"Snippet" -- a small piece or brief extract
One year ago (+a few weeks), I became active on Twitter. Originally, I wasn't excited about it. It was one of those things "they" say you need to do to become a successful author. So on Leap weekend, 2020, I leapt onto Twitter. As I explored and oriented myself to Twitter, I discovered the kidlit community. The first people to show me kindness and welcome were Kailei Pew and Kaitlyn Sanchez. Through them, I learned about this #SpringFlingKidLit contest, sponsored by Kaitlyn and Ciara O'Neal . Choose a gif. Write a Spring story in 150 words -- or less. Everyone who knows me knows I don't do much of anything in 150 words or less :-D But I threw my fairy story into the competition and did not place as a winner. However, I was a winner, because I was introduced to this amazing kidlit community that has provided help and encouragement to a new writer. And I have won every day since then -- sometimes I literally won (but mostly chance things -- critiques, (to help my writing improve), free books (to use as mentor texts), book bling (because . . .book bling! ;-), KidLit Zombie week came later and I got the "Miss Congeniality-ish" award from Jolene Gutierrez, who has become another dear friend in this community. With every critique, my writing and my knowledge improved. I took classes, webinars, read books, joined Twitter chats and mini-communities like #PBChat with Justin Colon, and #PBParty with Mindy Alysse Weiss, #KidLitSelfCare with Brittany Pomales. This year, I joined Julie Hedlund's 12x12 Challenge, and First Draft Friday with Hollie Wolverton. In this year, I have learned so much and grown as an author and as a person. I have won in so many ways. Most recently, I experienced my first big "win" as a writer, when I entered Vivian Kirkfield's #50PreciousWords contest. Yes, that's right -- a full story in 50 words. The top 51 were chosen out of 772 entries, and I was number 47! That's a ways down the list, but it put me in the top 16%, and it was the first time that my writing has won in a big international event. It has been a year of wins and losses, learning and growing, challenges and successes. I'm thrilled to be part of it all, and win or lose, I'm here for the duration, because that's the only way you'll ever be a winner!
I hope you enjoy my story about Venus. Feel free to leave me a comment here or on my Twitter or my Facebook. I've linked all the amazing people who have influenced my writing journey on Twitter. If you're missing any of them, go follow them now if you're an author hoping to win. If you're a reader, many of them have books out now, or will have soon, so check out their books.
Oh, and if you're an insect or very small animal, watch out for Venus.
VENUS' SPRING TRAP
72 words (not including back matter)
Venus awoke after a long winter,
stretched her leaves toward the sun, and set her traps.
She was hungry!
She unfurled her lobes,
Open wide. . .
What shall I eat first?
A row of ants ambled around. . .
A bunny bounced by. . .
A ladybug leaned in. . .
Finally. . .
a fly fluttered in for nectar,
touched the trigger hairs, and. . .
Fly made a delicious snack!
Interesting facts about Venus Fly Traps:
(This back matter is not part of the contest entry -- just here for your curiosity)
Venus fly traps are carnivorous plants with hinged traps that secrete nectar to lure insects. When insects touch trigger hairs, the hinge closes and the plant digests the insect with enzymes.
It takes Venus Fly Traps a while to reopen a trap once it closes, so they often don't waste their energy on tiny insects like ants. Most plants have several traps available so while one is closed, they can still catch food in the other traps.
Venus fly traps only grow naturally in boggy areas in the sandhills of North and South Carolina. They are a vulnerable species, and removing them from wild spaces is a felony and can result in jail time.
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 the kitty. I love reading, writing, singing and listening to music. I enjoy nature, Bible study and spending time with friends and family!