Monday, November 18, 2019

100 words or less Challenge- "Cat Mornings"


11.14.19- 

Bamboo. News. Fog.


Cat Mornings

It begins when I am ready. 

Not before.

Mornings can't push me. 

Move me into-
Hurry-Hurry-Hurry.

Not the illumination of fog against the window,

Not the tapping of fingers against glowing screens of news…

I resist.

I roll,
tuck,
 and curl myself into warmth and ignore everything.

Including you-
with your flying feet. 

Beeping alarms.
 And selfish unshared breakfast.

I remain contentedly "asleep" until...

 I am ready to...

 Emerge.

Unless of course, like the morning before... 
... I choose early as my time to rise.

Nothing is ever safe at that hour.

Bamboo leaves...

...warm tucked in toes.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Alas my Halloweensie 100 words or less story did not win the contest BUT...

I had such a great time doing that challenge that I have devised a writing prompt for myself and possibly other writers.

Three times a week I will- challenge myself by writing 100 words or less story. Using three randomly chosen words to incorporate!

To keep on course and honest about doing the work, I will post them here.
To other writers, if you so desire to have your creations posted here contact me.  I would love to honor and share our hard work and progress!

So, my first piece is a sentimental one.  It's about my daughter (adopted from China). Who had a nickname in the orphanage that meant "Little Bird." In trying to honor that, I gifted her a necklace years ago of a single bird feather, which she wears every day.

I hope you enjoy.

11/8/19- 100 words or less

Feather. Gift. Belonging. 

Mia 

Everything but me is new.
New clothes.
New home.
New weather.
New feels and flavors.
New. New. New.
All strange, but also- warm, safe and after a while…
Comfortable.
Inviting.
A brand-new kind of new.
Where the not new me, begins to feel new, too.
Here, my touch, feels, flavors discover feelings of something unknown-Belonging.
Here, forever home wraps around me and all of my old mingle and blend with my new.

Here, in a simple gift, like a name I touch sculpted metal and understand that a feather lying gently near my heartbeat holds the power of everything. 




Monday, October 28, 2019

9th Annual Halloweensie Contest Submission.

It's TIME!  This year, I did it.  I actually got around to not only reading other writers Holloweenie Posts, but I am actually adding one to the mix!

Susan Hill Leonard, you rock! Halloween Writing Contest!  If you all haven't tried this, DO!  It's fun.


Below is my offering. The Box and the Bean!  99 words- including Trickery, Cobweb, and Potion!



The Box and the Bean
by Laura N. Clement


First in line this year and, Bea was scared.

She must be brave, show no fear, everyone was watching.

IT was just a box, plane and black… possibly even empty.

“No liquid potions. No tarantulas (rules forbade it).”

Blindfold on. Bea hoped that it wouldn’t… bite. 

Last year’s ooey, gooey “Mystery Trickery Box” had been fun, messy but harmless. But this year…

Bea moved her fingertips through the opening.

Harmless cotton cobwebs, slimy peeled grapes, messy pasta… she hoped.

It was small, smooth…

Gulp…

And, moving!

EwwwwWWW…

And done! No bites or mess…

Now, to plot next year’s revenge.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

So, Summer happened in a BIG way

It is now Oct. and I have been severely missing in action from most writing aspects of my life.  I knew this would happen a bit because of SUMMER and Mia being home, but life decided to get even more interesting...

I moved my family... to an island. 




This place is fabulous, creatively rich and naturally beautiful.   We moved for my daughter and the school system with its special needs capabilities.  But both my husband and I are benefiting from the move as well, I won't lie.

All of that said, getting to read, getting to write, getting to edit or even see my critique group all flew out the open window of a moving truck.  But NOW...

Now I am settling into place. I have located a new critique partner on the island (yes, I will remain with my first group, just won't get over to see them often). AND, I have been out to the BARN! Talk about a magical place akin to Disneyland for creatives.

So, getting back into the swing of things. Next up #PBPitch on Twitter! TOMORROW!

Then, a Halloween treat for Susan Hill! I think I have my piece ready. The deadline is the 28th.

All the while- write/edit/critique and OH, continue to settle into my new life.
So, until the 28th!  Be well you all.  Be creative.

-Laura



Tuesday, June 25, 2019

T minus 2 days until Summer Crashes upon us- What's a writer to do when there is no longer time to write?

OK, this is not my first full-on summer with my daughter.  I know certain things.
I will be a daily provider of adventures, lunches, snacks and "mommy school".
I also know that my writing time, if I get any, will be very limited.

So what can I do?

1. Sign up for an online class (Storytellers Acadamy is my choice this year).
By signing up for a class I am more likely to set aside time to do the work. 

2. Make MANY trips to the library and READ.  One, it's fun. Two, my daughter seeing me read and reading alongside me throughout the summer is a wonderful precedent.  Use the summer to focus on research. Find those "Comparison Titles".

