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April 22, 2013
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The Sultan's Pillow Copyright 2013 Bryan Rogers
Illustrations Copyright 2013 Lisa Garr

Available on Amazon!


Every spring the Sultan Kasib and his pillow, named Nahid, would throw the Perennial Patty-Cake Pajama Party. Whereas other sultanates might host a dance or ball, “Hey, look at me! I danced in a circle! Oh look, I just went around again!” The Perennial Patty-Cake Pajama Party was the most smashing of pillow fights!

Kasib would ask everyone over to his palace for the night. All the hotty-toddies and high-to-do’s were invited. From she-pharoahs, belly dancers, baristas, palm readers, and cucumbers to kings, ambassadors, shopkeepers, frog princes, and other noble men whose only purpose was to strut around and twirl their canes.

They came to the party in chariot-rides, sporting their most colorful pair of polka dot PJs and fragranting their very best toilet water! Which, because it was called l’eau de toilette in French, they thought it cool to splash water out of the toilet and wear it like perfume.

Everyone brought their favorite pillows with them--pillows of every shape and size! There were square pillows, round pillows, throw pillows, catch pillows, teddy bears seconding-as-a-pillow pillows, pillows boasting superheroes like Sinbad and Ali Baba and the 40 thieves, rubber vanity flatulence pillows--“Oh, that wasn’t me! It was my pillow!” Pillows stitched with porcupine quill and swan feather, which was some new kind of sleep acupuncture. Don Juan and His Night of One Thousand Fleecy Fibrillations pillows. A boot. (what? a boot? who invited that guy?) Swedish Swiss massage pillows with a kangaroo inside that really got kicking when you laid down! And bright orange pillows with pull knobs and nozzles that you could fill with air. After all, you never knew when a flotation device could come in handy in a desert. One old lady with more makeup than skin even brought her powder poofer for a pillow!

They would all gather in Kasib’s parlor, nibbling on snippets of conversation and those delightful little sausage wieners dipped in barbeque:

“Have you seen the sand this week? I swear it’s a new shade of yellow.”

“You still live with your mother? Really, at 73? Is that part of the inheritance?”

Then somebody would say something outrageous, “I tell you my hat is bigger than yours! If a giant elephant with big curvy tusks mistook you for a seat cushion and sat on your head, it would still not be as impressive as my hat!”

And--Whack!

They would get bopped in the face with a pillow!

Whap!

And that person would get thwacked on the back!

Then all fluffy feathery fluster of chicken coop broke loose! And pillows and feathers tore through the air!

Kasib would tuck his chin down and put his arms up over his head, bumping and staggering through the lot of ‘em. He looked like a sheep piñata bouncing on a string as they swat him silly with pillows--

Fwap!

Thonk!

Poof!

In the case of one elderly guest, they would simply hold up their pillow so Kasib could run into it. Jumping into the pillow and falling back with a “Wow! You walloped me good! I think you shook a booger loose!”

There were so much fluffies, feathers, and floating fuzzies in the air that it was like a big bag of popcorn had swelled up and Ka-BOOM!! Pillow stuffing all over the place!

Then Kasib's pillow, Strong and Gallant Nahid, would slide to the rescue on a fibery horsehair rug. Swinging her tassels like nunchucks and trumpeting victory, “Toot Ta Loo! Toot Ta Toot Ta LOOOO!!”

Thwap!

Biff!

Pow!

Kablam!!

And save her cotton-dusted sultan! Bonking anyone who brandished a pillow with a stiff thump on top of the head!
Excerpt from the book The Sultan's Pillow. This is the pillow fight scene. Story by me (Bryan Rogers). Illustrations by Lisa Garr.

Available on Amazon.

Artwork posted with Lisa's permission.

Story excerpts posted with my permission (assuming that I am permitting myself to post my own work... muhahahaha).
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:icongorycory:
Gorycory Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013
This was great, I loved the alliteration. The P sound is fantastically humorous when strung together like that, kudos.
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:iconwaterballoonworkshop:
WaterBalloonWorkshop Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you!  So glad you enjoyed.  :D (Big Grin) 
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:iconschongslipper:
schongslipper Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I hope you'll forgive me for my negligence. I've let your message sit for almost two months! Completely unacceptable on my part. Hopefully, my critique can be some tiny bit of redemption.

