Ready for Halloweensie? PiBoIdMo?

I’m as ready for Halloweensie, as I will be this year.
My entry is ready to publish here on Monday, Oct. 27.
If you haven’t read the rules, check them out on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.
You must use the words creak (or some version of it), broomstick and pumpkin in a 100 words or less. She even lets you count candy corn as one word. See, it’s a very generous contest.
I wrote a couple six-word versions among all my false starts and attempts to write a story.

Pumpkin rolled on a creaky broomstick.
{Someone kindly suggested rode instead of rolled.}
Pumpkin rode on a creaky broomstick.
{See one word makes a huge difference.}

Another one:

For sale: creaky pumpkin, rotten broomstick.
{That’s my ode to standard in six-word stories or novel attributed to Ernest Hemingway: For sale, baby shoes never worn.}

My Halloweensie story will post on autopilot this year, because I’m off for a few days.
My nephew Tucker and his dear Katie are getting married Saturday.
Since they chose a Florida location for the wedding, well, why not go see our friends Mickey Mouse and friends. We’ll be in a magical place — being with family — for several days.
My real Halloweensie story is more than six words and more child friendly.
I’m also super excited about November fast approaching, so I can participate in Picture Book Idea Month or PiBoIdMO. Tara Lazar provides lots of inspiration as thousands of picture book ideas are written down in notebooks, on smartphones and on napkins all over the world.
Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday too. While I have dozens of books to add, I’ll save those for when I can properly visit my fellow PPBF bloggers. Enjoy this Friday and check out the PPBF list for great picture books.

Winner of Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe

Winner of Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe

Last Friday, I posted a review of the Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe by Jenny Lee Sulpizio.

There were comments. Names were tossed into a sandwich bag. Some people have hats. I have sandwich bags.

The winner is …

SUE WANG

Thank you all for commenting.

If you buy a copy of the book, you can email a copy of the receipt to Jenny for a chance to win this ebook bundle.

Hope you have a happy Friday.

I hope to spend more time this week reading Perfect Picture Book Friday selections over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog. Fridays filled with picture book recommendations and fun activities are always a treat.

I plan to rejoin the fun in October at my new website. The last weekend of the month I get to attend the Rocky Mountain Area SCBWI conference in Denver. Can’t wait to soak up inspiration and information!

Review and Giveaway: Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe

Review and Giveaway: Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe

Jenny Lee Sulpizio

I’ve shared Jenny Lee Sulpizio’s picture books here in the past — Something About a Boy and Mommy Whispers.

Today, I wanted to share her latest nonfiction book: Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time  (Leafwood Publishers, 2013).

I don’t want to say it’s a manual for moms, but it certainly is a fountain of ideas! If you want to be Wonder Woman, Jenny doesn’t give you a roadmap to that superhero title. Instead, with each chapter she offers specific tips on how to organize, simplify, and survive some of the challenges of motherhood.

Jenny’s sense of humor, faith, and commitment to mothers shines through on each page. The book is written in a conversational tone.

Jenny’s tips aren’t written in stone for mothers, but she certainly gives a good foundation with her lists and charts to begin our own motherhood journey or to break free of some of our Wonder Woman Wannabe issues.

A passage I loved early in the book:

But who told me I needed to be perfect? And who said that my best wasn’t going to be good enough? It certainly wasn’t God. Nope, that person was me. I was a new mom struggling to become “super” . . . and I was losing the battle, big time. 

An idea I really liked:
Cuckoo Prevention Kits — One for kiddie crises combative and one for sanity-saving mommy must-haves. I laughed out loud about the tip to have a chocolate stash in the car and in summer months try a Tootsie Roll. Perfect.

Many of the chapters have lists of tips on how to deal with everything from cleaning out and stocking up the minivan to how to take a time out when you are frazzled and frustrated. Many items on Jenny’s list is workable into my schedule. Now, if I will only implement some of her cleaning tips. Her ideas definitely gave me food for thought in my own motherhood adventure.

