#SpringFlingKidLit contest entry: FLORY’S FAIRY WINGS

Thank you for this delightful Spring Fling Kid Lit contest opportunity hosted by Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez and Ciara O’Neal. There are also some amazing prize donors! You can shower our hosts and prize donors with love by visiting their blogs, following on social media, and viewing their amazing books.

I found my gif HERE.

I now present my tiny tale introducing Flory, The Garden Fairy.

FLORY’S FAIRY WINGS

By

Christine Alemshah

WC: 149

At graduation, Flory and her fairy friends debuted wings displaying their true power. 

Willow’s green wings cascaded a flowering arch. 

Phoenix’s fiery wings transformed her into a bird.

Amaya’s silver wings showered everyone in light rain.

Flory touched her back. Nothing. Her smile quivered at her turn. She ran to the ice cream shop instead.

“I’ll never be a real fairy without wings.”

A boy in front of her pulled at empty pockets.

Flory handed him a coin.

“My treat,” she said.

“Thank you,” the boy replied.

Prr-ing! Golden wings sprouted on Flory’s back.

Flory puzzled.

The boy ran to help an old fairy tie shoes he couldn’t reach.

I get it now, thought Flory.

She ran back to graduation.

“Oh, Flory,” said Amaya.

“They’re beautiful,” said Phoenix.

“What’s your power?,” asked Willow.

Flory smiled. “Something measured, yet unseen. I spread kindness forward one fairy at a time.”

My #50Preciouswords entry – The Kindergarten Train

There’s a lovely little contest hosted by children’s author, Vivian Kirkland, going on right now for children’s writers, and there’s still time to enter through 3/7/21 if you’d like to join! The rules are quite simple to follow. Write a story with a beginning, middle, and end appropriate for children 12 and younger in 50 words or less. That’s it! And did I mention there’s prizes? You can find information and read everyone’s entries by following this —> here!

And here is my entry called The Kindergarten Train. The first lines came to me years ago — left in a notes file incomplete. I’d imagined what the first day of school for my nervous new students would be like and how there might be a story that would help with that transition. The visual imagery of a train that all the kids climb aboard while their parents waved goodbye came to mind as an analogy about the new journey they were embarking upon —an adventure and their opening to the wide world of school. Vivian’s contest provided the perfect opportunity to complete this story idea!


The Kindergarten Train
By
Christine Marie Alemshah


When the kindergarten train whistle sounds — Choo! Choo!
Will you be ready?

“All aboard!” 

Along the way, you’ll pick up new friends. They’ll have lunch boxes, backpacks, and smiles – just like you.

Finally, you reach your destination.

“Choo-Choo!” your teacher will say. “Your kindergarten adventure is about to begin.”

12 x 12 in 2021 – Back after a long break!

It’s official! I’ve signed up for the 12 x 12 Challenge hosted by Julie Hedlund! My first time doing so since 2013. I had started participating the previous year, in fact here is my original badge from 2012. I can hardly believe it’s been that long! So far I have 1 full draft, 2 partials & 2 revisions under my belt for 2021. 12×12 will be the extra boost needed to stay motivated this year! There’s still time to sign up if you’d like to join in on this fun picture book writing journey. Now-Feb. 28, 2021.

My original badge from 2012!

What is this challenge all about?
The premise is simple. Write 12 full picture books (with a beginning, middle, and end) in 2021. It’s ok if they’re not submission-ready. The idea is just to put pen to page, while motivating yourself and other writers in the process.  You can even earn prizes!! How about that?

Epic! App for Kids: The netflix for children’s books and research gold for writers

appstore_audio_480x360Raise your hand if you have young children? Now keep your hand raised if you also like to write books for children? Still have your hand in the air? Then you NEED to try Epic! An amazing app available on apple and android smart devices.

They have thousands of children’s ebook titles available, and are adding more each day including huge, mega popular titles and characters such as “Ramona”, “Peter Rabbit” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Here’s what my evenings look like now that we have Epic in our home. First, I set up a profile for my daughter and I to read together. Her current favorite books include “Old MacDonald’s Letter Farm”, “Duck Goes Potty”, and “Hello, How are You?” to name a few. That last one has taught her how to engage in a conversation with others. It’s very sweet!

