Mark Reads ‘Games Wizards Play’: Chapter 6, Part I

In the first part of the sixth chapter of Games Wizards Play, Dairine makes her first trip to Mehrnaz. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards


No Exceptions

Sassy Tom! I WASN’T READY FOR IT. And holy shit, it was so funny. Dairine tried her damnedest to get a timeslide for her travel to Mumbai, but we’re at a point in Young Wizards where Tom clearly isn’t going to take Dairine’s bullshit anymore. I MEAN, I RESPECT HER FOR TRYING, TIMEZONES ARE THE WORST. At the same time, I can’t feel too bad; she basically gets to travel to another country in under an hour. THAT IS THE DREAM, OKAY. But I understood that there were other issues at hand aside from the time zone itself. Dairine clearly had a lot of anxiety about this trip. She was traveling somewhere she’d never been; she was meeting someone who was her mentee; and most important, she was pausing her lessons with Nelaid, right as she started to understand them in a more theoretical sense. Given that her lessons are her way of feeling connected to Roshaun, I GET THIS. There’s a sense that she believes that the more she learns and understands, the closer she’ll be to finding Roshaun. What if the break sets her back? What if she can’t reach the point she was at before she stopped?

They’re valid concerns, sure, but I’ve learned that there’s a value in taking a break. I do it more often these days, especially when I get stuck writing. I’ll go do something that has pretty much nothing to do with my writing, and when I come back, I am frequently able to work through the problem I had when I stopped. Plus, as I said in the video, I suspect the Powers That Be did this on purpose. For what reason, I don’t know, but they aren’t accidental.


I have complicated thoughts on Dairine’s initial experience. In 2015, I spent nearly three weeks in various countries where English wasn’t the main language. It’s comparable only in the sense that it was overwhelming, especially since it’s not something I was prepared for. Prior to my big 2015 European tour, I hadn’t actually traveled without someone who had some grasp of the local language. And that summer, I was faced with a new language once a day for practically two weeks straight. While I tried my best to learn what I could, I’d have to reset my brain the very next day. THAT’S VERY HARD. And I took for granted the experience of living places where Spanish and English were the two main languages spoken! Having all the language around you be NOT the ones you can speak/read can feel a bit weary, you know?

Plus, there are just so many cultural norms you have to figure out in a very short time. So, there’s a part of me that can see this very experience within Dairine’s first ten minutes or so in Mumbai. Crowds in London walk differently than crowds in New York, than crowds in Los Angeles, than crowds in Oslo. There are different protocols for pedestrians at stop lights, for instance! I’ve become very accustomed to just walking when I can, rather than waiting for a light. (And I’m not even as good at it as native New Yorkers.) It freaks other people out! Pickpocketing works differently in different cities, too, so I don’t want to deny that these are very real phenomenon that exist in the world. I’ve also never been to Mumbai, so I don’t know how accurate Duane’s depiction is of both the crowds and the pickpocketing. I felt a little strange because they’re the first things that Dairine experiences, along with the way men stared at her.

Is that real? Probably. I don’t know. It seems believable. But until Dairine comments on the onion bhaji, there’s not much here that’s presented as a positive. It feels like Dairine is slightly critical, if that makes sense. BUT THEN I’M CONFLICTED POINTING THIS OUT BECAUSE SHE IS NATURALLY A CHARACTER WHO IS QUICK TO COMPLAIN. Right???

So, thoughts? I think it would be a good conversation to have. THEN I GET TO MEET MEHRNAZ’S FAMILY IN THE NEXT SECTION!!!

Mark Links Stuff

My YA contemporary debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now available for pre-order! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Games Wizards Play, Young Wizards and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.