And now, for something completely different!
My writer friends probably know, and the rest of you should, that author and blogger Susanna Leonard Hill runs several story-writing contests every year. I haven’t participated before, since I don’t usually write well “to theme” or on short notice. However, I listened to John Cleese AND my marvelous online picture book critique group (Critters, you are the best!) and decided to give it a whirl. Since one of my favorite parts of the holidays is decorating with my children, I let that get my creative process started.
The rules of this year’s Holiday Story Contest are that the story must be no more than 350 words (so hard for me!), aimed at children, and be impacted by wild weather! (Plus, no illustration notes or artwork allowed).
You can find more about the contest – plus links to lots of other entries by talented kidlit writers – by visiting www.susannahill.blogspot.com.
What a fun way to discover lots of great holiday stories to share!
Please, take the time to read my entry here and leave a comment! Happy Reading, everyone!
by Katey Howes
A narrow ribbon of light jolted Snowbear out of a deep sleep.
“Penny!” he called in an urgent whisper. “Wake up! It’s almost time.”
Penny Penguin’s dazzling green eyes snapped open. The light spread further, sparkling brightly on the thick layer of white crystals at her feet.
“I’m so excited,” she giggled. “Hang on!”
Suddenly, all light disappeared. Trees shuddered. Snow slid. Penny and Snowbear braced themselves as their entire world began to shift.
The animals felt as much as heard the sounds as their forest, pond, earth and sky
and at last came to a stop.
“Wheeee!” Penny squealed in delight. “Nothing beats the annual earthquake!”
“I don’t know, Penny,” Snowbear answered. “I think the snow swirls are even more fun.”
“You could be right,” Penny cheerfully agreed. “I think we’re about to find out!”
This time, daylight broke all at once, almost blinding the two friends. It reflected from sparkling snow over, under, around and even on them.
Two shadows in the shape of giant hands cut across the shimmering sky. Penguin and polar bear laughed with joy as their world tipped and rose, snow sliding into deep piles.
A familiar voice rang out, loud as thunder across the sky. “Mommy! Daddy! I found them! I found the box with Penny and Snowbear! Here they are! Here they are!”
“Well, what are you waiting for?” another voice answered. “Give them a snow storm, honey!”
“A snow SWIRL, Mommy,” the first voice insisted. “They like when I call it a snow swirl.”
With that, the child lifted his snowglobe high and whirled it round and round. Penny and Snowbear watched the glistening flakes spin and dance in ever-faster spirals. They felt earth and sky tip and twirl, delighting in movement and light after a long season of darkness and stillness.
As the snow settled and the world grew still, Penny and Snowbear looked far out into the sky, beyond the edge of their world. Multicolored stars twinkled, distant bells rang, laughter filled the heavens.
It was the most wonderful time of the year.