2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Week #7!

Can you believe it?

We’ve arrived at Week #7!

The last week of the 2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge!

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini is a 7 week writing challenge for anyone who needs a little boost, a little inspiration, or a little encouragement to get writing. . . or maybe just a little fun!

You get to write your own story, enjoy and be entertained by everyone else’s stories, and get yourself in the running for some awesome prizes (please see the end of the blog post for a list of all the prize goodies which continues to grow!)

To be eligible for the prize drawing you must enter all 7 weeks.

For a full description of the challenge, to read the Week #1 entries, or to add your Week #1 entry, please go HERE (Week #1)

To read the Week #2 entries or add your Week #2 entry, please go HERE (Week #2)

To read the Week #3 entries or add your Week #3 entry, please go HERE (Week #3)

To read the Week #4 entries or add your Week #4 entry, please go HERE (Week #4)

To read the Week #5 entries or add your Week #5 entry, please go HERE (Week #5)

To read the Week #6 entries of add your Week #6 entry, please go HERE (Week #6)

Before we get to today’s challenge, one little housekeeping detail:

If you want to qualify for the prize drawing, you must have completed an entry for each of the 7 weeks and posted them on the appropriate week’s post by Saturday June 26th at midnight Eastern time in order to qualify, so that I can post the winners on Monday June 28th! So take note of that deadline – all 7 completed and posted by Saturday June 26th at midnight!

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #7 for Week of June 21:

So far we’ve played with character needs/goals, writing a cumulative story, a picture prompt with random words and a secret, turning songs into stories with themes, concept stories in particular settings, and relationships and emotions between characters! 😊 This week, since it’s the last week, it seems fitting that we do something with endings.

But not just anything. . . 😊

Endings do not exist in a vacuum. In order for endings to feel satisfying – make readers, laugh, cry, gasp with amazed delight, or sigh with satisfaction – the ending must feel connected to the beginning.

So. This week, choose a beginning from Column A and an ending from Column B and write a 100 word story for kids that fits between them using a tidbit of onomatopoeia from Column C if you want to (just for fun 😊).

Column A – BeginningsColumn B – EndingsColumn C – Onomatopoeia (optional)
Once upon a time…And that is why she/he tucked it very carefully into her/his pocket.splish, splash, sploosh
When [Character Name] woke up, a thunderstorm was brewing.  “OH, NO!” (or, “HURRAY!”)Then he/she snuggled close and whispered with a smile, “I love you more than marshmallows.”kackata-kack-krack-POP!
It all began when the mermaid’s tail got caught on the handle of [Character Name]’s umbrella.Never let an alligator get in the way of your plans!plink-plank-plunk
She/he wasn’t always a bad piggy.So he/she/they rushed back out of the woods shout-singing Ain’t No Bugs On Us until he/she/they was/were really, truly, sure it was true!slurrrp
There was a sloth who lived all alone.[Character Name] knew summer was here at last!buzzz bzzz-bzzz
[Character Name] was all ready for the beach!Aunt Ruby was right.  It had been a better day!splop
We’re finally on our way! We’re having the best time ever! Until…Inch by inch, step by step, they made it all the way to the tippy top.chirp
Holly, Molly, Ollie, Wally, and Little Boo packed a picnic and set out in search of adventure.And so he/she/they did.bee-beep
On the Fourth of July, Max went into hiding.And they lived happily ever after.murmur
[Character Name] had a problem with watermelon.Shushshush, the waves whispered. Shushshush.hissss

  • Stories can rhyme or not – totally up to you.
  • You can go under or over 100 words if you want to – also totally up to you! – 100 is just a guideline.
  • If you’re deeply inspired by a beginning or ending or some onomatopoeia that isn’t here, go for it! – the purpose here is inspiration and to get you writing! Please just tell us what you’re using at the top of your entry.
  • For simplicity’s sake (and to aid skimming readers who might be interested in a particular thing) please say which column items you’re using at the top of your entry along with your name, title, and word count.
  • I have been so enjoying reading all your amazing stories every week – so many different, creative, delightful, entertaining stories! – that I’m sad this is the last hurrah for this year!

    So come join the fun! Get some writing done! Encourage your kids (or students) to give it a try! Or just have a good time together reading what other folks have written!

    Ready, set, WRITE! 😊

    (And remember, for full details on the 7 week challenge you can check HERE)

    Check Out The Week #7 Stories:

    Beach Baby – Bru Benson

    The Worm’s Halloween Adventure – Marty Findley

    Perfect Piggy – Robin Currie

    Watermelon Woes – Rose Cappelli

    Beach Bound – Sue Lancaster

    The Unexpected Ride – Dawn Young

    Sloth Finds A Friend – Jen Subra

    The Fairy And The Thunderstorm – Erin Cleary

    Will Summer Begin? – Erika Romero

    Max And The Fireworks – Sara Kruger

    Melodia’s “Mis” Adventure – Susan E. Schipper

    Untitled – Lauren Scott

    Max And The Alligator – Marta Cutler

    Duck’s Creek – Bevin Rolfs Spencer

    Sam’s Trouble With Watermelon – Lyn Jekowsky

    Game, Game, Go Away! – Hannah Roy LaGrone

    Watermelon Delight – Jeannette Suhr

    The Fear Of Fireworks – Amy Leskowski

    Merchant Pips – Elenore Byrne

    The Very Slow Sloth – Isabel Cruz Rodriguez

    Sloth And The sUAS (Small Unmanned Aircraft System) – Laura Bower

    Why Piggies Have Curly Tails – Jill Lambert

    Dorothy’s Umbrella – Brenna Jeanneret

    Beach Adventure – Ashley Sierra

    Sloth And Bee – Linda Schueler

    Maddy Wants More, More, More – Sarah Meade

    Climbing Up – Marty Findley

    This Little Piggy – Marty Bellis

    Sloth And The Bees In The Tree – Barbara Renner

    Munch Goes The Pirate – Aly Kenna

    Marianna And The Mermaid – Sally Yorke-Viney

    Undersea Soiree – Nicole Loos Miller

    Ella’s Wild Ride – Michelle S. Kennedy

    A S’more By The Fire – Allison Strick

    The Ant Raid – Deb Sullivan

    A Wagonful Of Trouble – Susan Summers

    A Nap And A Watermelon Field – Jana Mattern

    Rules For A Pig-Perfect Life – Joyce Uglow

    Wanted: ESPR – Colleen Own Murphy

    Not So Bad After All – Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf

    Watermelon Problem – Mia Geiger

    A. Sloth Or Not A. Sloth – Katie Schwartz

    Saltwater Kisses – JC Kelly

    Where There’s A Skate There’s A Way – Sarah Hawklyn

    The Prince And His Alligator – Deb Buschman

    The Lonely Sloth – Ashley B. Pedigo

    Untitled – Lauri Meyers

    Tilly’s Mermaid – Dianne Irving

    Untitled – Padgy Soltis

    PRIZES & PRIZES OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES!

    When it comes time for prizes, names of all those who complete the challenge will be drawn randomly and matched with prizes drawn randomly until we run out! 😊

    Please join me in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazone, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, suggesting them for school visits, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

    ⭐️ Picture Book Critique from Penny Parker Klostermann, the lovely and talented author of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT (Random House 2015) and A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE (Random House 2017)

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    ⭐️ 30 Minute Q&A with Penny Klostermann

    ⭐️ Picture Book MS Critique OR Query Letter Critique (Winner’s Choice) from Jennifer Buchet, debut author of LITTLE MEDUSA’S HAIR DO-LEMMA (Clear Fork/Spork May 11, 2021)

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    ⭐️ Picture Book MS Critique from Jen Raudenbush, agented writer of picture books, middle grade, and poetry. (Represented by Natascha Morris of The Tobias Literary Agency)

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    Jen Raudenbush

    ⭐️ Picture Book MS Critique OR Query Letter Critique (Winner’s Choice) from the lovely and talented Sara Kruger!

