Spring has sprung and along with it, the annual Spring Fling Writing Contest hosted by the lovely Ciara O'Neal and Kaitlyn Sanchez. I hope you enjoy my entry and all the other wonderful Spring stories posted on Ciara's blog!
By Kari Ann Gonzalez
Mama bird beamed at the new beauty in her nest.
“Mama, where did this egg come from?” Cheep asked.
“We may never know, but she’s right where she is meant to be.”
“Can we keep her?” Peep pleaded.
“Family is family,” Mama said, snuggling in close.
“I will love her so,” Mama said.
“I will share my sweetest seeds.” Cheep said.
“I will teach her to soar.” Peep said.
“I will help her up if she falls.” Mama said.
One warm day, when the blossoms smelled sweet
and the bees became busy,
the bird family heard…
“It’s happening. Our baby- she’s hatching!”
One little leg appeared.
Two-three-four. FOUR legs?
Stretch. Snap. Crack.
A slithery tongue!
“What a beauty.” Mama sighed.
Cheep blinked, “It’s a---”
“BROTHER!” Peep cried.
I love a writing contest! What a wonderful opportunity to support fellow writers follow their passion and enjoy such amazing creativity. What I love about Kailei's contest is that it includes multiple age groups allowing even more writers in the community to participate. All while being kid-judged- what an awesome touch! I hope you enjoy my 200 word entry below. If you would like to see the other amazing entries piling in, hop over to Kailei's contest post to take a look. Happy read, happy writing!
A SWEET PROMPOSAL
By: Kari Ann Gonzalez
Genre: YA (Lyrical free verse)
The thing about being in love
With your bestie
When he doesn’t know is…
How could he not know?
Family camp-out sleeping,
Second-story bedroom sneaking,
Awesome duet karaoke…
How could he not know!
Burning, yearning, anticipating.
Prom’s next week----------------------
Come on, Bestie... ask already!
Window open. Warm. Inviting.
But nothing more than crickets sing.
I’m DONE waiting!
Fingers swipe. Fingers type.
“Hey! Movie night??? Bring dinner, I’ve got dessert?”
“I’m in! When?”
“Be right there ☺”
I’m up! Sock-sliding
Whisking through the kitchen.
visions of a giant cookie.
Steady hand, steady!
Frosting cursive isn’t easy.
Make my dreams ‘crumb’ true,
I wanna go to prom with YOU!
Jayson strolls in,
rock star hair and smile for miles.
Heart pounding. I slide aside
so he reads the words
I’ve been hiding inside.
“Ciara, don’t…not yet.”
my face aflame!
“I mean, dinner before dessert…right?”
Jayson pops the top of his pizza box:
You’re my bestie and so much more.
You’ve always had a ‘pizza’ my heart.
Hope this isn’t cheesy…
Go to prom with me?
“You deserve ALL the chivalry. Please, go with me?”
“Thought you’d never ask!”
What is that in the air? Is it the holidays lurking around the corner, a candle burning, a flavored latte? No, I smell…. a contest! Susanna Hill’s Halloweensie Contest is in full swing. Every year I relish in the spooky and sweet entries! This year, may I present my story Kit’s Costume at 99 words. I hope you enjoy it!
By Kari Ann Gonzalez
Kit couldn’t wait to go trick-or-treating.
The ooey-gooey goodies, the goosebumps, the KIDS!
All he needed was a bit of black paint
and he could be part of it!
One last glob…
Under the moon’s glow-in-the-dark light
Kit crept to the corner and peeked.
“Look Mum, a kitty!”
finally walking freely.
And with so many people in sight!
Kit marched with creative costumes,
devoured thrills, chills and too-much candy
He felt a wave of wet.
Kit raced to stay dry
but, the paint had…
“Well…that had been fun.” Kit sighed.
I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of such a welcoming and supportive community that embraces new writers to seasoned with a warm embrace. One way I have learned to connect with other writers in the community is through participating in contests. And there are many to choose from!
Whether it is a writing contest like Fall Writing Frenzy hosted by Lydia Lukidis and Kaitlyn Sanchez or Halloweensie hosted by Susanna Hill, contests with amazing, writerly prizes are just around the corner. The prizes are of course amazing, but also amazing is how we forge friendships over craft and creativity, how we support one another through spreading cheer in a tough industry to break into, and how we amplify fellow writers in all of the amazing work they have put into their heart projects both published and unpublished.
Cheers to all of the opportunities! One such opportunity is still up and live until October 31st! Entrants in the contest have a huge opportunity to win critiques and connect with published authors and agents, but also to support the same authors that give back to their writing community by purchasing and reviewing their books. What are you waiting for? It’s time to enter! Hop on over to PBSpotlight and enter PBCritiqueFest21. While you’re there, if you happen to see a cute, purple monster named Dennis in The Book Of Rules written by Brian Gehrlein and illustrated by Tom Knight, pre-order it! Dennis demands it, or at least he should. Snag your pre-order today!