3. Go on WALKS!  Get out and explore and remember too...

4. Have an IDEA Book with you at all times. Have with me always a means of writing ideas down so that WHEN I do have time, I can simply dive in.

5. ENJOY the time with my daughter and tap into my own desire to be a kid again.  This time is not wasted. It is just another opportunity to shift perspective.

And that's it, folks.  Enjoy the summer, the making of magical memories.  Cut yourself some slack and be creative, in other ways.  As long as you have your toe in one aspect of the book world it is not time lost.

Ciao!

-Laura (Me from a walk last Autumn, taking a look from a different perspective.)



Tuesday, June 18, 2019

CHESH Review #78 Poetree by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds, illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani

CHESH Review #78 Poetree by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds, illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani


CHESH Rating: 25
Crave: 5
Heart: 5
Eyes: 5
Soul: 5
Head: 5

The enjoyable twists and turns of this PB begin with the title and grow from there.  A quiet, book driven by a quiet reflective and poetic child brings universal themes of wanting friendship and feeling connected into sublime focus. With well-constructed poetry threading this story together it is a read that one can enjoy over and over again.  Beautiful book.

CHESH Review #77 Yak and Dove by Kyo MaClear, illustrated by Esme Shapiro

CHESH Review #77 Yak and Dove by Kyo MaClear, illustrated by Esme Shapiro

CHESH Rating: 19
Crave: 3
Heart: 5
Eyes: 3
Soul: 4
Head: 4

An update on the classic "mismatched friendship" theme. In the vein of Bear and Mouse, Yak and Dove set out on three adventures bringing their unique character (flaws) to each quirky problem-finding a friend who won't eat you- is one of them.  A fun read illustrating how complete opposites can enjoy and appreciate each other's friendship, in any strange situation. 


CHESH Review #76 The Ugly Five by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

CHESH Review #76 The Ugly Five by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler


CHESH Rating: 21
Crave: 3
Heart: 4
Eyes: 4
Soul: 5
Head: 5

Packed full of great information presented in mindbendingly rhyming perfection.  How DOES Julia do it?  A wonderful read to inform young learners about the less than photogenic or appealing population of the animal kingdom. With vibrant illustrations to support the amazing text this book is a great learning tool!

Friday, June 14, 2019

What happens when an idea (a Manuscript) you have been slaving over shows up published by someone else?

You have a cry.  You heave a sigh. Then you get back to work. 

There are only so many "ideas" out in the world.  It's YOUR voice that makes an idea special.  So trust your creative heartbeat, your spirit, your soul and write.

This week, this very thing happened to me.  I noticed a post about a PB just out. It seemed very similar to a manuscript I have been slaving on for years, trying to get the right voice.  Turns out, it wasn't my story to tell.  But it's a good story, so I am thrilled it out there for kids to read.

Am I bummed I couldn't get mine right?
Yes.

Am I bummed I couldn't get mine published?
Yes.

Am I now thrilled that my new manuscript is alive?
Totally.

I feel refreshed with the "concept" told from a different perspective.  I LOVE the new voice.  It is fresh and fun and totally spot on and me.

So, onward people.  Create to create.  Some things will fly, others will float but most will fall, and that's OK.  Create to create and enjoy the process, that is its own reward!




Monday, June 10, 2019

CHESH Review #75 Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel, illustrated by Shane W. Evans

CHESH Review #75 Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel, illustrated by  Shane W. Evans

CHESH Rating: 23
Crave: 4
Heart: 5
Eyes: 4
Soul: 5
Head: 5

A really timely and useful, joyous and powerful book. Simple text belies the depth and power offered to the reader.  A wonderful interactive refrain, "Hands up!" brings life and energy to each page and shows their reader the power in many potentially "powerless" situations. I think this would be a wonderful book for a classroom.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

CHESH Review #74 When A Tiger Comes to Dinner by Jessica Olien

CHESH Review #74 When A Tiger Comes to Dinner by Jessica Olien



CHESH Rating: 18
Crave: 4
Heart: 3
Eyes: 3
Soul: 3
Head: 5

If you are looking for a FUN read-a-loud, this is a good one.  It's also great for questioning authority/preconceptions and admitting mistakes.  Quick page turns, and an interactive quality to each page makes it a fun read.

CHESH Review #73 The Day You Begin by Jaqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez

CHESH Review #73 The Day You Begin by Jaqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez


CHESH Rating: 23
Crave: 4
Heart: 5
Eyes: 5
Soul: 4
Head: 5

I love books that tackle a weighty topic. Inclusion/exclusion are very weighty and tough topics to tackle in a picture book. This beautifully illustrated book accomplishes that task with grace.  I think this would be a perfect book for any classroom ready to have discussions about inclusivity and opening up when it is hard to connect.
          Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-19 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and a #1 New York Times Bestseller.