Jenny’s writing style feels like a conversation I would have with my mom friends at church. I related to most of the topics in the book. I don’t drink coffee, so the chapter on caffeine didn’t do much for me. I know I’m weird. For those, who do drink coffee, you’ll like that chapter.

The book is a fast read. I feel like it could also be digested in chunks too. You could read a few chapters, see how the tips fit into your life, and then read a few more.

I received an advance digital copy of the book for my honest review. Since, I enjoyed reading the book, I’d like to have a giveaway. Leave a comment and I’ll do a random drawing. I’ll keep the comments open until Sept. 19 at noon (MST). I’ll post the winner on Sept. 20 (and contact the winner to arrange delivery).

In the spirit of saving a mom’s sanity:  Consider sharing something you do to save your sanity that could help another mom.

I’ll start. My son loves a pair of hand-me-down slippers. I don’t argue with him about wearing them in public. Not fighting over his shoe choice saves me a little sanity and time.

Author Bio: Jenny Lee Sulpizio is a wife and mother of three who enjoys writing about anything and everything under the sun, but especially loves to instruct, motivate, and guide other moms with practical advice, tips, and a whole lot of comic relief in the process. Jenny is a contributing writer for The MOB Society and Moms Together, and is the author of the recently released guide for all mamas titled, “Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time.” To find out more about Jenny or to follow her blog, visit www.jennyleesulpizio.com.

Also, if you sign up for the newsletter at Jenny’s website, you will receive blog and newsletter updates. When I signed up, I received a free PDF with Sanity-Saving Mommy Must-Haves including her 30-minutes-per-day weekly cleaning schedule. This list gives you a glimpse at some of the tips in the book.

As toddler tornado says before bedtime, “One more book.”

Oh, wait, I was trying to say, “One more thing.” If you buy a copy of the book online, you can email a copy of the receipt to Jenny for a chance to win this ebook bundle. 

Holiday Contest: Checking off the list

Holiday Contest: Checking off the list

Here’s my entry into Susanna Hill’s Holiday Contest. The contest is to write a children’s holiday story with any version of “Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh.
Checking off the list
By Stacy S. Jensen
Dashing through the store
In a shopping cart.
Through the aisles we roar
Searching for one thing more.
I don’t know where Mom will dart.
The aisles are packed with shoppers
My eyes stop on a huge display of Whoppers.
Chorus:
Oh, shopping lists
Shopping lists
Keep us on track.
Mom won’t turn back,
Unless there’s a fight.
Then, she’ll return another night.
Mom ignores my plea for candy.
She says it’s too late for a treat.
I yell, “Oh no,” as we roll into neighbor Randy.
He doesn’t see us, as he’s sending out a tweet
About two parents fighting over a truck,
With lights and bells. I duck.
Chorus:
Oh, shopping lists
Shopping lists
Keep us on track.
Mom won’t turn back,
Unless there’s a fight.
Then, she’ll return another night.
We crash into a colorful pillow display.
I fly through the air from the cart.
Mom falls on her back with into a sleigh.
Another Mom remarks, “Well that wasn’t smart.”
Mom scrambles to where I landed.
In the middle of the fight, I’m now stranded.
Chorus:
Oh, shopping lists
Shopping lists
Keep us on track.
Mom won’t turn back,
Unless there’s a fight.
Then, she’ll return another night.
Much to Mom’s shock.
I stole the truck from the fighting pair’s grip.
I hope they will take stock
Of their exploits during this trip.
No item on a shopping list merited a fight.
Surely the adults know this isn’t right.
Chorus:
Oh, shopping lists
Shopping lists
Keep us on track.
Mom won’t turn back,
Unless there’s a fight.
Then, she’ll return another night.
Mom chases me out the door,
As I whizz by a man in red suit,
Her list falls to the floor.
By this point, the missing item is moot.
“Don’t worry,” the man said. “I can grab this treat.
And drop it from my sleigh when I’m on your street.”
Merry Christmas!
My inspiration for this:

 My own poor shopping cart moments. This pix is a little fuzzy, but I hope you get the idea. 

