Mark Reads ‘Wizard’s Holiday’: Chapter 4, Part I

In the first half of the fourth chapter of Wizard’s Holiday, THE JOURNEY BEGINS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

It’s happening, I’M SO EXCITED.


Well, this is going to be interesting, isn’t it?

They never had a war on Alaalu. They didn’t seem to have any diseases, and the manual said there wasn’t any crime. Their climate was stable, so that natural disasters like floods and hurricanes happened only once or so every few centuries; their planet’s tectonics were unbelievably leisurely, so that whole lifetimes might go by without there being even one earthquake or volcanic eruption.

I was fascinated by the choice to stick Kit and Nita on a planet that seems designed to be conflict-free. This description feels like paradise, doesn’t it? I mean, if you’re not into oceans or the beach, this wouldn’t work, but guess what? I LOVE BOTH OF THOSE THINGS AND I MISS THEM DEARLY. There was a period of my life when I was much, much younger, before my family was poor, before it became exorbitant for a family to travel together, where I got to go visit Hawaii like SIX TIMES in ten years. I only vaguely remember that first time when I was four, but the place imprinted on my heart, and I’ve always had a deep-seated attachment to beaches and the ocean. So yes, this whole description calmed me. Cleared my pores. Added five years to my lifespan.

Which is why it’s so disturbing that Duane folds this cultural exchange material into Nita’s dream. It happened so suddenly, too, a clear exploitation of the comfort of the passage so that Duane could twist it into something disturbing and alarming. Of course, there’s another context for my reaction: I know that you shouldn’t fuck around with Nita’s dreams. They’re rarely, if ever, meaningless. Thus, someone or something is trying to tell her something. Alaalu is in trouble, perhaps. What do the statues mean? What of the repetitive message that “Everything is fine,” despite that Nita knows instinctually that nothing is fine? I trust Nita’s perception, and that sequence scared me, you know? WHAT IS IT FOR? Has the society become static? Apolitical? WHO IS THE PERSON WHO MOVED AND TOLD HER THAT THEY’D WAITED FOR NITA FOR A LONG TIME?

Goddamn it, it’s happening already.


I was thrilled to get confirmation that the Callahan household was still going to host exchange students and even more excited about the fact that they’d be from THREE different planets: Demisiv, Rirhait, and Wellakh. I’m guessing, then, that the narrative will be split between these two stories, AND I CAN’T WAIT. How is Harry going to react? Will these other three wizards get along? Is Dairine going to test the limits of the rules around this exchange??? (Hey, that’s a fair question to ask, given that she openly talks about fiddling with the wizardly pup tents here. She loves to create loopholes in her words in order to avoid lying, so IT’S PROBABLY GONNA HAPPEN.)


Look, I just want an excuse to talk about packing for trips because I’ve gotten SO GOOD AT IT. I have not checked a bag at the airport since I turned 20. I PROMISE YOU THAT. (Aside from one time I was forced to because a bunch of assholes with bags that were too big took up all the available overhead space on a flight where I was in the last boarding group. I’m still salty about that.) So, as I was reading this section, I was quietly judging Nita because YOU WON’T NEED OR WANT ANY OF THAT. I learned how to pack well back when I was touring in or with bands, and then I perfected it through all the Mark Does Stuff tours. Now, granted, I was in a unique position because I often have to consider that I’ll be traveling to multiple locations with very little time, so my packing must be efficient, light, and easy to reassemble in less than an hour.

My lifesaver? These motherfuckers. I use the larger one for an extra pair of jeans/shorts, for my running and workout gear, and for socks. The medium size fits about two stacks of six shirts each, folded and compressed. I can fit about ten days of clothing in those two bags, and the compression magic makes it so that my bag isn’t bulging or overflowing. Thus, I’m able to travel with a backpack and a carry-on duffle. (My current love: this duffle, which is sturdy, stylish, and has a separate pouch for my running shoes, making it easy for me to get them in and out of my bag without them stinking up everything else I’ve got.) No checking luggage, and I can get off the plane and head straight out of the airport. EVERYTHING RULES.

Nita is lucky in that she can return home for whatever she needs, so I still find it hilarious that she took so much stuff with her. YOU WON’T NEED IT, I PROMISE. Of course, imagine if the joke’s on me and she does need everything. WHOOPS.

The Journey Starts!

Well, apparently Kit’s mother thought along the same lines: bring literally everything for any possible permutation of reality because YOU NEVER KNOW, YOU MIGHT NEED IT. I doubt they will, but y’all. Y’ALL. I’m so ready. I’m so excited for this trip!!! Bring it, Diane Duane.

I am thrilled to confirm that I will be a Guest at CrossingsCon 2017! Badges are now available, so COME HANG OUT WITH ME THIS SUMMER.

Mark Links Stuff

I am now on Patreon! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards. I POST A LOT OF CUTE PHOTOS, OKAY. Think of it like a private Tumblr blog that only SPECIAL PEOPLE get to read.
– I have updated my list of conventions and events for the remainder of the year and much of next year.  Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches have been announced here.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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1 Response to Mark Reads ‘Wizard’s Holiday’: Chapter 4, Part I

  1. Ronnie says:

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