November 17, 2014

Whistle A Happy Tune

Good Monday, All!

So nice of you to pop by!

Remember on Friday I told you I had exciting news to share?

I'm guessing that's why you're here.

Because of the exciting news I promised.

I said, "Come on over as soon as you wake up!"

And look!  Here you are!

You're so wonderful :)


Exciting news!

Guess what I did?

No, really!  Guess!

Never mind.  I'll tell you.

I made up a song!


It's true!

Want to hear it?

Well, not actually hear it - I didn't have time to make a video or a recording - but hear it in the sense that I can tell you the tune and the words and you can imagine me singing it to you...

Yes?  Are you ready?

Okay.  The tune is "The Bear Went Over The Mountain" (because I live on a mountain, as you may recall, and I saw a bear a little over a week ago, which you may also recall.)


OH. . . !!!!!!!
The dog went over the mountain
The dog went over the mountain
The dog went over the mounTAIN....
Because she saw a bear!

Thank you.  Thank you very much!

So, what do you think?

Are you amazed?

I'm pretty amazed with myself, I have to tell you.  It's not every day someone writes a song like that!  (Hey!  Did someone say, "Thank goodness!"?  I heard that!  Keep it nice, people.  We can't all be as musically gifted as I am, but that's no reason to unleash the green-eyed monster!)

So I can now add "Songwriter" to my resume!

Happy sigh :)

Alrighty.  See you on Wednesday for Would You Read It.

Unless you've got nothing to do right now. . .
. . . and you're feeling reluctant to leave because you enjoyed my song so much that you want to hear it again. . .
. . . and you're also thinking that maybe... just MAYBE... you'd like to hear about. . .
(Oh, golly!  That was fun while it lasted! Hehehe!). . .

The 4th Annual Holiday Contest!!!!
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

The Contest:  Write a children's story (children here defined as approximately age 12 and under) in which wild weather impacts the holidays!  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 (I know!  So much freedom after the Halloweensie Contest :))  (It can be as short as you like, but no more than 350!)  Any kind of weather will do: sun, rain, sleet, heatwave, blizzard, tsunami, monsoon, hurricane, hail, tornado, etc!  Weather may be atypical for your setting (rain in Maine, frost in Florida), it may be extreme (blizzard instead of regular snow, drought instead of lush greenery), or it may be unheard of (spring flowers in Antarctica, snow in the Sahara, bathing suit weather at the North Pole), but whatever you choose, make us feel the impact on the holidays!  The wild weather may be a hindrance, a wish-come-true, a threat, a pleasant surprise, etc.  The field is wide open!  Have fun!  The wilder and wackier the better!  No illustration notes please. (And yes, if you feel compelled to submit more than one entry you may, just remember you're competing against yourself!)

Post:  Your entry should be posted on your blog between Monday December 8 and Friday December 12 at 11:59 PM EST, 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 8 and remain up through Sunday December 14 (no WYRI or PPBF during that week.)  If you don't have a blog but would like to enter, please copy and paste your entry into the comments on my December 8th 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 10-12 finalists (depending on the number of entries) which will be posted here on either Monday December 15 or Tuesday December 16 (depending on the number of entries :)) for you to vote on for a winner.  The vote will be closed on Thursday December 18 at 5 PM EST and the winners will be announced on Friday December 19.  Whoever gets the most votes will be first and so on down to tenth place.  Judging criteria will be kid appeal/kid-friendliness, creativity of weather use in plot, quality of story, quality of writing, and originality.

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 - 10th place.  In addition to the incredible fame of being able to say you won (or placed in) the Pretty Much World Famous 4th Annual Holiday Contest, the following AMAZING prizes will be awarded: (items in color are links for more info!)

