February 11, 2012

Valentines Day Contest!!!

Throw pink confetti!  Open the chocolates!  It's here!  It's here!

The VALENTINES DAY CONTEST!!!!
And do you know why I'm so excited?

It's not because I'm about to publicly humiliate myself with my sample entry.  (Although I suppose that does beg for a certain amount of excitement.)

It's because I'm going to get to read all of your FABULOUS entries!!!

At least I hope I am.  Was anyone able (or willing?) to write one?

We shall see...

For any who may not have heard yet and who might like to join us in our contest, all the info is HERE.  (Please scroll down below the slugs, and please note the word count, slightly raised from the original.)

Meanwhile, for your roll-on-the-floor-and-possibly-die-laughing-at-me pleasure, here is my sample:

Fishing Valentine

So it's Valentines Day and we're in the Secret Clubhouse.
We is me, my little brother Ty, and our dog, Leroy.
Not Bronwyn.
I'm boss of the club because I can talk.
Ty and Leroy are perfect sidekicks because they can't.
Bronwyn wore a dress to school today.  Traitor.
"Here's the problem," I tell them.  "Valentines Day is so full of silly it ruins the only decent girls."
"Lala," says Ty.
"Exactly," I say.  "Pink overload.  It's probably poisonous."
Ty and Leroy do not disagree.
"Luckily, I have a plan."
Here it is:
1. Cancel Valentines Day.
I am a master of simplicity.
Someone bangs on the clubhouse roof.
It's Bronwyn.
"Go away!" I say.
Ty eats some dirt.  Leroy wags his tail.  Traitor.
"I've got worms," says Bronwyn.  "Want to do some Valentine fishing?"
Fishing Valentine?
Maybe her mother made her wear that dress.  "Okay," I say.
As we head for the fishing hole, I make up a Valentine for her.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Girls are gross
Except for you.
Yikes!  Looks like the pink poisoned me, too!

SO.  After that, I think everyone should feel pret-ty confident they can do better!  I had trouble getting an idea I could squeeze into such a low word count.  This was 22,067 words at the outset.  (Well.  I may be exaggerating a little :))

This time I am remembering the link list on the first try (yay me!) so get your entry-specific links right on there so we can all come applaud your genius!  I can't wait to read everyone's stories!!!

Remember, this post will stay up until Monday evening, and you have until 5PM EST Monday to post your link.  Then we'll have a special post Tuesday with the finalists for you to vote.

Ready?

GO!!!
(Oh, and P.S. I am being featured today, February 11, on Kai Strand's blog, on the topic of industry love!  Should you care to pop over and have a look, I wrote about my indie :))

Also, please check the comments - there are at least 2 entries posted there, one under jrzoch and one under my name due to posting trouble.


Reactions:

107 comments:

  1. Hi Susannah,
    Thank you so much for the opportunity to share with this awesome community of writers! Your story made me smile and remember back to when my kids were small and my daughter wanted to tag along with her older brothers.

    I tried to link up...but I don't think your linky likes me. :(
    Here is the link to my post if you are able to work your magic: http://viviankirkfield.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/valentines-day-contest/
    I can't wait to read everyones entires. :)

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  2. Oops, sorry Susanna, I just submitted my PPBF to the wrong link. Please ignore :)
    Barbara
    Grade ONEderful

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  3. Susannah...I did it!!!! I was able to link up my Valentine's Day Contest post. :)

    Thank you so much for providing this opportunity to share with such a great community of readers and writers.

    Your story brought back memories of when my own children were small and my daughter wanted to tag along with her older brothers.

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  4. I'm in the process of writing mine--so you can count on at least another entry! 200 words or less is tough!!! :) I loved your "Roses are Red" poem at the end of your story--I'm going to have to teach that one to my boys... "girls are gross..." (except for me) :)

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  5. That was so cool Susanna. I love your dialogue and characterisation. The two things I need to improve on.
    I'm posting mine tomorrow. Are you doing my secret Valentine contest on Tuesday?

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  6. I like yours. What do you mean others can do better? Here's mine. I stuck to 150 words because I had finished it before you changed the word count. It could be a lot better but the time has run out for me. I have to do other things, like write on ms. Thank you, Susanna for this fun contest. I had a lot of fun. It was so much fun! *did say that already* but I mean it. lol

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  7. Thanks, Natalie - I'm glad you found something to like :) I will look forward to your entry!!!

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  8. Oh Susanna! They are unlikely Valentine's for sure. I'm still working on mine, so I'm not reading the others until I get mine ship shape to post. I'll post early on Monday and link then.

