Dealing with bullies can steal your energy and brain power. Use the summer to identify the bullies in your life and learn how to deal with them by building your strengths and self esteem. Realize that bullies have their own histories and stress areas that lead them to bully others to feel better about themselves.
      If bullies can make you feel small and scared, they can feel big and powerful by robbing you of your confidence, safety and self worth.
      Their weapons are words, fists, social media, peer pressure and lies. Can you think of other weapons?
      Here are some steps to take to protect yourself:
1. Make a list of creative ways to face up to or avoid bullies.
2. On paper, create a fictional character (protagonist), in a scene, with a bully (antagonist). Through dialogue (characters talking to each other) and action (what characters do) make your hero or heroine reach his or her goal by outwitting the bully. The bully’s goal it is to stop the hero or heroine from getting what he or she wants.
3. See how the scene you create compares to your own life and actions.
4. Talk to someone you trust about your feelings. 
5. Form a club and give it a name. (online, in person or both)
      Can you think of bullies, in your life, you haven’t considered before? (See Mya’s blogs)
      I’d love to hear from kids and the kid inside each adult. 
Ellen Ziegler, author of “The Garden of Yin Yang”

“A Bully Speaks”


My name is Wylie Van Puck and I’m a bully.

Mya said I could feel like a hero by writing this blog.

Duh, I like being a bully.

She said I make other kids feel small so I can feel big, and I must feel small if I

need to feel big.

That’s intense.

“It’s a no-brainer,” Mya said. “Your mean self is huge, but your nice self can fit

into an anthill.”

So she had these questions for me to answer on her blog. Actually, she dared

me to answer and I can’t ignore a dare. It’s about how bullies think. Frankly, bullies

don’t think much.

Here goes:

Mya: “Okay Wylie, do you know what it feels like to be bullied?”

Wylie: “Totally, I get bullied by experts like my older brother R.J., my dad and my

math teacher.”

Mya: “How do they bully you?”

Wylie: “R.J. uses me as a punching bag. My dad threw all the pictures of my mom out

of the house and my math teacher calls me “C.D.F.Z. Brains”.

Mya: “What does C.D.F.Z. stand for?”

Wylie: “Counting Down From Zero.”

Mya: “Wow, that would make me feel small.”

Wylie: “Exactly. How about the other S words – scared, stupid and sad? There, I said

Mya: “It’s majorly brave to admit that, Wylie, so what do you do when you get


Wylie: “Last time, I used a sixth-grader as a punching bag, erased the pictures on

another kid’s cell phone, threw his phone in a trash can and called Peter Cole ‘Boob

Dude’ and ‘Fat Fairy.”

Mya: “Did that make you feel any better?”

Wylie: “Just when I was doing it…….Okay, I get it.”

Mya: “It’s cool that you get it. What are you going to do about it?”

Wylie: (shrugs) “Look, I’m the Numero Uno bully on Mountain Lake. I’ve got a

reputation to protect.”

Mya: “It looks like you don’t have an answer about the different choices you could

make, Wylie. Would you like to know what other kids might do?”

Wylie: “Whatever.”

Mya: (rolls her eyes) “Would you like to be the Numero Uno bully expert on my blog?”

Wylie: “I thought I was.”

Mya: “There’s hope for you yet, Wylie.”

Wylie: “Don’t count on it.”

“Dear Bloggers: Please prove that there’s hope for Wylie by posting your thoughts on

my blog. I promise he’ll answer you.”



Note from Mya’s pen parent, Ellen Ziegler: If you want to find out how Wylie Van

Puck bullies Mya Gaines and what she does about it, be on the lookout for my book:

“The Garden of Yin Yang”.


Meet My Heroes and Heroines

          Since my first Bully Blog, I’ve thought a lot about different kinds of heroes

and heroines. I realized I know some people who are heroes and heroines. They will

speak to you in my next blogs:

          Like, my friend Song Lee gets a barf attack every time she has to play her

violin onstage, but she plays anyway. She also plays her violin for senior citizens in

nursing homes because she loves to make them happy.

          And kids make fun of Peter Cole because he’s huge for an eighth grader and

dresses weird with beads and a gold hoop earring. Because he’s different, the other

kids pick on him, so he sometimes wears a black eye. Peter’s an amazing

photographer and an even more amazing ventriloquist. He teaches little kids how to

throw their voice and he’s helping seventh grader Dylan Birch with his stuttering.

          Also, last week, Dylan stood up in front of a homeowner’s meeting, at the

community house in Mountain Lake, where we live and told everyone that kids

should have a vote in meetings. He reported that the lake was getting poisoned and

the fish dying every time the chemical company sprayed the lily pads. Dylan loves to

fish and hates the taste of chemicals.

          He stuttered during his speech, but he said what he had to say and no one

made fun of him like they do in middle school. The speech was his way of practicing

to be an actor because that’s what he wants to be more than anything else, except

maybe a marine biologist.

