Thursday, September 28, 2023

Sweater Weather is Here!

The fireplace has been crackling in the chilly mornings, because my husband is resistant to turning on the heat. Dressing requires a t-shirt plus flannel plus sweater to start the day which are removed when the sun glows bright and found again when the evening cools. My footsteps crack on acorns and shuffle in leaves.

 Ahhhh.... FALL. 

Plus there are always lovely writing prompt contests to keep my fingers warm. Here's one...

Seven Spooky Sentences hosted by Lynne Marie and Heather Macht runs 9/25-9/30. 

"What is 7 Spooky Sentences? A just-for-fun writing contest with NO judging. This is simply to get your creative juices flowing. Your entry automatically makes you eligible for some pretty spook-tacular prizes."

I really love their suggested 7-sentence plot, because it is a gateway to writing a picture book! It tricks you into thinking in just seven sentences, but voila you have the skeleton of a plot. 

Sentence One: Introduce your setting

Sentence Two: Introduce your character

Sentence Three: A story problem / goal

Sentence Four: An obstacle

Sentence Five: An active attempt to solve the story problem or achieve the story goal

Sentence Six: Introduce a failure Sentence Seven: Solve the story problem or achieve the story goal!
Here is my little story, because I love a scarecrow. *And* special thanks to my 13-year-old who has become a very helpful editor. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Where I Write

 I'm over on the Little Thoughts Press blog this month sharing for their series "Where I Write." 

Here's the beginning... (p.s. I LOVE that the construction picture is what comes up first as if I am writing in an abandoned building with just a crayon to scrawl my whimsies on the wall.) 

A few years ago, I became very annoyed with a storage cabinet thingy in my bedroom. Perhaps because I read The Littles when I was younger, I knew this little space under the eaves could be turned into a lovely space.

I didn't want the space to feel like Harry Potter's room under the stairs, so I opened it up. I created a tornado amount of noise and dust. Continue Reading here....

Monday, July 10, 2023

Publication news & other fun!

I have had a happily busy first half of 2023. I’ve been doing so much picture book polishing that my elbows are out of grease! 

I kicked off the year with a retreat at highlights. It was snowy and magical and productive.

During poetry month, I participated in Robert Lee Brewer’s poem-a-day challenge, and I was selected for Poetry Madness. (I only made it one round but had a maddening amount of fun!)

My PB Party entry received an Honorable Mention—it was soooo close! I love that storyJ

I won a copy of Finley: A Moose on the Caboose by Candace Spirizzi and Chantelle & Burgen Thorne (It’s very cute!) and a copy of A Vaccine Is Like A Memory By Rajani La Rocca and Kathleen Marcotte. (Review coming)

In March my poem “Bloom” was published in Little Thoughts Press.

In June I happily received two acceptances: 

My YA short story “He Loves Me Not” was accepted by Ember!

My poem “Row, Row, Row Your Tub” was accepted by Highlights High Five!  


I have had an important learning this year…

I am more likely to get accepted when I submit things. 

It’s true! Turns out, editors are unlikely to zap themselves through the internet into your work in progress file and ask for your stories. If only someone had told me sooner. Shucks! The road to those acceptances was paved with rejections, BUT it’s just litter. You won’t die.

Summer is offering with two amazing contests for nonfiction writing.

(1) SunWriteFun--Write a non fic or info fic story under 200 on the theme Dreams by July 28

(2) Write a nonfiction picture book with Nonfiction Fest by 8/1.


Gotta get back to writing and revising! Happy Summer to all!

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Are We There Yet #Springflingkidlit

Spring has sprung! (At least so says my tulips and the kids' Spring Break schedule.) To celebrate the season, Ciara O'Neal and Kaitlyn Sanchez are hosting the Spring Fling Kidlit challenge. Enter here. 

The basics: Choose a kid-appropriate gif to inspire a 150-word of less story for kids 12 and under. The Spring Fling contest officially begins on Saturday April 1st and closes April 3rd. 

I was inspired by this gif of a whale mom and baby migrating, a journey that starts in April.  Aww! So cute!

(Gif Link)

Are We There Yet? 

By Lauri C. Meyers

The ocean warms with spring.
Gulls have taken wing.
The current’s pull is strong
And hums migration’s song.
Mama whale conveys 
The change of coming days,

                “Northern waters call!”
But baby tries to stall. 
I like this seaweed reef 
That tickles me beneath.
                            “There’s a world to see!
                               Come explore with me.”
            I’ll miss my dolphin friends
            And how the sunlight bends.
                               “No matter where you roam,
                                The ocean is your home.” 
            How far will we go? 
                                “A thousand miles or so.”
            That’s too far I fear. 
                                “You’ll always have me near.”
            Tell me what we’ll see.
                                “Ice that’s floating free.”
            What’s it like at night?
                                “A dancing sky of light.”
            Will there be any fun? 
                                “Plankton by the ton.” 
            I’ll learn to fish I bet!
            Mom, are we there yet?
                                “Do you feel the chill?
                                  An end of journey thrill?”
Jump in celebration—
               I swam my first migration!