Thanks for being part of this amazing writing community with me, and good luck on all the contests!
Fall is finally here! I am relishing pumpkin everything, the golden, orange and red falling leaves and especially the super spooky Halloween decorations. Another favorite part of the season? The contests!
This year for Fall Writing Frenzy I challenged myself to step outside my usual picture book and middle grade age range and write a super spooky YA story in free verse. With only 200 words!
Image credit: Halloween- Credit: Neon Brand/Unsplash
By Kari Ann Gonzalez
I fly off the porch steps,
tugging on my malicious-looking mask.
Splashing past a puddle,
I’m relishing the look of my new warped, white face.
The creepy corkscrew curls
and red rubber nose
stacked over a sinister, ruby-red smile.
Max and those other bozos
deserve everything they have coming.
I slip through the carnival’s back gate,
tuck into the shadows
They are going to scream
and pee their pants
when Jake and I jump out from hiding.
Heart pounding like a drum,
Slipping into the dark House of Horrors, I whisper…
My heart pounds louder.
I toe around an almost-headless horseman.
Then, crawl through sticky cobwebs
past the ginormous, rearing spider.
“JAKE!” I whisper louder,
struggling to see through the fake fog.
“Where are you? They’re going to be here any minute!”
I squint hard.
Finally seeing something…
I take in all of him.
Disheveled rainbow hair.
Maniacal smile stretching over rotting teeth- terrifying!
Jake’s ax even glints like steel.
“Great costume, Jake! That ax looks almost real. Are you ready?”
“Oh, I’m ready…” the voice growls, “But, who’s Jake?”
So-how did I do?
A huge thank you to Kaitlynn Lean Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis for hosting another fun contest. I hope this little piece jumpstarts your October with a little shiver. Thanks for stopping by to read my entry! Wishing the best of luck to all the contestants!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful, safe and happy Halloween! It has been a busy week, but I can't resist the lure of holiday writing prompt! I give you my 100 word Halloweensie contest entry using the words, crept, mask, and skeleton: Sweet Treats. There are some really amazing entries, hop on over to Susana Leonard Hill's website to check out the other entries!
By Kari Ann Gonzalez
It was Halloween at the museum, but Rex refused to be the same old thing…
Skeletons were so prehistoric!
This year, Rex had big plans and a grumbly tummy.
He crept to the supply closet and snagged some sheets.
One last touch.
One by one, children filed in.
Rex devoured the sweet scent.
Candy tumbled into plump bags.
“Where is the T-Rex?” a child asked.
Rex made his move.
“A chicken costume? Not scary!” the child laughed.
“Skeleton it is!”
Rex ripped off his mask.
“Trick for you, treat for me!”
The children ran.
What do you do when your fickle manuscript talks back and just doesn't do what you want? You have probably already stared at the darn thing until your eyeballs burn, waved a magic wand, and of course tweaked and revised and rewritten it no less than a million times. But what does it take to FINISH it?! Here are a few handy tricks to truly SEE the story you have written versus the story you would like to write.
One of my favorite seasons has arrived, and with it, scents of pumpkin spice and apple cider and of course a wonderful contest and writing prompt! So, I give you: my 86-word entry for Fall Frenzy and the sweet gathering photo that prompted my STEM (pun intended) acrostic poem. Fingers crossed to win a picture book prize- but I already won a personal prize- the delicious new story I am posting and a few new story ideas! What did you think? I would love to hear from you! Then, pop back over to the Fall Writing Frenzy blog post to check out all the amazing stories. Thank you to Kaitlyn Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis for the contest and lovely inspiration!
Be the change you wish to see, and inspire change in others too. It all starts with you! Here are a few links to my favorite books that celebrate diversity from a great blog post on Childhood 101.
Fall is in full swing and so is Halloweensie! Pop over to Susanna Hill's Halloweensie contest to read the contest entries when you have a moment you are in for a treat! Here is my entry is less than 100 words, using a variation of the words: potion, cobweb and treat.
The Pumpkin Stand
By Kari Ann Gonzalez
On Halloween, plump pumpkins were picked.
Not Gorda. Gourds were too green. Too warty. Still, Gorda longed for a home.
She cleared the cobwebs, and stood tall- even pasted triangles to become a Gord-A-Lantern. Nothing worked.
The last pumpkin was picked. And Gorda’s dreams were squashed. It couldn’t get any worse…until Witch whisked Gorda away on her broom!
Gorda knew she was destined for stew.
After a short flight,
Witch sprinkled a putrid potion.
Seasoning, Gorda sighed.
Gorda looked up to see… a tiny witch hat?
Witch said, “Now, you look just like me. Let’s go trick-or-treating!”