    Sara Kruger

    ⭐️ 30 minute Zoom chat about anything industry related (manuscript, query letter, best practices for querying) with Becky Scharnhorst, amazing author of MY SCHOOL STINKS (Philomel Books, July 6, 2021)

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    ⭐️Picture Book Manuscript Critique with Audio Recording by author and poet Sarah Meade Sarah will do a written critique of your manuscript and include an audio recording of her first read-through of the manuscript. The audio recording is to help the author hear how the story flows and/or where a new reader may stumble when reading aloud.

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    ⭐️ Webinar: How To Write Powerful First Pages Like A Pro by author and editor Alayne Kay Christian

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    ⭐️ A copy of Mary Kole’s Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Writers, donated by Nicole Loos Miller

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    ⭐️ A personalized signed copy of SASSAFRAS AND HER TEENY TINY TAIL (MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 2021) by Candice Marley Conner
    

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    ⭐️ Making Picture Book Magic Self Study Class (any month)

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    ⭐️A copy of A FLOOD OF KINDNESS by Ellen Leventhal

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    ⭐️A copy of MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe by Vivian Kirkfield

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    ⭐️A copy of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT by Penny Parker Klostermann

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    ⭐️A copy of SLOTH AND SQUIRREL IN A PICKLE by Cathy Ballou Mealey

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    ⭐️A copy of BINDU’S BINDIS by Supriya Kelkar

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    ⭐️A copy of PHOEBE DUPREE IS COMING TO TEA! by Linda Ashman

    ⭐️ Magnetic Poetry – Little Box of Happiness

    Magnetic Poetry - Little Box of Happiness Kit - Words for Refrigerator - Write Poems and Letters on The Fridge - Made in The USA

    ⭐️Picture Book Writers Rock! Mug for the writing fuel of your choice! 😊

    ⭐️Writing Journal (with a side of prompts 😊)

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    328 thoughts on “2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Week #7!

    1. readmybook2002 says:

      Please enter this story for week 7 challenge. Thank You.

      Column A: Beginnings-(Character Name) was all ready for the beach!
      Column B: Endings- Shushhush, the waves whispered. Shushshush.
      Column C: Onomatopoeia- Splish, splash, sploosh
      Words: 102

      BEACH BABY
      Bru Benson

      Hannah was all ready for the beach.
      A shovel, a pail, and a flowered hat was all she needed
      to go splish, splash, sploosh in the water.
      Her mother brought Ashley, Hannah’s baby sister.
      Hannah loved wading in the water,
      Ashley did not.
      Hannah loved the sand.
      Ashley did not. She cried most of the time.
      Hannah put a blanket over the sand and put Ashley down for her nap.
      She put her hat on Ashley so the sun wouldn’t shine in her eyes.
      “Listen, the water is talking to you.”
      Ashley listened. Soon she fell asleep.
      Shushshush, the waves whispered. Shushshush.

    2. martyfindley says:

      The Worms’ Halloween Adventure
      By: Marty Findley
      WC: 129
      A-Beginning: Holly, Molly, Ollie, Wally and Little Boo set out in search of adventure
      B-Ending: The Worms knew Halloween was here at last!
      C-Onomatopoeia:Slurrrp!

      Holly, Molly, Ollie, Wally and Little Boo grabbed their trick-or-treat bags and set out in search of adventure. They were looking for the scariest creature ever!

      The first door was answered by a cute little girl in a princess costume. “That was definitely NOT scary…” said Holly as they headed for the next house.

      There they were met by a pirate. “Not scary…but better.” said Molly.

      At the third house they encountered a pumpkin costume. “Really?” said Ollie. “Where’s the adventure?” remarked Wally.

      Finally they came to the last house on the street. Knock, knock, knock. The door creaked open revealing a giant bird. “OOOOOOOOH, S-S-S-SCARY, ” whispered Little Boo.

      “Finally,” shouted the Worms! “A costume worthy of an adventure!” The Worms knew Halloween was here at last!

      SLURRRP!!!

    3. Robin Currie says:

      A -Bad piggy,
      B – Alligator,
      C – Gulp
      Robin Currie
      156 words

      Perfect Piggie

      Peggy wasn’t always a bad piggy. But on her sister Porkchop’s wedding day, Peggy promised to be perfect.
      And she was…until a fly landed on the cake table.
      She grabbed a napkin ring to finish the fly, but a frog hopped up and… gulp.
      Now there was a frog on the cake table.
      She grabbed a goblet to finish the frog, but a lizard leaped up and …. slurp.
      Now there was a lizard on the cake table.
      She grabbed a tray of sandwiches to eliminate the lizard, but an alligator leapt up and … grunk.
      Now there was an alligator under the cake table.
      She grabbed the wedding cake to annihilate the alligator, when Porkchop called, “Here Allie!” Oops! Porkchop’s pet alligator!
      Porkchop pranced in. “Peggy, you found Allie and guarded the cake table! What a Perfect Piggy!”
      Peggy smiled sweetly and said, “Well, never let an alligator get in the way of your plans!”

    4. rosecappelli says:

      Thanks, Susanna for the fun prompts and to all the authors who donated prizes. Loved putting on my thinking cap for a little creativity every Monday!

      Watermelon Woes (110 words)
      by Rose Cappelli
      A: [Character Name] had a problem with watermelon.
      B: And that is why she/he tucked it very carefully into her/his pocket.

      Skippy Squirrel had a problem with watermelon. To get to the sweetest nuts, he had to scurry through the watermelon patch past Grover, the fiercest guard dog ever! Skippy was fast, but Grover was faster. Skippy was quiet, but Grover always woke up.
      Today Skippy had a secret weapon. With his rope tied tightly to the limb of the apple tree, he swung back and forth, higher and higher, until…SPLAT! Skippy landed on the largest watermelon, spilling out all its juicy goodness.
      SLURRP! Grover settled into a delectable feast.
      Skippy never had a problem with watermelon again. But he always tucked a piece of rope in his pocket…just in case.

    5. Sue Lancaster says:

      Thank you Susanna for a fun 7 weeks. I shall miss the weekly prompts next Monday!

      Here’s my final entry:
      Beginning – All ready for the beach.
      Ending – Alligator
      Onomatopoeia – Hisssss and Splish, Splash Splooosh

      BEACH BOUND

      Ava was all ready for the beach.
      “Bucket – check.
      Spade – check.
      Swim suit – check.
      Towel – check.
      Blow-up alligator – ch…”

      HISSSSSSSSS.

      “Mum, my alligator’s hissing at me!”
      “It’s punctured,” said Mum. “We’ll have to leave it behind.”
      “Noooo… Mum, I can’t go in the sea without my inflatable,” sobbed Ava.
      “Do you want to go to the beach or not?” asked Mum, impatiently.
      Ava crossed her arms. “I do, but not without my alligator.”
      “Suit yourself,” said Mum, getting in the car. “Me and your brother are going anyway.”
      Ava huffed
      and puffed
      and stomped her feet,
      but eventually…
      “OK, fine… see you later, alligator,” she sighed, joining her brother in the back.

      The moment Ava arrived at the beach, she bounded into the waves.

      SPLISH,
      SPLASH,
      SPLOOOOOOOOSH!

      “This is so much fun!” squealed Ava.
      “I knew it,” said Mum. “See, you should never let an alligator get in the way of your plans!”

