Friday, October 11, 2019

The Witch's Cat

Kaitlyn Sanchez is hosting a Fall Writing Frenzy! She has selected a bunch of fall images to inspire writers for a quick 200 word or less piece. Prompts are a lovely way to get your writing hand moving, especially when it has been a bit lazy lately.

This thoughtful cat image sparked my imagination.

The Witch’s Cat
By Lauri Meyers

The black cat leapt from the witch’s bed to his perch in the wood windowsill. His whiskers twitched in the night breeze. The full moon told him his witch had only a few breaths left.

What would he do tomorrow?

He wouldn’t need to gather the mint for her spider tea. She wouldn’t ask him to guard the door while she chanted or to yowl when the potion for ever-lasting-love boiled.

The supply of toad warts were running low. He could catch some toads, but why bother when there was no one to scrape off the warts?

Perhaps he would find that brown mouse who had been stealing the lizard tails. He would leave it by her bed in her honor. Yes, that is what he would do tomorrow.

He hopped down on the witch’s tattered quilt. Using his claws, he brushed her wiry black hair until it was smooth. The black cat rubbed his nose on her cheek, then snuggled in beside his witch. 

HOP on over to the contest page to read fabulous entries and hear about the prizes. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Don't Eat Your Valentine

Susanna Hill has a guilty heart.
I mean she has a Guilty Heart Valentiny contest this year! By midnight on 2/14 write a children's story in 214 words or less where the character feels guilty.

I love how these contests stretch my writing muscles, plus she has amazing prizes, plus it is a great sense of community reading everyone's entries.

This year I learned something important. I struggle with endings. The evidence should have been obvious. There are many manuscripts weeping in their files, wondering if the writer will ever return to properly finish them. I vow to try! *If anyone has read any great blog posts about endings or would like to send tools my way, post them in the comments or email me! I have a problem, and I need help!

The ending to this one came after a week of struggle, in a bolt of morning dream sleep. I hope you enjoy it!

Don’t Eat Your Valentine

By Lauri C. Meyers

Giant fiddled with a doily. Heart shaped cakes, kissy lip crumpets and cupid churros covered the table. He did not want to get hungry.

His Valentine’s teas had a run of bad luck. A few years back he accidentally kicked his Valentine across the room. An aggressive high five knocked out his next Valentine. Last year, his Valentine got stuck to a giant lollipop. Giant usually ate his guests.  

The doorbell shook him from his worry. Remember, he whispered, Walk ahead of your guest, fist bumps are safer, and don’t serve lollipops. This year would be different.

“Happy Valentine’s, Goat,” Giant said.
“Meh,” Goat said.

Giant walked to the dining room. Goat’s horns bumped his ankle with every step.

“Ooh, Churros!” Goat said. Giant put out his fist bump. Goat’s hoof crashed into it. Giant rubbed his hand tenderly.

Goat chewed the churros wildly. She gobbled the heart shaped cakes, kissy lip crumpets, and doilies. 
Giant’s belly rumbled.

“First, you head-butt me across the room,” Giant roared.
"Love taps." 
(goat image via pixabay Gaborfejes)

“Love taps.”

“Then, you hard-hoof me,” Giant yelled.
“I wanted to hold your hand.”

“But why did you eat everything?” Giant sighed.
“That’s how goats show their love.”

A pink blush grew across Giant’s face.

Then he ate Goat.
Next year would be better.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Squirrel Wraps Up Christmas

Susanna Hill is hosting her 8th annual Holiday Story contest!
The Contest:  Write a children’s holiday story (children here defined as age 12 and under) about A Holiday Hero!  Your hero’s act of heroism can be on a grand scale or a small one – from saving Christmas to leaving a fresh-baked loaf of Challah bread for a homeless person to something like Gift Of The Magi where two people give up the thing most important to them to be sure someone they love has a good holiday.  Your hero can be obvious or unlikely.  Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 250 words.

Something about winter pulls me out to the woods to spy on the wild creatures and sneak a peek of their Christmas shenanigans.  Happy Holidays everyone! 

Squirrel Wraps Up Christmas
By Lauri Meyers

Squirrel checked off his last Christmas gifts: fancy French mud for Mrs. Beaver, a beekeeper veil for Baby Bear, a fanny pack for Possom. He tail twitched around the room singing, “I’m going to wrap, wrap, wrap up Christmas!” He just needed wrapping supplies and food for the feast.

On his way to the birch tree, he passed Mrs. Beaver.

“I’m stuck on the kits’ gifts! When I grab a stick, I drop the stack,” Mrs. Beaver grumbled. He carried the pile to her dam.

As Squirrel gathered bark, he heard a yelp in the bushes.

 Baby Bear whimpered, “I’m giving Mama a basket of berries, but these briars are busting my paws.” Squirrel showed him the claw flick trick, and the berries were flying.

Squirrel tugged vine ribbon from a branch. He nearly pulled Possum’s tail.

“Where did I stash my wife’s gifts?” Possum worried. Squirrel sniffed around and found the strong odor of old yogurt, moldy bread, and gym socks.

At home, Squirrel folded at full speed and finished with big bows. He bopped his head, and sang, “Who’s the wrapper? I’m the wrapper!”
Ding, dong!

He froze mid-bop. Forget being the wrapper-- he was the Feast Forgetter! He only had acorns. His dragged his tail to the door. 

“I brought dandelion salad,” said Mrs. Beaver.

“I brought berries,” said Baby Bear.

“I brought this pizza crust,” said Possum.

“You saved us today!” they said.  