I know my meter is off in this entry, but wanted to try. Thanks for reading my attempt. 

Also, I’m over at Writing from the Peak — Pikes Peak Writers Blog talking about What Happens the Morning After a Writing Challenge? I talk about PiBoIdMo and 12 x12. 

Now, that’ I’ve posted mine, Enzo and I can read all the other entries.

Halloweensie: Boo!

Halloweensie: Boo!

Happy Halloween!
Author Susanna Leonard Hill is hosting a Halloweensie Story contest this week.

Wilda, Frankie and Barry
Boo!
By Stacy S. Jensen

A witch, Frankenstein and a bat walked down the street with pumpkin shaped pails.
The trio yelled “Trick-or-Treat” at every door, until they arrived at the Nelson place.
Vines snaked along the dark path to the front door.
“I’m scared,” Frankie said.
“I need a light,” Wilda said.
“I want to go home,” Barry said fluttering his wings.
Before anyone knocked, they saw a flash of red as Santa jumped out.

“Boo!”

“I want my Mummy,” the children screamed all the way home.
Santa scratched his head. “But, the last group of kids got a treat.”
***
Good grief, I couldn’t figure out how to write this one. The result: Four different versions. They all seemed to have a line similar to a picture book I’ve recently read or wanted to read.

As time slipped away, I decided on “Boo!” So, for those Owl Babies fans, you’ll note the nod to “I want my mommy.” That’s my digital collage at the top, using images I recently purchased for a use just like this. One day, I hope to create my own characters.

I can’t wait to read the entries this year. Please visit Susanna’s blog for the 100 words or less stories.

Dan's Birthday Plan

Dan's Birthday Plan

With all our birthday celebrations last weekend, my plan to work on my story for author Susanna Leonard Hill’s contest didn’t work out. 
Instead, we visited the zoo twice, ate out and had sweet treats. Tons of family fun. My entry is very drafty, draft, but I promise you won’t be disappointed by the other entries. Please visit this talented group of writers for birthday fun. 


Dan’s Birthday Plan
Dan had to stop Christmas. It was the only way his birthday would be normal. Every year, he celebrated Christmas one day and on the next his birthday.
As Mom announced time for dinner, Dan jumped in.
“We can’t have Christmas. If we do, my birthday will be ruined.”
Dan knew the reason for the season, but his Christmas and birthday presents always had a part missing.
“Christmas always splits my birthday,” Dan said. 
“It doesn’t,” Mom said. “That’s your special day. This is another one.”
“Why did I get arrows on Christmas Day and a bow on my birthday?” Dan asked.
“They were two separate gifts,” his sister Sue said. 
“One year, I got multi-colored pencils for Christmas. I had nothing to write on until paper arrived on my birthday,” Dan said.
“You had to sharpen the pencils,” cousin Bobby said reaching for a roll.
“The leather baseball glove,” Dan said.
“What was wrong with that?” Dad asked.
“I couldn’t play catch until my birthday. That’s when you gave me a baseball.”
Grandma put her arms around Dan.
“We don’t need to cancel Christmas or your birthday. We’ll celebrate both with no missing parts — right Mom and Dad?”
His parents agreed and they all sat down to eat.
During the gift exchange, Dan tore the Christmas paper and opened the box to find one tennis shoes.
“Oops,” Mom said. She left and returned with a birthday package. Dan opened the box. He beamed holding the shoes. “A pair of shoes for Christmas!“
“Everything worked out,” Grandma said. “Now are you ready for your birthday?”
“Yes,” Dan said and noticed a jar of jelly in his stocking. “Who knows what I’ll get for my birthday.”
With one shoe, you might look like this. 
When Susanna tossed out this contest, I asked some Facebook friends for birthday disasters. My fifth grade teacher Mr. Worley mentioned how his birthday falls on the day after Christmas and how his presents — bows, arrows and yes even shoes were split. I need to amp up the funny, but I thank Mr. Worley for the idea!