 - A picture book manuscript read and critique by Shari Dash Greenspan, Editor of the multi-award winning Flashlight Press!  I encourage you to sign up for their newsletter HERE!
 - A picture book manuscript read and critique by Jennifer Mattson, Agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency!
 - Enrollment in Renee LaTulippe's highly praised and recommended Lyrical Language Lab Course (in a month to be mutually agreed upon by the winner and Renee) ($249 value!)
 - Enrollment in Jon Bard and Laura Backes's fantastic Kindle Kids Mastery Course ($197 value!)
 - Enrollment in Making Picture Book Magic (my online picture book writing class - in March or a later month to be mutually agreed upon by the winner and me)
 - A picture book manuscript critique by fabulous author Amy Dixon, author of MARATHON MOUSE and the forthcoming SOPHIE'S ANIMAL PARADE.
 - (Hopefully) 2 or 3 PB MS Critiques from other fabulous authors - TBA
 2015 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market, a signed copy of Boy And Poi Poi Puppy by Linda Boyden, and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
 - a pack of Deb Lund's amazing Fiction Magic Cards
 - another pack of Deb Lund's amazing Fiction Magic Cards

I can't thank these editors, agents, authors, and other industry professionals enough for their incredible generosity!  Please visit their sites, spread the word of their classes, buy and recommend their books to your friends with kids, and show your appreciation to them in any way you can!

And now!  Sharpen those pencils!  Top off those coffee mugs!  Get those derrieres in your chairs!  And start writing those prize-winning entries!!!

I can't wait for the festivities to begin! :)


  1. Although the song was a wonderful enjoyment, the 4th Annual Holiday contest news is spectacular. I had a lot of ucn with the Halloweensie contest. So I will have to see if I can do this one as well. :-)

  2. You are SOOO funny, Susanna! I will definitely have to ponder this topic - absolutely planning on entering. And your song is absolutely LOVELY.

  3. First we got news of a sale on toilet paper with the Halloweensie contest and now we get a song?!? Susanna you are just TOO good to us!! :)
    My head is already brewing with ideas for a Holiday story--double score--that means I'll have a PiBoIdMo idea for today too--sweet! Thanks so much Susanna!

  4. Oh my silly Susanna, you are a glutton for punishment! What wonderful prizes...I will spread word for you. :)

  5. Whooo-hooo! Another challenge on top of my crazy-busy-writing-schedule-and-holiday-making-and-Illustrations-and-deadlines-and-pressure-and-submissions-due. . . . I'M IN!

  6. Your singing career started here! Woo hoo Christmas contest!

  7. Well said Joanne!

  8. Yay! Another contest! Love the song, Susanna! :)

  9. Well, Susanna, once again you have thrown down the gauntlet! I will be fun squeezing in yet another challenge. And do keep singing!

  10. Elvis, I think you did an AMAZING job on that song! You know why? You ain't nothin' but a hound dog-a... ;)

  11. Yessiree, that was a fine little ditty you came up with there...


    I'M IN!

  12. Hey Sus, I saw this in my inbox and said I must pop in. Man. That was in the Saint Nick of time (little play on words there). Ivy FINALLY picked a college. WAHOO. YEAH! I was thinking it wouldn't be until I was like ninety or something. Warren Wilson. The campus is beautiful. It's small and GREEN. They compost 92% of their trash, the students work 15 hours a week on the farm or wherever they desire, they grow all but 20% of their food. WOWEE. She finally picked one. Tra la la boom-de-ay....

    So anyway, I hope to enter. I'm doing NaNo and have several irons in the fire. I will try. The prizes are great. Loved your song. Hug, hug, hug!! <3 you.

  13. Being unable to replicate the slightest approximation to anything remotely musical -- this is my kind of singing. Looking forward to reading all the stories.

  14. Your song reminds me of a joke I just made up:

    Q. Why did the dog go over the mountain?
    A. Because the chicken was blocking the road. :razz:

    350 words is so generous . . . Santa must be thinking your gunning for HIS job.

  15. YOU ARE CRAZY GOOD! Hee hee! But you are crazy - can't stop with the contests can you! Thank goodness!

  16. Snowing tonight in Kentucky-the week before Thanksgiving. Wild and wacky indeed. If we're in school tomorrow, we'll get started on a wild weather story.