Monday, March 20, 2023

Fancy Meeting You here! #50PreciousWords

In life things aren't always exactly the way you want them. Like possibly one day your kids want to do "something fun" and you want to do "the four hundred things on your to-do list." When those situations arise, I try to find some sort of compromise. Perhaps this means the kids help move piles of rocks in the backyard and I give them wheelbarrow rides. Or we clean a closet and then play with the toys we found. 

Maybe your husband wants to "hike up the side of a mountain so we can look down at the ground below" and you want to remind him you can see the ground right here without your thighs burning. So it begrudgingly agrees to a 2 mile walk with a waterfall (because I'm a sucker for a waterfall.)

Friendship often means meeting halfway, too. This is the theme I chose for my 50 Precious Words Contest entry this year which won an HONORABLE MENTION FOR FRIENDSHIP! Yay! [Note: It's completely appropriate for you to tear up some paper and throw it in an exuberant confetti display at this point.]  And congratulations to all the contest winners!

I hope you enjoy my poem (under 50 words) ... 

*** So I fashioned this picture from clipart in Canva and I had to kind of copy and paste Ostrich's head, so I hope you don't look too closely! #notanillustrator

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Is it REALLY Valentine's Day?

 February means being misled by a groundhog, tricked by the crocuses, and bamboozled by the weather. And that's before you add in general Valentine's uncertainty of whether He loves me or He loves me not. Of course, that would leave anyone feeling SKEPTICAL... which brings us to this year's Valentiny contest!

The contest is hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill (who is author friends with a very nice groundhog who wouldn't mislead anyone) and the rules are: write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone feels skeptical!    

Now I initially thought "skeptical" was a big feeling for little kids, but then I remembered my kids don't believe a single thing I say. 

        "Carrots are healthy"   


        "Don't wait to study until the night before a test." 


        "I'm brushing my teeth!" 

                            Mom, we all know you are just sitting in there playing games on your phone. 

It's true. Kids SHOULD be skeptical of their parents... Read all the fun entries over at Susanna's blog. 

Love is an Adventure


By Lauri C. Meyers

Dad unwrapped a balloon. Mom opened a scarf.

“You guys give boring Valentine’s gifts,” I said.

“Boring?” Dad gawked. “These remind us of falling in love.”

“Literally falling! I skydived past your Dad’s hot air balloon,” Mom explained. “He was cute, so I yelled ‘Call me!’”

I raised my eyebrows. Mom doesn’t skydive!

“But I didn’t know her number!” Dad said. “Luckily, the next day while bull riding, I saw your mother in a barrel. I yelled, ‘Number?’ Then I got bucked off.”

“I miss rodeo clowning,” Mom sighed

I rolled my eyes. Dad hate clowns!

“The next week, I was snowshoeing a glacier. Your Dad raced by on a dog sled. I yelled, ‘534-’”

“But a polar bear chased me away! I couldn’t hear the rest.”

My mouth hung open. My parents hate snow!

“Later that month, I flipped my kayak in a dangerous swamp,” Dad whispered.

“I was training alligators nearby. I heard the splash,” Mom said. “Snappy Al married us right then and there.”

“An alligator married you?!” I squinted at them. “How did you really fall in love?”

They winked. “Open your gift!”

“A week at Pirate Adventure Camp?” I read the pamphlet. “Plank diving! Shark riding! Sword fighting!”

“Create your own story about falling in love … with adventure.”


Saturday, October 29, 2022

Halloweensie! The House Creatures' Halloween

Forget the trick-or-treating and candy and costumes and watching your jack-o-lantern slowly collapse into a gooey mess... Halloween means it's Halloweensie time! 

This is my 11th year writing for this contest, and thanks to Susanna Leonard Hill it just gets more fun every year. If you want to play along, the rules are to write a story or poem for kids in 100 words or under about Halloween with this year's contest words (treat, slither, scare.) Entries must be posted in the comments of the contest blog post

After we decorated the house for Halloween this year, I noticed the dog looking at the decorations (and us) like we were very weird. That inspired this story about the surprise the creatures of the house might feel when they creep out at night. 

Here is my entry: 

The House Creatures’ Halloween (100 words)


By Lauri C. Meyers


When night falls, the house creatures wake. But things look spookier.

Mouse snuffles for crumbs, but… “Squeak! A glowing ghost!”       

She scampers into a hole.

Bat hovers over apples, but… “Eek! A fangy vampire!”

He dives into a hole.

Centipede hunts for a bite, but… “Yikes! A monstrous spider!”

It slithers into a hole.

this work is titled: "I'm not an illustrator but 
still had fun doodling"

Cat prowls for a late-night snack. Suddenly, he sniffs a whiff of sneaking, flying, creeping beasties near a skeleton.

The animals shake and jump!

“Yowl! The skeleton is alive!” The cat runs scared.

The house creatures crawl out and celebrate on a feast of Halloween treats. 

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