Saturday, April 2, 2022

Why Owls - a Spring Fling Poem

It's snowing one day and hot the next, so it must be Spring!

The Spring Fling Kidlit contest is open for entries through 4/3/22. This contest hosted by Ciara O'neal and Kaitlyn Sanchez is for stories under 150 words for kids under 12 inspired by a gif. You can enter here.

(I don't know the original source for this meme...
but thank you for breaking my brain mystery photographer)
My entry is based on a gif that has been bothering me since I saw it last year...it exposes the truth of owls long legs. It's makes me laugh thinking about it!





"Excuse Me" on Giphy

Why Owls

By Lauri C. Meyers

 

I know why owls have giant eyes:

For super sight at night,

Tapered tips on powered wings

For stealthy gliding flight,

Heads that swivel all around

Extending what they hear

With feathered ears to funnel sounds

Of rodents creeping near,

Offset ears triangulate

The spot to grab the prey,

Talons spread to stun a mouse

And carry it away.

Sharpened beak for tearing food

Because they cannot chew,

But why they hide flamingo legs

I haven’t any clue!


(from Zenoshogun on Imgur)
Whooooo spent too much time looking at owl gifs? That was me, but it can be you too! If you need more owls, I recommend: 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Bloom! A poem for Spring

Vivian Kirkfield hosts an annual #50PreciousWords contest in March which challenges writers to pen a story under 50 words. Please read a few of the wonderful entries in the comments of her post. 

I had one of those waking dreams where the muse floats in and prods you with a piece of poetry. She left me with the feeling that morning is so full of hope and possibilities for the day and also fraught with doubt and the weight of expectations. Each day we have to push through the challenges to bloom. Thought it is snowing outside my window, it's hard not to feel the power of Spring approaching. 

Here is my entry in 45 words. 

 

crocus in snow taken by Lauri 2017

Bloom

By Lauri C. Meyers

Sunshine warms my bed.
Breaks my hibernation.
Hope awakens.

Rise.

Peel away the covers.
Stretch toward the sky.
Dare to grow.

Sprout.

Shake in chilly breezes.
Drip with springtime rain.
Miss my bed.

Pause.

Sunshine smiles brightly.
Robin calls, “It’s time!”
Believe I can.

Bloom.



 


Thursday, March 3, 2022

Ten Years!

     Ten years ago today I wrote my first blogpost. That day I claimed to be Committing to be a Writer.  Posting that on the interwebs for the whole wide world (or really a few writing friends and some spammers) to see must have done the trick, because here I am a decade later still grinding away at this keyboard. (Well, actually it's a new mechanical keyboard that makes a clicky sound like a typewriter, and I love it.)

The question "Am I a writer?" still skips by on the sidewalk of my brain on occasion. But now I am wise enough to know the only proof I need is that my pencils have become dull again, so I must be a writer.

So what does the next decade hold? Win a contest? Publish a poem in a magazine? Get an agent? Sell a picture book? I sure as sugar hope so, but that's for the stars to decide. All I can control is how many pencils I go through. 

I hope it's a lot. 

Happy Ten Years!

Photo credit: Probably my Mom
Giving knife to 3 year old credit: Probably my Dad



Saturday, February 12, 2022

My Gummy Love

Monday is Valentine's Day, and the best way to celebrate is writing a story for kids! Enter Susanna Hill's Valentiny contest. Stories must be 214 words or less, about Valentines Day, and about someone feeling proud.  Read all the great entries here. 

**UPDATE! My Gummy Love won an Honorable Mention for the contest as a hole!**

My Gummy Love

By Lauri C Meyers

214 Words

 

Joey crafted a Valentine for Grammy and wrote, “I love you THIS much!” He added a gummy heart.

But the gummy was little, and he loved Grammy a lot.

Joey grabbed a pot and a box of cherry gelatin. He mixed it and poured out a big gummy heart.

But he loved Grammy more than that.

Joey grabbed a bigger pot and three boxes of cherry gelatin. He mixed it and poured out a bigger gummy heart.

But he loved Grammy more than that.

Joey grabbed the biggest pot and twenty boxes of cherry gelatin. He mixed it and poured out a gummy heart as big as the table.

“I did it! Joey said. “That’s how much I love Grammy!”

Ding, dong! Grammy was here!

He poked the gummy heart. It jiggled with love.

“It’s probably ready,” he said.  

He held his card and wrestled the gummy heart into his arms.

The huge, wiggly heart flopped across his face.

His fingers squished deep into the gummy.

Drops of cherry goo trickled down his ear.

Finally, Grammy opened the door… just as the giant gummy heart melted over Joey’s head.

“You love me that much?” Grammy said. “Well, I love you this much!”

