Monday, October 27, 2014

Sulky Spider's Spooky Webs

Susanna Hill is hosting her annual Halloweensie Contest. The rules are to write a Halloween story in 100 words or less including the words pumpkin, creak, and broomstick.

After having a good poem at 111 words, I cut it down to 109. Then I thesaurused (that's a word right?) a few more changes to get to 105. Then I stomped around and pulled my hair out and threw myself on the bed and cried, "Why? Why only 100 words?" I rubbed some fake spiderweb for inspiration and finally got to 100 exactly.

Sulky Spider's Spooky Webs
By Lauri Meyers

Sulky Spider planned a scheme
For making trick or treaters scream.

Spider silk began to spin
A Jack 'o Web with wicked grin.
"Pretty pumpkin," cowgirls said.
"Pretty?" Sulky hung her head.

"A webby ghost will do the trick!"
She spun a spooky ghoul up quick.
Pirates shouted, "Ghosts are neat!"
She gobbled up her web. "Defeat."
   
Spinnerets began to twitch.
"A warty-broomstick-riding-witch!"
A princess cooed, "That witch is sweet."
She stomped all eight offended feet.

"I need a buggy snack," she frowned. 
Sticky thread went round and round.
She didn't hear the stairway creak.

"A spiderweb!" they hollered, "Eek!"


I'd like to thank the Orb Spider (I think that's the right identification) who has been living in my shed for weeks for the inspiration. This spider moved her gigantic web every other day so we had to approach cautiously not knowing where it could be now. My husband suggested (gasp!) killing the spider. But this spider was working hard to deal with the bugs in our shed, and I classified her as "too big to squish" anyhow. Yeah, bigger than a quarter = too much spider guts. 

Make sure to check out all the other great entries for the Halloweensie contest too!

Update: Sulky Spider's Spooky Webs won THIRD PLACE, and I won a critique from Alayne Christian!


80 comments:

  1. This is wonderful, Lauri! I love it. So cute. Great job. :-)

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    1. Thanks Cheryl! I wasn't feeling very "cute" when I was looking at a million spider pictures trying to identify mine. *shudders*

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  2. "Yeah, bigger than a quarter = too much spider guts." Ha! I know what you mean. Squishing a spider that big is scarier than not knowing where it is!
    I love your entry! All spider needed to do was be herself!

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    1. That's the trick isn't it, just being yourself! Now replace Sulky with a writer trying to write nonfiction but it's not working, then trying to write YA but it's not working, until finally she just writes what feels right.

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  3. This is so cute. I loved "She stomped all eight offended feet." : )

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    1. Thanks! "offended" was a real score to get the meter right. It only took about 20 attempts:)

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  4. (I managed to delete Cathy's comment-Sorry Cathy-but here it is)
    Cathy Ballou Mealey

    Love it Laurie!

    Arachna-perfection!

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  5. Fantastic. Really fun story. Good luck.

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    1. Thanks Johnell! It was fun to write too.

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  6. Agh, now I've deleted one of Miss Marple's Musings! I'm incapable of moderating comments today:(

    Joanna has left a new comment on your post "Sulky Spider's Spooky Webs":

    This my favorite stanza -
    Spinnerets began to twitch.
    "A warty-broomstick-riding-witch!"

    Love the POV!

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    1. Thanks Joanna! I just had to find a way to work in "spinnerets!"

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  7. I had to clean a spider web out of the mailbox today and I am definitely in the Eek camp! (I didn't stop to look for clever patterns like Sulky spun)

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    1. Aww, poor spider just wanted to receive mail for her first time. That or scare the mail right out of the mail carrier's pouch!

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  8. Orb spider which is bigger than a quarter? That is a big one!! I was gonna say something else but it wouldn't be good around the kiddies. Still, wow!!

    Great poem story. The Ryhme and rhythm is perfect. A much better one than one I did. terrific job! :)

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    1. Yes, gigantic. I really gave her a lot of space. She was always right in the middle of the web. Once or twice I wiggled her web with a shovel or pot, but she didn't even flinch. Which was smart, because crawling towards me suddenly does up my squish parameters!

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  9. If I had three hands, I'd give you three thumbs up! Definitely prize worthy! Have a Happy Halloween!

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    1. Thank you Donna! (though I can't get the image of the three thumbs up out of my hand. the start of an alien story perhaps? :) )

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  10. EEK! I hate spiders, but loved your story. I had a time getting my story down to 100 words, too.

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    1. Man, was getting to 100 words a real stinker this time! But it's good editing practice because it probably is better at 100.

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  11. Brilliant story, Laurie and yikes to that spider!

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    1. Thanks Catherine! A keep getting the chills everytime I look at her picture. yechh!

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  12. I love spiders. Well, I don't LOVE them. But I love watching them spin. Such a great science lesson for homeschool. Cute story. I love the rhyme. Great job.

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    1. Thank you! I agree even though they creep me out, I can't resist ogling their gorgeous webs. I'm always amazed by their tenacity too.

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  13. Fabulous, Lauri! So well done! A plot, character development, a clever ending, all in 100 hard-fought-for words! (And I know exactly how you feel - I had a sample that was much better above 100 words and didn't fare as well as yours in the cutting - nicely done!) Thanks so much for joining in the Halloweensie shenanigans with your sulky spider :)

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it was quite the wrestling match to get those last few words out, but it all worked out in the end. I appreciate you giving us these opportunities to really push and push the editing.

