Holiday Writing Contest Results

I dont know whats happening at your house, but over here my kids are REALLY excited for Christmas!  Only one more day until Santa and his reindeer land on our roof and deliver presents to all the *good* boys and girls.  But before I send you off to enjoy your holidays, I wanted to let you know the results of Susanna Leonard Hills 3rd Annual Holiday Writing Contest.  Those of you who LIKE my author Facebook page already know the results, but this is for the rest of you.  Wait a second . . . Why dont you LIKE my author Facebook page?  CLICK HERE!  Thanks.

Okay, back to the subject at hand.  Thank you to everyone who read my entry in the Holiday Writing Contest!  Susanna and the other judges chose my story, The Gift Horse, to be one of 14 finalists out of 116 entries.  I couldnt believe it!  Then the voters (you!) voted The Gift Horse into third place.  Thank you!!  I am ecstatic to have won a professional picture book manuscript critique from editor Erin Molta.  Ill write a future post to let you know how that goes.

Before I sign off, I want to extend a huge CONGRATULATIONS to the other winners.  The first place prize went to Twas the Night Baafore Christmas by Dawn Young, and the second place prize went to, The Great Christmas Morning Mix-Up, by Kristen Foote!  You can visit Susanna Leonard Hills blog for the complete list of winners.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Holiday Writing Contest

Its time for Susanna Leonard Hills 3rd Annual Holiday Writing Contest!  This year the task is to write a childrens story of no more than 350 words about a Holiday Mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster.  Susanna is offering amazing prizes!  Be sure to stop by Susannas blog and read all the great entries, and then return to her blog on Monday the 16th Wednesday the 18th to vote on the Finalists.  Voting will close Wednesday at 5 pm EST.  The winners will be announced on Thursday, the 19th.

Thank you for stopping by to read my entry.

Happy Holidays!

THE GIFT HORSE

By Laura Wolfe

[349 words]

Mistletoe clip-clopped past the reindeer’s empty stalls.  As Santa prepared to deliver presents around the world, Mistletoe dreamed of spreading Christmas magic too.  But horses can’t fly and Mistletoe’s nose didn’t glow.

Just before the reindeer ascended into the sky, Mistletoe noticed a present poking out of Santas sack.  It said, To Santa. Love, Mrs. Claus.  Mistletoe neighed, bucked, and whinnied to alert Santa of the mistake, but he was too late.  The sleigh was gone.

Mistletoe peered inside Santa’s cottage.  Mrs. Claus slept peacefully.  There wasn’t a single present for Santa under the Christmas tree.

This is horrible, thought Mistletoe.  Santa surprises everyone with presents on Christmas, but there are no  presents for Santa!

Then Mistletoe understood that he had the power to make Christmas magic.  He cantered to Santa’s barn.

“Santa is giving away his only present,” Mistletoe told Owl.  “Let’s surprise Santa with gifts on Christmas morning, just like he surprises us.”

“That’s a brilliant idea,” agreed wise Owl.

“But I don’t have anything to give him,” said Mistletoe.

“We all have gifts to give,” said Owl.  “I’ll pluck my fluffy feathers to make a pillow.”

“I’ll paint my eggs to make ornaments for Santa’s tree,” said Chicken.

“I’ll knit my wool into a cozy sweater,” said Sheep.

“I’ll whip my milk into creamy pudding,” said Cow.

Mistletoe polished one of his horseshoes until it sparkled.  He would give it to Santa for good luck.

The animals worked hard on their gifts.  When they heard sleigh bells in the distance, Mistletoe galloped to Santa’s cottage and arranged the gifts under the tree.  Mistletoe raced back to the barn where he and the other animals quickly went to sleep.

On Christmas morning, Mistletoe awoke to find TWO peppermints in his saddle bag!  But Mistletoe’s best gift was still to come.  He trotted to Santa’s cottage and watched Santa open his presents.  Santa and Mrs. Claus’ eyes twinkled brighter than the snow.  Mistletoe’s teeth stretched into a smile.

“Now you know my secret,” said Santa, winking at Mistletoe.  “Giving to others is the best gift of all.”

NaNoWriMo Results

Im a few days late checking in with my official NaNoWriMo results.  In case you missed it,  my goal was to write the first draft of a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  Although I fell drastically short of my goal, I am going to consider NaNoWriMo a success.  I wrote approximately 23,000 words of my first YA novel, Foxwoode, and Im still going strong.  The ill-timed holidays are throwing a wrench into my writing progress, but I will keep writing when I have the time (that probably means in January!)

Writing my novel has been a learning process, for sure.  The first day, I literally just stared at the blank computer screen.  I had no idea where to begin and was overwhelmed by the task ahead.  Eventually, I bit the bullet and just started typing.  I didnt start from the beginning.  I started from a scene that I had in my head and built the story back (and forward) from that point.  I love seeing how the personalities of the characters develop and the sub-plots emerge seemingly out of nowhere.  I think its safe to say, I am addicted!  If only I had more time . . .

As for PiBoIdMo, I met my goal of coming up with 30 ideas for picture books in 30 days.  This should give me plenty to work on in the year ahead!

And finally, Id like to share a little bit of good news.  My article, The Goal vs. The Journey, about my lifelong quest to own my own horse is going to be published in the My Life column of the February issue of Practical Horseman magazine.  I have been a life-long subscriber to Practical Horseman, so this publishing credit means a lot to me.  Practical Horseman has a paid circulation of over 60,000 subscribers and is a top authority on English riding and horsemanship.  Ill be sure to let you know when the February issue is released.

Until next time, happy writing (and riding!)