November 21, 2011

Oh The Excitement! - Thanksgiving Contest!

Hurray, hurray!  Today's the day!

The Thanksgiving Contest is officially open!  Post your 250 (or fewer) word kids' Thanksgiving story, beginning with "They were supposed to go to Grandma's for Thanksgiving, but the blizzard came in fast..." (poetry or prose is fine, and the opening phrase counts toward the total word count) and add your link to the link list.  We'll all have a great time visiting and reading your stories!  (Note that if you choose to write in poetry/rhyme, you have permission to tweak the opening sentence to fit your meter/rhyme scheme, or you can begin with that sentence and then continue in rhyme.  And if you'd like to participate but don't have a blog, just copy and paste your story into the comments and make sure I have a way to contact you!)

The contest is open from now until the end of Thanksgiving Day, and this post with the link list will remain up during that time.  (You will recall that the powers that be (me) decided not to run Would You Read It this week because we will all be too busy cooking, traveling and visiting to give it the attention it deserves, so there will not be a new post on Wednesday.)  Once the link list closes, my assistant judge and I will select three finalists, who will be posted next Monday Nov. 28 for you to vote on.  The winner of the contest will receive their choice of a $15 Amazon gift card or a hardcover copy of Melissa Sweet's new picture book, Balloons Over Broadway in time for the holidays!

Here's my totally wacky just for fun sample (250 on the nose!) :)  You'll just have to imagine the pictures... :)

The Bloopers Thanksgiving

They were supposed to go to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving, but the blizzard came in fast.
“Our bicycle built for five won’t make it through this snow,” said Dad.  “It’s time for Plan B.”
“Thanksgiving won’t be the same without Grandma and Grandpa,” cried Bridget, Babs, and Ben.
“Now, now,” said Mom.  “We’ll still have fun.  Go and suit up for our happy day.”
Bridget, Babs, and Ben raced off to don their favorite finery.
“Bikini, tankini, and trunks!” said Dad.  “How festive!”
“Your bunny suit looks great, too, Dad,” said Bridget, Babs, and Ben.
Bridget, Babs, and Ben put their colored eggs under the Thanksgiving Tree and hung their American flags by the coat rack with care.  They made cookies in the shape of four-leaf clovers.  They helped Mom carve a scary face into a giant rutabaga and they stuck it on top of the June Pole in their living room and danced around it to welcome spring, which was just 5 short months away.
Then, though the blizzard blustered and blew, the whole family bellied up to the barbeque pit to enjoy their feast of baked beans, beef du jour, berry juice with baby blue umbrellas, and bananas flambé.
“Children,” said Dad, “Didn’t Mom barbeque beautifully?”
“Thamsgfh Mohsdf!” said Bridget, Babs, and Ben whose mouths were brimful of barbequed banana and beans. 
At bedtime, Bridget, Babs, and Ben snuggled into their bathtub.
“Plan B was fun after all,” said Bridget, and they stayed up all night playing Battleship.

I can't wait to read all of your stories!!!  Readers, please check the comments section below.  Some people are entering their stories there!

And don't forget to tune in Friday for Perfect Picture Book Friday, entering it's second week!

H A P P Y   T H A N K S G I V I N G   E V E R Y O N E!!!


  1. That's so funny my eyes are watering. Well done. I never even thought to put all those Thanksgiving things in doh! Wonderful!

  2. So glad you enjoyed it, Catherine! Thanks for posting your link :) I hope you'll get lots of readers :)

  3. I love the ones I've read so far. I need to be writing! Thanks for organizing this Susanna. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.

  4. Hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!! Eat so much you are more stuffed that Isabella. (That's turkey talk.) *wink*

  5. Stacy - glad you're enjoying them, and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours too :)

    Peggy - so glad you liked it!

    Robyn - I wish I could draw. An illustrations of Bridget, Babs and Ben in their bathing suits and Dad in his bunny suit (and I can only assume Mom is dressed for bowling) in a howling blizzard standing around the barbeque pit with their bananas on fire would be such a welcome embellishment! And I love Thanksgiving dinner - it is the perfect meal! Happy Turkey Day to you :)

  6. Here goes:

    We were supposed to go to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving but the blizzard came in fast and furious. I stared at the white fuzzy stuff falling. Bummer. I really wanted to go. Grandma makes the best chocolate chip pecan pie and my baby cousin Mia was going to be there. What now?

