Guardians Of The Gift – A Special Birthday Choose Your Own Adventure

Today, we have a VERY special blog post to celebrate the birthday of a VERY special member of our writing community!


As our special birthday gift to you, we have written you a Choose Your Own Adventure story!  We hope you’ll have fun with it! 🙂

(And we hope LOTS of other people will set out on Erik’s adventure too because it’s extremely fun :))

Start below.  Read each section and at the end you’ll have a choice of where to go next.  Make your choice and see what happens!  You can always go back.

I must confess, before we begin, that this was a bit of a rush job.  I’m truly hoping all the sections will be posted in time, and that all the links will work properly, but on the off chance they don’t I will put a list of the sections and links at the bottom of this post so you can find your way if need be.  But don’t peek unless you have to because it will give away the story! 🙂  Also, we had to start with generic blog links, so if you follow a link and don’t see a section of the adventure, you might have to scroll to the December 24th post.  We will do our best to update with post-specific links as we get them.

I would also like to thank the lovely Ms. Klostermann for designing and sharing your birthday banner.  And I would like to extravagantly thank the lovely Ms. Stilborn for writing half the sections – I literally could not have done this without her!  But boy did we have fun writing 🙂

I hope you enjoy your adventure, Erik, and I hope you have a wonderful birthday and a Merry Christmas 🙂

Ready?  Here we go… 🙂

The Start Of The Adventure – Guardians Of The Gift

Erik was polishing Sir Lionel’s armor and dreaming of the day when he’d have armor of his own when a small pageboy dashed into the antechamber.
“Erik!” he gasped.  “You’ve been summoned to the Great Hall!”
Erik dropped his polishing rag.  “Me?  Are you sure?”
The pageboy nodded solemnly.
Erik swallowed nervously.  Was he in trouble?  He had never been summoned to the Great Hall before!
He swiped at his hair trying to smooth it, brushed himself off, and hurried after the pageboy.
The doors to the Great Hall stood open.  Erik paused on the threshold.
“Welcome, Erik!” said the king.  “Come in!  We have a surprise for you!”
Sir Gareth stepped forward and presented Erik with a box.  “Happy Birthday, Erik!” he said.
“For me?  Gee, thanks!” Erik was delighted.  He hadn’t received many birthday presents in his life, and none today.
He lifted the lid of the box eagerly.  But what was this?
“Uhh…” he said.  “I don’t get it.”
Sir Gareth looked down.  “Hey!” he exclaimed.  “Where’s the present that’s supposed to be in here?”
The other knights gathered around to look at the empty box.  “It’s been stolen!” cried Sir Lionel.
“Well I guess I’d better go find it!” said Erik.  “Someone must know what happened to it!”
“The court jester is always at the center of activity,” said Sir Gareth.  “He might know what happened.”
“Or one of the castle guards,” suggested Sir Lionel.  “They ought to know who comes and goes.”
“Then I’m off to discover the truth!” declared Erik.  “I don’t want to miss out on my only birthday present!”
If Erik asks the court jester, go HERE.
If Erik asks the castle guard, go HERE.

The Blog Link List (to be looked at and used only in extreme emergency :)) (and not helpful if the posters simply haven’t gotten their posts up yet… :))

Section 1: well, you’re already here! 🙂
Section 2 – Ask The Jester – located at
Section 3 – Ask The Castle Guard – located at
Section 4 – Search For The Woodcutter – located at
Section 5 – Ask The Cook – located at
Section 6 – Ask Another Guard – located at
Section 7 – The Second Fork – located at
Section 8 – Erik Chooses The Righthand Path (after the woodcutter’s) – located at
Section 9 – Search For A Ford – located at
Section 10 – The Rickety Bridge – located at
Section 11 – Mystery Mountain – located at
Section 12 – Soggybottom Swamp – located at
Section 13 – Otterley Creek – located at
Section 14 – Face The Ogre – located at
Section 15 – Seek Information From The Gossip – located at
Section 16 – Attempt To Pass The Icky Pods – located at
Section 17 – Ye Olde Cake & Candle – located at
Section 18 – Tackle The Ooze – located at
Section 19 – Enter The Clearing – located at
Section 20 – Go For Help (the Mystic Seer) – located at
Section 21 – Face The Dragon – located at
Section 22 – Head For Home/Celebration/The End – located at

Ahoy, Sea Serpent! – Swim On Through The Bright Caribbean Water And Find Out What Is Making That Sound