  17. Crazy weather here too - supposed to be 18 tomorrow night - pretty cold for New York in November! I will look forward to a story from first grade! :)

  18. It's a God-given talent, Julie. I really can't take credit :) And you know we always run these contests every year - hence the "Annual" in their titles :)

  19. Hahaha! I'm a singer/songwriter and you're a comedienne! This is an annual contest - it's always 350 words - so 350 it is :) Maybe Santa will help me judge :)

  20. I'm looking forward to reading YOURS, Teresa!... not so subtle hint :)

  21. Hurray for Ivy! And thanks for popping in, Rob! I will look forward to your holiday story. Which I know you will write. And I know I will love :)

  22. I'm so glad you liked my song, Mike. Really, it came to me in a flash - such an inspirational experience :) Can't wait to read your wild weather holiday story! Will there be guinea pigs? :)

  23. Elvis! You called me Elvis! I'm so honored :) And you're right. I ain't nuthin' but a hound dog.. or ain't I nuthin' but a ground hog? Well, it's one or the other :)

  24. Thank you, Cheryl. I can't take credit though. It was just a moment of inspiration :)

  25. I love your enthusiasm, Catherine! :) And I'm really excited about my singing career since my writing career seems to be in the sewer at the moment!

  26. YES! ALL THAT! ME TOO! We're going to have so much fun! :)

  27. Well, I went and started an annual tradition, and that means I have to keep up with it every year... by definition... so yes, glutton :) Thanks so much for spreading the word, T. My stupid internet has been impossible today!

  28. I know it, Kimberly. The wonders just never cease around here. It's toilet paper and songs all day long :) Can't wait to read your holiday story, and glad I could help out with PiBo :)

  29. I'm glad you think I'm funny, Joanne :) Otherwise I might be the only one who thought that :) I'm so glad you love my song. It took me 7 seconds to write :) Can't wait to read your holiday wild weather story! :)

  30. Woo-hoo! I've hooked Angela! She's back for more! Can't wait to read you entry :)

  31. Yay! I'm glad you're taking up the gauntlet, Anne! And thanks for encouraging me in my new singing career :)

  32. Well Susanna, I love your song! And in my good friend Elf's words..."the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!" Keep singing Susanna....and thanks for the new story challenge!

  33. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikNovember 18, 2014 at 6:44 AM


  34. Wow, that song was enough but then you added a competition to the post… you floor me! Those prizes are wild, too!

  35. I think it's because I live with all these musical people that my song is so amazing :) It must be rubbing off :) Glad you like the prizes - pretty sweet, aren't they? I wouldn't mind winning some of them myself :)

  36. I LOVE YOUR STORIES! :) I was skimming through last year's entries before posting the rules for this year (wanted to make sure tons of people hadn't done weather-related mishaps I forgot about!) and I re-read yours - SO well done! I remember wrestling over it with the other judges because it was so good, but not really a mishap... But you should submit that to Highlights or something! :)

  37. Well NOW you've motivated me to write a Christmas song!
    Go tell it on the mountain
    Blueberry Hill and everywhere
    Go tell it on the mountain
    That we just saw a bear!
    Can't wait to read your wild weather holiday story :)

  38. Yeah, I can read, your highness, but there's CRAZY in that blue-blood of yours, no doubt!

  39. You may be right. I'm Friesian... which is practically Viking... so yeah, probably a bit crazy :)

  40. And I hear a ms idea there! My ancestors were BlackIrish, but there might have been Viking blood mixed in first!

  41. Love your wackiness, Susanna! You are SO fun!

  42. I know! i've been wanting to write a PB about Vikings forever... but they're a hard lot to make PC for a PB :)

  43. I should have known I couldn't pull the wool over your eyes, Donna :) A true blue Elvis fan :)

  44. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikNovember 19, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Thank you! :D I'll more for mishaps this year! ;)

  45. Well, it was just because mishap was what the contest was about last year. This year you can have them or not... the important point is wild weather that impacts the holidays :)

  46. YAAAAAY! Can't wait for the fun! You've already made it fun with your song and fun post! (I think you should write a PB that breaks the fourth wall like you did in this post.)

  47. I'll get right on it, Carrie :) Maybe I'll put a song in it too :)

  48. Now I know I've got a problem...I totally missed this post! I wondered when we would find out about the Holiday Contest...and then I read your Monday, Dec 1st post and realized...hey...wait a minute...I'd better skedaddle to older posts and see what's up.
    You know I wouldn't miss this for the world,'s so much fun to participate...and the prizes are incredible! Thank you for loving us so much. :)

  49. Ha! I just did the same thing. Now I don't know if I can make the time and grasp the inspiration but I look forward to reading what everyone else writes either way.

