"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

10/29/14

Discipline, Drive, and Determination: a Halloweensie Contest Entry

This post is party of Patty Wysong's
A to Z meme. This week's letter is "D"
A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

This tiny story/entry has been a lot of work in coming. You see, I have known about this contest for months (at least I remembered folks mentioning it quite a while ago.) I have know the specifics for over three weeks. But I was truly wondering if it was actually going to come together.

Over that time, I started probably half a dozen different stories that fit the parameters (about Halloween, for children, 100 words or less, using the words pumpkin, broomstick, and creak) - and they all either petered out or seemed ENTIRELY too difficult to pare down to that miniscule amount required for the contest.

But, finally, with much discipline, drive, and determination (and with the help of my lovely daughter with the editing/trimming down to size), I present to you (my fellow A to Zers, blog readers, AND other contest entrants), my humble entry in Susanna Leonard Hill's 4th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest!

Dumb Jack-'O-Lanterns
By Joanne Sher

“Jack-o'-lanterns are dumb,” Sarah said, elbow-deep in pumpkin guts. “And gross.”

“Nah. They're cool!” Her brother B.J. bounced, making the chair creak. “Can this one be a witch?”

Sarah shrugged.

“Don't you LIKE Halloween?”

“Not really.”

“You don't like candy? Decorations? Trick-or-treating?”

“Trick-or-treating's for little kids.” Sarah frowned.

“Some older kids go.”
Photo source

“My friends aren't.”

“Go with me.”

“With you? Seriously?”

B.J. beamed. “Say Mom made you.”

“Maybe.”

“C'mon.”

“Okay!” Sarah rose, pumpkin guts flying.

B.J. gasped, then giggled. “I'll be a pumpkin this year. Got my costume.”

Sarah grabbed a broomstick. “And I'll be a witch.”

** 
Not the best thing I've ever written - but not bad, I'd say. Check out a bunch of other short Halloween stories (which I'm sure are MUCH more clever than mine!) at Susanna's blog - and enter your own if you want - the deadline isn't until just before midnight on Halloween!

OOOR - if the letter "D" is more up your alley, join the blog hop below! :)
 
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1
 

30 comments:

  1. You had me at "pumpkin guts." Cute story and I can't imagine trying to do it in 100 words. I've written sentences longer than that. Granted, not good sentences, but still...

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    1. MIcrofiction and flash fiction are two different animals, eh, Tom?? :) And I figured I'd have you at pumpkin guts. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Pumpkin guts are good for something, aren't they? Cute idea, Joanne.

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    1. Thanks, Penny :) Can't wait to see yours!

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  3. Aw, this story is so sweet! It's a nice change.

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    1. Thanks, Joanna! Once I figured out what I was writing about it was pretty fun. :)

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  4. I think it's brilliant. Short and to the point. I could never do that because it would take me at least three sentences to describe pumpkin guts in all their glory gory.

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    1. That is DEFINITELY one thing I am learning writing for kids - especially picture books. You TOTALLY have to leave room for the illustrator. Thanks for stopping by, J'nell!

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  5. Totally kid-like. Good job!

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  6. Elbow-deep! Nice one, Joanne!

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    1. Thanks, Julie :) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

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  7. Succinct and visual! Good job!

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  8. This is great, Joanne! I love the pumpkin guts :) And what a nice story about siblings! Very enterprising of BJ to go as a pumpkin - talk about seizing the moment :) And glad he was able to talk Sarah into going trick-or-treating with him -no one should grow up TOO fast :) Thanks so much for joining in the Halloweensie fun!

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    1. Thanks so much, Susanna! I guess my pumpkin guts are definitely a hit :)

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  9. Love the pumpkin guts and the way B.J. convinces Sarah to still be a kid!

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    1. Thanks, Buffy! Appreciate you stopping by.

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  10. Kids really know how to cut to the chase. Loved how B. J. was sensitive to his big sister's reputation. Great job :)

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    1. Thanks, Nancy - if only us grownups would be so bold.

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  11. Joanne, this is a very kid-friendly story. I loved it. Especially the pumpkin guts.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. Something about pumpkin guts, it seems, that struck a chord. With me too :D

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  12. Nice story - I like that you depicted somewhat older kids who are on that cusp of being "too old" for trick-or-treating. I definitely remember a few years of planning not to go, but then at the last minute breaking down and going out. Who can resist one last year of trick-or-treat fun?

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    1. My son is at that age right now - he's 13, and he has STILL not decided for sure if he is going out or just handing out candy (though the fact that we are gonna have windchills in the 20s makes me think he'll go with the latter LOL). Thanks, Carrie - for your comment, and for stopping by!

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  13. Those D's are hard for me, I feel your gutted-pumpkin pain on it. But good job finishing!

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  14. What a good influence little brothers can be. Good luck in the contest! :)

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    1. Thanks! :) Have a blessed day!

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  15. Very nice - love the sibling interactions.

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    1. Thanks, Sylvia! Appreciate the encouragement.

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Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!


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