Ok, let’s start off by acknowledging that I’ve been gone for…a while. To be fair, I did have a baby during this time (my second) so it’s not like I’ve been on some amazing trip around the world and just forgot about all this picture book stuff ;).
I’ve been reading a lot of picture books (and revisiting a lot of the baby board books from my first – it’s kind of sad how quickly those get shelved, so it was nice to get them back into circulation with baby #2). And I’m focusing on my writing again.
I decided not to do 12 x 12 last year (2015) after participating in 2014 because I wasn’t sure how serious I could be about it and didn’t want to spend money if I couldn’t commit. So this is my year to refocus and see if I can make writing more of a priority. If so, then I can see about signing up for something…but in the meantime there are all kinds of exciting ways to work on writing, like contests.
Enter the Valentiny Contest… (click through to read my entry).
The rules are this: kid appropriate Valentine’s story featuring a grumpy character, 214 word max.
Below is my story. Things I’m not 100% sure about include: (1) the title (2) the resolution – did it come too abruptly? With only 214 words it is SO incredibly hard to have a nice story arc. But I liked the pressure to make the story concise. It certainly forced me to really examine every word, a practice that I should bring to every picture book I write.
If you’re so inclined, let me know what you think!
Leonard hated holidays.
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and New Year’s.
His mailbag was heavy.
There were long lines at the post office.
And everyone wanted special stamps.
By the time February blustered in, Leonard was exhausted. And then the worst holiday arrived: Valentine’s Day. Everyone sent cards.
This year, Leonard decided to do something about it. Something dastardly. Something devious. Something deceptive.
He told everyone along his mail route that no one was sending cards this year – and they believed him!
When Valentine’s Day arrived, Leonard’s mailbag was noticeably lighter. He had a spring in his step and he whistled a happy tune. But when he arrived at the first house on his route he saw a bright red card out for delivery.
He grumbled, he groaned, he gnashed his teeth.
The envelope was addressed “To Leonard the Mailman.”
Every house had a card for Leonard.
He was so embarrassed he turned as pink as the pinkest card he’d received.
That night he made a card for every person on his route. They weren’t pretty, or pink, and they made his mailbag really heavy. But this time he didn’t mind one bit.