I took a break from illustrating my Mix and Match challenge entries to take part in the #SunWriteFun contest. You can check out all the details and other entries here.
The challenge: Write a non-fiction of informational fiction piece centered around the theme of "sports(-)ship".
Word Limit: 200 words
I had an entry all ready about how Pickleball got its name, but when I went to post it, I saw that someone else had already submitted an entry about the same story. So I decided to write something new.
Two topics near and dear to my heart instantly came to mind.
1) Volleyball. I've played since I was in 5th grade, and my husband John and I met in a league here in Seattle.
2) Epilepsy. Our son Leo has a form of epilepsy called Doose Syndrome. He's doing well on medication, luckily, but I'd love to see more epileptic characters represented in the kid lit world.
So I thought: maybe there was some famous volleyball player who has epilepsy?
Imagine my surprise when I saw that there is a volleyball tournament that raises funds for epilepsy research. Oh, and it's played in the mud.
Ding-ding-ding! We had a winning topic.
Since my niece Opal has been spending a lot of time with us this summer, I decided to have her take a starring role in my entry, along with Leo (of course). Here it is, along with a quick Procreate illustration I did.
The Dirty Thirty Mud Volleyball for Epilepsy tournament was about to begin.
All 35 courts were ready:
nets stretched tight,
boundary lines marked,
field freshly flooded.
Opal watched from the sideline:
shoes duct taped to feet,
nails freshly purpled to match her event t-shirt.
She was finally old enough to play, but wasn’t going out there until absolutely necessary.
The Mix & Match Week 4 challenge: tell a story based on a classic kids' song, adding a lesson from a given list.
My song: The Bear Went Over the Mountain
My theme: of 'Even when you're bad, you're still loved'
Bear's Fresh Start
Sob. I blew it.
I ate Rabbit’s strawberries. “Bear!!!”
Hey, hunger called.
Stomped through Fox’s ceiling. “Help!!”
Ooops. I’m a growing bear!
And left a pile of you-know-what under Bluebird’s tree. “P. U!”
When you gotta go, you gotta go.
So over the mountain I go.
What will I see? New friends. Or maybe no one at all to annoy. A fresh start!
Just a few...
And I see....
Rabbit! “Where are you off to, Bear?”
Fox! “You weren’t leaving without us, were you?”
Bluebird! “It’s beautiful here!”
It is, isn’t it?
A fresh start...together.
The Week Three mix and match challenge was a fun one--we were given a picture prompt of a sad-looking rabbit being approached by two squirrels carrying acorns. Then we had to choose three words from a list provided. And finally, one of the characters had to have a secret.
Here is my entry (which I finally kept to 100 words!) And, below, you'll see that I turned the whole story into my very first comic strip!
Rabbit'th Thee-cret (Rabbit's Secret)
“Rabbit!” called Tilly. “Happy spring potluck day!
Rabbit smiled, tight-lipped. “Hmm-hmmph."
“Cucumber? Carrots? Hummus?” Taffy offered. “Eat, eat!”
Week 2 of the Mix and Match challenge was the hardest for me: write a story with cumulative structure. (You know--'The House that Jack Built' or 'There was an old lady who swallowed a fly...')
Check out Susanna L. Hill's post for all the details of the Week 2 Challenge, and read through the other entries in the comments.
Here's my entry and illustration!
The Hungriest Python
The hungriest python turned into a boat
to capture some lunch down his long winding throat.
I hope he’ll float!
He called to a bee, “Come sailing with me!
There’s a valley of flowers across the wide sea.”
He swallowed the bee down his long winding throat.
I hope he’ll float!
Starting in May, I participated in a seven-week writing challenge hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill, author of many picture books such as Moon's First Friends and Can't Sleep Without Sheep. Each week, she posted a selection of writing prompts and challenged writers to craft a 100-word story. Those who completed all seven weeks were entered into a prize drawing.
I managed to complete all seven weeks' prompts, and won a set of story brainstorming cards in the process. Since I also have a new iPad and am learning to use Procreate for illustrations, I thought I'd start my own personal challenge:
Make an illustration for each of my seven entries, and post them here!
Week One: Character Needs. We were given several characters, a list of needs, and a list of random objects to work into our stories. (I chose 'Henry' 'hug' and 'hockey stick'.) Here's a snippet, and the illustration I created!
Henry Needs Some Luck