    6. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      POSTED FOR DAWN

      #7
      · Holly, Molly, Ollie, Wally, and Little Boo packed a picnic and set out in search of adventure.
      · Inch by inch, slither by slither they made it to the tippy top!
      · hisssss

      THE UNEXPECTED RIDE by Dawn Young

      Holly, Molly, Ollie, Wally, and Little Boo packed a picnic and set out in search of adventure.

      “Where shall we go?” asked Wally.”

      “Let’s hike to the top of the hill that Grandpa loved,” suggested Holly.

      The five little ants set out on their journey.

      Crawling along, Little Boo heard a hissssss. “What’s that?” he pointed to a snake slithering across their path. “Maybe he wants to join us.”

      Joining the group Snappy Snake said, “Climb aboard!”

      The five ants settled comfortably on Snappy’s back. Inch by inch, slither by slither they made it to the tippy top!

    7. jensubra says:

      Thanks, Susanna, for “forcing” me to write every Monday! This was a great challenge and really gave my week a writing jumpstart. I appreciate all you do for pre-published writers!

      SLOTH FINDS A FRIEND
      A-There was a sloth who lived all alone
      B–And lived happily every after
      C–buzz, buzz/chirp, chirp
      Jen Subra
      WC: 168

      There once was a sloth
      who lived all alone.
      Way up in a tree
      in the leafy unknown.
      He tried to make friends
      with a bee–buzz, buzz!
      But the bee buzzed off
      simply because–
      “Who’s got time for a sloth
      up in a tree?”
      The bee hurried off!
      “Nope, that isn’t for me!”
      The sloth softly slumped
      way out on a branch
      hoping to chat with
      a bird just by chance.
      Chirp! Chirp! Sang a bird
      and swayed in the breeze.
      The poor sloth was hopeful
      but then came a sneeze–
      Ah-choo! Off she flew
      with a squawk and a caw.
      And that is the last
      of the bird that he saw.
      Then over his head
      a sad hissing he heard.
      It wasn’t a bee.
      It wasn’t a bird.
      “A friend’s a hard thing
      to find in a tree,”
      snake whispered to sloth
      who just had to agree.
      The two of them started
      a friendship that day
      And lived happily after,
      I’m quite pleased to say.

    8. Erin Cleary (ClearyWriter) says:

      What a fun seven weeks! Thank you, Susanna, for all the inspiration and to all the donors of great prizes!

      Erin Cleary
      The Fairy and the Thunderstorm
      235 words
      Inspiration: A few from the columns…can you spot them all? 😊

      When Astrid woke up, a thunderstorm was brewing.
      “OH, NO!” she cried.
      She checked her pocket.
      Empty!
      “How did it get loose?”
      The fairy picnic was today. Astrid had one job: hold onto the stormball until after the picnic.
      “One job, Astrid. ONE JOB!” she scolded herself.
      She set off to find the stormball before it burst.
      “If I were a thunderstorm, where would I hide?”
      There it was, hovering over the pond. It looked ready to pop.
      She swooped in to grab it when, splish, splash, sploosh!
      An alligator snapped up from the water.
      Astrid dodged,
      she zipped,
      she swivveled,
      she caught the stormball!
      “Never let an alligator get in the way of your plans!” she cried.
      (But that was not the end!)
      The stormball slipped from her grip and whizzed across the pond and up the hill.
      Inch by inch, step by step, Astrid made it all the way to the tippy top of the hill.
      (But that was still not the end!)
      Plink-plank-plunk
      The stormball bounced down the other side.
      It landed in a patch of soft, squishy mushrooms.
      She had to keep the stormball safe. And that is why she tucked it very carefully into her pocket.
      (And that was ALMOST the end.)
      “One job, Astrid. Let’s do this!” She crossed the field.
      With the sight of the picnic, Astid knew summer was here at last!
      (And THAT is the end!)

    9. Erika says:

      Will Summer Begin?
      By Erika Romero

      When Alice woke up, a thunderstorm was brewing. 

      “OH, NO!”

      Alice curled up under her favorite blanket and hid a quiet sniff behind her hands.

      “What are we going to do?”

      Today was the first day of summer. James, her best friend, was expecting Alice to help him built their secret tree house.

      All the wood was ready. All the tools were laid out. But now, it looked like the clouds were getting ready to cry. They were already stomping their feet in anger.

      Alice pressed the blue button on her clock.

      Bee-beep.

      6 AM.

      “Maybe the clouds don’t like being awake so early? Just like mama doesn’t like me waking her up before 8 AM.”

      Alice, nose scrunched and forehead wrinkled, made a difficult choice.

      “I’ll stay really quiet. I’ll draw ideas for decorating the tree house. And read another chapter of Tree House Secrets.”

      She got to work. So many ideas!

      She opened her book. Three chapters read.

      Alice was so distracted, she didn’t think to look out her window even once.

      “Sweetheart,” Alice’s mama called from down the stairs. “Are you awake?”

      Alice looked up in surprise. She turned on her clock again.

      Bee-beep.

      8:03 AM.

      She looked out her window.

      Not a cloud in the sky!

      “I did it!” Alice cheered.

      She knew summer was here at last!

    10. savoringeverymoment says:

      Max and the Fireworks
      by Sara Kruger
      word count: 120

      On the 4th of July, Max went into hiding
      He snuggled close and whispered with a smile, I love you more than Marshmallows
      kacketa-kack-krack-pop

      On the 4th of July, Max went into hiding. He had heard the kacketa-kack-krack-pop and remembered from last year (an elephant never forgets). The colors were pretty, but the sounds were terrifying. So, clutching his favorite cuddle stuffie, Marshmallows, he squeezed himself under his mama, but she pushed him out, kicking a tire after him. “Go play, Max!” And Uncle Jim sprayed him with water until he trumpeted in frustration and scrambled off, whipping up a cloud of dust in his wake. He sought refuge with Aunt Gem next, who welcomed him. Her body muted the repeated kacketa-kack-krack pop, which sounded like a lullaby when he snuggled close, and he whispered with a smile, “I love you more than Marshmallows.”

    11. seschipper says:

      Before posting Week 7’s Mini Writing Challenge, I want to thank you, Susanna for providing this opportunity once again to hone our writing skills! This has been a great experience both writing our stories and reading everyone’s tales as well! Thank you to all of the generous prize donors!

      Week 7

      A – It all began when the mermaid’s tail got caught in the handle of Poppin’s Umbrella
      B – And so they did
      C – Kackatakack-krack-POP
      WC – 136

      Melodia’s “Mis”adventure

      By Susan Schipper

      It all began when Melodia’s tail got caught on the handle of Poppin’s umbrella. Melodia was swimming about the lagoon, softly singing her melodious songs! Suddenly, she felt herself being tugged in the opposite direction! She turned in time to see a strange lady with an umbrella that was now caught on her tail! “Whoa”! What are you doing Melodia asked as she was being pulled along the lagoon? “I’m Poppins and I think I misjudged my landing”! However, I can fix this problem with just a spoonful of sugar! Poppins took the sugar and sprinkled it on Melodia’s tail…kackata-kack-krack-POP! In an instant Melodia’s tail was free from the handle of the umbrella. Melodia, amazed by Poppins, asked if she would care to spend some time floating in the lagoon with her. And so they did!

    12. Lauren Scott - Children's Author (@SpeechieAuthor) says:

      Week 7
      Lauren Scott
      WC 108
      A – There was a sloth who lived all alone.
      B – Inch by inch, step by step, they made it all the way to the tippy top.

      Rustle, crackle, crunch

      There was a sloth who lived all alone.
      Not by choice.
      He hung on the only branch of the only tree at the bottom of the rainforest range and listened to the other jungle animals having the times of their lives.

      buzz buzz buzz
      SQUAARRRKKKK
      Hisssssss

      Sigh!

      He was just too slow.
      He could never make it.
      Especially not alone.

