Category Archives: Storytelling


2018 Valentiny Contest

Thank you, Susanna, for this fun Valentine’s Contest.

The Rules:  Write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) using a maximum 214 words in which someone is hopeful!  Your someone can hope for something good or something bad.  Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone hopeful (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words.

Check out all the other fun stories at

And here’s my entry:


The Heart of the Heart

Once there was a little heart.

It had two hills on the top.

It had a pointy point on the bottom.


The heart of the heart was empty.



No one wanted a blank heart.

Especially not on Valentine’s Day.

Hearts were supposed to be red. Pink on occasion. Definitely colorful.

But there was still time.

Not all was lost.

The heart painted herself.

She tried a Sharpie.


Tomato juice.

Nothing worked.

Time was running out.

But there were still some minutes left.

The heart called an emergency meeting.

All her friends came.

They listened.

They thought.

Then they sprang into action.

The whole group gathered around and hugged the heart.


For a long time.

The heart started to feel as if she was dining on chocolate.

And sprinkles.

And lots of red frosting.

When her friends pulled away, the heart stared at herself.

And gasped.

And marveled at what she saw.




The heart of the heart was full.

Just in time for Valentine.



50 Precious Words

When I was in College, I had a professor who gave the most bizarre page requirements for assignments. 17 pages for this. 3 1/2 for the next. Surely, we thought, there would be some leeway, right? But there wasn’t. The professor said that no matter what we were writing, we should be able to do it at any length. It was simply a matter of putting your points in order of importance.

I thought about this when Vivian Kirkfield asked writers to participate in her #50preciouswords challenge. It is probably the best exercise out there. To see all the fun entries, go to and enjoy.


And here are my 42 words…


Traveling in Style

Time to leave! What should I pack?

Crown or hard hat?

Tutu or apron?

Wand or hammer?

Necklace or tool belt?

Unicorn or hamster?

Carriage or skateboard?

Well, carriage of course. That way I can pack everything. Everything a real princess needs.


Writing Valentiny Stories

Happy Valentine’s Day!


I’m participating in Susanna Hill’s lovely “Valentiny” story contest. For more entries, hop over to Susanna’s blog and read them all.

Special Delivery

Every year, Pepper and Mom exchange Valentine’s cards. And they have an extra lovely breakfast to celebrate.

This year, Pepper wants to do something special.

She makes many cards.

She makes them extra fancy.

Pepper hands two cards to the mailman.

She gives the rest to her friends.

Pepper wonders when her cards will arrive.

Not today.

Not tomorrow.

And there’s no mail on Sunday.

On Monday, Grandpa calls. He’s ecstatic. He got Pepper’s mail.

Pepper is happy.

And she’s also worried.

Mom shakes her head. “Why are you so jumpy?”

She puts up all the cards Pepper got from her friends.

Pepper sighs loudly.

Mom wrinkles her forehead. “Aren’t you excited?”

But Mom looks troubled, too.

Pepper doesn’t sleep well.

On Valentine’s Day morning, Pepper has no card for Mom. And Mom has no card for Pepper.

It’s a very quiet breakfast.

Until the mailman arrives.

And he delivers Pepper’s card for Mom.

And he also brings Mom’s card for Pepper.

What a special way to get them.

Happy Valentine’s Day.