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  9. I'm so excited you're going to post one! Yay! I can't wait :) And thank you for finding something nice to say - I was definitely not at my most inspired this week :) (Replied to your other question via email)

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  10. I'm so glad you had fun, Clar!!! And I'm rushing right over to read your entry this very second :)

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  11. Working on mine now, Susanna, but not posting or reading anyone else's until Monday morning! :)

    Your dialogue is so authentic and believable. That's the biggest problem with my January draft: plodding dialogue that no 5-year-old would say! Will have to study your evil secrets...

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  12. "Maybe her mother made her wear that dress." I love that kid! So does Bronwyn - that's why she brought the worms. Worms probably are the best way to a boy's heart!

    Looking forward to reading all about the unlikely love stories. Happy Valentine's Day!

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  13. You guys are all so nice. You are hauling me out of the depths of despair this morning after a pretty harsh career-related interchange yesterday which has left me considering a career move to emptying septic tanks, so I can't tell you how much appreciate any encouragement today :) I need to learn your evil secrets to whimsy. In fact, that exact word came up in the interchange!

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  14. Thanks, Stacy! I will be eagerly awaiting yours!!! :)

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  15. Roses are Red
    Tulips are Pink
    Your story is cool
    That's what I think!

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  16. Thanks, Cathy :) I loved yours! And it looks like quite a few entries may be posted on Monday - at least 3 people have said they're waiting until the to post and to read. So we will just have to be patient. So hard! :)

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  17. Oh man, I'm such a chicken when it comes to these things! Sounds like a hoot, though... Loved yours! Happy Valentines weekend!

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  18. Aw, thanks Erik! And who knew you were such a poet?! :) Will you be posting a story? I hope so!

    (here is my weaker return :))

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    I'm lucky to have
    Readers like you :)

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  19. Don't feel chicken-y! We're all among friends here :) Please join in if you'd like! It's just for fun!

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  20. Thank you! I'll (probably) post it on Monday! :)

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  21. I like your poem!! It's so good, as your writing always is, Susanna! Heading on over to Kai's blog now. Have a great weekend!

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  22. Thanks so much, Laura! I think I'll head over to Kai's too - it wasn't up when last I checked!

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  23. Hurray!
    Loved your story!
    Hope the memories were good ones :)

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  24. Don't dive into the septic tanks yet! If I ever get a decent prose draft done that I'm not ashamed to show you, we will definitely trade secrets! But we can talk whimsy whenever you want. :)

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  25. Well...of course, the rhyme is going to be my favorite part in any story! :) And what do you know??? My entry for the contest will also be in rhyme... :)

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  26. (sigh) Patience is not my strong suit.
    :-D

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  27. Oh what fun! Thanks for hosting the contest, Susanna. My entry is a short 123 words...including the title :-) I wrote it when the limit was 150...but I think I got my point across. Hee! Hee! The entries are amazing!

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  28. Sorry, I've been a bad blogger buddy lately with a lot of busy-ness happening. But, I LOVED your sample. I couldn't stop giggling once Ty put in his two cents. Too cute!

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  29. Mine either!














    Cathy Mealey (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    (sigh) Patience is not my strong suit.
    :-D


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  30. Man, you and Cathy are awesome at this! I bet yours is in rhyme too. I'm going to pit the two of you against each other next time in a separate category and make you tell your stories in 7 words :)

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  31. Busy-ness well understood! Thanks for finding time for this blog now. And thanks for you kind words - I'm glad you liked it.

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  32. No septic tanks for you! I love your writing. I'm working on an entry, but I'm not happy with it. Good, bad, or ugly I promise to post it Monday.

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  33. On the contrary, I thought this was quite sweet. Great job!

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  34. Susanna, I enjoyed your post at Kai Strand's blog. I wsh I had a bookstore like that in my town.

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  35. Love it Susanna. "Pink overload!" -- that's my favorite line. Totally sounds like something I would say.

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  36. I entered a story in your contest and now realize it was supposed to be a children's story (i got the unlikely valentine's part) I write childrens' stories so I could have done that. Sorry! Also enjoyed your article on Kai's blog.

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  37. Loved your story Susanna, so cute. Have had fun reading some of the others. Boy there is some stiff competition out there. I wasn't going to join in, thinking this is way over my head, but had a sudden change of heart after an afternoon outing, so I have (hopefully) posted a link to my blog of my silly attempt at aValentines poem...lol.

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  38. Fun, fun! I've enjoyed reading the entries so far. And thanks, Susanna, for the inspiration. You've inspired me to write only my third blog post in over a year. :)

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  39. Hurray for inspiration! I'll have to come over and read it :)

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  40. I'm so glad you're joining in, Diane! I'll be right over to read. First I'm going to try to put your link on the list!

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  41. I'm so glad you entered, Darlene! If you want to qualify for the contest, there's still time to write and post a children's story. Meanwhile, feel free to add your blog link to the list and we'll all come read it even if it doesn't qualify! But I don't have your blog address!

