Halloweensie: New Friends

Halloweensie: New Friends

I came up with a short story today, because I refuse to miss Halloweensie in 2020.

Word tells me it is exactly 99 words, so we’ll hope it’s correct.

Halloweensie is a tiny (100 words or less) children’s story contest created by Susanna Leonard Hill. There are hundreds of entries each year. You can get your spook on by reading them here.

Entries are for children age 12 and under and must contain the words creep, skeleton, and mask. Here’s my attempt.

New Friends

By Stacy S. Jensen

For Halloween, Henry drew a sugar skull design on his face. 

Creepy!” Dracula yells. 

“Spooky,” Spider mutters.

“Let’s play,” RBG says. 

They crawl, swing, and leap around the playground. 

“Are you new?” Frankenstein asks. 

“Yes. I’m Skeleton,” Henry says. 

After playing, they visit neighbor after neighbor.

“Trick or Treat,” they yell. 

“Dissent!” says RBG.

With full buckets, they return to the playground to trade candy.

“Sticky. Not for my braces,” RBG says.

“Nuts,” Spider says. 

“I don’t like this,” Henry says. 

After all the swapping, Dracula declares, “Let’s eat! Remove your masks.”

Henry blinks, “I’m not wearing a mask.” 


So, that’s what you get for 99 words. Hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Holiday Story Contest: The No Snow Dilemma

Holiday Story Contest: The No Snow Dilemma

It’s that time again The Children’s Holiday Story sponsored by Susanna Leonard Hill. The rules are here. You have to write about a child’s holiday treat — anything goes … sort of. You have to include a treat, write for a child under 12, and write the story in 250 words or less.

In this story, an opportunity to go sledding is the holiday treat.

The stories are always delightful. I decided this afternoon to participate. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful Holiday Season.

The No Snow Dilemma

By Stacy S. Jensen

Suzie doesn’t like this Christmas weather. 

She glares at the sun and blue skies. 

“I’ll never go sledding,” she cries.  “It doesn’t look like snow.”

Her mother doesn’t care about the weather. “No chores,” Mom says. “No sledding.”

“There’s no snow,” Suzie wails. 

“There are chores,” Mom points to the chart. 

Suzie points to the window. 

Mom is a statue. 

Suzie stomps off to her room. 

Mom has a different plan.  Minutes later … Suzie empties the dishwasher. 

“There’s no hope for snow.”

Mom says, “There’s no hope for sledding, if you don’t do your chores.”

Suzie digs in. 

She refuses to gather the trash. 

She watches as her sister sets the dinner table. 

She fails to pick up her clothes. 

Suzie gets sent to bed early to “think” about her choices. 

“I can’t ‘think’ about anything with this nice weather,” Suzie mumbles. 

When Suzie wakes up to gray skies, she’s hopeful and checks off some chores. 

She feeds the dog. 

She helps her sister with Christmas crafts. 

She gets the mail without her mother asking twice. 

Then, she sees rain. 

Suzie KNOWS snow will arrive soon. 

But, her dad says, “No. Just flurries.” 

Suzie goes to bed to “think” about this news. 

The weather isn’t better the next day, but Suzie remembers one chore left undone. 

She rakes the leaves into a pile in the sunshine and discovers she doesn’t need snow for her sledding treat. She just needs to do her chores.

Penguin’s Quest for Answers

Penguin’s Quest for Answers

This is a last-minute effort to join in the holiday fun. Enzo and I brainstormed ideas for this story. He did not like my execution, but it was wrapped up among a day filled with a 5k, church pageant practice, a day of treat making, and a Christmas party.  Thanks Susanna Leonard Hill for hosting this contest. I can only hope that all my word count tools were correct at 250 words. LOL 

Penguin’s Quest for Answers: Saves Christmas

By Stacy S. Jensen 

Penguin knew he was on Santa’s Naughty list. 

He counted on his flippers and feet all the incidents. 

He ate his sister’s snack after school. Penguin protested, “But, it was on my plate.” 

He knocked down a line of friends ready to fish. “I slipped.”

He fell into a mongoose on the beach causing chaos. “I didn’t mean to do it.” 

Penguin tried to be nice. 

He helped Grandma down the beach, made lunch for Mom, and sheltered eggs for Uncle. 

But, nothing Penguin did removed him from the naughty list. 

So, he left Boulder Beach, South Africa headed to the North Pole. 

When he arrived, Penguin found Santa and made his case. 

“I’ve been good.”

“Ah,” Santa said. 

“I’m not sure how to get off the naughty list,” Penguin said. 

“ACHOO!” Santa sneezed. 

“Are you sick Santa?” Penguin asked. 