She wrapped up her red, sticky, cherry-scented grandson in a Grammy-loves-you hug.



For extra fun check out the recipe to make gummy hearts (which clearly need to chill longer than a few minutes, Joey!)  Parents.com


And Joey if you want to be clear about your love, go anatomically correct gummy heart! 




Thursday, February 3, 2022

Kids Choice!

Update: Quiet as a Butterfly Fart won an Honorable Mention! Thank you Kailei for the fun contest. See the other winners here. 


How fun is this? Kailei Pew is hosting a kids choice contest with 100 kid judges. Stories can be all kidlit ages, must be under 200 words and posted on her site by the day of twos... 2/2/22. 

So I looked through some unfinished pieces to see if anything spoke to me for this contest. I needed a laugh, and kids need laughs so I give you Quiet as a Butterfly Fart. It's honestly nearly memoir, because me trying to tell quiet bedtime stories almost always devolved to an unfortunate word choice which failed to create sleepiness.  Did I throw Dad under the bus? Maybe. Does Mommy sometimes make body noises? No. Absolutely not. MOMMY IS A PERFECT LADY!  

I hope you get a laugh and visit Kailei's site for more stories. 


Quiet as a Butterfly Fart

By Lauri C. Meyers

Genre: PB

Rest your sleepy head.

Let your sweet dreams start.

The night is quiet as …

A butterfly fart.

 

The sun has gone to bed,

Nighttime’s dark has come.

The night is dimming like…

A firefly’s blinking bum.

 

Slow your breathing with

The cricket’s steady chirping.

The night is calming like …

A ladybug burping.

 

Close your eyes my love

Let sleep come at last.

The air is sweet until…

Daddy passes gas.


Friday, January 7, 2022

A Year of Gratitude

 A Year of Gratitude

Julie Hedlund’s 12 Days of Christmas renewal process has been a great way to start the year. Even though I’ve done it several years, there are always new learnings. This year when I got to day 7, Practicing Gratitude, I realized the list of authors who had supported me this year was very lengthy. Very. Lengthy.  Thanks are in order!

Susanna Hill – Thank you for your contests which get me writing fresh material and provide so many fabulous awards. Thank you for your Making Picture Book Magic class which I won and LOVED. I also won a PB critique from Rebecca Rector, who gives amazing critiques – thank you Rebecca!

Marcie Colleen – Thank you for your Study Hall program and instilling in me the habit of Daily Intention. That month and your critiques pushed me to a new level. Thank you to my study hall colleagues Judy Sobanski, Lisa Perron, and Anne Reilly for the helpful critiques.

(via free images, by kikashi)

My “Fine Grind” support group for finding ways to get together virtually and in person this year and being a supportive place where you can share what it means to be a writer. Marlaina Cockroft, Mitu Malhotra, Donna Cangelosi, Donna Marie, Rebecca Gardyn Levington, Suzanne Morris, Andria Rosenbaum, Ariel Bernstein, Chana Stiefel, and others who pop in.

My “Book Nook” critique group for helping me continually improve and giving me so many delightful pieces to read, Connie Colon, Kelly Calabrese, Linda Bozzo, Jen Kaplan, Genevieve Petrillo, Viji Chary

Justin Colon for running PB Chat weekly and the PB Chat Mentorship where he invests HOURS of time to help the mentees grow their craft. Thank you to all the agents and editors who stopped by the showcase. Thank you to my fellow 20 mentees who supported, celebrated, and critiqued. Thank you to the authors who hosted zoom sessions with us.

Rebecca Gomez, my PB Chat mentor - Thank you for reading, critiquing, and wordsmithing in my rhyming and prose stories. Thank you for all the time, support, and learning I received during the process. Your love of rhyme is infectious!

Tara Lazar – Thank you for hosting Storystorm. Brainstorming ideas is the perfect way to start the year. Thank you to all the authors who write posts and donate prizes.

Manju Howard, Alayne Kay Christian, and Gabrielle Schoeffield – Thank you for hosting KidLit Creatives (which I still call SubSix!) which is a wonderful space to support PB authors, celebrate new releases, and give us a place to celebrate our actions in our writing journey. I won the book Laila and the Sands of Time by Shirin Shamsi (Thank you!) and a cover letter critique by Alexandria LaFaye (Thank you!) 

Gayle Krause- I won a rhyming critique in 2020 and invested in another critique in 2021, which I attribute to helping me earn the PB Chat Mentorship. Thank you!

Vivian Kirkfield – Thank you for hosting your 50 Precious Words Writing Contest which inspires new ideas.

