with Bruce Van Patter 2009-2010 School Visits

My visit to Greenbriar West!

The Assembly Stories

The four ingredients: a lion on a deserted island who wants a friend up against a burglar penguin

The story: our hero goes off for vacation on an island he thought was would be filled with other people. But it's a lonely island. There's no one to play beach volleyball with. There's only the penguin waiter that works for the hotel.

So when the waiter brings him a glass of lemonade, the lion is really happy. Maybe now he has a friend!

But no! The penguin just wants to distract him so that he can steal the volleyball! Maybe he has other penguin friends who want to play a game. Maybe they'll invite the lion after all.


The four ingredients: a grocery bagger is also on an island looking for a milk chocolate pickle pie with a silly sidekick of a cow

The story: What a crazy combination! Let's say that this bagger's dream is to become a famous chef. He enters a contest to cook the most unusual dessert. He knows from his childhood in a distant island country that there is an island that has the most strange, delicious, sweet pickles that grow on trees. He decides to make a milk chocolate pickle pie.

He takes his cow along for the milk and he goes to collect the pickles. But the cow, sitting on his raft, starts to float away with his first version of the pie. It's not a winner.

But he's got other problems. That rock he's stepping on is a shark!

The 3rd grade workshop tales

When a student drew the pig on the right, we could decide if he was a cowboy or a detective, so we made him both! In this story, he's trying to find his missing girlfriend, who has disappeared into the desert.

Where has she gone? She's been pignapped by Prickly Pete!

He's an evil cactus who is worried about our pig making stew out of cactuses. (Our pig hero, in addition to being a cowboy and a detective, is also the ranch's cook!) So he captures the girl hoping that she will lure our hero into a trap.

But our pig cook/detective/cowboy has lassoed the cactus. I guess piggie should be yelling, "ARMS UP!"


In this story, we have a dog who cleans his girlfriend's house. But one day, he notices a donut on the counter. He loves donuts! So he takes it and begins to nibble on it on his way home.

All of a sudden, he starts to fly! It's a magic donut! He eats the whole thing and flies around.

But now he has a problem. What will he do when his gilfriend comes back to her place and finds the magic donut missing? So he sets off on a quest to find the bakery that made the donut. Eventually he does find it, but the cat who bakes the donuts won't give up his last magical one.

That's when the girl dog shows up! Our hero is in a "hole" lot of trouble!


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New on my site!

I love random connections! Here's a page that will create random What If Questions to help you start stories!


Hey, Greenbriar West kids.

You've finally gotten to your summer vacation! Congratulations! Now, do something creative with it. Write a story, draw some pictures, invent a cartoon strip, build something. Better yet -- do it with a friend!

Your ideas are too good to go to waste. Put them down on paper and share them with your family and friends!

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Pick the ingredients to stories and click through to see how I've started them. Then you finish the story!

Make a character out of some funny people I've drawn for you!
Over a hundred million wacky headlines wait for you to use them to make your own story!

click on the images to go to the writing activities