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.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Spooky Halloween Touch-the-body-parts Story

Having a few girls over for Halloween tonight, and I wanted to do a lovely spooky feel box for them. I remember my Mom and Dad doing this for us when we were little, and they always nailed the ambiance. 
I looked online for stories and decided it would need to be more authentic to have a chance of scaring them. Plus, then I could memorize it to add some realness. So... they already know I'm kooky and not afraid of gross stuff and I like to garden... So here is my story if you too need one to tell tonight. MWA HA HA HA HA!


You guys, I haven’t told anyone about this, but when I was pulling up the zucchini plants today, I found a bone.  (chicken bone boiled clean)

I thought it was an animal bone, but then I found a few teeth. Those must be raccoon teeth I thought. (popcorn kernels and sunflower seeds)

I stuck in my rake and pulled up stringy hair. A fox or a cat. There’s a totally reasonable explanation, I said to myself.  (rice noodles)

I scooped more dirt, and saw fingernails on my shovel. Did I mess up my manicure? No my nails were fine. These were someone else's nails. (pumpkin seeds)

But I kept digging, only to find a whole finger! Now there’s no mistaking a finger. What animal has a finger? (carrot, carved)

By now I was super creeped out. I felt something soft. I figured it was a mushroom, so I pulled it out. It was a piece of droopy skin! (tortilla trimmed)

The hole was getting pretty deep by now. I put my arm down it. I felt a hard thing, like a bowling ball or a rock. But then my fingers touched something soft. I pulled out a human nose. (zucchini stem)

Then I grabbed an ear. (dried apple slice)

Then a tongue! (slice of fresh mozzarella, shaped)


I reached in again. I felt something slimy. It was an eyeball. (peeled cherry tomato)

But the eyeball was stuck. I pulled harder and … a chunk of brain popped out. (the stem end of a head of lettuce)

By now I knew it must be a dead body. But who could put a dead body in the garden? It is a mystery. I mean, I’m the only one who digs the ground and adds the compost and plants the seeds. Nobody is back there but me.

Why are you looking at me like that? Nobody knows where this body came from! Unless you… think… you… know…BOO!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Zombie Prom - Halloweensie 2019

Time for Susanna Hill's annual Halloweensie contest where she challenges us to write a tiny Halloween story of 100 words or less! 

Sooooooo..... I had some Halloweensie issues this year, reminiscent of a few years ago when I used the words from the wrong year (my capacity for error is high!)

I started one story with witches, which is still cooking in my cauldron. But it's 300 words, and it would take too long to boil off 200. 

A second middle grade idea came, and I worked happily on it, rhyming my lines, and reading with oozing teen angst. I finished it in under 100 words. Then, I realized I completely neglected to use the CONTEST WORDS (cobweb, trick, potion.) So, I yelled,


"MONSTER FLAMING PUMPKINS!"
(or something like that) 

And I got back to work. So here is my entry (and after that, the original if you're interested in the dudes I had to kill off in the final.)



Haunted Halloween Hop 
By Lauri C. Meyers

Needing a date for the Halloween Hop,
Handsome and muscular boys are a flop.

Tyler is rich, so our date won’t be cheap…
(via free images by Miguel Ugalde)
Put him in science, he’s falling asleep.

Joey is funny with joking and tricks,
Up on his shoulders? A load of old bricks.

Jay has the potion for motion to dance,
Between his ears are there cobwebs by chance?

But…
Christopher aces his tests without sweat,
Studies new facts, and he doesn’t forget.

A zombie’s decision is easy to explain:
Always the guy with the big juicy brain. 


ORIGINAL with some more dudes before I had to eat their brains...thought it might be interesting for you to see how much has to change during revision of rhyming pieces. 

Zombie Prom

Picking a date for the dance can be tough
Lucas with muscles is brawny and buff.
Brayden is moody, his feelings are deep.
Tyler is rich, so his gifts won’t be cheap.
Simon appreciates classical arts.
YUMMY!!!
(via free images by Rodrigo Galindo)
Joey is funny with jokes about farts. 
Jay has the sweetest dance moves on the floor.
Greg is athletic, he’ll shoot and he’ll score.
But…
Christopher aces his tests without sweat,
Studies new facts, and he doesn’t forget.
A zombie decision is easy to explain:
Always the guy with the big juicy brain. 

Thanks for celebrating Halloween with me. Check out all the other entries on Susanna's blog. 

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. 

UPDATE: I'm incredibly happy to announce Emily Matheis selected my story, and I won a manuscript critique with her!

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.

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