      Rustle, crackle, crunch

      Hedgehog was snuffling his way through the undergrowth.

      “Going…. up…..?” Sloth asked.
      “Going up.” Hedgehog replied.

      Blink. Blink. Blink.

      “Coming?” Hedgehog asked

      Blink. Blink. Blink.

      “Coming!” Sloth mustered.

      Inch by inch, step by step, they made it all the way to the tippy top.

    13. Marta Cutler says:

      Susanna, THANK YOU for these wonderful challenges. I’ve loved them! But what will we do next Monday???!!!

      Max and the Alligator
      By Marta Cutler
      (On the Fourth of July, Max went into hiding / Never let an alligator get in the way of your plans / SLURRP)
      (145 words)

      On the Fourth of July, Max went into hiding.
      It was the PERFECT spot.
      Except for the alligator.
      “What are you doing here?” asked Max.
      “Hiding.” said the alligator. “What are you doing here?”
      “Hiding.” said Max.
      “Hiding buddies!” said the alligator. “What fun!”
      Max wasn’t so sure. His tail stuck out one side. His nose stuck out the other.
      He wasn’t exactly good hiding material.
      “Who are we hiding from?” asked the alligator.
      “My sister,” said Max. “I stole her lollipop.”
      “Ooooo…is that Super Sour Strawberry?” asked the alligator.
      He licked his very big teeth with his very big tongue
      Max decided he didn’t need the lollipop.
      “SLURRP!” said the alligator loudly. “SLURRP! SLURRP!”
      “Gotcha!” yelled Max’s sister.
      The alligator finished the lollipop. Then he finished Max’s sister.
      The moral of the story: never let an alligator get in the way of your plans.

      • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

        I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the challenge, Marta! You’ve certainly gone above and beyond with extra stories! And next Monday? Well… if you’re lucky you’ll get a prize 😊 Love your story! I love how the alligator asks who they’re hiding from, even though he said he was hiding too 😊 And I laughed out loud when “Max decided he didn’t need the lollipop” and when “the alligator finished the lollipop then finished Max’s sister” 🤣 So fun!

        • Marta Cutler says:

          Hi Susanna! I got an LOL? That’s reward enough! 🙂 Honestly, it’s been so fun and stimulating. I’m pretty sure my little grey folder with story ideas has just doubled! Thank you SO much!

    14. Bevin Rolfs Spencer says:

      DUCK’S CREEK
      By, Bevin Rolfs Spencer
      -When [Character Name] woke up, a thunderstorm was brewing. “OH, NO!” (or, “HURRAY!”)
      -And so he/she/they did.
      -Several Onomatopoeia
      Warning! This went well past 100 words, more like 500. (hope it’s okay to put it all in) It just came out that way! Thanks for this great challenge, it pushed me to do different things.

      When Duck woke up a thunderstorm was brewing. “Hooray!” Duck said. She loved storms on the creek. Duck nestled into her nest under the willows to watch.
      Plink-plank-plunk! Raindrops danced on top of the creek water. Storm sounds hummed around her, like the buzz-bzzz-bzzzz of bees. And all was good and right in the creekdom.
      Until…
      Raccoon arrived. Seeking shelter from the storm, Raccoon burrowed in close to duck, bumping Duck in her nest.
      “Thanks for inviting me in,” said Raccoon.
      “I didn’t,” grumbled Duck.
      Duck and Raccoon watched the storm.
      Until…
      Coyote arrived. Mangy and wet, he nuzzled in between Duck and Raccoon, toppling Duck and her nest.
      “You’re kind to let me in,” Coyote yipped.
      “I didn’t,” grumped Duck.
      The three hunkered down. Lightning lit the sky. Thunder went kackata-kack-krack-POP!
      Until…
      Frightened, a family of frogs burst in. A bull snake slithered over, coiling around the willow trunks. Insects hovered under leaves. And the CREEK WAS CROWDED!
      “Thanks for sharing your spot with us,” the new arrivals said.
      “I didn’t,” quacked Duck.
      Soon, the rain stopped, and sunshine blanketed the creek.
      “This is such a lovely spot,” sighed Raccoon. “I think I’ll stay.”
      “Me too,” said Coyote.
      “Me three,” said Snake.
      “Us four,” said the frogs.
      And the insects chirped and hummed in agreement.
      Duck looked at her uninvited guests and all was bad and wrong in the creekdom.
      “This is MY creek!” Duck sputtered.
      “I’m sure we can work it out,” said Raccoon.
      Duck looked around. Her creek was overrun. “I don’t want to.” And she flew away, in search of greener pastures.
      Duck soon found a spot by a lake to nest.
      Too close to a road. Bee-Beep!
      She tried a park. Slurrrp! Too messy.
      Then Duck spotted a square of lovely blue water. It was mostly empty. Quiet. Perfect.
      She settled under a long, white bush. But the ground beneath was hard. She missed her cozy nest.
      In the morning, she went for a swim. She nodded to a swan, floating along. She said hello to a sturdy flamingo. They ignored her. And they’d eaten all the bugs, leaving none for Duck.
      “I miss the sounds of my creek and the plentiful worms to eat.” But she had the water to herself.
      Until…
      Splish! Splash! Sploosh!
      People!
      Jumping and laughing and swimming!
      The calm blue water rocked and rolled. It flipped Duck right out on her tailfeathers.
      She flapped and squawked. Her webbed feet went WHOMP-WHOMP!
      Until…
      A whistle blew. A finger pointed. SOUTHPARK POOL-NO DUCKS ALLOWED.
      “Ooof!” Said Duck. “I’ve had enough. I’m going home.”
      When she arrived at the creek, Raccoon, Coyote, Snake, the frogs and insects greeted her.
      “Welcome back,” they said.
      Snake pointed to the willows. “We fixed your nest.”
      Duck noticed Raccoon rested in the Cottonwood tree. Coyote burrowed beneath a Bush Morning Glory. Frogs croaked on lily pads. Insects floated in the summer sun. Everyone had a place.
      “Thanks for sharing with us,” they told Duck.
      Duck hung her head. “I didn’t. I didn’t want to share my creek at all.”
      She waddled to her nest. She let the creek sounds settle around her. And all felt good and right in the creekdom.
      “But I think I can work something out,” she told her new friends.
      And so she did.

    15. Lyn Robbins Jekowsky says:

      Thank you, Susanna, for your weekly inspirations. I eagerly looked forward to each Monday’s challenge.

      Sam’s Trouble with Watermelon
      By Lyn Jekowsky
      (wc 171, had a problem with watermelon, and so he did)

      Sam had a problem with watermelon. He was preoccupied by this juicy fruit that had enchanted him since he poked his fingers in the spongy sweetness as a toddler. He begged his mom for watermelon at every meal and snack time. SLURP His pajamas and tee-shirts were decorated with watermelons. He had watermelon sheets and watermelon pillows. When he went grocery shopping with Mom, he trotted around the store carrying mini watermelons.

      Sam’s problem with watermelon was that he could not cut through the thick green rind by himself to get to the pink, yummy fruit. So, his mom sliced it into pink triangles. Sticky juice dribbled over the table. SLURP

      Sam had another problem with watermelon. The black slippery seeds interfered with his full enjoyment of the sweet fruit. But, what fun to have a watermelon seed spitting contest, Pit-Too-Y. Sam always won this game.

      As Sam grew older his parents encouraged him to spread his enthusiasm for watermelon to other areas of his life that interested him. And so he did.

    16. Hannah Roy LaGrone says:

      Susanna, thank you so much for the inspiration of this challenge. I’m pretty new in the kidlit writing world, and my first child was actually born 5/30!!! (In between challenge weeks 3 and 4, I think?) But this bite-size challenge with the perfect mix of prompt choices gave me the perfect way to keep up my writing habit…totally manageable during a newborn’s nap (like right now)! A couple of entries will hopefully become PB drafts when I have more time…someday. 🙂 Thanks to all prize donors as well!