    My little brother hit me with his light saber. “Liam, go take a hike!” I was in no mood for that three year old!

    “I’m disappointed too,” said Mom. “This is the first time we haven’t seen Nana for Thanksgiving, but it’ll be okay. Let’s go get something special at the store.”

    We hopped in the car and went to the store before the snow got any worse. All the turkeys were gone, so Mom got ten Cornish hens and said, “This will be interesting.”

    When we got home, the snow was halfway to my knees.

    Inside the wind rattled the windows. Dad built a fire in the fireplace. As Mom started dinner, the lights went out. At least we could still cook.

    A while later, our neighbors the Camerons knocked at the door. “I began cooking,” said Mrs. Cameron “but the whole kitchen shut down.”

    “Well,” said Mom, “that won’t do. You’ll have Thanksgiving with us.”

    What a weird but funny Thanksgiving,I discovered that Emily Cameron could bend her elbows completely backward, and Tiger Cameron collected rubber band balls like me.

    And when the snow cleared, I finally got to Grandma’s for her chocolate chip pecan pie!

  7. Cindy - thanks so much for submitting. What a wonderful story. Also, I clicked over to your website and your illustrations are so delightful! Maybe you could draw the illustration I was describing to Robyn above :) Thanks again for the entry, and happy Thanksgiving!

  8. HOW FUN! Love your story! I will be posting mine this week!

  9. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK but your celebrations and stories sound like great fun.

  10. Abby - thanks! I can't WAIT to see yours!!! :)

    Rosalind - as long as you don't think anyone actually celebrates Thanksgiving like the Bloopers do :)

  11. Your story really cracked me up, Susanna! I have Canadian friends who frequently bbqd in the snow! Banana and baked beans together!!! yay :) lots of fun.

  12. Joanna - I think that's what's known as haute cuisine :)

  13. Melissa K, aka missat13@msn.comNovember 21, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    OK, I'm a little intimidated by the other wonderful examples I'm reading - but here goes! (I know it's long, but words two letters or under get in half price. :) )

    We were supposed to go to Grandma's, but the Thanksgiving Storm came fast
    And although we all shoveled every one of us knew our strength would never last
    And the ice and snow did swirl and blow until we couldn't even see the car
    So we just gave up and went inside and surveyed the refrigerator

    We didn't have any potatoes to mash and we didn't have a relish tray
    Didn't have the homemade pickled onions (that we don't like anyway)
    Didn't have a single cranberry or any corn-on-the-cob to crunch
    Didn't have a speck of gravy for the turkey that wasn't for lunch

    There were three old slices of pizza, stuck to the roof of the box
    And some ancient sugar-free lemonade and a couple slices of lox
    I spied a jar of sweet pickles on the middle shelf way at the back
    And a bag of stale marshmallows finished out our family snack

    For a family of five it wasn't much and it didn't enflame our desire
    The pizza was bad, the pickles were worse, and the 'mallows just caught on fire
    We all named things we were thankful for, yet our spirits were all but sunk,
    Until Mom remembered the important thing: the pies were in the trunk!

    Like a flash Dad was out the door, urged on by our rallying cries -
    And he fought his way back with the strength of an ox (if an ox was motivated by pies)
    Pumpkin, apple and pear-custard too, each more mouthwatering than the last
    And the can of whipped cream in his pocket rounded off our great repast.

    And we ate and we grinned and we smiled, we ate, we laughed and ate some more
    Then we all sat back, and our eyelids drooped, and Dad was the first to snore
    And one by one the kids dropped off to dreams of the Santa Season nigh -
    Because it's not the Turkey makes you sleepy, it's the love, the laughs, and the pie.

  14. Melissa - you should certainly not be intimidated! Your story is wonderful - very creative and fun, with a lovely ending and message! Thanks SO much for entering :)

  15. You are hilarious! What a fun contest. I'm trying to focus on revision (NaNoRevMo), so I won't be entering, but love the idea! :)

    And Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. To you, too, Janet! And congrats on your awesome blog critique :)

  17. How fun!!! I love your story Susanna :D I will have to think up something to top it :D Kidding mine probably wont be half as hilarious as the multiholiday thanksgiving party above!!! Now THAT was a party! :D

  18. Saba - yours will be awesome too in your own way! Can't wait to read it :)

  19. I just had to tell you that I sent the link of this story to my fam and a couple friends. They are loving it! (I told them they would.) ;) So fun and creative!

  20. Susanna, I loved your wacky and funny story. Could imagine the pictures.

    Cindy, I really enjoyed your wonderful story and the twist at the end.

    Melissa, really liked your story in verse. Very clever. Great imagery. - Pat

  21. Your story deserves an "A" for plan B! I also enjoyed reading the other posts from this section. I'll try to have mine up later today. Thanks for putting this fabulous contest together! Happy Thanksgiving to all! Julie

  22. Cool! I just entered mine! This was fun :)

  23. Erik - OMG!!! You made me laugh until I got tears in my eyes! What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for joining in the fun. I'm keeping an eye out for your link in the link list - it hasn't shown up yet. If it doesn't, I'll add it in myself because I don't want anyone to miss your story! :)

  24. Abby - thanks so much! I'm looking forward to yours!

    Pat - I'm glad you enjoyed the ones that are up already. I enjoyed yours too. Keep checking back, because more entries are being added and they're great!

    Julie - so glad you liked it! Can't wait to read yours! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  25. Thanks! I had LOTS of fun writing it! And I enjoy reading everybody's stories! I think maybe I didn't put the link in right :( Thank you for fixing it!

  26. Erik - your URL is too long - it can't be more than 100 characters. I'd like to link directly to this post, not just to your blog, because if you post again the story won't be on top and will be hard for people to find. Any chance you can shorten the post title?

  27. Fun stories! I thought about entering but my goal is to finish NaNo by Thursday morning. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!! :)

  28. Just wanted to let you know that I changed my title slightly so I added another link. Thus far, I don't see either link up there, but if you find both of them, please delete the one that doesn't mention the contest. Thanks Susanna!

  29. Another fun contest! I'm going to try and come up with something soon. Your story is so fun and cute. An illustator would have a ball with it!

  30. Your story is so cute - love it! Still working on mine but I'll get it up before the blogfest ends.

  31. Mr. Gobble Gets Caught
    By Penny Klostermann

    "They were supposed to go to Grandma's for Thanksgiving, but the blizzard came in fast.
    The weatherman said, "It's best to stay inside until this storm is past...
    In fact don't heat the oven. Make sandwiches instead
    With pumpkin flavored jelly spread on a piece of bread."
    That's when I said with a look of great suspicion,
    "That funny looking weatherman knows nothing of tradition."
    And what is that he's wearing? A faux-feather suit!
    And that…That's a waddle dangling down from his snoot!
    "DAD! Call the station! Quick! This guy is a fraud!
    The whole blizzard’s just a big facade."
    So, as they snatched Mr. Gobble right off the TV station,
    We loaded up and headed out for Thanksgiving vacation.
    “Grandma we’re coming. There’s really not a blizzard.
    But you can’t blame a turkey when he tries to save his gizzard.”

  32. This is really cool! I really like reading everyone's ideas. It's so neat how all different people can come up with totally different stories from the same sentence!

  33. Love the rhyming stories. My brain doesn't seem to work in rhyme, so I really appreciate that perspective. Thanks for the kudos on the illustration Susanna. That's more up my alley, but writing is fun too, especially when I get inspired by y'all!

  34. Coleen - no worries! You can enter the next contest which will be held in about three weeks :)

    Julie P. - thanks so much for joining the contest. I really enjoyed your entry :) Still working on the link, apparently....

    Jennifer - you've still got a couple days. I hope you'll think something up!

    Julie H. - looking forward to your story!!!

    Penny - LOVE your twist! Great idea :)

    Erik - I know! - I find that really fun too, how everyone can start at the same place and come up with such different stories!

    Cindy - I find there's something inspiring about all working on stories at the same time, too. So glad you're participating :)

  35. Oh I am so glad I checked back into these comments or else I would have missed Melissa and Penny's wonderful stories. Great job, ladies!

  36. I'm travelling today and cooking tomorrow. How can I squeeze in 250 words? I'm going to try. If I can't, I'll be sure to visit!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Susanna!

  37. Theresa - I hope you can! Compose in your head while traveling (or cooking) and then type it up quick :) But if you can't, you can gear up for the next one - Holiday Contest in about 3 weeks! Happy Thanksgiving!!


    They were supposed to go to Grandma's for
    Thanksgiving, but the blizzard came in fast.
    Instead, they found themselves neither here nor there.

    Father scouted the area. “Follow me.”

    Timmy ducked under some branches and found himself inside a natural tent. Branches creaked overhead. Timmy shivered, despite his new winter coat.

    “I don’t understand why we have to go to Grandma’s,” he grumbled.“It’s in the middle of nowhere.”

    Mother peered out into the storm. “It’s safer there.”

    “Safer from what?”

    Johnny smirked, and Father shot him a warning look. Mother was still staring out.

    “Don’t worry,” murmured Father. “No one will get far in this weather.”

    Timmy stamped his feet against the cold. There was nothing to do in this bizarre little tent of trees. “I don’t get it. Why are we giving thanks, anyway?”

    This time Johnny couldn’t resist. “It’s not us, dummy. It’s the hunters.” Ever since he’d gotten his antlers, he’d acted like a now-it-all. “They’re thankful for venison.”

    Timmy heard mother suck in her breath. “What is
    venison?” he couldn’t help but ask, though he wasn’t sure he wanted to know.

    Johnny rolled his eyes. “It’s deer.”

    Tommy looked down at his hooves and gulped. “But that’s…”



    Two hours later, William returned to his cabin.

    “Thank goodness you’re back from the storm,”
    cried Martha. “Did you find anything?”

    “No deer this time,” said William, “but perhaps this will do.”

    Martha eyed the turkey he held out. “That will do just fine.”

  39. Ella - thanks so much for our entry! I love how different and creative everyone's ideas are! Great work slowly revealing an unexpected situation! Happy Thanksgiving :)

  40. Lynn, your entry was cute. Very original. Tried to leave a message on your blog, but it wouldn't accept it.

    Ella -- Loved your story. Again, another original entry. Forgot about hunting seasoning opening day.

  41. Lynn - thanks so much for entering. I enjoyed your story and getting to discover your blog! I tried to comment over there, but like Patricia, couldn't figure out how!

  42. I've added my link to the list. Thanks for the contest, and happy Thanksgiving to you all!

  43. Hi Susanna, I'm not sure if my link was accepted. I'm going to just add it in the comments if that's okay?

    -One Trek of a Thanksgiving-

    They were supposed to go to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving, but the blizzard came in fast.

    “It’s coming down hard,” said Papa Ant to his wife and kids, “that means it will not last.”

    “Grandma is waiting and this looks thicker than whipped cream,”

    “But it’s not cold or wet. It is something we’ve never seen.”

    Soon, they all were covered with flour from antenna to feet,

    Papa led the way across the table to Grandma’s house to eat.

    They thought of hot sliced turkey, potatoes and crumbs of pie.

    That’s when drops of water sprinkled slowly from the sky.

    The water seeped in the white, turning the flour into dough,

    Trapping them in a gooey mess, and they wished it was real snow.

    A pair of big hands went to work, they squeezed, pressed and rolled,

    And didn’t stop until the dough was formed into a mold.

    Soon they would be baked inside the giant oven,

    With sweet rolls, casseroles and even some stuffing.

    At least they were all together, stuck inside the crust,

    Papa urged, “Lets get out, we must, we must, we must!”

    They started chewing, eating and biting,

    They worked to get free, they never stopped fighting.

    The ants made it out safety, not one with a scratch or scuff,

    But all had full bellies and they told Grandma they were stuffed.

    Thanksgiving night they gathered with thanks and shared a special feast.

    And when it was time for pie, they served Grandma the largest piece.

    The End

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

  44. Jennifer - very creative, baking them into the pie! :) Thanks for such an entertaining story - I'm so glad you entered the contest! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too :)

  45. Oh my! I misspelled wattle & I can't edit my post!

  46. Don't worry Penny - the esteemed judge knew what you meant :)

  47. Susanna,
    I posted my entry to my blog, but to get to it, you have to click on the "blog" button on the menu of my website -- there is no direct link, so just wanted to clarify.
    Thanks for doing this!!!

    "T'was the Tom Turkey Thanksgiving"

  48. Sarvinder - thanks so much for your entry! I really enjoyed it :) I don't know if people will scroll down this far and know to click over to your blog, so I'll see if maybe I can edit my post to mention it. Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for entering :)

  49. Another Entry:

    They were on their way to Grandma’s when the blizzard came in fast,
    Leaving twenty Ogden family members staring, eyes aghast,
    At the blinking board above them, all departures and arrivals
    Now marked “cancelled, cancelled, cancelled,” making frowns from twenty smiles.

    “But what about the turkey?” cried the youngest in the crowd.
    His cousins echoed his concerns, their voices growing loud.
    “Will we still have mashed potatoes?” “Will we still have pumpkin pie?”
    The kids all looked defeated and a few started to cry.

    “Guys! Stop it!” shouted Arthur, standing up above the scene.
    From his perch upon a bench he pointed out vending machines.
    “We’ll improvise.” He gestured at the rows of snacks and drinks.
    “There’s plenty here to work with. What does everybody think?”

    His family looked inspired and they headed for the food.
    They scavenged through potato chips and soda, hope renewed.
    In no time a make-do Thanksgiving feast was put together,
    And everyone sat down to eat, their minds now off the weather.

    “What’s everybody thankful for?” Asked Grandpa, drinking Pepsi.
    “I am thankful for good health,” said ninety-five year-old Aunt Leslie.
    “I am thankful for this airport,” offered Grandma Josephine.
    “I am thankful for Doritos,” laughed her oldest nephew Dean.

    “Thanksgiving is a time to think of all the ways we’re lucky,
    Even though we didn’t plan on spending it here in Kentucky.”
    Arthur looked around and smiled. “It sounds strange, but still, it’s true.
    “I am thankful for this blizzard since it stopped me here with you.”

  50. This is the direct link to Sarvinder's entry:

    I have Jedi-level web skills.

  51. Snowbound
    By: Donna Martin (

    They were supposed to go to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving but the blizzard came in fast. Snow swirled around the car and frosted up the windows.
    “How will Granny find us?” said Amy.
    “We should have been there an hour ago,” said Mom.
    “Will we freeze to death?” asked Kevin.
    Mom strained to see beyond the headlights’ glow. “Hush, I hear something.”
    The faint sound of sleigh bells grew louder as both kids rubbed gloved hands against the fogged windows to look outside.
    Kevin could barely make out something coming through the moonlit trees toward them. “I think it’s a sleigh,” he said.
    Amy’s eyes grew wide. “Is it Santa Claus?”
    “It can’t be Santa Claus! He’s still at the North Pole making toys,” argued Kevin.
    “Who could it be I wonder?” said Mom.
    The Clydesdale’s hooves crunched on the snow as the sleigh stopped beside the car. Smiling, Grandma shouted into the wind, “All aboard!”
    “But, Granny, how did you find us?” asked Amy as she snuggled under the blanket.
    “An angel told me,” replied Grandma.
    “An angel?” said Mom.
    “Yep, that angel said to go find my own little angels, and she led me here.”
    “It’s a miracle,” said Kevin.
    “A Thanksgiving miracle,” said Grandma.
    Sleigh bells faded into the night as the four travelers headed over the river to Grandma’s house.

  52. Hi Susanna, thank you for the kind compliments.
    I had a lot of fun participating in this contest. Thanks for having it.

    p.s. I should have had my coffee first. It was early. I didn't see that my entry was added so I added another one. *doh* I did tried to click on my story (13) but it didn't open. :(

  53. I just made it "Whew", had major internet connection problems. Boy these entries are amazing. So many beautiful stories and poems. It will be very hard to choose.
    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

  54. Donna - thanks so much for you story - yet another original twist :)

    Jennifer - don't worry - it'll all work out. I'll check the links, but at least your story is posted.

    Diane - yay! Can't wait to read your story!

  55. I stopped by here to get a dose of Thanksgiving fun. I'm loving all the stories through the links and the comments.


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