Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tips for dealing with supernatural children Guest blog by Chrysoula Tzavelas

Tips for dealing with supernatural children

It may be, as you go about your mundane life, that you suddenly find yourself responsible for children of a supernatural persuasion. This is a problem! Supernatural children can be quite a handful, especially if you have little previous experience with the pint-sized set. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Some supernatural children eat normal food, just like you and me. Some eat fancy, though! They may subsist on blood, raw meat, or fettuccine alfredo. Ask them what they prefer. They might take advantage of your ignorance to get their hands on forbidden treats. Just go with it. Inevitably, they'll let slip what they usually eat, usually by comparing it with the new food. After the first day, do your best to keep their diet normal, to help them adjust to being with you.

Finding Toys
Possibly the supernatural children will come to you with their own toys. This is convenient. Unfortunately, whatever they bring with them won't be nearly as interesting as your belongings. It can be extremely hard to keep possessions out of the reach of supernatural children, who can sometimes fly, exercise telekinesis, or climb like monkeys. Your best bet is to let them satisfy their curiosity in a controlled setting, while making it clear to them just how important your possessions are to you. It might be helpful to sacrifice one or two of your sturdier possessions in the name of peace and quiet.

If you happen to have a game console or a large collection of children's videos, you know what you have to do.

At the Park
Children, even supernatural ones, need fresh air and room to run (or zoom) around. Take them to the park, but keep a close eye on them. It's okay to let them play with other children, but be ready to intervene before any conflict gets physical. You want to avoid the claws coming out. Also, supernatural children may have unusual interests, such as sniffing lampposts or catching and eating insects or stripping off all their clothes and running around naked. Gently explain to them that there's a time and a place for such behavior, and a public park isn't it. Remove them from the park if necessary, and try again later.

At some point, you'll find yourself in a store with your supernatural children. Do your best to engage their interest. Chat with them about the day so far and what you plan on doing with your purchases. It's okay to focus more attention on them than the shopping trip—a few mistakes in the cart won't ruin your day, but a full-blown public tantrum from a bored supernatural child can really make things unpleasant. If you find they're getting bored anyhow, this author suggests singing. You may get some strange looks, but supernatural children love music.

You're probably planning on putting your supernatural children to bed on your pull-out couch, or maybe in your own bed while you take the couch if you fear nocturnal troublemaking. Go ahead and do this, but don't be surprised if, at some point, nocturnal activity happens anyhow. Some supernatural children are naturally nocturnal, and you may have to reverse your schedule for them. Sometimes, however, they're just lonely. Their whole life has been upset and you've become their only point of stability. Be prepared to share your bed. It might be best to prepare an extra pillow and blanket in advance. There's not much to be done about the kicking. Sorry.

Dealing with the fears of supernatural children can be tricky. Naturally, in the upheaval that has given you sole responsibility for them, their ordinary fears will be exacerbated. Be aware of these, and do your best to soothe them. If you can't, well, the fears of supernatural children can take on a life of their own. Poltergeists, strange monsters, and destructive behavior may all appear. There is no such thing as too many hugs in this situation. Supernatural children are desperately in need of love and will take all you can provide. Be patient and try to limit their exposure to unusual situations. Be careful what you say around them, as supernatural children often have incredibly keen hearing. And when they finally start to talk about what frightens them, demonstrate how you aren't afraid of the same. If you can't lie convincingly, at least maintain an upbeat tone of voice. Together, you can face anything!

Matchbox Girls
Chrysoula Tzavelas

Paperback: 324 pages

Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam

ISBN-10: 1936460203
ISBN-13: 978-1936460205

Book Description:

Marley Claviger is just trying to get her life together. Stumbling into an ancient conflict between celestial forces is going to make that a whole lot harder... When Marley wakes up to a phone call from a pair of terrified children, she doesn't expect to be pulled into a secret war.

She rescues them from an empty house and promises to find their missing uncle. She even manages to feed them dinner. But she barely feels competent to manage her own life, let alone care for small children with strange, ominous powers... And when a mysterious angelic figure shows up and tries to claim the girls, it all falls apart...

Plagued by visions of disaster, Marley has no idea what she's gotten herself into, but she knows one thing: magical or not, the kids need her.

"Lovely worldbuilding and an unusual heroine surrounded by strong relationships and good intrigue kept me reading Matchbox Girls until well past my bedtime. Tzavelas has created a winning story universe and I'm impatient for the next book!"

- CE Murphy, author of Urban Shaman and The Queen's Bastard

About the Author:

Chrysoula Tzavelas went to twelve schools in twelve years while growing up as an Air Force brat, and she never met a library she didn't like. She now lives near Seattle with some random adults, miscellaneous animals, and a handy small child. She likes combed wool, bread dough, and gardens. She's also a certified technology addict; it says so on her (trademark-redacted) music player.

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