On Writing

One Hat. Two Versions.

Highlights coverSometimes I’ll rewrite a story so many times I’ll forget how much it’s changed.

That was certainly the case with my story Harold’s Hat. As I mentioned on this blog, Harold’s Hat was published in the July issue of Highlights for Children. And because the  folks at Highlights are lovely, wonderful people, they gave me permission to reprint a PDF of the finished story! Here ya go:

Harold’s Hat mag layout PDF

I just adore Harold’s crazy eyes in that last illustration.

This isn’t the only version of Harold’s Hat floating around. An embryonic draft of HH appeared on this blog in June 2013, which I wrote for one of Susanna Leonard Hill’s awesome writing contests. Both versions share many of the same story beats, but otherwise they are two very different animals.

Feel free to compare ’em. It’s fun!

 

Doodles 'n' Drawings, On Blogging, On Writing

Win A Doodle! Hooray!

IT IS TIME FOR A CONTEST!

Here’s your chance to win an official Mike Allegra custom made doodle!

But first, a word from Giddy Happy Mike:

This is the cover of the July 2015 issue of Highlights for Children.

Highlights coverIsn’t it great? I especially like this part:

Highlights cover detailThat’s my story!

“Harold’s Hat,” is in the latest issue of Highlights (which is awesome)! And the editors decided to promote it on the magazine’s cover (which is awesomer)!

The issue arrived in my mailbox on Saturday. My son took one look at it, turned to me and said, “You are so cool.”

Best Fathers’ Day Present Ever.

The entire magazine is fantastic, by the way (Highlights is always fantastic). So be sure to pick up a copy for the little ones in your life. OK?

Thank you for indulging me. Now where was I? Oh, yes…

THE WIN A DOODLE CONTEST!

IF YOU WIN, I WILL GIVE YOU A DRAWING OF WHATEVER YOU WANT!

Don’t believe me? Then just take a look at these recent doodle commissions!

Sarah wanted a Caffeine Gnome, so I gave her a Caffeine Gnome. (Click to enlarge.)
Sarah wanted a Caffeine Gnome, so I gave her a Caffeine Gnome. (Click to enlarge.)
Sue wanted a great dane protecting puppehs. So I gave her a great dane protecting puppehs. (Click to enlarge.)
Sue wanted a Great Dane protecting some puppehs. So I gave her a Great Dane protecting some puppehs. (Click to enlarge.)
Jenion wanted a cyclist. So...well, you're getting the idea.  (Click to enlarge.)
Jenion wanted a cyclist. So I gave her a cyclist. (Click to enlarge.)
Pam wanted a writer in a yoga pose petting an angel dog.
Pam wanted a writer in the sunshine in a yoga pose petting an angel dog. So I gave her a…well, you get the idea.  (Click to enlarge.)
And the less said about this salamander, the better.
And the less said about this salamander, the better. (But if you must know…)

So, yes, your doodling wish is my command.

There is one exception, however. I will not draw whatever you want if whatever you want is pervy. I am a children’s book author, bucko, so take your dirty, filthy business someplace else!

HOW TO WIN

The winning name will be drawn at random. The draw-er is this guy.

Breaking Bad boy No. 2He is apparently a fan of gritty AMC dramas.

HOW TO ENTER

To get your name in the drawing, all you have to do is leave a comment below answering ONE of the following questions:

What was the best vacation you’ve ever had?

or

What was the worst vacation you ever had?

If you choose to describe your worst vacation (and I really hope you do!) please provide some detail to illustrate all the awfulness, OK?

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING

Want me to stuff the ballot box in your favor? OK. I’ll add two more ballots if you announce this contest on your blog and link back to this page. That’s three chances to win!

Don’t have a blog? No problemo. Then you can get one extra ballot if you announce this contest on your Facebook page or Twitter feed.

PRIZES (PLURAL!)

As I mentioned, the Grand Prize-Winner will get a custom made, one-of-a-kind, Mike Allegra doodle (suitable for framing or lining birdcages).

But I have other prizes, too! Our esteemed judge is going to draw two more names from the hat!

Second Prize: This winner may select a signed copy of my picture book, Sarah Gives Thanks, OR a signed copy of the anthology Blood on the Floor: How Writers Survive Rejection (I have an essay in there).

Third Prize: The winner gets the book the Second Prize-winner didn’t want. Hey, it’s better than nothing.

DEADLINES, ETC.

Your entry is due on or before Monday, June 29. The winner of the drawing will be announced on Tuesday, June 30.

That’s it! Answer a question and get going!

GOOD LUCK!