Posted by: storywriter45 | April 30, 2014

Five Hundred Word Stories

     I finally completed my challenge of writing two five hundred word stories for young children. It was definitely more difficult than I thought it would be, but I am happy with my results. Now to write the cover letter and send off the submissions to the publisher. I am still waiting to hear from my critique service about my seven hundred word picture book, “That Bee Is My Friend.” I am anxious to hear the results.

    In the mean time, I am still working on my middle grade book, “Owen and Max Time Travel to Christmases  Past.”

They will travel to a Christmas in 1800’s America, 1700’s London, 1600’s Germany, and finally to the first Christmas. I am enjoying writing this one so much. I can’t wait for Owen to read it.

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Posted by: storywriter45 | April 30, 2014

     “Jackson,” I called. “Come and see who is in the bathtub. Look, it’s Sammy the seal.” Sammy the Seal was one of my daughters favorite books when she was little. I was hoping it would entice my three year old grandson to let me read to him. But, as soon as he saw the book, he was off and running. Now look here you little cookie toting munchkin, I know you will like this story I thought to myself. I tried reading another book aloud while he was in the room. Every couple of lines, he came over and took a look at the book and walked away again. “…and only three ducks came back,” I read aloud. With that, Jackson came over, took the books from my hands, closed the book and said, “good night.”

     I guess I will just have to be patient. I will continue to read out load a little each day and hope that he becomes interested.

Posted by: storywriter45 | April 28, 2014

Writing Children’s Stories


          It didn’t cross my mind that it would be challenging to write a children’s story in five-hundred words or less. I am comfortable with the eight-hundred word count for a picture book I wrote, so I thought this would be fairly easy.  Turns out, it is a bit of a challenge to write an engaging story with interesting characters in such a short work. If you are looking for a writing challenge or an exercise in writing, try this one.   

Posted by: storywriter45 | February 5, 2014

Is Candy Crush Really That Important?

 

     I was sitting in the surgical waiting room while my grandson was having surgery on his hand. Luckily, I brought a crochet project with me. It’s works like an anti-anxiety medication for me when I am required to sit still somewhere for too long a time. There I was, working the stitches minding my own business when an adorable little girl with large brown eyes and long light brown hair plopped down next to me. She had an irresistible smile that I found charming.  After setting down an armful of bags and totes, her mother sat down next to her.  Well she comes well prepared, I thought to myself and returned to my project. The little waiting room was filling up fast. How many of these things do they schedule at one time anyway.

     A little while later, I looked up from my project to see the little girl tugging on her mother’s arm. But, Mom was to intent doing something on her phone. Perhaps she was texting or face booking I thought. Well, whichever one, she definitely found it more important than her daughter. “Mommy,” the little girl tried to get her attention again. This Gracious Grandma was about to put her two cents in when the little girl tipped her bowl of pickles all over herself and one of the totes. You could smell pickle all through the waiting room. Well, Mom jumped up at this time to take care of it.

      It really tries my patience when I see a parent too busy texting or playing a game on their smart phone to pay attention to their child’s needs. Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love smart phones and have one myself. However, I have no trouble restraining myself from using it when my grand children need me or when I am driving, etc. 

      It seems that young parents these days do have the same compassion for a child that we or our parents had. I see a child crossing her legs waiting to go to the bathroom and Mom or Dad simply makes her wait. Really, make the game wait…it won’t wet its pants

Posted by: storywriter45 | December 31, 2013

It’s Easy To Be Gracious During Christmas

     The holidays were approaching and all the decorations were dragged out of storage and placed in various places throughout the house. I didn’t even mind the kaos as I reveled in expectations of the coming Christmas season.

     Baking Christmas cookies has been a tradition in our home since my first grandchildren passed their toddler years. They helped to roll the dough and cut out the cookies as well as decorating them. Such joy it brought to spend this time with them. We were creating memories I hoped would long outlast any store bought gift they might receive.