          My dad, Hyland Gaines, is the kind of hero you hear about on the news. On

one of his road trips driving his big rig, he saved a family from a burning car. He’s

also a hero because he drives his truck huge distances even though he’s in pain from

injuring his back when he saved that family. My dad drives his rig because he says

he has to provide for us. I’m going to help him find another job and my six-year old

brother Noah offered to help by going into the worm business – digging worms up

and selling them to fishermen on Mountain Lake. Pretty cool, though worms aren’t

my thing.

          I am so into heroes and heroines and one of my goals is to turn bully Wylie

Van Puck into a hero. My Grandma Gemma says there’s a seed of heroism in every

bully, but it was never watered. Changing Wylie will take a flood.

People can be bullied by problems in life and still perform heroic acts all the

time. They don’t think of themselves as heroes and heroines. My goal is to be a

heroine, but I’m scared of lots of things and like I said, in my first blog, I wish there

were a school for heroes and heroines.

          So, I’ll keep practicing.

          My Grandma also says that kids can change the world with Kid Power.

Let me know who you are and who are the different kinds of heroes and

heroines in your life?



Meet My Heroes and Heroines


“The Bully Blog”

by Mya Gaines

My name is Mya Gaines, and I have a thing about bullies.

A bully can make you wish there was a school for bravery.  Take Wylie Van Puck, for instance. Last week, I heard some kids laughing on the beach at Mountain Lake where I live. They stood around Wylie, who was drawing a picture in the sand with a stick. I walked up and saw it was the outline of a girl. Then, Wylie bent down and scooped two round holes out of the sand girl’s chest.

This is Mya,” he said. “She’s not only flat-chested, she’s concave.”

To this day, I can’t hear the word “concave” without having a massive cringe. That’s what bullies do to you.

Sometimes, a bully can be someone or something you never imagined.

My friend Will would say that a bully is the bird poop messing up his stepdad’s red

Corvette and he has to clean it off. My mother swears it’s the weeds choking her

tomato plants.

After a history lesson on World War Two, I realized that bullies can be one country invading another—or a corporation invading your backyard.

And that brings me to this blog because enough is soooo enough.

A few months ago, a company called Energy Unlimited broke a promise to one of my BFF’s, Hope Springer. Her parents own a farm in Pennsylvania. Their pond was full of koi fish and turtles and frogs. It also had a duck named Webster and a Golden Retriever, Fetch, who became best friends. They bonded after Fetch chased off a fox pouncing on Webster. Fetch and Webster swam in the pond and did laps every day until the trouble started.

Hope’s parents can’t pay their bills, so they loaned some land to Energy Unlimited. A company land man—that’s a salesman—showed up at the Springers’ door, promising to help them keep the farm. All they had to do was sign some papers.

That’s how I learned about fracking.

Fracking is like burping the land to bring up gas. Not just patting it on the back like my mom did with my little brother, but shoving a drill deep into its belly and forcing sand, water, and chemicals down to break up the shale, which can hold a zillion majorly awesome fossils.

Can you imagine dinosaur bones and perfectly formed prehistoric seashells and plants and insects smashed to smithereens?

Well, the Springers’ farm was fracked up, down, and sideways. I saw the drill towers and waste pits. I saw Fetch and Webster get sick after swimming in the pond, which smelled like my grandma’s old stove that leaked gas. I even saw the Springers’ kitchen faucet catch fire.

The week the fracking stopped, the smells got even worse. Then Webster went to duck heaven. That’s when I decided to train to and become a heroine. As I said, bullies are everywhere and enough is enough.

I live across the border from the Springers in Tall Pines, New York, next to Mountain Lake, the most awesome place in the whole world. It’s where I grew up to be my twelve-year-old self. I know almost every tree in the forest by the lake, where I draw pictures of the animals curled up in the shadows. I’m worried Mountain Lake might get fracked, too.

So I’m thinking about starting a club and maybe calling it The Rainbow Brigade, because I believe that rainbows have magical powers and so do colors. Like, red means you’re passionate about something and you want to protect it the way I want to protect Mountain Lake.

If you’re tired of bullies or even if you’ve bullied someone you can join and become a hero or heroine. Do you have a favorite color? Or a mission? Would you like the club to be named something else if you joined it?

Do you want to learn how to be brave even if you’re scared? I do. So I’m reading all the books I can about Anne Frank and Joan of Arc and Eleanor of Aquitane and Rosa Parks, who might be on a postage stamp one day. Rosa Parks stood up to bullies on a bus and the bus companies in the South that tried to stop her from taking a front seat because she was black.

We can talk about the things you like best about your world and the things that make you majorly mad. It would also be cool to think of other forms that bullies can take and how they get in your way and stop you from dreaming.

We can help each other.

Kid Power! How awesome is that?

I’ll keep you posted on my mission.



The Bully Blog