Challenges

Halloweensie Time!

Every year, Susanna Leonard Hill hosts her Halloweensie contest, which invites writers of children’s literature to write a Halloween story in 100 words or less. Today marks the first day of the Halloweensie contest, so if you want to read some great Halloween stories, hop over to Susanna’s blog!

And here’s my story . . .

The Spookiest House on the Block.

Skeletons dangled from the trees, twisting in the wind. Flickering lights barely illumined the sidewalk.

“Maybe we should just go to the next house,” Aiden whispered.

“No way,” Sophie said. She adjusted her mask, gulped, and crept carefully past clinging cobwebs.

“WELCOME!” Something lurking on the porch turned glowing red eyes towards them. Aiden shrieked.

Sophie ran past the figure and slammed her hand on the doorbell. “Trick or treat!” she gasped.

“Happy Halloween,” replied the man who answered. He dropped several treats into her bag.

They were full size Snickers!

“Best house on the block,” Sophie told Aiden.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com
Challenges

Fall Writing Frenzy 2020

Here we are in October. Everyone’s sipping their pumpkin drinks and planning for Halloween. Do you know what else it’s time for? The Fall Writing Frenzy, a contest for kidlit writers. It’s not too late to join the challenge, either! Find the rules here.

And here’s my entry for this year.

The Runner

Footfalls echo around me as I run, trying to pretend that things are fine, that I’m just a normal kid jogging in the woods. Trying to pretend that I’m bold and brave. Trying to pretend that the red cloaks are not roaming the woods, axes in hand, just looking for a wolf to chop.

Every breath I draw hurts now. If I tried to speak, I would find my throat raw. At least the woods are on my side: I can hear the trees shifting around me to cover my tracks; hear the paths hissing as they shift position behind me. I mouth a silent thank you and keep running, heading for the pack grounds deep in the heart of the woods. Any red cloaks that follow me there will get more wolves than they can handle.

Behind me, hoofbeats pound. Someone is catching up to me. I bite my lip and run faster. I don’t know how long I can keep this up, but I’m almost to pack land. Once I get there, I can shift form and run on four legs.

Uh-oh. Someone’s throwing axes now. First one misses . . . CRACK! Second one? Better aim.

Courtesy of Unsplash
Book Announcements, Picture Book Journey

New Book in 2022!

I’m delighted to announce that my next picture book, Sprinkles to the Rescue, will be released in 2022 by Hurn Publications. Please keep an eye open for future updates about artwork, cover reveals, etc. I hope to have more info to share with you in the coming months!

In the meantime, I’ve been working on young adult fiction as well as picture books. I don’t know if any of this work is going to make it to print, but writing these stories has been a LOT of fun. As much as I love picture books, I’ve also really enjoyed the longer scope of a novel. For me, the most fun stage of writing is creating the first draft, and writing a longer book means more time spent on drafting. 😉

I’m in good company: many picture book writers also write in other genres, such as chapter books or middle grade. I’m looking forward to continuing to experiment with writing for different age groups.

Book Announcements, Picture Book Journey

SPOOKY wins an Award!

I’m pleased to announce that my picture book, Spooky and the Gargoyle, is one of the ategories in the 2020 Indie Reader Discovery Awards! This doesn’t mean instant fame and fortune for me (alas), but it is nice to see “Spooky” getting a little recognition. I’m very proud of that book, though I have to admit I didn’t really know what I was doing when I published it!

Take a look at all the winners. It’s exciting to see all the different kinds of books that the judges selected.

Challenges

Rainy Day

It’s time for the shortest –and in some ways, most challenging– of the annual writing contests for children’s literature. Every year, Seuss week brings Vivian Kirkfield’s 50 Precious Words writing contest. And this year, once again, I’m throwing my hat in the ring with a new story that plays with the form of haiku. Enjoy!

“Rainy Day”

Dark clouds hide the sun.

Gloomy day; nothing to do

Till Mom brings out new

* * *

rain boots and raincoat.

Mud puddles plus yellow boots

Make rainy day fun.

* * *

Boots off, cocoa time!

Blow heat away. Sip slowly.

Sweet treat. A fun day.