has a bit of an echo. That’s our fault, not their fault, but luckily, you can still understand what we’re saying. All right, what inspired you to write this story?

Jenna:  At that time. I was writing another story called Underneath the Evergreen Tree.  The character in it _________inspired me to create Ava. 

Alec:  That is awesome.

Elora:  And now The Ocean City Girls, by Jenna performed by me.

Elora: A gentle breeze (breeze sounds) shook the budding azaleas. The sunny May day drifted by as Ava Hamilton dreamt about her summer vacation at her grandmother’s estate, Ocean Manor, in Ocean City, Maryland. The Hamiltons were staying in Baltimore for one more day so Ava and her siblings, Alice and Luke, could finish school. 

The next day, Ava, Alice, Luke, and their parents, Amelia and Ben Hamilton, made their way to the train station. One marble pillar stood in each corner of the room. A stained-glass domed ceiling cast a colorful reflection on the stone floor. They boarded Train 8 and left their bags in the luggage car. As soon as they found their wooden seats, they sat down. The peaceful (train sounds) humming of the engine added to the gulls crying at the nearby seashore.  Out of the window was the prettiest sight Ava had ever seen. Apart from the hill of azalea bushes, which were blooming now in gorgeous shades of pink, orange, red, and yellow, was an aqua sea with a sandy beach before calm waves. Sea foam crowned every wave. In less than an hour, they arrived at Ocean City. Several canoes dotted the blue-green water.

The family walked out of the Ocean City Train Station. Her grandmother, Lizbeth Brown, met them at the gate with an elaborate carriage ride to Ocean Manor. When they arrived, Ava was taken aback by the opulent estate before her.

Ava and her mother, Amelia, soon left for a stroll on the beach.  (ocean wave sounds) A new boardwalk was being built beside it; it was a beautiful sight. The seabirds were silent at that time of day. All Ava and her mother could hear was the gentle tide. On the skeleton of the boardwalk, they came across a girl doing portraits of anyone who would pay her. Ava’s mother walked right past the girl. Ava thought her clothes were dirty, with holes in her dress. “Mom, look at that poor little girl,” Ava said. Her mother responded, “Stay away from her, Ava. She must be an immigrant. She’s poor and her clothes are tattered.” The mood was somber, and Ava wondered exactly why her mother wanted her to stay away from the girl.

At dinner that night, a bountiful feast was served upon an oak dinner table. A crisp linen tablecloth held a glass vase filled with blue forget-me-nots and roses as the centerpiece. As the family dined, Ava’s mother described to them what she and Ava had seen that day on the boardwalk. Ava’s dad declared, “Upstanding American families like ours should not associate with immigrants, especially the Irish.”

Late that night, Ava stayed up in her attic bedroom. Her grandmother read her a story in a rocking chair. “Why don’t we like immigrants, grandma?” Ava asked. “Some people don’t like them because they are often poor and they don’t understand their customs,” her grandma said. “When I was your age and my parents first brought me to America, we did not have any money and had no idea where we were going. People looked down upon us because we were different and poor. The rich of Ocean City wanted nothing to do with us.”

Ava felt ashamed that she had believed what her mother had told her. As she drifted off to sleep that night, Ava realized that she and the girl might not be so different after all.

Early the next morning, Ava slipped out of the house after breakfast. She ventured toward the beach (ocean wave sounds) in hopes of seeing the girl she had set eyes upon the day before. There she was, in the same place and in the same outfit she was the day before. The radiance of the late sunrise highlighted the difference between the two girls’ clothing. Ava approached the girl cautiously. “Hi, what’s your name?” Ava asked. “Cara O’Riley. Pleased to meet you,” Cara replied. Cara went on to tell Ava that her family came to America from Ireland last year, and that the residents of Ocean City look down upon them because they don’t have much money and they don’t dress in the current Victorian styles.

“Mind if you could do a portrait for me?” Ava asked. “What do you want me to draw?” Cara replied. “A flower,” Ava said. “I think they are pretty.” “How about I show you?” Cara suggested. “First, draw a circle with seven loops around it.” Ava, with the help of Cara’s instructions, drew several beautiful flowers. The girls sat and talked for a while as Ava drew.

Before she headed home, Ava invited Cara to Ocean Manor. “We usually eat dinner at 7 o’clock,” Ava said. “Could you come then?” “Sure,” Cara answered happily.

That night, the O’Riley family came to dinner. They brought a basket of corn, sweet potatoes, and carrots from their own garden. Ava’s parents and grandmother tentatively welcomed Cara’s parents, Sean and Mary O’Riley, into their home.

After dinner was over, Ava and Cara set out for a walk along Smith Creek, which was nearby. The water was flowing fast from the Spring rain, and jagged rocks were scattered along the river. The bank was blanketed with ferns. Ava’s eye caught a yellow butterfly fluttering by. “Cara, look at that butterfly,” she said. Suddenly, Ava screamed. While her eyes were wandering with the path of the butterfly, she had slipped on some wet ferns along the path. Ava stumbled into the creek, screaming wildly. Cara reached out just in time, grabbing Ava’s arm and pulling her to safety. A terrified Ava trembled as the sun began to sink below the horizon. It was getting dark, and the crickets were singing the first melodies of the evening. (cricket chirping sounds) Cara assisted Ava as the two limped back to Ocean Manor. Amelia and Ben Hamilton greeted them at the door. They were forever grateful to Cara for saving their daughter. And they began to realize that they and the O’Riley’s weren’t so different from one another.

Ava became good friends with Cara. Cara invited Ava to her house often—a small cabin with a lone wooden window. It was on the other side of town, a more rural part of Ocean City. When she visited, Cara’s parents would use some of their own crops from the garden to make dinner. They told Ava how Irish immigrants like themselves weren’t allowed in many of Ocean City’s shops, restaurants, and schools. Ava relayed this to her parents, and in the weeks that followed, they began to convince the town that immigrants weren’t to be feared after all. Slowly but surely, the town’s shops and schools began to open their doors to everyone despite their differences. Cara could not than Ava’s parents enough. Ava spent all of summer together with Cara, flying kites, riding horses, playing checkers, and going to the shore.

The train ride back to Baltimore came sooner than Ava thought it would. When they boarded, Ava looked out the window, (train sounds) daydreaming about all the adventures she had experienced, the friend she had made, and the lessons she had learned that summer. Ava knew she not only had made a new best friend, but she also gained a new member of her family. She could not wait to come back next year.

Alec:  How do you want the audience to feel at the end of the story?

Jenna:  I would like the audience to feel ________ hope and welcome. This story is a story of two girls who came from completely different backgrounds, but focus on what they had in common instead of what they had different.

Alec:  Hey Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec:  I’m so ready.

Elora:  Where do frogs deposit their money?

Alec:  A safety defoggit box

Elora:  (laughter)  That’s really good, but no.

Alec:  Where?

Elora:  In the riverbank.

Alec:  Oh, no.

Elora:  (laughter)  It’s just the oh no.  Oh my gosh.

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Arne the Viking’s Voyage – by A.R., 9

Alec:  I’m Alec.

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written by Kids. Today we have an interview with young author A.R, then his story Arne, The Vikings Voyage.

Alec:  Saying A.R. is a voracious reader is an understatement. He started his reading journey at the young age of  three; he is now going through a Harry Potter phase, and has read each book in the series more than six times. He also loves doodling and coming up with new jokes. This is a story he wrote in the summer camp of 2021 with Young Writers Institute based in Cary, North Carolina.  Hi A.R.

A.R.:  Hi

Alec:  What inspired you to write this story?

A.R:  Well, I wrote the story in a writing camp and the theme was Vikings and I always liked reading about Vikings, and I also wanted it to be a peaceful story, with peaceful intentions.

Alec:  That’s awesome. How do you want people to feel after they hear the story?

A.R.:  Well, in my story, Arne’s trade route inspired people to come up with more trade routes.  Just like that, after listening to my story, I want to be able to get inspired to visit new places.

Elora:  And now, Arne, the Vikings Voyage, by A.R. performed by Alec.

Alec: Arne “the dragon”, a Viking explorer was thinking, when he foresaw a plan. He was going to establish a Viking trade route! It would solve all the problems that more aggressive Vikings caused. He got permission from the king of the land, then put up posters advertising the quest. Then he bought a valuable borophene ship for sailing. He had heard of the goods in foreign countries. He wanted to trade for them peacefully. He heard of the wars that happened when armies tried to capture places. He packed pots and pans (clanking sounds) and bows and arrows. (zipping sounds) He packed his garlic and garlic bread (packing sounds) and peas and wheat. He packed a sapphire encrusted steel sword (metal clashing sounds) and bricks and a shield. He then packed the trading materials. (more packing sounds) He packed lumber and Rutile and Datolite and potatoes and oats to take around the world. (zipping sounds) He mapped out the trip with his friends. They decided to fish Cod at the start to trade even more. They would start at home, then go to Greenland, then England, then Egypt, then Japan, then Burma, then China, then India, then Arabia, then Germany, then Australia, then Mauritania. “It’s gonna be a long trip,” Arne said. It was going to be a long trip, a very long trip. They set sail in the morning. The Norse flag waved high in the air, its gold raven visible many miles away. They barely went two miles before being swiftly attacked by the fierce and quick Sea people. (ocean wave sounds) The sea people shot arrows. (arrow shooting sounds) Thankfully the arrows were no match for the ship, the “Sea Queen.” They just bounced off! (bouncing sounds) Arne, his friends, the volunteers and his hardy nisse (gnomes) for hire steered the ship away from the sea people, while the ships that accompanied them dealt with the rascally mean sea people. (more ocean wave sounds) Along the horizon, a dark wave began to swell, before racing toward the ship. They had encountered a huge tsunami caused by an evil Jotunn, a giant demon, by his dark magic! Everyone ran about the shaking ship because of its strength. (rain sounds) Arne yelled in the commotion, “Hard right! Oarsmen, paddle quickly! Nothing can break this ship!” Everyone did as they were told, and they got away. Then a kraken attacked the ship. It roared a gurgly monstrous roar. (roaring sounds) It whipped the ship with its long tentacles. But it made a huge mistake! It crawled onto the side of the ship and volunteers peppered it with millions of arrows. (arrow shooting sounds) It sank to the bottom of the ocean, soon to be food for scavenging hagfish. Later, another storm came, but a sea dragon tempered the waves. Then the great sea snake led the way to all the countries. They got opals from Australia, silk and spices from the Middle East, rice from Japan, copper from Africa, wool from England, walrus tusks from Greenland, barley from Egypt, ice cream from China, candy from India, where they got more rice, and rubies from Burma. Finally, the snake took them to Mauritania and the snake decided to wait for the crew. As they went farther inland, they met a small army of soldiers, who started shooting arrows. (arrow shooting sounds) “Yikes!” Arne said. “Well, if you want trouble, then you’ll get trouble!” They shot arrows back and gathered up the weapons that the opposition dropped. Then they marched inland and offered cod to the army’s people but they refused and chased Arne’s expedition away. Then a giant eagle came (lound swishing sounds) and showed them the way across the treacherous mountains and dry, hot, deserts. They came across more armies. “Gosh! I only want to trade!” said Arne. He then asked whether the translator knew what language the indigenous people were saying. The translator was clueless! They met a prophet who told them that Arne’s army was up against a powerful jungle army called the People of the Trees. They found a magical artifact in an ancient temple. It told them the way by showing them a moving map and whispering the directions. It whispered, “Ok, ok, turn right now, that’s it, oops, falling tree there, oh wait, no, that is not a falling tree, for some reason. It’s a leaning tree I think, wait, that’s not a tree at all for some reason.…” I can see why the People of the trees never used this artifact, Arne thought. They soon came to the huge, but dangerous, copper mine. Arne and his crew observed the mine. It was full of lava. “Pickaxes and shovels out!” Arne said. He wasn’t deterred. His crew started mining. (shoveling sounds) They found that the lava (splashing sounds) could melt armor. So, they made datolite armor and tested it out. (clanking sounds) Arne put it on and jumped into the lava. It worked gloriously! They mined and mined. (shoveling sounds) Suddenly an arrow flew in the air, hitting a rock. It was more People of the Trees! They marched to defeat the people of the trees, Arne accepting that they were not willing to barter goods. But before the battle, Arne attempted one last time to make peace. Arne laid some rutile before the army’s leader. The king put the stones in a sack and threw them at Arne’s army. Then a fight broke out. (soldiers yelling sounds) (swords clashing sounds) The mighty jungle army shot arrows with precision. Then (arrows shooting sounds)  Arne’s crew got into formation and bombarded the People of the Trees with arrows. (arrows shooting sounds) Arrows sliced through the air. Arne, being an excellent archer, (more arrow shooting sounds) was able to defeat many of the soldiers. A Thursar, a giant, picked up some of the soldiers and threw them in the ocean while yodeling. Then the giant eagle swooped down and caught some soldiers for lunch. While the People of the Trees turned their attention to the Thursar and the giant eagle Arne loaded the copper onboard, along with fruits that they found. Next, they took the enemies’ dropped tools and loaded them on the ship. They finally loaded the datolite armor on. They sent messenger pigeons out to inform people about the miracle armor. The snake was refastened to the ship as the sea dragons kept watch. Finally, they were ready to sail home. They pulled the sails up. (sails going up sounds) The oarsmen got into their positions. Then they finally set sail back home. The great lizard-prowed ship finally arrived at home, and everyone rejoiced. Arne himself gave a speech. He spoke about the trade route to all his homeland. He impressed everybody. He spoke about his escapades and adventures on the treacherous trip. He spoke about the datolite armor and of the ship. He ended the speech by saying, (crowd cheering sounds) “But for now, we go onward!” while pointing to the sun on the great background of the yonder blue. Arne’s trade route was used by many more explorers and inspired more routes, branched out from Arne’s

Alec:  Do you have a message for our listeners about why visiting and trading with other cultures and countries is important?

A.R. Visiting other countries help us experience different cultures, help build relationships, and also help us get things that we never had before.

Alec:  OK, Lo, Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  What do you call a cult of letters?

Elora:  I don’t know, what?

Alec:  The alphabetical order.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  So glad cuz I made that one up.  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Transcript: Improv Holiday Songs

Alec: I’mAlec

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written by Kids. Today we are joined by singer, songwriter, actor and all-around goofball, Michael Pierre Jr. Hi Mike, and welcome back.

Mike:  Hi, It’s great to be back.

Alec:  Mike, we’re so excited to have you back to sing three songs. And the first one is based on the story we published last week called Trip in the Snow Globe by Neil. Are you ready to sing that song?

Mike:  Oh, I’m so ready. It is a trip. I tell you. I mean the listeners know,  if it they listened last week, they know exactly what they’re in for. And it was a challenge. I was just telling Alec before we started, and so I will tell you, Elora, and the listeners, that like it was tough to to make this what seems to be such a nice story, and it gets dark. It’s just dark at points, you know,  and really there is this nice message, but it definitely challenges you as a reader. So I thought, that’s interesting, you know. That’s Neil for you, what are you going to do?

Elora:  (laughter)

Mike:  I just called the song, The the Snow Globe, but I’m thinking about, you know, what, if you think of a better title, I’m thinking Falling into Snow. So this is Falling into Snow.

Mike Singing:  In all the glass I see the snow I shake and look inside this globe I know but what to my wondering eyes appear a dot of black.  And oh dear, now I’m falling into snow, finding where my friends will go.  In fear I hear them say, will we ever find our way.  When you’re wandering in the globe looking for a friend you know, you find the truth of Christmas time in time in time. A polar bear says hi but i think he’s gonna cry. The penguin lord just watches as i swim the fox he cries aloud again. oh no. Now I’m falling into snow hearing voices ho ho ho they seem so pure to me as I peak around the tree and its Santa with his friends the animals know how it ends unless we find a way to make it swell, and let my earth get well. So the next gift that you give think about the way you live – to reduce reuse recycle is the meaning. And when the lesson learned is through the animals will all thank you. You’ll see them falling in and standing up for what is right when you’re falling into snow you can learn a thing or two when you’re falling into snow you’ll know what you have to do you’re falling into snow you’ll see its up to you when you’re falling into snow oh.

Mike:  (laughter)

Elora:  That was so lovely.

Mike:  Thank you.

Elora:  So great,

Alec:  There’s a little bit of Goo Goo Dolls in there.

Mike:  Yeah, a little bit of Goo Goo Dolls. It just makes me so happy.

Alec:  Alright, so that means it’s time for a second song which will be based on a random title that I give you. And I’m going to use a totally random title that I find on a website, called random word

Mike:  Wow, Ok, so I have no idea what these are,  No plans.

Alec:  Alright. This is called smell consolidation flower.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Mike:  No. Oh my Gosh.  Smell Consolidation Flower?  Smell consolidation flower, that sounds like a computer trying to do a human action. Starting to smell consolidation flower, you know, like. Okay. So we’re going to we’re going to lean into that, this is a computer experiencing…

Mike singing:  Smell Consolidation Flower.  New program runs every couple hours when I see that nice little tulip up a tree, Smell Consolidation Flower.

Mike:  No, no nah.  Hold on.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Mike singing:  Consolidation Flower

Mike:  Yeah something like that.

Mike singing:  Consolidation flower. Better smell it in a couple of hours or else my program will fail. Never seen a rose before. Never even had a nose before cause I’m a robot computer whose only job is to smell these flipp’n flowers. Smell consolidation flowers baby yea. This one smells really good – oh wait it’s poop.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Mike:  That’s a glimpse into the process too.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Mike:  (playing guitar)

Elora:  That was a… Wow.  OK   And that means it’s now time for our third and final song. This one will also be based on a song title that I give you and I’m going to be a little kinder.

Mike:  OK, OK

Elora:  And I’m just going to go with pine needles everywhere.

Mike:  This is like sort of a We Didn’t Start the Fire kind of vibe. (guitar playing) Yeah, I’m just going to straight up rip that off. 

Alec:  Alright

Mike:  This is a pine needles everywhere inspired by We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel. It’s not going to be too long.  Here we go.

Mike singing:  Pine needles everywhere. Oh I did without a care.  In my hair and in my derrière, oh no.  Christmas trees are hard to please begging on my little knees ask’n pretty pretty please just to make it stop. How did they get everywhere they are in my underwear! I do not how it did it but what I wanna say is somebody stop the needles they smell so good but they make me sad somebody stop the needles I wish had a vacuum let me ask my dad somebody stop the needles let me make my room but they make my doom somebody stop the needles man I wish I didn’t love the smell of needles so much.

Elora:  Amazing.

Alec:  I’m going to need a vacuum. Let me ask my dad?

Everyone:  (laughter)

Mike:  It’s like, I just had a bunch of lines, and I was like I’ll use these lines, but I don’t know where they’re going to go.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Mike:  Without a care in my hair, collecting on my derrière.  Why they in my underwear? Christmas trees are hard to please begging on my knees.  Pretty please make it stop. Someone stop the needles. They smell so good, but they make me sad, someone stop the needles. I wish I had a vacuum for this pine fresh mess doom, is the line I had, but I like the dad line even better. 

Alec:  (laughter) 

Mike:  It’s like the urgency of like, I love pine, I like the smell of pine too.  But when the needles get everywhere you’re like, okay, I do want this. I asked for this, I wanted this, so there’s this like pain in the butt urgency that is like, I just got to da da da, and that’s why We Didn’t Start the Fire seemed so Pine Needles Everywhere

Alec: Like in order to get rid of them. I will start a fire

Mike singing:  So I set my house on fire…

Alec:  Mike would you be willing to sing a fourth song on this episode?

Mike:  Heck yeah, lets do it.

Alec:  OK, Lo do you want to come up with a title together? Like you say the first word and I say the second word. You say the third word.

Elora:  Sure

Mike:  Let’s do it.

Elora:  OK, so first word is better.

Alec:  than

Elora;  First word that popped into my head was butter.  (laughter)

Alec:  (laughter)

Mike:  Better than Butter.  Oh yeah.  (guitar strumming)  OK, so for the holidays, I am going to frame this as a, like a classic carol, like a classic Christmas carol which are really just like hymns, appropriately enough.

Mike singing:  Where is the bread, I’m hungry and I’m tired.  And mother says its in the cabinet here.   I toast the bread with my heart warming fire and I look for something nice to top it here.  Mother says we have the margarine and we have the jam. I say, okay, but where’s the butter?  She says, there’s none left in the land, but margarine is better than butter. No, it’s not Mom. You’re an idiot. Better than butter, just throw away my toast. I will not eat it.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Mike:  I had no idea where that was going to go.  Better than butter.  So holy sounding.

Elora:  No butter left in the land. 

Mike:  No butter left in the land, There is no butter left, but there is margarine in this world.  And mom is convinced.

Alec:  It’s marginally better.

Mike:  (laughter)

Alec:  Alright, one, Mr. Michael Perrie, Jr.,  this has been so much fun.  Before we let you go,

Mike:  yes

Alec:  Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Mike:  yes

Alec:  What did the dog say when his owner asked him, What’s 7 minus 7?

Mike:  What?

Alec:  Nothing.

Mike:  (laughter)  Yes, that’s a good joke because it teaches you and it also lets you know that dogs can’t talk. 

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  That’s right.  It does two things instead of one thing!

Elora:  Amazing.

Transcript: Sarah-Jane

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written by Kids. Today we’re joined by the author of a wonderful new children’s book called, Mrs. Claus Does the Unthinkable, Sarah-Jane Edis. Hi Sarah-Jane and welcome to Written by Kids.

Sarah-Jane Hello. How are you guys?

Elora:  Doing great.

Alec:  Doing great.

Elora;  So we’re going to ask you three questions and play two trivia games. So let’s start with a question. Can you talk a bit about your book, Mrs. Claus does the Unthinkable?

Sarah-Jane:  My book was inspired by two people in my life. My mom, a lover of Christmas, and my son, a lover of stories. I came up with the story while we’re traveling around New South Wales here in Australia. It was so hot, the way that we experience Christmas down under.  My son was beaming with Christmas excitement and he wanted to hear Christmas stories, and Mrs. Claus became his favorite character.  And being a four-year-old, he wanted it on repeat. The  more I thought about the Christmas story, the more I wanted to fix the gender imbalance in the Christmas narrative. We’ve got Rudolph, Frosty, the Snowman, the Grinch, the gingerbread men. So I really wanted to make Mrs. Clause the star.  And have more women in the story. So I’ve given her a name, her name is Jess Clause.  And a new look and role for the modern world.

Elora:  That’s awesome. I love it.

Alec:  So that means it is time for our first trivia game, all about winter celebrations.  You’ve listened to the podcast, so you know, that these jokes are not going to be great.

Sarah-Jane:  (laughter)

Alec:  But that’s what makes them great. So just, you know.

Sarah-Jane:  I’m really looking forward to it.

Alec:  So, we’re calling this game. We don’t do any of that Fake Plastic Menorah stuff, every year my kids, and I go outside and we cut down our own Menorah. 

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  I’m going to ask three multiple choice questions, Buzz your buzzer to answer, which for us is just saying, Buzz, get it right, get a point, get it wrong, the other person gets to answer. Are you ready to play?

Sarah-Jane:  Yes

Elora:  Ready

Alec:   Question number one.  Which of these is not a real winter celebration? Which of them is not? So is it A? In Canada, people go outside, wet their hair, and compete in a hair freezing competition?  Is it B, in the Iceland, People, eat what’s thought of as a manifestation of winter, which is absolutely disgusting foods like fermented shark in order to chase away the cold? Or is it C, in Poland, single people dress up like a devil snowman kind of creature, and wander around wherever they haven’t been yet until someone offers them pie, which means that they’ll find love in the next year. Which of those is not real? 

Elora:  Oh my god,  they are all spectacular.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Sarah-Jane: Yeah Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Sarah-Jane.

Sarah Jane:  I’ll  go B.

Alec:  Oh Good guess, but that one is totally real.  They eat fermented shark

Elora;  So I

Alec:  You are choosing between a hair freezing competition, and dressing up like a devil snowman to be offered pie, so you can find love.

Elora:  Honestly, given some of the traditions that I’ve heard, I think C.

Alec:  That is correct. (bells) C is false.

Sarah-Jane:  Excellent.

 Elora:  Well done.  Honestly, I could believe it. Like

Sarah-Jane:  Yes, so ridiculous it could be true.

Elora:  Right, exactly.

Alec:  It would be going where snowmen have gone before.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  Alec

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  Love it.

Alec:  Alright.  Question two.  We Jews make latkes during Hanukkah, those little delicious fried potato pancakes, which of these is true about the history of the latke. Is it A, the first latkes were made of cheese, deep-fried, ricotta?   Is it B, there’s seemingly no connection at all from the latke to the story of Hanukkah?  Is it C, eating latkes is the best and if you’ve never had them you should you should try them or you’re missing out?  Or is it D, All of the above? 

Elora:  (laughter) We’re guessing which one is true? Right?

Alec:  Yes.

Elora:  Okay, Not which one is false.  Okay. I had to make sure.   Buzz. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say D.

Alec:  You are correct. (bells)  Those are all accurate.

Elora:  Wait, really?  They were made out of ricotta?

Alec:  They were made out of cheese. Yeah, so D’s correct. They’re all true especially C.  You got to try some latkes because otherwise they’re just unidentified frying objects. 

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Question three, which of these events also happen on December 25th?  Was it A, in 1959 Ringo Starr of The Beatles got his first drum kit?  Is it B, in 1890, Picasso finished his first-ever painting?  Or is it C, in 2013 Beyonce’s first solo album was released?  Which of those happened on December 25th, Beatles, Picasso or Beyonce?

Sarah-Jane:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Sarah-Jane?

Sarah-Jane:  I’ll go, Beyonce.

Alec:  You’re going to go Beyonce? 

Sarah-Jane:  Well, Ok no.

Alec:  You want to rethink it?  Take a second?

Elora:  You just take that answer back?

Sarah-Jane:  B?

Alec:  Ooh, alright

Sarah-Jane:  A?

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  A is correct.  (bells)  You got it right. It’s Ringo Starr. That means technically Lo, you on the game, but because we’re so enjoying your company so much, Sarah-Jane, you won the game. (applause)

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  And I mean to be fair, I only guessed D because I was like, it’s probably not D. These can’t all be true.  And that means it’s time for our second interview question.  Sara-Jane, could you read us a section of Mrs. Claus Does the Unthinkable?

Sarah-Jane:  This is a fantastic idea, shouted Effie, She was one of the smallest elves, but she had the biggest heart one of the loudest voices. She writes the list for whose naughty and nice. It was such a mess before, she is the only one who can un-jam the wrapping machine without losing her temper.  And, Effie continued, she makes sure we don’t work too much overtime. Santa would make us work all night if he could. But, not everybody like the idea. The older girls were quite unhappy.  Someone who isn’t Santa drive the sleigh?  It’s unheard of, said Effie.  Unthinkable, replied the others.  Jess wasn’t worried. She did several unthinkable things most days. She got straight to work. 

Elora:  Thank you so much.

Sarah-Jane:  That’s alright.

Elora:  That means it’s time for our second game which Sarah-Jane, you are going to lead, which is a first for us. First, here are the rules and then you’ll tell us the name of the game. You’re going to list, five fun facts about Christmas, and we are going to guess if they are true or false. So what is the name of this game? 


Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Yes.

Elora;  I love it.

Sarah-Jane:  First true or false question is, Santa has his own post code in Canada. True or false?

Elora:  I think that’s true.

Alec:  I am also going to go with true,

Sarah-Jane: (bells) That’s right. It’s a true.  It’s          

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Oh man, that’s so good.

Sarah-Jane:  I knew you guys would love that.  So the next question is, Saint Nicholas is thousands of years old, but Mrs. Claus was mentioned 500 years ago. 

Elora:  True?

Alec:  Yeah. Okay. I’m going to agree with true.

Elora:  I’m thinking less.

Sarah-Jane:  That is false.  It was less.  Yeah, he only got a wife 172 years ago in a story called The Christmas Legend.  So the next, the third question is, scientific research has been conducted regarding Rudolph’s nose, true or false?

Alec:  Regarding his nose.

Elora;  You know what, it is so absurd, I am going to say true. 

Alec:  Yeah, I say true.

Sarah-Jane:  Strangely enough, it is true.  (bells) In 1998 a Norwegian scientist hypothesized that Rudolph’s nose was caused by a parasite infection of the nostrils. 

Elora;  (laughter)

Alec:  That’ll do it.

Sarah-Jane:  That’ll do it.  Um so, question four.  One of Saint Nicholas’s first notable good deeds was to give wrapped presents.  True or false?

Alec:  That sounds false. 

Sarah-Jane:  That ‘s right, (bells) it was false.  His first notable gifts was to pay women’s dowries.  For our younger listeners, that is when a man is given money for marrying a woman.  And in some cultures, it still happens.  Question 5, Saint Nicholas climbed onto roofs at night to deliver presents.  True or false?

Elora:  False?

Alec:  True?

Sarah-Jane:  (laughter)  It is true.  Leaving a bag of gold on the foot steps where everyone could see and take.  He didn’t seem like that idea. So, he climbed onto the roof and drop them down the chimney, where it landed into a stocking that was washed and hung to dry.

Alec:  Do you remember who won? I think you got

Elora:  I think you won, Alec. 

Alec:  I won (applause)

Elora;  And now for our final interview question from a listener. Ten year old Thomas wants to know, are there any times you wish you were not a writer or had chosen another career? And what do you do in those times?

Sarah-Jane:  That’s a great question, cause I actually have so many careers on the go at the moment.  I am actually a graphic designer, and a photographer, and now a writer. So the writing has just been a new thing, and I think it fun to do lots of different things.  I think it really helps you just expand and grow.  I am someone who’s a life long learner, so I just, yeah, I just really enjoy doing lots of different things.  So I would encourage other kids to have a dip into lots of different things that they are interested in, and it just makes life so much more exciting. 

Elora:  So many things to do, not enough time. Right?

Sarah-Jane:  Yeah.  It definitely makes you time poor.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  So wait, this is the first thing you’ve written?

Sarah-Jane:  Yes, yes it is.

Alec:  It’s so good though. 

Elora:  That’s awesome.

Sarah-Jane:  Well, thank you.  I had plenty of material cause um, we’re in the car for 20 hours. So my son wanting the story on repeat; I just basically changed the story like 20 different times. So when I did actually go to sit down,

Elora:  He did the editing already.

Sarah-Jane:  Yeah, I was just like there are so many ideas here, I have to just compress them all into into one.

Elora:  That’s awesome

Alec:  Awesome.  Sp, before we end with the joke of the week; tell everybody what the book is called where they can find it.

Sarah-Jane:  The book is called Mrs. Clause Does the Unthinkable.  It is available on hardcover on my website and you can get it internationally. Yep, Hardcover on my website, Amazon is selling its soft cover anywhere in the world. 

Alec:  Great.  Ready for the joke of the week? 

Sarah-Jane:  Yes

Elora:  Ready

Alec:  What did Mars say to Saturn at the party?

Elora:  I don’t know, what?

Alec:  Hey, give me a ring sometime.

Everyone: (laughter)

Sarah-Jane:  Love it.

Transcript: Robert Schorr

Alec:  I’m Alec. This is Written by Kids. Today we are joined by the author of a delightful new children’s book called. Amal, the Thirsty Gamal: A Christmas Tale which you can get at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and independent bookstores everywhere. Robert Schorr. Hi Robert and welcome to Written by Kids.

Robert:  Oh, thanks for letting me be on your show. I love your show; it’s wonderful.

Alec:  Thank you so much.

Robert:  I’ve been playing it a lot lately.

Alec:  So you might have noticed that Lo is not here today. So it is just us. We’re going to have a lot of fun. I’m going to ask you three questions about yourself and your children’s Christmas book and will play two trivia games. So let’s start with a question. Can you talk a little about your book and what inspired you to write it?

Robert:  My book is about a thirsty camel who is very beleaguered and has been belittled and shunned because his hump is so small, and he joins a caravan that includes some wise men heading westward following a star. And so that’s sort of the background of it. What inspired me to write it? I have to say was probably just sympathy, because I really think, forgive me for making this blatant statement, but I really think my little character, Amal the thirsty Gamal, is the saddest and loneliest, most pitiful creature in the entire animal kingdom. I think you’ll agree with me just a bit. First of all, we have camels at large. They themselves are terribly lowly and humble things, as far as the animal kingdom is concerned. And yes, I’m talking about the entire species. Are they not belittled by all the others. I mean think about it, A hump.  Now lions have manes and tigers have a roar and eagles have wings and elephants have hoses. Kangaroos have pouches and turtles have houses and even a firefly has a delightful little lantern to light his path in the dark of night, but let a camel walk by and every animal in the kingdom is bound to smirk and shake his head. Like, what is that?

Alec:  (laughter)

Robert:  It’s a hump.  Well, what’s it for? I don’t know. Does it serve some purpose? He doesn’t know. He can’t explain it. It was there when he got here. And so whenever the rest of the animals come by, that, that hump is a source of embarrassment for every camel, not just Amal.  And that’s why they have such stern anxious looking expressions on their faces. But hold on. I’m not done yet. In the midst of this sad humbled belittled group, very much like a another breed of creatures I know, there is belittling and shaming going on. Are you ready for this? Among themselves, against each other.

Alec:  Oh no

Robert:  Oh, yes. You see right there in the camel family, we have bactrians, with two humps. And man do they ever sneer at the camels with one, dromedaries, these are called, camels with one hump, and they walk around with their heads hanging down ashamed to admit that they’re missing a hump. But at least they have one and that’s something anyway, and if they could only find someone a little worse than themselves, you know, if only there was someone a little more flawed and little lower on the ladder, someone they can look down on for once and make fun of well, that might be a relief and so behold, enter Amal. Our sad little Amal who has hardly has any hump at all, which means he is thirsty most of the time and out in the desert, that’s not a good sign. So Amal is made fun of by the dromedaries who have all been belittled by the bactrians, who in turn have been teased by the lions and the eagles and the elephants and all the other privileged animals in the kingdom. And so let me ask you, does it get any lower than Amal the Gamal?  I rest my case. We can safely assume that Amal the Gamal is the saddest loneliest, most pitiful creature in the entire animal kingdom. That’s my motive for writing it I felt someone has to take this on this. That’s why I did it.

Alec:   That is the most delightful sad tale that I’ve heard in a long time. So that means it is time for our first game, which is going to be a little shorter than usual because Lo is not here. 

Robert:  Your not going to make me improvise songs, I hope, like Michael Pierre.

Alec:  I wouldn’t make you, I wouldn’t make anyone try to do with Michael  Pierre can do. 

Robert:  When I heard his show, I thought, Oh my goodness, I’m never going to follow this up.

Alec:  So, It’s going to be a bit shorter than usual since Lo is not here. This is a trivia game about Christmas. And this game is this game is brought to you by Beyonce’s new song, All the Jingle Ladies.

Robert:  Oh boy.  I haven’t heard it.

Alec:  It’s not a real song.

Robert:  I’ll have to yeah

Alec:  I am going to ask one multiple choice question. And if you get it right, you win the game. If you get it wrong, you get to guess again which leads you to win. So there you go.

Robert:  I’m off the show.

Alec: We’ll just kick you off and end it right here. Are you ready to play?

Robert:  I think so.

Alec:  First and final question.  Which of these Non Christmas holidays is a real holiday also in December?  Is it A, Crossword Puzzle Day, where people celebrate the creation of the crossword puzzle in December of 1913?  Is it B, Locate an Old Friend Day, where you pick one old friend you haven’t seen in awhile and give him a call? Or is it C International Monkey Day, during which you meant to celebrate monkeys by drawing them learning about them and generally appreciating the existence of the monkey?

Robert:  Oh boy.  I am going to go with Crossword Puzzle Day.

Alec:  You think that’s the real one?

Robert:  I’m guessing.

Alec:  You are right!  (bells)  It’s A.

Robert:  Oh.  How did that figure in with Beyonce?

Alec:  Oh nothing at all. So the Beyonce song is actually called All the Single Ladies and All the Jingle Ladies is a Christmas pun.

Robert:  Oh, that’s cute.  Well, OK, I got it right. so.

Alec:  You got it right (applause)  You win the game.

Robert:  Yeah, applause for me, Ok good.

Alec:  That means it is time for our second interview question, which is, can you read a short section of Amal the Thirsty Gamal. 

Robert:  One of my favorite pages.  A captain of Caravans showed up one day and ordered the camels brought out to the yard, and said, Let’s all get ready, we’re going away. The trip is a long one. The road will be hard.  There are wise men going with us, so try to look smart.  Don’t slack off or goof off or wander off.  These are Magi, you know, you must each do your part. We will be carrying mir and incense and gold to a faraway place, where so I’ve been told, some great thing has happened some wonderful thing, or a person, perhaps, some kind of king.  As star in the sky that showed up last night, and woke us all up with this dazzling light. Will they say that it moves, that it might lead the way, then he turned to Amal and said you’re going too, so you’d better get ready, we’re leaving today. Gulp went Amal, who me? Yes, you said the captain and in no time at all, Amal the Gamal was dying of thirst. He’d been thirsty before, but this was much worse. I must have more water. I’ll perish without it. Why I’m perishing now, there’s no doubt about it. My mouth is all dry. My lips are all cracked, and making me do this seems very hard-hearted, which was really quite sad since they hadn’t yet started.  And not even packed.

Alec:  He hadn’t even packed.  Oh, man.  Thank you for reading that section. That was awesome. That means it’s time for our second game, which is brought to you by, brought to you by the new Beyonce song, Slay.

Robert:  Okay.

Alec:  I’m going to say five fun facts about Christmas and you’re going to guess if they’re true or false. Are you ready to play? 

Robert:  Yes, I am.

Alec:  OK  Number one.  The origin of the Christmas tree lies in ancient Egypt.

Robert:  False

Alec:  That is true.

Robert:  Wow

Alec:  Alright.  Number two.  Santa’s colors were always red and white.

Robert:  Well, I guess I’m going to say false, but

Alec:  That is false.  (bells)  You are correct.  They were green or purple or blue, but they turned red and white when Coca-Cola put Santa in an ad and made him Coca-Cola colors.

Robert:  I can’t believe we owe all that to Coke.

Alec:  Alright, number three.  The first time Christmas was recognized as an official holiday in the United States was in 1836. 

Robert:  Well, I wouldn’t know that. 

Alec:  You have a 50/50 chance.

Robert:  Well we had the Puritans to deal with, I would say false. I think we, I think we

Alec:  Are  you sure you want to say false?

Robert:  No, I meant true.

Alec:  That’s correct, (bells) it’s true.

 Robert:  It’s true, huh

Alec:  It’s true, 1836

Robert:  It took us that long.

Alec:  Number four.  In England, before the traditional Christmas meal was turkey, it was rum and beef jerky.

Robert:  No. False

Alec:  Your right. (bells) That’s false.  It was a pig’s head covered in mustard.

Robert:  OK (laughter)

Alec:  Five and lastly. I think you have gotten three so far so you already won.  This one is just for fun. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer made his first appearance in 1939 because it a department store made him up.

Robert:  Humph.  I think I’ll say true on that.

Alec:  That is totally true. (bells) You won that game. (applause)  Alright, third, final question. Do you have any advice for our young authors listening to this episode?

Robert:  Well, I’ll tell you, so far, I’ve been listening to your episodes, and I’m impressed with your young authors.  I think maybe I should be getting some advice from them.  But, yeah, I do, I have some advice.  I think the most important, especially for a young author, is read. You have to read.  You must read beyond your own level, the best you can.  Read good things, read things to stretch your vocabulary and get into some good reading. Also, another point. I think it’s important to follow your passions.  Write about what satisfies your standard of artistic elegance. Don’t let writer’s block scare you. That’s another thing. Sometimes writer’s block can be your friend, especially in the in the middle of a work. You’re in the midst of a story and you hit writer’s block, don’t be too hard on yourself. That’s a sign post that you probably need to stop and rethink something. I’ve had found that to be true for me. And finally don’t worry about rejection. You know, Herman Melville was pretty much rejected with his book Moby Dick. The publishers wanted him to keep cranking out tropical romances. So when he published Moby Dick, it was very poorly received, as a matter fact, for the next hundred years, it only sold 4,000 copies, but you can see the world’s rejection really has no real bearing on whether you’ve written something good or not. So, and I think these kids, they are, so far but I’ve heard on your show, because you’re doing it so wonderfully well, they’re so articulate and their use of their vocabulary, is just marvelous. That’s my advice.

Alec:  To go off of your advice.  I have a great book to recommend to our listeners, since you said they should read, and that is Amal,  the Thirsty, Gamal: A Christmas Tale by one Mister Robert Schorr. You can get it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and independent bookstores everywhere. Robert it’s been so much fun having you on the show. Thank you. For Imlet you go. Do you  want to hear the joke of the week?

Robert:  Oh yes.  I enjoy those.

Alec:  What did the vinaigrette say when someone opened the refrigerator door?

Robert:  Ah (laughter)

Alec: Hey, I’m dressing in here.

Robert:  Oh, There you go.  I love those. That’s really cool.  Very nice.

Alec:  Thank you again. I was so lovely to have you.

Robert:  Thank you. I really appreciate it. It’s a real privilege for me.

Transcript: Six-Tail: Rise of Savan – by Aiden, 13

Six Tail

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written by Kids.  Today we have an interview with young author, Aiden, then the first chapter of his swords and sorcery, heroes and dragon story, Six Tail-Rise of Savan.

Alec:  Aiden likes playing avid board games, D&D and Magic, the Gathering, loves to read, write, and play the piano.  He has been taking classes at Young Writers Institute for three years.  However, the story today, is only part one of a series that he is writing.  Hi Aiden.

Aiden:  Hello.

Alec:  What inspired you to write this story?

Aiden:  Well, I guess I kind of think that most often asked question that writers basically get is like where they get their inspiration, but I think I don’t really get inspiration, usually I just go, I want to write a story.  And so, then I will say, about what?  Dragons.  That’s cool, OK.  And then suddenly I have a bunch of ideas.  Or sometimes I’ll look around and see like this cool book cover and think that art is really neat, so then boom, I have this idea which brings up like 80 other ideas.

Alec:  And now Six Tails-Rise of Savan, by Aiden, performed by me.

Alec: A silver moon seemed to be hanging from an invisible thread, suspended in the sky. Indeed, there was almost the faint outline of a god’s hand, made up of gleaming constellations, holding the end of the moon’s string with just their thumb and middle finger, chuckling to themselves.

A short breeze (wind sounds) caressed Sylven’s hair as he stood, looking across the desolate landscape before him, with the moon smirking down at him, almost smugly.

Tendril, Sylven’s wind elemental, shot between his legs and up his coat. Hand clenching on his blade, Sylven walked forward, towards Brightstar, his hometown, where he would find an inn, sleep for the night, and hope that Bryzin was back by then.

Bryzin was Sylven’s master, and Sylven his apprentice. Being an apprentice alchemist had taught Sylven many things, but tracking was not one of them.

Lord Rivin of Brightstar had sent for an experienced tracker to search for the source of the beastly monster that had been plaguing Brightstar for the past month, taking their young and slaying their cattle. However, when the hunter had not returned, Bryzin had made Sylven go searching for the creature himself. But now that his hunt had failed, Sylven would need to return home.

The blighted path that would lead Sylven back to Brightstar began to wind through the gap of mountains that Sylven took to mean he was close. Tendril darted from Sylven’s legs and flew around the rocky terrain that seemed to never end.

Sylven did, eventually, reach Brightstar, and found an inn. As he approached the front door of the large brick building, there came an ear-splitting, guttural roar (roaring sounds) that almost knocked Sylven into the dust beneath him.

A dragon of incredible size (booming sounds) came thundering towards the city of Brightstar, its head thrashing in a thousand different directions. Colored a gleaming silver, the dragon’s head was sleek and thin, with a serpentine look to it, and its mottled neck rippled with muscles. The wings were sharp and sliced the air in two, like a thin blade cutting through the foggy atmosphere.

Two sky-blue eyes pierced from outside of its skull, searing holes in whatever material it set its eyes upon.

There were six tails protruding from its hind flanks, each thrashing about, (whipping sounds) whipping themselves and making a whirlwind.

The beast surged forward, towards Brightstar, it’s enormous legs thickening as it took each stride. (booming sounds) It’s wild eyes fixed on the gates of the city, and the sky darkened behind it, lightning striking the ground, (lightening and storm sounds) cast from the clouds above.

Sylven shoved open the door, shouted, “DRAGON!” and slammed three silver pieces on the front counter. The barman behind the counter quickly muttered,

“Eighty-seven,” then ran to the back room, grabbed a torch and a short sword, and charged out of the door.