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  14. fabulous. I do love a determined spider.

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    1. Thank you. I guess if I needed to build a web to eat I would be determined too! Funny enough Charlotte's Web was on last night, and I really got to experience the power of the spider again.

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  15. I don't know what the 109 word version was like, but I think the 100 word version is perfect. Very well done, Lauri! I love your character.

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    1. Tighter is better! It really forced me to target little weak words or weak verb combinations and replace a few words with one stronger word (while not losing the meter or story - ugh!)

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  16. Oh, very thesaurus-y (and amazing wordplay!) :-)

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  17. That was a lot of fun to read, Lauri! Love Sulky's webs. Cute....err, I mean scary! Don't want those eight offended feet stomping. :)

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    1. It's kind of funny because a spider stomping would still be super quiet. Poor thing has no good way to express her emotions:)

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  18. Love it! "Keep it simple stupid" seems to be the key...even with spiders. Great job, Lauri. (Somehow struggling on a piece is really the fun part, even though we complain about it. *wink*)

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    1. You're right. Even though editing stinks, coming out the other end is very satisfying.
      Keep it simple is a good theme. Don't try to be something you're not, just do what you can do the best you can. Man I never know what my stories are about until someone tells me!

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  19. I loved the funny tries of the spider! So innovative idea :) Wonderful twist in EVERY stanza (? that the right word ?) Hillarious how the spider is deflated after each attempt.

    "A warty-broomstick-riding-witch!"

    Love that!!

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    1. I'm sure not every witch has warts, but making all those potions can't be good for the skin.

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  20. Delightful, wonderful rhymes, adorable main character!

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    1. Thank you. When was the last time you called a spider adorable? :)

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  21. REALLY SUPER IDEA. I love the build-up and how by just being hhimself Sulky Spider gets his wish - to scare th skids.

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    1. Thank you Kathy! Sometimes you just have to be yourself:)

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  22. Lauri, I love the build up to your ending. Being inspired by a real spider-how intriguing. My spider webs are trying to latch on to my decorative wreath-not a pretty sight to off they go. I am glad that we connected.

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    1. So nice to connect with you too. I have these large ghosts hanging outside made out of a fine netting material. I noticed a bunch of spiders on them yesterday. Lazy spiders! Just acting like they wove that web...

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  23. Terrific ending, Lauri--glad Sulky embraced her inner spiderness.

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    1. I guess sometime's your belly can lead you to the best you:)

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  24. Love that a real spider prompted your imagination to create this gem! Clever.

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    1. I think it was a combination of seeing the spider's latest creation in the shed and then raking for awhile. That raking is a good mind-numbing way to get ideas!

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  25. I love it! You are so funny. Great job with the rhyme. I think you have a keeper with this one! Would love to see this as a full-blown PB.

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    1. Thank you for the challenge! I'd have to dig for some more emotional depth to amp it up.

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  26. I really enjoyed your story, I could picture all of the webs designs. I especially loved the ending!!

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    1. Thank you Jean. It's fun to make little kids scream EEK!

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  27. I really loved your story, I could picture all those web designs, the ending was fantastic!!

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    1. Wonderful - My hope is always to give the reader a visual experience.

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  28. Nicely worked story in that poem - well done!

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    1. Thank you - I love that Susanna makes us work to prove stories can e told in so few words. Well, I love it when it's done...kind of hate it while I'm editing:)

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  29. Oh, I love this one. :) Especially the eight offended feet and the unexpected success in the end.

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    1. Thanks Christie- getting those eight feet incorporated was a meter challenge:)

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  30. I loved the spider theme, I could picture all the beautiful web art, I especially loved the ending!

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    1. I'm sure everyone draws a ghost in the web a little bit differently in their mind.

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    1. The wordplay in your comment is divine:)

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  32. Lauri, this is wonderful! Happy Halloween-sie!

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  33. I love all eight of this spider's offended feet. :) Super fun and great rhyme!

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    1. That line was a stressful fun to make work!

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  34. WOW! Lauri...this is GREAT! You did a stellar job in just 100 words...love the whole concept and especially the ending. :)

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    1. Thank you Vivian! Those were hard fought for 100 words:)

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  35. Eeeeeek! And you still have that spider? *facepalm* Great story, but I'm outta here! lol

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    1. Funny, I just opened the shed door today, and I think the darn thing built a web in front of the door. I didn't see it but I felt webby thingies fall down. EEK!

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  36. Lauri this is great! I love the way the spider tries her hardest and how you show her frustration when she fails to achieve her goal.

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    1. That work on "show don't tell" is an ongoing journey! Thank you.

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  37. I LOVE your story! It is really well done! :D

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  38. Told you your story was something special!

    Let's make this contest finalist thing a habit, OK? ;)

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    1. I hope so, right?? I really just want to get in a "contracts landed" contest with you!

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  39. Spinnerets. Love it! The whole sticky thing sparkles! Congrats! I think you should get extra points for tearing through a thesaurus till you trap the truest term. :D

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    1. Thanks Jilanne! My thesaurus is a little worse for the wear after the work to find the right word.

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**All comments are moderated to avoid attacks by pesky pirates and roving dragons!**

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