Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Gingerbread Girl to the Rescue - Holiday Contest 2020

 The tree is decorated, the house is lit up, and far too many cookies are in my belly-- the holidays are here!

I hope you are all staying healthy and finding ways to make new memories in this weird time. One of our favorite traditions is making gingerbread cookies. Even though I am a perfectly smart, sensible, scientific young lady, I can't help but open the oven carefully every year just in case a gingerbread comes to life and runs amok. Which brings us to this year's annual holiday contest from Susanna Hill. 

The challenge: Write a 250 word story for kids about the holidays with the theme of a Holiday Helper. To see the entries click here


Gingerbread Girl to the Rescue

 

By Lauri C. Meyers

 

“Who wants to make gingerbread?” Ella asked.

“I’m shopping,” Mom said from the couch.

“Reading the news,” Dad said, not looking up.

“Ugh, lame,” Charlie grunted while tapping his screen.

Ella frosted dozens of gingerbread girls in colorful dresses with peppermint bling. When she got to the last cookie, she wished she weren’t alone.

“Hmm. You’re not wearing a dress,” Ella said, piping red frosting. “It’s a cape!”

The cookie winked and jumped off the table. She grabbed Mom’s phone, Dad’s tablet, and Charlie’s videogame and ran out the door.

“Run, run, give it a whirl,

You can’t catch me—

I’m the Gingerbread Girl!”

The family chased her around the yard, but she sped down the road.

“Grab a bike!” Ella yelled. They pedaled after the cookie.

 “Pedal, pedal, give it a whirl,

You can’t catch me—

I’m the Gingerbread Girl!”

 

Gingerbread Girl jumped on a swan.

“We need kayaks!” Ella yelled. They paddled after the cookie.  

“Paddle, paddle, give it a whirl,

You can’t catch me—

I’m the Gingerbread Girl!”

 

The swan squawked and dove in the water flipping Gingerbread Girl into the air.

“Cookies can’t get wet,” Ella gasped. “You have to fly!”

Gingerbread girl fluttered her cape and glided into the sky.

 

“Get the kite!” Charlie called.

“I need my nerf gun,” Mom yelled.

“I’ll take the hot air balloon,” Dad said.

“And I’ll have fun with my family,” Ella said.

 

“Play, laugh, give it a whirl,

You can’t be bored—

with the Gingerbread Girl!”


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Puppywolf! Halloweensie 2020

Susanna Hill is hosting her annual Halloweensie Contest! To play: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children, using the words skeleton, creep, and mask and enter it here.

My 100 word story is Puppywolf. Happy Halloween!


Puppywolf

By Lauri C. Meyers

 

“I can be a werewolf for Halloween!” Puppy woofed.

             “You would need a mask,” Cat replied. 

“I can sharpen my teeth on this skeleton!”

             “You mean your chewy bone?” Cat asked with sass.

“I can howl at the moon. A-woo! A-woo!” Puppy howled.

“Sounds like a screech owl.” Cat covered her ears.


“I can stick up my ears and growl.”

“That ear is still floppy.” Cat laughed.


“I’m a werewolf,” Puppy said. “And I smell cat!”

             Cat hid under the couch.

“I can creep in the shadows, finding my prey, and… pounce!”

Cat hissed. 

“Save your pouncing for trick-or-treaters, werewolf!”

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Waiting ... for a Fall Frenzy

 The Fall Frenzy picture prompt challenge is here. The event is cohosted by Lydia Lukidis and  Kaitlyn Sanchez.   

The challenge is full of fun fall pics, any of which could inspire a good sprint of writing to warm your fingers as the chill of fall sets in. The 200 word limit is a good reminder to keep your writing tight. 

This one inspired me to go YA, a bit unusual for me, but we all need some change :) 

Image 1, courtesy of Unsplash


Waiting

By Lauri Meyers

 

Fuzzy socks. Wool blanket. Coffee. I leaned against the porch railing, not letting some cool air keep me from finally seeing Tommy Hendricks on his morning run. Actually, I saw him every morning, but from the safety of my couch peeking through the bay window. I was turning 14 tomorrow, and it was time to pull down the curtains. Today, Tommy would see me.

A yawn slipped out, and I saw my breath. I pulled the plaid blanket over my legs, careful not to hide my perfectly picked Steelers sweatshirt. I touched my hair gingerly hoping the hour of twisting and teasing had resulted in the desired “I rolled out of bed not at all worried about my hair” messy bun.

7:45 and my fingers were going numb. I picked up the coffee hoping to warm my hands. I heard the thump, thump of his Nikes hitting the road. His hoodie hugged his chest, and my hands started to warm up. I took a sip of coffee. The taste of burnt pencils clung to my tongue. I sputtered and gagged.

“Morning,” Tommy called.

“Morning,” I said, dying of embarrassment as he passed.

“Go Steelers,” he yelled.

OMG. Tommy saw me.



Sunday, July 12, 2020

Stuff I Like to Geek Out About

I was scrolling through old pictures today looking for a certain picture of a mushroom, and it occurred to me that I like a bunch of totally random stuff. You may call it "eclectic" or just cut to the chase and call it geeky... but with this many things that interest me, I'm rarely bored.

Things I like to learn about in no particular order...