Sylven raced up the stairs, (running sounds) located room eighty-seven, on the second floor, and opened the door. A man in a cloak was standing there, staring directly at Sylven. Tendril appeared out of thin air on Sylven’s shoulder, (clanking sounds) and stared curiously at the man, considering him. Although Tendril could not speak the language of ordinary beings like Sylven, he could communicate through minds to his master alone, unless there was some other wizardly being who could do similar.

He looks really old, Tendril said, as if offended by the man’s age. Really, really old.

Don’t worry about it, Sylven replied, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

I never said I was afraid! Tendril said indignantly, but did not continue.

A third voice broke into Sylven’s mind.

That is true. I am here to help.

The mystery voice was clearly coming from the old man before him, thought Sylven. It sounded very old and withered. But how could he speak through minds? The dragon outside is named Savan. Savan Six-Tail.

“Six-Tail?” Sylven asked out loud. The man nodded.

A large explosion went off (explosion sounds) outside, and the old man started. “I must leave,” he said quickly. “Come now. With haste!” The man swept out of the room, and when Sylven did not follow, his head appeared in the doorway. “Well? You’d have thought we’d had a fortnight. Come along now! We don’t have much time. Unless you’d like to stay here and die, like those unsavory folk out there.” Sylven nodded, calling Tendril along, and rushed out of the inn door, out onto the street, and towards the back gates, when a disturbing thought came to him.

“What about my room?” he inquired.

“Your room?”

“Yes. I paid three silver for that inn room. The least you could do is—” A sudden weight fell into Sylven’s pockets, and he ceased walking. Placing a hesitant hand into his pocket, he felt the familiar feeling of silver held inside it.

“So…where are we going?” Sylven asked after a while. They had long since passed the back gates and left the wreckage of Brightstar behind them.

“Silverstone,” the old man replied, and then, maybe realizing he would do good to explain himself, amended with, “Where the monster Savan originates. He will undoubtedly return to his domain soon.”

“And they just let him live there?” Sylven said.

“No, he lives in the mountains adjacent to the city. Savan doesn’t dare go near the city itself; it has too many defense turrets and soldiers—compared to Brightstar it’s an empire.” Sylven frowned, as this was blatantly insulting his hometown, but did not say anything further.

“I believe I have not introduced myself properly,” the man said. “I am Darygon.” He held out a hand, which Sylven shook.

It was a short-lived peace, to be sure, but necessary.

A muscly tail, as thick as a tree trunk, came swooping up behind the threesome as the two walking were tripped, and a malevolent dragon’s head appeared above them.

(in a loud whisper) “You thought you could escape me…” The dragon said in a rumbling voice, “but none will ever make such a feat. I am Savan Six-Tail, and I am your fate.” A bolt of lightning shot from the dragon’s mouth, (lightening sounds) heading straight for Sylven, before it hit a previously invisible, purple force-field that had sprung up around Sylven. Sylven’s eyes darted towards Darygon, whose hands were outstretched, maintaining the force-field while Savan chuckled. (in a loud whisper, HaHaHa, HeeHeeHee)

“No force can hold me back,” the dragon said. “Now I will crush you like bugs.” The force-field broke down, (shooting sounds) and the six tails of Savan came raining down on Sylven like arrows, but much more deadly. Sylven rolled out of the way, his momentum carrying him to his feet, and calling for Tendril, who materialized in front of him. Sylven spoke to Tendril through his mind while he dodged the tails.

You need to do something. Bite him, distract him, any—

A tail that Sylven had not noticed slammed into him, (banging sound) and knocked him to the ground. Blood covered the rocks, and he could no longer feel his left hand or his lip. Savan chuckled. (in a loud whisper HaHaHa, HeeHeeHee) “I think I may have mentioned it before,” he said, “but you cannot escape me, puny—”

Sylven could not see what was going on from his current position, but heard a roar come from Savan, and seven simultaneous bolts of lightning (lightening sounds) were shot towards what Sylven presumed to be Darygon, who appeared to be avoiding them all.

A voice broke through Sylven’s mind. Darygon’s voice.

Get to Silverstone. Don’t stop running. Do not look back. And remember: the wind will always carry you.

Then came the sickening sound of bones being crushed under extreme pressure, and the voice ceased.

Did that mean—

Darygon was dead.

Sylven struggled to stand, and when he managed, he stared Savan straight in the eye, the dragon’s malice coming off him in an unbearable stench. The dragon cackled, (HaHaHaHa) rose into the air, and with a final burst of electricity, disappeared into the cosmos. (whipping sounds)

Get to Silverstone.

Get to Silverstone, Darygon had said.

So get to Silverstone, Sylven would.

Sylven hitched himself up off of the rock terrain, and headed in the direction Darygon had been leading him, although something in the back of his mind told him that he was going the wrong way. What had Darygon said? The wind will always carry you. Turning to Tendril, Sylven asked,

Where should we go, Tendril? Tendril paused for a moment, seemed quizzical, then said, cautiously,


Shrugging his shoulders, Sylven headed east, towards, he hoped, the city of Silverstone.

His hopes were confirmed when he reached a large, silver gate that gleamed in the sunlight. Sylven hadn’t realized he’d been awake all night. He was rather tired. And he was bleeding on his lip, forehead, and left hand, but, thankfully, his right arm was his sword arm, so he could still fight if need be.

But he was here for a reason. Hadn’t Darygon said that he needed to find the mountains adjacent to Silverstone? That would be…

There! Sylven spotted a cluster of mountains next to the walls of Silverstone, and immediately began heading towards them.

Once Sylven reached the bottom of the first mountain, he examined his left hand. How would he climb up the cliff with an injured hand?

However, his fear dissipated when his body began to be supported by an unseen force, the wind itself, possibly. The wind will always carry you. (wind sounds)

Sylven soon came to the top of the mountain, where a large cave stood before him, with mounds of silver and gold leaking out of the dark, dank entrance, into which Sylven now stepped, Tendril at his heels.

Sylven entered the cavern, walking through the damp tunnel lined with rubies and sapphires, silver and gold, copper and bronze. Eventually he came to a turn, which, undoubtedly, would lead to Savan Six-Tail, killer of kings, slayer of Darygon. The feat for which he would pay most dearly.

And Sylven would be the collector of that price.

Drawing his sword, (slashing sounds) Sylven, stepped into the light of the torches stuck into brackets, hung on the wall of the cavern like dancing fire-flies, moving as one. Savan chuckled, his incredibly huge, mottled head rising, electricity crackling inside of his bloody jaws. (cracking sounds) Tendril cowered in fear behind Sylven, as he instinctively took a step back from the monster.

“So you’ve come to give in, to see your fate, to meet your maker.” Savan smiled grimly. “Your wish is granted.”

The six tails whipped around in a crazed fashion, (whipping sounds) and Savan opened his mouth wide, (wind sounds) and a smell so terrible came from it that Savan’s breath would have been enough to kill Sylven by itself, were it not for the whirlwind swirling around him, (crunching sounds) conjured by Tendril.

“What foolishness is this?” Savan cried as Sylven was raised into the air by Tendril’s storm. Bolts of lightning (storm sounds) shot every which way, and Tendril evaded them all, and, at Sylven’s command, dropped Sylven to the ground.

Sylven landed, brandished his sword, and surged forward, heading straight for the dragon’s heart.



The force of the moment took Sylven by surprise. He could die. He could fall at the hands and many tails of Savan and simply die.

Or he could slay the beast. Slay the beast and come home…

A hero.

Three of the tails appeared out of nowhere, and knocked Sylven aside. Tendril was fighting a losing battle against the head of the dragon, when a thought occurred to Sylven.

When Darygon had been fighting Savan in the night the previous day, Darygon had struck a fatal blow that had made Savan roar with rage. Sylven hastily scanned the dragon’s body for any scars, and, sure enough, found one right on the center of the dragon’s chest, which was, at the moment, raised incredibly high, as the monster was rearing up to strike down Tendril, a strike that would easily slay the elemental.

Sylven could not let that blow fall.

Sylven gripped his sword, held it tightly at his side, and bolted forward, bellowing at the top of his voice, and his blade entered Savan at the exact spot where the scar from the previous attack had been placed. (scraping sounds)

The dragon shuddered.

It’s wings shook, and its tails began to quiver. The head raged, thrashing about, eyes wild with terror, until—

It all came to a halt.

The dragon was suspended in time, it seemed. Paused. Frozen. Until it came crashing down on an enormous mound of gold. (crashing sounds)

Sylven had slain the beast.

Sylven had finally slain the beast that had been responsible for so many lives.


And now, he would come home a hero.

For, you see, it is an interesting fact, but The wind will always carry you.

Alec:  How do you want our listeners to feel at the end of the story?

Aiden:  I want them to feel tired, because, I guess like, I want them to feel like how the main character feels in the story, tired and exhausted.  I also want them to feel victorious and stuff. But also really tired because they just like won this huge competition or something, but mostly tired.

Alec:  That’s great. That’s an awesome answer.

Elora:  This story was created at Young Writers Institute, a community of young writers in Cary, North Carolina.  To learn more about them go to  That’s

Alec:  Now Lo, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  How much does Santa pay to park his sleigh?

Elora:  I don’t know, how much?

Alec:  Nothing.  It’s on the house.

Elora:  (laughter) Alec.  How did I not get that one.  Gosh

Alec:  Bye, I love you

Elora:  I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript: Serafina’s Journey – by Grey, 7

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora: I’m Elora.  And this is Written by Kids.  Today we have an interview with seven year old Grey and then a magical adventure story called Serifina’s Journey.

Alec:  Grey, what inspired you to write this story?

Grey:  Well I don’t normally get inspiration really.  I just think of an idea and say, maybe I should write a story about that.  Or I might see something and say, I should write a story based on that thing.  And so for this story, I just had an idea about a person who goes on a quest in a forrest.

Elora:  And now, Serfina’s Journey, by Grey, performed by Caitlin Duffy

Kaitlin: A lovely breeze blew through her hair as she walked serenely across the long, dark bridge. Storm clouds began to form in the sky. (thunder and storm sounds) She looked up and saw these. She picked up her pace and was soon almost dashing across the bridge. (running sounds)

Serafina was her name. She was a 38-year-old elf, and she loved the forest and nature. She was a Moon Elf, who usually liked that type of thing. She had a 13-year-old son, who was a Black Elf, who were always born with yellow eyes and destined to become necromancers. Serafina liked this just as much as he did.

Serafina needed to get back home. She had been doing secret exploring, and the sun was beginning to rise. Soon they would be waking up.

She was in search of an object that her son, Hemecai, had warned her about. It was going to do something to Hemecai, but she did not know what. This secret quest had been to find out.

It had started when she was thirsty. She got up out of bed and went to the bathroom (water running sounds) to get a cup of water. Then she saw something.

A magical aura surrounding the mirror. (magical aura sounds) A voice came from it, but not from her.

“You will find it NOW! TONIGHT! Or you know the price. Your son.” The voice disappeared and she never heard it again. The glow in the mirror faded away until nothing was left but the bathroom.

She immediately began to pack. She brought three water bottles, (packing and zipper sounds) not knowing how much she’d need (she was not a water elf, who could summon water, so she had to bring it wherever she went) and she also didn’t know when she would come back. Tomorrow? The next day? Next week? Never?

But she tried to not let those thoughts overtake her and finished packing. (packing and zipper sounds) She slowly slipped out the door and into the dark, evil night.

The sky was the blackest black, darker than the darkest night. This spooked her. A shining full moon was high in the sky, and she thought she might have heard the calls of a werewolf. (animal growling sounds)

She exited the house and stared up at the sky. She knew she would come back home, no matter what it took. Sometimes, since the magic of Moon elves is very strong, they could see a bit into the future. And she knew this was one of those times.

Sometimes, evil beasts prowled on the edges of the black forests at night. Things like werewolves, (growling sounds) dragons, (more growling sounds) sometimes even corrupted, dead unicorns. (screeching sounds) Usually, those unicorns were zombies, making these dark, adventurous (which doesn’t always have to mean brave), night outings even creepier than the already were.

 The Moon Elf quickly and quietly crept along the smooth lemongrass and bent down to gather some for her journey. It was good as a bug repellent and it was also very tasty to Serafina.

She heard a soft growl from above. (soft growling sounds) She slowly drew her bow from behind her back. Then she quickly loaded the bow and faced her opponent.

It pounced. (pouncing sounds) She did not even know what it was. But it pounced. Serafina didn’t have time to shoot her bow. It attacked and left her with a deep, sharp wound on her leg. She held it, screeching in pain. Blood poured into her hands from the wound. She should have thought to bring bandages.

She trudged across the dark forest until she reached a glowing stone. (glowing sounds) She whimpered and limped as she walked. The memory of how she had even gotten here was long gone. She was lost.

She had to find the secret, hidden object so that she could stop whatever was happening to Hemecai.

She touched the glowing stone and it shocked her. (electric shocking sounds) How was she to even pick this thing up?

Her bag! Moon elves made special, magical bags that had unlimited space. There were no limits to moon elf bags.

But how was she to get the thing into the bag?

Then, Serafina had an idea. She could…hang on. If the bags had unlimited space, was there something she’d put in there recently…?

She looked straight into the bag and scooped up its contents. An umbrella (emptying bag sounds) (very handy, because when moon elves get nervous, it starts to rain.), a piano book (meant to be her son’s birthday present for in three days), and a pillow (which she used when she went on travels like these). There was just this and what she’d packed. Nothing useful except…?

The umbrella had a hook on it, like most umbrellas do. She could use this hook to pick up the stone and drop it into the bag. It was a great idea.

It began to rain. (rain storm sounds) Probably because Serafina was getting very nervous. She planned carefully and precisely, making sure nothing could go wrong. Then, she put her plan into action.

First, she picked the umbrella up on the part she had estimated would be best to hold when doing it. Then, she tore off the sleeve of her coat (tearing material sounds) and, holding it in one hand, umbrella in the other, she put her hand inside of the coat sleeve and set to work.

She picked the stone up with the coat-sleeve hand. It still shocked her, (electric shock sounds) even from inside of the coat-sleeve. It was only meant to protect her a little bit, giving her just enough time to place the stone into the umbrella. Her plan had been a success!

So here she was now, dashing across the bridge, bag in hand. (running sounds) She had to get back home to save her son.

Then, she encountered something very surprising on the bridge. As it closer, she saw many more faint details. The same blue eyes and red hair as…

Hemecai. It was him.  “Hemecai!” she shouted. “Hemecai! What are you doing? I got your secret object! The artifact! What do we do with it?” she asked. “Mom!” They happily reunited together across the bridge, telling stories of their journeys. But after this, Serafina got very serious. “Hemecai, what are we to do with the object?”

“We shall burn it,” Hemecai responded. “And it will save you?” Serafina asked. “Yes, it will save me,” Hemecai added.

When they got home, they immediately lit a fire. (fire sounds) Serafina then put the matches away and placed the stone into the fire. She waited, and waited, and waited…

Then the stone burned to ashes and her son was saved.

Alec:  Caitlin Duffy an actor and creator who lives in Los Angeles but she will always be a Vermonter at heart.  She loves nature, just like Serafina.  She also loves collaborating with new people and is so grateful to Grey, Alec and Elora.  What is your favorite type of elf and what are their powers?

Grey:  Elves in this world don’t really have powers, except some of them are mages.

Alec:  Lo, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora;  I’m so ready.

Alec:  What did the soccer player say when the turkey ran onto the field?

Elora:  I don’t know, what?

Alec:  Oh come on ref, that’s clearly a fowl.

Elora:  (laughter)  Oh, that is bad.

Alec:  Bye I love you

Elora:  Bye I love you

Written by Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript: A Cat – by Luke, 11

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And this is Written by Kids.  Today we have a moving poem called A Cat by young author, Luke.  Before we get to Luke’s poem, some news.  If you would like to hear an audio production of your child’s writing, but not on the podcast, maybe they’re shy, maybe you don’t want to wait that long to hear it, now you can get a personal audio production of your child’s writing sent straight to your e-mail, with no ads, no extra podcast chit chat like this, just the writing.  And it would be a perfect Christmas gift since all those physical ones are going to take forever.  You don’t need a supply chain.  Just get a personal audio production sent straight to your e-mail.  To learn more go to  That’s  Luke is 11 years old, and his poem, A Cat, was inspired by the poem, Dog, written by Valerie Worth.  His idea for A Cat, came from his cat Serena, that died a few months ago.  And now, A Cat, by Luke, performed by Alejandro Ruiz.

Alejandro:       under the

                        ceiling fan

                        the cat

                        lies down.

                        (yawning sounds)

                        The big

                        fluffy furry

                        animal warms

                        up my

                        bed for

                        the freezing

                        winter nights.

                        Later waking up

                        from her human

                        calling her

                        still not making

                        a sound she

                        jumps off the bed

                        with a loud clunk

                        (thumping sound)

                        from all of her fat

                        contained to stay

                        warm during

                        the freezing cold

                        winter nights.

                        (snoring sounds)

Alec:  Alejandro Ruiz is a bilingual voice director and voice actor.  Since 2015 Alejandro has narrated more than 300 audio books for the Library of Congress. You might recognize his voice because he also read The Rise of the Ninja, by Tully, back in July. 

Elora:  Today’s poem came from a writing community in North Carolina called Young Writers Institute.  To learn more about them, go to  That’s  Now Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec:  Always

Elora:  What did the judge say when a skunk walked into the courtroom?

Alec:  What?

Elora:  Odor in the court!

Both:  (laughter)

Alec:  Yeah

Elora:  Awful?

Alec:  Nice.  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Written by Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC.

Transcript: The Potato – by Grey, 7

Alec: I’m Alec. This is Written by Kids.  Lo lost her voice. She’ll be back next week. Today we have a magical adventure story called The Potato by seven year old Grey. Grey is a seven year old kid, and a great writer. She loves dogs and other animals. She also loves books, drawing and painting.  Grey, what inspired you to write this story?

Grey:  Well I don’t normally get inspiration really.  I just look at something and say, maybe I should write a story about that, and then I write a story about that thing. But in this book I chose to write about these dogs because they are actually real dogs, and these are their real names, and I thought I should write a story about those dogs, so I wrote a story about those dogs. 

Alec:  And now, The Potato, by Grey, performed by Rena Marie.

Rena:  Pancake was a dog. A whippet, to be exact. She’s actually a real dog! She barked. (dog barking sounds) She rolled over. (more dog barking sounds) She heard something. (dog barking sounds)  She jumped down from bed, (thumping sounds) walked over to the door, (pitter patter sounds) and barked again. (dog barking)

“I’m coming, Pancake!” said Fred. Fred was Pancake’s owner. He opened the door (door opening sounds) and she trotted out. (pitter patter sounds) Right there was a hole in the floor.

“Pancake…what happened?” Fred asked. Pancake barked, (barking sounds) meaning ‘How am I supposed to know?’ and she jumped into the hole. “Pancake!” Fred shouted. But then all he could do was jump in after her.

Expecting to see the kitchen, Pancake looked around. But she wasn’t in the kitchen. She should’ve been, but she wasn’t. Instead, she was in a forest. (forest sounds) The kitchen was underneath the hall, not a forest! She walked over to a tree. (rustling sounds) “Pancake, what are you doing?” Fred asked. Just then, a Goldendoodle came in. (light growling sounds) “Hello,” she barked to Pancake. “What are you doing here?” Suddenly, she heard a pattering of feet. (trotting sounds) Someone with balled fists came up to her.

“What are you doing?” Pancake heard someone getting off a horse. “What business do dogs have here? Is this Goldendoodle your friend? How did you get here?” The person in front of her backed away after they heard what their apparent master had said. “Give her time to answer, George.” Turning to Pancake, he said, “I am Joe. What is your name?”

“Pancake,” she said.

“Pancake. Nice name. And who is your friend here?”

“I don’t know,” Pancake said. “I don’t. But…Why am I here? There was a hole in the ground, and I fell through. Do you know what this place is?” (rustling sounds)

“Yes, (rustling sounds) I actually do. This is the Forest of Maan. You’d better find the right tree or you’ll die.” With that, he climbed back onto his horse and rode away. (trotting sounds)

Fred turned to her. “What tree are we supposed to find?”

“I don’t know,” Pancake said, “but we’d better find it fast.”

Pancake walked to a tree. (rustling sounds) She touched it. It started to glow. (glowing sounds)“That was easy,” she said.

“No, it wasn’t,” said the Goldendoodle. “Anyway, I’m Blueberry. But it won’t be that easy. You have to unlock the power of the tree and find the right branch that has a door in it. After that, you have to find a rock. This might not even be the tree.”

“That’s a lot to ask of us, Blueberry,” Pancake said.

“I’m trying to help you. I can come if you want.”

“Yes, that would be helpful. Let’s try this tree.  (rustling sounds) How do we unlock it’s power?” Pancake asked. Ignoring her, Blueberry put her paw on a low branch. A circle appeared in it. (glowing sounds)

“Here. Put your paw on this circle, and the tree will fly. You have to be on it when it does, though. Fred, you come over here.” There was no time to ask Blueberry how she knew Fred’s name. He grabbed a branch (crunching branch sounds) and Blueberry did the same. Pancake put her paw on the branch and climbed on, too. The tree rose up out of the ground (breaking branch sounds) and started to fly. (wind sounds) It tipped over a few times, but it kept going and didn’t fall. Soon they had landed. (leaves crumbling sounds)

Pancake dropped onto the ground. “How do we find the branch? How did that unlock its power? What are we supposed to do?”

“It just does, okay? Do what I tell you and listen to my instructions carefully. Climb onto a random branch and walk across it. If it turns blue, you’ve got the right one. If it doesn’t, try another.” Pancake repeated this process multiple times until her fourth branch turned blue. “Now, climb inside the branch,” Blueberry instructed. Pancake did this with Fred right behind her.

She came to a small pool of water (water flowing sounds) and looked into it. There was a rock! The stone that Blueberry had talked about! Pancake picked it up. She carried it over to Blueberry and gave it to her. “I don’t think this is the right one,” Blueberry said. Pancake looked across the floor. It was COVERED in rocks. There was no way she could find the right one! She picked one up. It glowed red (glowing sounds) in her paws. “I think you might have found the one already,” Blueberry said.

“What do we do with the stone?” Pancake asked.

“You eat it,” Blueberry said. “It will save your life.”

“What would’ve happened if I didn’t have this?” Pancake asked her.

“I don’t know, but it would’ve been horrible,” Blueberry responded. “And with that question, you said ‘what do we do with the stone,’ and it’s actually ‘what do you do with the stone.’ I think Fred just wanted to come along.”

“So it saves my life?” Pancake set it down on the floor and took a bite out of it.(crunching sounds) Surprisingly, it tasted sweet. A rock that tasted good. “I don’t think this is a rock,” Pancake said, “I think it’s a potato!”

“What is a potato?” asked Blueberry.

“Doesn’t matter,” Pancake said, “We’d better get home.”

Pancake, Fred, and Blueberry walked back through the branch. They clung to the branches of the tree as it flew through the air and landed in the forest. Pancake didn’t know how, but they just knew that east was home. And soon they were safely there.

Alec:  Rena Marie acts, builds and when necessary escapes point-blank explosions with only minor aesthetic battle damage with perfectly tousled hair.  Grey, how come a potato is at the end of this magical journey?

Grey:  I actually didn’t have the idea of turning it into a potato until the end, and then I renamed the book.  I can’t remember what the original name was but, it didn’t have to do with potatoes, and then I thought it would a nice surprise if the rock turned out to be a potato. 

Alec:  Again, Lo will be back next week.  But here is your joke of the week. Why did the person despise Russian nesting dolls? They’re so full of themselves.

Transcript: Interview & Potato Trivia with Author & Pod Host Katie Storey

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora, and this is Written by Kids. Today we’re going to play two trivia games, all about potatoes and ask three interview questions with special guest, author and host of the For the Love of literacy podcast, Katie Storey. Hi Katie, it’s great to see you again.

Katie:  Hello hello, it’s great to see you guys.

Elora:  So we are going to play two games, and ask you three questions. So let’s start with the question. You are the author of a wonderful children’s book. What’s it called? And can you tell us a bit about it? And could you read a little section of it to us?

Katie:  Sure.

Elora:  (laughter)

Katie:  Sophie Stands Out is my book, and

Elora:  Cute

Katie:  Let me tell you a little bit and then I read like a page.  So, this is a book about a girl who decides to wear her pajamas all day.  She’s going to see what she can do, what all she can fit in wearing, and they’re not just pajamas please notice they are the footy, costume full on cute kid pajamas. 

Elora:  (laughter)

Katie:  She is going to do a lemonade stand with her sister, go jump on a trampoline, ride her bike around town, she’s going to go to the ice cream store, and then play in a soccer game.  All in a day’s work. So I will show you one of my favorite favorite pages because I love imagination.  So she shows up to her friends house on her bike and they decide that they  are not just going to jump on the trampoline, they are going to the moon. 

Katie reading her book:   “Let’s pretend we are on the moon.”Sophie said, “Ooh, look at my helmet, we are such stylish astronauts.” Holly said. “What else should we do while we are on the moon, Astronaut Holly, Collect some moon rocks?” Sophie asked.  “I’m going to leave a big footprint right here.” Holly said.  And the reason I love that page, is it starts a spark in Holly, and later in the book you see that Holly is indeed still wearing her pajamas in support of Sophie and her idea to do this.

Elora:  Awesome

Katie:  So Sophie has converted someone to this idea of being confident and unique. 

Elora:  Yeah

Alec:  That means it is time for our first trivia game, which is all about potatoes, because our Saturday story is called The Potato.  And we are calling this game. Potatoes would make a great talking point for Joe Biden in his next presidential campaign because it’s a wedge issue. 

Everyone: (laughter)

Katie;  Oh boy.

Alec:  Here are the rules. I’m going to ask three multiple choice questions. First person to buzz their buzzer gets to answer, get it right, get a point, get it wrong, the other person gets to answer. Are you both ready to play?

Elora:  Yes

Katie:  Ready to go.

Alec:  All right. Question one, according to legend, the potato chip was invented by accident. How?  Was it A, in 1863 a rude customer sent back his french fries so the chef cut them too thin, burned them, salted them, hoping it would taste terrible, but it, tasted excellent. Is it B, in 1863 Delores Lays, mother of seven, had it up to here with these kids, stormed out of the house, returned, but the kids had burned down the house and by happenstance, burned down the potatoes as well. They turned into chips, then she started Lay’s potato chips with her husband Ron.  Or is it C, in 1863 at the first-ever potato potato competition, inventor Andrew Veldon knew that he would lose having no experience. He wanted to at least do something unique and memorable. Did a bunch of weird stuff to see what would happen and accidentally invented the potato chip.

Katie:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Katie

Katie:  I am going to go with C

Alec:  C, the potato potato competition?

Katie:  The competition, yeah

Alec:  That is a good guess, but false

Elora:  I’m going to say A, because B sounds too ridiculous,

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  A is correct.  (bells and applause). 

Katie:  Nice

Elora:  Woo Hoo

Alec:  Legend has it that the potato chip was started by a rude customer and a spiteful chef which is just a modern retelling of the legend that Zeus invented the first potato chip when a potato refused to love him and he burnt it to a crisp. 

Elora:  (laughter)

Katie:  Oh man.

Elora:  I have to say, spite can lead to a lot of great creations.

Katie:  No kidding, yeah.

Elora:   It’s how I picked up watercolors, so. 

Alec:  Alright, question two.  Which of these was the nickname for the largest potato ever?  Was it A, Stormy, the pirate potato of the seas? Was it B, Norman, the oath breaker potato? Was it C, Doug, the ugly New Zealand potato? Or is it D, Steve.

Elora:  Buzz, A

Alec:  You want to go with A, Stormy, the pirate potato of the seas?

Elora:  I’m sticking to my guns. I’m going to go for it.

Alec:  (laughter)  Alright, well, that’s incorrect.

Elora:  (laughter)  I made my bed, I’ll lie in it.

Katie:  Ok I’m getting say D, Steve. 

Alec:  D Steve, also incorrect. The two we have left are Norman the oath breaker potato and Doug the ugly New Zealand potato.

Katie:  These are just very unique names.

Elora:  Is it the ugly one?

Alec:  It is.  (bells and applause)  C is correct.  A couple in New Zealand found the largest potato ever growing by accident in their garden, weighing 17 pounds.  Don’t take me out of the ground, said the potato, now Zeus will know where I am. I don’t want to be a potato chip.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Question three, last question.  Potatoes are used for which of these non food-related purposes?  Is it A, to make paper stiffer?  Is it B, to polish silverware?  Is it C,  to develop, photographs?  or is it D, all of the above?

Katie:  Buzz

Alec: Yes, Katie

Katie:  A, to make paper stiffer?

Alec:  That is one of the answers. I’m going to give it to you. It is all of the above. (bells) So you are correct. (bells and applause)

Katie:  Polishing silver?  Wow

Alec:  Yep

Elora;  I like vaguely remember, hearing about that before.   But I, I genuinely thought that was like, I mean, like that was an old wives tale but like that, that sort of like people heard this thing and they just keep spreading it, but no one’s actually done it,so its probably not true. But that’s kind of cool.

Katie;  I’ll remember that after Thanksgiving and Christmas when we pull out our best silverware.

Alec:  Yeah

Elora:  And just cut up a potato and go to town. 

Alec:  Just rub a potato on it.

Katie:  Just squeeze the juice from it.

Alec:  That sounds easy. So D is correct, that means Lo, You won the game.  (applause)

Elora:  And Katie, that means it’s time for our second question. You host a podcast called For the Love of Literacy and we had lots of fun being guests on your show. What kind of guests do you bring on, and what do you talk about with them?

Katie:  It has actually been, Season two has been really exciting because I feel like I’ve brought on Jacks of all trades as long as it’s connected to literacy at some point. So, first and foremost, I always want to talk to people about promoting literacy, whatever it is, that it contributes to the world of literacy, and that can be reading or writing, and the arts.  And so I feel like especially this season, we’ve  brought on, I mean I’ve gone from teachers and specialists, to people who provide programs for teachers and specialists, to authors and other podcasters like yourselves.  I feel like there has been a great variety, I’ve even had like stay at home moms and working moms, who are connecting themselves to literacy and helping their children in some way.  So it has been like a very unique season, I like it though it’s brought so much flavor from all these different people.

Elora:  Yeah

Alec:  That is awesome.

Elora:  Yeah. Variety is the spice of life. 

Katie:  That is correct.  Put it on top of those potatoes

Everyone:  (laughter)

Katie:  I’m sorry, I am still thinking about potatoes. I think I wanted  french fries for dinner.

Elora:  Well this whole episode is about potatoes, so you’re probably going to be hungry by the end.

Alec:  That means it is time for a second and final potato trivia game.  We’re calling this game when I looked at the potatoes and the potatoes looked at me, that’s when I knew I met my mash.

Elora:  (laughter)

Katie:  Oh my gosh, wow.  What a title.

Alec:  Here are the rules.  I’m going to say five fun facts about potatoes, and you each are going to guess if you think they are is true or false.  Get the most right to win.  Are you ready to play?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  Number one. True or false.  Potatoes first began to exist around 350 million years ago.

Elora and Katie:  True

Alec:  You are both right, that’s true. (bells)  Number two.  French King Louis the sixteenth loved wearing potato flowers in his buttonhole, I said button very carefully. 

Elora:  Yes, Good plan. True

Katie:  I’m going to go with false

Alec:  Lo, your right, its true. (bells)

Katie:  Ok

Alec:  Number three.  A potato is called a spud because of an activist group in the 1800’s written with the name, The Society for the Prevention of an Unwholesome Diet or Spud.

Katie:  True

Elora:  False

Alec:  Katie, your right, that’s true.  Their mission was to keep potatoes out of England.

Katie:  OK.  My friend called my prom date a spud dud our junior year in high school because he was from Idaho, and he would not dance. And she’s like, then, why’d you go to prom?  She’s like he’s a spud dud.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Katie:  So whenever I hear the word spud, I will probably always think of that.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Number four:  The average German eats twice as many potatoes is the average American.

Elora and Katie:  True

Alec:  That’s definitely true. (bells) You are both right. Your are tied so far.

Katie:  Tie breaker

Alec:  Number five.  There is a fruit called a bonato, which is half banana half potato.

Katie:  False, I hope.

Elora:  I’m going to go with true, just because.

Alec:  Katie, you are correct. It’s false.

Elora:  Good

Alec:  You won that game.(bells and applause)

Elora:  That means it’s time for our third and final question, Katie for our young writers listening to this podcast. Do you have any advice or words of wisdom to share with them?

Katie:  Ooh yes.  Because I love like I told you guys on my show. I love that there are so many young ones out there writing and getting excited about it and being creative. One thing that’s huge is for kids to keep imagining, to keep playing, like create, creative play is one of the most important things in childhood and I feel like it does push out those ideas that they have and for kiddos to practice writing, just have a notebook that they write in whether its personal things like journal, or stories and to have that notebook be a special thing and keep it in a special place, and that you do it whenever you feel like it. I mean, as an adult, I wish I could do that more often, but I do try to write, you know, several times a week. So if they do, outside of school some kind of  writing, I think that will really help fuel the creative fires.

Elora:  That’s awesome.

Alec:  Thank you.  It has been lots of fun.  Before we let you go. Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Katie:  I’ll brace myself, I’m ready.

Alec:  Why did the man only know 25 letters in the alphabet?

Elora:  I don’t know why?

Alec:  He also didn’t know Y.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Katie:  I was gonna, in my mind I was thinking, it might have something to do with the letter Z just because its at the end.  I was almost on the same wave length.  Man you do, you have the dad jokes down.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  I was going to ask the question, then wait, that’s the answer.

Alec:  Katie Storey’s book is called Sophie Stands Out.  Her podcast is called For the Love of Literacy.

Transcript: The Robots: Human Shelter Mishap – by Luke, 11

Alec:  I’m Alec.

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written by Kids. Today we have a delightfully silly play called The Robots by 11 year old Luke.

Alec:  Today’s play came from a writing community in Cary, North Carolina called Young Writers Institute.  To learn more about them go to That’s 

Elora:  Luke loves cats, the fatter the better, chocolate, video games and reading. He writes late at night after he’s gone to bed, way past his bedtime. And The Robots was an idea that came to his mind because he read a story about aliens that were robots.

Alec:  And now, The Robots – Human Shelter Mishap by Luke.  Performed by me and Anita Castillo-Halvorssen. Something to know about this play is that it is written like a play, which means at some parts, there is a narrator voice,whose going to be me, and I’m just going to narrate little pieces of the story, as it goes, to help you a long.

Narrator:  (Music starts) Four alien robots Fussy, Jon, Slowpoke and Mr. Interrupt land on planet earth.

 Fussy: Where are we?

Jon: At Planet Earth, silly. Told you. Did you fall asleep while I was explaining again?

Fussy: Robots don’t sleep. Don’t be ridiculous.

Jon: Let’s not fight again. Speaking of fighting, looks like the humans are fighting inside their house. (mumbling voices arguing, glass breaking sounds, more mumbling)

Fussy: What are humans?

Jon: The inhabitors of this land. Now I know you fell asleep, Fussy.

Slow Poke: Hi everyone! (in a very slow voice, and yawn) Can I join?

Jon: Sure, Slow Poke! Just pick up the pace plea-

Mr. Interrupt: Can I join too?

Jon: Yes, but don’t interu-

Mr. Interrupt: Okay, thanks!

Fussy: Let’s investigate!

Jon: Okay, but we shou-

Mr. Interrupt: I’ll grab the laser cutter! (Mr. Interrupt goes to UFO and grabs laser cutter)

Jon: This will be a long adventure.

Mr Interrupt: I’m back! Did I miss anything?

Jon: Yep! We finished it already!

Mr Interrupt: Aw, man! I’ll take a nap, then. (snoring sounds)

Fussy: (whisper) Let’s investigate while Mr. Interrupt is napping. Here’s the laser cutter. (laser sounds)

Jon: There’s a robot-friendly door right there.

Narrator:  He points to a crawl space

Fussy: I’m on the job! (laser sounds)

Jon: Good! Please hurry, Slow Poke!

Slow Poke: I’m trying! (very slow voice) (more laser sounds)

Fussy: I cut a hole in the ceiling! Which leads to the floor!

Narrator:  The robots jump through the hole and into the house (sound of robots hitting the ground)

Fussy: What’s that long L thingamajig?

Jon: That’s called a couch.

Fussy: Well, it looks comfy! (falling into couch sounds with a sigh)

(A human shrieks and startles the robots)

Kid 1: Mommy! Daddy! There’s robots!

Fussy: What’s Mommy and Daddy?

Jon: Can’t talk about it now. We’ve been busted.

Fussy: What? I haven’t lost a part!

Jon: *sigh* Not literally.

Fussy: Oh. But then if –

Jon: Don’t get carried away, Fussy! We need to explore while staying out of reach of humans!

Fussy: Okay, okay! Let’s go up these R’s then.

Jon: They’re stairs!

Big human 1: (gasping sounds) What in the world…Get those robots outta here!

Jon: He’s chasing us! Run!

(The robots run downstairs – footstep sounds running)

Jon: There’s the kitchen! Let’s go on the table! (table cloth swiped from table) Whoops, the table cloth!

Big human 1: (silverware clanking sounds)  Get back here, you piles of metal!

Slow Poke: Watch out! (big breath in) He’s coming! (slow voice)

Jon: There’s the living room! (running and panting sounds)

Big human 1: I’m gonna get you raaaaaaaaah! (falling sounds) I fell in a hole! Help me!

Jon: Now’s the time to escape!

Narrator:  The robots jump down the hole to outside

Jon: Hey, Mr. Interrupt, ready to go?

Mr Interrupt: Oh, what? Oh, yea, sure.

Fussy: We want to tell you about our adventure.

Narrator:  The robots go to their UFO and take off (UFO sounds)

                                                                                                         THE END

Alec:  You might recognize Anita Castillo Halvorssen’s voice because she also read The Girl and the Unicorn by Keshet about a month ago. If that play made you smile laugh or go aww, please go to us to help bring more kids stories to life. It’s in the show notes now.  Below the title of the episode is a description, and the link is right there. It’s us. Now you can just boop, click on it. Thank you.

Elora:  And before we end of the joke of the week, we do have one last punny thank you/compliment for a couple that supported the podcast. Thank you Doug and Carol, you summer in Chicago and winter in Florida to stay hot all year round. And may I say it’s working for you, you both look great.

Both:  (laughter)

Alec:  Okay Lo, you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  What kind of music do chiropractors like?

 Elora:  I don’t know. What?

Alec:  Hip Pop.

Elora:  Oh gosh. (laughter)  I should have known.

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Transcript: Songs from stories with Michael Perrie Jr.

Alec:  I’m Alec.

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written by Kids. Today we welcome back actor, singer, songwriter and the number two Michael after. Michael B, Jordan,  Michael, Perrie, Jr.  Hi, Mike

Michael:  That’s true

Elora: And Happy Halloween

Michael: Hey, Hi, and Happy Halloween.

Alec:  Yesterday we published two stories, The Three Rat Lords by Izzy, which is a eulogy for three very special rats.  And A Scary Castle, by Riya, which is a story about a boy named John, who disobeys his mom to go see a castle.  Mike, you have not heard the readings; you have only read the stories.

Michael:  That is true.

Alec:  And you have turned the stories into songs.

Michael:  That’s true

Alec:  Would you do us the honor of singing the musical version of A Scary Castle by eight year old Riya?

Alec:  Absolutely.  First of all, let me say, Riya, beautiful story, very spooky. I decided to do this. Because this one of the two I felt that the rat Lord’s was very like loving memory of rats that were good friends. This one did feel like a cautionary tale about the dangers of not listening and misbehaving. So I went drop D.

Elora:  (laughter)  Ooh

Michael:  (Guitar strumming)  Yes, Johnny and the Scary Castles, what I call the song that was very much inspired by Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks. I hope you enjoy it.

Michael singing:  Johnny was nothing but trouble.  That’s what his mama said.  The farm would get flipped upside down from the thoughts in Johnny’s head.  Johnny had a black sheep, named Mr. Bad Idea.  When Johnny found them both alone, his mama shook with fear, but she said, Johnny don’t go down to the castle, nobody is going to save you if it falls. That boy, he’s such a hassle, he may never come back home when I go.  Johnny went there anyway, he couldn’t be told no.  He took along that black sheep wherever he would go.  He knocked upon the castle door and the castle opened up.  The bricks began to crumble and then Johnny, he was stuck.  And he said Mr. Bad Idea, don’t come near, run away and go back home. I’ve got to be the mason, otherwise you and mama will be alone.  And he stacked up all the bricks as fast as they would fall, soon he found his way out through the dark dingy crawl.  And running back home, he crumbled up and then he cried, Mama, I’m so sorry that I lied.  Johnny lives another day, but a lesson he was taught, always listen to your mama or in that castle you’ll be caught.

Michael:  It’s like, you know, it just seems so scary, The Scary Castle. I had to give it this ominous sort of storytelling vibe. 

Alec:  Sounds like you would sing it around the fire in the middle of nowhere.

Michael:  Absolutely

Elora:  100%

Michael:  You got to tell a story.  Johnny, what happened?

Alec:  It’s just like a castle on a hill and nothing else for miles.

Michael:  Yes

Alec:  It’s just a fire.

Elora:  Okay, Mike.

Michael:  Yes

Elora:  Are you ready to sing The Three Rat Lords by Izzy?

Michael:  Absolutely. Let me tell you,  this one gave me a totally different vibe, whereas Johnny and the scary castle was as the title might suggest, scarier. The Three Rat Lords felt very much an ode  to old friends lost. So this whole song sort of felt like sort of a seventies, like a Neil Diamondy, kind of thing where it’s like (Mike snapping fingers) oh it was such a good time back when we were together and let’s not forget the good times but we’ll the story of even the bad times, but in a good way.  So that was my feeling on The Rat Lords.  I made a note here, “jaunty”. 

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  Excellent

Michael:  Jaunty, because I thoutht there’s such a sense of humor in the Rattlers that I wanted to catch a ghost.

Michael singing:  (guitar strumming)  Oh my dear rat lords, I miss you so much I could cry.  Suffering the sweet Texas heat, its so hard to survive.  Naming you now I remember the way that you were.  So I have to sing out your song so your history’s heard.  Well first there was Ricky, the fattest of all the rats. Smashing off Stanley until that Stanley was flat. Ricky, if I have to be honest, I didn’t have hope.  Cause your fat little face in the sun found a case of heat stroke.  Oh Ricky go home, oh Ricky go home. And then Stanley, Flat Stanley as we came to know him. Always picking fights but never really quite even know him.  Just how to win, you were thin and thinner we found you, when Ricky decided one day to jump up and ground pound you. Oh Stanley go home. Oh Stanley go home.  Finally Nicky, a rat like no other I’ve known.  Of all the rat lords you were the brightest light that ever shone.  Well Nicky you could always find a way deep down in my soul.  But running down the sidewalk a bird took you up to your heavenly home. Oh Nicky go home, oh Nicky go home. So here’s to the rat Lords; all three were the kings of sadness. Losing you one at a time could have drawn a man to madness. Well, hopefully heaven is better for rats than down here.  Where nobody shrieks and nobody screams when you come near.  Oh rat Lords go home.  Rat Lords go home.  Rat Lords go home. Now rat Lords your home.  Your home.  Oh Rat Lords your home.

Alec:  Yes

Elora:  Amazing

Michael:  I think that is one of the best songs I’ve ever written.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Michael:  It just makes me so happy.

Alec:  That was so great

Elora:  Oh gosh

Alec:  Wow, that’s the kind of funeral I want to go to. 

Michael:  Just like you walk in and its like (guitar strumming)  I thought he died.  Oh yeah he died, let me tell you how.

Michael (singing):  Alec was a guy who didn’t know when to stop walking, and he fell off a cliff, and that’s why we are here today.

Alec:  Alright Mike, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Michael:  I am always ready.

Alec:  Okay. Well then, Why did the skeleton stop doing cardio?

Michael:  Why?

Elora:  Because he had no heart. His heart wasn’t in it.

Mike:  Yeah, his heart wasn’t in it. Oh wow, that’s funny. He just had a lot of self confidence so he just felt like he didn’t feel like he needed it.

Elora:  Why didn’t the ghost go to the party?

Michael:  Why?

Alec and Elora:  He had nobody to go with.

Michael:  Oh no. (guitar strumming)

Alec:  What did the skeleton bring into the bar?

Michael:  What?

Alec:  A mop

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Alright, thank you so much.

Elora:  Thank you

Michael:  Thank you.

Alec:  Your child’s or your writing from when you were a kid can be on this podcast. Just go to to submit writing for free.  That’s  It could get turned into a song.

The Three Rat Lords – by Izzy, 13

Alec:  I’m Alec.