     As I was sorting through the totes of lights and garland I came across the aprons and bibs I had made throughout the years just for our cookie making endeavors. They were made with joy from Christmas fabric for each grandchild. Melancholy began to set in as I held them in my hands and caressed them on my cheeks. A couple of tears managed to excape. Tears of joyful memories.

     My youngest grandson, Jackson hasn’t make cookies yet. I have hopes of him doing that next year. Of course, I will have to make him a new apron and iIt will have to be suitable for a boy like the ones I made previously. I have been blessed to have my grandchildren around me for the holidays…even the ones  dothatn’t live with me. This gracious grandma is feeling blessed and thankful as the holiday season unfolds. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Read More…

Posted by: storywriter45 | May 18, 2011

Well, it’s not off to the porch with my laptop yet. This rain is driving me crazy. I am craving the warmth of a summer’s day surrounding my being and uplifting my mood. Enough of the doldrums!!! So, I’ll sit at the table with my cup of coffee and revisit Ariel at the Inn where I left her.

Ariel finished her lunch and sat quietly watching the other patrons. She couldn’t help but notice that most everyone there seemed to be paired off into couples. Why am I having so much trouble finding the right person for me, she asked herself. She thought about her past relationships and how they were doomed. Must be me, she mumbled.

“What was that,” Tony asked. “I didn’t hear you.”

“Oh, I was just thinking out loud,” Ariel answered. “Sorry I am such bad company. I just have so much on my mind.”

“Are you sure you wouldn’t like to talk about it?” Tony asked her. “Sometimes it helps and I don’t mind being the sounding board.”

“Thank you for being so kind, Tony. But, I’m not ready to talk about it. It’s kind of hard to explain, but, I am not quite sure what is really going on.”

“Well, that sounds intriguing,” Tony said. “Here, take my card in case you change your mind. I would be glad to listen or perhaps help you sort out what’s going on.”

“Thank you,” Ariel said and took the card. “I think I will take a ride and try to relax.” She drove down the road past her cottage. She slowed down, but, didn’t stop. Nothing looked amiss, but, Ariel was still frightened. I wish John would get here she said to herself. Even though he could be a little difficult, John had a way of helping Ariel see the reality in a situation. She remembered the time she thought Cheryl, a bully from school, was following her home. It turned out that Cheryl had a crush on John and was following him around like a puppy. John had a good laugh about that one. She began to wonder, am I being just as silly about what is happening now? It was obviously not the first time she had acted a little paranoid. Well, I’m not taking any chances she said to herself. I’ll just wait till John gets here to prove me right or wrong and headed back to the little Inn.

Posted by: storywriter45 | November 3, 2010

THE INN BY THE WATER

     Writing a novel at home with a large family can be challenging.  Someone wants to know where something is, someone wants a ride, someone wants to talk about their day, someone needs dinner, and someone is arguing.  However, much of my inspiration is born from the same place.  Extended family can prove to be very interesting. We have three generations living in our home.  The personalities are very different in some ways, and too much alike in other ways.  One of my son’s boys is just like him.  Creative though, he can be annoying.  I can’t help but chuckle at his antics, especially when they are directed towards my son.

We left Ariel heading to lunch at the Inn by the water.

     Ariel walked into the little café, amazed to see that it was packed.

     “Do you have a reservation?” the greeter asked her.

     “No, I’m afraid I don’t,” Ariel answered.

     “I’m sorry, Miss. There will be about a forty minute wait.”

      “Hello again,” the gentleman from the outside said to Ariel.  “Are you sure you won’t join me for lunch?  I have a table reserved. I promise I won’t intrude on your thoughts.”

      “That would be wonderful,” Ariel answered.  “I mean to share a table. I am starved.  My name is Ariel.” She reached out her hand to the stranger.

     “That would be fine,” the man said and shook her hand.  “I am” he paused and smiled at her, “Tony”

     “Nice to meet you,” Ariel said.

     “This way to your table,” the greeter said and grabbed a couple of menus.