Kids Profile_300x250After, my daughter is asleep for the evening, I switch to a second “research” profile and devour as many picture books, chapter books, and middle grade titles that I can before going to bed myself. If I find stories with structure or prose I admire, I can add those to my favorites to come back to and observe again later. I do this because, as a writer, it is difficult to write in your genre of choice without first taking the time to read many, many books in that genre! This is certainly helping me to shine up my very rusty writing skills.

lifestyle_fourkids_thousands_300x250You can try out Epic for yourself for 30 days for FREE!! Thereafter it is 4.99 a month to keep your subscription. That’s the cost of 1 board book per month, which I would likely easily be doing. (Or making special trips to the library to check out books, but who am I kidding? I’m a busy mom of a toddler … How often do I reliably make it to the library? In a perfect world we’d attend twice a week and engage in 20 minutes of uninterrupted storytime, but I digress.) Epic! makes life so much easier. We are building up a list of favorites and introducing new books here and there as well. She just loves the Beth and Bert stories from Highlights! Yup, Highlights! One of my favorite children’s literary magazines. Did I mention they have stories from Highlights?

I’m appearing at a local author’s book fair!

localauthorsbookfairI’m so lucky to be participating in the Local Author’s Fair in Costa Mesa on March 26th. Writers from all genres will be there promoting their respective publications. I plan to bring stickers and coloring pages for the kiddos! I’m looking forward to meeting other authors and book lovers. Thank you Orange County Writers for hosting this event!

Find out more about it at: www.ocwriters.org

Picture Book research at Barnes and Noble

This past sunday, I was able to get out and do something I haven’t done in quite awhile! I walked into a yummy book-scented Barnes and Noble complete with a cd section ala Blockbuster Music, and headed to read some popular picture books! Of course, whenever I pass anything that might of interest to my little one, I get distracted.

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I mean, come on, what 22 month old wouldn’t enjoy a soft barnyard full of chickens, ducks, cows, and pigs? Then again, maybe it delighted me just as much!

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I finally made my way to the picture book section, and pulled out these five fun stories — and devoured them! A new Enya song I’d never heard came on for my listening pleasure making the experience even more pleasurable!

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This little book, “Shh… we have a plan!” by Chris Haughton made me laugh out loud. The tiniest character on the left — That’s my daughter to a “t.”

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I left feeling refreshed, inspired and ready to write my own manuscripts. Being a children’s author certainly has its perks!

Writing and rain

 

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I opened up the front door earlier this evening to check for packages on my doorstep, and while I was not blessed with a bundle of goodies, I did get to take in a deep breath of damp, cool air with a slight musty smell that only comes with new rain. Though it is hours later now, I can still close my eyes and re-create the serenity that washed over me during that moment. I carried my daughter outside to show her the wonder of evening rain. She delighted in it so much, she ran inside telling her Dad “it’s raining.” Later, when putting her to bed for the evening, the tranquility continued. It wasn’t a raging in storm, just a light, constant pitter-pattering. It made me want to write! So after she was sound asleep, and for the first time in what felt like ages, I let words flow from my fingertips.

I’m back!

tortoiseSo … I’m back!

Where did I go? I ventured into the land of new-mommydom! And my daughter is almost a year old now. Oops! That was quite a long hiatus!

To make a long story short, the last year or so has been quite a transition for me, but I am finally finding my blogging/writing feet! And while I am moving at a turtle’s pace, I am making progress in all areas of my life.

I think if ever I could compare myself to a children’s book character it would be now. I am the tortoise in “The Tortoise and the Hare.” I can see the finish line, but I know it will take me a little while to get there. And that’s ok!

It’s good to be back!

 

Stitch Fix Review #1- For a Hopeless Matchy-matchy Writer

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When I stumbled upon Stitch Fix, I was instantly intrigued. I’ve wanted to try a personal stylist for years, but never gotten around to doing it. Now, with Stitch Fix I get the benefits of a personal stylist from the comfort of my own home!

You may be wondering why I’m doing a review of clothing on my writing blog. Well, here’s the thing. I’ve had this dream of becoming a successful, carefree, AND eclectically styled writer. I could really use some help as I’m practically hopeless when it comes to creating outfits. So here’s another chapter in my writing journey, where I revise … my wardrobe.

Here’s what a typical shopping outing looks like for me. I go into a store with a list (ex. sweater, capris, tops, etc.) I come out of the store with a scarf, an ill-fitting yet cute top, and a pair of shoes (my weakness). And does anything go with anything else in my closet? No, not really.

