Friday, May 31, 2013

The Pirate Princess and the Mysterious Map - The Audio version

This is the podcasted version of my quirky little children's story for all of you out there who prefer listening to books and stories ;)


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If you're having problems playing the audio here you can also listen to it on my podcast channel at

You can also read the story for yourself Here!

Cheers Mateys!
Anita, the literary Pirate

The Pirate Princess and the Mysterious Map - A children's story

The Pirate Princess and the Mysterious Map
by Anita K. Olsen Støbakk
You can listen to the audio version here!

The pirate princess also known as Abigail to people who care about names sails the seven seas with her trusty crew and her faithful friend Captain Crow. They sail on a ship called the "Jolly Robber" and have exciting adventures all over the world. The pirate princess is a tough little thing with flaming red hair and a shiny saber. she uses it to defeat evil monsters and cut tough pieces of cheese with. Captain Crow is a bird of quality and he lost one of his legs in a very unfortunate incident with an angry crab. He doesn't mind the loss of the leg much. Who needs legs when you can fly?

One day the pirate princess was standing on the deck of her ship looking through her spyglass searching the horizon for whatever it is pirates look for when they are looking through spyglasses, when she suddenly spotted something floating in the water. It was a message in a bottle! She commanded her first mate to steer the ship towards the floating mystery and quickly went to retrieve her fishing rod. She threw out the fishing line with expert technique and managed to fish the bottle out of the water with little effort. She yanked the cork of the bottle as soon as it landed in her hands and shook out the piece of paper that lay inside it.
"Shiver me timbers, It's a treasure map!" She exclaimed.
The paper showed a cartograph of an island with a big cave and a big red "X" marking the spot where the treasure was supposedly buried. Abigail and Captain Crow looked at each other and knew they were thinking the same thing. "We're going treasure hunting mateys, all hands on deck!" they shouted in unison.

They sailed for days through sunshine and storms before finally reaching the island that was pictured on the map. Captain Crow had become quite sea sick during the journey and was terribly relieved to see land again. The island itself was surrounded by jagged rocks and reefs, and the cave where the treasure could be found gaped into the water and was shaped kind of like the jaws of a shark. If you squinted a bit and tilted your head to the left. They couldn't sail the ship in to shore because it would be smashed into pieces on the sharp rocks. So the pirate princess and Captain Crow took a little dinghy and rowed it to shore. The rest of the crew stayed aboard The Jolly Robber to protect the ship. Well that's what they said, but the princess and Captain Crow had the feeling that they were just too scared to enter the dark cave. "We'll show them" she muttered to the crow.

They tied the dinghy to a rock outside the cave, lit a lantern and began to explore it. They had ventured quite a bit into the cave when they suddenly heard some very strange noises. They heard sloshing, wet sounds coupled together clinking and clanging and slithering. They followed a wide snaking tunnel trying to figure out where the noises were coming from and as they rounded a corner they could see a flickering light at the end of it. The pirate princess and Captain Crow looked at each other with nervous glances. What if there was a dangerous hideous monster at the end of the tunnel? The pirate princess was getting quite scared and it felt like ice cubes were dancing a rambunctious tango down her spine. She almost turned to run away, but changed her mind. She was the pirate princess after all, nothing was going to scare her, especially not when treasure was involved! She drew her saber and stormed into the light. Nothing could have prepared her for what she saw next! 
A giant squid was in the middle of pouring himself a cup of tea and in front of him there was small dainty table covered with a frilly pink table cloth. On it she could see a delicate assortment of cakes and biscuits and tea cups. The princess was stunned and speechless, she lowered her saber and gaped at the giant squid. It smiled at her, or at least it looked like it was smiling and said "Welcome little pirate girl, do sit down, have some tea and biscuits won't you?" In lack of any better ideas the pirate princess sheathed her sword and sat down by the little table. Accepting the tea cup that was being offered to her. "I hope you won't be too disappointed when I tell you that there isn't any treasure here" the squid said. the pirate princess wrinkled her brow "why would I find a map in a bottle saying that there was one then?"The giant squid shrugged, or it would have shrugged if it had had any shoulders.
"It gets quite lonely in these caves and I didn't think anybody would come if I wrote a letter saying - giant squid in scary cave, looking for company!" She had to admit that he was right, it didn't sound very tempting. She was silent for a little while before saying "I'm glad I came though, these cakes are delicious and I don't find you scary at all."

