Friday, October 26, 2012

"Spooky Enchantment" - My Spooky Flash Fiction Story for Spooktoberfest

  Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests wanted to find a way to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year in style.

And so SPOOKTOBERFEST was born!

Come one come all to the biggest creepfest around. Where cobwebs tickle your nose, cauldrons are a brewin', jack-o-lanterns light the way, and ghosts go bump in the night. Oh yeah, watch out for the razor blades!

Requirements of the story:

Your Flash Fiction piece cannot be any longer than 300 words.
You must use the MANDATORY 5 words listed below…
Post your Flash Fiction piece any day from Friday Oct 26th thru Monday, Oct. 29th.

Your flash fiction piece can be scary, comical, romantic, or whatever you choose, just be creative!

The winners will be posted on HALLOWEEN! That’s right, Wednesday, Oct. 31st. Jackie and Dani will each choose a winner. That’s right – two winners!

PRIZES: A grab bag and candy. The winners will get the biggest bags we can find of their favorite candy along with some spookified items.

So here is my entry:


Spooky Enchantment

As she walked through the front door, Sarah wondered why she allowed Janie and Cameron to talk her into this. This big empty house had always creeped her out.  She shivered at how cold it was in the house. Cobwebs drifted across her face and she spent a few minutes trying to wipe their tickly threads away. Yuck!
A noise came from the room to her left, like soft chanting. She wanted to run back out the door, but she could almost hear the teasing and laughter she’d get from Janie and Cameron if she did. So instead of doing the smart thing and getting out, she crept fearfully into the room to face the strange chanting.

The scene she came across was not what she expected. Two little girls sat around a cauldron. Rats, skulls and a leering jack-o-lantern surrounded them. The older of the two girls lifted a razor and made a small cut in her fingertip, dripping two drops of blood into the cauldron.

Sarah could only stand and gape in wonder at what she was witnessing. A luminescent purple glow formed as smoke drifted out of the cauldron like a ghost lifting into the air. Shiny white particles seemed to dance in the air above it for a moment, shimmering like stars. Shapes began to form and before her eyes, Sarah watched as tiny, glimmering fairies danced in the air above the cauldron.

The smallest of the two girls giggled with child-like glee as the fairies flittered around the room and then exited the window. The two girls slowly faded from her sight, and Sarah decided to move again. She turned and ran back outside, hoping her world would return to normal once she had abandoned the crazy house.

293 words

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review of "Tamara Small & the Monsters' Ball" by Giles Paley-Phillips

Tamara Small book by Giles Paley Phillips

I was sent a free copy of “Tamara Small and the Monsters' Ball” by Giles Paley-Phillips for review. (I received no compensation for this review.) 

Of course, when reviewing any children’s book, the first thing I do is see what my children think of it. I read the story to my children Gabriella (age 10), Isabella (age 7), Connor (age 6) and Cameron (age 3). I’m happy to report that they all enjoyed the book. They did their own video reviews of the book for the Children Review blog and you can go here to view their reviews. (Cameron didn’t want to be on video at this time, so he didn’t create a review.)

As far as I could tell, the children enjoyed the story. They always like rhyming stories, and Giles Paley-Phillips is a master at creating rhyming stories that flow smoothly and engage the reader.  The illustrations by Gabriele Antonini are enchanting and colourful.  Isabella exclaimed with delight over one scene that showed Tamara Small’s teddy bear dancing alongside her. She thought it was really cute and she related to Tamara more because she, herself, has a special teddy bear.

Gabby loved the monsters and pointed out the ones she thought were the “funniest looking.” Connor and Cameron liked the story so much that they asked me to read it again, and later, when it was time for bed, all of the children asked me to read them the story for their bedtime story.

I would recommend "Tamara Small and the Monsters' Ball" for children. Monsters are traditionally portrayed as scary and children are taught to fear them, but this story gives children a new perspective on an old theme, and the idea that maybe they shouldn’t judge something by how it appears. 

The monster theme is perfect for Halloween, but also, with Christmas just a bit over 10 weeks away, this would make a wonderful gift for children for the holidays.

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Snow Dancer" - Flash Fiction Story for "Behind the Curtain" #behindthecurtain

                                                Source: via Anna on Pinterest

Anna Meade from Yearning for Wonderland is at it again with yet another flash fiction contest. This one is called "Behind the Curtain" and has a Behind the Curtain Pinterest board for inspiration. The catch is that the entry deadline for the story is TONIGHT! And I only just heard about the story. The story can have as many as 400 words. Our stories were meant to have a darker edge to them this time around, but I have never been very good at writing dark stories. Here is my entry:

Snow Dancer

She appeared again. Every time I glimpsed her, she was dancing. She only danced in the snow. It was as if the sparkling, crystalline snowflakes drew her out into the cold, crisp air, beckoning her to move within it. And each time I caught a glimpse of her through my window, the dance’s magnetism grabbed me and pulled me nearer. My breath frosted the window as I watched her, but I couldn’t look away. I’d even tuck my long hair behind my ears, so that it wouldn’t get in the way of watching her.

I don’t know what it was about her dancing that called to me. Maybe it was her freedom. She twirled and leapt with elegance and energy, but she also moved with abandon, as if she didn’t care who watched; she danced for herself, for the sheer joy of dancing. I longed to feel that sense of freedom, of abandon.

Every time I watched her, it was the same; I’d feel a gentle burn inside, a sudden need to go out there and dance too. What magic was this? What spell tugged at my soul so strongly every time I witnessed the dancing?

I was not brave enough to go out there and pirouette through the snowflakes with her. I worried about who would see me. I worried that I would not be graceful or elegant, that I wouldn’t have her grace or her beauty. It would be better for me if I could stop watching her, just ignore the call of her dance.

Yet I watched. Every time she appeared, I gazed out that window and felt the pull, the need to ignore my fears and just dance.

I had never glimpsed her face, as her movements were so that her copper-colored hair that was so like mine always shielded her face. Today was different. She started dancing just before the sky began darkening in that in-between time of twilight and continued her graceful movements as daylight faded. And as the moonlight filled the night sky, its light making the snow glisten as if it held a thousand stars, she stopped to face me and smiled, joy lighting her face.

And just before she faded out of sight in a swirl of the magic I had never allowed myself to believe in, I saw my own face out there, looking back at me.