ValenTINY Sprinkles

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! My emergency chocolate jar is once again filled (Godiva truffles for the curious. Thanks, Honey!) so the writing may commence. Just in time for children’s author Susanna Hill’s super fun ValenTINY contest. Like last year, our wordcount is a mere 214 words (mine is that exactly) and to shake things up a bit, must have someone feeling guilty.

2hW0-v4YAs usual, I get my inspiration from my kiddos, so as Dinosaur Boy clutched the sprinkles for his class Ice Cream Valentine’s Day party, inspiration struck. Oh, the messes we can make with all those teensy bits!

And you may recall my characters, Bean and Jilly, from previous contest entries. If there’s a potential mess to be had, and a friendship to make everything all right, they clamor to be included.

Y’all enjoy!


Bean & Jilly and the Valentine’s Day Sprinkles

Bean walked into his preschool classroom as if his sneakers were marshmallows.
“Why are you walking funny?” Jilly asked.
“I don’t want to drop the sprinkles for today’s Valentine Ice Cream party,” he said.
“Sprinkles!” Jilly said. “Can I see?”
Bean shook his head. “You might spill them.”
“Are they unicorn sprinkles?”
“No, hearts. I picked them out myself.”
“I love hearts! Are you sure I can’t hold them?”

At the activity table, Jilly pinched clay into a heart. “I’ll give you this heart if I can see your sprinkles.”
Bean shook his head.
Jilly narrowed her eyes.

In the art center, Jilly made a goopy, gluey paper heart. “I’ll give you this heart if I can smell the sprinkles.”
Bean shook his head.
Jilly wrinkled her nose.
On the playground, Jilly plucked a heart-shaped leaf just for Bean. “Can I touch the sprinkles with my pinkie?”
Jilly stomped her foot.
At lunch, Bean’s banana tasted boring. The teacher won’t miss a couple sprinkles, he thought.
He wiggled the lid. Then jiggled…
…plink and scatter.
Bean’s heart sank to his toes. “Now I don’t have anything to bring to the class party!”
… the decorations: a clay heart, a goopy, gluey paper heart, and a heart-shaped leaf. Bean hugged Jilly.

A Witchy Halloweensie

One of my new Halloween traditions is participating in children’s book author Susanna Hill’s Halloweensie contest. Last year was my first time and I had so much fun–plus exercised my writing muscles, and practiced brevity–with all her seasonal contests. (I even won Honorable Mention for Memorable Characters!) It’s called “weensie” because it’s just that, entries max out at 100 words and must include shiver, cauldron, and howl. For all the spooky details, you can check out her site here.

While I was mulling over what my short would be about, Mermaid Girl had Honors Assembly which fell on the same day as Hat Day. As I was going through ALL my pictures (yes, I’m that mom), this one where she’s taking an AR Witchy NASAtest started a brainstorm–the witch hat, the NASA book in her lap… What witch wouldn’t want to ride her broom to the moon?

I hope y’all enjoy!

A Broom to the Moon

Willa was a good witch,
she wore her pointy hat with pride,
her whipping cloak gave shivers
when she hopped on her broom to ride.

She collected crawlies for the cauldron,
nightshade and lost lockets.
But when she looked up at the moon,
Willa also dreamed of rockets.

To fly her broom up to the moon,
it’s what she wanted most of all.
Her aunties howled,
“But there’s a chance you’ll fall!”

Willa had Halloween plans—
she’d build boosters on her broom.
A bit of engineering, a tinkering here and there,
With a BOOM, she zoomed up to her moon!

A Fruitful Post

Hi y’all! I hope everyone had a nice, relaxing Labor Day. We just got back from a family beach trip in time to batten down the hatches for Tropical Storm Gordon’s arrival.


Yep, this is the sister that always urges me to read those adult thrillers and mysteries. We love reading together, it’s our favorite thing. 

My lovely picture book critique group started a joint blog and our inaugural post went out this Saturday. BbfCLoet Each of us focus on a different area of children’s literature, mine centering on creativity and inspiration, and we’d love it if you follow along with us at the Wonder of Words. Our posts will go out the first and third Saturday of each month. Obviously from how I post here, I need the accountability 🙂

If you’re in T.S. Gordon’s path, stay safe and make sure you have plenty of books. If not, simply having plenty of books on hand is always sound advice 😉

It’s a ValenTINY Sort of Story!



Dinosaur Boy as the Mardi Gras Chicken Reveler!

The amazing children’s author Susanna Hill is having her Third Annual ValenTINY Writing Contest AND it’s the weekend before Fat Tuesday in the birthplace of Mardi Gras which means we get to eat king cake and moon pies along with our Valentine’s chocolates! Lot’s of fun (and delicious) stuff going on.


If you’ve been following along with me, you may recall my characters Bean and Jilly winning Honorable Mention in Ms. Hill’s holiday contest. Yippee! You’re welcome to read that entry here. So of course I had to bring those two best friends back for a ValenTINY adventure. This go ’round we’re allowed 214 words because 2/14…you get it, right? My entry is at 211 words, whew!


So with a hopeful heart and a sticky slice of cream cheese-filled king cake, I present…

Bean & Jilly and the Hopeful Valentine

Bean and Jilly put the finishing touches on their shoeboxes for the class Valentine’s party.
Jilly scrunched her eyes tight.
“Did you get glitter in your eyes?” Bean asked. He knew how bad that felt.
“No, I’m wishing and hoping.”
“That you didn’t get glitter in your nose?” That didn’t feel good either, though it did make awesome boogers.
Jilly laughed. “No! That I get the unicorn eraser I saw on Miss Ann’s desk. I bet she’s going to give it to whoever has the prettiest, most Valentiney box, and I hope it’s me.”
On the playground, Bean thought Jilly wasn’t being much fun. Fingers crossed and eyes squeezed tight made it hard to play tag or push someone on a swing.
The time finally came to open their shoeboxes. Bean was surprised to find himself scrunching his eyes too.
Jilly reached in.
“Did you get it?”
She pulled out a… triceratops eraser.
“Cool!” Then he noticed her eyes scrunch again, but this time like she might cry.
“I tried and hoped really, really hard,” Jilly whispered.
Bean took it from her. It was a super cool dino eraser. But… he wriggled and jiggled.
Pop! Pop!
He handed it back to her.
Jilly giggled. “It’s a uni-ceratops! Best Valentine’s ever, Bean!”

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s and Mardi Gras celebration!

Laissez les bon temps et le coeur plein d’espoir rouler!