I can put outfits together, but more often than not they’re too matchy-matchy. I want to master the art of choosing a patterned top, statement necklace, and skinny jeans that ‘turns heads’ or even becomes ‘pinworthy’. That’s why I’m super excited that every item I receive today includes a style card. A fabulous place to start!

I’d post photos of some of my fashion faux-pas over the years (matching floral leggings and tops, wild/busy, nauseating prints, etc.), but it seems I can’t find any photographic evidence. Go figure! But here’s a sneak peek at my first box…

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Here’s how Stitch Fix works:

  • Sign up and fill out your style profile. TIP: Link to your pinterest style board so your stylist can get visual ideas of what you like. 
  • Schedule your first “Fix”
  • Pay a $20 styling fee and wait for beautifully packaged items to arrive.
  • Receive a box full of items hand-picked by  your personal stylist, just for you, based on your profile
  • Try everything on, keep what you want, send back what you don’t. (The $20 styling fee comes off the price of anything you choose to keep and if you buy all 5 items, you get a 25% discount!)
  • Stitch Fix also offers $25.00 referral credits. If you decide to use stitch fix and use this link I will get get credit. (And once you sign up, you’ll get a link too so you can tell all your friends about it.)

Without further adieu, here are the contents of my first box!

Item 1: Aiden Flutter Sleeve Blouse, $48.00

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What I loved: Liked the High-low style.

What I didn’t love: The color. This royal blue color has always seemed an odd one for me. I have a hard time pairing it with bottoms, and I don’t think it looks great on me. Sizing was off. The arm holes were too big.

Status:  Sent back.

Item : Jaclynn 3/4 Sleeve Button Up Cardigan, $38.00

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What I loved: This sweater was so soft. It did fit nicely.

What I didn’t love: Too plain, not adventurous enough. Looked like many other pieces in my existing wardrobe. I’m starting to sense a blue theme going on with this fix…

Status:  Sent back.

Item 1: Dixen Mixed Stripe Button-Up Blouse, $48.00

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What I loved: Teal is fun (really stretching on positive comments for this one…)

What I didn’t love: I was swimming in this. It did nothing for my curves. And the view was even worse from the back. (I’m refusing to post that picture.) Once again with the blue …

Status: Sent back.

Item 1: Double Layer Circle Bubble Necklace, $28.00

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What I loved: Ivory and gold look great together. Seems like a versatile piece.

What I didn’t love: I was SO hoping this necklace would be mint colored like a similar one I’d seen online.

Status:  Kept!

Item 1: Sterling Belted Striped MiniDress, $48.00

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What I loved: This dress is adorable. My favorite piece of the day. I loved the cut — high in the front, low in the back. I can dress it up for evening, and pair with a cardigan for work. A hit!

What I didn’t love: Stripes aren’t my personal favorite pattern, but for this dress it worked.

Status: Kept!

Overall, I loved my experience. I’m hoping my fixes will only get better as I personalize my profile and give feedback to my stylist. (Like including some pieces in mint since I asked for it specifically!) In the coming months, I’m hoping my stylist can help me build a New York writer, headshot worthy wardrobe.

Please note: I purchased my own box. Stitch Fix is not paying me to advertise for them, though they do offer an incentive for referrals. If you’d like to try Stitch Fix click here to use my referral link, which will give me credit towards my next fix.

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Distance

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I have this tendency to listen to my favorite songs over and over and over again until they’re worn out like an old pair of holey socks. So I put them away for awhile. Maybe for a week, maybe for a month, or maybe even indefinitely. If I happen to hear them on the radio by accident I cringe, and must change the station immediately. I don’t want any contact. Soon I forget about them and go about my daily life. I might find some new songs to listen to and enjoy. One day the radio will spring to life playing an old favorite. I’ll wonder, how could I not love this song? The beautiful chords, the lilting melody, the starbursts of emotions it invokes in me… It feels like a brand new song. Sometimes distance can be good.

These thoughts reminded me that these feelings are not so dissimilar to how I feel about my manuscripts during the revision process. Sometimes a manuscript I so loved in the beginning suddenly feels like the worst thing I’ve ever written. But if I put it away for awhile, get a little distance then perhaps one day I’ll be able to look again with fresh eyes as if it were shiny and new, and fall in love with it again.