Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lucy Leaf. A short story for little children.

Lucy Leaf was born in spring. At the beginning she was small and shiny. She was also curled inwards to protect herself from the unknown world.

‘Lucy, there’s nothing to be afraid of,’ her Mum told her.

‘It looks pretty scary to me…’

A couple of days passed and Lucy grew bolder. She stretched as much as she could and she looked around. There were so many colours! Her own belly was bright green, the sky above was shiny blue and below she could see lovely flowers in yellow, blue and purple. There was also a brown fluffy thing that she later learnt was a dog.

Lucy was a happy leaf. She enjoyed talking to her brothers and sisters and she also enjoyed dancing in the wind. Breezes made her feel sleepy, but stronger winds filled her with excitement.

Then the summer came. Lucy loved watching the little people from up her tree. They seemed to be spending a lot more time outside now.

‘What are those creatures called?’ she asked.

‘Children,’ her dad said.

‘I like them.’

The weather got hotter and hotter. Lucy felt her skin become dry and wondered why. She was happiest at night, when the temperatures went down and the tall man made her wet with the long yellow thing he called a hose. She loved feeling the little drops on her, but they dried so quickly!

Lucy was now a fully grown leaf and so were her brothers and sisters. The most adventurous of them had left the tree and fallen to the ground. Then the breeze had taken them away.

One day, Lucy looked at her belly and noticed she had a yellow spot on her tummy.

‘Oh, my! I’m changing colour…. I wonder what it means.’

‘It means autumn is near,’ her mum told her.

‘Is that bad?’ she asked, fear in her voice.

‘It’s different.’

In a few days, Lucy and her siblings became totally yellow. And then more time passed and they turned brown and crispy dry. Even the cowardly ones who didn’t want to fall had to make an effort to hold on to the tree.

And then it happened. One morning, while she was sleeping, Lucy noticed she was falling… falling.

Once she touched the ground, she realized she was surrounded by friends and relatives.

‘Hi, guys! What happens now?’ she asked with her usual enthusiasm.

‘Nothing good, I’m afraid,’ her cousin Laura said.

Lucy waited and waited. She looked around, but nothing much changed. Except for the temperature. It started getting colder and colder.

Finally, one morning, when Lucy woke up, she saw she was dressed in a flimsy crystal robe.

‘What’s this?’ she asked.

‘It’s frost,’ Laura told her.

‘It’s sooo beautiful!’ 

‘Yes, but it’s too cold.’

Laura and Lucy heard footsteps and looked up. A little girl was touching the leaves next to them. 

‘Mummy, look! This one is perfect. Can I keep it?’

‘Of course, darling.’

The little girl picked Lucy up and took her inside the house. Then she stuck her to a piece of  pink cardboard that said Winter at the top.

Lucy was happy, like she’d always been. Her life had been great and now she’d be warm again… 



Monday, January 30, 2017

Cinderella's Diary. June 28th

(To read previous entries scroll down.)

This morning I got up at five to have time to finish all my chores. Even though I had only slept three hours and was very tired, I drank some coffee and tried to stay positive by thinking about the ball.

My step-mother and step-sisters got up at ten and eyed me suspiciously while I served their breakfast.

‘You have dark circles under your eyes, Cindy. You look terrible. You’d better stay at home,’ Angelica said. Berta and Alma giggled stupidly, as they always do.

‘I’ll be okay later. What time do we have to get ready?’

‘The carriage will come to pick us up at five.’

‘Perfect.’

After lunch, I had a nap when nobody needed me. I woke up with a start at twenty past four. I realized I had to hurry if I wanted to be ready on time.

I put on my dress and did my hair. The only problem was I had no pretty shoes, so I’d have to wear my slippers, but my dress was so long, I hoped nobody would notice.

When I was ready, I went down the stairs to the hall. My step-mother and step-sisters were already waiting.  Their hair was piled up high on top of their heads and they were wearing so many jewels they couldn’t lift their arms.