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  42. Thanks, Penny. I'm so glad you liked it, and I appreciate you going over to read! It is a wonderful bookstore!

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  43. Aw shucks, Julie, you're just being nice :) But I appreciate it! :)

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  44. Well, let's face it - Valentines Day is a bit on the pink side for most boys :)

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  45. SEVEN?? (gulp) OK, if Penny's in, I'm in. but I want everyone to play along!

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  46. my blog address is http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
    where I have posted Tea For Two. I will try to write a children's story as well.

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  47. I added mine. It's not showing yet, but it should soon. It's only about 123 words. I already have ideas for how I can lengthen it though, so if it weren't for the fact that Blogger is being difficult today, I would have waited until tomorrow to add it here and spent the time adding to the poem/story.

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  48. I forgot to mention that I loved yours! A really cute idea!

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  49. Just put my link in. Had a lot of fun with this one!

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  50. Well, I want to read more! What a great start to a sweet story, the main character has such a strong personality right from word one. Thanks for sharing!

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  51. Ok I now have submitted a story for children, still with the tea theme. It can be found on my blog at http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/valentines-day-contest-tea-party/
    This has been fun and now I have two valentine's day stories. Thanks!

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  52. I enjoyed your Valentine's Day story and look forward to reading the other entries! Best of luck to everyone!

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  53. Furry Love

    As the day was ending and the sun began to fall,
    Fox jumped in the garden over the red brick wall.

    Squirrel heard him coming and ran quickly up the fence.
    Rabbit tucked into the woodpile using her good sense.

    The fox moved on and left their patch of veggies safe again,
    Squirrel and rabbit soon came back as did rooster and his hen.

    “Whew - that was lucky!” they agreed. “He’d have had us for a meal!”
    That scared the fowl into their coop and rabbit gave a squeal!

    Squirrel finally took notice of this cotton-tailed delight,
    And he felt a little dizzy at the outset of the night.

    “I’d like to have you over for a nutty bite to eat,
    If you could only climb up to my lofty branch retreat”

    “Then you shall come to my burrow where I sleep underground,
    I dug it out myself and hung the walls with down.”

    Mutual attraction joined the hearts of these fast friends,
    Use your imagination to guess how this story ends.

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  54. Wow! Good for you! Cant wait to read it! I'm catching up after 9 hours of driving and haven't checked - I hope you added your link to the list so everyone will see your entry!!!

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  55. Thank you, Heather! I'm so glad you liked it :)

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  56. Thank you, Julie! I'm looking forward to reading the others too! :)

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  57. Very cute and creative! Thanks for joining in our little contest!

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  58. Oh, goody!!! I can't wait to read it! (Although I'm feeling a little cross-eyed after 9 hours of driving so I might have to wait until the morning ! :))

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  59. Oooh! I can't wait to tea your entry! But after 9 hours of driving I'm pretty much cross-eyed and squinting, so i probably won't get to it til tomorrow - you have time for any tweaking etc you want to do :)













    Rebecca Fyfe (unregistered) wrote, in response to Cathy Mealey (unregistered):

    I added mine. It's not showing yet, but it should soon. It's only about 123 words. I already have ideas for how I can lengthen it though, so if it weren't for the fact that Blogger is being difficult today, I would have waited until tomorrow to add it here and spent the time adding to the poem/story.

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  60. No. Everyone else is going to cheer you guys on :)














    Cathy Mealey (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    SEVEN?? (gulp) OK, if Penny's in, I'm in. but I want everyone to play along!

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  61. I am getting through reading them slowly. They are sooo good. Sorry, working on some deadlines for another project so won't make this one, but am loving the entries so far. Going to be hard to vote on this one, Susanna!

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  62. I know! It always is. Everyone is so talented! And I have to narrow it down to 3 for the vote. Yikes!

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  63. Julie,
    Furry Love was as cute as the title! Really fun!

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  64. Great job Susanna, that was adorable. What a fun contest. I wanted to participate but never came up with anything worthwhile. Good luck to everyone!!

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  65. So cute and fun--look forward to checking out some more!

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  66. That's the spirit! I'll be waiting with baited breath! Meanwhile, as you're creating, know that I am struggling along at the same time trying to write a picture book to keep my up with the PB marathon! Isn't it easier to work when you know someone else is working too :)













    Jennifer Young (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Okay, I'm going to try!! :)


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  67. Susanna - my entry - Which I changed to "You Fill Me Up" but was posted as "The Forbidden Love of Glassy and Dropper" isn't showing as a link under your contest. Can you let me know if it posts?

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  68. Valentines
    Brenda made'em,
    Then she gave'em,
    To her hubby.
    He's her lovey.