      A: When Sam woke up, a thunderstorm was brewing. “Hooray!”
      B: And so they did.
      C: Kackata-kack-krack-POP!

      Game, Game, Go Away!
      by Hannah Roy LaGrone
      WC: 120

      When Sam woke up, a thunderstorm was brewing. “Hooray!”
      He was very nervous to play goalkeeper in that afternoon’s soccer game.

      Sam’s twin sister Lyla scowled. “Rain, rain, GO AWAY!”
      She was excited to shoot and score!

      Rain fell all morning, but the sun came out at noon.
      “Oh great!” Sam moaned.
      Lyla grinned, sprinting out to practice shooting at the backyard goal.

      But then, Sam decided to join her. “Might as well,” he thought.
      He blocked three of her shots.
      “Nice work, Sam!” Lyla cheered.

      They practiced all afternoon.
      “Hey, I think I’m ready now. Thanks, Lyla!”

      Kackata-kack-krack-POP!
      Thunder?!
      “Oh no! Well….. guess I’ll be ready next time.”
      “Let’s go inside and grab some snacks.”

      And so they did.

      • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

        Congratulations on your new little one, Hannah! So exciting! And good for you keeping up with the challenge with a newborn! You’re a better woman than me – I don’t think I could have managed it! I’ve enjoyed reading all your stories, and I’m glad if you’ve gotten some PB ideas out of the prompts. Love this story – I’m sure a lot of kids can so relate to that feeling of simultaneous anticipation and dread where if something that comes along to get in the way it is actually a relief – an excuse not to have to do something you were worried about. But I’m glad Sam practiced with Lyla to the point where he felt he could do it!

      • Laura Jensen Bower says:

        Congratulations on your baby Hannah! Love the sibling teamwork and practice session so he is ready for next time!

    17. Jeannette Suhr says:

      Watermelon Delight
      Had a problem with watermelon & knew summer was here at last & onomatopoeia
      Jeannette Suhr w/c – 113

      I have a problem with watermelon.
      I like to eat it all the time.

      I breathe in its aroma. SNIFF
      I delight in the crunch of my first bite. CHOMP
      I spit a pile of pits. SPLOP
      I savor its sweetness. SLURRRP

      I freeze watermelon popsicles.
      I toss watermelon salad.
      I make watermelon smoothies.
      I have watermelon seeds growing out of my ears.

      Now that it’s Fall, I have to hoard it.
      I ask neighbors to give me their extras.
      I order truckloads from other states.
      I can never have enough!

      Fall changes to Winter and then Spring.
      Farmers are planting fields and sprouts are turning to seedlings.
      Summer was here at last.

    18. Amy Leskowski says:

      The Fear of Fireworks
      By Amy Leskowski
      On the Fourth of July, Max went into hiding / And so he did / hissss
      200 words

      On the Fourth of July, Max went into hiding. He knew the routine, and he didn’t want ANY part of it.

      Sparky, Snap, and Poppy, on the other hand, were bursting with excitement. “Max!” they called. “Max! It’s the best day of the year!”
      “C’mon!”
      “We finally get to FLY!”

      But Max didn’t want to fly. He didn’t want to shoot or glide, hissss or whistle. He fumed at the thought.

      “Where’s my little firecracker?” his mom hollered.

      Max buried himself deeper and deeper into his hiding spot. He didn’t want to make a scene, and he definitely didn’t want to be forced into participating.

      The music in the distance got louder, faster. Night grew darker.

      “I’ll wait here till the show’s over,” Max thought. “That’ll be way better than being zoomed into the sky! No thank you!”

      A familiar smell wafted past. An unfamiliar warmth covered his tush—no, a heat! Hot! Hot!

      Max’s screams turned to squeals as he darted upward and danced around before drifting downward.

      His hiding spot hadn’t been so great after all—apparently the launching barge for the most daring of fireworks to make the grandest of finale displays. And so he did.

    19. Elenore Byrne says:

      Merchant Pips

      Thanks so much Susanna. This has been great fun. Your prompts have led me to write about things I would never have dreamed of in a zillion years. I’ve also really enjoyed reading through everyone’s work – so many clever writers here. Happy holidays!

      Elenore Byrne
      WC: 160
      Using: Had a problem with watermelon; And so he did

      Pete had a problem with watermelon pips,
      His shoulders would quiver when one touched his lips.
      He’d stamp up and down in a desperate fit
      and then Ptuh Ptuh Ptuh – them out in his spit.

      Down in the grasses the ants start to bail,
      they holler “quick scurry here comes the black hail!”
      They hide in their nests, Plop Plop Plop – hail falls
      on their fields now dotted with green stripy balls.

      Looking down on the grass Pete can see the patch too,
      “Those black little pips have grown fruit. Well who knew!
      I’ll dry them and sell them, export and supply it.
      They’ll all want to buy my pink fruit for their diet!”

      So now Pete loves pips, and he treats them like treasure,
      he dries them and packs them with pride and great pleasure.
      The ants slurp the pink, leave the pips for the kid.
      Then BOOM an idea “I’ll sell Ants,” and so he did.

    20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      POSTED FOR ISABEL

      2021 Mix ‘n’ Match – Week # 7
      THE VERY SLOW SLOTH
      by Isabel Cruz Rodriguez
      (WC: 74; There (once) was a sloth who lived all alone; splop; And so did he)

      There once was a sloth who lived all alone
      His family was faster than he
      He woke up from a nap
      Raised his head with a splop!
      And thought: “where could everyone be?”
      He searched high and low
      But he moved oh so slow
      His eyes from below couldn’t see
      That his family had moved
      An inch up above
      On the lonely sloth’s very same tree.
      ….and to join them again so did he!

    21. Laura Jensen Bower says:

      Thank you so much Susannah for seven great weeks of inspiration and fun! I looked forward to each new challenge!

      Sloth and the sUAS (Small Unmanned Aircraft System)
      By Laura Bower
      106 words
      A: There was a sloth who lived all alone
      B: And they lived happily ever after
      C: bee-bop, pink, plank, plunk

      There was a sloth who lived alone.
      So lonely, bored – she made a drone.
      She built a frame and fast-speed motor.
      A helicopter. One large rotor.
      She flew her drone ten times a day,
      until one day it flew away.
      Controller broken. Drone off course.
      Poor Sloth yelled “stop” ’til she was hoarse.
      The drone went bee-beep, plink plank plunk.
      It was in trouble – sink, sank sunk!
      Then from the water came a frog.
      With drone in hand, it hopped on log.
      They worked together, fixing drone.
      Then Sloth stopped feeling so alone.
      Instead of silence, there was laughter.
      They were happy – ever after.

    22. Jill Lambert says:

      Thank you to everyone involved in the Mix-n-Match contest–donors, participants, and especially Susanna! It has been an invigorating challenge and so inspiring to read all the creative entries!

      Why Piggies Have Curly Tails

      By Jill Lambert

      WC: 100 B-She wasn’t always a bad (naughty) piggy & had a problem with watermelon
      E-And so she did
      O- slurrrp & Kackata-kack-krack-POP!

      She wasn’t always naughty,
      but young Piggy could break loose
      from her slurrrpy sloppy pigpen
      at the scent of summer juice.

      It appeared she had a problem
      with some watermelon rind,
      tossed out, rotting, but delicious.
      Piggy couldn’t be confined.

      So she trotted to the compost pile
      unable to resist.
      As he ran behind to nab her,
      Farmer gave her tail a twist.

      Piggy strained toward the melons,
      then kackata-kack-krack-POP!
      Oh, no! A tail once waggy,
      became a curlicue in slop!

