On Blogging, On Writing

Eeek.

halloween coat 2Do I like Halloween? Well, let me put it this way: If I wanted to make a spectacle of myself panhandling in costume, I would be on Times Square shaking down tourists.

So, no. I do not like Halloween.

I do like Susanna Leonard Hill, however. (How can one not, really?) I also like Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog contests, and I enter as many as I can.

Yes, even the Halloweensie one.

Here are the rules: Entrants have to write a Halloween-themed story no longer than 100 words. (In Halloween parlance that means the story is “Fun Size.”) This story also must contain the words “costume,” “haunt,” and “dark.”

So, here’s my submission! Enjoy!

***

Night Ninja

“I’m the black ninja! Hiyah!”

“That costume is too black.”

“The better to haunt my victim’s dreams!”

“Well, you’re going to have to haunt their dreams with a little reflector tape. Stand still.”

“Mom! Ninjas can’t reflect! They gotta disappear!”

“I don’t want you to disappear into the fender of a car. Take this flashlight, too.”

“Flashlight?!”

“It’s cold out. Get your coat.”

“But my coat is green! Light green!”

“Then you’ll be an adorable light green ninja. Out you go.”

“Ninjas aren’t adorable!”

“Have a good time, sweetie! And don’t come back without dark chocolate!”

“I hate Halloween.”

On Blogging, On Writing

Christmas Contest!

Ho Ho Ho!
Ho Ho Ho!

When I heard that it was time for Susanna Hill’s Fourth Annual Holiday Contest two thoughts sprung to mind:

  1. YAY!
  2. Didn’t I just do the Halloween Contest? (Answer: Yes. Yes, I did.)

But that’s holidays for you; they like to creep up when you least expect ’em.

So, between the decorating, the cards, the shopping, and all the extra work that makes me a Christmas crabbypants, I wrote a story!

And writing this story, I am pleased to say, made me a lot less crabby. So thank you, Susanna, for that much-needed dose of de-grinching. 

The contest rules are simple: In 350 words or fewer, write a story in which wild weather impacts the holidays. 

Enjoy!

 

A CARBON CHRISTMAS

Santa numbly stared at the enormous hole in the ice.

“Did everyone get out?” he asked.

“We’re all here,” an elf replied. “But the toys…”

Santa nodded. His beloved factory was deep underwater. All the toys were inside.

“I told you we needed to move,” Mrs. Claus sighed. “Haven’t you heard of Global Warming? Why would you build a factory on a glacier? And Christmas is just one week away!”

Santa nodded once again. One week wasn’t enough time to make new toys. He needed to get them from someone else.

 ***

“We’d love to help you, Mr. Claus!” said the chipper factory manager. His factory was a lovely place, filled with happy workers making excellent toys of all kinds. “Here’s the estimate!”

“Estimate?” Santa asked.

“Well, sure! We don’t give toys away. Making toys for millions of children costs 32 billion dollars.”

Santa coughed. “Could I maybe pay you in cookies?”

“Get out,” said the manager.

***

The second toy factory had much lower prices.

“Is that lead paint?” Santa asked.

“Just a little,” the man assured him.

“Are you putting broken toys in boxes?”

“Broken toys are cheaper!”

Santa walked away in disgust.

***

“It’s no use,” he told his elves. “We can’t make deliveries this year.”

He went on TV. Through his tears, Santa let the world know. Then he sadly steered his sleigh for home.

When he arrived, he found an enormous pile of boxes waiting for him.

“What are these?” he asked.

He pulled a note off one box. It read:

Dear Santa,

I was sad to hear you couldn’t make toys this year. So I took my allowance money and bought this one. Could you give it to somebody who’d like it?

Santa looked at the other notes. Every box was a gift for someone else. And more boxes were arriving by the second.

“It’s unbelievable!” Then Santa remembered how long his “Nice List” was and it didn’t seem so unbelievable anymore.

“We’re delivering toys!” Santa announced. The elves cheered.

“And, for the record,” he added. “We’re no longer giving out coal.”

I think I'll just give the bad kids underpants.
I think I’ll just give the bad kids underpants.

 

On Blogging, On Writing

Boo.

it's the great pumpkin charlie brown 18 - I got a rock #1

I have never liked Halloween. Even as a kid, I found the act of going door to door begging for candy to be unseemly.

I disliked the itchy discomfort of the costume. I disliked being stared at. (When you wear a costume, you are, pretty much, giving people permission to stare.) I disliked running all over the neighborhood like a dodo when, at home, a perfectly good TV was going unwatched.

And, at the end of the evening, all I had to show for my efforts was a sack full of itty bitty candy bars that I would’ve never picked out for myself at a store. (Seriously, is Krackle anyone’s favorite candy bar? Answer: No.)

Long story short, I gave up on Halloween as soon as it was socially acceptable. The ominous power of peer pressure kept me going until the fourth grade (and, yes, I’m still holding that grudge, Carl Johnson).

But Halloween isn’t all bad. It is also when Susanna Leonard Hill’s kicks off her Halloweensie Contest!

Now that’s a Halloween tradition I can get behind. Woo!

Here are the rules: Entrants have to write a Halloween-themed story no longer than 100 words. (In Halloween parlance that means the story is “Fun Size.”) This story also must contain the words “broomstick,” “creak,” and “pumpkin.”

So here is my humble submission. Enjoy!

***

SNACK-O’-LANTERN

“Nibbles,” sighed Chester Cat. “You’re supposed to carve a pumpkin.”

“They’re too big,” the guinea pig replied. “So I am carving a Halloween-o Jalapeño. Scary, huh? Does it make you want to run away?”

“No,” Chester sniffed. “That wouldn’t make anyone run away.”

They heard the creak of floorboards and the clatter of the broomstick Buster used for fetch.

“I bet it’ll make Buster run.”

“No way.”

“Let’s see,” Nibbles challenged. Then he shouted. “BUSTER! SNAAACK!”

Buster galloped in. He gobbled the jalapeño.

His eyes sprang open.

Yelping, he dashed to his water dish.

“Told you he’d run,” Nibbles giggled.