“You saved the feast!” Squirrel said and tail twerked to the table.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Five Hungry Zombies

It's crazy at my house right now with a trip coming up, a new puppy coming soon, and the HORRORS of fifth grade homework! But I couldn't miss Susanna Hill's Halllweensie Contest!

The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words shivercauldron, and howl.  Your story can be scary, funny, or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!) 

Here's my entry. I wish everyone a Happy and Safe Halloween. May you get every candy you want *after* the kids go to bed! Mwa Ha Ha!

Photo via GoodFreePhotos

Five Hungry Zombies

By Lauri Meyers

Five hungry zombies rotting on a street.
The first one wailed, “Need something to eat!”
The second one groaned, “Cauldron over there.”
The third one screamed, “Smell children in air!”
The fourth one moaned, “Eat some brains.”
The fifth one howled, “Finish the remains.”
Then squish moved their feet. Kids shivered with fright.
And five hungry zombies stumbled for a bite.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Snow Day Valentine's

Happy Valentine's Day!

Susanna Hill is hosting her third annual Valentiny contest where she forces us to write complete stories in 214 words or less. She's tough, but these contests are great ways to get your inspiration flowing and see what your mind can do with constraints. In this year's contest, someone must be hopeful. You can read all the great entries here. Entries can be posted through 2/14.

In my 146 word story, Joey must try every superstition to get a snow day or risk being Katie's Valentine.

Snow Day Valentine
By Lauri Meyers

Jammies inside out.
Ice in the toilet.
Shake up the snowglobe.
Snow day guaranteed!

Snip lucky snowflakes.
No need to cut hearts.
I’m not gonna be
Katie’s valentine.

Roll ice cream snowmen.
Will she stare at me?
Chow down on scoops of
No School Tomorrow!

Put a dime in the
Window for Jack Frost.
What if she hugs me?
Add a few quarters.

Run outside, spin twice.
She wouldn’t kiss me?   
Yell in the freezer,
“I’m wishing for snow!”

The groundhog said snow.
He is never wrong!
Tuck a spoon under
My pillow tonight.

Alarm clock ringing.
Run to the window.
Grass? Can’t be. Oh no.
I need a Plan B.

“I’m not feeling well.”
“Ate too much ice cream.”
“I can’t go to school.”
“But it’s Valentine’s!”

Draw hearts for Katie.
Drag my feet to school.
Learned my lesson -- don’t
Forget to snow dance.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas Wildfire

Susanna Hill's 7th Annual Holiday Contest is here. The challenge is to write a holiday story for kids with a surprise in under 250 words.

Writing friends in Southern California have been posting about the wild fires this week and about finding safety. (Stay safe!!) There is a fire in the Los Padres National Forest, which inspired my 220 word story.

Christmas Wildfire

By Lauri Meyers

Black bear pawed at the ground by a big douglas fir and snorted, “This one.”
Elk wrapped the tree with honeysuckle vines, carefully tucking in the ends with his antlers.
Bluebird dotted the needles with red Christmas berries.
Jackrabbit dangled wild carrots, joyously jumping to the highest branches.  
Coyote paced around the tree and howled with delight.

Black bear grunted, “Quiet.”
Jackrabbit’s nose twitched, “Smoke.”
Elk raised his antlers, “Danger.”
Bluebird chittered, “Run, run, run!”
Coyote snapped at their feet to hurry.
Black Bear (by Martha Jane Cordell via

After their long flight, the animals huddled under a strange tree on Christmas Eve.
Jackrabbit rubbed his long ear and squeaked, “Our Christmas tree?”
Black Bear let out a low growl and tucked jackrabbit under his arm.

In the morning Great Horned Owl swooped low and hooted, “Safe.”
The animals meandered through black trunks.
Puffs of ash followed Jackrabbit’s jumps.
Jackrabbit (by Don Schaeffer
Black bear shook soot from his fur.  
Bluebird landed on Elk’s antlers and rapidly tweeted, “No. No. But Santa. Oh dear. No.”

Then they froze.
Their Christmas tree stood alone. The green needles were covered in Christmas berries, wrapped in honeysuckle, and dangled with carrots. Only one thing had changed. The tree glistened with a coating of Christmas snow.
Jackrabbit cried, “Saved!”
Black Bear nodded, “Unexpected.”
Elk bellowed, “Miracle.”
Bluebird trilled, “Santa! Santa! Santa!”
Coyote howled with delight.

Read all the finalists on Susanna's page here!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Timmy's Sweet Success- A Halloweensie Story

I've been busy making spider egg sacks,
 creating creepy decapitated heads,
and smurfing myself this Halloween season.

 But once all the goblins were in bed (and the blue face paint removed) there was just enough time to finish my Halloweensie Story.

Susanna Leonard Hill's contest challenges writers to create a Halloween story for children in 100 words or less which includes the words Shadow, Monster, and Candy Corn (bonus, candy corn counts as one word.) Post your story by Tuesday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT. (Otherwise known as "Dude, you only have 30 minutes left") 

Timmy’s Sweet Success

The monsters were prowling, but Timmy wanted his bag full.
A chill stopped him on the sidewalk.  
“I vant to suck your sweets,” the vampire said.
“Open up,” Timmy said.
He shoved candy corn on Dracula’s fangs and ran.

He stopped to ring another doorbell, but a growl made him freeze.
“I need a chewy snack,” the werewolf said.
“Open up,” Timmy said.
The werewolf’s bite pierced a mouthful of tootsie rolls.

His house had a familiar shadow on the porch.
“Any Snickers?” the mom-ster asked.
“Open up,” Timmy said.
Mom’s teeth stuck to Bazooka Joe while Timmy ate his Snickers.

Happy Halloween!
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