     “So are you a local or a tourist,” Tony asked. “You don’t look familiar.”

     “Well, I just moved here a couple of months ago,” Ariel replied.  “I haven’t been getting out much. I came here to start a new life and to get my painting back on track.”

     “Well, you came to the perfect place for that,” Tony said.

     “The perfect place for painting, or, starting a new life?”

     “Both,” Tony responded. “This is a beautiful island. The weather is perfect.”

     “How long have you lived here, Tony?” she asked. “That is if you do live here, or, are you visiting?”

     “I moved here about ten years ago,” Tony said.  “I sued to vacation here, but I loved it so much. I still travel over to the main land for business.  It is less frequent now then it used to be.  I mean with cell phones and the internet making everything so convenient.”

     “Hey Bill,” a man gestured to Tony. “How have you been?”

     Tony waved back at him and quickly turned around.

    “Bill, I thought your name was Tony,” Ariel exclaimed.  Why would you lie about your name?”

    “I didn’t lie,” Tony said.  Bill is  just a nick name given to me in my college days.  Wow, are you ok. There is no need for you to jump on me like that.”

     “I’m sorry, Tony.  I have been through some scary things lately. It’s hard for me to trust anyone right now. I’m sorry if I offended you.”

     “No problem,” Tony said.  He leaned back into his chair and watched her carefully. “Just what is going on?” he asked.  “That is if you don’t mind talking about it.”

Posted by: storywriter45 | November 1, 2010

Nightmares

     Nightmares filled Ariel’s sleep as she tossed and turned on the sofa.  She woke feeling tense and stiff and rose up off the sofa.  Maybe I’ll sleep better in bed, she thought and headed for the king size bed covered with lush velvet like bedding.  She sighed and slowly drifted back to sleep.

     Nightmares continued to disturb her rest.  She was being chased by Mark in one of them. He chased her through the house and toward the beach, calling her. “Ariel. Ariel, wait. I have to talk to you!”

     And then, in  the next one, Joe would appear. “Come, Ariel,” he called to her.  “Come with me. I will protect you. Follow me down this path.  See, it’s  private. No one will find us here.  Hurry, before your ex-boyfriend catches up.  Hurry, Ariel, hurry before it is too late.”

     The nightmares woke her, but, she fell back to sleep feeling too tired to get up. The nightmares continued till she finally gave in and got up at lunch time.

     She looked the desk and dresser drawers looking for a menu. Surely this place has room service, she thought. Her stomach was growling. She hadn’t eaten much in the last few days and her stomach was not relenting.  I’ll have to find something to eat she said to herself and headed to the door.  Just across the walk there was a small restaurant that didn’t look very busy.

     “Well, I have to eat something,” she said out loud.

     “Hello,” a voice came from someone just a few feet away.

      Ariel jumped.

     “I didn’t mean to scare you,” the man said. “I was just heading to lunch myself. Would you like to join me?”

     “No, I don’t think so,” she answered.  “I came here to be by myself.”

    “Sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude,” the man gestured to her and  went on his way.

     Ariel stood there, second guessing herself.  Maybe I should have joined him, she thought.  It would be a good idea to get my mind off everything.

Posted by: storywriter45 | October 27, 2010

ARIEL REALLY DOESN’T KNOW HIM THAT WELL

     A cup of coffee, no, make that a glass of coke.  I’m feeling a little queasy this morning.  Too much going on, I guess.  My published children’s book should arrive any day.  But, back to the writing on hand.

     Ariel walked slowly down the sidewalk, trying to become interested in  the fashions in the windows of the shops she passed by.  She just couldn’t stop thinking about all  the things that happened.  First, Mark shows up at her door all  the way from state side after she had broken up with him.  Then, Joe shows up. Even though Joe is her brothers friend, Ariel didn’t really know him that well.  Then things start happening around the house.  The back door was unlocked even though she knew it was locked. Someone had run past her front window. And now somethings in her room had been moved.