      And that’s the tragic ending.
      Piggy crawled away and hid
      until melon-choly lured her
      to return…and so she did.

    23. brennajeanneret says:

      This one went a little dark at the end and I tweak the ending just a bit. What a fun exercise to plot a story from A to B and try to connect them.

      DOROTHY’S UMBRELLA [WC 150]

      It all began when the mermaid’s tail got caught on the handle of Dorothy’s umbrella. Dorothy was on her way to a very important family dinner. She was in charge of the main course but because of the storm every shop was closed and she was running late because all the busses had stopped. Now she had this mermaid to deal with.

      The mermaid was not in any sort of hurry to un-catch herself from the umbrella. She was right at home in the flood. She was cheery and chatty and Dorothy had had enough. She stopped trying to un-catch the mermaid and instead brought her home for dinner…and that is why you never get in the way of an alligator’s plans.

      YUM YUM CHOMP!

    24. brennajeanneret says:

      Susanna, I just wanted to say thank you so, so much for organizing this! This challenge popped into my email when I needed it most. My creativity was really struggling. I thought I’d just do one or two of the prompts but they were so fun and led me down such weird and winding paths that I did them all! I know I’m a bit late to the whole thing but it was incredibly fun and helpful at just the right moment and I wanted to say thank you 🙂

    25. Ashley Sierra (@AshleySierra06) says:

      Thank you Susanna for hosting this challenge again this year and those that donated prizes. You pulled off creative prompts each week.

      BEACH ADVENTURE
      166 words 
      Holly, Molly, Ollie, Wally, and Little Boo packed a picnic and set out for a beach adventure.
      And so they did.
      kackata-kack-krack-POP!

      Holly, Molly, Ollie, Wally, and Little Boo packed a picnic and set out for a beach adventure.
      Tromp. Tromp. Tromp. But . . .
      Holly forgot the sunscreen. 
      Molly forgot the towels.
      Wally forgot the food.
      And Little Boo . . . had to poo.
      They rushed back home, gathered everything, and set out again.
      Tromp. Tromp. Tromp.
      “We’re finally on our way! We’re going to have the best time ever!” they all chanted. Until . . .
      Kackata-kack-krack-POP!
      “OH, NO!” they yelled.
      They scurried to shelter under a nearby pavilion. 
      Holly huffed.
      Molly moped.
      Wally whined.
      And Little Boo . . . boo-hooed. 
      “We’re not on our way. We’re not going to have the best time ever!” they all cried. 
      Kackata-kack-krack-POP!
      Lightning cracked. 
      Thunder roared.
      Rain poured. 
      They all frowned. Then . . .
      They looked around.
      Holly slathered on some sunscreen. 
      Molly laid out the towels.
      Wally unpacked the snacks. 
      And Little Boo . . . slept right through.
      “We’re finally having a picnic. We’re going to have the best time ever,” Holly, Molly, Ollie, and Wally whispered.
      And so they did.

      • Jill Lambert (@LJillLambert) says:

        The hits keep coming, Ashley! This story is great in so many ways…the repetition of the onomatopoeia, the ordered listing of Holly, Molly, Wally, and Little Boo’s antics, and my favorite part…the rhymes you came up with for Little Boo! It was an adventurous read!

        • Ashley Sierra (@AshleySierra06) says:

          Thank you so much Jill! I appreciate all the encouragement these past 7 weeks and reading your amazing stories. I can’t wait to read more at the next challenge/contest.

        • Ashley Sierra (@AshleySierra06) says:

          Thank you, Sarah! As always, you make these stories so much stronger with your feedback. I’m glad we swapped stories for this challenge again this year.

        • Ashley Sierra (@AshleySierra06) says:

          Thank you Michelle for reading and kinds words these past 7 weeks. 😊

        • Ashley Sierra (@AshleySierra06) says:

          It was fun to combine some of the beginnings in one story. Thanks for reading and your support throughout this challenge!

      • Elenore Byrne says:

        This is a great story, you packed alot into 166 words. I like the huffed, moped and whined … and how they did end up having the best time ever. Some great core messages in a funny story.

        • Ashley Sierra (@AshleySierra06) says:

          Thank you for reading Elenore. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. I couldn’t resist combining many of the suggestions for beginnings.

    26. Linda Schueler says:

      Sloth and Bee
      Word Count: 100

      There was a sloth who lived all alone.
      “I wish to sleep all day long,” said the sloth.
      “Ronc shshsh,” snored the sloth.
      Until one day…Buzz bzzz- bzzz mixed in with Ronc shshsh.
      The sloth woke up. “What is that?”
      “Help,” someone buzzed. “I’m a bee. I’m lost.”
      “I’m busy sleeping.” Sloth rolled over.
      Ronc shshsh
      Buzz bzzz- bzzz
      Waaaahhhh
      Sloth woke up. “Are you crying?”
      “I want to go home. Can you help me?”
      “I don’t think so. l live alone, because I’m afraid to go down the tree.”
      “We can do it together.”
      And so they did.

    27. Sarah Meade says:

      Maddy Wants More, More, More
      By Sarah Meade
      (She wasn’t always a bad piggy, I love you more than marshmallows)
      Word Count: 208 words

      Maddy wasn’t always a bad piggy.
      In fall she was polite as pumpkin pie.
      In winter she was well-behaved.
      In spring she shared with her siblings.
      But in the summer . . .
      Maddy behaved badly!
      (Her favorite season brought out her greedy piggy side.)

      At the first summer picnic, Maddy wanted more!
      “Maddy drank all the lemonade!” her brother squealed.
      “She gobbled all the watermelon!” her sister screamed.
      Maddy’s daddy frowned.
      “Sorry,” Maddy mumbled.
      Her brother and sister ran away.

      At the beach, Maddy wanted more, more!
      “Maddy took all the sand toys!” her brother squealed.
      “She’s hogging all the towels!” her sister screamed.
      Maddy’s daddy sighed.
      “Sorry,” Maddy mumbled.
      Her brother and sister went swimming without her.

      At the campfire, Maddy still wanted more, more, MORE!
      “Maddy took all the sticks for making s’mores!” her brother squealed.
      “And all the chocolate and graham crackers. And every last marshmallow!” Maddy’s sister screamed.
      “There’s enough summer stuff to share,” Daddy said.
      Her brother and sister sniffled.
      Maddy’s tummy twisted. “I’m sorry.”

      That night Maddy shared her book of ghost stories with her brother and her favorite flashlight with her sister.
      At bedtime she snuggled close to her siblings.
      “I love summer stuff,” Maddy said, “But I love you more than marshmallows.”

    28. martyfindley says:

      Climbing Up
      By Marty Findley
      (WC: 231)

      A-Beginning: When Peter woke up, a thunderstorm was brewing. “OH, NO!”
      B-Ending: And so they did.
      C-Onomatopoeia: Splish, splash, sploosh

      When Peter woke up he went running outside.
      A thunderstorm brewed, “OH, NO, NO!” Peter cried.
      “Today is the day we hike up the huge hill!
      I hope it’s not canceled, I hope we go still!”

      Loud thunder was crashing and lightning was slashing;
      Harsh thunder was booming and rain drops were splashing.
      My papa appeared as the wind started blowing.
      “Come on Pete,” he said. “It is time to be going.”

      “By the time that we get to the base of the hill,
      The storm will let up and we’ll go; we sure will!”
      He was right as he always is, right as the rain.
      If nothing is ventured; then nothing is gained.”

      The air was so clean and rain only a sprinkle;
      Big drops dripped off trees with a plop and a tinkle.
      We jumped in the puddles – splish, splash and sploosh!
      We saw deer and swift rabbits and even a moose!

      We climbed step by step without even a stop
      And finally got all the way to the top.
      Down below we could see the town spread out to view;
      We were kings of the world for a moment or two!

      The sun broke through clouds and the beautiful blue;
      A rainbow appeared with a bright brilliant hue.
      Just my papa and me-his buddy-his kid,
      We knew we could do it and so we sure did!

    29. marty says:

      Susanna, This has been such fun. Like everyone else, I hate to have it end.
      Thanks so much for the best challenge ever and keeping us accountable for 7 straight weeks.
      It’s been terrific. And thanks to all the prize donors as well.
      I’ve enjoyed every minute! Reading, writing, and being inspired.

      THIS LITTLE PIGGY
      by Marty Bellis
      112 words

      he wasn’t always a bad piggy / and so he did / splop

      Ham wasn’t always a bad piggy.
      Mama said he looked angelic in his sleep.
      His halo remained intact through breakfast.
      Then it started to slip . . .
      He hogged the entire mud puddle – splop! – making his sister cry.
      His left angel wing drooped when he pigged out on the apples and roast beef he was supposed to share with his friend, Pete.
      His right wing came unglued when he chased the neighboring piglets and made them squeal.
      “Ham,” said Mama. “I know you can be good.”
      “Ha, when pigs fly,” said his sister.
      Ham took that as a dare.
      He fixed his wings, adjusted his halo and said, “Just watch me.”
      And then he flew!

    30. Barbara Farr Renner says:

      Thank you, Susanna, for a challenging and fun 7 weeks. I can’t wait for next year.

      SLOTH AND THE BEES IN THE TREE
      by Barbara Renner
      Word Count: 115

      There was a sloth who lived all alone / And they lived happily ever after
      Slurrrp and Buzz bzzz-bzzz

      There was a sloth who lived all alone.
      She liked it.
      She could eat her cereal whenever she wanted to.
      Like for lunch.
      Slluuurrrrpp
      She could fix her soup whenever she wanted to.
      Like before bedtime.
      Slluuurrrrpp

      Along came some bees,
      who wanted to build a hive
      in a vacant hole of her tree.
      Buzz bzzz-bzzz

      Sloth didn’t like it.
      She swatted at the bees.
      But the bees were too fast.
      Buzz bzzz-bzzz
      She made faces at the bees.
      But the bees kept working.
      Buzz bzzz-bzzz

      Sloth watched.
      When she saw honey drip out of the hole,
      she investigated.
      Slluuurrrrpp
      She liked it.
      She decided the bees could stay.
      And they lived happily ever after.

    31. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      POSTED FOR ALY

      Aly Kenna
      Once Upon a Time
      Never let an alligator get in the way of your plans
      splish, splash, splosh
      (123 words)

      MUNCH GOES THE PIRATE
      Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there lived an awful pirate.
      No treasure was safe when Rosie One-sock was around.
      Not birthday Cakes – MUNCH
      Not chocolate scones with home-made strawberry jam – MUNCH MUNCH
      And certainly not happy face pancakes with marshmallow eyes and chocolate syrup – MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH
      But as Rosie One-sock prepared to steal the most coveted treasure, she came face to face with her most-fiercest adversary yet. Luckily, Rosie had a cunning plan.
      Splish, Splash, Splosh. She very carefully laid a trail of milk away from her quarry.
      And with her path cleared, Rosie made her move.
      “Rrrrrr-rrrr. Chocolate chip cookies!”
      “Never let an alligator get in the way of your plans,” she said.
      MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH

    32. syorkeviney says:

      Sally Yorke-Viney
      A- It all began when the mermaid’s tail….
      B-Shush, Shush, the Waves Whispered
      C Splish, Splash, Spoolsh
      WC-171

      Marianna and the Mermaid

      It all began when the mermaid’s tail got caught on Marianna Ripple’s pearl-handled umbrella…
      “Be careful by the ocean’s edge” Mama reminded her.
      Marianna was not paying attention when splish, splash, sploosh, a glittering green tail tugged on the umbrella handle pulling Marianna down to the water’s edge!

      “You’ve caught me with your irresistible hook!” said the mermaid, “Give me the umbrella and I will give you a wish!”

      Mariana thought for a moment. A mermaid? A wish? My umbrella?

      She tilted forward toward the water and whispered. Splash, the mermaid was gone taking Marianna’s umbrella. Time passed. Had the mermaid tricked her?

      Suddenly, a beautiful conch shell bubbled up to the water’s surface. Marianna plucked it from the blue-green water. What will Mama say about my missing pearl-handled umbrella? Maybe she will understand if I tell her about the mermaid…

      Marianna held the shell to her ear, “Shush, shush, shush, “ the waves whispered to her,” Shush, shush, shush.”

      And she headed home to Mama with a beautiful shell, an amazing story, but no pearl-handled umbrella.

    33. Nicole Loos Miller says:

      UNDERSEA SOIREE
      By Nicole Loos Miller, WC: 148 words
      A: It all began when the mermaid’s tail got caught on the handle of [Character Name]’s umbrella
      B: they lived happily ever after

      It all began when the mermaid’s tail got caught in the handle of Duchess’ parasol.

      “Pardonnez-moi!” Duchess Beaucoup de Pieds’ entire body flushed. (That happens sometimes, with octopi.) Her friends were right: an underwater umbrella was ridiculous, no matter how fashionable.

      “No, please accept my apologies,” whispered the nervous Nessa. Her sisters had warned her that sparkly tail jewelry was overdoing it. And now she was tangled in a fine lady’s parasol! (For who else carries a parasol?)

      Duchess twisted her many talented tentacles, untangling the mess. “These jewels compliment your scales à la perfection.”

      Nessa blushed. “My sisters think they’re foolish. I love the sea-lace in your parasol.”

      Duchess’ nine hearts soared. “Are you attending la soirée after the fashion show? Perhaps we could discuss designs?”

      Nessa twirled her singular tail. “Yes, please!”

      The soirée was sensational. The friendship was finalized.
      And they lived happily ever after.

    34. Michelle S. Kennedy (@MichelleSKenned) says:

      Thanks so much, Susanna for all of the great writing prompts these last 7 weeks. It’s been FUN!

      WEEK 7
      It all began when the mermaid’s tail got caught on the handle of [Ms. Poppin’s] umbrella. / Shushshush, the waves whispered. Shushshush / splish, splash, sploosh

      ELLA’S WILD RIDE (WC 94)
      By Michelle S. Kennedy

      It began with a mermaid named Ella—
      and a brush with Ms. Poppin’s umbrella.
      As El swam in the ocean
      she was struck with emotion,
      when she heard Poppin’s voice, acapella.

      Ella followed the sound of her song.
      But the wind and the current were strong.
      Her tail caught on the handle—
      It became quite a scandal.
      The umbrella just dragged her along.

      With a SPLISH and a SPLASH and a SPLOOSH!
      She flew from the water, then WOOSH!
      The wind changed its course,
      and freed her with force.
      Shushshush, the waves whispered. Shushshush.

    35. Allison Strick (she/her) (@byallisonstrick) says:

      A S’more by the Fire
      By Allison Strick
      167 words

      A: __ was all ready for the beach!
      B: ‘I love you more than marshmallows’
      C: hissss

      ———————

      Graham was all ready for the beach!
      Well, mostly. A day of playing with Wally and Ollie, his three-year-old twin brothers, was always exhausting.
      But Graham would tolerate it because a day at the beach meant one thing:
      S’mores around the fire pit at sunset.
      So he and the twins splashed. Gathered sea glass. Hunted hermit crabs.
      But while Graham got distracted sandcastling…
      Wally fed marshmallows to the gulls while Ollie gobbled up every last square of chocolate.
      Mom lit the fire anyway.
      This day was a dud, thought Graham.
      The twins, all grimy and groggy, leaned on Graham’s shoulders and gazed at the flames.
      “Sowwy about the mawshmewwows,” Wally murmured.
      Ollie yawned. “And the chock-lut.”
      Graham sighed and munched his dry cracker. “It’s OK.”
      We made a backwards s’more tonight, he thought. The Graham’s on the inside of a sticky, sweet sandwich.
      Hisssssssss went the fire.
      Swishhhhhhhh went the waves.
      The twins snuggled closer and Graham whispered with a smile, “I love you more than marshmallows.”