‘Is that what you are wearing?’ Berta asked.

‘Yes. It belonged to my Mum.’

‘But, look, it’s torn,’ she said while pulling from one of the bows at the front.

‘Stop!’ I shouted, but it was too late. My dress was ruined.

‘Look, Mum!’ Alma told Angelica. ‘She’s wearing slippers. Don’t let her come. What will people think of us?’

‘I’m sorry, dear. You’ll have to stay. Maybe you should do some laundry while we are gone,’ my step-mother told me.

She smiled at me evilly and opened the door. 

‘Let’s go, girls.’

As soon as they had gone, I started crying so hard that I thought my heart was going to break. How I wished my Mum could help me!

It was then that I saw the light…



Pride & Prejudice - Thug Notes Summary and Analysis

Can you write a ten-word poem? Do it in the comments box below.

Big fat drops
On my window
Make me
Feel blue.



Saturday, January 28, 2017

An alliterative etheree.

Fair
Fairies
Fly Away.
Flowers freely
Fret in the fresh air.
Fragile white feathers float.
Frost covers the frozen floor.
Fierce foxes chase the pretty frogs.
Flamingos fish in the flawless pond.
Fireflies flirt with forbidden fleeting friends.







Jellyfish. A lowku.

barefoot on the beach
stepped on slimy jellyfish
feet are slippery


Lowku, (pronounced low-koo), is the same format as a Haiku. The poem is usually 17 syllables or less, and can be divided into three groups of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. but is about something sad or unpleasant. It doesn't rhyme.

Cloudland

I'm doing a course on how to write stories for children. I still don't have a clear plot idea for my next project, but I'll keep on thinking.
Usually, I start writing without much previous planning, but in the course they say that's a big mistake.
Today I've written the bones of a possible story. There goes:

Chapter 1
First sentence: It had happened again.
A school bully, Tom, makes fun of Will and calls him fat. Funny thing is the bully is twice his size.

Chapter 2
Will doesn’t want to go back home and confide in his Mum so he goes to the park. There he sees a group of clouds that touch the ground. He walks towards them and finds a tunnel.

Chapter 3
He walks down the tunnel and finds an old man with a white beard who asks him what his number one wish would be. Will says he’d like to be thin.

Chapter 4
The man grants his wish. He tells him he’ll only stay thin as long as he is in Cloudland. Will says he’ll stay forever, but then he realizes his Mum must be worried and goes back home. The man tells him he can return whenever he wants.

Chapter 5
When he gets back home, his Mum is awfully worried. She tells him she was about to call the police. Hugs him and tells him she loves him.

Chapter 6
Two days later, the bully starts taunting Will in the playground again. He also makes fun of his friend, Sue, who has Asperger’s. They get into a fight and are taken into the principal’s office.

Chapter 7
Will goes to the tunnel again. He asks the man why he can’t stay thin forever. The man says he has to learn to earn his wishes. Will doesn’t understand what he means.

Chapter 8
Will’s Mum and Dad confront him. The principal had called them and told them everything. They tell him he’s not fat, just plump. They say he’ll grow out of it. His Mum hugs him and says he’s the handsomest little guy in the world. Will thinks of telling her about the tunnel but decides not to. She would not believe him.

Chapter 9
The bully doesn’t say anything for a few days. He’s afraid of getting detention again. But a week later he follows Will and Sue when they go to the park and starts calling them names. Will takes Sue by the hand and they both disappear into the tunnel. The bully tries to follow them but can’t.

Chapter 10
The man with the white beard asks Sue what her wish would be. She says she would love to be like the other children. Her Asperger’s disappears. Will doesn’t say anything but he realizes he prefers the real Sue.

Chapter 11
Will’s English teacher tells the children to write about their lives for their next class. When it is Tom’s turn to read his story aloud, he refuses, but the teacher insists. Will finds out Tom’s father died when he was little. His mother has to work long hours and he’s always home alone. He feels sorry for him.