The Nonfiction Chicks (Pat Miller, Nancy Churnin, Peggy Thomas, Linda Skeers, Susan Kralovansky)-Thank you for hosting NonFiction Fest

Shannon Anderson –Thank you for your videos on Ikigai and Growth Mindset

Six Ladies and a MANuscript Critique Group (Kaitlyn Sanchez, Jolene Gutierrez, Sarah Heaton, Sarah Meade, Mike Irvine, Kristin Wauson)- Thank you for hosting Kidlit Zombie Week. I won a critique from Charlotte Offsay which was incredibly helpful.

Kaitlyn Sanchez and Ciara Oneal and Lydia Lukidis – thank you for hosting the Spring Fling and Fall Frenzy contests which encourage me to try other genres.   Thank you Lydia for your blog giveaways too- I won Kim Zachman’s There’s No Ham in Hamburgers which is an amazing nonfiction book. (Thank you Kim!)

Kirsti Call, Carrie Charley Brown, Janie Reinart – Thank you for hosting ReFoReMo, though we are sad to say good bye to this event. Thank you to all the authors who contributed posts & prizes and shared their mentor texts.

Kathy Temean of Writing and Illustrating blog for offering so much information and opportunities.

Laura Backes & Jon Bard of Children’s Book Insider – Thank you for the monthly newsletters and especially the videos/live events with authors during the pandemic. I have learned tons. Thank you to all the authors who took the time to participate! I particularly enjoyed the session with Katy Tanis.

Melissa Stewart – thank you for blogging and making videos about Nonfiction

Renee Latulippe- Thank you for the new Peek & Critique videos on Rhyme

Jess Keating – your Instagram keeps it real and offers tremendous encouragement

Halli Gomez – Thank you for your Tic Tac Toe event which encouraged me to try new things and for the middle grade critique.

Natalie Aguirre- Thank you for the agent spotlights on Literary Rambles. It is an amazing resource for agent research.

Lisa Wheeler – I won a wonderful critique in 2020, but in 2021 you sent a postcard that said “Keep Writing.” This postcard hangs by my desk for much needed daily encouragement.

Julie Hedlund – Thank you for 12 Days of Christmas and all you do within the kidlit community throughout the year.

Thank you to my family - Rob for saying a new manuscript was hilarious, Kelsey for her tough critiques, and Delaney for liking everything. 

Thank you to whoever I may have forgotten this early snowy morning gratitude moment. * I reserve the right to keep adding to this list!*

In short – no in quite long – I have been unbelievably blessed in my writing life. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

The Witch's Gingerbread House

UPDATE: Witch's Gingerbread House won an Honorable Mention for the contest as a whole. yay!!

December is flying and so were the words tonight as I wrote my very last minute entry to Susanna Hill's annual holiday story contest. Children's stories must be 250 words or less and be about a HOLIDAY CONTEST. The holiday can be any winter holiday, and I enjoyed playing with what might be celebrated on winter solstice. I suppose my table having a strange stickiness remaining from making gingerbread houses a few days ago was also inspiring (and a bit gross!)

Read all the fun entries in the comments on Susanna's blog

Happy holidays!


The Witch’s Gingerbread House

By Lauri Meyers (250 words)

Aggie never won the Gingerbread House Contest. That witch Thelby always attracted the plumpest, cutest children for her Winter Solstice feast while Aggie sipped cold carrot stew.

She needed this year’s prize. With the Electric Cauldron 3000, she’d have HOT carrot stew!

She baked her gingerbread walls over a bonfire, like mum taught her, then built a cozy cottage.

She peeked at Thelby’s two-story mansion. “Aww, frog legs!”

Aggie planted cactus outside to welcome the children.

Thelby poured a chocolate pudding pond with a cake diving board. “Aww, drat rats!”

Aggie shivered in the cold, thinking about that new cauldron. She spied on Thelby for inspiration.

Red licorice covered the house. Thelby hung taffy windows with gummy shutters. A candy cane chimney puffed cotton candy smoke. Marshmallow icicles melted from the chocolate bar roof.

“Well, spicy spells! I could win.” Aggie giggled. “Candy is icky. Kids love… VEGETABLES!

She covered the walls with carrot logs, added sliced zucchini windows, and hung green bean shutters. She stacked pickles into a chimney. Ranch dressing icicles dripped from the tomato slice roof. She added a celery slide for after feast fun!

The kids looked at her house in confusion, then headed toward Thelby’s.

“Enjoy your carrot stew, Aggie!” Thelby sneered.

Aggie stood up for herself. “What’s your winter solstice feast?”

“Plump children!”

“Wizard whiskers! You EAT the CHILDREN?!” Aggie yelled. “I’m a vegetarian.”

The kids came running to Aggie’s gingerbread cottage.

And she enjoyed eating hot carrot stew with the cutest, plumpest children.

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