“Maybe, just a … ACHOO,” Santa said. 

“I can help,” Penguin offered. 

Santa was too tired to protest. 

Penguin checked the flight map, Santa’s sack, and the list. 

Santa gave Penguin his special hat and off he flew to deliver presents. 

When he returned to the North Pole, Santa said, “You saved Christmas.”

“Am I off the naughty list?” Penguin asked. 

Santa snored. 

The elves helped Penguin return home. 

“Where have you been?” Mom asked. 

“Just helping a friend,” Penguin said. 

“Santa left you a present,” she said. 

Penguin found his very own hat with the words “TRAINEE” across the front and a book “How to be Nice All Year.”

Halloweensie 2018: Piper’s New Potion

Halloweensie 2018: Piper’s New Potion

Piper’s New Potion

By Stacy S. Jensen

Piper wanted a new cauldron.
The Shiver Store had a Howling Halloween sale.
But, she was short on cash.
Piper fed the dragon, cleaned her room, and sprinkled dust.
Her allowance wasn’t enough.
She searched for change. No luck.
Piper made a sign: Potions for $1.
Her Toil and Trouble Potion sat untouched.
She returned to her lab.
Her Pet Potion turned unicorns into gargoyles.
“No more rainbow toots!” she said.
Parents gobbled them up.
Her “Do What I Say” Potion sold best.
Piper’s math finally added up.
With a new cauldron, Piper created a “Stop Falling Houses” potion.
Halloweensie is an event not to be missed.
There is still time today, Oct. 31 at 11:59 p.m. EST to enter. Visit Author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website for the details.
For the contest, you write a 100-word story for children. The story must include shiver, cauldron, and howl. I’m at 99 words. It’s always a challenge to write a full story at this word count.  Visit Susanna’s blog post with links to all the entries. The contest always brings out a ton of spooky and funny stories.
I hope you have a Happy Halloween. We woke up to snow and a school delay this morning. The sun is out now. So, all the children will hopefully have a fun and chilly Halloween.

Halloweensie: Candy, Candy, Candy

Halloweensie: Candy, Candy, Candy

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’m posting on deadline — my life story.
The Halloweensie Contest is the brain child of Author Susanna Leonard Hill. Thanks Jilanne for encouraging me to participate.

Candy, Candy, Candy

By Stacy S. Jensen

Candy wore the same thing every day.
White. Orange. Yellow.
Another Candy also wore the same thing every day.
Red. White.
They were bored and craved change.
“Let’s do it,” Candy Corn said on Halloween.
She dressed like a monster with a pink bow.
Candy Cane became a tree with a star topper.
The girls loved their costumes. They rang doorbells and filled their bags until ….
a shadow startled them.
“LOL. It’s me,” Candy Heart said. “I wanted to join the fun. XOXO.”
“Change is good,” Candy Corn said.
The girls skipped to their next adventure.
Word Count is 97. 

Read more about the rules and more entries here.
The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words candy corn, monster, and shadow. (Candy corn will be counted as 1 word.)  Your story can be scary, funny, or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂  (And yes, I know 100 words is short, but that’s part of the fun and the challenge!  We got nearly 150 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. monsters, monstrous, shadowy, shadowed, whathaveyou 🙂  NO ILLUSTRATION NOTES PLEASE! (And yes, you may submit more than one entry if you’re so inclined 🙂 )

A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting

A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting

Here’s my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:

Title: A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting
Author: Michelle Robinson
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2016
Suitable for ages: 3-6

Theme/Topic:  Bears, Survival Tips, Humor

Opening Spread: Going for a walk in BEAR Country? You’d better make sure you know your bears.

Brief Synopsis: (from Amazon)
Do you dream of seeing some real, live bears? Then this essential guide to bear spotting, filled with offbeat humor and quirky illustrations, is for you!
In this perfect read-aloud, sure to delight kids and parents alike, a young aspiring bear spotter ventures into bear country . . . But coming face-to-face with the furry creatures themselves, whether black or brown, can be dangerous, and our protagonist–accompanied by a trusty teddy bear–might need to use some unconventional means to stay out of trouble and avoid being (gulp!) eaten.

Resources: The National Park Service has tons of information available on bears. Stuffed bears could also be used to act out scenes from the book.

Why I Like This Book: This books is funny from the first page! While the child is ready for an outdoor adventure, the narrator keeps warning the child about bears. As a person, who always hopes to avoid bears, I laughed out loud while reading this book. Michelle Robinson’s pacing is excellent and the second the narrator says “Don’t worry. Chances are you won’t even SEE a bear.” You KNOW when you turn the pages things will get more interesting. This book has been one of my favorites from 2016.

For more PPBF books, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog.