November 22, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Turkey Trouble AND Announcing The 3rd Annual Holiday Writing Contest!!!

So many great things to share today!

First, a Perfect Picture Book just right for this week!

Title: Turkey Trouble
Written By: Wendi Silvano
Illustrated By: Lee Harper
Amazon Children's Publishing/Two Lions, Oct. 2009, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: problem solving, holidays, animals

Opening: "Turkey was in trouble.  Bad trouble.  The kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving... and you're the main course.  But Turkey had an idea..."

Brief Synopsis: In an attempt not to be Thanksgiving dinner, Turkey tries to disguise himself as another animal.  After all, "Farmer Jake wouldn't eat a horse for Thanksgiving..."  But for one reason or another, no disguise is quite right.  Will Turkey be dinner after all?

Links To Resources: Children can think up or draw their own disguises for Turkey.  Children can think up what would make a good Thanksgiving dinner besides turkey.  Turkey contemplates disguising himself as Rooster and rejects the idea - discuss how are Turkey and Rooster alike?  How are they different?  Here's a great Activity Guide recommended by the author, Wendi Silvano.  Very fun activity HERE.

Why I Like This Book: The concept of this book is fun.  Haven't we all imagined turkeys trying to come up with a way to escape being Thanksgiving dinner?  Turkey has a plan.  And when Plan A... and B... and C... don't work, he proves that he's resourceful by coming up with a backup plan that does the trick.  For now...  But the art is what puts this cute story over the top.  You have GOT to see Turkey in his various disguises!  It would be a pretty tough audience who wouldn't at least chuckle over Turkey dressed up as a horse, cow, etc.  The short simple text is perfect for a wide range of ages, and kids will have fun guessing, at least the first time through, what Turkey's going to think up next :)  And after this, you're probably going to want to read Turkey Claus :)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now then!  As per approximately half of your requests from Monday's informal poll, may I present

The 3rd Annual Holiday Contest!!!

The Contest:  Write a children's story about a Holiday Mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster (a la Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer :)).  Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words (aren't I being generous?! :)  It can be as short as you like, but no more than 350!)  Did the dog knock over the Christmas Tree?  Did little Johnny's costume get grape juice all over it moments before the holiday pageant?  Did the menorah go missing?  Did travel arrangements get snarled or miscommunicated?  Did Santa's sleigh have to make an emergency landing?  The field is wide open!  Have fun!  And I'm adding, because so many people have mentioned this, the story does not have to be funny!  You can have a holiday mishap that is serious or sweet or mysterious...  Please don't feel that you have to go the humor route!

Post:  Your entry should be posted on your blog between Monday December 9 and Friday December 13 at 11:59 PM EST (no WYRI or PPBF that week), and your post-specific link should be added to the link list on the official holiday contest post which will go up on my blog on Monday December 9 and remain up through Sunday December 15.  If you don't have a blog but would like to enter, please copy and paste your entry into the comments on my December 9th post.  (If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, please email me and I'll post your entry for you!)

The Judging:  My lovely assistant(s) and I will narrow down the entrants to 6-12 finalists (depending on the number of entries) which will be posted here on Monday December 16 for you to vote on for a winner.  The vote will be closed on Wednesday December 18 at 5 PM EST and the winners will be announced on Thursday December 19.  Whoever gets the most votes will be first and so on down to sixth place.  Remember, judging criteria will be kid appeal/friendliness, suitability of mishap, quality of story, and quality of writing.

The Prizes!:  Well, I hope these prizes are going to knock your socks off!!!  In the spirit of the holidays, winners will be named for 1st - 6th place.  In addition to the incredible fame of being able to say you won (or placed in) the Pretty Much World Famous 3rd Annual Holiday Contest, the following AMAZING prizes will be awarded:

 - A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Written Critique by Karen Boss, Editor at Charlesbridge!!! (Priceless!)  Karen Boss is the editorial assistant at Charlesbridge Publishing in Watertown, MA. She has a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons College and is currently editing projects that range from picture books for younger readers to picture books for older readers to middle-grade novels, both fiction and nonfiction. (But let's face it, folks!  You're getting YOUR picture book manuscript in front of an actual editor at a highly regarded publishing house!  Who knows where that could lead?)

 - A Gold Membership to Julie Hedlund's 12x12 in 2014 (a $100 value)
    Little GOLDen Book Membership includes:
  • Full access (view and post) to the Main 12 x 12 Forum and Critique Connect (where you can find critique partners)
  • Access to the members-only 12 x 12 Facebook Group
  • Ability to view the Events, Member Books, Videos/Trailers and Help An Author Out (HAAO) sections of the 12 x 12 Forum
  • Opportunity to win craft-related prizes from the monthly featured authors
  • Full (view and post) access to the Events, Member Books, Video/Trailers and HAAO sections of the 12 x 12 Forum
  • FULL (view and post) access to these additional sections of the 12 x 12 Forum: Query Corner (get feedback on your query letters), Pitch Perfect (get feedback on loglines and pitches), and Manuscript Makeover (get feedback on the first 250 words of your ms)
  • Access to the Submission Station section of the 12 x 12 Forum, which will provide information about that month's agent or editor and instructions on how to submit to him or her.
 - 2 signed Picture Books by Linda Ashman - RAIN! and PEACE, BABY! (Keep for yourself or give as a holiday gift to a little person in your life :)) AND
    a $25 Amazon Gift Card

 - A Picture Book Manuscript Critique by Erin Molta Erin is an experienced senior editor of picture book, early readers, chapter, middle grade, and YA books, as well as novelty and licensed titles. She has been in childrens publishing for more than twenty years and has a keen understanding of early reader through YA audiences. She has an excellent reputation with established authors, illustrators, and agents.

 - Enrollment in the Online Writing course Making Picture Book Magic in the month of your choice (a $99 value)

 - A signed copy of TUGBOAT by Michael Garland (not even released yet!) AND
    a signed copy of A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS by Julie Hedlund (Keep for yourself or give as a holiday gift to a little person in your life :))  AND
    a $25 Amazon Gift Card

 - A Picture Book Manuscript Critique from author/illustrator Sarah Frances Hardy, author and illustrator of PUZZLED BY PINK (Viking Juvenile, April 2012) and the forthcoming PAINT ME!. A great choice for someone who is both an author and an illustrator - and I know we have quite a few of those here :)

 - 2014 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market by Chuck Sambuchino (your choice of paperback or Kindle edition)

 - The Crock Of Charms Anthology - a three volume collection of stories for readers of all ages from writers all over the world including some you probably know :)  Robyn Campbell, Cheryl Secomb, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, Theresa Milstein, Lenny Lee, and me, to name a few :)

(Run your mouse over the prizes, books, authors, etc... most of them are links)

The Contest Winner will have first choice of the prizes.  2nd place will have next choice of what's left and so on.  (I'm doing it this way in the hopes that no one will get something they already have - for example, if you've already signed on for Julie's 12x12 or taken Making Picture Book Magic or own RAIN! and PEACE, BABY! etc. and also because I think all the prizes are fabulous and I wouldn't want to make anyone feel less valued by giving them as 6th place as opposed to 1st.)

Wow!  I hope you think everything on that list would be worth getting!  Plus bragging rights!  So put on your thinking caps!  Sharpen your pencils!  Fire up your imagination!  And start writing those holiday stories :)  You've got 2 whole weeks! (plus a couple extra days thanks to the people who wanted a little more time :)  Actually, if you were to post on Friday December 13 you have 3 weeks from today!)

AND, as if all that Perfect Picture Book and Holiday Contest Excitement weren't enough, tune in Monday for my official Holiday Gift-Giving Guide For Writers (a link you're going to want to give everyone you know so they'll get you the right presents this holiday season! :))

You've probably forgotten all about PPBF by now, so let me remind all you lovely PPBF bloggers to please leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you! (assuming we're not so giddy at the prospect of those prizes that we can't concentrate on anything but starting our Holiday Contest stories! :))

Have a great weekend everyone! :)

Reactions:

68 comments:

  1. You certainly have picked a fun book for this special time of year. Although we don't celebrate Thanksgiving down here, I am grateful for 12x12 and the lovely, dear people I have come into contact with. Thank you Julie.
    Wow! Those prizes look fabulous... now I will have to go chew my pencil and think of and idea *scratches head*.... With so much going on I am surprised you still have time for this... You are such an inspiration to us! Love and Happy Thanks giving to you and family.

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  2. What a hysterically funny book, Susanna. . .thanks for sharing it! And the prizes. . .wow! They're enough to motivate anyone to write! Looking forward to what clever and creative stories come from it.

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  3. Oh my gosh...haven't we all thought about writing this book!!!! So, why didn't we? Just goes to show that when we have a super funny crazy picture book idea, we need to WRITE IT DOWN and WRITE IT (a la PiBoIdMo advice)!
    I love this story, Susanna...so funny...kids will love it!
    And the contest sounds...AWESOME! What a fantastic array of prizes...you are the best! (she says as she puts on her thinking cap)

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  4. Cute Thanksgiving story. Love the cover-- that picture alone could win him release from the platter. We could raise a generation of kids who refuse to eat turkeys because they want to save them.:)
    Great prizes for the Christmas writing contest! Wow! You are well connected to generous people.

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  5. I'm not sure my last message posted, and I can't go on without thanking you for offering more encouragement in the form of a contest with prizes! You're awesome, Susanna!

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  6. Mike Allegra writerNovember 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Holiday Contest. I'm on it. Woo!


    And "Turkey Trouble" is an awesome PPBF choice. One of my faves.

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  7. Well, I don't have an idea yet for the Christmas contest, but I did get an idea for a Halloween story after reading this! I love PiBoIdMo, as I'm on the prowl for ideas all the time. This should happen ever day of the year. Love the Turkey Trouble book. I'll see if I can find it at the library. Last week, I checked out 9 books from the PPBF list. We'll see what happens this week. Thank you for the contest and all the work you do. Great prizes and great fun.

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  8. This is a great book. Have you seen the turkey head Lee wears on his school visits? And you thought the illustrations were hilarious . . .!?


    What is the specified word count for the Holiday Contest Submission?

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  9. What a funny book! Just the picture on the cover makes me laugh!
    And, WOW!, what wonderful prizes for the Holiday Contest. Thanks as always for giving us such great opportunities!

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  10. I always feel a bit sorry for the Turkey at the holidays -- um, but not sorry enough not to eat my fair share! This book sounds like great fun.


    My choice, in keeping with my "theme" this month of having a PPBF book that fits somehow with my Monday post, is Library Mouse, written by a Picture Book Month Chamption, Daniel Kirk. I couldn't believe I hadn't already done this book for PPBF, but I searched my archives, and I checked the PPB list twice, so ...


    The prizes for the Holiday Contest are AMAZING! I must sharpen my wits and see what I can come up with. Wow.

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  11. That book sounds poifect! Love the contest and hope I can enter. (All depends on my Christopher's health.) Actually everything (my sanity, etc) depends on his health.

    I appreciate all the work you do for all of us, pal.

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  12. Thanks for telling me about this book. I think it sounds perfect. I ordered it up just now. I hope I can come up with a story idea for your contest. Great prizes!!

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  13. Just the picture on the cover of the book had me in stitches! I'm going to read it because I need a good laugh.

    Wow! Did Santa Susanna get drunk and spill the goodies bag? LOL! Those are some uber fabulous prizes! Thank you...you are the BEST! I swear you host better contests than places like Writers Digest.

    Can't wait to see your gift guide! Have a great weekend! xo

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  14. I'm glad you like the book, Diane - it's funny :) Good luck with the pencil chewing! I hope you come up with something (besides splinters in your tongue - now THERE'S a mishap :)) Happy Next Thursday to you if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, and I am so thankful for you! :)



























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  15. It IS a funny book, isn't it? I love the pictures :) And I'm glad you think the contest sounds awesome - we have all those wonderful prize donators to thank! :)

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  16. That's the idea, Juliana :) I'm very much looking forward to yours - I loved your Halloweensie entry! :)

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  17. Aw shucks! You're making me blush! We have Karen and Erin and Julie and Linda and Sarah Frances and Michael to thank for being so generous!

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  18. It is great cover, isn't it? :) And I don't know how well-connected I am, but they certainly are generous!!!



























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  19. Woo! Can't wait! :) Maybe you can write about a turkey who mistakenly ends up on the holiday table... oh no, wait... Too close? :)

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  20. I think Enzo would really like this one - the pictures are so funny :) And I'm thrilled that you have a Halloween idea, and look forward to you thinking up a Holiday one so I can read it! :)

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  21. I have not seen the turkey head but it sounds hilarious!!! And ACK!!! Did I not put the word count in? Quel horreur! I will go check at once. But it's maximum 350 words (it can be 50 or 100 if you like, but it can't be more than 350!)

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  22. Ooh! I love Library Mouse! Good one :) And yes! Please do sharpen your wits - I would love to read a story from you!!! :)




























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  23. You think that's funny, wait til you see him dressed up as a sheep :) I will look forward to another wonderful entry from you, Pat! :)

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  24. It's really all of you guys participating by writing wonderful stories for all of us to read and enjoy, and the very generous prize contributors that make this all work and be fun! I will look forward to your entry! Now go find your socks! :)

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  25. It doesn't have to be funny, Clar... as long as it has a mishap of some type in it... :) I'm glad you like the prizes. Now go write your best story - you could win one! :)

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  26. I know, Rob. I know it does. I hope he's doing okay... or as well as can be expected. And maybe thinking about a holiday story would be a good break for you. Your entries are getting better and better. I look forward to reading one from you if you have time and energy for it. Otherwise, hopefully lots of other people will come up with great stories that you can share with Christopher to help get both your minds off your troubles for a little while.

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  27. Hope you enjoy the book, Rosi! And you'll get an idea! Just let it roll around in your head for a few days... something will come to you. There should be plenty of room for creativity with this one! :)

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  28. I know - it's funny isn't it? Wait til you see the pictures inside!!! :) And as for getting drunk, I don't drink. Nothing stronger than hot chocolate for me :) I'm glad you like the prizes :) And holy gift wrap, Batman! I've got to write the holiday gift guide! I knew there was something else I was supposed to be doing today!!

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  29. Dang, this looks funny! And look at those amazing prizes - you outdid yourself. Thank you to all these wonderful people who have contributed prizes.

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  30. They are generous and wonderful! No doubt about it :)

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  31. I haven't read that one but good title! :)

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  32. Have you read it, Catherine? I love the pictures :) And glad you like the prizes! Sharpen you pencil... :)


























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  33. This brings to mind Chicken Run, except instead of trying to escape, turkey seems to want to stay...just not for dinner :-)


    Those are some AWESOME prizes for the contest. Woot!

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  34. Thanks, Angela! Maybe you or the Chipmunk will want to enter :) Maybe Chipmunk would give Erik a run for his money :)

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  35. You are so right… Thank you! Thank You! Thank You! to everyone offering those amazing prizes!
    I was so excited about this yesterday, I couldn't rest until I had written my story! Now I have to sit on it until the contest opens…..
    PS I only had to type Su in my bar and your blog popped up! :)

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  36. As a vegetarian, I love the theme of Turkey Trouble ~ we've had turkey-less Thanksgivings for 15+ years. Gobble. Gobble!


    And the contest (and prizes!!!) sound AMAZING!
    You're the best.

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  37. This sounds awesome, Susanna! I love it! Amazing prizes!

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  38. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikNovember 23, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    YAY! Got my idea for the contest already!!!


    Great PPBF choice - reminds me to get it! I like Lee Harper's illustrations! :)

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  39. This contest sounds perfect for 2 of my current manuscripts! Can we enter twice?
    Thanks for this wonderful opportunity!

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  40. Yes you may :) As long as you don't mind competing against yourself :)

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  41. Arrgghh! You've got an idea already? You're WAY ahead of me! I'll probably be desperately pecking away at my keyboard in the wee hours of December 9th as I frantically try to cobble together a sample :)

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  42. ooh great prizes and good fun as always!

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  43. I cannot WAIT to see what you come up with, Lauri! :)

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  44. Awesome prizes! Hopefully I can get motivated and do some writing on our 10 hour drive.... o_O Thanks for the project Susanna! :D

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  45. Manuscript written and in the process of revising! My dear Susanna, those prizes couldn't keep me away! :)

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  46. Oh, golly! I am so jealous! I haven't had time to give mine one second of thought yet! But can't wait to read yours :)

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  47. You can do it, Meg! I'm betting you might find some inspiration in the 10 hour drive with kids :)

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  48. You're very welcome, Tracy :) And I hope you enjoy Turkey Trouble :) Let me know what your favorite disguise is...


























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  49. I'm impressed that your story is already done! Now you have the luxury of letting it "rest" so you can go back and tweak it before you post your final. I should be so disciplined! :) And I'm honored that "Su" brings up my blog :)

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  50. Awesome contest Susanna! Just what I needed to force me to "step away" from other difficult manuscripts I am revising right now - putting the final touches on my entry!! Can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with as well :) Thank you for the inspiration!