    36. Deborah Agranat Sullivan says:

      The Ant Raid
      by Deb Sullivan
      99 Words
      Column A: _____ had a problem with watermelon.
      Column B: And so he/she/they did.
      Column C: Slurrrp and Buzzz bzzz-zzz.

      Ace had a problem with watermelon.
      It wasn’t just big. And heavy. It was soooo….watery.
      The other ants had already claimed their items for the raid.
      Ari pined for pecan pie.
      Anne fancied fudge.
      Slurrrp.
      And Angus loved lemonade.
      Only one oversized fruit remained.
      Ace shook his head.
      He longed for ladyfingers. The s’mores shimmered. And those cupcakes were calling.
      “On 3, we’re moving in,” said Ari. “1,…”
      Ace’s tummy rumbled.
      “2….”
      He inched forward.
      “Wait!” cried Anne.
      Buzzzz bzzz-zzzz.
      “We’re under attack,” yelled Angus. “Everyone scatter!”
      But Ace just wanted to eat.
      And so he did.

    37. susaninez0905 says:

      Thanks for a month’s worth of inspiration Susannah! 🙂

      A Wagonful of Trouble
      By: Susan Summers
      WC: 221
      [A mermaid and a wagon, the waves whispered, and onomatopoiea]

      It all began when the mermaid’s tail got caught on Danny’s wagon.
      A fierce storm dropped her on the beach, with a PLOP she was stuck.
      Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t wriggle free.

      “Holy Mackerel!” Danny shouted when he saw the wagon. “That’s a big fish!”
      “I am not,” she huffed. “I’m a mermaid and I need your help.”
      After some consideration, he agreed. “If I wheel you to the waves, will that work?”
      “Possibly.”
      He tipped the wagon so she could slide on.
      With a grunt and a heave, the wagon rolled across the sand.

      Just before it reached the water, he stopped.
      “No one will believe me when I tell them I rescued you. I want a selfie.”
      “What?!”
      “Or I won’t go any further.”
      “Fine.”
      She muttered to herself while Danny got out his phone.
      “Say cheese!” He said as he posed to take the photo.

      WOOSH!

      A wave hit the beach, washing the mermaid, the wagon, and the phone into the sea.
      “That’s not fair! I want my wagon back!”
      She smiled, then waved, with a SPLOSH she was gone.

      Danny sat on the beach, dejected.
      “Ahoy there matey! Is this your wagon? Do ye mind if we take it for a ride?”

      Pirates?!

      As he sat there considering, the waves whispered, yesss, yesss, yesss.

    38. syorkeviney says:

      Dear Susanna, What can I say…. you made us look forward to each Monday morning for a source of inspiration and an awakening of creativity. Thank you for this challenge. I thoroughly enjoyed participating and had so many other manuscripts that I developed from this which I didn’t submit. This process helped me daily to focus and hone my craft. Thanks again! Have a wonderful summer!

    39. Jana Mattern says:

      A NAP AND A WATERMELON FIELD
      by Jana Mattern
      WC: 155

      It all started with a nap, and a watermelon field.
      I know, I know. It sounds like a peaceful situation.
      But I learned my lesson the hard way.
      I was tired—and a little snappy.
      I decided to lay down.
      So there I was, all tucked in for my nap.
      I felt safe.
      Then I heard voices, laughter.
      “Which watermelon should we pick?” one kid said.
      “Whoa, check out THAT one!” said another.
      Footsteps came closer.
      Someone began tapping my shell.
      Tap tap tap.
      “It looks nice and ripe. Let’s take it back to the house and slice it up”.
      My eyes bulged.
      My heart raced.
      I popped my head out,
      I thrust my legs out,
      And I screamed!
      The kids screamed!
      I scurried off faster than a hare outrunning a tortoise.
      No one saw that coming!
      And that’s how I learned my lesson—
      A tortoises should never take a nap in a watermelon field.

    40. Joyce Uglow says:

      Susanna, as so many before commented, I found this challenge thought-provoking and inspirational. I now have seven manuscripts to flesh out into potential picture books. Thank you for running this well-oiled machine.

      (A: Max wasn’t always a bad piggy. B: And that is why she/he tucked it very carefully into her/his pocket. C: splop, splat)

      Rules for a Pig-Perfect Life by Joyce Uglow

      Maxine wasn’t always a bad piggy.

      She followed her role models in the barnyard.

      She always slurped the last drop of slop before anyone else could get to it. Gulp! SPLOP! Guzzle!

      She never turned in her homework on time. ZzzZZZzzz

      Without fail, Maxine biked through all of the mud puddles. Splat! Squish! Splop!

      Maxine thought of her manners as polished and pig-perfect.

      That is until Aunt Ruby arrived on the scene and messed everything up.

      “Sweetie, if you want to get into the best pigsty, you’ll need to read the real rules.”

      And that rule book is what Maxine tucked very carefully into her back pocket before she rolled in the mud.

    41. Colleen Owen Murphy says:

      I made a slight adjustment to my beginning and ending lines compared to what was given. And I went over 100, but not as far over as I usually go! 135 words.

      Wanted: ESPR

      There was a sloth who lived alone
      despite his want to find
      a roommate harmonizing with
      his laid back pace and mind.

      He’d run his ad for near a year,
      but so far, no success.
      He tested out a Gibbon once,
      but goodness, what a mess!

      He found some perfect matches. Well…
      at least some seemed to be
      until they learned arboreal
      meant living in a tree.

      An ocelot filled out a form.
      but Sloth said, “Cat denied. .
      I may be slow, but Foe I know
      the reason you applied.”

      In time, this process took its toll
      since any act exceeded.
      the sloth’s accustomed daily dose
      of thought or movement needed.

      Since no one met his standards yet–
      quite fairish, anyhow–
      he thought it best to end his search.
      And so he did…for now.

    42. Colleen Owen Murphy says:

      Thank you so much for this challenge Susanna! We will see if I can develop any of these entries further. I hope all participants can do the same.

    43. Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf says:

      Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf
      Not So Bad After All
      WC: 100 words
      “On the Fourth of July, Max went into hiding.”
      “___ knew summer was here at last!”

      On the Fourth of July, Max went into hiding.
      He wanted to make sure he couldn’t hear or see the fireworks. They always terrified him.
      But just after he settled into the blanket closet, he heard a crash!
      Did the house fall over? No, he was still sitting upright.
      Was there a big car accident? There was no honking, sirens, or angry yelling.
      Finally, Max could stand it no longer. He rushed out to the nearest window.
      From the safety of the sill, he saw a shimmering and popping flag in the sky.
      Max knew summer was here at last!

    44. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      POSTED FOR MIA

      Week 7
      Watermelon Problem
      By Mia Geiger
      83 words

      A watermelon!
      Just for me!
      It’s in my garden.
      Want to see?

      I pruned and watered.
      Then it grew!
      It went from seeds
      to something new.

      I want to eat it now—
      right now.
      I’ll need to bring it in—
      but how?

      This fruit is big
      and I am small.
      It’s heavy—like a
      bowling ball!

      But you look strong
      and very fit.
      So maybe you could
      help a bit?

      My kitchen door
      is over there . . .
      On second thought,
      I think I’ll share!

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