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written by Kids. Today we have two episodes out.  On this episode, a  eulogy called The Three Rat Lords by 13 year old Izzy.  On the other episode a spooky Halloween story, called, “A Scary Castle” by eight year old Riya.

(Theme Music plays)

Alec:  Before you listen to Izzy’s eulogy, “The Three Rat Lords”, you should know that it does describe the deaths of the rats. Just wanted to let you know that before you listen.  And now, The Three Rat Lords by 13 year old Izzy, performed by me. 

Alec:  (music starts) My dear Rat Lords (echo sounds) Oh, how I miss you. You only lived a short life suffering the Texas heat, but yet you still remain in my mind. Your body and soul had other plans for you. Nicky (echo sounds) You always loved staring into the depths of my soul.  Ricky (echo sounds) to be real with you, you’re a little bit fat, but that never stopped you from running two inches down the street, to pick a fight with Flat Stanley. Flat Stanley (echo sounds) you were always as flat as a pancake, even before you were smooshed by our dearly beloved Ricky one day, after you got into a street fight with him. You were the first sacrifice of The Three Rat Lords.  Ricky, you were the second sacrifice after you suffered a heatstroke the following day. And lastly, Nikki, you were always last for everything. On that awful night. you were running freely down the sidewalk, when a bird snatched you and killed you, dropping you right back down and sending you flying at speeds of up to five miles per hour. The Three Rat Lords, you sadly lived a short life of nothing but sadness and depression for all the days you could have lived. But instead, your bodies gave up on you. My poor Rat Lords. If only you were treated better. It is unfair how people call you names and make odd noises and squeals at you. If only you could show them you’re more than just some puny little street rats. (echo sounds) RIP to the dearly beloved…rat lords (echo sounds) 

Elora:  Before we end with the joke of the week, we’re going to finish up our thank yous and punny compliments for those of you who gave or are giving to help us keep bringing kids stories to life.  Eight more. Here we go.

Alec:  Thank you Danny and Michelle, you have been supporting us from the very beginning, more than a whole year, each and every month, your goodness seems to go on forever. In fact, this thank you compliment is special because it’s about time.

Elora:  Thank you, Donna and Ellen. You have also been supporting us from the start and giving financial advice and you know what? It’s made a lot of cents.

Alec:  Thank you, Debbie W. My mom loves her weekly walks with you. It’s so good for your soles

Elora:  Okay, the rest of these are 100% gardening puns, only

Alec:  Okay, gardening puns,  Great. Thank you. Matt W. Whenever I get stressed you are always there to help me romaine calm.

Elora:  Thank you, Katie and Joey, you’ve been excellent friends for so long. And ever since this podcast started, you’ve been rooting for us.

Alec:  Thank you, Shesh.  Your son is so wise, intelligent and articulate for his age. He may actually be 50 years old. Okay Bloomer.

Elora: Thank you, Suri, this podcast is like a garden and you planted some of the first few seeds and now the plot thickens.

Alec: Thank you Liz. You helped us find two of our favorite guests ever for this podcast, and it was kind of a big dill.

Elora:  And finally, thank you Claire and congratulations on your new job. When I heard about it. I got so excited. I just about soiled myself. 

Alec:  All jokes, aside, thank you so much. We could not have come this far without any of you. All right, Lo, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  Why was the broom late to class?

Elora:  I don’t know, why

Alec:  It overswept.

Alec and Elora:  (laughter)

Elora:  Oh man. Gosh

Alec:  Bye I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you

Alec:  Your child’s writing or your writing from when you were a kid can be on this podcast. Just go to That’s /submit.

Transcription: A Scary Castle – by Riya, 8

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora, and this is Written by Kids. Today, we have two episodes out.  On this episode an interview with young author Riya, and then her short frightening story, A Scary Castle. 

Alec:  On the other episode,  a eulogy called The Three Rat Lords. This week’s young author loves to play piano, board games and do art projects, Riya loves cats, dogs and parakeets.  She can’t wait for Coronavirus to be over so she can travel with her family again. Hello, Riya

Riya:  Hi.

Alec:  Riya, how did you come up with this story?

Riya:  It was a class assignment to write a story, and I wanted to write a story with a surprise and a moral.  So I came up with the story.

Alec:  What do you want our listeners to learn from this story?

Riya:  I want listeners to know that always listen to your parents, and if you don’t listen, you might get in trouble.

Alec:  I did, several of times. And now, A Scary Castle, by Riya, performed by Tamekia Jackson.

Tamekia:  (music starts) Once upon a time there lived a boy named John. He had the worst behavior. He wouldn’t listen to anyone. His parents asked if he could please practice being good. He had a pet lamb. (lamb bah sounds), as he lived on a farm.   One day he was playing in his backyard and his mom said, “Don’t go to the castle”. He said, “okay” After Mom left, John ran to the castle (footsteps and panting). But his lamb chased after him (lamb bah sounds and trotting sounds). He knocked on the castle door (knocking sounds) And then he opened the door knob (creaking sounds). He noticed that something was wrong. (Scary music, cricket sounds)  He confidently went in the castle and then the bricks started to fall. (bricks falling sounds) He started grabbing bricks and putting bricks properly into place. John saw the lamb chewing grass so he wagged a treat so his companion could see him. He threw the treat, so the lamb could get to safety. John kept putting bricks in the castle so that it didn’t fall. (bricks sliding and breath sounds) Once the castle was sturdy, he went back home. (music stops) He told his parents the truth, and they were happy he was safe and told the truth, but they reprimanded him for not listening.

Alec:  Tameka Jackson is a theater artist and educator. She has always been drawn to storytelling and loves to provide opportunities for others to share their stories, Riya. Is there anything you’d like our listeners to know that we did not talk about yet?

Riya:  I have two things.  First is keep reading and writing to create more stories for the world to read, and two, be nice to others.

Alec:  Definitely, be nice to others.

Elora:  If you liked that story and want to help us keep bringing kids stories to life. You can.  Just go to us to support us yearly, monthly, or just one time. That’s us.

Alec:  If you can’t support us with your wallet right now, we get it.  Other helpful things you can do are,  rate this podcast, review this podcast and especially share this podcast.

Elora:  Share this podcast.

Alec:  Share it

Elora:  Share it (Whisper)  Share it.

Alec:  Very spooky for Halloween. Share it (creepy voice).

Elora:  Exactly. OK Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec:  Yes, I’m so ready.

Elora:  Why did the zombie skip school?

Alec:  Why?

Elora;  Because he felt rotten

Alec:  (laughter)  Yeah,  good

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Bye, I love you

Elora:  Bye, I love you

Alec:  Your child’s writing or your writing from when you were a kid can be on this podcast. Just go to submit to submit writing for free.  That’s

Transcript: Furniture Trivia and Interview with Casey Midkiff!

Alec:  I’m Alec.

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written by Kids. Today we have a special guest, the lead teacher at Young Writers Institute, Casey Midkiff.  She’ll answer three interview questions and play three trivia games with us, all about furniture.

Alec:  And on the other episode out today, a mystery story by 9 and 1/2 year old Ava, called The Case of the Robbed Furniture Store. A lot of our upcoming short stories come from a writing community in North Carolina called The Young Writers Institute, a creative classroom for writers in the second to 12th grade. So we invited the owner and lead teacher of Young Writers Institute to join us to play some games and interview with us. Hi Casey. Thank you for joining us.

Casey:  Thank you for having me. This is a great opportunity.

Alec:  We are going to ask you three interview questions between three trivia games, all about furniture because this Saturday short story is called The Case of the Robbed Furniture Store, but will start with a question. So, what is Young Writers Institute? How did it come to be?

Casey:  Young Writers Institute came to be slowly.  It has deep roots. So I was a public school teacher. I left public school in 2007 when my son was born and I always loved teaching writing. So I decided to pick up some tutoring.  The word started to spread and I started picking up more and more students. I started putting the students into groups and we all met around my kitchen table. Once I had several groups; it started to feel like a community, and I started thinking kids who are interested in dance or art or sports, they all have places where they can go, but what about kids who love to write? And a lot of people think that writing is a solitary activity, but it’s really quite social. I thought that there was a need here, and I thought that I could fill that need for students who enjoy writing.

 Elora:  That is awesome.

Casey:  And its awesome because I think that I have the best job in the world.

Alec:  It sounds like you do.  That means it’s time for our first game – all about furniture.  We’re calling this game, “This game is brought to you by the new hit sequel, The Drapes of Wrath II, it’s curtains for you.”

Elora:  (laughter)  Alec

Casey:  I love it.

Alec:  Here are the rules. I’m going to ask a multiple choice question and whoever buzzes their buzzer first gets to answer, get it right you got a point.  Get it wrong, the other person gets to answer. I’ll ask three questions total. Are you ready to play?

Elora:  Yeah

Casey:  I think so.

Alec:  Question one.  In ancient Egypt. You could tell how rich someone was by what kind of chair they sat in. What was different about rich people’s chairs?

Is it A, the richer the person the taller the chair.

Is it B, the richer the person the more legs on the chair.

Is it C, the richer the person the wider the chair.

Or is it D, all of the above?

Casey:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Casey

Casey:  I think it might be D?

Alec:  D all of the above?  Oh, sorry, that is so incorrect.

Casey:  That’s OK

Elora:  Is it A?

Alec:  It is A.  (bells)  The richer the person the taller the chair.

Elora:  (laughter)  I like maybe there were stairs up to the chair because like once it’s beyond a certain height

Alec:  I know, then you are just standing.

Elora:  Right

Casey:  I thought you were going to have one of the choices be the more writing there is on the chair, cuz I know that they use their hieroglyphics to decorate their chairs.

Elora;  You’re teaching me things today. 

Alec:  A is correct.  Richer ancient Egyptians had taller chairs. When reached for comment, one of them said, they tried to take my tall chair once, but I wouldn’t stand for it.

Elora:  Oh my goodnes.

Alec:  Question two.  Who invented the office chair, or a chair with wheels on it, so you can roll around?

Is it A,  Isaac Newton?

Is it B, Amelia Earhart?

Or is it C Charles Darwin?

Elora:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Lo.

Elora:  Let’s say Newton

Alec:  Wrong

Everyone:  (laughter)

Casey:  Buzz, Ah B. Amelia Earhart

Alec: Amelia Earhart, also wrong. Lo, do you want to guess?

Elora:  That leaves C. 

Alec:  Charles Darwin (bells) Charles Darwin invented the office chair.

Elora:  Really?

Casey:  When did he have time to do that with all of the evolution theory.

Alec:  I don’t know, but he wheely wheely did. 

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Are you regretting coming on now?

Casey:  No, I just wonder, If your, well, if your not a dad already, you will be a great one.

Alec and Elora:  (laughter)

Casey:  Because you got the jokes.

Elora:  I can confirm with my husband, the dad jokes long preceded becoming a dad.

Casey:  Yeah, they just get worse.

Alec:  Alright.  Question three.  Which of these is a real Guinness Book of World Records record about beds.

Is it A, the longest anyone has ever stayed in a single bed without getting out is four years and two days? 

Is it B, the oldest intact functional bed, belongs to Queen Victoria and is currently on auction for 12 million pounds? 

Is it C, the largest bed in the world is 87 ft by 54 ft?

Or is it D, all of the above?

Casey:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Casey.

Casey:  B?

Alec:  B?  You want to, you want to go with B? Are you sure?

Casey:  Actually, no, I didn’t say B, I said D.

Alec:  You said D?  Is that really the one?

Casey:  No, I didn’t say B and D, I don’t know why you heard that.  I said C

Alec:  C is correct. (bells)

Casey:  Yay

Alec:  And that means, you got two out of three, right? 

Elora:  I got one by default.  We’ll call it a tie.

Alec:  We’ll call it a tie.  (applause)  Everybody wins!

Elora:  Now on to our second question.  Casey, you were a homeschooling mom for a number of years. Do you have any advice for teachers who are listening at home?

Casey:  I loved home schooling and one of the things that I think is important to remember is that even though, when you choose to home school, you’ve chosen to take charge of your child’s education, it’s still takes a village and it may feel like everything is all on your shoulders, but it’s really important to reach out to those who may have some more experience or some more knowledge and certain areas. And even though it’s homeschooling, it’s important to me to get into the mindset of actually the world being your classroom. So staying at home for your education is not the best choice when you have the whole world available to you and all of the time to take advantage of the things that are out there.

Elora:  Yeah, It’s awesome. And that means its time for our second game which we’re calling, This game is brought to you by the new hit film about Tom Hanks, chasing Leo, DiCaprio with a chaise lounge, “Couch Me if you Can”.

Alec:  (laughter)

Casey:  So its not just Alec.

Elora:  (laughter)  Oh, man.  Okay, here are the rules. I’m going to say five amazing, facts about furniture and you’re going to guess if its true or false.  You get the most right to win the game. Are you ready to play?

Alec:  Yes

Casey:  Okey Dokey

Elora:  First fact.  The average lifespan of a sofa is 2,985 days.

Alec:  That sounds so specific, I am going to say true.

Casey:  Oh yeah,  I also say true.

Elora:  (bells)  It is in fact true.  And that comes to be about eight years.

Casey:  That’s what I was thinking, eight years and 2,000 days sounds kind of like it might be eight years.

Alec:  Wow

Elora:  Fact number two.  There is a chair that is designed, not to sit on, but exclusively to hold knit wear.

Alec:  That’s, That’s 100 percent true.

Casey:  Yeah, I’m going to say that’s true too.

Elora:  (bells)  You are both correct.  Your are two for two.  It is in fact true. It’s sold for $7,400.

Alec:  Wow.

Casey:  Why do I feel like I suddenly need one of these?

Alec and Elora:  (laughter)

Elora:  Ok.  Third fact.  The oldest bookcase, in the world is in the Laurentian library, in Florence, Italy.

Alec:  The oldest bookcase in the world. I’m saying false, but only because two have been true so far. 

Casey:  I’m going to say false because I feel like there were books in other parts of the world before then.

Elora:  (bells)  False is correct.  So the oldest bookcase in the world is actually located at Oxford University.

Casey:  Oh

Elora;  Probably not its original location, but that is where it is located now.

Alec:  (laughter)  Definitely not original. 

Elora: Our fourth fact.   Wing back furniture has wings for privacy.

Casey:  I’m going to say false cuz I don’t see how that, they would provide any privacy.

Alec:  I’m going to agree with false.

Elora:  False is correct.  Wings are actually designed to help retain heat. So, our final fact, after a house and a car, furniture is the most expensive thing that the average person pays for.

 Casey:  True. I’ve been there.

Alec:  (laughter)  Hahaha. Yeah, true. I’m going with Casey.  True

Elora:  That is correct. (bells)  So you guys are five for five.  You both won that game.(applause)  You nailed it.

Alec:  Casey, third and final question. What is one piece of writing by a kid that you really remember and why?

Casey:  There are literally thousands of incredible pieces that I could talk about, so I’m going to go with the one that has the most historical significance. So, back in those early days, when I had my little group sit at the kitchen table at my house, I had a little girl, she was about eight at the time, and she didn’t have a good relationship with the writing process to put it. mildly. She really just did not like to write it all. So, one day I told her, you know what, we can just write about whatever you want to write about, and she said, I don’t know what to write a story about. And I said, well, let’s start with a character. What character would you like? And she said, I don’t know of a character and I said, well, what’s your favorite animal?  She said hamsters. So I said, okay draw a hamster, and she did. And I said, what’s his name? And she said, his name is Hammy Jammy Whammy. And I said this is fantastic. Hammy Jammy Whammy.  Now Hammy Jammy Whammy is going somewhere? Where is he going? And she said he’s going to work and I said, okay, where does he work? And she said, well, he’s a business hamster.  Long story short, she fell in love with this little character that she created she gave him a family.  He had a brother, his name was just Hammy Jammy.  Hammy Jammy Whammy’s brother was Hammy Jammy.  She just loved this little character that she created and she ended up writing all of these fantastic stories about his adventures as a successful business hamster. We just loved it and all the other kids loved it and he actually became our class mascot, Hammy Jammy Whammy.

Elora:  Aww

Alec:  Oh

Casey:  So we have a little portrait of him and he sits in our classroom and watches over us and make sure all of our creative energy is being put to good use.

Alec:  That’s so adorable.

Elora:  That’s so sweet.

Alec:  I love that.

Casey:  The little girl.  I think maybe she is probably 21 or 22 now.

Alec:  That means it’s time for our third and final game which were third and final game, which were calling. One time I went to a dinner party and saw these two beautiful tables carved to look like they were holding hands seemed like a pretty table relationship to me.

Elora:  (laughter)  Oh my goodness.

Casey:  Oh my gosh.

Alec:  I’m going to say a vocabulary word related to furniture. And as a team, you’ll try to figure out what the word means, by asking me yes or no questions. Are you ready to play?

Elora:  Yes.

Casey:  Yes.

Alec:  Your word is cantilever.

Casey:  Something on the bottom of a table?

Alec:  No.

Elora:  I know it’s to do with balance.

Alec:  Yes.

Elora:  Does it have to do with….  This may be a reach.  Does it have to do with those pieces of furniture that….  They’re they’re designed to look like parts of them are floating?

Alec:   It could, it could look like something is floating, but it doesn’t, it doesn’t have to look like it’s floating.

Elora:  Is it when a piece of furniture is assembled but not like with screws or nails, or you know like slots and balance and you know…

Alec:  That’s such a good guess, but no.

Elora:  OK.

Alec:  You’re on the right track. 

Casey:  I’m thinking of like, my gosh. I can’t remember the architect’s name. He has three names.

Elora;  Frank Lloyd Wright?

Casey:  Yes.

Elora:  (laughter)

Casey:  Yes, I knew it was  three names.  He built houses with parts that stick out and they’re just cancel ever. They’re not like cemented or anything, they’re just balancing there.

Alec:  Yeah, okay, I’m going to give it to you. It’s when anything any any furniture, it has a horizontal piece that is only supported on one side.

Elora:  Very cool.

Casey;  Does not sound like furniture I would want to sit on.

Alec:  Sit on, no.  So you both won that game.  (applause)

Elora and Casey:  Yay

Elora;  Awesome.

Alec:  Alright, Casey has been a total delight to have you and before we let you go. Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Casey:  Ahh Yeah,

Alec and Elora;  (laughter)

Alec:  Why was the man good friends with his recliner?

Casey:  Because it really supported him? 

Alec:  That’s a good answer but that’s not the one that I’ve got. That’s good, though.

Elora:  It is because it lifts him up?

Alec:  Also great.

Casey:  Oh Oh Oh.  Because it swept him off his feet?

Elora:  Also great.

Alec:  (laughter)  That might be better than the one that I’ve got.

Elora:  Alright.  Whats the real answer?

Alec:  They go way back.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Casey:  Oh, that’s actually pretty good.

Elora:  That’s good.  That’s good.

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Alec:  Remember to now go listen to The Case of the Robbed Furniture Store by 9 and 1/2 year old Ava on our other episode today.

The Case of the Robbed Furniture Store – By Ava, 9.5 transcript

Alec:  I’m Alec.

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written by Kids. Today, we have two episodes out.  On the other episode we’re joined by the lead teacher at Young Writers Institute, Casey Midkiff.  She talks about Young Writers Institute and plays some furniture trivia games with us.  On this episode, an interview with young author, 9 and 1/2 year old Ava and her mystery story, The Case of the Robbed Furniture Store.

Alec:  Ava loves the color teal, vinyl stickers, and drawing comic sketches. She dances for a few hours a week and meets her neighborhood friends at the pool to discuss the plot, protagonist, and moral of their next novels. Ava loves to bake and sew with her grandparents.  In the evenings you can find her at the kitchen table immersed in a tournament of Uno with her parents and sister. This is Ava’s sixth story written over the last few years. Hi Ava.

Ava:  Hi.

Alec:  What inspired you to write this story?

Ava:  I’ve always liked writing mysteries, particularly, and before I wrote this story, my family had just taken a trip to the local mall, which is Crabtree Mall, which is where I got the setting.

Alec:  Do you remember a time when you solved a mystery, or is there a current mystery that you’re solving?

Ava:  I’ve never been in a real one, but I do solve math mysteries every day in my fourth grade classroom.  (laughter)

Alec:  And now, The Case of the Robbed Furniture Store by Ava, performed by Maggie Mason.

Maggie: (music starts – pages turning and scribbling sounds) Beckie Patterson opened the doors to the Crabtree Mall on June 1st, 1992, at 10:37 am. It was the first Monday of summer and Beckie was planning to spend the whole day at the mall, not because she wanted to shop all day, (music stops) but because there was a mystery in the air. (music starts) She also had to get her little sister, Christina, a birthday present. As Beckie came out of the toy store with a box of Little Mermaid dolls, a customer came out of Fashionable Furniture saying, “The store is robbed!” (gasping sounds) Of course Beckie rushed over, (footstep sounds) her long blond hair flapping in her face. “What do you mean that the store is robbed?” she asked. Now people were starting to come over to them.  (crowd sounds)  “Nothing’s there anymore!” the lady said. Beckie thought she was overreacting. “Come with me, Miss.” “Okay.” The woman followed Beckie to the back room of her Aunt Deana’s bookstore. (doors open and close) The woman sat down at the table (chair squeak sounds) as Beckie made her an Americano. (liquid pouring sounds) “I went to unlock the store, and all my furniture was gone!” She sounded a little more calm now. Beckie told her to stay there and pick a book to read as she looked more closely.

Beckie went out to the mall food court so that she could find her sidekick (AKA best friend since Pre-K) Rhea Māhoe. She ran up to Frozen Smiles and asked for two Rainbow Popsicles to share with Rhea, then ran down to Cakey Cakes to find Rhea. “Rhea!” she said, handing her the popsicle. “Your shift over?” “Just finished, why?” she asked, taking the popsicle. “Mystery’s a callin’.” she said, licking her popsicle. “Oh, um-let’s go!” she said.

The two girls ran to the furniture store. (footstep sounds) Catty cornered to it were Beckie and Rhea’s neighbors’ shops. Salon a la Chic was the Highmans’ shop, their daughter Jennifer Highman was just around their age. There was also The Piler’s Pawn, that was the Thopmsons’ shop, their twins, Mara and Clara were their age too. They walked in. (door open squeak sounds) The woman was right, it was wiped clean. So, they went to The Pilier’s Pawn to talk to Mr. Thompson. “Hi, Mr. Thompson!” said Beckie, getting out her notepad. “Hello, Rebecca! Hello Reanne!” said Mr. Thompson, adults always called them by their first names, Rebecca (Beckie) and Reanne (Rhea). “Nice furniture! Is it new?” asked Rhea “Yes, Reanne! I bought it yesterday!” he said, then Beckie quickly scribbled this on her notepad; (scribbling sounds – music stops) Mr. Thompson- always smiling, very suspicious, new furniture, supposedly bought yesterday, same day as the crime (music starts) Beckie asked a few questions and Mr. Thompson did not seem suspicious, so she wrote ‘maybe’ on her notepad. (scribbling sounds)

Then they went to the Highmans’ shop. Mrs. Highman greeted us at the door. “Hello girls! Do you like our new seating area?” She said, as Jennifer was coming over. “Yes! We do!” said Rhea, smiling from ear to ear. Beckie then wrote on her pad again; (scribbling sounds – music stops) Mrs. Highman- brand new seating area, never seen before by Rhea or me, extra smiley today, normal, (music starts) Beckie asked the same questions that she asked Mr. Thompson, then Jennifer said, “You should talk to Natalie, I’ll bet she knows!” Natalie Walters was Jennifer Highman’s best friend, she was always at the mall. She would most likely know.

After talking to Natalie they learned (music stops) no information at all. (music starts) When they walked out of Blockbuster, it was already 3:56 pm. They were never gonna solve this mystery. Suddenly, they saw Rhea’s cousin, Leilani Kelekolio, who was always at the mall with Rhea’s Aunt Liahona. They asked Aunt Liahona a few questions. She said that they brought Rhea to the mall for her shift, then she took Leilani clothes shopping. Rhea and Beckie said goodbye and ran back to the furniture store. (footstep sounds – music stops)

On the desk there was a note. (paper crumbling sounds) You’ve had it under your nose this whole time. (music starts) “Well, fess up!” said Beckie, staring at Rhea. She knew it was her. Rhea had always been just under Beckie’s nose in height and was the only one who’d been with her the whole time, also that was Rhea’s handwriting.  (gasping sounds)  “I-it wasn’t my fault! (gasping sounds) The mall needed more seating areas in the food court, and it isn’t in the budget! (gasping sounds) My boss made me!” she said frantically. (gasping sounds)  “I’m reporting your boss as the culprit. (sigh sounds) You’re alright this time, but I’m keepin’ an eye on you.” said Beckie, writing on her notepad.  (scribbling sounds)  Reanne Māhoe and Boss- Culprit And the moral of our story is, never keep a secret from a detective 

Alec:  When Maggie was 9 and 1/2, all she wanted to do was be a spy because she loved sneaking about, finding clues and writing in notebooks. She loves this exciting mystery. Who did you base the characters off of?

Ava:  I based Beckie off of my little sister who is always telling me, “Did you do this, did you do this, did you do this?”

Alec:  (laughter)

Ava:  And Rhea is based off of myself, actually.  I based her personality off of mine.

Alec:  Final question. Where did you write this? 

Ava:  I was at a writing camp, Young Writer’s Institute.  It was a camp where you had to write a mystery.  The 1990’s is one of favorite decades to write about.  I took my two favorite things to write about and made up a story.

Elora;  This story was written at Young Writers Institute. They offer classes camps and workshops for kids in preschool through high school.  Find more information at

Alec:  Before we end with a joke of the week – we have two more punny thank yous and compliments for those of you who gave or are giving to help us bring kids stories to life.

Elora:  Thank you, Jack D. Listen, if anyone doubts your empathy or your kindness, that’s cause they don’t know Jack.

Alec and Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Thank you to another Jack D. Your friendship is so warm, it sometimes feels like collapsing into a bath and never getting out. Because I can’t, because you got my back.

Elora:  (laughter)  OK Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec:  I’m so ready.

Elora:  How do you fix a cracked pumpkin?

Alec:  I don’t know how.

Elora:  A pumpkin patch.

Alec and Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  That one was so easy. I should have gotten that.

Elora:  I thought you were going to.

Alec:  I am slipping in my young age.  Bye I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Alec:  Remember your child’s writing or your writing from when you were a kid can be on this podcast. Just go to to submit writing for free. That’s

Transcript: Hazel White and the Time Travel Mystery – by Disha, 9

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written by Kids. Today we have an interview with young author Disha, and then her action packed short story, Hazel White and the Time Travel Mystery. Today’s short story Hazel White and the Time Travel Mystery was written at Young Writers Institute which you will hear a little more about after the story.

(Theme Music)

Alec:  Disha loves animals, family, and gaming.  She has a twin sister, who she loves a lot. She has two guinea pigs named Snowy and Cici.  Disha loves to write fictional stories about her made-up character Hazel White.  She has written a few stories about Hazel White so far.  Hi Disha.

Disha:  Hello.

Alec:  What inspired you to write this story?

Disha:  My favorite authors inspired me to write stories, like Dave Pilkey and Rachel Renee Russell.   I love to read a lot of books and that’s how I got interested in writing my own,  I’ve been reading a lot of books lately and they gave me some new ideas for Hazel White books. 

Alec:  That’s amazing.  Alright.  Question two.  How do you hope the audience will feel after they hear it?

Disha:  I hope the audience will feel very pleased, and love the story. I also hope they get inspired to write their own. Anyone can write a story, they just need to try.

Elora:  And now, Hazel White and the Time Travel Mystery by nine year old Disha.

Alec:  Performed by Laura Lyman Payne

Laura: (music starts)  One day a girl called Hazel White was playing in her backyard. A UFO landed in her backyard. (UFO sounds) Aliens came with lots and lots of tools.(footstep sounds) Suddenly Hazel saw the aliens building a portal. (zipping sounds, alien sounds) She squinted super hard and she saw that there was a note in the alien’s hand. (paper opening sounds) The alien put the note in front of the portal and it waved goodbye and took off to the alien planet in the UFO. (UFO launching sounds)  Hazel picked up the note. The note said

“Hello Hazel. This is your great grandmother. I have a very important job for you. When I was
young, around 6 or 7, the same thing happened to me. I went into the portal and I had to do some tasks. But I      couldn’t finish them all. I need you to complete the rest of the tasks for me. You will get a reward if you complete the tasks. Love, Great Grammy.” (note read with echo sounds)

Suddenly Hazel saw her mother looking out the window. Her mother came outside running and screaming. “Hazel be careful! Do not jump into the portal. It’s dangerous.”  Hazel said, (music stops) “Mom, this is great Grammy’s wish. I have to do it for her.”  Before her mother could stop her, Hazel was gone!! She jumped into the portal.  (outer space sounds)  Hazel slowly opened her eyes. She saw that she was in CANDYLAND. (music starts) This flying peppermint came on a floating cloud and said, “Hello!! My name is Peppy the peppermint. What’s your name?”. “Hazel” she said. This is the task that your great grandmother could not finish. “You have to get across Candy Land. Be careful. There are hidden traps and monsters that you need to fight.”  Peppy gave Hazel a licorice sword (metal swiping sounds) and lollipop armor. (clanking sounds)  Hazel first saw a giant pit of melted chocolate lava. (ocean sounds) She had to find someway to cross it. She figured out that if she can cool down the melted chocolate, it will become solid and she can walk across. She saw ice creams hanging in the nearby trees. She dumps all the ice creams in and the chocolate becomes solid. (sound of chocolate becoming hard)  She walks across.  (footsteps)  SUCCESS!!

Hazel keeps on walking and walking until she finds a marshmallow tiger. (tiger growling sounds) He comes charging at her,(heavy footstep sounds) Hazel quickly ran behind a tree and found a “makes you jump high” potion. She drank the potion (pouring liquid sounds) and jumped on top of a tree before the tiger (growling sounds) could reach her. This tree was full
of smarties. She plucked some smarties and threw at the tiger. (smarties hitting tiger sounds) (growling sounds) The tiger fell to the ground.  (thumping sound) Hazel jumped down from the tree and went home hopping like a bunny to the end of candy-land.

Suddenly she saw a bunny in the distance. The bunny came to her and said, “Hello, my name is Bunny Corn, what’s your name?” Hazel told Bunny Corn her name and then Bunny Corn handed her a basket and a magnifying glass. Then Bunny Corn said, “This magnifying glass is special. It will help you find blurple berries, but, you can only use the magnifying glass for only a few times, so save your magnifying glass! Go ahead and find some blurple berries”.  (footstep sounds)

Hazel went to the bushes (rustling sounds) and she decided to save her magnifying glass and find 3 blurple berries. Then she went to the next bush. She couldn’t see any, so she used her magnifying glass and found 12 blurple berries. Only 16 more blurple berries to go.  She saw one blurple berry bush moving. (rustling sounds) She went close to it and opened it and inside was a cute little puppy. (dog whimpering sounds)  It had a sign that said “adopt me, my name is Twilight”. so, she picked up the little puppy.  “Hello Twilight.”

Then she found a leash behind the bushes. (clicking sounds) She now had a new sidekick – twilight the dog. (dog barking).  After she found Twilight, she to find some more blurple berries. She found 12, and she had 4 more to go. She went all around the blurple berry bushes but she could not find any more. Then Twilight suddenly said,  “I can help you find more berries but then you have to take care of me, make sure I don’t get lost”. Hazel said, “Okay!”   and Twilight led her to the last (rustling sounds) 4 blurple berries from under the bushes. (dog barking)

Then Bunny Corn came to Hazel and said, “Hazel, you have completed all your tasks, so I am going to give you something that your GreatGrandmother wanted to give you.”  Bunny Corn handed Hazel a necklace that had a rainbow gem that matched Twilight’s leash and collar. Hazel saw it was a bit dirty and used her hand to wipe off the dust. Hazel rubbed the gem (magical sound) and it brought her back to her backyard (cricket sounds) with Twilight and the necklace. Hazel then realized that you have to rub the necklace to go back to Candyland. Hazel got up and saw it was almost her bedtime. She went and knocked on the house door (knocking sounds) and her mother answered the door.  (door squeaking sounds)  “Hazel!!!! I missed you so much. Come inside, you must be hungry and thirsty”.

Hazel had her dinner and it was time for bed. She got ready for bed and her mom tucked her in. As she was tucking her in, Hazel’s mom said, “Wherever you go, I will never forget you”.  Hazel’s mom turned off the light (light switch sound) and Hazel fell fast asleep. (cricket sounds)

Alec:  Laura Lyman Payne is a freelance performer and voice-over artist in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. When she was a kid, she wanted to grow up to be a fairy with magic fire powers. There is still time, who gets to say when you are officially grown up anyway.  Find her on Instagram at Lauraly, That’s @LauraLy_Payne. Well worth it, she’s got a great Instagram. This is a fantastical adventure story, which in the end is all about family. Do you have a message about family that you would like our listeners to hear?

Disha:  Yes, I do have a message.  Your family always gives you something nobody else will give you, unconditional love. Family always loves and supports you no matter what happens.  That’s what a family is, a bunch of people caring for one another.  Always love your family and they will love you.

Elora:  This short story was written at Young Writers Institute, a community of authors who come together to learn share and grow through the written word. They offer classes camps and workshops for kids in preschool through high school at their Cary, North Carolina, classroom.  They invite all young writers to come share their ideas and write their stories with their  fun and supportive community. Find more information at That’s

Alec:  Before we end with the joke of the week. We have three more thank yous and punny compliments for those of you who gave or are giving to help us bring these kids stories to life.

Elora:  Thank you. Steven P.  Your kindness and the dulcet tones of your voice are humbling and calming, but could really use a dating profile. Why? Because they’re unmatched. (laughter)

Alec:  Thank you Steve and Andrea.  Your smiles and senses of humor really brighten my days, but they should really come inside and sit down. Why? Because they’ve been out standing for so long.

Elora:  (laughter)  Thank you, Sharon B.  Your support and encouragement has meant so much to us, but the dinosaurs are afraid of them, why?  Because it makes such a huge impact.

Alec:   And all jokes aside. We couldn’t do it without you. Thank you so much.

Elora:  Now Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec:   I’m so ready.

Elora:  Why should you pay your exorcism bill?

Alec:  Why?

Elora:  Because if you don’t, you’ll get repossessed.

Alec:  (laughter)  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Alec:  Remember your child’s writing or your writing from when you were a kid can be on this podcast. Just go to MoonHouse.oeg/submit to submit writing for free. That’s

Written by Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript: The Girl and the Unicorn – by Keshet

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written by Kids. And today, we’ll play one short game and share one short story called The Girl and the Unicorn.

Alec:  Today we have a very short thought-provoking story about unicorns, but first, Lo, we’re going to play a game all about unicorns were calling it, “Joey, It’s a unicorn. Maybe you need corn, I had corn this morning.”  (laughter)

Elora:  (laughter)  Oh man.

Alec:  I ‘m going to say five amazing facts about unicorns and you’ll guess if they’re true or false. Are you ready to play?

Elora:  I’m ready.

Alec:   Number one.  In 1577, someone brought Queen Elizabeth I a narwhal tusk, and told her it was a unicorn horn.

Elora:  True (bells) 

Alec:  Correct, that’s true. Number two.

Elora;  Unicorns of the sea.

Alec:  (laughter)  Number two. She believed him and told everyone it was a unicorn horn.

Elora:  Also, true? (bells)

 Alec:  Also true.  Number three, later, King James I poisoned a servant and tried to cure him with said, unicorn horn in order to test whether it was a unicorn horn.

Elora:  True (bells)

Alec:  Definitely.

Elora:  (laughter)  That’s awful.

Alec:  Number four.  It did cure that servant because narwhal tusks have healing properties and James I continued to think that it was a unicorn horn.

Elora:  False (bells)

Alec:  False, yep, Definitely false.  Number five. The Unicorn is the national animal of Ireland.

Elora:  True?

Alec:  False, it’s Scotland.

Elora:  Ok.  That was my debate, I was like I know it is true of one of them.

Alec:  Lo, with four out of five, you won that game. (applause)  And now The Girl and the Unicorn by 6 year old Keshet. Performed by Anita Castillo _______

Anita:  (music starts)  Once upon a time, there was a little girl playing with a friend. That little girl said, “Someday, I want to find a unicorn.”  (magical sounds) Her friend asked. “Do you really believe in unicorns?” and then the little girl said, “Yes.”  Then her friend said (music stops) “That’s weird”   Meanwhile, in a different world. (new music starts) A unicorn was playing with her friend. then the Unicorn said, “Someday, I want to find a little girl.” (magical sounds) Then the other unicorn said, “Do you really believe and little girls?”  And then the Unicorn said “Yes.” Then the other unicorn said, (music stops) “That’s weird. (music starts again)

Alec:  Anita Castillo Halvorssen is a Venezuelan Norwegian, actor, singer and teacher. Anita is from Boulder, Colorado, where she grew up with her little brother and her pet whippet dog named Speedy. She is named after her mom, whose name is also Anita. Today she lives in New York City, which is very big and bustling Anita loves movies and reading. She also loves eating cookies and any kind of pasta noodles or other such slurpy delicacies. Before we end with a joke of the week, throughout October, we’re going to say something special about those of you who gave to help us keep bringing kids stories to life. So today we have three thank yous and sincere, if punny compliments. 

Elora:  Thank you, Joey P. In a world full of uncertainty, you are our reliable constant, organic fair trade mint tea. .

Alec:  Thank you, Joan W. Your kindness is like a delightful midday snack in the sun with friends.  It means so brunch to us.

Elora;  Thank you, Debbie U.  Without your generosity we would have fallen so short of our goal.  Or Alec would have fallen short; I’m pretty tall in these boots!

Alec:  And all jokes aside. Thank you so much. We can only keep doing this podcast because of you.  Lo, Are you ready for the joke of the week?

 Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  What kind of story does a sad horse tell?

Elora:  I can feel it. It’s like it right there.  I don’t know, what?

Alec:  A tale of whoa!!!!!

Elora:  (laughter) Oh my goodness

Alec:  Bye,  love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Alec:  Remember your child’s writing, or your writing from when you were a kid, can be on this podcast. Just go to to submit writing for free. That’s

Transcript: The Beach Trip (Part 2/2) – by LuLu, 12

Alec:  I’m Alec.

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written By Kids. And today we have part two of an adventurous romance, drama called The Beach Trip, by 12 year old Lulu.

Alec:  Previously on The Beach Trip, by Lulu,  Kyoko’s best friend Sakura convinced her to go on the school beach trip, even though she might not feel comfortable with people seeing her body, by reminding her that her crush, Hinode, will also be there. But Hinode’s crush, Yoshi, also comes to the beach. When last we saw Kyoko, she was diving into the ocean to save her crush, Hinode’s life as he was flailing in the middle of the ocean.

Genevieve:  All of a sudden I snapped back into reality. (music starts) It was like something came over me. Some kind of instinct told me if you do not do something you will regret it. (water splash) The water was cold. I looked back and saw Yoshi in a state of shock. Hinode was just a little further. I had to make it. Wait… Hinode stopped. (treading water sounds) Did he suddenly gain control? But he seems mad. Why? I was trying to save him. Why is he mad? All the teachers rushed over and brought him towels. I saw him look at Yoshi and wink. (music starts) “ What kind of sick freak fakes drowning to get a girl’s attention!!!?!?!” Before I know Hinode is coming over to me, he looks very mad. “ What the heck man?!” He shouts. “ Don’t you know that I was trying to get Yoshi’s attention?” He said this in a whisper. “ I’m sorry I didn’t know.” I hate the way he talks to me. It makes me feel like I am worthless. The boy that I have looked up to for years is mad at me for saving his life, even if it was fake, but still!! All I want to do is cry. The last thing I want to do is cry in front of Hinode. I can feel my face getting hot. Right as I feel like I’m about to lose it Yoshi walks over. “ Hey, you ok?” This question surprised me. I thought she was going to call me out for saving Hinode. “ I’m fine, it was just a sick prank anyway.” I try to sound stronger than I am. “ I am really sorry about Hinode. He can be a real jerk sometimes.” “ Why do you like him so much then?” I ask “ I could ask you the same things, girl!” After this conversation, I was really surprised. By the way I treated Yoshi on the bus, I thought she would have never talked to me again. And then Sakura comes running up to me. “ ARE YOU OK? MY GORGEOUS LADY!” She screams. “ I am fine, but thanks for asking!” I say. “ That was really brave of you girl!” I don’t know why she thinks it is such a big deal. All I did was try to save someone that was being a jerk. “ Thanks but it is not that big of a deal.” I plead. “ PLEASE!! You just saved your man love!” “ He is not my man love. I mean did you see the way he reacted when I ‘saved’ him?” I try not to sound too hurt when I say this. Sakura doesn’t answer. That night I kept wondering why Hinode would act the way he acted. If he was really drowning would he be as mad as he was today? I just hope he and Yoshi are happy together. It seems that every guy I have a crush on never like me. Is there something wrong with me? “Ding!” (texting sounds) The sound of my phone surprises me, for I was in a deep state of thought. It’s from Sakura. “ GURL GUESS WHAT!!” She texts in all caps. “ What is it Sakura?” “ Do you remember when Hinode said he likes Yoshi?” “ Yes, why?” I questioned. “ Well, he just texted me and said he is having mixed feelings about her and is just really into you now! Isn’t that great?” This statement makes my head spin. How should I act? I have just learned that the boy I have had a crush on for years is finally falling for me. I still can’t get over the way he treated me at the beach though. He was so horrible and ungrateful. ( texting sounds) “ Hello, you still alive?” Sakura questions. “ Yes, I am. Just trying to take this all in.” “ I’m gonna go to bed now. Night!” I had to get out of that conversation. “ Night” Sakura responds. The next day I wake up with a feeling of emptiness. I feel I should be happy that my crush, or whatever he is, likes me. I have liked him for years, but now it feels like everything has changed. And then I realize that I don’t have to be with someone just because they like me. I did like Hinode but since the beach trip, I have learned what kind of person he really is. He is nothing more than a mean person with a pretty face. And just as I walk into school (crowd talking sounds, locker sounds) Hinode is walking towards me. He has this walk that makes him look like he is floating. And just for a second, I forget all the bad things he has ever done to me. It is like he has put a spell over me to only see the good in him. But then as soon as it happened I snapped back to reality. “ Hey, girl,” Hinode says. “ Hi, Hinode,” I snapped. “ So, I was wondering if you would like to go out on a date with me?” Hinode says with confidence. I wish I was happy, but I am not. It takes me a minute to respond, but when I do the whole hallway goes silent. (music and sound effects stop) What do you mean you won’t go out with me!?” He seems upset. I would be too if someone turned me down. (music starts)“ I thought you liked me.” He sounds hurt. “ I did, but at the beach trip when you treated me like trash it made me realize that I deserve better.” He looked at me with his big eyes, and it looked like he was about to cry. “ I’m sorry,” I said. “ I gave up on Yoshi for! Yoshi, one of the prettiest girls in school! All for you because I thought you liked me.” “ I never asked you to do that, Hinode.” “ I know I know, but I thought you were different. I thought you would want to be with me.” As this conversation progressed I got more and more embarrassed. Practically the whole school was staring at us. From now on I will be known as the person that turned down Hinode, the cutest boy in school. It is funny a couple of days ago I would have killed just for Hinode to talk to me, but now I hardly ever think of him. I do feel bad that I had to tell him in front of a lot of people, but it was worth it. He had too much of an ego. My best friend Sakura has been with me through all of my crushes but this one will stay with me forever. From this experience, I have learned that being pretty is nice but personality is better. Hinode may have looked like the most handsome boy ever, but he had an ugly personality. I would rather be with someone who had a great sense of humor and persona, than someone who was mean but good-looking. I will carry this lesson with me throughout my whole life.

Alec:  Genevieve Kingston was once also a 12 year old girl who loved cute guys, the beach and writing stories. She is now a 32-year old woman who loves those things. There’s a character in the story who is hesitant about letting other people see her body at the beach. Do you have a message for our listeners, any listeners who might feel the same way?

Lulu:  Yes, I do.   Like you should buy the clothes that you feel comfortable in and if you don’t feel comfortable wearing something, you don’t have to wear it, just wear what’s comfortable. 

Elora:  Before we end up with a joke of the week. We are now accepting writing submissions for 2022. Your child’s writing can be on Written by Kids. Just go to to submit your child’s writing for free.

Alec:  That’s  Lo, Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec: What did the mother horse say to her foal?

Elora:  I don’t know, what?

Alec:  It’s pasture bedtime.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Alec:  Come back next week for a story about unicorns and alternate universes.

Transcript: The Beach Trip (Part 1/2) – by LuLu, 12

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora and this is Written By Kids. And today, we have part one of an adventurous romance called The Beach Trip by 12 year old Lulu.  And Lulu did a wonderful interview with us.

