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! 🙂

68 thoughts on “Whistle A Happy Tune

  1. Cecilia Clark says:

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

  2. Shannon Marie Marrs says:

    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 🙂

  3. Zainab says:


    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.

  4. Mishka Jaeger says:

    And I've posted… something. LOL It's called, “Sometimes, a Pigeon”
    Thanks for the nudge! 🙂 And Thanks for the forum!

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