  50. You can do it, Mishka! I'm off to give it a whirl...just like Dorothy, caught up in the Kansas that impacts a holiday...maybe I've got something here...or maybe...not. ;)

  51. I do love you all! You especially, Vivian :) Can't wait to read your entry and hope it will win you the prize of your dreams :)

  52. You CAN do it, Mishka! You and Vivian can both do it! Rah rah rah! Sis boom bah! Go Vivian and Mishka! Okay. So I was never a cheerleader. But I know you can do it and will look forward to your entries :)

  53. I know what you mean, Vivian. I feel the same way. We are very lucky!

  54. HAHAHAH! If I survive the week, I'll try. Got some art deadlines. Minor ones but... :)

  55. scribble scribble scribble...story emerging with ash sprinkled wingtips and fire gold plumes and a faint scent of wood smoke to tickle the nose

  56. Delightful, Cecilia! Send some of that over this way - I'm down to a number of hours before my sample has to be written! :)

  57. I can't wait to read all the great stories & try my hand at one!

  58. Yay! So glad you're planning to join the fun, Ariel! Can't wait to read your story :)

  59. I am so excited to be entering your contest for the first time :) I have my story finished I'm just letting it simmer so I can go back and make any final touches on it! The prizes look amazing! Thank you for having this! So fun :)

  60. Ha. No pressure. :) I'll have.... something...
    In all sincerity, thanks.

  61. Thrilled you're planning to join the fun, Shannon! :)


    Abe loved how his picnic table table looked. The tree sparkled. The gold menorah twinkled and the crescent moon cookies glimmered in the sun. This was going to be the best Christmas, Hanukkah, and Eid party he thought.


    Abe’s heart thumped. A large black cloud covered the sun.

    Flick a fleck! Flick a fleck! Crash! The tinsel tree tipped to the side, its ornaments falling off.

    “Stop raining,” Abe shouted at the cloud.

    “WHO DARES TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO?” huffed the cloud.

    “M-m-me,” said Abe.

    "Fine, I'll stop the rain,” rumbled the cloud.

    He huffed and popped open.

    TICK! TACK! TICK! TACK! Hail flicked onto the table.

    Thump, thump, thump! Candles fell out of the menorah.

    “Noooo!” cried Abe.

    “You don't like hail? Fine! Then this is what you get!” growled the cloud.

    FLISH! FLASH! Lightening zig-zagged across the sky.

    Zap! Icing dripped off the cookies.

    "You've ruined Christmas, Hanukkah and Eid!" cried Abe.

    "I would never ruin Christmas, Eid or Hanukkah!" shouted the cloud. "THEY'RE MY FAVORITE HOLIDAYS!"

    "Look!" Abe pointed to the mess.

    The cloud shrunk back. "You should have told me."

    "I did!" Abe picked up a cookie and tossed it in the trash. "The party is over."

    "WAIT!" cried the cloud. "I can fix this!"

    "How?" asked Abe.

    "Wind! Do your magic!"

    Whooooohooooohoooooo! The wind twirled and whirled all around. The candles blew into the menorah's holders. The tree stood tall with baubles dangling from its branches, but icing dribbled onto the grass.

    "You saved my tree and the menorah!" said Abe. "But the cookies are-"

    "I'm not done yet," said the cloud. It puffed its cheeks and blew.


    "Blizzard!" cried Abe.

    Wind sprinkled snowflakes over the moon shaped cookies. They danced across the Christmas tree and scattered around the menorah.

    "You did it! Thank you," said Abe.

    The cloud blushed. "Anything for the holidays!"

    "Will you come to my party?" asked Abe.

    "I'd love that!"

    When Abe's friends came to celebrate, the cloud swooped down.
    "This is the best Eid, Christmas and Hanukkah celebration," said Abe.

  63. I posted my 350 word submission. Thanks for organizing this contest!

  64. You're very welcome! Your entry posted twice, so I'm going to see if I can remove one so you get all your comments in one place :)

  65. And I've posted... something. LOL It's called, "Sometimes, a Pigeon"
    Thanks for the nudge! :) And Thanks for the forum!

  66. Hahaha! I love the title! Can't wait to read it!


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