Chapter 12
In the playground, Tom calls Will fat again. Will has had enough. No matter what his life is like, Tom doesn’t have the right to insult other people. He tells him he’s a lot fatter himself, which he had never dared to say before. Tom is dumbstruck. He goes away.

Chapter 13
Will goes to Cloudland one last time and tells the man he has finally accepted his weight. He’s happy the way he is. He says his Mum has told him his Dad used to be chubby too and now is very thin. Before he leaves the man tells him to exercise more and use his PlayStation less often. Will smiles. When hell freezes over, he thinks.



Friday, January 27, 2017

Dance In Glee. A villanelle. Be gentle, it's the first one I write.

Say you will always love me.
Stay forever by my side.
Together we can dance in glee.

We will the world flee,
Into the horizon we’ll ride.
Say you will always love me.

I’ll meet you under the willow tree
And I will become your bride.
Together we can dance in glee.

Please do listen to my plea.
From me do not hide.
Say you will always love me.

Shall we steal the church key?
The priest is waiting inside.
Together we can dance in glee.

Let’s celebrate by the sea.
In a lighthouse we’ll abide.
Say you will always love me.
Together we can dance in glee.


A 19-line poem of fixed form consisting of five tercets and a final quatrain on two rhymes, with the first and third lines of the first tercet repeated alternately as a refrain closing the succeeding stanzas and joined as the final couplet of the quatrain.



Sir Anthony Hopkins Reads Dylan Thomas

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Three Tips For Writing A Children's Book That Kids Will Love To Read

The Sea

The waves hit 
The shore.
The sea
Swishes to and fro.
The breeze
Dances through my hair.
The sand hides 
Between my toes.
I like 
Walking 
On the beach.
Sometimes
Fast.
Sometimes 
Slow.
I like 
Watching
The setting sun
While I think
Of distant lands.
I love 
Poems 
Of the coast
Where the reader
Tastes the salt.




Loss. A tyburn

Sadder,
Darker,
Poorer,
Duller,
Death made him a darker, sadder man.
He became a poorer, duller man.




Tyburn
A six line poem consisting of 2, 2, 2, 2, 9, 9 syllables.
The first four lines rhyme and are all descriptive words. The last two lines rhyme and incorporate the first, second, third, and fourth lines as the 5th through 8th syllables.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Miss Schueler. A limerick...sort of.

There was a teacher who had a ruler.
And her name was Miss Schueler.
She hated children,
She was quite a villain.
She drowned a kid in the water cooler!




Who is the narrator?

I’ve been watching her all day and I haven’t got a clue why she’s doing what she’s doing. But I love her and I want to be by her side no matter what.

She got up and instead of getting ready to go out as she usually does, she put on her slippers and her dressing gown.

She’s been sitting in front of a big book for hours underlining words with a big yellow pen. From time to time, she yawns.

‘This is so boring,’ she says.

I wonder what is boring. Staying at home? I like it. Sitting down? I like it too…

She just patted my head distractedly, without even looking at me. Does that mean she doesn’t love me anymore?

I hope things will be different tomorrow… I want life to go back to normal, with her moving around the house doing different things.

Great! Her boyfriend has just arrived. When he’s here she pays even less attention to me. I’m so jealous of that guy. If I could, I would… Well, I’m not going to say it, but it involves biting. 

‘How are you?’ he asks her.

‘Nervous,’ she answers. ‘I just want it to be over.’

I wonder what they are talking about. And then I find out.

‘I hate exams,’ she adds. ‘And this driving test is the worst. Why do I have to have two exams on the same day? I’ll have to rush after the university exam to do the driving thing. How very horrid!’

When the exams are over she’ll love me again.

And then the miracle I’ve been expecting happens.

‘Come here, my little girl,’ she tells me. She places me on her lap and kisses my head. I’m so happy I could stay here forever.