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  69. Hmmm.... it's not even showing up on the simplylinked manager list... let me see if i can enter it.

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  70. OK. It's showing up on for me, now. Want to go check and see if you see it and the link works?

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  71. Such a fun idea! Love your prompt and look forward to reading all the entries!

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  72. That is lovely, Brenda :) although hopefully not unlikely :)

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  73. They are quite a creative bunch! All so different! This poor judge has her work cut out for her :)

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  74. I see it now listed as You Fill Me Up and the link works - YAY!

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  75. Great story and title, Julie! It's usually in unlikely situations like this when one is not expecting to find love, that they find it. :)

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  76. This entry is from Rachel Frier who had trouble posting. Please enjoy!


    Max’s Princess

    Max was in love with Samara. She was his princess. He watched Winnie-the-Pooh with her, and he saved her a seat and fed her popcorn.

    At school, they sat next to each other every day, and shared all the best crayons. At the park, they both stopped swinging when one felt sick. And when they lost their two front teeth, they compared gap-toothed grins and funny-sounding “eth-es.”

    Samara loved Max. She told her mommy and all her friends that she wanted to marry him when they grew up.

    But Bobby was in love with Samara, too. He liked her pretty dresses and her silly laugh. He wanted to be her Valentine.

    Samara was conflicted.

    “I love Max, and Max loves me,” she told her mommy. “But Bobby loves me too, and he wants to be my Valentine. So they have to take turns.”

    Then she thought a little more.

    “But really, I love Max more. He came to my party, and he gives me better hugs. He shouldn’t have to share me with Bobby. I want to be Max’s princess, not Bobby’s Valentine.” And she smiled, pleased with her decision, and showing off the gap-toothed grin that Max loved best.

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  77. Hi Susanna, I got it done, wahoo! Just can't add my link. What's new right?! lol. Here's my title- Catch and Release. Link- http://jennyleeyoung.blogspot.com/2012/02/valentines-day-contest.html

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  78. Woo-hoo! Good for you! I'll see if I can get the link up for you :)

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  79. Thats a funny story! valentines day is pretty infectious...

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  80. Hi Ben, and welcome! Yes, apparently it is :) I just read your entry - very nice!

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  81. I loved your tale of royal love!

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  82. Aw...the classic love triangle! Even young love is complicated sometimes. Great work Rachel!

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  83. Just in case they don't show up after waiting a while, here are my two daughter's entries:

    by Gabriella:
    How Miss Mouse Became a Door Mouse: http://gabbysart.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-miss-mouse-became-door-mouse.html
    The Key to Its Heart: http://gabbysart.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-mommys-friend-susannah-hill-has-blog.html

    and

    by Isabella:
    Puppy & Kitten Love: http://isabellasimagination.blogspot.com/2012/02/puppy-kitten-love.html

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  84. Your daughters have made my day! What terrific entries! There is no age limit - they are perfectly welcome - and their entries are wonderful! I added Gabby's second one - for some reason only one linked up.

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  85. I'm totally writing that rhyme in my husband's card for tomorrow, but I'm switching boy for girl. :D

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  86. I'm so glad I could perform a useful service :) Maybe I have a future with Hallmark :)

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  87. Good job, Rachel! I'm glad she chose Max!

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  88. Best of luck to all the entries! And I like Bronwyn. Nice, sensible girl. :)

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  89. Susanna, thanks for having this writing challenge. I want to live where your story takes place -- we would have Ice Fishing Valentine in Ohio!

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  90. This is so much fun reading through the entries! And yours is great, Susanna! Isn't it funny how hard we can be on ourselves? It was soooooo out of character for me to be willing to post something on my blog that I had written only 24 hours earlier. But that is something I am trying to work on in the new year...being more free to learn and grow and sometimes fail. So thank you for giving me the opportunity! :)

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  91. That poem is my new favorite! Best "Roses Are Red" ever.

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  92. What a sweet story...I'm glad Samara made a choice and didn't keep Bobby stringing along. :) She went with her heart...as true Valentines should.

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  93. I was worried, at first, thinking there would be a very sad ending with the fox...but I'm happy the unlikely valentines will roam the patch of veggies together in the future. :) Lovely poem!

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  94. Normally it would be here, too, Eric - we're having an unseasonably mild winter :)

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  95. I'm so glad you took the plunge, Amy! I enjoyed your entry, as I'm sure everyone else did, and sometimes I think you're right - it's good to get out and try something new, maybe not take ourselves so seriously - just have fun!!!

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  96. I'm SO glad you like it, Peggy! :) Stina said she was going to change "girls" to "boys" and write it in her husband's Valentine :)

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  97. How on earth did you ever choose? They were all so good and so imaginative.

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  98. It was VERY hard and I'm still feeling guilty over all the entries I couldn't choose!

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