Alec:  Lucia or Lulu for short loves Billie Eilish, Anime and her friends. She loves Attack on Titan and R.E. zero? Respond zero?

Lulu:  It’s a Re-zero.

Alec:  Re-zero. She loves reading Manga. She has a dog named Lady Bird; she’s a black lab. Hi Lulu.

Lulu:  Hi

Alec:  What prompted you to write this story?

Lulu:  So, my teacher gave us an assignment in class, like, write a short story about anything that we wanted. I had no idea what I was going to write. And then since I love anime, I thought, well, I should probably like base it in Japan somewhere and probably have it be like some kind of thing that I know a lot about. It’s a really common like trope to have a like a class trip to a beach, so that’s kind of where I got my idea from.

Alec:  Oh, that’s awesome.  This story is about a girl learning a very important lesson about the kinds of boys that she should go out with. Do you remember a time when you learned something important about how to choose the kinds of people that you should trust?

Lulu:  I have been very blessed with a lot of great friends, but there have been some times when I’ve felt like a little bit excluded or my friends have like told secrets that I’ve told them not to tell other people about.  But I find that just like talking to them, making sure everything’s like good and like clearing the air.  It just helps getting to know like what people are thinking and like really getting to know the person that you’re sharing your stuff with.

Alec:  And now, part one of The Beach Trip by Lulu, performed by Genevieve Kingston.

Genevieve:  (music starts) I remember the warm breeze flooding into the classroom. The cherry blossom petals on the floor. But what I remember most was the feeling I had when I heard the news. My teacher, Sensei Hinata, had just told the class that we will be going on a trip to Kamakura beach. I was sitting down on the cold chair. The kind of chair that if you lean back it will pull out some of your hair. (squeaking sounds) Contemplating on whether or not I should go. Sakura, my best friend, leaned over and said to me, “ Maybe Hinode will be there.” She said with a devilish smirk. “ Like he would ever pay attention to me.” I say. (hand banging on desk) “ Kyoko and Sakura! Am I boring you two?” Sensei Hinata booms. “ No Sensei! We are very sorry!” We chant. “ Every single day.” I think. In fact, it’s true. Every single day Sakura and I get called out for talking, but it doesn’t bother me. The next day I woke up to thirty-three text messages from Sakura, (text sounds) she always texts me at three in the morning. Almost all of them are telling me that I should go on the beach trip. I just don’t know if I should. It is a constant battle I have with myself. Should I go and risk the chance of people laughing at me, because of my body. Or should I stay home and regret not going for the rest of my life. I want to go for the fun of it. I want to make memories with Sakura. But I don’t want to risk making a fool of myself. When I get to school (sounds of kids in hallway and lockers closing) Sakura is holding up something that looks like a robe. As I get closer I can tell what it is. They are matching swimsuits, two-piece swimsuits. “ I know you hate two pieces, but they were on sale!” She squeals. “ Sakura I don’t even know if I am going to go yet.” “ Besides, I will probably look horrible in it.” “ Don’t say those kinds of things Kyo.” Sakura says very sternly as we walk to our first class. In math, Sakura hands me a note, (paper crumbling) Sensei Jabami hates it when we pass notes. I open the note and it reads, “Hey! I know you don’t want to go to the beach, but I really want you there. I don’t think I would have fun if you didn’t go.” How am I supposed to say no to that? I guess if Sakura is going I won’t have to feel so scared. I take out my phone and text Sakura. “ Fine, I will go, but only if you promise to stay with me the entire time!” “ I promise,” She responds. The swimsuit that Sakura gave me is bright blue. I have never really been fond of the color blue, but this one matches my eyes. I put it on, and it fits like a glove. And for the first time, I actually got excited about the trip. The day of the beach trip. I have dreaded and longed for this day. Sensei Hintata informs us that we have to sit with our assigned buddies. My buddy is (twinkley sounds) Yoshi. Yoshi is beautiful in every way, except personality. She is so bland. Yoshi is like every other Instagram girl. Bleach blonde hair, short skirts, and the newest phone. Sometimes I wish I could just be Yoshi for one day. Just to see what it would be like to have all the boys crushing over you. When we get on the bus Yoshi claims the window seat. “ Hey, Kyoko!” Yoshi says in her fake friend voice. “ Hi, Yoshi,” I say. “ Are you excited to go swimming?” She says this like I am one of her friends. “ Well, I am! I think Hinode might ask me out.” She says this with so much confidence it almost makes me sick. “ You like Hinode?” I questioned. “ Well of course! He is like the cutest guy in school!” “ Wow, I didn’t know you were capable of liking anyone but yourself. Good for you.” I bark Yoshi doesn’t answer. I think I may have gone too far. When we get to the beach (splashing sounds and kids talking)  Hinode is the first to get in the water, he is so cute! I look away to talk to Sakura. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see someone splashing in the water. I turned around out of curiosity, and I saw a person falling their arms in the air! I couldn’t see who it was so I got closer. I finally realized that it was Hinode. (music stops) Everyone went still. No one wanted to move. My ears started ringing, and everything started going blurry. All of a sudden I snapped back into reality. (music starts) It was like something came over me. Some kind of instinct told me if you do not do something you will regret it. (water splashing) The water was cold. I looked back and saw Yoshi in a state of shock. Hinode was just a little further. I had to make it.

Alec:  Join us tomorrow for part two of The Beach Trip by Lulu.  Will Yoshi start caring about the more important things? Will Kyoko save Hinode from the ocean? Will he finally see her and see what a good person she is?  Will they fall in love? Find out tomorrow on part two of The Beach Trip by Lulu.

Elora:  Before we end with the joke of the week, we are now accepting writing submissions for 2022. Your child’s writing can be on Written By Kids. Just go to to submit your child’s writing for free.

Alec:  That’s

Elora:  Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec:  I’m so ready.

Elora:  Why do fish live in saltwater?

Alec:  Why?

Elora:  Because pepper makes them sneeze!  (laughter)

Alec:  Oh, man. (laughter) I was never going to get that. I was trying to think of periodic table puns. Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye I love you.

Alec:  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Transcript: Songs& Puns w/Michael Perrie Jr.

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written By Kids.  Today we are joined by special guest, actor, singer, song writer, musician and all around high quality human, Mike Perrie, Jr. who is going to sing some more songs.  Hi Mike.  We are excited to have you back.

Mike:  Hi, I’m so glad to be back.

Alec:  So Mike,  you’re going to play three songs using the words of three poems that we published in the last three weeks. And first up is Fall is Here by six year old Neil. Are you ready to play the song? Are you ready to pumpkin spice things up?

Mike:  I’m always ready to pumpkin, I love pumpkin spice.  So this time of year is perfect for me.  First of all, I want to talk a little bit about this poem and say that first of all, all three of these poems are absolutely amazing, but, I did have to make small adjustments to make sure that they were musicalized, but it’s not very much. I usually just took the line before and try to make it land on a rhyme cuz they are poems, not songs and there is a difference and I think that’s what’s really cool about it.  So I haven’t done a lot to them though because I think there is a lot of beautiful stuff there. So I really just added a line to make a rhyme land. So, it’s really cool. So this first one, I was feeling very Avett Brothers. I’m a big fan of the Avett Brothers. Fall is Here was definitely an Avett Brothers song.  (Guitar begins)

Mike singing:   Fall is here.  Leaves say crunch.  That’s what I hear.  Oh! That pumpkin pie I munch.

Leaves fall in heaps, purple, yellow, orange, and brown. Wind blew the brown leaf out of town.  Eat delicious pumpkin pie and tasty food.  It’s going to be very cold, so don’t forget to wear a sweater and a hood.  Jack o lantern Halloween is coming.  Wearing costumes Hoo Hoo Hoo, Fun to say “Boo”! Happy fall season say ooh ooh ooh, by Neil.  Ooh ooh ooh.  Happy season of fall.

Elora:  Wow. 

Mike:  It’s emotional.  Beautiful words, Neil, congratulations.

Alec:  Wow. That was great. 

Elora:  That made me so happy

Alec:  That was unbeLEAFable.

Mike:  UnbeLEAFable.  Thank you.

Elora;  Fallelujah

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec: You really kept your eyes on the pies.

Mike:  I appreciate that. Thank you very much. I think I really whipped creamed it. I just really absolutely creamed it.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  My face already hurts from smiling so much.

Mike:  That was fun. Yeah, thank you for for that Neil. I really saw the structure in that one, He kept changing the sort of rhyme scheme, which I think is really cool. If we had an A-B-A-B at the top and then the second one, he says no, no, no, I’m too advanced for that, I’m not going to stick A-B-A-B here, and then he has a sort of Shakespearean rhyme in the chorus, which I call the chorus, you know,

Mike singing:  Eat delicious pumpkin pie and tasty food. 

Mike:  So he has this sort of Shakespearean thing, so you have to say hood (laughter)

Elora:  I caught that.  I was like oh

Mike:  to make it land, but I had to keep it cuz you need a hood when you go outside.

Elora:  OK Michael. Are you ready to sing the second song using the words of the poem An Empty Room is Never Empty, by 11 year old Izzy which we published three weeks ago?

Mike:  Oh yes. 

Elora:  I mean I would love to hear it mySHELF.

Mike:  Oh (laughter) I aDOOR that, I got to tell ya.

Alec:  Oh, oh, oh Everything hinges on that.

Mike:  Your not going to be able to handle it.  I got to tell ya

Elora:  Sofa so good

Mike:   Coffee table.  So An Empty Room is Never Empty, I love the metaphor in this whole song. I thought it was really beautiful. So Isaiah great work on the metaphors on this song.  It made me think of, do you guys remember the band like Eve 6?

Elora:  Yes

Alec:  Yeah.

Mike:  Right, so like that was the vibe I was going for.

Elora:  Heart in a blender

Mike:  Yeah,  Watch it spin round around kind of like that of the late 90s early 2000s.

Elora:  Let’s jam man,

Mike:  Post punk like, you know, that’s sort of lik pop music that was like, So I thought An Empty Room is Never Empty felt very late 90s to me. So I’d say I’m sorry you weren’t born yet, but hopefully this brings back some pre-natal memories.

Elora:  (laughter)

Mike singing: (Guitar playing starts) An empty room. Its not always an empty room. It is just waiting to be filled. Oh yeah.  An Empty Soul.  That’s when the base comes in. An empty heart.  Is just waiting to be filled, waiting to be filled.  If life is lived as an empty room. Then there is no point. You’ll be consumed.  So, life must be lived. Ooh life must be lived, ooh life must be lived, as a room waiting to be filled. Just waiting to be filled.  Waitng to be filled.

Mike:  (laughter)

Alec:  Oh yeah!

Mike:  That’s a jam that is a jam.

Elora:  That takes me back.

Elora:  I have to say, Mike,

Mike:  I’m a big fan.

Mke:  Thank you very much. I really appreciate that.

Alec:  Oh man, That was great.  Ok.  We’re on to our third and final song, using the words of the poem Books, also by Izzy, all about the wonder and mystery of books. Ah Michael, do you really have the spine to this song?

Elora:  (laughter)

Mike:  I do, and I had to call my friend. He doesn’t have a phone so I had to page him and he gave me some helpful insight on what to do with this. And, you know, reading between the lines. I understood what he was asking, I felt like, you know,  the bird is the word.

Elora: That pun was pretty top shelf.

Mike:  You know, I try.  I cart around a few things here and there and then sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.  I think it was fine.

Alec:  I’m sure you used every trick in the book.

Mike:  I did. I did I used almost too many.  But you really dewy deimated that That whole bunch of us. We are reeling. We are really. We are beside ourshelves.  Oh man. Now, my thought with this, Isaiah was playing with a lot of free verse in this  poem and was not really sticking to a specific rhyme scheme or structure and I appreciate it because it was a challenge. So I kind of went with a sort of spooky like acoustic, David Bowie-esk vibe with the song where it’s sort of that old thing they used to do in the late sixties and maybe mid-to-late 60s, where they would like to speak at the beginning.

Mike singing:  (guitar playing starts) What is a book?  It is imagination? A good book does not tell you the lesson.  Nor do you understand the lesson.  You may understand the meaning.  But there is always a deeper thought.  You will never understand it.  Neither will I.  The only way to understand a book.  Is to live a book. Um, that’s right. To play the part of a character is the only way to truly find the deeper meaning here today.  If you define reading a book as an activity you are more foolish than you can possibly know.  A book  is different for every living being.  But if you only read a book when you have to, then I advise for you to change. I cannot tell you what a book is.  For that, you must find for yourself.

Mike:  That one’s a little experimental, I know.

Alec:  Amazing.

Mike:  You know what I loved about this. I need to talk about it a little bit. A book is different for every living being, but only if you read it, when you have to, then I advise you to change. It’s such a strange thing to put in a song.  So, I had to find a thing, and I felt a book is different for every living being is just such a great rhythm. So it had to be the chorus

Mike singing:  (guitar playing) A book is different for every living being.

Mike:  It just fits in so melodically, and then but if you only read it, when you have to, it breaks itself up, so in a way of being symbolic, like

Mike singing: (guitar playing) like it’s going along for every living being. But if you only read it, when you have to, I advise, you change.

Mike:  It suddenly says no, no, no, what you believe is wrong. And I love that.

Alec:  Looks like we’re all on the same page about that.

Mike:  We are. We are indeed.

Alec:  It’s an absolute delight to have you and before we let you go though, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Mike:  Hey I am always ready for the joke of the week.

Alec:  Why did the basketball player decide to play soccer for a day?

Mike:  Why?

Alec:  Just for kicks.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Mike:  That’s good. And right at the end, right at the buzzer on Sunday night like, just get the joke of the week in there.

Alec:  See you Saturday for a romance drama called The Beach Trip by 12 year old LuLu.

Transcript: Trivia w/Koji Minami (Koji the Illustrator)!

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  This is Written By Kids. And today we’re joined by special guest Koji Minami, also known as Koji the illustrator to answer three listener questions, and play three trivia games, all about the beach, because next week’s story, by 12 year old LuLu, is a romantic drama called The Beach Trip. 

Elora:  Koji is a graphic designer and illustrator from Seattle who loves to learn, make stuff with his friends, and work in a variety of mediums. You might have seen him in the kids describe series from Cut, where he got to work with kids to bring their ideas to life. He has a deep appreciation to the childlike imagination within all of us. Hi Koji, and welcome to Written By Kids.  We are excited to have you.

Koji:  Hi, yeah, thanks for having me.

Alec:  We’re also joined by actor Mohammad Rohaizad Suaidi, and his five-year-old, son, Johan.  Hi Rohaizad  and Johan.

Rohaizad:  Hi everyone.

Alec:  All right.  We’re going to play three trivia games and ask you three questions in between Koji.  We’ll start with our first trivia game, all about the beach.  We’re calling this game. I went searching for a magical sandwich, but all I found was a charming old woman on the beach in flowey robes and a hat waving a wand around.

Koji:  Whoa, That’s a long name.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Here are the rules. There are three teams.  Koji versus  Rohaizad and Johan, versus Lo.  I’m going to ask three multiple choice questions, whoever buzzes their buzzer first gets to answer. Get it right, get a point, get it wrong, another team gets to answer. Is everybody ready to play?

Elora:  So ready

Koji:  Yeah

Rohaizad: Ready?​

Johan:  (yeah sounds)

Koji:  I wish I had a real buzzer button by the way.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Alright.  Question number one. Some beaches have bright white sand.  What is white sand made of?

Is it A, fish poop?

Is it B, bird poop?

Is it C, broken down clam pearls?

Or is it D, its not natural, humans just bleached a lot of regular sand to turn it white?

Koji:  Ah, Buzz

Rohaizad:  Buzz

Alec:  Koji

Koji:   I’m going to guess, I don’t really know, but I’m going to guess that its C, the broken down shells option

Alec:  That is incorrect I’m sorry.  Who buzzed second? Rohaizad?

Rohaizad:  We buzzed. 

Alec:  You buzzed, what do you want to guess?

Johan:  Buzz

Rohaizad:  We buzzed together.

Johan:  I want to answer.

Rohaizad:  What’s the answer?  Is it bird poop?

Johan:  poop

Rohaizad:  You think it’s bird poop?

Johan:  yeah

Rohaizad:  We think it’s bird poop.

Alec:  Totally wrong.  Lo?

Elora:  Is it fish poop?

Alec:  It’s fish poop.  (bells and applause)

Koji:  That’s crazy

Alec:  Yeah, white sand is made from the poop of one kind of fish called a parrot fish.  Parrot fish can produce hundreds of pounds of white sand poop every year. When reached for comment, one of them said, Yeah, we produce a lot in a short time. You know what they say, Haste makes waste.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  All right, question two.  Why is one particular tiny beach in the Bahamas such a popular tourist spot?

Is it A, the beach is inhabited by giant tortoises up to eight feet long?

Is it B, the beaches inhabited by a group of adorable pigs and piglets people like to swim with?

Is it C, every so often billionaire Richard Branson hides a golden bust of his own head in the sand there, and about once a year someone finds one and sells it back to him for a million dollars?

Or is it D all of the above?

Rohaizad:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes Rohaizad and Johan

Rohaizad: Yeah, turtles, we think it’s the turtles.

Alec:  Turtles! Incorrect. I can’t give it to you.

Koji:  Ok, I am going to buzz. Buzz,

Johan:  buzz buzz

Koji:  buzz buzz

Alec:  Yes, Koji

Koji:  I feel like the Branson one was like so specific that you couldn’t make that up so I’m going to go with all of the above one. 

Alec:  (laughter)  You’re going to go all of the above?

Koji:  Yeah, all of the above.

Alec:  It is not all of the above, which means Lo?

Elora:  It’s the pigs.  (bells and applause)

Alec:  It’s the pigs.

Elora:  Actually, I heard about this before.  Its just this island of wild pigs and it makes me so happy.

Alec:  Yeah, Some people say though that its not true, that its all hogwash.

Elora:  (laughter)

Aled:  But to quote one of the pigs, “If I had a nickel every time someone said that, I’d be making piggy bank.”

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Third and final question, which of these is true about the beach and our health?

Is it A, it is easier to breathe at the beach than almost anywhere else on Earth?

Is it B, sleeping on the beach is easier than almost anywhere else on Earth?

Is it C, breathing the ocean air boosts our immune system?

Or is it D, all of the above?

Rohaizad:  Buzz

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Yes.

Johan:  I don’t want to.

Rohaizad:  I’ll talk for you.  We think it’s D, all of the above.

Alec:  You got it.  (bells and applause)

Everyone: (laughter)

Alec:  Lo, Because a bunch of people guessed a lot of stuff wrong, you won the game. (applause)

Elora:  Wining  by default, yay.  Now it’s time for our first listener question.  Johan, do you want to read the question?

Rohaizad: You want me to read the question?  Are you sure?  So, seven year old Madsen says, Hi Mr. Minami, I love all your videos.  What should I think about when choosing colors in my drawings?

Koji:  Well, first hi, and thanks for the question.  Choosing color, I’d say, just go for it.  Use your imagination and just do whatever you feel like, and I think that’s one of the best the best parts about drawing, you are creating like your own little world. So, you know if you like, want to make the sky red, and the grass blue, then that’s totally up to you.  If you want to put, you know, purple pigs in the water, go for it.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  That means its time for our second game, which is not about the beach, cuz Koji, its all about you and how beloved you are on social media and on the internet in general. So here are the rules, Lo and I are going to trade off reading 10 tweets that are either about you, or the actor who plays Captain America, Chris Evans. And you’ll have to guess which one it is. Were calling this game Koji Mon ami.  Are you ready to play?

Koji:  Yeah, I’m ready.  I am like blushing already, but yeah.

Alec:  Tweet number one.  I am crushing on blank.  He seems so humble and sweet. 

Koji (laughter)  Hmmm. Do I seem humble and sweet? I am going to guess that, I think that’s about me.

Alec:  You are right, that’s about you.  (bells)  Not very humble of you I might add.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  The second tweet is I love and need blank in my life.

Koji:  Umm. I think that is Chris Evans. 

Elora:  That is incorrect.  That one is actually about you.

Koji:  Oh yeah.  Oh man.

Alec:  Tweet number three, Hi blank, my son is your biggest fan and he sends you his drawing from Mexico. And then there’s a picture of the drawing of either you or Chris Evans. Who is it?

Koji:  Hmm.  Well not to assume that Chris Evans is not good at drawing, but I feel like that’s probably about me.

Alec:  That is definitely about Chris Evans.

Elora: (laughter)

Koji:  No way, Really?

Elora:  All right, next tweet says, I got to thank blank for being the one and only reason why I started drawing.

Koji:  I am thinking this is another trick question one, but I am going to say that that is about me.

Elora:  That is also about Chris Evans.

Koji:  OK, I am going to have to look up Chris Evans drawings.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Koji:  I mean he’s a very

Elora:  very interesting specimen,

Koji:  Yeah

Alec:  Tweet number five.   I’ve been watching blank videos and wow, what a nice dude. And also, umm, cute.

Koji:  Because I got, OK, so I think that’s about me, but I’m going to go, I’m going to go the opposite, because I have been wrong so many times, and I am going to say that is about Chris Evans.

Alec:  It’s about you.

Koji:  Oh no,  (laughter)

Elora:  There is definitely an irony to, the ones about drawing being about Chris Evans and the ones about just being a cute or nice person, being about like, not that you are not a cute and nice person, but you know, the typical celebrity script, like…

Koji:  Yeah, you psyched me out.

Elora:  And in that vein, the next one is, I can scream here, Blank is so cute and I want a guy like that to be my husband, like oh my God, his adorable vibe, I’m blushing.

Koji:  I am going to guess that’s about me.

Elora;  You are correct.  (bells)

Koji:  That’s very flattering.  I appreciate it.

Alec:  (laughter)  You are still blushing.

Koji:  (laughter)  I know.

Alec:  OK tweet number seven.  I’ve already started to study botany to be able to plant you some kisses.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  That’s such a good line though.

Koji:  That’s pretty good.  You had me at plant.  I think that is Chris Evans.

Alec:  You are correct.  That is totally Chris Evans.

Elora:  Alright. Next tweet.  Okay. Love you, my sweet husband, you have the keys to my heart. then a picture of this person with love hearts and padlock around their face.

Koji:  (laughter)  Whoa.  Umm. I’m like, I’m like. That makes me so uncomfortable.  I am going to guess that that’s Chris Evans. 

Elora:  (laughter) That is Chris Evans. (bells)

 Alec:  Tweet number nine.  I meant blank last night in my dream and I just casually talked to him about his hair. Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh, I love sleeping.

Koji:  Uh huh, uh huh.  Maybe, maybe this person was influenced by, I used to have really long hair on the series, so I am going to guess that is maybe me.

Alec:  (bells)  That is you.

Elora:  And the final one.  Blank, I am free this Thursday and then every Thursday after that.

Koji:  Thursday?  Um, I am going to guess its a Chris Evans one.

Elora:  (bells)  That is correct. Love strangers on the internet.

Koji:  (laughter)

Alec:  That means Koji, you won Twitter and you won this game.  (applause)

Elora:  And now it’s time for our second listener question. 

Rohaizad:  Well, Johan has decided that he, um, needs to play with his legos, so both 12 year old Calvin and 13 year old Emma, want to know,  how did you start illustrating and were there any challenges in your path to becoming a professional illustrator?

Koji:  Good question.  How did I start illustrating?  I think I just always loved drawing and my my mom has told me this before that, I guess, nobody really taught me how to do it, I just kind of picked up a pencil and spontaneously starting making these scribbles and stuff.  And I kind of just kept going with that.  And so I guess its always been kind of like play for me.  As far as doing it professionally, I would say the biggest challenge was like, deciding to pursue that direction.  I do a lot of things for work.  It’s always kind of a challenge to decide what to focus on or which path to pursue.  So I still kind of split design and illustration.  Yeah, I guess just deciding that that’s what I want to focus on.  Putting all my eggs in that basket would be the biggest challenge.  Thanks for your question.

Elora:  That means its time for our third and final game about the beach, which we’re calling I married a surfer who is also a plumber, he’s real sandy around the house.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  I am going to say, (laughter) I had to like digest that pun for a second.  I am going to say five fun facts about the beach and you are going to guess if its are true or false.  Are you ready to play?

Koji:  Yeah

Elora:  OK.  The tallest sand castle in the world was 40 feet tall.

Alec:  I’m going to guess true.

Koji: I’m going to guess true as well.

Rohaizad:  False

Elora:  It is false.  The tallest sand castle was made by sculptural projects GMBH.  It measures 57 feet and 11 inches tall.

Rohaizad:  Wow

Koji:  You could like, live in that thing.

Elora: Right

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  OK.  Next fun fact.  Estimated to be bettween 132 and 152 miles long, Praia Do Cassino Beach, is the longest stretch of uninterrupted beach in the world.

Koji:  I am going to say false

Alec:  I am going to say false too.  I think the longest beach has to be longer than that.

Rohaizad:  I’ll just be different and say that’s true.

Elora:  It is true (laughter)  You are two for two Rohaizad  (bells)  Next fun fact.  There was once a hotel made entirely of sand.

Koji:  I want it to be true, so its true.

Alec:  I am going to say false.  Insurance for that is going to be too high.

Rohaizad: I am going to say false too.

Elora:  It is actually true. It lasted for about a week, until the next rain storm.  So everything in it was made of sand.

Alec:  Hey audience, at this point in the recording my internet went all wonky, and the last minute of this game did not get recorded.  But mistakes happen, things happen.  We are going to roll with it.  So, here are your last two fun facts about the beach.  Fun fact number four.  Not only is there white sand, but there is also gray, gold, brown, red and even black sand. And fun fact number five.  Roughly one in three people who go to the beach, can’t swim.  OK.  Back to where we were. Who won that game?

Elora:  Rohaizad (applause) won that game Ok.  Koji are you ready for our final listener question?

Koji:  Yep Ready.

Rohaizad:  Again, I will be reading this for my son Johan. 

Elora:  Thank you

Rohaizad: Seven year old Jamie asks.  What type of illustration do you like doing best and why?

Koji:  That’s a really good question and really hard to answer too.  I like drawing people because they are so interesting to me.  In drawing you can take a photograph of somebody and that will show you exactly what they look like, but in an illustration you kind of try to convey something about their character and kind of who they are so you can take a little bit of creative liberty there. So I would say that.  But I also love making scenes and constructing little worlds and stuff.  So I guess I cheated and gave two answers.  But thanks for the question. 

Elora: Two answers is perfectly acceptable.

Alec:  Well Rohaizad, Johan sometimes, Koji, It was so much fun to have you.  But before we let you go, are you all ready for the joke of the week?

Rohaizad:  Oh yeah.

Koji:  Yeah

Alec:  Why did the police officer cry while writing a speeding ticket?

Rohaizad:  Because it hurts him more than it hurts us?

Everyone:  (laughter)

Koji:  There is a pun in there somewhere.

Alec:  It was a moving violation.

Rohaizad:  Ahh

Koji:  That’s pretty good.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Koji:  Thanks for having me.

Alec:  Yeah, of course, you are invited back anytime.

Elora:  Yeah, this was super fun.

Koji:  Yeah, It was super fun.  Yeah, I will come back anytime.

Elora:  Awesome.

Alec:  We would love that.  That would be awesome.  Next week, a special Wednesday episode where we will have songs and puns with Michael Pierre Jr. and then Saturday we will have another story for you called The Beach Trip, a romance drama by 12 year old LuLu.  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love  you.

Transcript: Books – by Izzy, 11

Alec:  I’m Alec  (music starts)

Elora:  I’m Elora.

Alec:  This is Written By Kids. And today we have two episodes out.  On this episode, a poem called Books, all about the wonder of books, and an interview with the young author, Izzy. 

Elora:  On our other episode, trivia all about books, with special guest, young author, Izzy, and his dad, Matt. It’s loads of fun, so, after you listen to Izzy’s poem over here head over there to laugh and learn some book trivia.

Alec:  You might recognize Izzy’s voice because he also wrote last week’s poem, An Empty Room is Never Empty.  Izzy, how many books do you read in the year?

Izzy:  Um, I started keeping track a couple of years ago. Now in quarantine I stopped that because I realized its just too much, but usually I’d say,

Alec:  The numbers are so high you couldn’t count the books?

Izzy:  Yeah, I would say so.  I mean usually in an average year 100 to 200,

Alec:  Wow

Izzy:  but they’re not like short books.  They are usually dense novels between 200 and 300 pages each.

Elora:  Wow

Alec:  Is the book always better than the movie?

Izzy:  I love movies. But yes.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  And now, Books, by 11 year old Izzy, performed by Steven Pingel.

Steven: (rain sounds, pages turning sounds)

(music starts)                                                                   

What is a book

It is imagination

A good book does not tell you the lesson

Nor do you understand the lesson

You may understand the meaning

But there is always a deeper thought

You will never understand it

Neither will I

(page turning sounds)

The only way to understand a book

Is to live a book

To play the part of a character

 is the only way to truly find the deeper meaning

If you define reading a book as an activity

you are more foolish than you can possibly know

A book

(page turning sounds)

 is different for every living being

But if you only read a book when you have too

Then I advise

For you to change

I cannot tell you what a book is
For that

You must find for yourself

(page turning sounds)

(rain sounds and music)

Alec:  What’s the weirdest, strangest book you’ve ever read?

Izzy:  This is one that has been sitting on my dad’s shelf, I think for two years, I quit it.  It’s called Timeless Diego and the Raiders of the Atlantic. Its an entirely new world. Nothing based on reality now, with a ton of new names for species and food, and all this other stuff. I’ve gotten halfway through the book like four different times and then there’s still no explanation of what any of it is. 

Matt:  I got to say, he gave it to me, to try and figure out, I put it on the shelves, too.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Before we end with a joke of the week. I want to add a little bit of personal story. So I have an unusual eye condition, which causes my eyes to hurt if I read for more than like 10 minutes at a time. So if I’m reading shorter books, then that’s fine. I can read 10 minutes at a time. But if you have a thing like mine or its very hard for you to sit down and focus on something. Then what I like to do for longer books, is audio books. Audio books are great. A lot of people can comprehend audio books at a higher level than reading books anyway, and its a great way to continue taking in information, having fun and learning some new words. So if for whatever reason you, like me, you aren’t reading as much as you would like to Audio books go with audio books.  Now Lo, Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  What do you call 50 cows and 50 deer?

Elora:  A lot of animals. (laughter)  I don’t know what.

Alec:   a hundred sows and bucks.

Elora: (laughter) That’s good. Good word play.  Good.

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript: Trivia: Books & Rooms!

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora.  And this is Written By Kids. And today we have two episodes out.  On this episode, we play fun trivia games, all about books, with young author, 11 year old Izzy and his dad, Matt.  On the other episode, a poem all about the wonder of books, Books, written by Izzy, himself.  (music)

Elora:  Hello Izzy and Izzy’s dad. 

Izzy’s Dad:  Hello

Izzy:  Hi

Alec:  Can we maybe maybe call you Matt?.

Matt:  Okay.

Alec:  Our first trivia game will be all about authors of best selling books. This game is called, Stay true to your shelf.

Matt:  Oh, no.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Here are, here are the rules.  Izzy and Matt, you are a team.  Elora, you are a team.  I’m going to ask a question and the first team to buzz their buzzer, which for us is you just say buzz, gets to answer. If you get it right, you get a point. If you get it wrong, the other team gets to answer.  I will ask three questions total, so you need two points to win. Are you ready to play?

Matt:  Ready

Izzy:  Yeah

Elora:  Ready

Alec:  Question one.  This best-selling author was also an international mail pilot, like the post. Which author is it?

Is it A, the author of Lord of the Rings? JRR Tolkien.

Is it B, poet, screenwriter, actor-director and activist Maya Angelou?.

Is it C, author of The Little Prince? And I think I’m saying this right, Antoine de Saint-Exupery. 

Or is it D, all of the above?

Elora:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Elora.

Elora:  A?

Alec:  A is incorrect. 

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  It is not JRR Tolkien

Matt:  Let’s go with Maya Angelou.

Alec:  B is also incorrect.  (laughter)

Izzy:  (laughter)

Elora:  So it would be C?  (bells and applause) (laughter)

Alec: It would be C, the author of The Little Prince. 

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Antoine de Saint-Exupery, I think that’s how you say that, was fascinated by flight from an early age. He was a mail pilot and flew for the French Air Force and reportedly, he also loved to write while flying, and little balled up pieces of paper would sometimes be found on the floor of his plane.

Elora:  (laughter)  That’s amazing.

Alec:  Question two.  Octavia Butler was a science fiction writer, recipient of multiple Hugo awards and Nebula Awards. She was inspired to start writing science fiction when which of these events happened?

Is it A, she watched a terrible science fiction movie and thought, well, I can write better than that.

Is it B, she went to an aquarium, saw an octopus for the first time, thought it was an alien, then thought everyone was crazy for thinking it was from Earth, and wrote her first story called The Alien Invasion of the Octopus.

Or is it C, she got a bad grade in English class in high school, was made to write a short story for extra credit and the story was so good that the teacher sent it to the local magazine and it was published on the first page that month?

Matt:  Buzz

Izzy:  C

Alec:  C is incorrect, I’m so sorry.

Elora;  This is mostly because I wanted to be true, but I think its B.

Alec:  (laughter)  B is also incorrect.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:   I wanted so badly for that to be true.

Alec:  It’s A.  At 12 years old Octavia Butler, watched a terrible movie called Devil Girl from Mars and later she wrote about it in essays. She said I had a series of revelations. The first was that, Geez, I can write a better story than that. And then I thought, Gee, anybody can write a better story than that.

Everyone: (laughter)

Elora:  Amazing. I love it.

Alec:  All right, whoever gets this one right, wins the game.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Horror author Stephen King, sometimes did not use his real name. What name did he use? Is it A, Eric Blair?

Is it B, Mary Ann Evans?

Or is it C, Richard Bachman?

Matt:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Matt and Izzy.

Izzy:  B

Alec:  B is incorrect, but I really want you to win. Do you want to guess again?

Izzy:  C

Alec:  C is correct.  (bells and applause)

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  He used the name Richard Bachman. Apparently, the reason was after his novels were so successful from using his real name. He wanted to see if he could also be successful under another name. So the winner of that game is Izzy and Matt.  (applause)

Alec:  Well, we have one more game.

Elora:  You didn’t, you didn’t tell me you were doing it for this one, too.

Alec:  No, I’m doing it, I’m doing it though.

Elora:  (laughter)  Oh, OK good. Cause I’m like wait a minute, I’m not prepared.

Alec:  You had nothing to prepare, I prepared it. (laughter)

Alec:  Some behind the scenes here.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Well, we have one more game to play. The topic is rooms because you also wrote last week’s poem An Empty Room is Never Empty. The game is called tile and error.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Matt:  That’s like a bad dad joke.

Alec:  I’m going to say a phrase and you all together as a team are going to try to guess what it means by asking me yes or no questions. Are you ready?

Elora:  Ready

Alec:  OK, the word is cabriole leg,  Izzy, you have the first question

Izzy:  Um, Is it an action? Is it something that you do?

Alec:  No, its not something you do.

Matt:  Is it a car?

Alec:  It’s not a car

Elora:  Is it related to furniture?

Alec:  It is related to furniture.

Izzy:  Is it something that would be in your kitchen?

Alec:  Could be, but I think its unlikely.

Matt:  Is it something you sit on?

Alec:  Um, not directly

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  Is it a style of leg for like a couch or a chair?

Alec:  It a style of leg.  A cabriole leg is a style of leg. Yep.

Izzy:  Is it for the leg of a couch?

Alec:  Could be, Could be the of anything.  So I’ll give you a hint, its about the shape of the leg.

Matt:  Is it round?

Alec:  You, your so close.  I’ll give it to you.  Its if its kind of shaped like an S. Its called a cabriole leg. The winner of that game is everybody. (applause)

Alec:  Ya’ll ready for the joke of the week? 

Matt:  Sure

Elora:  Ready

Alec:  Why did the golfer bring two pairs of socks?

Izzy:  Why?

Alec:  In case he got a hole-in-one.

Elora:  (laughter)

Izzy:  That actually wasn’t terrible.

Matt:  (laughter)

Elora:  My father-in-law would appreciate that joke.

Alec:  Thank you Matt and Izzy for joining us, so much. It was so much fun. We loved meeting you.

Matt:  Thank you.

Izzy:  Thank you.

Elora:  Thank you.  Take care.

Alec:  Bye,I love you.

Elora:  Bye. I love you.

Alec:  Come back next week for special guest, Koji Minami/ Koji, the illustrator.  He will play trivia games with us and answer listener questions.

Transcript: An Empty Room is Never Empty

Alec:  Ready Lo?

Elora:   Yep.

Alec:  Ok.  Hang on, I wasn’t ready.  (laughter)

Elora:  I’m ready. Are you ready?

Alec: Ok, Now I’m ready

Elora:  OK

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  This is Written By Kids. And first things first. We have to thank you. Our crowdfunder had a goal of $2,000 in 30 days and you hit that goal in one day. We are beyond grateful.

Elora:  That means we can keep paying actors, we can keep our website where families submit their kids stories to us, and we can even get a new mic because Alec’s mic is getting kind of finicky. 

Alec:  You have funded the exciting stuff and now its time to fund the boring stuff. Every extra dollar goes towards boring things, like insurance, the phone bill into ads to keep growing this already amazing audience. 

Elora:  Go to us to fund the boring stuff. We have 23 days to keep showing support for these kids, and their writing.

Alec:  That’s us.

Elora:  Thank you.

Alec:  Now on to today’s episode.  Today’s young author gave a really beautiful insightful, inspiring interview and then his beautiful poem, An Empty Room is Never Empty.

Elora:  Isaiah, affectionately called Izzy is a deep sensitive and fun-loving eleven-year-old. He is a budding author working on his first novel and cranking out new poems nearly every day. He loves watching and playing sports, reading and good food. He also loves all the dogs in his life, four between his two households, and will reluctantly admit to loving his older sister as well. Alright, first question. This poem gives you sort of philosophical life advice. Can you talk a little about what message you want, people to take away from it?

Izzy:  Yeah, I mean, I chose a couple years ago, maybe one or two, that I, after reading some very, very intelligent books, that I was going to start looking into life more philosophically. And I just, it gives me the chase for, for answers to questions that religions don’t always.  And to me it feels like it gives me a sort of purpose. Something that I know I’ll never find the answers to, but I can debate and pursue them, cuz some of the beauty of the circle of life is that it ends, and its nice to know that you did something meaningful while you’re still here. I just, I want people to know that everyone’s life has a purpose. You just need to find it, and once you do, don’t let it get away.  Cuz so many have put it off because of different things and then it gets away and your life’s purpose will be drained.  Don’t let it get away.  Chase it. Because that is the real meaning of life.

Alec:  And now An Empty Room is Never Empty by 11 year old. Izzy.  Performed by me.

Alec:  (music starts)  An empty room. Its not always an empty room.

                                   It is just waiting to be filled.

                                   An Empty Soul. An empty heart.

                                   Is just waiting, to be filled. 

                                      If life is lived as an empty room. Then there is no point.

                                        Life must be lived. As a room waiting to be filled.

Elora:  When are times when your soul, heart and life, feel the fullest?

Izzy:  Usually when I am writing or reading.  It just like time when I am in that very deep space that I like to call the flow, its just feel like time disappears, everything disappears and its just words I’m writing down or pages of words that and taking and its just like the most beautiful serene moment of nothingness that there will ever be in my life. And that’s why I choose to bring a book, literally, wherever I go because in those passing times, I would rather be in those amazing moments than just waiting.

Elora:  What a great answer.

Alec:  Lo, Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I am more than ready.

Alec:  Why did the man get fired from his job making calendars?

Elora:  I don’t know, why?

Alec:  He took too many days off. (laughter)

Elora:  Oh.  I had a feeling it was something about dates, bad, bad dates. I don’t know.

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript: Fall is Here! by Neil, 6

Alec: I’m Alec

Elroa:  I’m Elora

Alec:  This is Written By Kids and you are listening to our one year anniversary episode. (party sounds)

Elora:  Yay!

Alec:  (laughter)

Alec:  (music starts)  Friends, listeners, pod-treeman:  (laughter)  We need your help.  For one year, we’ve been bringing kids stories to life, making them feel special, confident and heard. We make you smile and laugh and go aww.

Alec:  Currently, only a small percentage of listeners are also supporters, but don’t worry, if you haven’t supported us in the past, now is your time to shine. 

Elora:  In order to keep this podcast going for another year, we’ve started a crowdfunder.  Our goal is to raise $2,000 in 30 days.

Alec:  And the first $1,000 will be matched by an anonymous donor. (change in music)

Elora:  That’s right. The first $1,000 will be matched. That means if you give $5 right now, its really $10 and if you give $10 right now, its really $20. 

Alec:  Plus if you give right now you get perks.  You’ll get things like cute handwritten notes, compliments, and amazing illustrations.  To see all the perks go to MoonHouse.Org/support us.

Elora:  Watch our adorable fun video, put in your dollar amount, and show your support for these kids and their writing.

Alec:  Remember, the first $1,000 is matched.

Elora:  The first $1,000 is matched.  That’s us. If you give, we can do this for another year.

Alec:  That would be pretty cool.

Elroa:  That it would.  (music ends)

 Alec:  And now on to today’s episode. 

Elora:  On today’s episode, we have an interview with the young author Neil,  then his short poem, Fall is Here, because you can already smell fall in the air, and then as always, we’ll end with the joke of the week.

Alec:  Alright Neil, first question. How did you come up with this poem?

Neil:  I love fall season because trees change colors to beautiful brown, brick red, sunset orange and sunny yellow. But most importantly, Halloween is in fall. This also makes us grateful for what all of nature has given us. And, that’s right, Thanksgiving is also in fall. 

Alec:  Do you have good memories associated with pumpkin pie that you would like to share?

Neil:  My family and friends enjoy pumpkin pie, and we drew and learned about it throughout the Thanksgiving week over and over again.

Alec:  Awesome.  And now, Fall is Here by six year old Neil, performed by Steven Pingel.

Steven:  (music starts)

Fall is here.  Leaves say crunch.  (crunching leaves) That’s what I hear.  Oh! That pumpkin pie I munch.

Leaves fall in heaps, purple, yellow, orange, brown. Wind blew the brown leaf out of a town. (wind sounds)

Eat delicious pumpkin pie and tasty food, (sounds of a large group eating) It’s going to be very cold (cold wind sounds) So, don’t forget to wear a sweater and hood.

Halloween is coming, Jack o lantern carving, Wearing costumes Hoo Hoo Hoo, Fun to say “Boo”! (children laughing)

Happy fall season!

(Music fades)

Alec:  Steve Pingel is an art and music enthusiast with a particular love for folklore and all things strange. Most recently, they can be seen in Baltimore Rock Operas puppet, six-pack and feature-length film, Holes, which both premiered earlier this year and whatever embellishments you feel like adding. Okay, I would like to add that Steven Pingel is a tall, handsome, kind, emotionally intelligent human being, who gives really good hugs. Neil does so many things and loves so many things. How do you keep up with him?

Neil’s mom:  He’s a very hardworking kid.  He keeps me on my toes.  In fact, we practice Kung Fu together and I’ve asked his Sifu to give me an honorary belt.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Neil’s mom:  I’m a physician, and he says he wants to be just like me when he grows up.  And my parents encouraged me, so similarly, I want to encourage Neil’s love for science and writing.

Alec:  Remember we need your help to continue to do this for another year.  Go to us. Watch our adorable video, give whatever you can, and remember the first $1,000 is matched.  So if you give right now, $10 is $20, $20 is $40. That’s us. Thank you.

Elora:  Alright Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec:  So ready

Elora:  What do you call a sheep covered in chocolate?

Alec:  A Toblerone ba-a-a-a-h.

Elora:  A chocolate ba-a-a-a-r.

Alec:  (laughter)  Mine was too specific.

Elora:  (laughter) But the right idea.