     I wish John were here, Ariel said to herself. But, she knew that if he had come, he would brush her suspicions off telling her she was just being silly.

     “That would still be better than being left alone,” she said out loud.

     “Excuse me,” said a woman who was passing by.

     “Oh nothing,” Ariel answered.  “I was just thinking out loud.”

     Ariel changed direction and headed over to the police station. She hesitated at the door. What can I really tell them, she thought. They will think I am silly too. After all, I don’t have any proof of anything. Oh, maybe I am being ridiculous.  I think I will head home for some lunch and work on my landscapes.

     Just as Ariel pulled up the gravel drive to her little cottage, she saw someone running away from her property.  Oh no, that’s it, she said to herself.  I am out of here.  She drove herself  to the little Inn across town. No one would know she where she was. Once Ariel was in the room, she decided to call John and let him know what was going on.  After all, someone should know where she was.  He wasn’t at home, so she left him a message. John had a new cell phone number, but, she couldn’t remember it.

     Ariel found herself dozing on the couch. The sound of the waves just a short distance away lulled her into a deep sleep.

Posted by: storywriter45 | October 26, 2010

Well, it seems as though I am awakening from a long sleep. My children’s book will be available shortly, and it’s back to writing my novel. So it’s, grab the lap top and off to my desk.  It’s so pleasant to have time to myself again.  I am enjoying the peace and quiet.  I do enjoy the distractions of the children, but, fall is sometimes a welcome relief.  Well back to Ariel and Mark.

They were sitting in the living room discussing the events of  the day.  Ariel couldn’t sleep, frightened by what had happened.

     “Joe, I think I would like to spend the day alone.  After breakfast, I think I will head into town and do a little shopping.  It will do me good to get away from  this place for a while.”

     “I’ll go with you. I just don’t want to leave you alone.”

     “No, Joe.  I need to spend the day alone.” She looked up at him trying to read  the expression in his face. She knew she wouldn’t be able to think clearly with him within a few feet from her.

     “What are you thinking,” he asked her. “You are staring right at me. Did I do something wrong?”

     “No, Joe. That’s not it . I just want some time alone. I will be fine shopping. There will be a lot of people around. You must have work to get to, right?”

     “I guess so,” he replied. “You call me if you need anything. You have my cell number.”

     “Of course, Joe,” Ariel stood up from the couch. “I’ll make us some breakfast so I can get an early start.”

     Ariel headed off to the kitchen, clumsily bumping into an end table set out a little from the recliner. “Now, how did that get there?”

     “Isn’t that where it has been all the time?”

     “Well, it’s been moved out a few inches.”

     “Ariel, don’t you think you are over-acting a bit?”

     “Maybe,” she answered and opened the refrigerator door.  Ariel couldn’t keep her mind on breakfast. She was trying to remember where the local police station was at. She pulled out a carton of eggs and some pre-cooked bacon. I guess this will do she said to herself, and set  them on  the counter.

     “Hey, need some help in there?” Mark rose from the sofa and headed for the kitchen.

     “Please, Joe. Just let me make the breakfast. It’s like you are trying to smother me. I need a little space.”

     Ariel’s thoughts drifted off to a little motel nestled on a beach on the other side of town.  It looked very private. Maybe I should check in there for a couple of days, she thought. Just till I figure out what is going on.

     “Easy Ariel,” Joe felt hurt. “I am just trying to look after my best friend’s little sister. Don’t you think he would want me to?”

     “Well,” Ariel said. “Let’s go ahead and eat breakfast. Then, I am going shopping and maybe a spa visit would be great.  I will call you this evening, ok? I really need some time alone.”

      They finished breakfast, and Joe did the dishes even though Ariel said to just leave them.  They left at  the same time, but, parted ways at the driveway.

     Ariel’s house phone was ringing, but she was to far away already to hear it. Her brother was on the other line.

     “Please pick up,” John said to the answering machine.  “Ariel, please call me as soon as possible.  I have some news about the break in at my apartment that you should know about. Call me on my cell.

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