Tuesday, November 26, 2019

100 words-or-less Challenge 11.26.19- Sand, bark, Stone

[No Illo Notes in the text- Imagine Sophia's surroundings becoming more and more vibrant with each page turn until each page is FULL of the life around her at the park. The final page needs to show her whole (family) joining her.]

Waiting for a Sunday Sea Park Picnic

Sophia sat, all alone.

              Except for the sand sifting through her fingers…

              …Sea weeds ticking her toes…

              …stones cracking and slacking under blanket folds…

              …ducks just beyond the hill, scampering-one, two, three-steps from air to pond…

              …beavers crunching, munching, forever lunching on fallen branches…

              Sophia sat, all alone… surrounded by myriads of tones…


              … and throngs of songs.

              Her being touching textures, ruggedly rough…silvery smooth…

              …and puckered and pocked.

              Sophia sat all alone…

…Smelling sea brine, she counted her time, one heartbeat to the next.

              Watching, waiting, feeling life from the sea push against land until a…


Monday, November 25, 2019

CHESH Review #81 A Place to Stay- A Shelter Story written by Erin Gunti, illustrated by Esteli Meza

CHESH Review #81 A Place to Stay- A Shelter Story written by Erin Gunti, illustrated by Esteli Meza

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

Mad props for this book getting published, there needs to be more on the subject.  First-person child voice in a difficult situation-physically and emotionally.  As a conversation starter, this book gets things going well.  Pointing out many aspects of staying in a shelter and how to reframe one's perspective to make the best of a hard situation. 

CHESH Review #80 Home in The Woods by Eliza Wheeler

CHESH Review #80 Home in The Woods by Eliza Wheeler

Heart: 5
Eyes: 5
Soul: 5
Head: 5

Stunning from end page to end page. Eliza Walker's story about her grandmother's childhood, living in a small hut in the woods during the depression is lusciously dappled in a soft watercolor palate that makes the reader crave for another page turn.  Warmth emanates from the text as we the reader follow from season to season a new sense of normal in survival for this family. This book is one of my favorite's for the year.

CHESH Review #79 The Day Punctuation Came to Town by Kimberlee Gard, illustrated by Sanie Sonke

CHESH Review #79 The Day Punctuation Came to Town by Kimberlee Gard, illustrated by Sanie Sonke

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

I applaud how the author and illustrator have endeavored to created a world that strives to familiarize and make accessible punctuation.  The story aims to be universal, however, things get bogged down in the application of each punctuations job and as a dyslexic reader, I found each page with all of the varied fonts, colors, etc, very hard to follow. 

This is a beautiful book, the subject matter and overlaying story are at odds with an easy read.  But, this IS a useful tool for starting a conversation about punctuation. 

100 Words or less Challenge- 11.25.19- Tub, Sparkle, Wheel

[No Illustration notes BUT, imagine a little girl twirling and whirly in a yard, eventually landing on the grass, staring up at the sky.]


The trouble with spinning is… gravity.
After all, I am not a wheel.
I do not evenly turn-Squirm Squish-or- PLOD-or-Tickle Fantastic-on the ground.
I do not whirl with purpose.
My twirling desires are more, imaginary…
…more ethereal…
…more uplifting, much less… specific.
Like all the possibilities of a freshly opened tub of glitter-Sparkly-Dense-With layers upon layers of magic. I wish I were glitter but, never mind…
Gravity, my forever problem.
Because you see, spinning-not like a wheel-can be disastrous.
Especially if-PING-or-PLONK-then always-THWAP-and finally-THUD!
Without gravity, things would be much easier, but then again maybe… less interesting.

Friday, November 22, 2019

100 words or Less Challenge- 11.22.19- Blanket, Pin, Fog

Morning Hot Chocolate 

Even my fingers don’t want to travel out from under sleep, 
but then...


They must.

Good morning in singsong with promises of breakfast,
wrestle away my resistance and successfully turn down my blanket.

An offering of cold clothes by warm hands, morning hugs and…

I am awake.

Lazily placing each foot in front of the other I navigate the fog of the early morning.

The chill of the house pins against my skin until…


I celebrate awake in smooth, 
velvety sweetness.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

100 words or less (I failed 108 words today)- 11.20.19-Snow/ Goat/Passport


I love earth underfoot.

Rock piles for climbing.

Winding craggy paths and rolling pine cones readied for a game of chase.

But one bright blue morning my world, went dark.

A passport assigned, curated and stamped for immediate relocation changed everything.
The dusting of snow and wisps of grass-delectable and sweet- suddenly disappeared with a thunderous…

Ricocheting like hail off my mountain.

Though, wingless and unsuited for flight my body, bound but cradled rested cozily in a dream while the landscape shifted and I burst unaware…

… aloft.

Immense distance-rivers, lakes, winding roads, hilly terrain, soared beneath me until…

…once more a mountain was home.

Inspired by a true story- You KNOW I am a sucker for anything to do with goats. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

100 words or less Challenge- "Cat Mornings"


Bamboo. News. Fog.

Cat Mornings

It begins when I am ready. 

Not before.

Mornings can't push me. 

Move me into-

Not the illumination of fog against the window,

Not the tapping of fingers against glowing screens of news…

I resist.

I roll,
 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...


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. 


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…
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…


And, moving!


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.


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.


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