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript: Best Friends Redux! (With a new joke =)

Alec:  Hello and welcome to Written By Kids.  My name is Alec; Elora will be back next week.  And next week starts the wild roller coaster of brand new poems, stories, plays, and special guests that are going to take us all the way through to the new year – every single Saturday.  You’ll hear about robots, magical snow globes and of course, obviously, dragons.  This week we’re bringing back an old favorite, Best Friends, by Nechama.  But we did record a brand new joke of the week, just for you, at the end of this episode, because you’re awesome.  And now, Best Friends, by Nechama, nine years old, performed by Rachel Clausen

Rachel:  Best Friends, by Nechama.  (music starts) It all started when it was Sara’s tenth birthday. She had gotten a Golden Retriever for her birthday present. (dog barking)  She had been begging for one (more barking) since she was seven.  She loved animals and lots of others things, but there was one thing she did not like: a girl in her class named (change to ominous music) Nancy. Nancy, who happened to live right next door, bullied Sara often. When she found out that Sara had gotten a dog, she got really jealous of Sara and she bullied  her even more.  (fun music is back) At school, everyone crowded around her and asked her questions about her new dog. (lots of questions) Sara answered them all. It was all going great until Nancy (change to ominous music) showed up. When  Nancy came, she gave her a mean look. Sara ignored her (fun music is back) and continued talking to her friends. Throughout the day Nancy continued to bother Sara (soft ominous music in background) until it was finally time to go home. Later that evening, Sara bumped into Nancy (change to ominous music) while walking her dog. She did not know what to say. The only thing she said was , “do you want to pet him?’’ And that started their friendship. (fun music) The End

Alec:  Rachel Clausen is an actor, dancer, yoga– this is my third take.  I love this bio. OK. Rachel Clausen is an actor, dancer, teacher, yoga doer, tree lover, mountain climber, and all around dog fanatic who is based in Brooklyn, New York.  This is her first technical voice over job which works well because she loves doing new things.  For example, this year, she did the following for the first time; adopted a doggie, mastered unstable unicorns, and discovered the very best soup recipe of all time.  Lo, are you ready for the joke of the week.

Elora:  Yes I am (laughter)

Alec:  Why should you never go on an all cashew diet?

Elora:  Cause that would be nuts?

Alec:  Yes, that’s just nuts.

Alec and Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Come back next week for a poem by six year old Neal called, Fall is Here.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript: Mr. Myles: by Alec when he was 11

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  This is Written by Kids and something special is going on today. Because up until yesterday, we had two groups of writers six through 16 years old, and 5 and under. But starting today,

Elora:  Today.

Alec:  We’re starting something called Young at Heart. Young at Heart means if you are over 16, and you wrote something when you were under 16, you can

Elora:  You can

Alec:  Submit your writing to us at the and hear it on Written by Kids.

Elora:  Again, if you are over 16, and you wrote something when you were under 16, you can

Alec:  You can

Elora:  You can stop that.

Alec:  (laughter)  OK

Elora:  Submit your writing to us at and hear it on Written By Kids. So today.

Alec:  Today!

Elora:  (laughter) So today on this episode we’re going to start Young at Heart by hearing a poem Alec wrote when he was 11 years old called Mr. Myles. Alec, how old are you now?

Alec:  31, which makes this poem 20 years old.

Elora:  What inspired you to write Mr. Myles?

Alec:  So, when I was a wee tiny tot, a babe in arms let’s say

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  I lived in London with my older brother, my mom and my dad. And then my parents got divorced when I was five. So we moved to Maryland, just me and my older brother and my mom; and the house that we ended up moving into – the previous owner of that house, his name was Myles, and still is Myles. Um and my mom ended up marrying that guy.

Elora:  (laughter) Aww

Elora:  They got married when I was 11, so I wrote this a couple months after they got married.  My grandma found – my mom’s mom – found that house for us and we believe part of the reason or most of the reason or all of the reason is because she thought that Myles was a perfect match (laughter) for my mom. So, she always used to say that he came with the house.

Elora:  (laughter) That is very funny actually.

Alec:  And now, Mr. Myles by Alec, me, when I was 11 years old.

Alec:  (music starts)  Myles, my stepfather lived alone for twenty years. Shelves were dusted. Magazines were in their proper place. Walls were fingerprint free.  Vases were crack free. Beds were made.  Phones were on the hook. Pillows were on the couch.  Lights and televisions were on only when being used. Cars were washed.  Food was always in the refrigerator.  Floors were stain free.

My brother, my mother and I lived with only each other for five years. Nothing was clean. Nothing was in its place.  Lights were turned on and off at random. Pillows were not on any couch. Cushions were definitely not on any couch. Microwaved chicken fingers was a gourmet dinner.   Myles and my mother got married and we moved in with him six months ago.

We’ll never understand why placemats must be shiny and straight, or why pillows must be in the cross section of the arm in the back side of the couch, or why toilet paper must roll out from the bottom, making it more difficult.  And he will never understand why it doesn’t matter if the wood floor is a little scuffed, or why its not a problem if we eat all the ice cream in one day, or why we don’t require the utmost cleanliness from our vehicles.

Some days he walks around the house, looking at all our mess, finds one of us, stops and says, “Wow, I must really love you.”  And we reply, “Same here, Bucko.”  (music ends)

Alec:  And then when I was 22 or 23, I went back to London because I wanted to visit our old flat and I wanted to see our old preschool. And I had emailed a teacher, a couple of months before asking for a tour and she was very kind and generous enough to do that for me. And I thought oh I’ll walk around and I’ll have a bunch of emotions, and I did and it was wonderful. But I also thought ,while I was there, “this person probably doesn’t actually remember me. She’s just doing something nice.”  But then she said, “How are your parents?” And I said, “They’re both very happily remarried” and she said, “Oh, thank goodness!”

Elora:  (laughter) 

Alec:  And then I knew she really remembered.

Elora:  She was like, “Man, those two, they’re not it.”

Alec:  (laughter) 

Elora:  (laughter)  And before we end with the joke of the week, remember your child’s writing, or your writing from when you were a child, can be heard on this podcast. Just go to That’s

Alec:  The rest of this year for this podcast is so exciting. Okay. So next week, were bringing back an old favorite “Best Friends” by Nechama.  After next week, wer’e going to be on a roller coaster of stories, poems, plays, all of them of course written by kids, every single Saturday until the end of the year. Plus, we have really exciting special guests coming up!

Elora:  Now Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec: I’m so ready.

Elora:  What has one horn and gives milk?

Alec: One horn and gives me milk. I feel like once you say it, it is going to be so obvious and I really need to get it.

Elora:  (laughter) A milk truck

Alec:  Oh my God

Elora: Beep. Beep.

Alec:  (Laughter) Bye, I love you.

Elora: Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript: Immortal Sunlight – by Shashwat, 12

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora.

Alec:  This is Written By Kids. And today we have two episodes out.  On this episode: an interview with young author, Shashwat. Then his beautiful poem, Immortal Sunlight.  The other episode is a mini bonus trivia episode where we play two games all about sunlight.  So after you hear Shashwat’s moving poem over here, head on over there to play some sunlight trivia!

Elora:  And before we get to Shashwat’s interview, remember your child’s writing can be on this podcast. Just go to  Submission is free, and you can submit as many pieces as you like.  That’s 

Alec:  You might recognize Shashwat’s voice because he also wrote a poem called Nature, which we published back in July. And if you haven’t listened to that one yet, it is also very beautiful. But for now, hi Shashwat.

Shashwat:  Hello.

Alec:  What made you decide to write this poem?

Shashwat:  Ok. So, there was this like competition on – I mean not really a competition, there was a newsletter and the topic was light. And basically, I wanted to, I wanted to post about the sun.  I was really strong on the topic of like, you know, um nature and human beings kind of like together. Yeah, I’m proud of my work.

Alec:  Yeah, you should be.  It’s really good.  Alright.  How do you hope people will feel after they hear this poem?

Shashwat:  Well, I hope that they have like more awareness, bringing more like, natural light like I have back here. Which I just want them to like respect nature in general.

Alec:  When did you first know that nature was something that you really respected?

Shashwat:  Well, just writing about it.  And then like I saw all these things, like how people are like cutting down trees and stuff.  Clearing out, clearing out land and I just didn’t, I just didn’t like that in general.

Alec:  Yeah.

Shashwat: Mm.

Elora:  And now, Immortal Sunlight by 12 year old Shashwat.  Performed by Jake Loewenthal

Jake:  (music starts)  Immortal Sunlight

The invisible healer

The destroyer of evil

The natural warmer

The sun gives us all the things that we take for granted, like when the cold breathe of winter blows in, and the sun’s final piece comes through just to warm my face and melt the invisible ice all over my body.

Before all the fancy technology that we overly depend on today,

Before fire was created. The sun gave us perfect warmth with no running out of battery

Or any need for the relentless chopping of wood.

It is the base of every ecosystem we see across the worlds

The ultimate source

The light through my window sill

The nourisher of my skin, my bones, and my soul

We often want to ignore

Close the blinds and turn on the artificial lights

The sun, just a piece of its enormous soul, can make alive the plant, the frog, the snake, the mighty eagle, and us.

We live because of the sun

Its light passing through the fish, through the sea, through the sky, through us.

We may think we are above the sun and all of nature

But we are all connected in a circle with the sun standing in the middle

Mighty Invincible Endless.

The healer, the destroyer, the immortal sun.

Alec:  Jacob Loewenthal is one of the few performers to win the Oscar, the Emmy, the Grammy, the Tony, and the Peabody, and the Pulitzer Prize for American Fiction. Okay. I’m going to pause the bio to give a tiny bit of backstory. So Jake and I went to school together. I don’t follow any of the awards, and Jake is someone with such an impressive memory for it, he could probably tell you who was nominated, who won, who was sad about it, who was fine, for any year, for any category for anything.  And when I was reading his bio, I thought, “When did this all happen?”  But then I learned, that’s not how awards work. There’s no category for all those things for American Fiction, it’s not possible.  It’s a joke, I get it, and it’s very funny to me now.  Alright, moving on.  He lives in Connecticut, but also Washington DC sometimes and maybe New York City too, but don’t tell the police.  He loves using his imagination, and telling stories and hopes you do too!

Sashwat:  Well for one thing, every single living being has life and I wanted to give the Sunlight a metaphorical meaning because in all science, in all of the environment there’s always the sun at the base of everything being the ultimate light source. So I just wanted to circle around that idea.

Elora:  Before we end of the joke of the week. If you think this podcast is doing something good and you’d like to help us to continue doing good, please help us out by going to us. 

Alec:  You can now support us yearly, monthly or just one time and with any amount.

Elora:  Any amount.

Alec:  Lo, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I am so ready.

Alec:  How many click bait articles does it take to change a light bulb?

Elora:  You won’t believe how many! I’m going to say.

Alec:  Yea. The answer will shock you.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Bye. I love you.

Elora:  I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript: Mini Trivia: Sunlight!

Alec:  I’m Alec:

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  This is Written By Kids. And today, we have two episodes out.  This one is a mini trivia episode, where will play two games all about sunlight, because on the other episode is a beautiful poem called Immortal Sunlight, by 12 year old Shashwat.  So when you are when done laughing it up and learning about sunlight over here, head on over there and listen to Shashwat’s moving poem.  And Lo, it’s just us today.

Elora:  It is just us today.

Alec:  First time in awhile.

Elora:  It is.  We have had so many friends join us.  It’s been so great.

Alec:  It’s also nice to just see you.

Elora:  Aww.  It’s nice to see you too.

Alec:  Our first game all about sunlight is called, Why go to college when you could be the Sun and get 27 million degrees for free? 

Elora:  (laughter) Oh gosh

Alec:  I am going to ask, I am going to ask a multiple choice question, and if you get it right, you get a point.  If you don’t, you get a point, cuz your the only one here.  (laughter)

Elora:  I’m ready.  Fingers crossed.

Alec:  OK.  Question one.  Which of these is true about an animals relationship to the sun?

Is it A, sea lions love to bask in the sun even competing for the best spot to lay down and relax?

Is it B, the long wattled umbrella bird found in Equador actually attacks its prey from the angle of the sun so that it’s prey never looks directly at it? 

Or is it C, giant tortoises exhibit a weird unexplained behavior that seems to be tasting sunlight?

Elora:  I am going to say A.

Alec:  A is correct. (bell and applause)

Elora:  Yeah, I feel like I’ve heard that before because obviously, sea lions are very competitive for a lot of things, so it makes sense to get competitive over sunny spots.

Alec:  Wait they’re competitive aboutlots of things?

Elora:  Yeah, like mates, and food, and fight like by smashing their bodies together. (laughter)

Alec:  That’s cool.

Elora:  Yeah

Alec:  Well, I am so sorry for this upcoming joke. 

Elora:  Uh oh

Alec:  A is correct, sea lions often gather in the hundreds to compete for sunny spots and sometimes you can see Pokemon Masters waiting behind the rocks just in case one of them evolves into a vitamin D lion.

Elora:  (laughter) Alec, I love it.

Alec:  Question two.  Which of these is true about the speed of light?

Is it A, a jiffy is actually the time it takes for light to travel one centimeter?

Is it B, according to Einsteins theory of relativity, if you were to travel at the speed of light, you would experience time backwards?

Is it C, the Earth is actually moving through space at about half the speed of light?

Or is it D, all of the above?

Elora:  I am going to go out on a limb and say D?

Alec:  No.

Elora:  No?  I feel, the first two struck me as true, so I thought maybe the third one is too.  Um, OK what was the first one again?

Alec:  The first one is that a jiffy is the time it takes for light to travel one centimeter.

Elora:  I think that, I think that one is true so I am going to say A

Alec:  That one is true.  (bell and applause)

Elora:  Ok.  I thought, I thought that thing about Einstein was true too.

Alec:  That’s if you were to travel at the speed of light, you would not experience time at all.

Elora:  Oh. OK

Alec:  So a jiffy is the time it takes light to travel one centimeter, but I still expect, if you say, you’ll be back in a jif, you’re going to be covered in peanut butter.

Elora:  (laughter)  I mean having a toddler, that’s not an unlikely scenario.

Alec:  (laughter) Question three. Which of these has been found to be the perfect amount of sunlight to give humans the most health benefits and the least risk

Is it A, 10 hours a week

B 30 hours a week.

C, 60 hours a week

Or D, no one knows?

Elora:  I want to say, its between half an hour to an hour and a half like average per day.  So I want to say A. Ten hours a week of uninhibited sun exposure.

Alec:  That does sound reasonable, but it is incorrect.

Elora:  So is it D?  No one knows?

Alec:  No one knows.(bell and applause)

Elora:  Yeah.  Its a hard thing to test.

Alec:  Yeah, the experiments take a lifetime and you need to follow such a diverse group of people, and they need to cooperate.  Well, Lo, you got three out of three.

Elora:  (laughter) kind of (bell and applause)

Alec:  You won the game. 

Elora:  That means its time for our second game about sunlight, which were calling Get More Big Bang for your Buck, Don’t stay at a hotel, I have a Pull Out Photon. 

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora:  (laughter)  Alright I am going to say five incredible facts about the sun and sunlight.  And you’ll guess whether it true or false.  Are you ready to play?

Alec:  I’m ready.

Elora:  The sun is in a fixed position in our galaxy.

Alec:  No, that sounds false. That’s got to be false.

Elora:  That is false. (bell and applause)   The sun is also revolving and it takes up to 250 million years to complete a revolution, so in the age of the dinosaurs the sky looked completely different than we know it now.

Alec:  Whoa

Elora;  They were literally on the other side of the galaxy.

Alec: Whoa.

Elora:  Isn’t that cool?

Alec:  That’s so cool.

Elora:  Next fun fact.  Light  travels from the Sun, to the Earth in less than 9 minutes.

Alec:  True.

Elora:  That is true.  (bell and applause) It takes approximately eight and a half minutes for light from the sun to reach the earth.  Next fun fact.  The sun is shaped like an oval.

Alec:  Like an egg would be?

Elora:  Yeah.

Alec:  I think that could be true.  I know its not a perfect sphere. I’m going to say false.

Elora:  It is indeed false.  (bell and applause)  In fact, the sun is one of the closest thing to a perfect sphere that can be found in nature  Alright.  The sun accounts for over 99% of the mass in our solar system.

Alec:  Okay, so that means 1% of the mass is all the planets, all the asteroids, all the gas. I think that’s true.

Elora:  It is true.  (bell and applause)The sun accounts for, and this number is crazy when you think about it.  99.86 of the mass of our solar system.

Alec:  8, 6?

Elora: Yep, less than 1% is everything else.

Alec:  Oh wow.

Elora:  And our final fun fact, You can cook with just sunlight.

Alec:  I guess if it were on like hot metal or on metal.  I think you can.  Yeah.

Elora:  Yes. You can. (bell and applause)  There are solar ovens, and you can make them by yourself with like a box, some foil, some black spray paint, and some glass.  They are common in places where like electricity or gas isn’t always an option.  So you can make these giant things for like very cheap. And cook a lot of food and they get to be 200 degrees inside so you can do like slow cooker kind of things just rotate it to keep it facing the sun every 20 or 30 minutes or so and it cooks about the same way an oven does.

Alec:  Wow

Elora:  You won that game.  You got everything right.

Alec:  Yes (bell and applause) Before we end with the joke of the week, remember if you want to come play trivia with us, you can.  Just go to us and contact us like, hey, I want to play trivia with you. I want to be on a bonus episode. Thats us.  Lo, Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I am so very ready.

Alec:  What does the lemon say when it answers the phone?

Elora:  I don’t know, what

Alec:  Yellow.

Elora: (laughter)

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript: ABC Zoo – by Neil, 6

Alec:  I’m Alec.

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  This is Written By Kids. And today we have an interview with young author Neil, then his short story ABC Zoo and then we’ll end with the joke of the week. Neil is a six-year-old who loves to play chess play tag and eat noodles. He would love to have a cat as a pet when he becomes more responsible.  He loves coding, Kung Fu and drawing. This is the first story he wrote when he was five years old.  You might recognize meals voice because he also wrote What I look Forward to Most in 2021, which we published back on May 1st. Neil, how did you come up with this story?

Neil:  I wrote this story previously when I was in kindergarten and it was my first story I ever wrote.  I loved science and I learned about animals and I wondered which one was the best.

Alec:  If you could be any animal you wanted, which would it be and why?

Neil:  I have a special interest in endangered and extinct animals.  If I could be any, I’d be the Indominus Rex from the Jurassic Period. Indominus Rex is a T. Rex who eats meat and cares for its babies. It will go above and beyond its boundaries of lifetimes to protect its babies.

Alec:  Are you, you’re really protective of people you love?

Neil:  Yeah, I love my mom and I protect her all the time. 

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  And now, ABC Zoo by six year old Neil and Neil did the voices of two of the animals. So while you listen see if you can catch which animals they are.

Tamekia Jackson:  Once upon a time alphabet animal in the Oakland zoo have a fight. (music starts) Each one thinks that he / she is special. Bunny says “I can hop! (bunny squeaking sounds) “. “I can slither” says the snake. (snake hissing sounds) Penguin says “I can live in cold”.  (cold wind sounds) “But you can’t even fly “teases the camel. Then let’s do a specialathon contest! (beeping sounds, many voices approving of idea)

The animals first meet A for ant. Ant is working hard storing food for winter. (running and zipping sounds) Mr. Bee sucks nectar for pollination. (sucking sounds, yum) “What if the rats ate all your cheese?” C for cat meows and chase the rats. (running sounds, cat meow sounds) Alphabet animals A B and C become friends and think they ALL are cool. (bells and applause)  Now they go to see D and E animals.

D for dolphin invites all of the animals for a show. “I am special. I can laugh and swim.” (dolphin sounds and splashing water sounds)

E for elephant lifts a tree.” (elephant trumpet sounds, branch breaking sounds)  That is awesome, you are so strong! “says dolphin.

Fox says,” I am the best at video games like fortnight and Minecraft.”

“How so?” asks flamingo. F for fox says, “I make sneaky plans to get the bad guys in video games.” (video game sounds)  Flamingo says, “Look at my crane stance in Kung Fu!”

G for gorilla shouts, (gorilla roar sounds) “I am a fast learner.”

H for horse shows how to run fast.  (horse trotting sounds)

J for jaguar impresses all the other animals by his jump. (many voices impressed with his jump)

I for iguana camouflage and wins in hide and seek. (bells and and applause, many voices impressed with his camouflage)

The alphabet animals look around, “Where’s K and L?”

Look at ME leap says K for kangaroo. (many voices, wow) J for Jaguar’s jaw drops when he sees L for lion hunt. (lion roars)

All the animals from A to L think they are all special!

M for macaw says, “I am so pretty.”

N for newt is nice and neat.

O for octopus says, “I can multitask.”

“You are cool! You have 8 arms,” says jelly fish. “So are you!” says octopus.

P for peacock performs Bollywood dance.

Q for Quail says, “I am so quiet.”

R for rhino says, “I am triceratops’ twin. You look special”, says newt. Rhino smiles, “You do too!”

Alphabet animals all go on a 17-mile drive in a bus. (traffic sounds)

S for super sea lion and spider man lizard shout together – “We look like superheroes!”

All animals cheer and decide to visit T, U and V.

T for tiger growls, “I am the best at focus. My eyes are so sharp! “

U for unicorn makes magic and miracle. (fairy dust sounds)

V for vulture, “Look at me hunt! I am special because I am a scavenger.”

“I am endangered” says W for Wolverine. “Me too”, says whale.

X for Solo jumps, “I am a miniature dog.” (dog bark sound)

Y for yak yawns from the Himalayas.

Z for zebra is peaceful and quiet. 

All the animals look at each other and shout loud and proud,

“We are all winners of specialathon contest! We are the amazing animals on planet Earth!”  (bells and applause)

Dedication: This book is dedicated to all the kids in my class. You are all special just like the characters in my book. You make school special for me every day.

Alec:  Tamekia Jackson is a theater artist and educator. She has always been drawn to storytelling and loves to provide opportunities for others to share their stories.  As a teaching artist, Tamekia has helped students take ownership of their creative process to produce devised shows, and created empathetic and respectful spaces to shape personal stories.  Prior to joining Fords Theater, Tamekia enjoyed three years as a storytelling coach with the Moth, and she continues to work with Theatre Lab.

Alec:  How does the moral of this story, that were all special, relate to the kids who might be listening?

Neil:  We all have different talents and that makes us special and learn from each other. Even though there’s so much competition in this world, we have to remember that one person is not the one and only winner.  Diverse talents make up one mega talent!

Alec:  That is so right, your so right. Question for you Dr. S,  When is Neil getting a cat, already?

Dr. S:   When he turns sixteen and he learns to drive, he can go get a cat.  He can be responsible and can get the cat food at the right time.

Alec:  Ten years?!

Dr. S:  But he has the name already picked out though, Mr. Whiskers.

Alec:  Mr. Whiskers.  That’s amazing.  Thank you both so much for joining us. It was really a joy. I loved interviewing you and I hope to see you again soon.

Dr. S:  Thank you.

Neil:  Thank you so much.

Dr. S:  Goodbye

Neil:  Goodbye

Elora:  Before we end with a joke of the week, if you like that poem, if it made you smile, or remember time you went to the zoo, please go to us. That’s us, to support us with any amount.

Alec:  If you are unable to support us with any amount, other things you can do to help are: like the podcast, rate the podcast review the podcast. And especially share the podcast.

Elora:  Share it.

Alec:  Share it.

Elora:  Share it. Did we say share it enough?

Alec:  Share it.

Elora:  (whisper)  Share it.  Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec:   I’m so ready.

Elora:  Where do you learn to make a banana split?

Alec:  Banana gymnastics training place.

Elora;  Sundae School.

Alec:  Oh no.  (laughter)

Elora:  Yep  (laughter)

Alec:  (sigh)  Alright.  Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – Improv Songs & Trivia with Michael Perrie Jr!

Michael Perrie Jr. is Here!

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  This is written by kids. Are we all just, are we ready to go?

Elora:  Yeah

Alec:  Today, we are joined by an extra special guest here to play three songs, play three trivia games, and answer three listener questions.  He’s an actor, writer, singer, composer, musician, voice-over artist and avid television watcher.  He’ll be playing Carl Perkins in Million Dollar Quartet, which is about to open at Mill Mountain Theater.  When he’s not making art he can be found playing video games or petting his dog Roxy. He also loves his wife Lacy a lot.   Michael Perrie Jr.,  thank you for joining us. We’re so excited to have you.

Michael:  Thank you for having me and I’m excited to be here.

Elora:  We are also joined by returning champions young author Calvin and his mom Eve.  Hi Calvin and Eve.

Michael:  Hey

Calvin and Eve:  Hi

Alec:  So let’s get right to a song. 

Michael:  Sure

Alec:  Among the many skills on your resume is improvising songs, and you have kindly offered to do some of that for us here.  All you need is a title, right?

Michael:  Ah, yeah

Alec:  Calvin, would you like to do the honors and make up a title for Mike?

Calvin:  OK  Well, how about

Eve:  Make sure it is appropriate

Michael:  (laughter)

Calvin:  The Frog that Sat in a Bog.

Michael:   All right, there’s already a rhyme there. I love that.

Elora:  (laughter)

Michael:  The Frog that Sat in a Bog.  Right so immediately I’m thinking bog, you know, that leads me down south because I’ve never seen a bog in New York. Ah (guitar strum) So I’m imagining, you know, the frog sits in the bog. I am going to write some factoids out.  So when doing song improvisations its fun to throw out some ideas.  So I am thinking we got sort of a country song here because I mean, he sat in the bog, you know (southern accent)

Song:  (Guitar starts) One hot summer day, in the bog outside LA, sat a frog named Kevin like to sit.  He’d sit and he’d think but the water he wouldn’t drink, because it wasn’t just a bog is was a sewer.  He thought about the flies. They were flying by his eyes. And he thought one day I”ll get those flies for me.  But he was always too slow cause he drank that boggy low and now he thinks he has a gut disease. 

 Everyone:  (laughter)

Calvin:  Can I get a copy of that?

Eve:  That was so cool.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Calvin:  I am going to listen to that on repeat.

Eve:  That’s awesome.

Elora:  That was pretty fantastic.

Michael: It just kind of floats through.  So the thing about that is like that it just goes through the head and then its like, well I’ve made a choice about Los Angeles. Now I can’t you know, actually… So what’s his name? Do you guys remember what his name was? 

Everyone:  Kevin

Michael:  Kevin, of course. That’s what I name all of the characters I don’t know what to call them.  I mean, I feel bad for Kevin because

Alec: How close to the word coming out of your mouth do you know, that that’s the word you are going to say?

Michael:  Oh man, I’d say as its half way out. I mean it’s halfway out and I go OK I guess that’s what I’m saying. And then the second thought is to go OK, what’s the going to be the rhyme like lyrically and what will make sense lyrically (guitar starts) but I am also trying to find the melody (guitar continues) while I’m doing it.  Yeah, so certainly the brain’s working overtime. You know

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Amazing.

Elora:  That brings us to our first listener question.  Calvin, do you want to read this one?

Calvin:  Yes.  OK.  The first question comes from 12 year old Lulu.  Do you ever get nervous while auditioning, and if so what do you do to calm yourself down?

Michael:  Well, Lulu, that is a good question.  I’d say yes, I do. I always get nervous when I audition because I don’t have the job yet.  Umm, So that’s the scary part about auditioning.  When I go on stage, I don’t get nervous.  But when I go to audition I do.  And one of the things that helps me is to remember and a piece of advice I heard, anytime you are going in to audition, you should just make it that opportunity to act again, so when I go into the room to audition I just think OK I get another chance to act and I get another chance to sing a song, that’s all I can control.  Everything else, there’s mastercard. Everything else is up to them.  I mean, I can come in and be like I am perfect for this role  And the person behind the table could be like, oh, we were thinking blonde.  You know so it really doesn’t matter if I do the greatest song in the world. So Lulu, yes I do.  And if they like me, that’s great, but it doesn’t matter. 

Calvin:  Awesome

Alec:  That means its time for our first trivia game all about zoo animals, because next week, story by six year old Neil is called the ABC Zoo.  We are calling this game. This game is brought to you by the hippopotamust see movie.

Michael (laughter)

Alec:  How the Finch Stole Christmas.

Michael:  Yes.  Those darn finches

Alec:  All about a finch – ah, but you know what? The plot is totally irrelephant.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Michael:  Oh Alec, you’re just playing koi, aren’t you?

Alec:  Here are the rules. There are three teams, Lo versus Mike versus Calvin and Eve.

Michael:  OK

Alec:   I’m going to ask a question.  Whomever buzzes first gets to answer.  You get it right you get a point, if you get it wrong, another team gets to answer. I’ll ask you three questions. Are you ready to play?

Everyone:  Yes

Michael:  I am so ready.

Alec:  Question one.  Which of these is true about giraffes? Is it A? Giraffes are the tallest animal on earth? Is it B?  Giraffes have the longest legs of any living animal on earth? Is it C?  Giraffes have the longest neck of any living animal on earth? or is it D? All of the above?

Calvin:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Calvin

Calvin:  I am going to say it is C

Alec;  I’m sorry. C is incorrect.

Michael:  (horn beep)

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Yes Michael.

Michael:  I’m going to say D all of the above.

Alec;  D is correct (bells and applause)

Michael:  Wow. And its only because Calvin took the fall on that one.

Alec:  Giraffes can grow up to 20 feet which is why you hear a lot of centipedes complaining “Hey, try growing 100 feet see how you like that.”

Michael:  (laughter)

Alec:  Question two, which of these is true about crocodiles? Is it A?  Instead of pooping crocodiles release 100% of their waste just by sweating? Is it B? Crocodiles can go through four thousand teeth in a lifetime? Is it C? Crocodile scales are so hard a diamond could not cut them. Or is it D? All of the above?

Michael:  Woah,  these are crazy

Calvin:  Well, I forget what number it is, but the one where they release all their waste by sweating? 

Alec:  A. where they release all their waste by sweating?   That’s the one that you’d like to pick?

Eve:  That seems very unlikely.  I would like to go with C, but that’s just me.

Calvin:  C, C.

Alec:  C is C is

Eve:  C is incorrect too?

Michael:  I mean I guess I will go with B.

Alec:  B is correct.  (bells and applause)

Michael:  Calvin was sign languaging me B across the thing.

Elora:  Though, honestly, of all of those answers, B being true is the most comforting.  The other two are horrifying. 

Michael:  This water smells weird, crocodile sweat, what are ya gonna do?

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  So yeah,  crocodiles can lose four thousand teeth in a lifetime, but something about that makes me feel less enameled with them.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Which brings us to our third and final question.  Which of these is true about butterflies? Is it A?  They hear sounds with their wings? Is it B? They smell smells with their eyes? Is it C?  They taste food with their feet or is it D? All of the above?

Eve:  I would say B. 

Calvin:  B? Hold on, this is trick question. This is a trick. OK so,

Eve:  You think all of the above.

Calvin:  Yes 

Eve:  OK.  We will go with D.  All of the above.

Alec:  Oh for three.

Calvin and Eve:  (laughter)

Michael:  Wow

Eve:  We are just setting all of you up for success.

Alec:  Lo, I heard you buzz second.

Michael:  That’s true.

Elora:  Yes.  The feet one. They taste with their feet.

Michael:  I agree

Alec:  That is true (bells and applause)

Michael:  Yeah  (guitar picking)

Alec:  Mike, that means you won the game.  (bells and applause)

Michael:  Woah

Calvin:  Good job.

Michael: Pure luck.

Elora:  And that means Michael, would you sing a second improv song for us?

 Michael:  I will do my best.

Elora;  Calvin, would you do us the honor of making up another song title?

Calvin:  OK.  Um, this one is called Pegboard Blues.

Michael:  Pegboard Blues. OK. Right of the bat, first of all, obviously it is a blues song.  Um and pegboard, every time I think about pegboard, I think about a dad in the garage organizing his tools, you know, and and you know if you’ve had a dad in the garage who organizes tools, and you use one of those tools and you do not put it back on the pegboard, Dad gets the pegboard blues.  That’s just how it is. 

Song:  (blues guitar music starts)  Well I woke up this morning, went out to the garage to see what I could find.  Well, I woke up this morning, yes I did, and I went to the garage to see what I could find.  There was no car in there because Mom had taken it to work.  And I looked at my pegboard, I saw the hammer was missing from its slot.  Oh I got the pegboard blues, don’t know which I could find.  Oh I got the pegboard blues, somebody better be hammering inside.  Oh then I walk out the door, I nearly tripped on myself, because the hammer had fallen to the floor. Oh, I got the pegboard blues, Oh yeah. I got the pegboard blues, yeah, Oh I can’t be down, cause I can’t wear a frown.  I got my pegboard pegboard blues.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora: Very nice.  And that brings us to our second audience question.

Michael (guitar picking)

Calvin:  This question if from 14 year old Issac.  How do you know what to write?

Michael:  How do I know what to write?  He is being very existential like.  Just what to write?  I am, I’m going to pinpoint a little bit and talk about like, music.  With music its always a thing like it just something hits you its either its a lyric or like a melody thing.   For a long time, I had this sort of thing in my head, (guitar plays) And I didn’t know what to do with it, and then eventually I found the song in that.  So how do I know what to write?  I think sometimes the music speaks, sometimes I hear something and I’m like, that’s a good song. Sometimes I hear Pegboard Blues, and that’s a song.  And when it comes to other kind of writing, its just when the moment strikes, it strikes.  And I think when you know, you know. Right, like it will hit you, and you go I got to write that down, I got to write that down.  So, how do I know what to write, I guess what I am saying is I don’t.(laughter) I don’t know what to write until I know what to write.  So, hopefully, that answers your question. It didn’t, but I hope it did.

Alec:  That means it is time for out next trivia game which were calling giraffes, the original neck of the woods.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:   I am going to say five incredible facts about the zoo,

Michael:  OK

Alec:  and you all, as one team are going to work together to guess if its true or false. Are you ready to play?

Eve:  Yes

Elora;  So ready.

Michael:  We are so ready.

Alec:  All right, number one, in the 80’s, boxer, Mike Tyson, offered a zoo attendant $10,000 to let him punch a gorilla.

Elora:  I really hope that’s false. 

Michael:  I think its true.

Alec: As a group. What are you saying?

Michael:  What do you think? What do you think?

Eve:   I feel like it might be true. That seems like something Mike Tyson would do, especially in the 80’s. 

Michael:  Yeah, in the 80’s Mike Tyson.  Now, Mike Tyson, I think he loves, he is a big animal advocate, but I think at the time,  probably because he was going around trying to punch gorillas.  

Alec:  You are all right.  It is totally true.  T

Everyone:  (laughter) 

Michael:  Oh no Michael! (guitar strumming)

Alec:  But to his credit, he did think that that gorilla was bullying the other gorillas and he wanted to

Elora:  Set him straight.

Alec:  give him a what for.

Michael:  A what for.  Got you.

 Alec:  Alright, number two.  An orangutan, also in the 80s, named Fu Manchu, escaped a German zoo multiple times with a lock-pick he made out of wire and hid in his mouth.

Elora:  Honestly, I believe it. 

Eve:  I believe it.

Michael:  Yeah.

Eve:  I vote for true on that one.

Michael:  Yeah, orangutans are clever man.

Alec:  Correct. (bells)  Number three. China lends giant pandas to zoos all around the world for the price of 1 million dollars a year.

Michael (guitar strumming)

Calvin:  Two have been true so far, so I am going to say false.

Michael:  It could be more money, I can agree with Calvin about that. It may be more than a million dollars.  I will go with Calvin on this one.

Elora:  I will go with false. 

Alec:  Well, that is 100% true.

Michael:  Ooh.

Alec:  Number four.  In the 90’s a zoo in California only had one zebra left named Monocle and they had to wait three months to get more zebras, so they painted all the littler horses black and white to make this zebra feel less alone.

Calvin:  I want to say that that is true.

Michael:  I want it to be true, that’s adorable.

Elora:  OK, That is really cute, but also like

Michael:   Was it safe paint? 

Elora:  Why would the babies be separated from their moms?

Calvin:  Now I am going to say false.

Alec:  You are right, that is false.  I made that up.

Calvin:  Yes

Michael: That’s good though.

Alec: Number five and lastly.  In the 50s, every single parakeet in the San Francisco Zoo worked together to chew through their enclosure and escaped in the night.

Michael:  Parakeets are smart.

Eve:  Parakeets?  I am going to say false,

Michael:  Yeah.

Eve:  because we have a parakeet, and Louis is not doing anything like that.

Elora:  Yeah, yeah,  I would also say false.

Alec:  You are all right.  That is totally false. (bells)

Eve:  (laughter)

Michael:  That was good though.

Alec: You’ve all won the game (bells and applause)

Michael:  Yeah

Elora:  And Michael, would you sing a third and final improv song for us?

Michael:  Yes, of course.

Elora:  Calvin, would you do the honors?

Calvin:  I am going to say, Cafe Style Foliage.

Michael:  Cafe Style Foliage.  Wow.  Calvin

Eve:  What a title. 

Michael:  That is some home good stuff right there, man.  Cafe Style Foliage, that sounds like a jazz song. Sort of like, its a cafe. 

Michael:  (guitar strumming) Right, so something you would hear in a cafe, or elevator.

Elora:  Muzac

Song: It starts with like (do do do do do do do do do ) Cafe ole’ I am sitting in a cafe and I’m having a coffee that’s what a coffee is in Spanish and I am sitting at my table looking at the foliage.  Is it real or is it fake I can’t tell, I really can’t tell, I am going to get up but I don’t want to be the weird guy smelling the fake plant so I walk over to the plant and I say, hey plant.  Wait, no that’s weirder if I talking to the plant so I stop.  And then I just touch the leaf instead, but its kind of waxy, then again some plants are kind of waxy.  Cafe style, cafe style foliage. Is that plant got that cafe style foliage?  It was real.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Michael:  I think that one’s my favorite. You know, let’s press that one?

Elora:  That was so good.

Alec:  That is so cool.

Elora;  That brings us to our third and final listener question. Calvin

Calvin:  Oh Right.  Our third and final listener question.  This comes from seven year old Robin.  Can you give advice on how to become a good singer?

Michael:  Well Robin, first of all, great name.  Advice on being a good singer.  I would say, I actually do have an answer to this. This is how I became a singer. I pretended to sing like other people first.  So you find people who you like.  So say its Elvis Presley, say its Mariah Carey, say its anyone.  And you start to sing like them, you sing their songs and you try to mimic their voice and by mimicking their voice you will start to mimic the shapes that their mouths are making to make those specific sounds, that make them sound the way that they do.  So as you copy them and try to sing like them, you will start to develop a good singing voice, nine times out of ten because you are listening to the people who are good singers. And this works the other way around too.  If you want to be a bad singer, just listen to people who can’t sing.  And, and try to sound like them. 

Elora:  You know my sister does a surprisingly good impression of Frank Sinatra.  (laughter)

Michael:  Really?  A Frank Sinatra That was the last person I thought you were going to say.  Come Fly with me.

Elora:  And that means it is time for our third and final trivia game we are calling (singing voice)  What a zoo, they’ve got everything but a pikachu.

Michael:  (strumming guitar)

Elora:  I am going to say a vocabulary word, and as a team you are going to try and guess how that word is related to zoos or in this case an animal you can find in a zoo, by asking me yes or no questions. Are you ready to play?

Alec:  Yes.

Michael:  I’m ready

Elora; The word is fractures.

Michael:  Yeah, so like zoo vets.  Like I watch a lot of the zoo on animal planet. And that focuses on vets and often times animals will get fractures and there are some animals that are really prone to them.  Is this a populous animal in North America or is it a…  That’s the end of the question.

Elora:  No. No It is not a native animal.

Calvin:  Is it an ostrich?

Elora:  It is not an ostrich, no.

Michael:  That’s a good question.  I would say maybe some sort of deer. A gazelle, I know gazelles have a problem with, I mean if they get a fracture, they are done.  I mean, it’s a lot easier for a lion to catch a fracture.

Calvin:  Does it have to do with speed?

Elora:  Speed?

Calvin:  Yeah

Elora:  No.

Michael:  So it is a specific animal we’re looking for that gets a lot of fractures.

Elora:  Yes.

Michael:  Oh

Elora:  You did have the right idea when you were, you were..

Alec:  Is it a bird?

Elora:  No.

Calvin:  Is it a mammal?

Elora:  Yes.

Michael:  Is it smaller than a koala?

Elora:  No.

Eve:  Is it a sloth?

Elora:  It is not.  It is an animal we have already discussed today.

Eve:  Is it a orangutan?

Elora:  It is.  So around 50% or orangutans have fractured bones from falling out of trees on a regular basis.  So great job everyone.  You all won that game.(applause)

Alec:  Well, Michael Perrie Jr. It was an absolute delight to have you here, but before we let you go, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Michael:  Always.

Alec:  What did the doctor say to the small bucket?

Michael:  What?

Alec:  Well, you don’t have a fever, but you’re a little pale.

Michael:  Ahh

Everyone: (laughter)

Michael:  By you all.  Thank you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – Nature – by Shashwat, 12
Alec:  I'm Alec

Elora:   I'm Elora

Alec:  This is Written By Kids. And on today's episode, a game, an interview with young author Shashwat, and his poem, Nature, all about the beauty of Mother Earth. And as always we'll end with the joke of the week.

Elora:  But first, remember, your child's story can be on this podcast, just go to  It's free. Its easy. You can submit as many pieces as you like, that' s 

Alec:  Lo, You want to play a game about Mother Earth? 

Elora:  Yes, yes, I do. 

Alec:  I've got three mediocre names for it, are you ready?

Elora:  Yes

Alec:  OK We're calling it. The Earth, it means the world to me. 

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Also, technically everyone's on top of the world. 

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Third, brought to you by the longest running television show in history, How I Met Your Mother Earth, its been on forever, but everyone only knows about four of the seasons. 

Elora:  (laughter)  That's great and terrible.

Alec:  I'm going to say five amazing facts about the Earth, and you're going to guess if they're true or false. Are you ready to play? 

Elora:  I'm ready. 

Alec:  OK. Number one, the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. 

Elora: I think its older, so false?

Alec:  That's true. 

Elora:  I thought it was like five or six, so (laughter)

Alec:  Could be, I mean this is just the latest thing that there is evidence for.  OK, number two.  There are forty to fifty lightning flashes on Earth every single second. 

Elora:  I'm going to say true. 

Alec:  You're right, that's true. (bells)

Elora:  Neat

Alec:  Number three, raindrops are shaped in the classic teardrop shape. 

Elora:  Ahh, That is not true. 

Alec:  You are right. (bells)   Most of them form as a sphere, but then as they fall the air resistance, make them look kind of like a hamburger bun. 

Elora:  Yeah, Yeah, they get kind of flattened out.

Alec:  Ok, number four.  When the dinosaurs ruled Earth, one day was a little more than 21 hours long. 

Elora:  Um, True. 

Alec:  Yes, that's true. (bells)

Elora:  Why?

Alec:  Think of it like we're dragging the moon behind us, and its slowing us down

Elora:  Ahh.   That does make sense; that's really cool.  Space bonus, space facts.  

Alec:  Yeah. OK. Number five, being around trees, actually turns out has no health benefits for humans. 

Elora:  That is false.  And I know that because like even being around fake plants makes you happier 

Alec:  (laughter)  Yes, they do make you happier (bells)

Elora:  Higher oxygen

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Oh yeah, more oxygen

Alec:  Lo, you won the game.  (applause)

Elora:  Yay. 

Alec:  Sashwat is a storyteller, he loves reading fantasy, adventure, mythology and building his own magical world of super heroes and super villains, he is 12 years old.  Hi Shashwat.

Shashwat:  Hello

Alec:  What made you decide to write this poem? 

Shashwat:  Yeah, I really wanted to write about the topic and, and my mom really liked it and that's why she wanted to post it over to you guys and check out, how you guys felt about it.  

Alec:  Cool.  Well, we are so glad you did.  How do you hope people will feel after they hear this poem? 

Shashwat:  I  just have hope that people just have more awareness to nature, like I do. More respect.

Alec:  So this poem describes nature beautifully and encourages listeners to respect nature. What are some things that you do in your life, personally, to help the Earth survive?  

Shashwat:  Well for one thing I am always very careful on where I place all of my garbage, and I try not to be wasteful. I try to eat all my food on the plate.  

Elora:  And now, Nature, a poem by Shashwat, performed by Mohammad Rohaizad Suaidi. 

Mohammad:  (music) The sunlight is like a mother’s hand. Warm, gentle and soft. The breeze (light wind sounds) is like a brother’s shout. Lively and sudden and aloft. The earth is the home I love. Soft and sweet like a dove. (dove sounds) Nature is all around us.  (ocean sounds) But we ruin it with the bus (horn beeping sounds) Cars and trains Boats and  (airplane sounds) planes. Each day it gets worse.  (trains, planes long horn beeping sounds) (crowd sounds)  (loud sounds stop, just music)  Don’t be like them. Don’t let nature go. Instead… Let the sunlight be a mother’s hand. Warm, gentle and soft. The breeze like a brother’s shout (light wind sounds) Lively and sudden and aloft.  Earth is the home we should love. Soft and sweet like a dove. (dove sounds) Nature cares for all of us (bird sounds) with fruit and water and all the stuff.  We must all take good care. So when we're gone she'll still be there (music fades out)

Alec:  You might recognize Mohammad Rohaizad Suaidi's voice from our story two weeks ago, How They Got Cat out of the Forest.  He cooks amazing things. All the time, with imported cheese, and his son Johan loves peanut butter and jelly. He's an actor, a teacher and - lil peek behind the curtain. Thanks, Rohaizad for this pair of pants that you didn't like, and gave to me because although you didn't like them for you, you've seen the kinds of pants that I wear; and you knew this was an upgrade. They look good. Okay.  Shashwat and Shashwat's Dad Priyank - Where would you rather live, a mountaintop or a beach?

