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!

Susanna Hill’s 7th Annual Halloweensie Contest

Have I mentioned yet that Halloween is my favorite holiday? The weather’s sometimes cooler, you don’t have to clean cobwebs out of ceiling corners, and if you don’t feel like brushing your hair, a green wig is perfectly acceptable.

And the candy…peanut butter cups are a balanced breakfast, right?

I also love contests. So when I heard about children’s author Susanna Hill and her Halloweensie Contest, I couldn’t wait to write my entry.


The rules: Entry must have a 100 word count or less, and contain the words candy corn (counts as one word here), monster, and shadow. And be for little ghouls and goblins.

Here’s my entry at exactly one hundred words (that’s harder than it sounds, people!):

The Candy Corn Craft Monster

Bean’s best friend Jilly said he was a monster when it came to crafts. A complete mess. He’d get glitter up his nose. He’d glue his fingers together.

So Bean hid in the shadowiest corner.

Miss Ann found him. “Halloween’s tonight! Come make spooky art.”

“I’ll just make a mess.” Bean hung his head.

Miss Ann led him next to Jilly. “That’s okay. Messes mean you’re being creative and learning.”

Bean looked at the candy corn and had an idea. He got to work.

Jilly squealed, then giggled. “It’s Bean the Candy Corn Monster!”

He grinned as he gnashed his candy corn fangs.