I love the idea of this excerpt! It's humorous, but humorous in a lot of ways. You can interpret it satirically or playfully, but either way it's a fun, enjoyable piece. Refreshing.

Overall feedback:
~Tone down on the exclamation points. Too many of them can take away from the credibility of the piece, so use them sparingly.
~Also, check your tenses. For the most part they're consistant, but there's a few confusing instances, like "asib would tuck his chin down and put his arms up over his head, bumping and staggering through the lot of ‘em. He looked like a sheep piñata ~bouncing on a string as they swat him silly with pillows..."
~Your best jokes are the short ones/the one-liners. Don't overwork a joke.
~Kasib's role is a bit confusing. Does he act like a piñata or the gladiator of the pillow fighters or a host or what?

Specific feedback:
~"All the hotty-toddies and high-to-do’s were invited. From she-pharoahs, belly dancers, baristas, palm readers, and cucumbers to kings, ambassadors, shopkeepers, frog princes, and other noble men whose only purpose was to strut around and twirl their canes." Combine these two sentences by simply replacing the period with a comma.
~"...fragranting their very best toilet water! Which, because it was called l’eau de toilette in French, they thought it cool to splash water out of the toilet and wear it like perfume." This is an example both of an excessive exclamation point and a bit of an overworked joke.
~"In the case of one elderly guest, they would simply hold up their pillow so Kasib could run into it. Jumping into the pillow and falling back with a 'Wow! You walloped me good! I think you shook a booger loose!'" This is confusing. Do you mean "In the case of the elderly guests," or what? Also, the underlined part is a fragment. You use that technique a lot, and while I respect the use of fragments, I feel it's more confusing than helpful in this piece.
~"Then Kasib's pillow, Strong and Gallant Nahid, would slide to the rescue on a fibery horsehair rug. Swinging her tassels like nunchucks and trumpeting victory, 'Toot Ta Loo! Toot Ta Toot Ta LOOOO!!'..... And save her cotton-dusted sultan! Bonking anyone who brandished a pillow with a stiff thump on top of the head!" This is another example of fragmentation. You can combine all of this into one, more fluent sentence. Change the period into a comma, change "and" to "to," change the exclamation point in that sentence to a comma.

There's a lot of amazing stuff in this piece. I'm in love with the fourth paragraph. It makes me smile every time I read it. Your dialog is strong, funny, and a great method to introduce variation, as is the onamonapia (I don't know how to spell that word sorry). The entire scenario is great fun. Thanks for writing this!
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:iconwaterballoonworkshop:
WaterBalloonWorkshop Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Professional Writer
Wow! Thank you for the outstanding critique! Totally worth the wait to get such a wonderful response.

Your feedback is spot on. For this story, I wanted to try something new. I wanted a writing style and a narrator that is very human. On the one hand, it is imaginative and full of enthusiasm. On the other, it has flaws. Grammatical inaccuracy, over-emphasis, and stumbling over phrases was a simple way to show error and make the story more human.

I fully agree, there is lots that could be tightened up here. For the next book, I will be hiring a copy editor to help with the language. For this one, though, the personality of the story is as much in its gems as its flaws.

Thank you so much for writing such a smart critique!
Reply
:iconschongslipper:
schongslipper Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
;u; I'm so glad it was helpful! The tardiness remains inexcusable, though. It should not happen again!

Hmm. That's an interesting approach, and knowing that, the exclamation points seem appropriate. I would say, though, that people tend to speak in simpler sentences before they speak in fragments. But if it's read like a person telling it out loud with no preparation, it's spot on. Really great example of voice.

If you ever want more critique from me, just ask. Since it's summer, I should be able to promptly deliver. 
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:iconwaterballoonworkshop:
WaterBalloonWorkshop Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you schongslipper! And totally! The story is so much funner (fun-ner, lol) when read outloud.

I will most definitely look you up again for the next writing. I am so impressed by all of your input!
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:iconschongslipper:
schongslipper Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Now I want it made into an audiobook. That would be really interesting and effective and such. 

Oh good! I'm just glad it was helpful :)
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:iconwaterballoonworkshop:
WaterBalloonWorkshop Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Writer
Hehe, I like your thinkin! We are planning on an audiobook too, though, it may not be until after the next book.
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:iconschongslipper:
schongslipper Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Keep me posted =]
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