Shashwat:  I guess I'd go for the beach at least there would be food.

Shashwat's Dad:  Yeah, I think beach.

Alec:  Number two.  A dense forest or in the ocean?

Shashwat:  Um, a dense forest, a lot of vegetation.

Shashwat's Dad.  Yeah, for me same, I think the ocean, it is hard to imagine living there.

Alec:  On a volcano, or in the sky?

Shashwat:  I don't think living on pigeons would be for me.  I think I would go for a volcano.

Shashwat's Dad:  I think I'll choose the same but keep an eye on the tremors.

Everyone:  (laughter) 

Alec:  All right. Well it was so much fun to have you. 

Shashwat's Dad:  I just want to say that we are super excited about Shashwat's writing.  He writes great poems, he writes great stories as well.  So whenever that happens we enjoy reading it and we're happy to share. 

Alec:  That's awesome. We'll certainly hope you submit more and we certainly hope that you'll come on again. Thank you so much. This is really fun. It was great to meet you and Ill see you later. 

Shashwat's Dad:  Thank you Alec

Shashwat:  Thank you. 

Alec:  Before we end with a joke of the week, if you liked that poem, if it made you calm or inspired or if it made you remember the last time you went to the beach, you can now support us in a one-time kind of fashion at us.  It used to be you could only do monthly but no more! 

Elora:  No more!

Alec:  Now you can now do one time!

Elora:  One time!

Alec: So please go to us and give whatever you can because we want to keep bringing you this podcast and we can only do that with your help. 

Elora:  Your help!

Alec:  That's us. 

Elora:  Now Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week? 

Alec:  I'm so ready. 

Elora:  What has four wheels and flies?

Alec:  Four wheels and flies...Is it like a really dirty car?

Elora:  A garbage truck!

Alec:  Oh! I was close!  Nice. Bye, I love you so much. 

Elora:  Bye. I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC
Transcript – Rise of the Ninja – by Tully, 6

Alec:  I’m Alec. Elora had the day off when we recorded.  This is Written by Kids and we’ve got two episodes out today.  On this episode, a short, short action, packed story called Rise Of The Ninja by six-year-old Tully. On the other episode. A bonus trivia episode all about ninjas with special guest – Northern California-based artist Tamekia Jackson. So, after you listen to Rise of the Ninja over here, head on over there for some fun, ninja facts, some good jokes, couple of bad jokes, but you know, we love bad jokes here. All right before we play the story, remember your child’s short story, or monologue or poem, or anything creative they write can be on this podcast. Just go to  Submission is free. It’s easy. You can submit as many pieces as you like, that’s a Tully enjoys playing video games, Legos, and drawing.  He also like playing Lego Batman on PlayStation and watching Ninjago. Ninja-go? Ninjago. Tully has a bunch of big brothers who also like to write and he hopes he will write as well as them one day. You’re well on your way, Tully.  and now, Rise of the Ninja, by six-year-old Tully performed by Alejandro Ruiz.

Alejandro:  (music)  There was a kid named Billy. It was his 12th birthday and he made a wish to become a ninja, and it worked! He became a ninja! He knew because he felt so strong all of a sudden, and ninjas are very strong. Billy walked outside and said (Billy voice) “I’m going to go for a walk, who wants to join me?” Then his mom and dad said, (dad voice) “We do, just wait! We have to pack our things!” (mom voice) “We do, just wait!, We have to pack our things!” (zipper sounds) They were finally going for a walk. They were walking in the forest, (breaking branches sounds) and Billy kept his ninja suit and weapons in his bag. He had made and built all of those things. Then Billy heard a bad guy walking close by, saying (bad guy voice) “I’m going to get you!” Billy put on his ninja suit, (leaf crumbling sounds) ran up a tree, and ran down the tree (leaf crumbling sounds) to the bad guy and said, (Billy voice) “Shoo you little bad guy!” The bad guy said (bad guy voice) “Grrrrr!” and punched Billy! (karate kia sound)  Billy dodged the punch, punched the bad guy back, (karate kia sounds) and they kept fighting. (more karate kia sounds)  They came to water and they were fighting on the water! (karate kia sounds and splashing water)  They used swords (swords slashing sounds) and shurikens. Billy’s parents were just standing there wondering what was going on! They were worried, but couldn’t do anything, because they couldn’t go on water. Billy decided to run back to his parents because he was too tired to keep fighting, (running panting sounds) and he was getting chased by the bad guy. (running panting sounds) Then the bad guy ran away in the other direction (running panting sounds) because he thought that Billy would do a triple back flip and land on him. And that’s the end!  

Alec:  Alejandro Ruiz also did a lot of the voices for our very first play a couple of weeks ago. Columbus’ Crazy Idea by Eli.  He is a bilingual voice director and actor.  Since 2015 he has narrated more than 300 audio books for the Library of Congress archives in DC, including the Spanish and English versions of Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff and Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward. You can also hear him on National Geographic and various nationally broadcast anti-drug PSA’s for the US Department of Health. Before we end with the joke of the week, if you liked that story, if it made you laugh or smile or go, “Awww,” then please share that feeling with someone else. Share this podcast with your cousin. Play an episode for that guy at work with two kids, and remember your child’s short story can be on this podcast.  You can submit for free, quickly, and as many times as you like at  I hope you’re ready for the joke of the week. What do scholars eat when they’re hungry? (pause) Acadamia nuts. Now go listen to The Ninja bonus, trivia episode!

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – Bonus Trivia: Ninjas

Alec:  I’m Alec 

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And today we have two episodes out.  On this episode, trivia games, all about ninjas with special guest, California-based artist, Tamekia Jackson.  On the other episode an action-packed story called Rise Of The Ninja by six-year-old Tully. So after you’re done learning about ninjas over here, head on over to that episode and listen to Rise of the Ninja. 

Elora:  And before we start, remember, you can be on a bonus episode, just go to us and be like, hey, we want to be on a bonus episode. That’s us.

Alec:  Today, were joined by special guest and artist living in Northern California Tamekia Jackson. Hi Tamekia.

 Tamekia:  Hello, so glad to be here with you. 

Elora:  Hello, were so happy to have you.

Alec:  Our first game is a trivia game all about ninjas, which were calling. The reason you can’t see all the stars at night is because a lot of them are ninja stars. 

Elora:  (laughter)  That was a good one.

Alec:  Thank you, thank you.  It took an hour.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  I’m going to ask you both a question, the first one to buzz their buzzer, which for us is saying buzz, gets to answer.  If you get it right, you get a point.  If you get it wrong the other person gets to answer. Get two out of three to win. Are you ready to play? 

Tamekia:  Is this like a Bzz sound or is like a  Buzz?

Alec: We’ve been saying buzz, but actually, we can make it whatever sound we want.  OK. Which of these universities has a masters program dedicated to ninja studies?  Is it A, Mie University in Japan which started the program to study and share their research with the world? Is it B, Oxford University in England, which started the program because after being the first British monarch to ever visit Japan, Queen Elizabeth demanded it? Is it C, Princeton University in New Jersey which started the program because one of their largest donors wanted to enroll and say that he was a ninja? Or is it D? All of the above?  

Tamekia:  Buzz.

Alec:  Yes Tamekia

Tamekia:  I am going to go with B because I feel like that is a very British thing to do.

Alec:  (laughter) While plausible, that is incorrect. 

Tamekia:  I feel like B, B for Buzz

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:   Lo

Elora:  C?

Alec:  (laughter) While also totally plausible, also wrong.

Tamekia:  Well, I mean, eh, 50/50 chance here, um, let’s go with A.

Alec:  A is correct.  (bells and applause)  (laughter)  It’s a school, school is in Japan, as it should be, not in England, but when reached for comment the queen said, please don’t tell me Harry enrolled. 

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Alec:  Question two.  Which of these was the first real introduction of ninjas into American pop culture? Is it A, Superman, who in the early comics travels through time to feudal Japan where the ninjas teach him their style of martial arts, which he has to use to defeat Lex Luther?  Is it B, before the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there was a less successful 80s, cartoon called The Secret Child Fighter Group: Ninja League of Ostriches?  

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Is it C, the James Bond film, You Only Live Twice, in which James Bond is saved by hundreds of ninjas rappelling down from the ceiling in unattractive grey bodysuits, blowing up all the bad guys stuff? Or is it D? All of the above.

Tamekia:  All of the above.  

Alec:  (laughter) You’re going with all of the above?

Tamekia:  No, no, no,  I’m thrown off by all of the above.

Alec:  OK.  Alright.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Tamekia:  Lo, do you want to go first?

Elora:  Sure. B is just so ridiculous. I want to say it. I want to say B.

Alec:  You are going with the league of ostriches?

Elora:  Yeah

Alec:  That is so wrong.

Elora: (laughter)  I kind of wanted it to be true, but that’s alright.

Alec:  Tamekia

Tamekia:  I am going to go with A.

Alec:  A, Superman?  That’s that’s also false.

Elora:  C?

Alec:  So it is C.  Lo, you got it.  (bells and applause)  Good job.

Elora:  I totally knew it the whole time

Tamekia:  We are not ninja experts, that’s what I’m learning. 

Elora:  Very, very true. We are far from Ninja experts.

Alec: So James Bonds introduced ninjas to American pop culture. Not everyone thought he could. but the producers were like, sure he can. 

Elora:  Ehh

Alec:  OK, question three, Ninjas are portrayed often as assassins and thieves, but that’s not all they were good at.  What else were ninjas experts in?  Is it A, sustainable farming. Is it B meteorology? Is it C, astronomy? Or is it D? All of the above 

Tamekia:  I am going to go with D because one of these questions has to be all of the above.

Alec:  And its correct. (bells and applause)  All of the above. 

Elora:  Well good. 

Alec:  Yeah, you won that game two to one, by getting one question right.

Tamekia:  I’ll take it.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  That means it’s time for our second game which were calling “This game”, (laughter) which we’re calling “This game is brought to you by the new movie, Who’s Afraid of your Ninja Wolf, the story of a lone wolf who doesn’t feel seen.”

Elora and Tamekia:  (laughter)

Tamekia:  (singing)  Who’s afraid of your ninja wolf, your ninja wolf, your ninja wolf.

Alec:  Oh man.

Elora:  Thank you for that. 

Alec:  I’m going to say five amazing facts about ninjas and you’re each going to guess if historians think its probably true or false? Are you ready to play?

Elora:  Ready

Tamekia: Yes. 

Alec:  Number one, Ninjutsu describes not just the martial art, but everything in the ninja way of life.

Tamekia: True.

Elora:  True.

Alec:  You are both right. That’s true. (bells)  Number two. There were not female ninjas. 

Elora:  False

Tamekia:  False

Alec:  You are both right.  That is false. 

Elora:  Very false.

Alec:  Number three, Ninjas wore all black.

Elora:  False.

Tamekia:  False, yeah, I am going to go with false

Alec:  Both right again.  It is false. (bells) You’re working in the daylight, you’re going to get caught. Number four.  Ninjas built collapsible bridges across moats really quickly.

 Elora:  True.

Tamekia: True.

Alec:   You’re both right again. (bells) And five and lastly, One thing that ninjas could not figure out was how to listen to conversations from far away. 

Elora:  False

Tamekia: True. 

Alec:  Lo, you are right. (bells) That is false. They have a device for that too.  Five to four, Lo, you won that game. (applause)

Elora:  And that means its time for our third game, which were calling Ninjas don’t draw, they can’t even leave a trace. 

Tamekia:  (laughter)

Elora:  So I’m going to say a word, and together as a team you are both going to have to guess how its related to ninjas by asking yes or no questions. Are you ready to play? 

Alec:  Yes.

Tamekia:  I think so. 

Elora:  OK.  So the word is Kabuki.

Alec:  Kabuki is a style of Japanese theatre, right?

Elora:  That is correct.

Tamekia:  Did Ninjas have to study Kabuki to…  Did Ninjas have to study Kabuki?

Elora:  No

Alec:  Were some of the actors also ninjas?

Elora:  No

Tamekia:  Did they have their outfits made by the same…, no that doesn’t make sense.

Elora:  That is actually close enough that I will give it to you. (bell)

Tamekia:  Ooh!

Elora:  So Kabuki theater is responsible for what we know as like ninja uniforms because of course, there was no black outfit, there was no uniform, but that outfit was the Kabuki stagehand performers garment.  So that they weren’t seen quote-unquote, um, because the idea was black was invisible, and so

Tamekia:  OK

Elora:  when it came time for film portrayals, they just recycled old old Kabuki stagehand uniforms into ninja costumes. 

Alec:  Wow. 

Tamekia:  OK  That’s a stagehands way too… I feel like there’s a strong relationship between stagehands and ninjas.

Alec:  Tamekia, this has been so much fun and before we let you go, are you ready for the joke of the week? 

Tamekia:  (laughter)  Oh Alec, yes. yes, I miss your jokes. 

Alec:  How do you make an octopus laugh? 

Tamekia:  You tickle it.

Alec:  Close

Elora:  You give it ten tickles. (laughter)

Tamekia:  Oh you give it ten tickles.  Oh Oh I love it.

Alec:  It was so so fun having you. Um, we hope you’ll come back.

Tamekia:  Yes, I would love to.

Tamekia: Have a good one. 

Elora:  Have a good one. Take care. 

Remember to go check out our other episode with the short story Rise Of The Ninja by Tully. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you can get those through!

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – How they got Cat out of the Forest – by Arnav, 8

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora and today we have two episodes out.  On this episode an interview with young author, eight-year-old, Arnav then Arnav’s short story, How They Got Cat Out Of The Forest and then we’ll end with the joke of the week.

Alec:  On the other episode, our very first family vs. family trivia episode, and its all about cats. We had so much fun with our special guests. They are very funny people, so after you listen to this wonderful story on this episode head on over to that episode for some laughs and to learn about cats.

Elora:  Lastly, before we get to our interview with Arnav, remember your child’s writing can be on this podcast, just go to to send it to us. Submission is free and you could submit as many pieces you like, that’s

Alec:  He loves writing stories, reading lots and lots of books, making different videos, coding, and watching TV. He is working on writing the series based this story, he’s eight years old and he has his own YouTube channel. Hi Arnav.

Arnav:  Hi Alec.

Alec:  How did you come up with this story?

Arnav:  I came up with this story because I thought that friendship was very important.  And I wanted to spread that message across the whole world.  And I thought of making a book because that was the funnest way that kids would learn.  So the kids would have fun reading the book while learning the message that friendship is important, and they might even start making more friends.

Alec:  The lesson of your story is that we should all make friends and protect our friends. Is there a time when you feel like you’ve protected a friend or been protected by a friend?

Arnav:  Yes.  One time when I was in the playground with my friend, a group of bullies came up to us and they started bullying my friend.  So I told the bullies that they should get themselves a mirror and see how bad stuff they were doing. And that’s when they realized that they were doing it because they didn’t have any friends. And I also realized that I had just protected my friend.  That’s why also why I made the message of my book that friendship is very important.

Alec:  And now How They Got Cat Out Of The Forest by eight-year-old Arnav, performed by Mohammad Rohaizad Suaidi.

Mohammad:  (music) Once upon a time, there lived some animals in a forest. Some of the animals were Mouse, (mouse squeaking sounds) Cat (cat meow sounds) and Fox (fox sounds)  Fox and mouse were friends. They always helped each other. The problem was that the Cat always bothered everyone but of course the mouse because foxes are very clever and the fox was the mouse’s friend. The cat feared that the mouse would tell the fox if the cat did anything and the fox would find a way to catch her.

Few days passed by and the cat thought “No one could ever set a trap and get me so how would a fox get me!” Thinking that, the cat went looking for the mouse. (cat meow sounds) The mouse was already scared of the cat. (mouse squeaking sounds)  When the cat was trying to find the mouse, the cat saw a small object. It was the mouse! When the mouse saw the cat, he quickly turned around and ran to the fox. (mouse running sounds). Cat chased the mouse while the mouse told everything to fox. (mouse sounds talking to fox) When the fox heard about the cat chasing the mouse, the fox got ready for action. As soon as the cat arrived, the fox  scared the cat (fox screeching sounds) so creepily that it made the cat run out of the forest itself.  (cat running sounds)  It was a happy ending for all the animals in that forest.  (peaceful forest sounds)  This shows how important friendship is and how it helps. So do not forget to make friends everywhere!

Alec:  Mohammed Roahizad Suaidi is Dad to five-year-old kindergartener name, Johan. Johan calls him Ayah, his friends call him Rohaizad, his students called him Mister Suaidi, the insurance people, the dentists office and the electric company imposters who come around every six months or so to try and con him, call him Mohammad.  When he’s not busy teaching acting, theater arts and English to speakers of other languages. Real Hazard loves to cook. He cooks good. He cooks almost everyday.  He makes pancakes and omelettes.   Us, and egg curry. Spaghetti with imported cheese and grass-fed. Imported cheese. Wow! And grass-fed butter shrimp pad thai noodles, sticky rice with grilled unagi in sweet sauce, vegetarian chili that has five types of hot peppers and dairy-free and gluten-free and sugar-free carrot cake. But everyday Johan asks for pizza and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Real Hazard loves Johan very much and everyday they laugh and do silly dances together to music by Megan Thee Stallion.

Elora:  Can I come over for dinner? like

Alec and Elora:  (laughter)

Arnav:  So Arnav, final question. You have a YouTube channel what should people search for to find it?

Arnav:  Yes.  I do have a youtube channel, and it’s called astro arnav.  And my youtube channel, and all you got to do is to search them is write the name of the topic like book reviews and then fire him.  Book reviews  by Arnav Sharma. Reading by Arnav Sharma, and you will get you get the videos in my website in my channel and its very fun. Kids should actually try it.  They will be learning a lot while having fun. 

Alec:  Arnav’s youtube channel is so cool. Like he said he reads books, reviews books, he does coding tutorials, he does experiments and again it so kids can learn while having fun. So again, thats Astro Arnav a s t r o a r n a v.  Look him up. You’re going to love it.

Elora:  And before we end with the joke of the week, remember your child’s story can be on this podcast. So just go to Submission is free and easy, and you can submit as many pieces as you like that, / submit.

Alec:  Lo, Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  (laughter)  I ‘m so ready.

Alec:  What did the personal trainer do when they quit their job?

Elora:  I don’t know what.

Alec:  They gave their too weak notice.

Elora:  (laughter) I can’t

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora: Alec  (laughter)

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you. Too weak.

Elora: Oh no.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – Bonus Trivia: Cats

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And we have two episodes out today. This episode is a special trivia episode of Written By Kids where all three games will be all about cats. Its also our very first family versus family trivia episode, which was so much fun to record.

Elora:  On the other episode out today.  Eight year old Arnav’s incredible short story, How They Got Cat Out Of The Forest, and a wonderful interview with Arnav. So after you learn about cats on this episode go listen to How They Got Cat Out Of The Forest.  She’s the young author of A Scary Castle which comes out in October. Shes eight year old and returning champion Rhea and her mom and dad and sister. We have teams Rhea.

Rhea’s mom:  Hi.

Alec:  He is the young author of The Forest Prisoner, our very first story, he is 11 years old, right? Are you 12 now?

Calvin:  I am going to be 12 in August.

Alec:  He is going to be 12 in August.  It’s returning champion Calvin and his mom Eve, hello Calvin and Eve.

Calvin:  Hi

Eve:  Hello, thank you for having us back.

Elora:  We’re going to play three games, their family versus family.  For legal reasons, we can’t call it Family Feud so were calling it Dynasty Dispute.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  Are you ready for our first game?

Everyone:  Yeah

Alec:  Our first game is a trivia game all about cats. Its called Mouse Hunters. The show where cats with no budget get whatever they want and then hate it.

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Calvin:  I know a lot about cats. So,

Alec:  Well, you are in for a treat.

Calvin:  Awesome

Alec:  So the rules are, you already to have your teams. I’m going to ask three questions. First team to buzz their buzzer gets to answer.  If you get it right, you get a point if you get it wrong the other team gets to answer.  Question one.  Which of these is a true fact about cats?

Is it A, cats love to stare at you because they’re imagining eating you?

Is it B, cats do their business in the litter box instinctually because their oldest ancestors did their business in the sand?

Is it C, cats do recognize their names, they just don’t respond or care? 

Or is it D, all of the above?

Calvin:  Uh, buzz

Alec:  Yes, team Calvin.

Calvin:  I’m going to guess D, all of the above all of the above.

Alec:  All of the above, I’m so sorry, it’s incorrect.

Eve:  (laughter)

Alec:  Team Riya.  Do you want to guess?

Riya:  B

Alec:  That is also incorrect? But that is, but I’m very proud of that answer. So thank you.

Calvin and Eve:  Buzz. 

Eve:  Can we try again? 

Alec:  Yeah, you can try again.

 Eve:  A?

Alec:  A is wrong Riya.

Eve:  Oh my goodness.

Riya:  C.

Everyone:  (laughter)  (bell and applause)

Riya:  I was going to guess C but

Riya’s Dad:  but Mommy and Daddy told you the wrong answer.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  C is correct.  When you call cats by their names, they don’t care about it. But in fact, most of our other behavior cats do find very annoying.

So question two.  Which of these is the current theory of how cats become domesticated.

Is it A, 50,000 years ago during the last ice age, people used to steal baby lions, snuggle with them for warmth and then breed the calmest ones until they were cats.

Is it B twelve thousand years ago after that Ice Age cats, domesticated themselves by sticking around and killing so many rodents and snakes that they were just kept and worshiped as gods?

Or is it C, cats are not domesticated, they’re just so cute that we want to keep them.

Or is it D, all of the above?

Riya and Calvin:  Buzz

Alec:  I don’t know who I heard first.

Eve:  Team Riya

Riya:  B

Alec:  B is correct. (bells and applause)  Two points for Team Riya, you’ve already won the game but Calvin and Eve, you win on spirit and amazing hair.

Eve and Calvin:  Yoo hoo  (laughter) 

Calvin:  I’ll take that.

Alec;  Cats domesticated themselves and were worshiped as gods. And I asked my two cats about this and they said silence human.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Alright, third and final question, Which of these is a famous cat of history.

Is it A, Creampuff, who lived to be 38 years old on a diet of just coffee eggs, bacon and red wine?

Is it B, Tabby, President Lincoln’s cat, who he used to feed with a golden spoon?

Is it C, Casper, a cat in Devon England who used to ride the bus around to see the sites during the day and visit people, and then come home at the end of the day.

or is it D? All of the above?

Calvin:  Buzz

Alec:  Team Calvin

Calvin:  I am going to guess B.

Alec:  That is one of the correct answers. I’m going to give it to you.  (bells and applause) All of the above.

Calvin:  Awesome.  OK.  I was thinking about of all of the above, but I said, how about B

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  I don’t know how that cat survived on that diet.

Calvin:  It probably wore a bowler hat and a monocle

Alec:  That means Team Riya, you won the game.  (bells and applause)

Everyone:  Yoo hoo.

Alec:  Alright, that means, it is time for our second game, which we’re calling you got to be kitten me.

Eve:  (laughter)

Alec:  Thanks Eve.

Eve:  I love it.

Alec:  This game I’m going to say five amazing facts about cats and each team, each team for all of them, is going to guess true or false, the team with the most points at the end wins. Are you ready to play?

Everyone:  Yes

Alec:  All right, number one.  Cats brains are more similar to human brains than to dog brains.  Team Riya, what do you think?

Riya:  True.

Alec: Team Calvin?

Calvin:  False.

Alec:  That is true.  One point for Team Riya (bell)

Alec: Number two.  Cats can jump about three times their own height.  Team Riya.

Riya:  True.

Calvin:  True

Alec:  That is false.  They can jump five or six times their own height.

Calvin:  Whoa

Eve:  That is a big jump.

Alec:  Number three. Cats do sweat. Team Riya.

Riya:  False

Alec:  And Calvin

Calvin:  False

Alec:  It is true. They only sweat though through their paws.

Riya:  Ohh

Elora:  Little sweaty paw prints on the vet table.

Alec:  What did you say Calvin?

Calvin:  I feel like I learned that somewhere, I don’t know why I didn’t guess that.

Alec:  That’s alright. I only learned it just this morning.

Everyone:  (laughter) OK number four. The cat flap was invented by Galileo.  Team Riya, what do you think?

Riya:  False

Alec:  Team Calvin?

Calvin:  I am also going to say false

Alec:  Well, you are both wrong, wait no, you are both right.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  It was invented, my bad.  It was invented  by Isaac Newton.

Eve:  Oh

Alec:  Number five.  Owning a cat can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.  Team Riya

Riya:  True

Alec:  Team Calvin

Calvin:  False

Alec:  Team Riya, you won the game, that is true. (bells and applause)

Calvin:  Good job.

Elora:  That means its time for our third and final game, which we’re calling, I’ll have a meow teeny shaken. Not purred.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  I’m going to say a vocabulary word related to cats and you’re all going to work together to guess what that word means by asking me, yes or no questions. You ready to play?

Calvin:  Yep

Elora:   the word is climbtack.

 Riya:  Does it have to do with cats climbing?

Elora:  It does. Yes.

Calvin:  Does it have to do with their claws?

Elora:  It does not.

Riya:  Does it have to do with cats climbing trees

Elora:  Nope.

Calvin:  Does it have to do with the height they can jump?

Elora:  Nope

Alec;  Does it have to do with the sound that it makes? like  tack tack

Elora:  No.

Riya’s mom:  Can you repeat the word?

Elora:  The word is climbtack

Riya’s mom:  Is it is it to do with what they touch when they climb like you know?

Elora:  Yes it does have to do with what they’re climbing.

Riya’s mom:  Is it climbing another cat?

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  That would be funny, but no.

Eve:  Climbing a person?

Elora:  Nope.

Riya:  Is it climbing a couch?

Elora: No.

Eve:  Is it like climbing a Grandfather clock or something?

Elora:  Nope.

Eve:  Fireplace

Elora;  No

Riya: Closet 

Elora:  Yes. So a climbtack can also refer to a mischievous child. But, in particular, refers to when cats climb up shelves to get to the food that is stored away.

Riya:  Now, you should stick it to your ceiling and when you cant wants it, just open and close.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Lo, who won that game?

Lo:  Everybody.

Everyone:  Yay  (applause)

Alec;  And lastly, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Everyone:  Yes

Elora:  Oh yes.

How come there aren’t a lot of chemistry jokes?

Eve:  Because they don’t get a good reaction?

Alec:  Yes.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Riya:  I know one.  Pete and repeat went to the pond and Pete fell in.  Who was left?

Alec:  Repeat.

Riya:  Ok, I will

Everyone:  (laughter)

Riya’s sister:  Why did the cow cross the road?

Elora:  Why

Riya’s sister:  To go to the movies

Everyone;  (laughter)  Moooovies

Calvin:  What do you call a cow with no legs? 

Elora:  Ground beef

Calvin: Yeah.

Riya’s sister:  I have one.  What do you call a bear without teeth?

Elora:  What?

Eve:  A gummy bear

Riya’s sister:  Yes, a gummy bear

Elora:  It was so lovely to have you all.

Eve:  It was so fun

Riya’s mom:  Very nice. Thank you for organizing.

Alec:  Before we end with a surprise second joke of the week, because you deserve it, or is it like, the fifth one for this episode? Remember, you can be on a bonus episode, just go to,/contact us and be like, hey, I want to be on the bonus episode, some trivia themes coming up soon are ninjas nature and sunlight so go to us to be like, hey, I want to be on a bonus trivia episode to be on a bonus trivia episode.

Elora:  Why is Orion’s Belt the worst constellation?

Alec:  Why is Orions Belt the worst constellation? I don’t know why.

Elora:  It’s just a waist of space.

Alec:  (laughter)

Eora:  Its actually one of my favorite constellations too.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – A True Friend Loves you for you – by Vivianne, 10

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And this is Written by Kids where you will hear short stories, songs and poems all written by kids. First on today’s episode we will play a game, then a short story by 10 year old is Vivianne called A True Friend Loves You for You. then we’ll end with the joke of the week.

Elora:  But first, if you haven’t voted for us yet for a Peoples Choice Rodecaster Award, voting ends in one week so go to to vote for us for Peoples Choice Award. It will help us grow this podcast and bring even more kids stories to life. Thats,/vote.

Alec:  Today’s short story is all about friendship so Lo, we’re going to play a game called when they go “Low”, I go, “I know her, shes my friend.”

Elora:  (laughter)  Aww

Alec:  Here’s where we find out if we know each other as well as we think we do.  We’re going to take turns saying facts about ourselves and then the other one’s going to guess if its true or false. Are you ready to play?

Elora:  I’m ready. True or false. I have never broken a bone.

Alec:  I think that’s true.

Elora:  It is technically false

Alec:  You have had a hairline fracture or something.

Elora:  Yes, I fractured my nose in high school. My foot at the swing night at Open Space.

Alec:  Ohhh that makes sense

Elora;  When someone stepped on me.

Alec:  True or false.  I lived in London until the age of five.

Elora:  I want to say false. 

Alec:  That’s true.

Elora:  It is true? 

Alec:  Yeah (laughter)

Elora:   (laughter)  Ok so I remembered that coming up, what I thought I remembered was you saying it was a joke you told people to like, OK so I don’t know.  Maybe I am mashing memories together.  (laughter)

Alec:  Wow.  OK, your turn.

Elora:  I moved to Maryland in the 6th grade.

Alec:  I think that’s true.

Elora:  That is false. It was 8th grade. (laughter)

Alec:  8th grade (laughter)  Are we going to get all of these wrong?

Elora:  What, are we even friends?

Alec:  I don’t know.  OK, in graduate school, I injured myself while playing a ferocious chicken in a play.

Elora:  True.

Alec:  That’s true. (bells)  OK we are somewhat friends now.

Elora:  (laughter) We are just a little bit. I am mildly allergic to cherries.

Alec:  That sounds true.

Elora:  That is true.  (bells)  And they are my favorite fruit. So it makes me sad.

Alec:  If there’s an ailment that’s ironic, I think that that’s going to be true about you.

Elora:  Yeah. Yeah, probably (laughter)

Alec:  OK. I am deathly afraid of spiders.

Elora;  I am going to say true, but I don’t know if I’m projecting.

Alec:  Its true, (laughter)

Elora:  I know we bonded over that.  but I might just be projecting my fear.

Alec:  Right

Elora:  I played the lead in Annie.

Alec:  No. Katie played the lead in Annie.

Elora:  Yeah (bells)  I was like, you better know this one. You were in Annie.

Alec:  (laughter) Um, I have two cats, one named Puma and one named Charles.

Elora:  Charles

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora:  Puma Thurman and Stevie Kicks

Alec:  Yes (bells)  (laughter)  You do know me.

Elora:  OK,  last one, for me.  I have had an art piece in a gallery.

Alec:  Yeah, of course you have.  (bells)

Elora:  That’s true.   I I had submitted to this like Fairy Tale Exhibition at Millcreek Creative Space and they accepted my piece and it hung there for like a month. It was very cool.

Alec: That is very cool. And I’m not surprised. 

Elora:  Well, thanks.

Alec:  In 5th grade. I got in trouble for playing basketball with my friend Robbie because we were playing in the bathroom.

Elora:  I don’t know many stories about your childhood, but that sounds strange enough that I’m going to say true.

Alec:  It’s true.  (bells)

Elora;  (laughter) I feel like that is something you would do. (laughter)

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora:  What were you shooting into?

Alec:  The toilet.

Elora:  (laughter) Oh myGod.  That was exactly what I feared.

Alec:  That was exactly what all the teachers feared as well.  I think that means we kind of won the game.

Elora:  I think it means we are actually friends (applause)  Today’s young author, 10 year old Vivianne, loves playing all sports, reading, writing singing and acting.  She loves to cook and bake but enjoys eating it more. When she grows up, she wants to be a coder and make games. This is one of her stories she wrote at the beginning of the school year.

Alec:  And now, A True Friend Loves You For You by Vivian, performed by Julia Fein.

Julia:  (music)  It was Everest’s first day of school and she was enjoying it. But the thing is, it was also another day of being adored and mocked. She always struggled with that when it came to being popular! Today, she felt it would be very interesting because today, “ I have to tell Anna my true self. She must know I am not as I appear, I’m a tomboy! I can’t stand pretending to be something I am not.” sighed Everest. As it came time to tell Anna, she began to get nervous. Everest approached Anna. “Hey Anna?! I need to kinda tell you something quite important,”spoke Everest. “Oh uhm, Ok!” replied Anna. Everest began to get the jeebies but ended up going for it! “Ok so, I am not who you think, kinda…” Anna grew confused. “Uhm….ok??” Everest began to feel very troublesome. “Ok, so i’m not a girly girl like you want me to be Anna… I’m sorry! I am a-………… (music stops) Tomboy!!! I don’t wanna do what you do… I wanna play sports!” Anna gasped. “You’re a what?! I-I-I-just hush! I thought we were friends! How could you just leave me alone to be cute,cool, popular? UGH!!! That’s it we are so DONE EVEREST! Bye clammy tomboy! HMPH!” (music starts) Anna stomped away and threw her friendship bracelet in the trash.(crumbling sounds) Everest was as cool as cucumber. “I can’t believe she said t-t-” Everest began to burst into tears and rushed into the bathroom to cry. (door opens and closes) She felt horrible. But, she couldn’t always be who everyone else wanted her to be, right….? “I can’t stay here any longer today; I’m going to say I am sick.” said Everest to herself. She ran down to the nurses office and began to act like she had eaten something bad! “Oh Mrs. Applebum, I can’t stand my stomach, it hurts so bad!!!” “It does, now does it?” asked Mrs. Applebum. She took Everest’s temperature anD (thermometer beeping) looked at it all fishy. “Well, your temperature is only 95…” said Mrs. Applebum. “But, it hurts so bad.” said Evereset as she began fake gagging. “Oh dear yes yes I’m getting a friend to get your stuff for you instantly!” said Mrs. Applebum. “Thank you so much Mrs. Applebum.” said Everest. Everest smirked as Mrs. Applebum walked away to the telephone to call for someone to get her stuff to go home from school. Everest began to think about what she had done and if it was the right choice… “I don’t know, I don’t know!!” Everest thought to herself. “Anna to the front please. Anna to the front.”(sounds like intecom) said Mrs. Applebum over the intercom. Uh oh… Looks like karma got its way- Anna had to help Everest! “Ugh. Why Anna?” Everest asked herself. Anna walked down the hallway. Everest had a horrible feeling. “Oh… Hey Ever-Rest-.” said Anna. Everest replied, “Hey…”. Anna looked at Everest in disgust and dropped her stuff in her lap (backpack drop sound) and sashayed out of the nurses office. “She is so so so..?!” Everest was shocked by how she was treated now. Everest mom arrived. “Hi honey are you ok?” asked Everest’s mom. “No, I’m not,” said Everest. “What’s the matter darling?” asked Everest’s mom. “Nothing… leave me alone, please.” replied Everest. “Ok! Well, when we get home you’re going straight to bed young lady!” exclaimed Everest’s mom. As soon as they got home Everest hopped in bed and sobbed and then shortly fell asleep. The next morning, Everest walked to school… Not dressed as usual, more careless! She spent the whole day being silent and ignoring everything, until recess at the end of the day came. “HEY LOSER!” said Anna. Everest ran to the bench and cried waiting for recess to end until someone walked up behind her. “Hi! I’m Sammy! Who are you?” “I’m Everest..” “What’s wrong mate?” asked Sammy. “I’m just tired of being bullied for being who I wanna be,” cried Everest. “Aww, It’s ok!! You have me  I like you for you. True friends like you for who you are and would never want you to be different.”replied Sammy. Everest gasped in amazement, “REALLY?!” “Yep!” replied Sammy. “Now come on. Let’s go play!” (music changes) Sammy led Everest to the swings and they played the rest of recess together. “You know what?” asked Everest. “What?” asked Sammy. “You’re the first friend I’ve ever had… well, real one.” said Everest. They both laughed happily as they played. I guess we can all agree Everest knows something now… It’s to always be yourself because you are amazing and real friends will like you for YOU.

Alec:   Julia Fein studied theater in psychology at Brown University. After some time off from acting, she is excited to move to New York and audition in the real world. Julia loves to bake enjoys fostering dogs, and may or may not be Alec’s favorite cousin. If you liked that story, go to right now to vote for Written By Kids so we can continue to share these awesome stories with you. That’s /vote.

Elora:  Alec, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec:  I’m so ready.

Elora:  Why are cats bad storytellers?

Alec: Mmmm  Why?

Elora:  Because they only have one tail

Alec:  (laughter) 

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Wow. 

Elora:  You like that?

Alec:  Yes.  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – Bonus: Friendship

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And this is a special bonus episode of Written by Kids, where we’ll play trivia and word games all about friendship, because next week’s story, A True Friend Loves You for You, by ten year old Viviann, is about a young girl who learns what friendship really means.  Quickly before we start, there is still time to vote for us for a People’s Choice Rodecaster Award.  This would really help us grow this podcast and bring more kids stories to life. So, go to to vote for us. That’s Thanks.

Elora:  Today’s special guests are actors teachers and hilarious people living in Baltimore, returning champions Will and Jenny.  Hi Will and Jeny.

Will and Jenny:  Hello. Hello.

Jenny:  Returning champions, I like that.

Will:  Yeah, happy to be back.

Elora:  Yay

Alec:  Our first game is a trivia game all about friendship, which were calling, This game is brought to you by the new movie “Eh, I’m Here For You Schmere For You an Unlikely Friendship of Two Bagels in New York”

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Jenny:  I’d watch it.

Alec:   I am going to ask a question and whomever buzzes their buzzer first gets to answer. If you get it right you get a point, if you get it wrong, someone else gets to answer. Are you ready to play?

Will:  Let’s go.

Jennie:  Yes

Alec:  Question one. Which of these is true about animal friendships.  Is it A, most female toucans have a group of friends who mate at the same time lay eggs at the same time and even pass away at the same time. Is it B, Foxes make friends while hunting by cheering each other on when they get something? Is it C, dolphins make friends, form cliques, and then shun other dolphins out.  Or is it D? All of the above

Jenny:  Be Bing Bingpot,

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Jenny:  (Buzzard noise). 

Will:   Careful, Bingpot, I’m sure is copyrighted.

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Jenny:  Um, I really want it to be the fox one,

Elora:  Me too.

Jenny:  But I really think it’s the dolphin one.

Alec:  That’s correct. (Bells and applause)

Elora:  I really did want the fox one to be true though.

Will:  Yeah

Alec:  So dolphin friend groups do shun other dolphins. When reached for comment one dolphin said “The Jets and the Sharks?  More like the dolphins, and the other dolphins, am I right?” just before he was shunned by the other dolphins.

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Will:  Listen, if that dolphin made made that joke to me, I would shun him. 

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Will:  I don’t know if that makes me good at friendship or bad at friendship, but that makes me the guy with funny friends.

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Alec:  Question Two. Which of these have several scientific studies found about human friendship? Is it A, good friends tend to have similar DNA? Is it B, best friends have an average height difference of 5 and 1/2 inches? Is it C, 81% of people are still friends with their childhood friends? Or is it D? All of the above?

Will:  Buzz. I’m going to go with B the average height distance or  height difference, rather.: 

Alec:  Well you and I do have a severe height difference, that is incorrect.

Elora:  (Laughter)

Will:  Ah Sir, I, I, I love you to pieces. I got to tell you, our height difference is more than five and a half inches.

Alec:  I’m very aware.

Jenny:  Abnormally tall.

Will:  I’m, I’m the kind of tall where people meet me and go, wow you’re tall.

Alec:  Always always the things on shelf getter.

Will:  Yeah

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Alec:  Although, You know when its me, I’d rather be picked up so I can get it off the shelf.

Jenny:  (Laughter)

Will:  Do you need a job?

Everyone:  (Laughter)

Jenny:  Um, Ok, Buzz. I’m going to go DNA cuz that’s fascinating to me.

Alec:  That;s correct. (bells and applause)

Will:  What???

Elora:  Wow

Alec:  Best friends have DNA that’s like as though their fourth cousins.

Elora:  What???

Jenny:  By that far out, isn’t everybody like everybody else’s fourth cousin? I don’t, I don’t really know

Alec:  Apparently not, because there are people you don’t like and those are like your fifth and sixth cousins, I guess. 

Elora:  (Laughter)

Will:  What about the people I don’t like a lot.  Are they like eighth and ninth cousins?

Alec:  But is is also why all the smurfs are friends, because they all have blue genes.

Will and Jennie:  (Moaning sounds)

Jenny:  I have only one thing to say to you, sir. And that is (dolphin sounds)  and that is, “you’re shunned” in dolphin.

Will:  That is a seal sound. Not dolphin sound.

Jenny:  I realized that about half way through.  I tried to make it go a little bit more (dolphin sounds).

Alec:   Finally question three.  Which of these is a real national recognition of the importance of friendship? Is it A, in 1998 the United States named Winnie the Pooh as its National Ambassador of Friendship.  Is it B, in 2016 Canada mandated a making friends best practices class for all kindergarten students.  Is it see C,  Greenland holds an annual celebration of friendship each year with dancing, parade floats, and giant cardboard cutouts of the six friends from the hit show, Friends? Or is it D?  All of the above.

Will:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes Will

Will:  Take a big swing here, and go for B?

Alec:  B, That is the most reasonable of the three, but it is false.

Elora:  Buzz

Jenny:  What was B?

Alec:  B was the Canadian one.  Yeah, Lo?

Elora:   Because its utterly absurd I just kind of want to say C, the, the celebration.

Will:  Yeah, Right that just seems like a quirky Scandinavian thing, until you get to Friends.  Those friends.

Alec:  You guessed wrong.

Jenny:  Buzz, Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Jenny

Jenny:  Um, alright, so, I’m going to take just a shot in the dark really and go for A?

Alec:  You’re going with Winnie the Pooh?  Are you sure?

Jenny:  I am sure.

Alec:  You are correct. (bells and applause)

Elora:  So Jenny, You have won all the points.  (applause)

Everyone:  cheering (applause)

Alec:   It means its time for our second game, which were calling, “you and me we’re two peas in a pod. Its one smelly pod, good things we’re friends.”

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  Oh Alec.

Alec:  I’m going to name five close friendships of  history and you’re all going to guess if its true or false? Are you ready to play?

Everyone:  Yes

Alec:  OK number one, engineer and inventor, Nikola, Tesla and writer/humorist Mark Twain?

Will:  I think that’s true

Jenny:  True.  They seem like the same –

Will:  I think that’s true.

Alec:  Yes, that’s true.  (ding sound)

Will:  Yeah

Jenny:  Yay

Alec: Number two: Michelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci.

Jennie:  False

Will:  Yeah, I don’t think so.  I think that’s false

Alec:  You are correct.  (ding sounds)  Apparently, they really hated each other a lot.

Elora:  Laughter.  They knew each other, for sure; they were not friends.

Alec:  Number three, the rapper Pitbull and actor John Travolta.

Will:  Um, I’m going to say probably false

Jenny:  I am going to go with true.

Will:  Yeah,

Alec:  Jenny you are right.  (bells)

Will:  Wow. Wow. How do we get into that party?

Elora:  laughter

Alec:  You give John Travolta a job of being picked up.

Jenny:  (laughter)

Alec:  Alright.  Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe.

Jenny:  Yes, true.

Will:  Yeah

Alec:  Yes true. (bells) And number five, Nelson Mandela and Charlie Chaplin.

Will:  I feel like they probably would have gotten a long had they known each other but I don’t know if they ever did. That seems like they are little outside of each other’s circles, no? I am going to say false.

Jenny:   Yeah, I am going to say false.

Will:  I mean it would be really cool.

Alec:  You’re both right. It’s false. (bells) That means Jenny you won that game too. (applause) 

Elora:  That means its time for our third and final game which we’re calling. “Why have a secret smoothie, when you can have a secret handshake?” I’m going to say a vocabulary word that has to do with friendship –

Alec:  – Are you still thinking about it?

Jenny:  Yeah

Alec:  A secret hand SHAKE.

Jenny:  Oh  Guys, Look I’m the

Alec:  What’s in it? A secret hand!

Jenny:  best of friends, I’m I’m not the smartest of friends.