(c)Illustration by Anita K. Olsen Støbakk

So the princess and Captain Crow drank tea, ate biscuits and had wonderful conversations about cooking recipes, adventures and treasure with the giant squid. In fact they talked for so long that it had become night outside the cave and the princess was afraid that the crew might be getting awfully worried. She and Captain Crow had to bid the squid farewell and leave, but they promised to return soon for more tea and cakes. "It's a pity that we didn't find any treasure" said Captain Crow as they began to row back to the ship. The pirate princess smiled and said "We may not have found gold and diamonds, but we did find a new friend. I think that's a pretty great treasure don't you?" Captain Crow had to agree.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Final Warden by Thomas Cardin - Book Review

Tally ho mateys! I am back with a new book review and this time I'm reviewing "The Final Warden" by Thomas Cardin which is a self-published fantasy book. It is actually the first self - published book I've ever read because frankly I find that I'm quite skeptical to literature that hasn't been through the classical publishing process with several edits and all that jazz. Don't get me wrong I know that there is a lot of quality stuff out there in the self-publishing world, but there is a lot of trash out there too. I digress, over to the book at hand!

Cover art for the book

I really enjoyed the overall story and a lot of the concepts in this book . The whole idea of an unexpected hero appeals to me, maybe because I've been an underdog and have felt a little lost all my life despite my intelligence and my drive and so I feel I can identify myself with the main characters in such story lines. I also liked how the Dwarves were able to communicate with the spirit of the world amongst other things.
The main character Lorace doesn't know who he upon waking up on a strange shore although we as readers get a hint as to who he really is in a previous chapter. He is interesting and I felt empathy for him, and I found myself wanting to find out what happens to him as he gets tangled into politics and heroics. I will probably read the rest of the books in this series too, although I don't know when.

However, because there is an however sadly enough.There were things that brought my experience of this book down. I felt like the story rushed ahead a lot like the author was in a rush to get to the juicy parts of the story. I really just felt like there was a lack of detail and in depth when it came to interactions between some of the characters. Cardin could have slowed down the pace a little bit, but of course that is just my own personal opinion.

There were also quite a few grammatical errors that kept popping up unfortunately, and if you know me you will know that it one of my pet peeves. It really grinds my gears and totally ruins my reading experience so it took a while before I was able to look past it and concentrate on the story that was being told.

I also think that chapter 1 and 2 might deserve to be slightly re-written or at least edited a little as I found them a bit difficult to get through because the language was a bit jumbled and messy.

The conclusion is that the book is worth reading, and deserves a fair chance. The passion of the author is very evident as you read through it and that alone makes it worth the while even though it was a somewhat mixed experience.

(c) Anita K. Olsen Støbakk

Cheers Mateys!
Anita, The Literary Pirate.

New Blog Header!

Yeah, well so I guess the heading says it all. I designed and drew a new unique and slightly spunkier header for the blog. I hope you like it! I think it is important to have something that sets you apart from the vast ocean of literary blogs out there and what better way of doing that than personalizing the blog with my own art!

(c) Anita K. Olsen Støbakk

On a different note here's an update on how the reading prosject is going so far.

Basically it all went great until April hit and everything came to a screeching halt. I got diagnosed with anxiety and started taking meds to help me with the symptoms and the stressful feelings I was dealing with all the time. Let's just say that getting used to these meds was quite the ordeal and has effectively put me out of commission as far as reading goes because I'm having trouble focusing. Hopefully I'll be back on track soon, and if I'm not I'll just have to convince myself that it's OK even though the perfectionist inside me is screaming and banging her head against a hard surface at the mere though of it....which is probably one of the reasons why I'm medicated in the first place. I suffer from the good girl issue, I set to high expectations to myself and every time I fail or convince myself that I'm doing something wrong I will obsess over it and sometimes it leads to anxiety attacks. Have no fear dear readers, I am currently going to cognitive therapy so I'll be ship shape again!

Keep your good eyes peeled through your looking glasses for the next upcoming book review!

Cheers mateys!
Anita, the literary pirate.