Shells (I have another box too)


Butterflies  (& tangentially butterfly gardens)



Gardening (and making zucchini bread when the harvest is good. And taking pictures of my harvest shaped like smiley faces. Also, have you eaten zucchini flowers before?)


Astronomy




Bugs

Cows (And statues of cows)

Mushrooms
Lichens *totally different from mushrooms, but equally weird
Birds (also birds on things. It just always cracks me up when a pigeon lands on a statue's head)






Trees & Identifying trees. Also trees that have grown around things/eaten things/overcome things. Nature amazes. 


Chances are there will be poems, articles, or picture books with these topics at some point in my career.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Dragon in Love


I wanted to write a story for Susanna Hill's Valentiny contest, but it turns out I must not know anything about love! I had a perfect character and wrote him in 15 (15 I tell you!) situations and it just wouldn't work.

I went so far as to review Robin Lovett's "Structure of Romance" on DIYMFA, but I still couldn't make this guy fall in love. Poor fellow was too darn shy, so I had to bench him until next year.

Luckily there was another Storystorm character idea from a few year's back who had potential and was ready, if perhaps too willing to fall in love.

If you'd like to play, stories must be for kids, about a curious character, and under 214 words.

pic by Graphic Mama
Here's my entry in 196 words:



Dragon in Love

By Lauri C Meyers

I wonder what a dragon does when she falls in love.

Does she send a valentine by a homing dove?    
            
Would it be a heart with edges charred a bit,

Asking you to share a cool banana split?   

Will she trim her cave with roses in a vase,

And set two spoons so you are seated face to face?

Will she flap her leather wings as she licks the bowl,

Then grab your hand in hers to take a little stroll?

Would she use her claw to scratch your name in bark?

Will she whisper “Cutie” with a fiery spark?

Maybe she will puff a poem in words of smoke,

Confessing love for you until you cough and choke?

Would she look at you with wicked winking eyes?

Won’t she fall in love with someone more her size?

“Will you stay for dinner?” makes you want to cry.

You start to see you must be one unlucky guy.

“It’s time for me to go,” you squeak, too scared to say,

You’ve had quite enough of Dragon Valentine’s Day.

She is a lovely dragon, anyone can see-
I only wish she didn’t fall in love with me!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

I DID IT! 2019 in Review

Last year Julie Hedlund encouraged writers to keep track of successes and failures by month throughout the year as part of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers.

(by Linnell  Esler via freeimages)
And I actually did it!

Wow, it was empowering. It felt like a little pat on the back each month.

There were those times it felt like I hadn't done a single thing. I was the worst writer ever. I wasn't even a writer, I hadn't put a word on a page, since, well, wait, lookie here...it was earlier this month. Oh, that's not so bad. I'm okay. In fact I think I'll write something right now! And that's the magic of writing down your successes.


  5    New Picture Books started

 12   Contest Stories (a 2nd place, a 10th place, 2 honorable mentions, a critique win)

 60   Critiques Given & Received

106  Revisions (see?! Holy Happy Dance! I had no idea.)

 6     PB Submissions

 9     Magazine Submissions  (2 acceptances!)

11    Online writing events & fun

 6     Writer People time (Events, Conferences, Tea with Writers)

153  Books read

And this is my 201st post on my blog. So that's crazy awesome too:)


I know I could do better, but that's not too darn shabby. Now, enough of looking back, time to start the 2020 Journal and get my juices flowing with Tara Lazar's Storystorm.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Santa's Christmas Wish

I've had cookie crumbs on my lip for three days straight, so it must be Christmas! That means wrapping presents, singing about hippopotamuses, and writing for Susanna Hill's annual Holiday Contest! 

The rules: Write a children's holiday story under 250 words about a holiday treat. 

I want to take a quick second to wish everyone the time to be present in the joy of the holidays, a few calming breaths when the traffic gets heavy, and to graciously receive a gift literal or figurative they didn't expect. Happy Holidays!

Here's my story: 

Santa's Christmas Wish

"Handlebar moustache last year...
pork chops this year?"
(by Julia Freeman-Woolpert via Freeimages.com)
Santa knew the toy-making days were few when he opened a letter from Charlotte. He guessed she would wish for the dancing video game or those headphones without wires. The elves would complain about this last-minute coding, but Santa knew dancing and keeping her B in social studies kept Charlotte busy. He bit into a maple chocolate chip cookie to prepare himself.

As he read the letter, a chocolate chip rolled down his beard.

“Dear Santa,

This Christmas after you fly around the world spreading joy, I wish for you to have a day to relax. What do you want for Christmas?

Perhaps some fuzzy socks would soothe your tired feet. Herbal tea could calm your tummy after eating a few million cookies. On a “Top Ten Gifts for Men with Beards” list, they recommend beard oil for a pleasing shine or a beard shaping guide if you want to try a new look.

When I have a snow day off, I like to play games and watch TV and sometimes we order pizza. Do they deliver pizza to the North Pole? You know what, nevermind. I know exactly what I’m getting you! Merry Christmas, Santa!

Love, Charlotte”

Santa’s belly shook, his lips quivered, and he laughed a huge Ho, Ho, Ho. What a treat to be asked what he wanted for Christmas! He loved cozy socks, and the elves made terrible pizza. But what would he look like with a goatee? This could be the best Christmas ever.
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