Elora:  (laughter) So I’m going to say vocabulary word that has to do with friendship or in this case, a particular friendship and you all have to work together to figure out what it means by asking me yes or no questions  Are you ready to play?

Will:  Sure

Jenny:  Yes

Alec:  Yes

Elora;  That word that brings these unlikely friends together is literature.

Jenny:  Are they authors?

Elora;  One was, yes.

Jenny:  OK, OK

Will:  Friends in the last 50 years?

Elora:  I can’t say right now, I would have to do math and that is not my strong suit. 

Will:  Sorry, sorry

Elora:  But no,  It has been more than 50 years.

Jenny:   I’m going to guess Picasso and Zelda Fitzgerald

Elora:  Incorrect.

Jenny:  Dang it.

Alec:  Are they both men?

Elora:  Yes, both men

Will:  One of whom is an author.

Alec:  The other one is also an artist of some kind?

Elora:  Yeah, Yeah, performance, yes

Will:  Is it Tom Clancy and George Carlin?

Everyone:  (laughter)

Jenny: Um, um Is Cary Grant one of them?

Elora:  No

Will:  Is one of them Elvis.

Elora:  No

Jenny:  One of the Bob Hope?

Elora:  No

Will:  We are just going through a list.

Jenny:  I only know about eight men from the fifties

Alec: Is the performer an actor? 

Elora:  It is not explicitly what hes known for or I guess he was known for acting but its a particular kind.

Will:  Oh man, this is tough.

Alec:  The author, does it start with an E?

Elora:  His last name, yes.

Alec:  What’s the second letter of the last name?

Elora:  L

Will and Jenny:  L, L,

Jenny:  Ellis

Alec:  Ellis?

Jenny:  Elliott, TS Elliott

Elora;  TS Elliott

 Jenny:  So who is TS Elliott friends with?

Will: Is it Olivier?

Elora:  It is not.

Alec:  Are they known as someone with two names or three names?

Elora:  Two names, and I will give you the hint that the name that he is known by isn’t his actual name.

Jenny:  Oh

Will:  Harry Houdini?

Elora:  No

Jenny:  Louis Armstrong?

Elora:  Nope

Jenny:  Jelly Roll

Elora:  No

Will:  Fats Domino

Elora:  Nope

Alec:  Groucho Marx?

Elora:   Yes. (bells)

Will:  Yay

Jenny:  Oh.  Well done you.

Alec:  Thank you.

Elora:  So, they had very contrasting personalities but got along very well. And when they finally met in person in 1964 Marks would later write that the dinner taught him that he and Elliot shared three things and affection for good cigars, cats, and a weakness for making puns..

Will:  That’s pretty nice.

Jenny:  Thats awesome.

Will:  That’s pretty nice that. I don’t know how much of your audience is going to get who TS Eliot and Groucho. Marx, are

Elora:  Yeah, but

Will:  If, I mean, give it a cursory Google search friends and you will see pretty quickly as to why these two were an unlikely friendship and you know what? That’s really nice. An unlikely friendship is a nice thing.

Alec:  I wonder if they were fourth cousins

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  Also, the winner of that game is everybody!

Jenny:  Yay

Elora: Great teamwork. (applause)

Alec:  Will and Jen, before we let you go, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Will: Always

Jenny:  Yes

Elora:  Oh boy.

Alec:  What’s the best way to carve wood?

Will:  What is the best way to carve wood?

Alec:  Whittle by whittle!

Everyone:  (laughter)

Jenny:  That is the cutest joke. Whittle by Whittle.

Will:  Whittle by whittle

Jenny:  A whittle whittle guy.  A whittle whittle bit

Will:  A whittle at a time

Alec:  Okay, so thank you for coming back and we hope you will continue to come back. We love having you.

Will:  We love you guys.

Jenny:  We love you guys and we love being here.

Alec:  Bye

Jenny:  Bye

Alec:  Bye, I love you

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – Columbus’ Crazy Idea – by Eli, 12

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  Welcome to Written By. Kids where you’ll hear short stories songs and poems, all written by kids.

Elora:  We start today’s episode with an exciting announcement. We are up for a Peoples Choice, RodeCaster award. and we win with your votes.  Winning would help us bring so many more kids stories to life. So, go to right now to vote for Written By Kids.

Alec:  Voting is so quick. It takes about five seconds for you to help us bring this podcast to you for many more years. So if you are in the car with someone, tell them to vote immediately right now before you forget at

Elora:  If you are at home right now, before you forget go to MoonHouse. Org/vote.

Alec:  We know you’ll vote because you rock and you have great taste in podcasts.

Elora:  So go to and click vote to tell those people at Rodecaster, you want Written By Kids to bring even more kids stories to life.  Do you think we said enough times.


Elora:  On today’s episode, we’ve got our first-ever play. Its called Columbus’ Crazy Idea by 12 year old Ellie.  Then we’ll play a game and end with the joke of the week.

Alec:  I want to say one thing about Columbus’ Crazy Idea before we play it.  The Columbus, in question is indeed Christopher Columbus and Ellie wrote this play after he learned more of the truth about Christopher Columbus, which is not that he landed in North America. Nor is it that he was a nice guy. This outstanding short play mentions some ways in which Columbus was the bad guy in a family-friendly way. So we just wanted to let you know that before you listen and now Columbus’ Crazy Idea by 12 year old Ellie performed by Alejandro Ruiz,. me and Elora with some extra voices by Nicholas Rogers

Narrator: Part 1 Columbus goes on outrageous ideas! (game show music)

Host: We’re back with Europe’s number one show (murmur – in the middle ages), outrageous ideas! (Audience cheers) And now here are the kings! First we have the King of Portugal, also known as “the Perfect Prince”… John II!

King of Portugal: boa tarde

Host:Next, the King of France, the Affable, Charles VIII

King of France: Salut Comment allez-vous (Salute CommOnt AlleiVoo)

Host: Next, the King f Egland, Henry VII!

King of England: Ello guv’nor

Host: And finally, King of Spain, Ferdinand II of Aragon!

King of Spain: Ola, como estan

Host: Today we have, all the way from Italy, a man with an idea for a new way to get to India…Cristoffa Corombo!

Columbus: Salve, grazie, you can call me Christopher Colombus.

Host: Before we hear the outrageous idea of the day, I think we should all speak in english which will be the universally spoken language of the future. (audience booing)

King of England: Boo ya!

Host: Now for the outrageous idea!

Columbus:I think the Earth is round an…

King of France (interrupts Columbus): The Earth is not round, fool!

Columbus: Like I was saying I think the Earth is round (In the background all kings to themselves: we heard you the first time.), here are my maps to show you what I think; (opening map sounds) and I would like to find a way to sail all the way around and bump into India’s eastern coast. (applause)

King of Portugal: My scientists say the ocean is huge and you will never be able to store enough food to make it! And why would I buy ships for you? (buzzer sound audience laughter)

King of France: We won’t help you because your idea is one of the stupidest ideas in the known world. (buzzer sound audience laughter)

King of Englad: I’m not going to give you anything! (buzzer sound audience laughter)

Ferdinand (King of Spain): All I heard was blah blah blah Earth blah blah India. (buzzer audience laughter)

Columbus: Fine, I will just go home and dream big.

Isabella(Queen of Spain): Hold your horses Ferdinand, I know we are in the middle of war with the Granadans but that doesn’t mean you can push away an idea that will make us rich and powerful. Plus you are not the only one with money. Columbus, I will pay for your expedition but you will have to wait until after the war is over.

Columbus: Oh goody!

Narrator: Part 2 The voyage Columbus: (Sigh) It’s been seven long years since Queen Isabella said she would pay for my expedition. But now I’m wondering whether she remembered.

Soldier: (knock knock knock)

Columbus: Who’s there?

Soldier: A soldier of Queen Isabella. Your ships are ready and you can leave as soon as you want.

Columbus: I want to leave now!

Narrator: So Columbus went on his voyage in 1492. (travel music starts)

Columbus: Here we go.

Narrator: At sea… (ocean wave sounds)

Crew member 1 Blechhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Crew member 2 Boom dada dada da boom dada dada da!

Crew member 3 Storm ahead!

Narrator: Soon the men started complaining and dying of scurvy.

Crew: We should turn around now we barely have any food or water left and most of us have scurvy. We are never going to make it!

Narrator: Part 3 Columbus’s deal. Columbus was worried that his crew might overthrow him so he made a deal.

Columbus: Guys, if we do not see land in 3 days we will turn back.

Crew: Yay!

Narrator: After 2 days they still had not found land until at noon on the 3rd day…

Crew member 1 Land ho!

Columbus and crew: Yay! Let’s party!

Narrator: They partied all night

Columbus: Let’s dock the ship and get some spices.

Crew:Cowabunga!!! Wahooo!!

Narrator: When they got there they found what they thought were Indians but really they found The Taíno tribe.

Columbus: Hello, indians.

Narrator: The Taíno showed them how to plant corn and stuff. In return Columbus took some back to Spain as slaves.

Columbus: Will you come back with us?

Taíno people: O.K.

Narrator: (sad music) When the Taíno people finally figured out what Columbus was doing some of them tried to escape but most of them failed.

Taíno person: Wa-lotto nemsu lo shan-toí foluí! (They are bringing us back as slaves, let’s escape!) (crowd yelling sounds)

Narrator: Columbus caught most of them though. Columbus: Oh no you don’t! Catch them!

Narrator: And because Columbus’s voyage was successful many more people came to America. Amerigo Vespucci went there and knew it wasn’t India

Vespucci: I will call this America!! Everyone:

The End

 Alec:  Alejandro Ruiz is a bilingual voice director and voice actor. Since 2015 Alejandro has narrated more than 300 audio books for the Library of Congress archives in Washington, DC, most notably, the Spanish and English versions of Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff and Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward.  His voice can also be heard on National Geographic on various nationally broadcast anti-drug PSA’s for the US Department of Health, actually, wait, pause, in this moment of writing out of writing out his present credits and listing of accomplishments, Alejandro thought it important to give Alec the opportunity to say something nice about himself.  There is after all the global Health crisis currently ravaging the world and according to the internet Alejandro has gleamed that quote self care unquote and  quote positive self-talk unquote are very important in such times as such he’d like to give the lovely and gracious human who invited him to be a part of this project and moment to bask in the glow of self gratitude. So Alec, please say something nice about yourself. Okay. I am a wonderful and supportive friend.

Elora: 100%. can confirm.

Alec:  And now it’s time for a game all about the Taino people which were calling Tai-NOPE. Nope, sorry, not India. Chris.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  I’m going to say five amazing facts, about the Taino people and Lo, you’re going to guess if historians think its probably true or false. Are you ready to play?

Elora:  Ready

Alec:   Number one, the Tainos invented both the hammock and the canoe.

Elora:  True?

Alec:  Thats correct. That’s true. (bells) Number two.  Before Columbus arrived in the Bahamas. More than one million Taino people live there.

Elora:  I am going to say false just because a million is a lot.

Alec:  Actually, that’s true.

Elora;  Wow, really.

Alec:  Yeah, the highest estimates I read are around two million.  Number three.  In Taino society, only men could accumulate power and wealth.

Elora:  I hope it’s false.

Alec:  Correct (bells) its false.  Both men and women could hold power and wealth.  Number four.  The most common hair style was to wear it long in the back and have bangs in the front.

Elora:  I want to say true.

Alec:  That’s very true. (bells)  Fifth and lastly Europeans first learned about rubber from watching Tainos play a sport called Batu played with a rubber ball.

Elora:  I am going to say true

Alec:  That’s also true. (bellls) Lo, you won the game.  (applause)

Elora:  So many cool facts. Before we end with the joke of  the week, remember to go to to help us bring more kids stories to life.

Alec:  Pause this and do it now before you forget.

Elora:  Alec, Are you ready for the week?

Alec:  So ready.

Elora:  Why shouldn’t you tell and egg a joke?

Alec:  Why?

Elora: Because it might crack up.

Alec:  laughter  Bye,I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – 3 Stories by Kids Under 5

3 Under 5

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  Welcome to Written by Kids where you’ll hear short stories songs and poems all written by kids.

Elora:  We start today’s episode with an important announcement. We need your votes to help grow this podcast.

Alec:  Written by Kids has a chance to win a Peoples Choice Rodecaster Award. We win with the most votes. So we need you to vote. If all of you vote, we will win. If we win it would really help us grow this podcast, so that more and more people get to listen to these kids stories. Laugh at our dad jokes and say things like aww, that kid, did such a good interview.

Elora;  Plus we’d get publicity and a fancy award.  Who doesn’t like publicity and fancy awards? Nobody, that’s who.  So go to right now. That’s 

Alec:  Got to to help us bring more kids stories to life.

Elora:  And make all your friends vote.  Ask your family to vote. Voting is quick and easy. It takes just two seconds. Go to

Alec:  Do you think we said it enough times?

Elora: (laughter)

Alec:. All right, on today’s episode, we’ll present three amazing short stories by three amazing young writers, all under 5 years old. So, get ready to hear about dragons, fairies, parkour-parkour, babies and good tigers. Then we’ll end with a joke of the week.

Elora:  Lets get to it. Up first is Princess Rosie and the Dragon, by 4 year-old Emma performed by rena marie.

rena marie :  (music) Once upon a time, there was a princess named Princess Rosie. And so, she could not leave her castle because there was a fire-breathing dragon that guarded it! (growling sounds) Princess Rosie was born in the castle. A mean goblin named Yog Maw put the dragon there. (evil laughing sounds)  And so, one day, a prince came to save her because he had heard about the beautiful princess. (sword slashing sounds, prince’s voice saying aha!) The prince threw his axe (spinning sounds)  at the dragon (growling sounds) and lassoed the dragon.  (whipping sounds).  He actually hogtied the dragon (zipping sounds)  Then, he threw the dragon in a large pit! (splashing water sounds) Then he went up to the tallest tower and saved the princess with love’s first kiss. (kiss sounds) And Yog Maw was also hogtied (zipping sounds) and thrown into a pirate ship, (pirate voices) killed, and eaten by the fire-breathing dragon for breakfast, (munching sounds) lunch, (munching sounds) and dinner(burping sounds). And so Rosie and the prince got married. (change of music) And soon after that, they had kids. They had a daughter named Little Rosie and a son named Edward. The end.

Alec:  rena marie is a Baltimore-based actor, carpenter and artist, who always wears the same necklace like the characters on TV shows who have a unique costume piece so that we can recognize them in the childhood flashback scene.

Elora:   Our second story is called Fenix’s Fairytale by three-year-old Fenix, performed by Paris Brown,

Paris Brown:  (music) Once upon a time, there was a fairy called Crinzil.(fairy dust sounds). She said, (echo sounds) We should use our big wings to flap and fly around to make us sleepy. (flapping sounds) then Crinzy said, “We use our big wings to flap and fly.  She added, This is fun, flapping around. I don’t know what it is flapping and flying around. (more flapping sounds) What is it Crinzil?  Then Crinzil said, I don’t know but it sounds fun. Then the bad guy said, Ha Ha Ha  This is fun. (evil voice)  Her name is Twings, I dont know where we are Crinzel.  Crinzel said, I don’t know the way out either. Then they both said, We have to get out of here. There was a great girl named Twinkle Bell (fairy dust sounds) that saved them. The End (in echos)

Alec:  Paris Brown is a Baltimore-based actor and the director of education at Open Space Arts.

Elora:  Our last story today comes from three-year-old Yossi.. Its called Brave Tully, performed by our very own Alec.

Alec:  (music) Mama and I were walking in the forest. Then we bumped into some gems. Mama bumped into two white gems and I bumped into two orange gems. Then we got super powers. I turned into an orange tiger (growling sounds) and Mama turned into a white Siberian tiger. (more growling sounds) We couldn’t talk but we could go in the snow and crash into people’s houses. We were sneaky in people’s houses and going in snow. Then we walked into a bunch of babies’ rooms and sneaked into one baby’s crib that belonged to Nessie, my baby sister. And then we went to sleep with her (snoring sounds) and went out of her crib. We were good tigers who fight bad guys. We went into my big brother Tully’s top bunk and went to sleep with him. (more snoring sounds) Then we woke up, climbed down his ladder, and we were still tigers. It was the morning and I roared! (roaring sounds) Tully woke up and saw that we were tigers and he was scared. Tully ran out of the house screaming! Then Mama and I ran outside, super fast, chasing Tully, and we were faster than Tully. Tully was brave and did “parkour parkour” on our heads. (parkour sounds) Tully tripped and fell on nothing and didn’t get hurt because he was invisible! He got super powers when he jumped on our heads! And that’s the end.

Elora:  If you liked those stories; if they made you laugh or smile – then go to and click vote now to help us grow this podcast and bring even more kids stories to life.

Alec:  Lo, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  What do you call a labrador who does magic?

Elora:  I want to say its something like an abracadabrdor

Alec:  A labracadabrador.  Your right!

Elora; I got it! Kind of!

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – Lost with the Cicadas – by Tully, 6

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora:

Alec:  And this is Written by Kids where professional actors perform short stories songs and poems all written by kids. Today, we have two episodes out. The other episode is a hilarious mini bonus trivia episode all about cicadas.  We had on two very funny guests, actors and teachers Will and Jenny. Dalrymple.  On this episode, we have a short game, a short story called, Lost with the Cicadas by six-year-old Tully, a very cute, very funny interview with the young author Tully, and then we’ll end with the joke of the week. Today’s short story is called Lost with the Cicadas, but Lo, (cough) Lo (in a much lower voice) Cicadas are wonderful for so many reasons.

Elora:  Are we going to play a game?

Alec:  We’re going to play a game.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  It’s called, So it turns out to go back to our roots, we have to go out on a limb.

Elora:  (laughter)  Terrible. I love it.

Alec:  In this game. I’m going to say one fact about cicadas, but I’m going to say it weird with all the emphasis on all the wrong syllables.

Elora:  Oh no.

Alec:  And you’ll have to guess what I’m saying. Are you ready to play?

Elora;  Oh goodness. All right. This is going to be hard. Ok.

Alec:   Ok I had this before. Well see how it goes. The largest cicadas live in Malaysia (with accents on all the wrong syllables)

Elora:  The something cicada lives in Malaysia?

Alec:  Yeah

Elora:  I don’t know what the something word was.

Alec:  OK You will get it, you will get it the second time.  The largest cicada lives in Malaysia (with accents all on the wrong syllables)

Elora:  The largest, the largest cicada.

Alec:   That’s correct. (bells and applause)  The largest cicada lives in Malaysia. Its wingspan is eight inches long.

Elora:  Oh my god, that is terrifying.

Alec:  Well lucky for us it won’t be terrifying for long, because the story coming up was written to make people less scared of cicadas, Hi Tully.

Tully:  Hello

Alec:  So what inspired you to write this story about cicadas?

Tully’s mom: What do we do at night? What did you want to see?

Tully:  Cicadas that like unroll their wings.

Tully’s mom:  So what did we do?

Tully:  So we went outside.  And we saw one that was going to unroll its wings  But since Ellie was finishing a video thing, we missed the part where it would unroll its wings..

Tully’s mom:  We came with Yossi and Nessi also, his little brother and little sister; they wanted to go back. And we were staring at this one cicada forever, he had emerged and the wings were rolled up. Tully really wanted to see it unroll its wings, and we were just watching and watching, and nothing was happening and Yossi and Nessi wanted to go home so then what happened?  We took them home and I said Tully, don’t worry nothings happening. I’m sure that it will still look like this when you get back.  And then Ellie brought you back? And what happened?

Tully:  The wings unfolded

Tully’s mom:  We will try it again tonight.

Tully: uh hum, and I won’t bring my little brother or my sister because then they won’t be like I want to go home.

Tully’s mom:  (laughter)

Alec:  (laughter)  And now, Lost with the Cicadas by Tully, performed by me.

Alec:  (music)  Once there were two boys, they were twins. One was named Jack and the other was named Jake, they had creature power suits, like in the show, Wild Kratts.  Creature power suits are a type of vest where you can put animal discs in (disc entering machine sounds) and get animal powers (growling sounds, bird sounds, howling sounds) Jake and Jack were searching for cicadas because they wanted cicada powers. Cicadas are a kind of insect that don’t hurt you. You can be a friend to them. Jack’s creature power suit with blue; Jake’s was red. Jack already had tiger power (howling sounds) and Jake had lion power (growling sounds). They are both really powerful because the tiger can camouflage into grass and the lion is the top of the food chain. But they also wanted cicada powers because cicadas are cool and everyone in their village wanted to see cicadas emerge. Finally, they got cicada powers when the cicadas emerged, and their inventor made the cicada disc, (disc entering a machine sounds) but with cicada powers, they needed to do the cicada life cycle. They start off looking kind of like, Mike and Ikes, after sucking on them a bunch, then they got to the second stage called nymph. They didn’t have to go under the ground for 17 years because their creature power suits got an upgrade.  It was night; so they were emerging, they came out of their shell. (crackling sounds)  and unfolded their wings.(locks opening and closing sounds).  Then they got to the flying stage.(cicada sounds) They flew into the woods with the other cicadas, but they flew too far and got lost. There was a chicken in the woods. (chicken clucking sounds) And it thought Jake and Jack were real cicadas and it tried to gobble them up.(chicken clucking sounds). So Jake and Jack quickly turned back into themselves by deactivating their creature power suit. (computer shut down sounds) It was really cool, and fun, and a little scary being a cicada and they helped people not be afraid of cicadas by showing them that they are harmless.  The End.  (music continues, with cicada sounds in the background)

Tully:  Before you leave, I want to tell you something.,

Alec:  OK.

Tully:  You know, how I mentioned that cicadas don’t hurt you?

Alec:  Yeah.

Tully:  Once a cicada climbed up my shoe.

Alec:  In your shoe?

Tully:  No, on my shoe.

Tully’s mom:  Did it hurt you when it climbed on your shoe?,

Tully:  No.

Tully’s mom:  No, when you learn more about things, then you don’t have to be as afraid.

Tully:  I was just like, Mama look, its on my shoe.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Elora:  Before we end with the joke of the week, if you liked that story, if it made you laugh smile or go aww, then please go to and click the support us button. You can support us for as little as $0.99 a month – that’s and the support us button.

Alec: If you are unable to help with the support us button, right now, other things you can do to help are rate the podcast, review the podcast, share the podcast, those things make a huge difference, they help us bring you episodes like this one. Lo, Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  What would happen if Americans switched from pounds to kilograms overnight?

Elora:  I don’t know.

Alec:  Mass confusion!

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora: Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – Mini Bonus: Cicadas! Ah!

Alec: I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And this is a bonus episode of Written by Kids. Today two episodes are out. This episode is a fun cicada trivia episode with two hilarious, special guests. And the other episode out today has a short story called Lost with the Cicadas by six-year-old, Tully.  His story’s got super powers, its got danger, its got empathy, and Tully wrote that story so that people would be less afraid of the cicadas. So when you’re finished laughing it up over here, go on to that episode. Listen to Lost with the Cicadas by six-year-old Tully.

Elora:  Today we are joined by two hilarious actors and teachers who we thought would just be amazing guests for this

mini-bonus episode like this.  Will and Jenny Darymple.  Hi Will and Jen.

Will:  Hi

Jen:  Hi

Will:  We are super excited to be here.

Elroa:  We are excited to have you.

Alec:  We are. So our first game is a trivia game. Its called Cicada songs were better when it was less popular and more underground.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  I’ll ask a question and whoever buzzes their buzzer first gets to answer,  if you get it right, you get a point. If you get a wrong, someone else gets to buzz and answer, there are three questions.

Alec:  Get two –

Jen:  – Buzz

Everyone:  (laughter)

Jen:  Do I win?

Alec:  Yeah, I mean, you do.  There are three questions, get two out of three right to win. Are you ready to play?

Will:  We are ready.

Jen:  Yes

Alec:  Question one. Which of these is a real book for kids about cicadas? Is it A, the story of a very posh upper-class cicada called, Excuse Me, its Mr. Cicada to you. Is it B, a book of songs about cicadas including Born to Run into stuff. Hey Brood and Hallelujah but only one verse because we only have four weeks. Is it?

Jen:  (laughter)

Alec:  Is it C, Cicada Olympics, a book with activities for kids to do with cicadas including putting them in little boats and little toy trucks and making them compete. Or is it D? All of the above?

Jen:  Buzz

Alec: Yes, Jen

Jen:  Buzz Buzz

Alec:  Yes

Jen:  Umm, you know, like a cicada.

Will:  Yeah, I get it, I get it.

Jen:  Um, I think it’s C, the book about the Olympics, the cicada, who went to the Olympics.

Alec:  C is correct (bell and applause)

Elora: Yea. Well done.

Alec:  Cindy Smith wrote a book based on the time she led the very first cicada olympics with a bunch of second graders. It’s good for kids. It’s good for cicadas. They really came out of their shells.

Elora:  Agggghhhhh

Jen:  (laughter)

Alec:  Question two.  Most of this year’s brood X cicadas are all pretty much the same. But what makes some of them different? Is it A, instead of reddish orange eyes, some cicadas have bright blue eyes? Is it B, instead of just hiding out in trees for safety, some of them hideout by wasps nest for extra safety. Is it C? Instead of finding a mate by singing, some of them are more successful by playing the drums.  Or is it D, all of the above?

Elora;  Buzz

Alec:  Yes

Elora;  Which was the one about blue eyes?  Was that A?

Alec:  Yes, and A is correct. (bells and applause)

Jen and Will:  What?

Elora:  I know that one for a fact

Will:  Woa

Elora:  Some of them have blu eyes for some reason this time

Will:  As someone with eyes, they have been described as quite blue, I think that might be more haunting to me than the big red eyes.

Alec:  Is it that they remind you of you?

Elora:  Yeah, they remind you of you?

Will:   I mean, I mean, I’ve run into stuff at high velocity as well.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  So yeah, some of them have blue eyes but their eyesight is the same. It’s not like they can suddenly see more those blue jeaned, babies on the edge of seventeen,

Will:  Wow

Alec:  Behind Blue Eyes.

Will:  There’s a lot going on in there.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  Is it enough though? That’s the question.

Elora:  Oh my goodness.

Alec:  Okay, third and final question. How do cicadas make their song? Is it A, they contract and relax two little membranes on the side of their little bodies really fast? Is it B, they rub their little wings together really fast?  Is it C, they clap their little legs together really fast? Or is it D all of the above?

Will and Jen:  Buzz, Buzz

Alec: Yes, Will.

Will:  D. All of the above.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Alec:  I wish, but that is absolutely categorically false.

Jen:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes, Jen

Jen:  Um, OK, I’m going to say that its their, like I want to say membrane, because that sounds like scientific, but I’m going to say wings because I picked up a cicada at school to carry it outside and I picked it up by its wings and I was like, ooh, I’m so brave and ooh I am so strong, ooh I am a better woman, I can do whatever I want.  And then its wings went zzzzz  and I went ahhhh and through into the air and it, um. eventually got outside safely, so I am going to go with wings.

Alec:  Wings incorrect.

Jen:  Dang it! Drat!

Elora:  It is the membrane.

Alec:  That means Lo, you won the game. (applause)

Jen:  Yeah

Elora:  That means it’s time for our second game which we are calling All Quiet on the Western Front. Yeah, we know. Stop rubbing it in.

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora;  I’m going to say a vocabulary words related to cicadas and you’ll have to work out together as a team to guess what It means by asking me yes or no questions. Are you ready to play?

Jen:  No.

Elora:  Too bad

Jen:  Oh wait, we ask questions. We don’t answer, yes or no.

Jen:  Go, yes

Elora:  The word is antibiotic

Alec:  Does it not mean what it usually means?

Elroa:  I mean it does. But its how its connected to cicadas that you have to figure out.

Will:  How it relates to cicadas?

Elora;  um mm

Jen:  Does this relate to their shells?

Elora:  No.

Alec:  Does is relate to the mess of goo that they are before they do other stuff?

Elora;  Nope.

Will:  Does it relate to their overall size?

Elora:  Not size, no.

Alec:  Is it that some part of them or all of them can be used as or mixed in with, or is an enzyme for an antibiotic.

Elora;  There’s a whole lot to impact there. So I’m going to say part of them. Yes.

Jen:  Alright, does it have to do with their thorax?

Elora:  It does not.

Jen:  I don’t know what part that is but I know that’s a bug word.

Everyone: (laughter)

Elora:  An SAT word.

Will:  Does it have something to do with the weird blue cicada eyes?

Elora:  No, not the cicada eyes.

Jen:  Wings.  Does it have to do with the wings?

Elora:  Yes, it does

Alec:  Are their wings an ingredient in.

Elora;  They are not an ingredient in an antibiotics but their wings are naturally antibiotic. So their wings are covered in these little teeny tiny, nanoscopic spikes that basically make them water repellent and shred bacteria

Alec:  Woa

Elora So they are naturally resistant to bacteria.

Jen:  So you’re saying if I have a cut on my arm,

William:  every 17 years

Jen:  All I need to do is go outside, rip off the wings of cicadas, and just plaster them on my arm.and

Elora:  It’s not my recommendation but it could be a good experiment. I would look forward to hearing the results.

Will:  As your husband, I’m going to go out there and say I am going to spend the money on Band-Aids.

Alec:  Lo, Who won that game?

Elora:  Everyone did. (applause) Alright everyone, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec:  Yes.

Will:  Let’s do it.

Elora:  Why was Cinderella thrown off the basketball team?

Alec:  Something about a ball.

Will:  Oh really, I was going,. I was going shoe.

Alec:  Are you going shoe?

Will:  I have no idea? I’ve got no idea at all.

Elora:  She ran away from the ball.

Will:  There it is.

Alec:  And only one shoe.

Elora: Only one shoe.

Will:  Thank you for asking us to do this.  Please ask us to do it again.  We’d be more than happy.

Written By Kids is production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – Shadow Creek Falls – By Shimmy, 10

Alec:  Hi I’m Alec.

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And this is Written by Kids where professional actors perform short stories, songs and poems, all written by kids. And on today’s episode, a game, an interview with the young author of today’s story, 10 year old Shimmy. Then his story Shadow Creek Falls, an action adventure story about two boys who go out for groceries and end up in the woods, then we’ll end with the joke of the week.

Elora:  Before we play our game, remember, your child’s story can be on this podcast. Just go to and click the submit for podcast button.  That’s, submit for podcast button.

Alec:  Today’s story is called Shadow Creek Falls therefore our game will be all about waterfalls. The name of the game is I tried to see the waterfall, but I just missed.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  I am going to say five amazing things about waterfalls, and Lo, you can guess if they are true or false. Are you ready to play?

Elora:  I am so ready.

Alec:  Number one, the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel was 63 years old.

Elora:  True

Alec:  Correct. (bells) That’s true. Number two, that 63 year old, Annie. Edson Taylor, said afterwards about her trip. Quote, I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces, than make another trip over the fall.

Elora:  True (bells)

Alec:   Correct, that’s true.  Number three. The tallest waterfall in the world is 2,000 feet tall.

Elora:  False?  (bells)

Alec:  Correct, that is false.  The tallest waterfall in the world is in Venezuela. Is 3,212 feet tall. Its called, and I’ll do my best, Kerepakupai Merú  Falls .Number four.. There’s a type of goby fish in Hawaii, which can swim up 328 foot tall  waterfalls by using its mouth as a kind of suction cup.

Elora:  True?  (bells)

Alec:  Correct. That’s true.

Elora:  (laughter)  That’s wild.

Alec:  Number five, underwater waterfalls exist in places where the currents in the temperature of the water create conditions, where water essentially falls down a cliff underwater and the largest one is between Iceland and Greenland. Its 11,000 feet tall or deep depending how you look at it.

Elora:  True.

Alec:  (bells)  Correct that’s true. That means you won the game (applause)

Elora:  Yeah!  (applause)  Woo.

Alec:  Today’s young author is 10 years old. He loves writing stories. This story was inspired by a time when he actually got lost in the woods with his friends. He likes playing with his five brothers and one little sister, he also likes drawing. Hi Shimmy.

Shimmy:  Hi Alec.

Alec:  The main characters Benji, and Josh are troublemakers, and pull a lot of pranks in school. You seem to know a lot about that. Are you a troublemaker? And do you pull a lot of pranks?

Shimmy:  OK, so on zoom, I do, I have like, I do a lot of stuff like that but in class, I just think of wanting to do that, but like, I don’t have the stuff that I could.

Shimmy’s mom:   I think he gets into like, fun kind of mischief. I think you should tell about the time, when you, you tied a bunch of karate belts together.

Shimmy:  So we tied it around on the stairs that go to the balcony, then we put the rope over the balcony, and we tied it around one of our younger brothers and we pulled him up.  It was fun.

Shimmy’s mom:  Pretty fun Shimmy.(laughter)

Alec:  Do you like to hike?  And if you do, where is your favorite hike?

Shimmy:  I go to this adventure camp, its basically all hiking. So we went on this hike and there was this like log that was like maybe 10 feet above water. Somebody dared me to flip off of it. So I said, if you give me $5 and he was like sure and then I was like actually 10 and then he was like OK.  So I flipped off of it, I landed on my stomach.

Shimmy’s mom:  It looked painful.

Shimmy:  I flipped over; I did like one and a half flips.

Shimmy’s mom:  I was like, did you know the water was deep enough?

Alec:  (laughter)

Shimmy:  You had already jumped into it.  That’s why I said, but nobody did any flips yet.

Elora:  And now Shadow Creek Falls by 10 year old Shimmy, performed by Jude Sandy and remember to stick around after the story for the joke of the week.

Jude Sandy:   (music) “I’m not going to the store and you can’t make me!” Benji Porter yelled. “I wish I could go but I can’t, I need to watch Alice, now get out of here and go!” Benji’s older sister, Jennifer demanded. Benji’s mom had given birth to Benji’s baby sister, Alice 3 months before so someone had to stay home and watch Alice. After a long argument, Jennifer kicked Benji outside, locked the door, (door locking sound)) unlocked the door, (unlocking door sounds)threw out a grocery list, (throwing paper sound) and locked the door again. (locking door sounds)

Benji was outside with a list and his phone. When Benji crossed the street, he immediately pulled out his phone and called Josh. Josh and Benji had been friends ever since first grade. Benji was 12 years old and he was the biggest troublemaker in his class, and maybe even in the whole school, that is besides his best friend Josh. Let me give you an idea of the kind of stuff they do: they would sneak up to the teacher’s desk and pour red food coloring (liquid pouring sounds) and a bunch of salt (salt shaker sounds) into the teacher’s coffee mug.  (voice saying hurry up, she’s coming) They would make farting noises (farting noises) when the teacher turned her back, and when she looked they would stop. (voice saying, what, did you hear something?) They would also do dangerous stuff together, like when they went down the biggest hill on their bikes (biking sounds) with their hands behind their backs. (voice saying, dude, we are going so fast) Or when they tried making a bridge over the river with nothing but duct tape, (tape tearing sounds) and then walked on it. (voice saying, dude, you are walking on duct tape, no I am falling off of duct tape.  Splashing sounds) Anyway, when Benji got to the store, Josh was outside waiting. They both went inside. Benji pulled out the list. This is what was written:

Grocery list

● 3 bags of Sugar

● 3 bags of Flour

● 5 bags of Leek

● 2 bags of Lettuce

● 2 bags of Avocado

● 1 bag of Tortilla Chips

● 3 packages of Ground Meat

“Yum! Looks like you’re having tacos for dinner.” Josh said. “Yeah we always have tacos on Wednesday,” Benji said. “Let’s just get everything on the list so we can actually do something fun.” Once they got everything and went to the shortest line they could find and they were checking out, Josh nudged Benji and said, “YO! Look at that, the Ultra Bubble Blast Gum just came out! We’ve got to get some!” “$1.25 for two pieces? No way we’re getting! They’re way overpriced; the regular bubble gum costs 15 cents a piece!” “Awww, come on they are supposed to be able to blow a bubble as big as your face or bigger and it’s ultra sticky! I promise I will pay you back, please can we get it? Pleassss?” Josh pleaded “Okay Fine!” Benji said. He bought two pieces for each of them.

After they left the store, Mark Miles, the biggest kid in their class who just so happened to be a bully was waiting for them. There was one time at recess when Josh accidently rolled a rubber ball that Mark tripped on. Mark was always waiting to get back at them. That’s why whenever Josh or Benji saw Mark, they would play near a teacher. Well there weren’t any teachers to save them now. Josh couldn’t move; he opened his mouth to blow a bubble with his Ultra Bubble Blast Gum one last time. He blew so hard, but instead of blowing a bubble, (blowing bubble sounds) it flung out of his mouth and onto the floor. (plopping sounds) Mark was walking nearer and nearer to them but he all of a sudden stopped, looked down at his shoe and saw that it was stuck on Josh’s Ultra Bubble Blast Gum, and he couldn’t move. Mark yelled at Josh and Benji, “I’LL GET YOU BACK FOR THIS!!” Josh and Benji sped right past Mark and all the way home. “Told ya we should get Ultra Bubble Blast Gum.” Josh said, looking proud of himself. Benji made a face at him and ran up to the door and knocked. (knock on door sounds) Jennifer opened it and Benji dropped the groceries inside and ran back outside to Josh.

When he came back out, Josh was looking at something on the ground. He yelled to Benji, “Come over here and look at this!” Benji ran over and saw a map. “What’s so special about a map?” he asked. “This is the hike everyone’s talking about going on!” Josh replied. “You mean Shadow creek Falls?” Benji asked excitedly. “But we’ll have to pay. You do know it costs to go?” Benji said slowly, getting less excited. “What if we sneak in?” Josh said mischievously. “How’re we going to sneak in without people seeing?” Benji asked. “We use the map and find a secret entrance!” Josh said excitedly. “So you in?” he added. “Let’s do this!” Benji replied. When they got to the entrance, they looked at the map. They saw that if they cut through from the right side, they’d get a headstart on the hike without anyone seeing them. They went through, and sure enough, they were on the trail. Then, they heard footsteps coming from behind them. (footstep sounds) Josh whispered to Benji, “Someone saw us sneak onto the trail. Let’s run into the woods so they can’t see us, then we’ll go back on the trail.” They both ran through the trees (running sounds) weaving in and out, then jumped behind a bush. “You think we lost them? Are they gone?” Benji breathlessly asked Josh. “UmBenji, I can’t really see the trail. I think we went too far out.” Josh said nervously. “Huh? You mean you don’t know where we are and how to get back?” Benji said, just as nervous as Josh. “Well I’m pretty sure we came from that way so let’s just go back this way,” Benji said pointing in a direction. “Okay let’s go,” Josh said.

They both ran in the direction Benji pointed (running sounds) in, but after they ran for a while, they knew they were more lost than ever. “What’re we gonna do?” Josh said, nervous asever. Benji just remembered “I have my phone!” he yelled excitedly. “Well what’re you waiting for! Call someone!” Josh yelled. He reached into his pocket and his face went as white as a ghost. “It must have fallen out of my pocket when we were running!” he cried. “At least we have the map.” (bird sounds) Josh said. “We don’t know where we are.” Benji said practically sobbing. “Should we run a different way?” Josh suggested.

“We’re as lost as ever, I guess there’s no point in not going. we may actually get back on the trail.” Benji said. They ran and ran but still they couldn’t see the trail. (bird sounds) Josh suddenly opened his mouth and laughed. “What’s going on, why are you laughing?” Benji asked. “Do you hear that!” Josh said. Josh looked so happy it was like he just found a teleporter. “It’s a waterfall!” Josh began running toward the noise. “Slow down! What about a waterfall!” Suddenly it hit him! The hike is called Shadow creek Falls because at the end of the trail there’s a waterfall! He ran as fast as he could toward the waterfall! (waterfall sounds) They got to the waterfall and saw many people looking at it. “Well that was one heck of a hike!” Josh exclaimed. The end.

Alec:  Jude Sandy is an actor, director, teacher and movement artist. He’s worked on Broadway. Off-Broadway at Shakespeare Theater Company Guthrie Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Barrow Street Theater, Lincoln Center Theater and a bunch of other places and he didn’t write this part, but he’s also one of the most wonderful and generous people that I’ve ever known. You can learn more about him at  Where did you get the idea for Ultra Bubble Blast gum?

Shimmy:   Cause it had to be, it had to make sense for it to be, for it to cost so much or whatever.

Alec:  (laughter)

Shimmy:  Um so, I tried to make it have like some special powers whatever.

Alec:  I’m not going to lower the price. I’m going to make the gun more valuable.

Shimmy:  Yep,

Alec:  Thank you, Shimmy. This was so much fun.

Shimmy:  It’s been a pleasure.

Alec:  Lo, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora:  I’m so ready.

Alec:  Why did the man fall down the well?

Elora:  Why?

Alec:  Because he couldn’t see that well.

Elora:  Ahh.  I should have seen that coming.

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – Mini Bonus: Hiking

Alec:  I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec:  And this is a special mini bonus episode of Written By Kids.  We  will be joined by an amazing young author and her mom to play two trivia games, all about hiking and nature, because next week we will bring you a short story about two boys who go out for groceries real quick, but somehow end up finding their way into the woods. Its called Shadow Creek Falls by ten year old Shimmy.

Elora:  Before we meet our guests and play our games. Remember your child’s short story can be on this podcast, go to MoonHouse. org and click the submit for podcast button.  That’s and the submit for podcast button.  Our guests today are the young author of A  Scary Castle, which comes out in October, Riya. And her mom, Meenakshi.  Hi Riya and Meenakshi.

Riya and Meenakshi:  Hi.

Alec:  Our first trivia game is called Welcome to the Big Leaves.

Elora:  (laughter)  OK

Alec:  (laughter)  Here are the rules. Riya and Meenakshi, you are a team.  Lo, you are a team. I’m going to ask a question and whoever buzzes their buzzer first gets to answer. You get it, right, you got a point. If you get it wrong, the other team gets to guess. Get two out of three right to win the game. Are you ready to play?

Riya:  Yes

Meenakshi:  yes, yes

Alec:  All right, question one, In 2014, a world record was set on the tallest mountain in Wales.  Which of these is that record? Is it A, the most number of consecutive back flips going down a mountain? Is it B, the longest game of table tennis ever played on a mountain without even one ball falling down the mountain? Or is it C, the most number

Meenakshi:  Buzz

Alec:  number of people

Meenakshi:  (laughter)

Alec:  Wait.  Don’t you want to hear the last one first? or is C, the most number of people to eat vegan cake on a mountain?

Meenakshi:  Buzz

Alec:   Yes, Meenakshi and Riya.

Riya:  A

Alec:  You’re going with the backflips?

Meenakshi:  Yeah

Alec:  Thats’ a great guess but it is incorrect. Elora, do you want to guess?

Elora:  C?

Alec:  C is correct.  (applause and bells)

Elora:  Is it really?

Alec:  Yes (laughter)

Elora:  (laughter)  It’s like why would people care? But also that sounds like

Alec:  213 people ate vegan cake on top of Mount. Snowdon, it took them four hours to get the top and afterwards, several participants said I was kind of on the fence about being a vegan before, but now I’m definitely not doing it.

Elora:  (laughter)

Meenakshi:  I think the back flips were more exciting.

Elora:  Definitely more exciting.

Alec:  That was definitely the better answer.

Riya:  I think table tennis was exciting.

Elora:  Table tennis was also exciting.

Alec: Question two.  What is the oldest known hike for pleasure in recorded history?  Is it A?  In the year 125 Roman Emperor Hadrian walked up an eleven thousand foot volcano in Sicily just for fun. Is it B?  In 49 BC Egypt’s Queen Cleopatra left one morning without notice and returned three days later claiming she just wanted to walk for a while.  Or is it C?  In 1792 BC Babylonian King Hammurabi went for just a short walk but when he came back, he claimed he discovered a new color called purple and no one believed him until eight years later when they accidentally invented purple dye which became the most common color of royalty.

Meenakshi:  Hmm.  Do you want to say buzz

Riya:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes, team Riya

Riya:  C

Alec:  C is again, the best answer but wrong.

Meenakshi:  We are really bad at this.

Elora:  That is okay.

Alec:  Elora, do you want to guess?

Elora:  B?

B is also incorrect.  So the answer is A. The Roman Emperor Hadrian just walked up one of the most active volcanoes in the world just for fun. And when asked why he said, I don’t know, I was just Roman

Elora:  (laughter)  He just liked to live dangerously.

Meenakshi:  C was a very long explanation so that made me say that it might not be correct.

Alec:  Question three.  Which of these is true about Yellowstone. National Park?  Is it A?  Yellowstone has over half of the worlds geysers?  Is it B?  Yellowstone, has over 1,000 miles of hiking trail? Or is it C?  All of Yellowstone, as large as it is, is one giant volcano?

Meenakshi:  Buzz

Alec:  Yes. Team Meenakshi and Riya.

