"Snippet" -- a small piece or brief extract
It has been the season of contests on Twitter! Giveaways, writing contests, and more! I'm thrilled to share this story which is an on-going story of The Woodsy Woodwinds. These little characters are really capturing my heart and I'm enjoying their stories. I hope you do too! The word limit for this contest was 250 and mine checks in at EXACTLY 250! Everyone who knows me will NOT be surprised by that fact ;-). Big thanks to my critique partners Bonnie Kelso and Aundra Tomlins for helping me whip this little story into shape! Here are the deets for the contest if you're interested:
Huge thanks to Susanna for offering these writing microfiction contests! They are great fun and help us kidlit writers hone our "every word matters" skills! I'm excited to read everyone's stories. It's always amazing how differently we respond to pictures and prompts. That's the joy of creativity!
CHRISTMAS COMES TO HALIBROOK WOODS
Rudy Raccoon was excited for his first Christmas with the Woodsy Woodwinds forest band! He chatted with his fairy friend, Twink, “I’ve decorated this tree with everyone’s favorite foods as a surprise, but something is missing!”
He pulled out his list:
Peanut butter pine cones covered with bird seed - check!
Clusters of dried berries - check!
Apples - check!
Dried clover bunches and carrots - check!
Lots of nuts - check!
Strands of popcorn with cranberries - check!
“Is there something for everyone to enjoy when we untrim the tree?” Rudy asked.
Twink nodded and jingled.
Rudy looked up to the top of the tree and saw the stars in the sky!
That’s what is missing!” he said to Twink.
Twink did a sparkly somersault.
Sticks crunched as Rudy walked around, thinking.
He and Twink found the perfect twigs and glued them together with pine sap, tying the corners with pine needles.
“YES!” he shouted, shimmying up the trunk of the tree to the tippy top. He tied it on with a vine and scurried down to take a look.
“It’s not big or bright enough for anyone to see. That will NEVER do.”
Twink said, “I can help!”
There were twitters, giggles, and skitters as Twink flitted to the top and sprinkled sparkly fairy dust on the twiggy star.
As the star lit, music filled the clearing. All the forest friends were thrilled with Rudy’s surprise.
With Twink’s help, the magic (and the music) of Christmas had come to Halibrook Woods.
One of the things you hope as a writer is to influence someone -- to change their life in some way. Maybe it's simply to bring a smile or a giggle, to bring new knowledge, or to encourage. I have a mission statement as an author that pretty much says that -- I want to use my words -- spoken and written -- to educate, encourage, exhort, edify, enlighten, entertain, etc. The short version is that I want to use my writing to make the world a better place. That's what happens when we share positive stories. During the recent Fall Writing Frenzy on Twitter, many KidLit authors shared. Fictionalized accounts, rhyming stories, lyrical pieces, emotional journeys. They were awesome! You can check out those entries here: https://lydialukidis.wordpress.com/2020/09/30/fall-writing-frenzy-entry-form/
I loved all the entries I read. Some made me laugh. Some made me cry. Some made me shake my head at the sheer creativity! But, there was one -- that changed my life in a small, but significant way. Enter Pie Night! Meredith Flory wrote about a family tradition in her world. My family thought it sounded like a fabulous idea, so we borrowed their tradition and made it our own. You can read her entry about their Pie Night here: https://www.meredithflory.com/home/creative-work/fall-writing-frenzy-2020?fbclid=IwAR2hs5icRSUdLppHOeLGCbF_lHp45Pde0ZTIaNYN07VNwDPBFQzZcLVDE58
My husband, sister, and I all set to work to create our own Pie Night. We chose the night before Thanksgiving. We needed to do a real supper, for protein's sake. . .so Shane and I made a big pot of chili. We ended up with a plethora of pies! Far too many. . . :-O but it was super fun. We ate chili, nibbled on small servings of pie, and watched Home Alone.
Home Alone has been a tradition of our family for quite some time. At some point during the season, we try to all gather to watch it together. Oftentimes, we'll watch it twice -- once on our own to enjoy the story, and once all together to watch my daddy watch Home Alone. He laughs until tears stream down his face. And it doesn't matter how many times we watch it. In fact, in one of my earlier posts, I talked about giggle fits on a Sunday afternoon, and that was precipitated by Daddy thinking about Home Alone. We laugh so hard. It's wonderful family time and a great tradition!
It's a great tradition made better by the addition of Pie Night! This year, we had Millionaire Pie, Banana Pudding "pie", pumpkin pie, apple cinnamon swirl pie, salted caramel chocolate pecan pie, and pumpkin cream cheese pie, as well as mini espresso chocolate pies. Oh, what pies! This is our new tradition -- the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is Pie Night with Home Alone. Although perhaps next year a few less pies might be more prudent :-). Or perhaps we need to have multiple Pie Nights :-O
We shared our new tradition with friends and now, they celebrate Pie Night also! It's not life-changing in a universe-altering way, but it has enriched our holiday season, and that of others - all because someone shared. Meredith wrote her story, and it allowed us to write a new chapter in our story.
That, my friends, is what writing and sharing do. They help us write our own stories and create new memories that will become the stories of tomorrow. Because we write, someone is smarter, happier, not feeling so alone -- or more full of pie and laughter.
And that is a great goal, so keep writing.
I've been a teacher of K-3 students for over 20 years; I'm also a writer of poems, short stories, devotionals and picture books. I'm wife to an amazing husband and mom to Sparkles, Mocha, and Rusty -- our feline fur babies . I love reading, writing, singing and listening to music. I enjoy nature, Bible study and spending time with friends and family!
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