Hi, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back with some not very fresh food but I have an excuse. Minecraft mania has hit the Munoz household!
How big is this mania? Well, to give you some perspective, let me talk about what we're NOT. We don't have a TV, we don't have a Wii, Sega (do they still have those?), we're proudly low tech unless it's for work, and my kids have never seen a minute of MTV or the Disney Channel. Miley Cyrus and the Kardashians may be household words, but not in this one. We're more Shakespeare, not Snapchat. More Austen, not Instagram. We visit the library more than most people go out to eat. We're proudly off the "cultural grid" Just like certain swear words, I know there will come a time when they hear about these horrors, but until then, we're happily out of the fray. It's not because I think it will make my kids successful in business, or high powered professionals, or unique and interesting people. I just think most modern entertainment is junk.
(Disclaimer: I have friends who write for Arrow, The Flash, and Agent Carter. :D Those shows are awesome and you know I love you...)
Anyway, I grew up without a TV in a house filled with books, and I turned out okay. (I heard that!)
So, back to my story. Despite all of our alternative lifestyle decisions, somehow... somewhere... Minecraft entered our lives. (Or my sons' lives. I don't play it. I'd rather watch grass grow.)
It started small. Just watching over someone's shoulder at the library. Then a birthday concession of a free trial one of the kid laptops. Then it was the "I don't want anything for Christmas but a Minecraft account".
Around that time, my 12 and 10 year olds started studying coding. The worked and read and worked and read and created their own games. Suddenly, I realized... this IS educational. Not exactly in the way I would prefer, but it was inspiring them to learn new things. Both of my brothers have advanced degrees in computer engineering and one owns his own successful programming business, but I've never equated GAMING with programming, exactly.
While all of this was happening, I was writing The Pepper in the Gumbo, about a hero who owns one of the largest gaming franchises in the country. I was long-distance interviewing the people who code these programs, hearing their passion and enthusiasm for their job, learning that games are not always a complete waste of brain cells. I'd created this hero simply as a counterpoint to my bookstore owner heroine, but I learned so much about coding an gaming, that I changed my mind.
As much as I thought it was "not something we do", it became something my family loved.
Anyway, that was last year.
What an interesting (and very weird) year it's been being submerged with all things Minecraft.
Which brings us to CAKE.
When the library decided to have a Minecraft party, I said we'd supply the cake. I thought I could walk into any cake store and order it. (Ok, we live in a very rural area. This was the local grocery store, and admittedly, their cakes are more "cake fail" than works of art. Much more. I'd post pictures but I don't want to be mean.) We decided to go to the next town over where they had a real bakery.
But surprise! This bakery said that they actually couldn't make the cake like we wanted because it was under copyright. UGH. We realized we were going to have to do this ourselves! Fail or no fail, it was for the sake of the game.
So that is the tale of our Minecraft descent into madness, which culminated in me covered in frosting, standing in my kitchen trying to make a perfectly good cake look like a pile of blocks.
My daughter said, "Any book. They're just better than the movie."
The checker asked, "Which movie?"
My daughter answered, "The ones made from books."
Then there was a long silence. We still laugh about that. ("Which book?")
Be sure to pop on by my author page and see what's new! Until next time!