Oh, Inspector Panda! To where is Mr. Wu running off? How has this happened?
I must digress, for a moment.
I have to blame it on a Payless Moment. Payless is one of our neighborhood grocery stores, and because we Islanders tend to hide out in the woods, sometimes we only run into each other at the grocery store, where we clog up the aisles, catching up with our friends whom we have not seen all summer. (That’s what we call a Payless moment. Mr. Badger hates them.)
So, there I am in Payless, when I catch sight of my good friend, Deb Lund, who is the very talented author of a pile of books (my favorites being the DinoSailors, All Aboard the Dino Train, and Dino Soaring…dinosaurs that could give the panda kindergarten a run for their cuppycakes) and she is the person most responsible for my launch into kiddie-lit and without her, Pandamorphosis most likely would not exist.
In addition to being a writer, Deb is also a teacher and creativity coach. Some years back she developed these cards, which she used in her teaching, and over the years refined them and developed them as a tool for writers. They aren’t exactly writing prompts, more like things that you can use to shake up the status quo, in your life, in your story, in your painting. She finally developed them to a point where her students and writer friends were clamoring for a set of their own, and so with the help of an extremely successful Kickstarter project, she raised enough money to publish them.
Here’s how Deb describes what her cards are all about: Fiction writers are troublemakers. We create characters and get them in trouble. We’re also magicians. We pull rabbits out of hats, heroes from certain death, and stories out of thin air. We make magic by making trouble. Fiction Magic.
As one of her happy supporters, I’ve been waiting for my very own set of Fiction Magic Cards and guidebook. So, when I ran into her at the grocery store, she told me that she had just gotten a few advance sets to send out for reviews, and did I want my set now?
As luck would have it, I was stuck in a bit of a blind alley as to what was going to happen next in The Inspector Panda Case of the Picturesque Panda. I mean, I could only throw in so many Edward Hopper references, before something else would actually have to happen in my story. Thankfully, I now have my very own supply of fiction magic. Watch out Mr. Wu! The card I pulled was Lose the Prized Possession.
Uh oh, indeed. The cards made me do it.
Be the Bear!
Bob T. Panda