Meenakshi:  C

Alec:  C is correct.  (bells and applause)  And they were all correct.

Meenakshi:  Yes they were. I know. I was going to say if I had all of the above.

Elora: (laughter)

Alec: Ah, so that means the winner of that game, we are going to say, is team Riya and Meenakshi.

Meenakshi:  Have you guys been to Yellowstone?

Elrora;  No, not yet

Meenakshi:  Gorgeous, Gorgeous

Alec:  When were you there?

Meenakshi:  Umm, Before kids, so definitely eight years back.  (laughter)  And the most unique thing is you step and you smell sulfur because of all the geysers.  That’s the first thing you smell.

Alec:  Wow

Elora:  And that means its time for our second game which we’re calling hiking, Its all the range.

Alec:  (laughter)

Meenakshi:  Hah

I’m going to say a vocabulary word related to nature and all of you as a team are going to ask me yes or no questions, in order to figure out the definition of the word, Are you ready to play?

Alec:  Yeah

Meenakshi:  Yeah

Elora:  The word is Moonglade.

Alec:  Does it  have something to do with trees?

Elora:  It does not.

Meenakshi:  Does it have anything to do with hiking at night?

Elora:  At night, yes

Riya: Is it when you see the moon at night?

Meenakshi:  While hiking?

Elora:  No.

Alec:  Is it the reflection of Moonlight on things at night?

Elora:  It is.

Alec:  Yay!

Elora:  Moonglade or Moonwake is the reflection of moonlight on the water. So during the day it is a sunglade or a sunwake

when the sunlight reflects on the water.

Meenakshi:  Nice.

Elora:  I was hoping it was just obscure enough.

Meenakshi:  And it sounds gorgeous.

Alec:  Lo, who won that game?

Elora;  Everybody won! (applause)

Alec:  Well,  Riya and Meenakshi, it has been so much fun having you, but before we let you go. Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Meenakshi:  Yes!

What did the pebble say after it grew up?

Meenakshi:  What did the pebble say after he grew up?

Riya:  I’m a stone?

Alec:  That’s a really good guess.

Elora:  I don’t know. What?

Alec: I’m a little boulder now.

Everyone:  (laughter)

Meenakshi:  That’s a good one.

Alec:  So you are always always welcome back.

Meenakshi:  Whenever you guys need us just email us.

Elora:  Awesome

Meenakshi:  We would love a laugh,.and you know, chit chat, whatever.

Alec:  Alright. Well we will e-mail you soon about some more trivia and thank you so much for being here.  It was so much fun.

Elora:  Thank you for joining us.

Meenakshi:  Bye bye

Elora:  Take care. (music starts) Remember to come back for next week’s story, Shadow Creek Falls by ten year old Shimmy. Its got everything you want in an adventure story, friends, enemies, somewhat magical objects, a chase scene.  You don’t want to miss it.

Alec:  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye. I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript: Hat trick

Alec:  Hey everybody. I’m Alec,  one of the hosts of Written by Kids. And this week, we actually have two episodes out. On this episode we are going to play three amazing stories that were published last year because we are fortunate enough to have a lot of new listeners. And if you are new listener, hey, we are catching you up this episode. We don’t want you to miss out. But also, if you’ve been with us for a while now then you’ll get to be reminded of these three great stories from last year. The other episode out today, which you should listen to is a super fun, mini bonus episode where we play trivia with a young author and her mom and the trivia theme is nature and hiking. So we’re calling this episode hat-trick because hat-trick is a very silly word for when you score three goals in a sport and we are sharing three amazing stories.  First, an incredible adventure story about a knight on a mission who forgets something very important called The Forest Prisoner by Calvin, performed by Eric Poch.

Eric Poch:  (music) A fantasy novel for Dragon Geaks.  Prologue. Never before in the land of Nat’so’churn was a hero, like Oden.  Oden was a fearless fellow. He never cowarded, ran away from a situation, or fled a battle.  He stood, strong no matter what.  He knew what dangers he would face, and what monsters he would fight. At the Nashezberon Castle, the queen was getting ready to leave forever.  Oden, her son was getting ready to adventure off into the dark forest. Oden had only dreamed of going there, but he can’t get past the guards of the gate. He once tried an invisible potion, but it didn’t work. One night, Oden snuck out when the knights weren’t watching and ran into the forest. Then suddenly, a giant python lion jumped (hissing sounds) in front of him and stared into Oden’s eyes.(growling sounds).  His teeth were a perfect feature to his dead reputation. Suddenly, it hit Oden’s mind that the python lion was about to attack him from the look of it eyes (growling sounds)  Oden was terrified. So he ran back to the castle (running sounds) to get his sword.  As he ran the python lion chased him until he got to the castle. When he got there, Oden quickly slipped in through the (squeaking door sounds) backdoor.  Oden ran (footstep sounds) up the middle stairway to his room.   Oden grabbed his sword (sword sounds) and ran back to the forest where the python lion stood beneath the dark wood trees.  Oden pulled out his sword and took a swing…(sword sounds) chopping off one of the python-lion’s heads. The python-lion ran away into the dark forest.  Oden moved forward towards a Woodsman base camp, where he stumbled over a giant Darkwood root and a cage fell down over the(squeaking sounds) top of him. He tried to cut the bars (banging sounds) but they were too strong for his blunt (banging sound) sword. When the Woodsmen heard the clamp of the heavy cage they came running over with sharp Adamantine Spears. The first Woodsman said, “Who are you?” Oden replied, “ODEN OF THE NASHEZBERON CASTLE.” The Woodsman said, “Help us hunt. If you do not help us hunt, we will not let you go.” Oden responded, “Let me out!”(shaking sounds) The Woodsman laughed, “NO. I will not!” Oden said, “If you do not let me out I cannot help you!” The Woodsman sighed, (sigh sound) “Very well then,” and let Oden out.  (door squeak sounds)  Oden was escorted to the hunting spot by two guards that wielded dual adamantine swords and a bow and arrow. They got to the hunting spot and Oden was given a spear. A deer ran by and Oden threw the spear…(sound of spear hitting dear) He was let free, but the deer was innocent.  He ran off into the Dark Forest. While he was running he stumbled across the Python Lion (growling sounds) and it had an extra head. It hiss-growled(growling sounds) at Oden and he slashed at it.(slashing sounds)   It tried to bite Oden but he (slash sounds) slashed at it again. It finally fell to the ground and made one last hiss-growl (growling sound) before it perished.  Oden went home and took off his armor (metal clanking sounds) He hung up his sword. He had a peanut butter sandwich. Then he crawled into bed and finally slept.

Alec:  Eric Poach is an actor in Baltimore and probably the funniest person I’ve ever met.  When its safe, again, you can find him on stage at the Single Carrot Theater. Our next story, our second hat, as it were, is the story about two girls who might be identical, but they’re not identical, called Identical. Twins by Sarah, Leah, performed by Katie Ganem.

Katie Ganem: (music)  In  New York City  on a street called Pine street, there was a house with a small family  that lived inside. Inside the house was a  Mother and a  Father and two girls named Mary and Sari. They were twins. They shared a bed, had the same clothes and even had the same shoes—but  they both liked to do different stuff.  Mary liked biking but Sari liked hiking. Mary liked skipping, drawing and baking but Sari liked hopping and reading, and running. They didn’t even spend much time together. One day, Mary and Sari’s Mother took them to the Library. Sari was excited but Mary wasn’t. She wanted to draw instead!  So, at the library, Sari picked out  a lot of books while Mary just sat by the table. (sigh sounds).   The next day Mary and Sari’s Father took them biking.  Mary was excited but Sari wasn’t. She just wanted to read, while Mary wanted to hike! So, at the hike, Mary went really fast but Sari went slow. (yawning sounds) Mary continued to do the stuff that she liked and Sari did the stuff that she liked. Weeks passed. One day, Mother and Father had a surprise for Mary and Sari. The girls went outside and they saw a swimming pool! They both ran to change into bathing suits and they both (laughter and splashing sounds) jumped into the pool.  It’s nice to know that there’s at least one thing the twins both like to do!

Alec:  Katie Ganem is an actor, director and playwright, who lives in Washington, DC. She likes sewing, animal crossing reading and cuddling with her dog Lupin, much like the characters in the story. She also has a sister who likes to do different things, but its her best friend. Her last project was playing suffragist, Alice, Paul in the world premiere of 19, the musical. She’s a beautiful singer and you can listen to her sing on Spotify by searching for 19, the Musical. All right, we’re onto our third and final hat. Its about two boys who have to solve the mystery of what happened to their chickens in the night. Its called Our Pet Dinosaurs by Ellie and Shimmy, performed. By Brad McKnight Wilson.

Brad Mcknight Wilson: (music) This is a story that Max Warren would not have believed if it had not happened to him. He had heard recently about a very strange theory that chickens (chicken clucking sounds) are the closest relatives to dinosaurs, (growling sounds) and that they might even evolve back one day. “That’s just crazy”, thought Max. “We have three chickens in our backyard. There’s no way they are even remotely related to dinosaurs!” Max was in for a big surprise. One day when Max Warren was playing outside, he heard a strange howl (howling sounds) near the chicken coup. Normally, the hens did not make much noise other than soft clucks, but this time, they made a sound that sounded like a cough mixed with a lion’s growl. (growling sounds) It was very strange, but it didn’t happen again, so Max thought maybe he just imagined it. That night when Max was sleeping (crickets sounds) he heard that same sound.(growling sounds) It was how he thought a dinosaur growl might sound, but Max learned that dinosaurs are extinct, so he assumed that he was just imagining again. Then the sounds got louder and it sounded like something was eating (chomping sounds) outside. Max tried his best to ignore it (cricket sounds) and finally fell into a deep sleep. (snoring sounds) The next day was Wednesday so when Max woke up it was his turn to give food and water to the chickens. Max went outside (footstep sounds) and saw that both their backyard fence and the chicken coup were broken, and all three chickens were gone! Max didn’t know what to think, so he ran inside and told his older brother, John. John said he would come out right away, and he zoomed out there faster than a peregrine falcon, (fast running footstep sounds) with his feet moving faster than an Asiatic cheetah! It was amazing to watch John run  (sigh sound). John saw the broken coup and did not know what to do either. The two boys decided to tell their father, Mr. Warren, about the chickens. Mr. Warren went outside and was frightened by what he saw. He was too scared to do anything, so he darted back in the house at a shocking 289 M.P.H!!! (fast running footstep sounds) Max asked Mr. Warren, “Dad what should we do?” Mr. Warren asked his sons, “What do you think happened?” Max said, “Maybe a fox was able to break into the coup?” But then John said “Then there would be feathers scattered around the coup.” “So then what could have happened?” asked Max. Just then, the neighbors across on the other side of the now broken fence stormed over  (angry footsteps sounds) and said, “You took our dogs and you know it!” Everyone was silent, no one took their dogs. Max remembered the growling from last night but knew there was something else that happened but he couldn’t remember. Mr. Warren spoke up and said “Actually, I heard growling last night and after that I heard something eating! I assumed I was dreaming though.” John and Max stared at each other and said, “Are you saying something ate the dogs?” Right then and there, they heard a very small growl like they had never heard before. (soft growling sounds)  Everyone ran into the house to watch from safety. Suddenly, they heard a strange screech (screeching sounds) and heard a door creek.  (creeking sounds) The door opened and a huge shadow started coming closer and closer and closer. Out of the darkness came what looked like a velociraptor but with the feathers of a chicken. It ran around them as fast as a pronghorn at maximum speed(61 mph). (running footsteps and flapping feathers sounds) Suddenly two more appeared and started to run around John and Max along with the other one. Max said to John “don’t do anything stupid.” But of course he didn’t listen. He went up to the only one that stopped running while Max screamed “what are you doing!?!” John stroked it’s feathers then said “I think they are our chickens.” Max in his loudest whisper, “Are you kidding me!?!” “No I’m not,” said John. “That’s not possible,” said Max quietly. “How could the chickens have turned into velociraptors?” Max asked. “Also, who did it and why,” said John. Max remembered that crazy theory he had heard about, about chickens being related to dinosaurs. “It’s happening”, he thought. “Dinosaurs are back. We have pet dinosaurs.

Alec: Brad McKnight Wilson is an actor and a playwright. You can find his work on the New Play Exchange, or on Alright, we’re all out of hats. Next week, we’re bringing you Shadow Creek Falls, by Shimmy – a story about two boys who go out for groceries and end up in the woods. It’s got action, adventure, slightly magical objects, a chase; you don’t wanna miss it. And although it’s just me this episode, here’s your joke of the week: Where do frogs keep their hats? In the croak room.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – Zombie Apocalypse – by Yudi, 8

Alec: I’m Alec

Elora:  I’m Elora

Alec: And this is Written by Kids where you’ll hear short stories songs and poems all written by kids. On this episode, the game, the interview with this weeks young author, eight-year-old Yudi, his short story, Zombie Apocalypse, then some exciting news and we will end with the joke of the week.

Elora:  But, before we start, remember your child short story could be on this podcast, just go to MoonHouse.Org and click the submit for podcast button, that’s  the submit for podcast button.

Alec:  In a minute, you’ll hear Zombie Apocalypse. But first, Lo, the zombie apocalypse is special for so many reasons.

Elora:  Ooh, are we going to play a game?

Alec:  We’re going to play a game. Its called This game is brought to you by Aberzombie & Fitch, fruit of the tomb underwear and the Gap – in my intestines.

Elora:  (laughter)  Oh my goodness, (more laughter)

Alec:  I’m going to name five pairs of people and you’re going to tell me which one you’re taking for your Apocalypse Team. Are you ready to play?

Elora:  I’m ready.

Alec:  Number one, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, or Dwayne, The Rock Johnson?

Elora:  Ohhhh! That’s so hard. I want a scientist but muscle is so valuable.

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora:  I have to say The Rock.  (laughter)

Alec:  Number two. Sorry to make you choose one .

Elora:  (laughter)  Oh no.

Alec: Um, Miley Cyrus or Chris Rock.

Elora:  Chris Rock?

Alec:  Yeah, you’ve got to be entertained.  Number three.  Mallory, the character Sandra Bullock played in Bird Box, or Gracie Hart, the character Sandra Bullock played in Miss Congeniality.

Elora:  Aww. (laughter)  Um, I might have to go with Grace.

Alec: Yeah?

Elora:  Yeah

Alec:  OK, I ‘ll take Mallory, and you take Grace.

Elora:  OK.

Alec:  I’m taking all the ones that you’re leaving behind.

Elora:  (laughter)

Alec:  Ok. Number four.   Bear Grylls, or a young Sir David Attenborough.

Elora:  Maybe Bear Grylls.  I’m not 100 percent sold on the accuracy,

Alec:  (laughter)

Elora:  Of his, his career as a survivalist. But…

Alec:  Fair,  that’s fair.  Last one, Lex Luthor. Or Darth Vader.

ter)  Oh.. Maybe Darth Vader could, you know, kill them from a distance.  Um, I mean, I guess, I don’t know, are zombies susceptible to force chokes?

Alec:  We don’t know.

Elora:  We don’t know.

Alec:  That’s guess work, with Darth Vador

Elora:  I guess I will have to say Lex Luther.

Alec:  Your team is Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Chris Rock, Gracie Heart,  Bear, Grylls. And Lex Luthor.  Leaving me with Darth Vader. A young sir. David Attenborough Mallory from Bird Box, Miley Cyrus and Bill Nye. Well, now that that’s settled, its time for our interview, with the young author of Zombie Apocalypse himself. He likes reading especially scary stories. He also enjoys drawing and playing games is exactly in the middle of his family, with three big brothers and two little brothers and a little sister, which is kind of annoying, but not so bad. He’s eight years old,   Hi Yudi.

Yudi:  Hi.

Alec:  How did you come up with the idea to combine zombies with superheroes?

Yudi:  It just like popped in my mind. Like if you have superheroes and zombies, like, its not fair. Sort of like the superhero just automatically demolished the zombies, so you have to make it fair.

Alec:  The main character in Zombie Apocalypse. Bob Franklin, is eight and had put his past behind him. How old was he when he retired?

Yudi:  He was six when he retired.  And when he started, he was two.

Alec:  (laughter)

Yudi’s mom:  Hey, we have a two-year-old baby, and two year olds are quite capable.

Alec:  I’m sure you guessed, but that was Yudi’s mom.  And now Zombie Apocalypse by eight-year-old, Yudi, performed by Jack Dwyer.  And remember to stick around after the story for the joke of the week.

Jack Dwyer: (music starts) My name is Bob Franklin. I am 8 years old. I am going to tell you about something really crazy that happened at my house one night a few weeks ago. You might not believe it, but it is 100% true. It was a dark and stormy night. (rain sounds) Lightning struck, (thunder sounds) thunder rumbled. My little brother, six year old John, was scared. He cried, “We are going to die!” but Dad said to him, “Don’t be afraid, we’ll be OK.” I noticed a flash of green fill the room. (storm sounds continue) I thought, “No, it couldn’t be.” I opened the window to see what it was. I jumped back and screamed, “aaahhh!”. There was an ugly, bumpy face staring back at me with a blank expression. “Could it be… No, it must be a burglar”, I thought to myself. I called out to my father, “Dad, come quick!” He was still comforting John, who was crying, but he ran over and saw the hideous face. “What is that?!”, he exclaimed. “It’s so ugly! I’ll call the police!” Just then, I saw a purple flash come in through the window. (loud sound of metal falling) Suddenly, I knew what was going on. It was him. I knew what I had to do. Before my father had a chance to get to the phone, I called out, “Wait! Don’t do anything! I’ll tell you everything later, just trust me!” My family didn’t know this, but I’m not just a regular kid. I used to be a superhero. I thought that I had put my past behind me, really I just wanted to be a regular kid, (change of music) but now I realized that I had a job to do. I went to my room and pressed on a brick that was out of place. The wall opened up, (sliding sound) revealing a slide that led deep down into darkness. I slid down the slide to the bottom, where there was a secret room. In that room, there was an antique steel box. It was sealed shut, but I had the key. I opened the ancient box and took out a small, purple diamond. It was a magical stone.  (high pitched magic stone sound) Quickly, I went back up the secret passageway that led back up to my room, avoiding the lasers (laser sounds, explosion sounds) that started shooting out from the walls (I designed this security system, so I knew exactly where to go, but anyone else would have been zapped). I returned to my family and told my father and John to touch the stone. They looked at me quizzically but they did as I said. As soon as all of us were touching the purple stone together, bolts of purple lighting coarsed through our bodies. (laser sounds) We became superheroes! My father looked even stronger than before, and he was wearing a purple and black suit with a black mask. There was a spider on his chest. I told him, “Dad, you’ve got spider powers!” My brother, John, wasn’t crying anymore. He had a purple mask on his face and a purple suit with two arrows in an “x” shape on it. He had a bow and arrow in his hand. I told him, “You have expert aim!” I was myself of course, just in my super form. I had a purple cape, and wore a purple and black suit with a black “B” on my chest. I could now fly and my super strength and super speed returned. I even had x-ray vision and super hearing. I told my family to follow my lead. That ugly face wasn’t in the window anymore. I thought, “Oh man, maybe I did this all for nothing. Maybe I was imagining things.” But then, suddenly, there was a loud banging at the door. I looked out the peephole and saw that there were about 10 bumpy ugly drooling zombies! We went outside from the back to take them by surprise. They were not just regular zombies, they were superhero zombies! We battled them for hours. (laser zombie superhero fighting sounds) (silence) We thought we were finished but then suddenly, (music starts) We heard a bunch of weird noises like “RAAAAAAAAAgGCCChH!” I turned around and I saw that our whole block had turned into zombies! At least they were not superhero zombies. I told my dad and brother, “I’ll fight, you guys go inside and rest”. I went to battle with the zombies. It was a long, hard fight, but in the end, I won and transformed everyone back to normal with the power of my stone (magic stone sound) As I walked back home, I realized that I could not go back to being a regular kid. There is still too much evil in the world, and I have too much power inside me to just ignore it and do nothing. But at least now, I will have my family by my side. THE END

Alec:  Jack Dwyer is an actor and a writer. He’s done Shakespeare acting in the Upper Midwest at places like Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Next ACT Theater, and American Players Theater. He recently recorded The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Reading, for LearningAlly. Are you secretly a superhero? And if so what are your powers?

Yudi: I don’t really have any of those, like superpowers.  But if I would have one of those Powers, I would probably choose communicating with animals.

Alec:  A few quick things before we end with the joke of the week. First up, some exciting news.  Elora, you are the executive director of a wonderful community theater in Reisterstown, Maryland called Open Space, Arts, and you’re doing a radio play.

Elora:  Yes, our second ever radio play, we will be doing at The Scarlet. Pimpernel written by Elizabeth Salazar based on the novel by Baroness Orczy. It will be on. May 21st at 7:30 p.m. for the live performance and we’ll have a rebroadcast on May 29th at 7 p.m. go to for more information. Second, if we’ve ever made, you laugh, smile or go Aww, then, please go to click support us, and help us out that’s and the support us button.

Alec:  Other things you can do, share this podcast, rate the podcast, review the podcast. Rating and reviewing, might seem silly and simple, but it really does make a difference and really helps us out.

Elora:  OK Alec.  Are you ready for the joke of the week?

Alec :I’m so ready.

Elora:  This is what one of my students just told me and I’m very excited. What do you call a vegetable that cant keep a secret?

Alec:  What

Elora:  A parsnitch. (laughter)

Alec:  (laughter and sigh)  Bye, I love you.

Elora:  Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC

Transcript – Author Robin Yardi is here!

Alec: I’m Alec

Elora: I’m Elora

Alec: And this is a super special episode of written by kids. We are delighted to have a professional author here to answer our listener questions and to play trivia with us. She is the author of animal inspired books and novels for young readers. From beautiful non-fiction, to wacky fantasy, she lives with chickens turkeys, fish, a sulcata tortoise and a pink parakeet. You can learn about her books and writing workshops and library presentations at, because she is Robin Yardi. Hello, Robin

Robin: Hi. Thanks for having me..

Elora: To help us interview Robin, we are also joined by the six-year-old author of last week’s story, “What I look Forward to Most in 2021”, Neil, and his mom Shesh. Hi Neil, Hi Shesh.

Neil: Hi.

Alec: Robin, we are delighted that you are joining us. We have collected five amazing questions for you from our young authors and were going to ask you a few of them between each trivia game. Our first two questions actually came from Neil himself., Neil, are you ready to ask your questions?

Neil: Yes, So Miss Robinson. How old were you when you wrote your first book and what was it about?

Robin: So, my first story, not my first book , my first story, I wrote when I was in the fourth grade and I don’t know if I was eight or nine, but around that age, and it was about a boy who travels on the back of a magic sea turtle down to the bottom of the ocean and discovers this magical jewel encrusted palace with pearls everywhere. And I loved it, I thought it was great. I had absolutely copied that story from something else that I had read. But it was the first time I remember having an idea, writing it, and finishing it, and feeling really good about it.

Neil: Well, I agree with you that your story was pretty cool.

Robin: Thanks (laughter)

Neil: You know, some days I just have great ideas for some short stories that I write and illustrate. But other days I have complete writer’s block. So can you please give me some tips and little things so that I can have great ideas?

Robin: Sure. So I would say, number one, you should know that all writers feel like this. Some days we’re full of ideas and it feels easy to work on what we want to work on. And then other days, we don’t have ideas and we don’t want to work on the ideas that we do have. So I would say the first tip is – it okay to feel that way. And you can give yourself a break. And then I would say the second tip is – the ideas that you know, that you love, that you are really excited about, make sure you write them down and believe that they are good. And I think that you should also, if you do want to turn your ideas into stories, create what everybody calls an outline. An outline is like a list of what you’re going to do with your idea. Doesn’t have to be fancy. When I have an idea that I love, that I’m excited about, I make my outline, and I know that if I keep that outline next to me, that I can look at it again and it will help me feel excited and inspired. And I have a plan. I know how I’m going to do what I want to do. And then the other thing is, you should give yourself a schedule and it should be a nice schedule. Um, I don’t think that you should expect to be able to finish something in one day. When I’m working on a really big project, I’ll say I’m going to work on this little piece on Monday, and then I am going to work on this little piece on Tuesday, so that I know that I can, I can finish it and then it doesn’t feel so hard. And then, I think the best thing for you to do, after you’ve given yourself all those opportunities to succeed, is reward yourself. And that can be something really simple. I actually really love to reward myself by, I put little sticky notes on my wall right next to the spot where I read and it will be just like my list of things to do for Monday, and I take it off the wall, and when I’m done, I like to rip that piece of paper up. And it makes me feel really good. Its a super simple reward, but it makes me feel like, I’m done, I did it.

Neil: So sometimes I just write these really short chapter books, and I do it on different days. Sometimes on Mondays and then the next chapter on probably on a Wednesday, that’s the proper schedule?

Robin: Yes, that’s great. That’s absolutely- I’m not writing a whole book in a day, I might not be writing a whole chapter in a day. I’m not a magical being. I am a regular human; I have to take breaks. I have to have snacks and I need rewards just like you.

Neil: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Robin: Sure

Alec: It is now time to play trivia.

Robin: (laughter)

Alec: This week’s trivia theme is people with extraordinary abilities because next week’s story, “Zombie Apocalypse” by eight-year-old Yudi, without giving anything away, does have to do with people with extraordinary abilities. So our first game is called “Superman? I’ll take the soup please.”

Elora: (laughter)

Alec: Here are the rules, team one is Elora and Shesh.. You are a team. Team two, Robin, and Neil, you are a team. So I’m going to ask a question and whoever buzzes their buzzer first, you get to answer first if you get it right, you get a point. If you get it wrong then the other team gets to answer. I’ll ask three questions total so you need two to win. Are you ready to play?

Neil: Yeah (laughter)

Alec: Question 1. Daniel Kish lost his eyesight at age 13 but now says he can quote see through walls and in 360 degrees. How does he do that? Is it A, he echolocates like a bat or like sonar or radar by making clicking sounds with his tongue and listening to the reverberations. Is it B, he developed a helmet which can send electrical signals to his brain which mimics what any infrared camera might see or is it C? He became a public school teacher, and as part of his benefits package he got eyes in the back of his head.

Robin: (laughter)

Neil: Buzz

Yes, Neil.

Neil: Number B

Alec: B? You’re going with he developed the helmet?

Neil: Yeah, yeah

Alec: I’m sorry, but that is incorrect. Elora and Shesh, do you want to guess?

Shesh: A?

Alec: A, A is correct. (bell applause)

Neil: Oh, I was so close.

Elora and Robin: (laughter)

Alec: You were, you were one letter away. A is correct, not only can he hear all of his surroundings by making these clicking sounds, but he started an organization called, The World Access for the Blind, which teaches many blind children to see using echolocation.

Elora: That is so cool.

Alec: Question two. Jill Price has an incredible mental ability studied for years, but still not totally understood. What is her ability? A. She can, just by thinking about it, makes her skin so warm that she can sleep in the snow with just her pajamas on. Is it B? She can tell about 80% of the time if someone is lying and has been called the human lie detector by the FBI and the most frustrating Mom ever by her kids.

Everyone: (laughter)

Alec: Or is it C, she remembers absolutely everything from the time, she was 14 until now.

Neil: Buzz

Alec: Yes, Neil

Neil: I think its C

Alec: C is correct. (bell, applause)

Robin: Good one, I was going to guess C too.

Alec: Jill Price cannot help but remember absolutely everything. If you name a date she can tell you what day of the week it was. If you name the page of a book, she read, she can recite that page to you.

Shesh: No wonder you had the option B,

Everyone: (laughter)

Shesh: Because kids would think she was the investigator mom, right?

Everyone: (laughter)

Alec: Lastly, question three Smell, not extraordinary until you consider, that the average human can smell about 1 trillion. distinct smells. Which of these is also true about our sense of smell? Is it A, our sense of smell is stronger in the spring and summer, and after exercising. Is it B? Women are generally much better at identifying smells than men. Or is it C. Our sense of smell is our first sense to fully develop?

Neil: C

Alec: Well, the answer is all of the above so C is correct. (bells, applause) So it is just a bunch of cool stuff about our sense of smell.

Robin: Yeah

Alec: The winner of that game is Robin and Neil.

Neil: Yay! (applause)

Everyone: (laughter)

Robin: Well done.

Alec: That means its time for two more interview questions for Robin. Are you ready?

Robin: I’m ready.

Elora: This question comes from Shimmy, the young co-author of Our Pet Dinosaurs which came out on this podcast way back in October. Shimmy asks. I see that a lot of your books have animals in them. Which animal did you have the most fun researching?

Robin: So my answer to this is the same as when people ask me, what’s your favorite animal? And it’s all of them. I have fun researching, all of the animals that are in my books. When I am researching an owl for Owl’s Outstanding Donuts, what I’ll do is I’ll sit here in the room where I write my books and by myself perch like an owl and pretend to ruffle my feathers and wear a silly pair of you know, giant, yellow glasses, with no lenses in them. Just so that when I’m by myself, I can have fun. And, and really feel like when I write that owl character, it’s going to be goofy and its gong to be realistic, and it, it makes, it makes the research fun and it brings the things that I know about animals in real life and puts them in this, you know, fantastic setting where I know that an owl can rotate its head 270 degrees. I cant do that, but I can sit on my spinny chair in my desk, and I can see what it would be like, to be able to rotate my head 270 degrees.. You know, when I am researching skunks, I love to watch the midnight videos when I’m researching animals in the Galapagos I am looking at amazing pictures of animals that I might never have seen, so every animal for me is an opportunity to dream and pretend and enjoy. And, and fill my head with facts.

Elora: That’s awesome. This next question comes from Eli, the second young co-author of Our Pet Dinosaurs and older, brother, of, Shimmy. Eli asks, how do you come up with ideas for your books?

Robin: When I get a good idea, I feel like this magical (snap sound) snap And when I talk to kids in person I’ll actually have them snap. So, a snap is something that you hear, and its something that you feel in your fingers and it gives you this shivery prickle up the back of your neck. And to me, that’s what an idea feels like. And pop, its just there, all of a sudden. You weren’t thinking about looking for an idea, but it showed up. And I have talked to enough, humans, kids, adults to know that this is a pretty universal experience. I’ll say, have you ever had an idea? You were just doing something and pop, out of nowhere, you thought ooh, that’s a funny idea, or ooh, that’s a cool idea. Or scary, or beautiful. And ideas aren’t something that just happen to me, I think. Ideas are things that happen to everybody. And my ideas, I don’t think, are any better than a kid’s ideas. I think what is important to know about ideas, is that you notice them. So when you hear that (snap sound) snap in your brain, you realize – I just had an idea. And that thing that your brain does for you next, your brain gives you a label to that idea. Your brain says in your mind. That was scary, that was cool, that was funny. You have to believe what your brain said, you have to, if you thought that was funny, that means it absolutely is funny, if you thought that was scary, that means it was scary. All ideas come with those labels, we think them and then we label them. And the first step, I think of doing something really amazing with that idea that you just had is to believe that the thing that your brain called it, is absolutely true.

Elora: That’s wonderful. Thank you so much. And with that, it looks like it’s time for our second and final game called,
“Take a Wakanda Wild Side”. So, I’m going to say a word related to our topic, people with extraordinary abilities. And you will all take turns asking me yes or no questions in order to guess the meaning of that word as a team. Are you ready?

Everyone: Yes

Elora: So, the word is creature.

Alec: A creature. So it doesn’t mean generally like a creature?

Elora: Correct. It is about a person with an extraordinary ability.

Alec: Type of ability?

Elora: Yes.

Neil: Is it a mystic creature? Or a luminous creature? Or a superhero kind of creature?

Elora: (laughter) It could be, but this is a real person.

Alec: One specific person.

Elora: Yes, I mean there are multiple people but one specific person and then we’ll go out from there.

Alec: Okay.

Robin: Is this creature person in comic books?

Elora: Nope.

Robin: OK

Alec: This person, are these people, are they still alive today?

Elora: Yes.

Shesh: Is this creature person in movies? Have we seen anything?

Elora: Yes.

Alec: Are they like, unbreak- like they’re a great stunt double?

Elora: You are in the right sort of vein. So, I’ll give you a hint. Stunt doubles are a type of what?.

Alec: Creature.

Elora: No (laughter)

Everyone: (laughter)

Neil: Superheroes. Stunt doubles are superheroes.

Elora: I mean they are but,

Alec: Actor?

Elora: Yes. you have both of the words: creature, actor.

Neil: Are they like made of jelly and wiggly?

Alec: (laughter)

Elora: Kind of, so the person, who is Troy also known as twisty James. He is a contortionist, and creature actor. He says, walking upside down on all fours is as easy to him as walking on two feet. He was bullied as a kid and hid his extraordinary ability to move in strange and unusual ways, until one day, while working as a ride operator, the ride had broken down, and he decided to entertain the people in line. And then he started getting calls from all over the place, about different roles, playing strange and sometimes frightening, supernatural creatures. He has also performed on America’s Got Talent.

Alec: What, that’s amazing! And that means we have two final questions for you Robin. And one of them is a surprise question. It just came in, I hope that’s okay.

Robin: Of course.

Alec: Its actually from my mom.

Robin: Yay!

Alec: She wants to know: when you when you are writing a story do you know the ending when you start or do you figure it out as you go?

Robin: So I usually start with that snap of an idea, and I will write a few pages just to see how my story starts. And then I’ll stop, and I’ll write that outline, and if I can’t write that outline, I don’t keep going. So I do know the end of the story before I commit to writing the book, but I don’t always know the end of the story when I get that first snap.

Alec: Last question. Eli and Shimmy, as we mentioned, wrote a story called Our Pet Dinosaurs where their chickens turned into dinosaurs. I know you live with some chickens, has this ever happened to them?

Robin: It hasn’t ever happened as a total transformation, but I have actually seen some behavior that makes it very believable that chickens have evolved from dinosaurs. We have a turkey. And she is obviously the biggest of our flock and one night, a coyote snuck into the chicken coup. And dragged our big turkey out into the chicken run. And she fought the coyote off and saved the entire flock from becoming this coyote’s dinner. And we were not sure if she was going to recover from this attack but she recovered and is a beautiful protector for our little flock. And we also had another chicken, her name was Tulip. We called her the pecker. And she was very fierce, and she would peck anybody. And I saw one time a rat ran right in front of her. And chickens are little, they are not big. And she picked the rat up her beak and she tossed it up in the air with its little tail flying, and opened up her beak and guzzled the rat down. And I immediately just had this amazing respect for Tulip, the pecker. I could not believe that she could guzzle this rat down. Um, but they’re not just ferocious.. They’re also really sweet, and some of them are super intelligent. Some of them are very loving and get to know you. So, um, I think that dinosaurs, probably were all of those things.

Everyone: (laughter)

Neil: Chickens actually did come from dinosaurs. Chickens are completely related to T-Rex in their neck bones.

Robin: Yeah, I mean, you could see it. Just the way she snapped it up. Flipped it up and gobbled it down..It was great.

Everyone: (Laughter)

Alec: Before uh, before we before you go, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elroa: So ready.

Neil: Yes, yes, yes , yes

Alec: What do you call a factory that makes just okay products?

Elora: I dont know what.

Alec: A satisfactory.

Everyone: Laughter.

Robin: That was a very satisfactory joke

Everyone: (laughter)

Alec: Robin Yardi is the author of Owls Outstanding Donuts, The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez, and They Just Know: Animal Instincts. Find out more about books writing workshops and library presentations, at Robin Yardi dot com. That’s R. O B. I N. Y. A. R D I dot com. Robin, thank you so much for joining us, we really loved having you. It was really wonderful.

Robin: Thank you so much for having me. It was fun.

Alec: Neil, who is six years old, and the author of last weeks story which if you haven’t listened to it yet, you should. It is called What I Look Forward to Most in 2021. Neil and Neil’s mom Shesh,thank you for joining us again. We loved having you again. And we hope you will come back again and again.

Shesh: Thank you for having us.

Neil: Thank you for having us.

Elora: Thank you all so much.

Robin: Thanks, Neil, Thanks, Shesh. It was nice to meet you.

Shesh: It was nice to meet you too. Miss Robin.

Neil: It was nice to meet you too. I can’t wait to read your book.

Robin: Have fun. Good luck with the writing.

Neil: Thanks.

Alec: Next week we will bring you Zombie Apocalypse by eight-year-old Yudi. If you enjoyed this episode, if you loved something Robin said, if we made you laugh, Please Subscribe share rate and find us on social media, go to MoonHouse.prg, to get to all those Twitters and things. Intro and outro music, written and performed by John Noble. Barrack. Sound effects in the public domain. Written by Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC.

Transcript – What I Look Forward to Most in 2021 – by Neil, 6

Elora: I’m Elora

Alec: And this is Written by Kids where you will hear short stories, songs and poems, all written by kids. And today we have a smart optimistic feel good monologue about coming out of this pandemic, to have a joyful 2021 by six-year-old, Neil, called “What I Look Forward to Most in 2021” and he and his mom, Shesh, did an amazing interview with us.

Elora: But before we start, remember your child’s writing can be on this podcast, just go to, click the submit for podcast button. That’s and hit the submit for podcast button.

Alec: Neil’s monologue is out today on this May1st episode specifically because it is May 1st, historically an optimistic and hopeful day, and especially for this year because vaccines are available to everyone over 16 in the US, but May 1st is also special for a lot of other reasons.

Elora: Ooh are we going to play a game?

Alec: We’re going to play a game. Its called Can one go to the bathroom? I don’t know. Can one? Ugh, fine, may one.

Elora: (Laughter) Terrible. I’m sorry continue.

Alec: I’m going to say five amazing things about May 1st. You’re going to guess if they are true or false. Are you ready?

Elora: (Laughter) I’m ready

Alec: Number one, May 1st 1956 was the day the polio vaccine was made available to the public.

Elora: True?

Alec: Correct. (bells) Its true. Number two. The ancient Romans. held a one-day Festival every year on May 1st called Floralia to honor the goddess of flowers.

Elora: I am going to say false.

Alec: You are correct. (bells) Its false, the festival was six days long. The Romans would never do a One Day Festival.

Elora: Yeah (laughter) I was like everything was at least five days,

Alec: Five days, or it didn’t happen. Number 3, May 1st, also known as May Day, is a holiday celebrated around the world, to honor workers, and to remember the fight for the eight-hour, workday.

Elora: True?

Alec: (bells) You are Correct, that is true. Number four. The eighth, most common birthday in the world is May 1st.

Elora: Ahh, true?

Alec: I am Sorry that one’s false. In fact nine out of the ten, most common birthdays in the world are in September. Number five and lastly, on May 1st 1978 Japan’s Naomi Uemura, I hope I am saying that right, became the first person to travel alone to the North Pole.

Elora: True

Alec: (bells) Correct. It’s true. He did it by dog sled.

Elora: Wow

Alec: Lo, You won the game.

Elora: I won the game. (applause) The only one playing.(laughter)

Alec: Today’s young author loves Spider-Man chess, noodles drawing and writing. He is a green belt in kung fu, his favorite experiment is the volcano experiment and he is 6 years old Neil. Hello Neil.

Neil: Hello, Mr. Alec.

Alec: What made you decide to write this monologue?

Neil: COVID has been life-changing for all of us in many different ways. And I cannot see my friends or go to the park due to Covid-19.. So, I decided to write this monologue about my feelings and a plan for the future. We all have been holding our breaths, literally, and waiting for all of this to be over.

Alec: Your monologue has so much joy in it. Especially about going back to school. Were you always this excited about school, even before the pandemic?

Neil: When I went to the first day of preschool, I was very scared. But when I became braver in kindergarten, I wanted to go all day and night everyday. I love eating lunch at the cafeteria, reading books in the library and best of all, laughing at my friends’ jokes, that’s most important.

Alec: (Giggles) Amazing. Ok. And now what I look forward to most in 2021 by Neil performed by William Dalrymple. And remember to stick around after the story for the joke of the week.

William: What I look Forward to Most in 2021. (Music starts) I still remember that day vividly in my mind. It was march the 6th 2020 and my mom who is a physician came home from work and said ” Wear a mask. We have a new virus – covid. The next day the schools shut down, I was nervous watching the news. I woke up in the morning and could not go to school or see my friends. I started missing playing in the parks. I missed laughter of social gatherings and birthday parties. I am sure you all have similar memories like mine. What I look forward to the most in 2021 is going back to the life prior to covid !

Covid as we all know is a virus that took over the world in 2020. Thank god technology has helped us with online/ virtual school. But I still miss it all. All of the states have started immunizing health care workers and elderly vulnerable population. So once they are all vaccinated we can get back to the normal.

First I will sit with my friends,(children laughing), play at recess, do science experiment ” in school”. I am thinking of volcano experiment with coke and Mentos. (explosion)

Kids like me need exercise and learn to be a team player. So next I will go to soccer camp (crowd cheering) and then eat pizza in a restaurant (silverware clanking) and have sleep overs! I will take lots of pictures together.(people saying say cheese, one persons says, oops, I took a picture of my finger) We definitely need Legos- it will help our fine motor skills the doctors Say-I am then going to a mall and picking out a Lego set while shopping with a large group of friends.(crowd sounds)

We as kids have lot of energy and we can channel it and develop core stamina by doing physically challenging activities. Next I am going to Kung Fu class inside the studio and do my belt test! ( kiai sound) Like how Spiderman says ” I have high high hopes for a living!” I hope my dream comes true soon.

Then when it is safe to travel my grandparents will fly into California (airplane sounds) and I will have parties with friends and cousins.(party sounds)

• Travel teaches us that we may look different but we are all the same. Diversity is something to be celebrated.
• Travel Encourages and teaches responsibility.
• Ignites a child’s sense of curiosity, imagination and sense of adventure.
• Dr Seuss said – You are off to great places ! Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting , so get on your way !

I will then travel to Disneyland (rollercoaster sounds) go on stomach churning rides , be a wizard at hog warts school of wizardry, buy some magical wands and sprinkle some fairy dust !
I will cruise to Hawaii and taste delicious coconut water (ahh)
I will Breathe some fresh air (deep breath sounds) and watch the majestic Niagara Falls .(waterfall sounds)
I will try Skiing in Colorado .
My dream trip is to fly around the world to the new seven wonders of the world !

In summary, in spite of missing all of these many kids like me have been wearing masks, following social distancing protocols and staying home as much as possible to prevent the spread of this deadly disease covid 19.

On one end – I am getting used to the new normal .
On the other end once we eradicate covid from this world our teachers will be waiting for us with open arms and kids like me all around the world will run into our friends and high five them. (hands slapping sound, woohoo!)

Traveling around the world -o
Destruction of covid – o
Wear a mask
Follow that task
When Covid is over !
And then hug each other!

Till then Adios ..

Thank you

Alec: William Dalrymple is a multi-instrumentalist and actor from Baltimore, Maryland. He has been seen on stage at Center Stage, Towson University Glass Mind theater, Single Carrot Theater, and Open Space Arts. Expanding his repertoire into voice over work is very exciting and he loves working with Alec and Elora.

Elora: Aww. We love you too, Will

Alec: Yeah

Alec: How long have you been doing kung fu?

Neil: I have been doing kung fu for almost 1 and 1/2 years now. And for my next belt, I’m hopefully going to test for green black.

Alec: That’s awesome. Last question goes to you Shesh. A lot of Neil’s writing has a moral or a life lesson. Did he always have such a strong moral conscience?

Shesh: Yes, even when my father or my husband tells him a story, even if it’s a funny story, Neil asks them what’s the moral of the story? So (laughter) um, anyone who tells him a story, has to know beforehand – whats the moral? If not, Neil will come up with one.

Alec: (Laughter) Amazing. Okay. Thank you both so much for joining us. It was really a joy. I loved interviewing you and I hope to see you again soon.

Neil and Shesh: Thank you. Goodbye

Alec: Next week, we will be joined by author of animal-inspired picture books and novels for young readers. Robin Yardi. She will answer listener questions and play trivia games with us. You won’t want to miss it.

Elora: And before we end with the joke of the week. If you liked Neil’s monologue and want to help more kids feel confident and express themselves, you can do that! Just go to and click the support us button. You can bring kids stories to life for just $0.99 a month.

Alec: And if you can’t support us with money, you can still do something just as helpful. Share this podcast.

Elora: Especially if we’ve ever made you laugh or smile or go aww. Then please share that feeling with someone else.

Alec: Lo, are you ready for the joke of the week?

Elora: As ready as I’ll ever be. (laughter)

Alec: Why can’t you trust atoms?

Elora: I don’t know.

Alec: Because they make up everything.

Elora: (laughter) It was right there. I was like it has to be something about lying, but I can’t come up with it.

Alec: (laughter) (music starts) Bye, I love you

Elora: Bye, I love you.

Written By Kids is a production of MoonHouse Pictures, LLC