Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January Secret Agent #7

TITLE: The Totally True Tales of Tansy Berry, Tooth Ferry
GENRE: Middle-Grade

In my line of work, being seen by a client is like being stranded on a desert island with no toothbrush - and I never leave home without my toothbrush. Sixteen hours later I still hadn’t lost that metallic tang of fear, even after three rounds with my Oral-B. Luckily, I kept a stick of gum on hand for just such an emergency. It’s the kind that four out of five dentists recommend, and every time I chew it I wonder about that fifth dentist.

This wasn’t the first incident on my record, but it was the first since Ruth Canal had taken over as Chief Extraction Officer and that woman made me nervous. Even a nice warm cup of peppermint tea hadn’t helped to calm the butterflies in my stomach. I probably shouldn’t have eaten so many for lunch.
Just kidding. Tooth Ferries don’t eat insects. At least most of us don’t.

Other Tooth Ferry Myths

1. Most important - We are not actually fairies. That particular myth got started because of our job description and has been almost impossible to shake. We ferry – that is, we carry - teeth from one location to another. We have no relation to the tiny creatures who live under mushrooms, drink the nectar of flowers, and flit about.

2. We do have wings, but they aren’t real - more like a badge. We earn them when we complete the rigorous training program. More on that later.

3. Our pay scale is not based on pain.


  1. This seems solid. Admittedly, it is not a genre I am familiar with, but the start is good.

  2. Fun! This is really cute! Regarding "probably shouldn't have eaten so many for lunch" - at first I thought she ate the tea cup or the tea bag. I'm sure that's just me, though. I'd keep reading!

  3. I noticed the title says 'true tales' - plural, and I'm wondering if this is one story with a main plot, or a few short stories.

    You have some clever language and names here, but nothing happened. She's just chatting.

    I wanted to know where she is and what's the problem. Perhaps add that to her monologue.

  4. My favorite so far!!
    Love the humor and the play on the names!!!

    Great job.

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  6. I like it. I enjoyed the humor and voice. Nicely done.

    While this isn't a genre I normally read, I would definitely be interested in reading it to my children.

  7. This is awesome. I love the specific details, the strong voice, and the fact that I have both a sense of who is narrating and that some action is going on right now.

  8. This made me smile. It's clever,entertaining. I like it.

    Your tenses change a lot and this stopped my eye sometimes. You've got present , past and deep past in the first paragraph.

  9. Cute and funny. I think it works well for middle grade. The only problem is the tense change. It made it a little confusing.

  10. I like the way you've played with words here, and I love the concept - never thought of a tooth ferry as opposed to fairy.

    But I don't quite get the first paragraph. I thought we were going to have an explanation of what happened when she was seen by a human, and perhaps that comes later, but that's what I was expecting after the opening, but you went directly into myth busters.

  11. Fun concept! This is one of those ideas where I think: "I wish I would have thought of that!"

    Two suggestions:
    1) It seems like a lot of long sentences in a row. Try to break up some of the longer ones, so the sentences flow together better.

    2) Some others had commented on being a bit confused at the beginning or wishing for more action. What if you actually started with the scene where the ferry gets caught by the human?

  12. I thought that this had a great, fun, Artemis-Fowl-like feel to it, and I loved the funny line about eating butterflies! I do agree that the tenses need to be smoothed out in the first paragraph. It seems likes the rest of the piece is in past tense, so you'll want to shift the first and last lines of the first para into past to match.

    Good luck!

  13. well, I was ramping up to mention spelling errors, but then I got it. Love this!!!!

  14. While I enjoyed the quirky humor in this piece, as well as the twist you have on names, titles and lore, by the end of it I'm curious as to what happened with the point she was driving at about being seen by a client.

    We start with a big no-no in this sort of genre (being seen by humans) with infinite possibilities for consequence, and then we end with something very similar to a job description. Bit of a tangent there, and I am quite familiar with those.

    One thing that was confusing, it begins as if she's currently being seen or was very recently seen by a client. Then, in the second paragraph, it is inferred that this happened long enough ago that she was brought into the CEO's office for a reprimand, so I'm wondering if it's all that important to the story at this point.

    Still, this made me laugh out loud, really. Thoroughly enjoyed.

  15. This is delightfully creative, but the narration feels a bit all over the place to me...I think anchoring the opening scene a bit more, letting us know where Tansy is, giving us a specific place and time first before zooming out and having fun with Tooth Ferry myths, would keep us on track and prevent us from losing focus...

  16. This was my favorite so far. I thought it was very cute! I would have reversed the myths though. I thought number 3 should have been number 1, and let it end with the bigger/ longer myth. Great idea though.