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  51. I'm so glad if it inspired you, Kristen! And I wish I was putting final touches on my sample, but so far I haven't even had time to think of an idea :) Good luck with the "difficult" mss!

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  52. The prizes did knock my socks off!!! Hold on! I'm going to the next room to get them :-0
    Turkey Trouble sounds wonderful. The title alone is enough to get me to the library!!!!

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  53. :) I hope you found your socks :) And I hope you enjoyed your turkey day! :)

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  54. facebook.com/suthomasartistNovember 30, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    finally... a reason to pick up my pen again... sounds a wonderful challenge... already wondering what my character Molly Bunny might get up to.... and worried that I will struggle with the 350 word limit!! - about time to try.... thank you for the opportunity! I love this page - only just found you!

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  55. facebook.com/suthomasartistNovember 30, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    finally... a reason to pick up my pen again... sounds a wonderful challenge... already wondering what my character Molly Bunny might get up to.... and worried that I will struggle with the 350 word limit!! - about time to try.... thank you for the opportunity! I love this page - only just found you!

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  56. So glad to meet you, Susan (I hope that's right - guessing your name :)) I'm thrilled that you're considering entering the contest and will look forward to reading your story! :)

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  57. Cindy Williams SchraubenDecember 2, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    I'm so excited, Susanna. You have inspired and challenged me to write a tight story. Can't wait! Your blog is wonderful and always full of amazing information. Thanks!

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  58. Oh, I'm so glad, Cindy! I can't wait to read it! And thanks so much for your very kind words! :)

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  59. Great! Now to get them both polished and under 350. Question: Do art notes count toward word count?

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  60. Man, I don't know what it is about this contest! You're the 3rd or 4th person to ask about art notes when it's never come up before! Technically, there shouldn't be art notes... because I didn't put a provision for that in the original rules... A lot of people have written their entries already without art notes, and it won't be fair to them if some people have notes that don't count toward the word count and help them tell a better story... So if possible, I'd say please try not to put art notes in. I will be very clear in the contest rules from now on about art notes! Sorry for any inconvenience!

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  61. How did I miss this post? As always, another great contest and fab prizes! Off to share….

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  62. Thanks Susanna! I completely understand :) I am looking forward to the contest!

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  63. A Christmas Surprise

    A Christmas snow was decreed by King Winter.

    “It must be cold, it must be grand, it must blanket all the land,” he declared.

    “I can do that!” exclaimed young Jack Frost. He set out to find the merriest land of all to paint with his crystal brush.

    “Take care where you travel,” said old North Wind.

    “I will!” promised Jack, and he dove into a strong, winter gale.

    He flew over mountains and forests and fields.

    “The mountains are lonely and forests too green; the prairies too flat for my work to be seen!” Jack rode away on a strong, gusty breeze.

    Soon, old North Wind caught up with him. “Have you made your decision?”

    “There is no perfect place!” Jack cried.

    “The first snow of Christmas is special, indeed,” said old North Wind. “Your time runs short.”

    Jack thought about Christmas and the joy that it brings. A Christmas surprise could be just the right thing.

    “I’ve got it!” he said. “Follow me!”

    Together they flew through the clouds and the air until Jack finally stopped.

    “Here!” Jack declared.

    Old North Wind looked. “I don’t usually work HERE,” he said.

    “Nevertheless, that’s what I want,” said Jack.

    Below was a beach with a colorful boardwalk. Merry lights dangled from coconut trees and a salt-bitten breeze ruffled the air.

    Jack laughed. “They won’t see it coming,” he giggled with glee. “They won’t expect it, can’t you see?”

    Old North Wind rumbled and grumbled.

    “It will be a Christmas surprise!” Jack’s smiling face pleaded his case.

    Old North Wind took a deep breath and blew. Jack’s crystal brush turned the rain into snow and painted the rooftops with a luminous glow.

    “Snow in the south!” the people exclaimed.

    “We haven’t seen snow since I was a small boy,” said an elderly grandpa, his face marked with joy.

    The crispy white flakes found the children below and many of them tasted their very first snow.

    Jack’s lively laughter pealed through the sky. “Merry Christmas,” he said to the people below. “You are special, indeed, to get this first Christmas snow.”

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