Actually, the adventure continues here 🙂  Go back to Kerri’s if you haven’t started yet 🙂
Monday October 24 -the day we’ve all been waiting for – is finally here!  It’s time to Choose Your Own Adventure!  Do you remember those books?  They were totally fun.  Kerri over at Craft Junkie has turned the idea into this awesomely fun bloghop.  I hope you’ll all have a wonderful time 🙂
If you’ve landed here because you chose swim on through the bright Caribbean water etc… then you know what you’re doing and can skip on down to continue your adventure!
But if you’ve landed here without starting the adventure, please go back to Kerri’s blog and start from the beginning.  Each part you read will give you options as to how you want to continue.  Whichever option you choose will determine the course of your adventure.  Don’t like where you ended up?  Go back one or more steps, or start over.  I think you’ll have a great time following ALL the options until you’ve exhausted every possible adventure 🙂 – please share your comments!  OK – onward with the adventure!

You have chosen to swim on through the bright Caribbean water and find out what is making that sound…!

The sunken ship sings a siren song, daring you to see what kind of treasure it might hold, but your oxygen is running out fast.  Regretfully you decide that, treasure or not, you dare not take the risk.
You swim on through the bright Caribbean water, determined to find the source of the sound, praying that whatever it is means rescue.  Your chest feels heavy with the weight of the water, and your arms, unaccustomed to swimming for so long, tremble with fatigue.  Doggedly you pull for the surface, dragging the unwieldy oxygen tank.
At last your head breaks through the waves.  You shake salt water from your hair and eyes and squint into the sudden brightness of the sun reflecting off the ocean.  The sound comes again, long and low, like a horn.  But it’s not a horn.  Oh, no.  It is most definitely not a horn.  Your straining ears catch words in the low hum.
“Yo ho.  Heave!  Yo ho.  Ho!  Yo ho!  Yo ho!  Yo ho!  HO!
Deep voices.  Many of them, chanting together.  And words like that can mean only one thing…
You flail in the water, arms churning like paddle wheels.  The oxygen tank slips from your cold fingers and sinks before you can grab it back.  You search desperately in every direction for help.  Any help!  Anywhere!
But you’re alone in the water.  Drowning or pirates, it looks like you’re facing certain death.  Well, you’re not going down without a fight!
The pirate ship is nearly upon you.  You can see its black flag fluttering in tattered ribbons from the mast.  Up in the crow’s nest, the lookout spies you.  “Man overboard!” he bellows.
The yo-ho-ing ceases at once.  A mountain of a man with a one-eyed ginger cat riding his left shoulder approaches the ship’s rail.
“Be ye friend or foe?” he hollers.
You decide that death by pirate is preferable to drowning.  At least with the pirates you might have a chance.
“Friend!” you call back.
The mountain, whom you assume is the captain, tosses a thick coil of rope over the rail.  You grab it, and with the last of your strength, haul yourself toward the deck.  When you near the top, strong hands grab hold of you and pull you up over the rail onto the deck.  You lie there like a grounded fish, water streaming off you, gasping with exhaustion.
You’re grateful to have been rescued until you look up.  A circle of faces bristling with unkempt beards and hostility glares down at you.
“Kill the prisoner!” shout the pirates.
“Hey!” you start to argue.
“Now, now!” roars the captain.  “Ours is a democratic ship.  We’ll take a vote.  Will the prisoner grace the gallows, or will the prisoner walk the plank?”
“Walk the plank!  Walk the plank!” shout the pirates.
“What kind of vote is that?” you splutter.  “And besides, if this is a democracy, don’t I get a vote?”
“There’s none will call us unfair,” says the captain.  “None alive, anyway!”  He chuckles at his own joke and the pirates laugh with him.  It’s a horrifying sound.
“Then I vote we let the prisoner lead us to sunken treasure!” you say.
THAT gets their attention.
“Treasure?” says the captain.  “What’s the heading?”
So you point them back toward the sunken ship you’d been forced to abandon.  It turns out to be such a trove of gold and jewels that they make you First Mate, which is how you start your life as a pirate.
But that’s another adventure!

If you’d like to try another ending, click on your option:

Go Back: Turn And Swim Away As Fast As You Can – Without Bursting Your Lungs

Go Back:  Take The Risk And Swim Down To See What Is Inside The Ship

Start Over

Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza – Pumpkins!

I’m in a rush again – another parent/teacher conference day at another school for another child – so for the second Friday in a row I will bless you with brevity 🙂

As it is Friday, that means it’s time for the Fun Foto Fextravaganza.  This week’s theme is PUMPKINS/JACK O’LANTERNS.  I know this is cheating, but I was unable to choose only one.  So here are my two:

The new fashion – I think everyone will be wearing them soon 🙂
(courtesy google images)


Really, what the heck is going on here? 🙂
(and how creative/artistic is that pumpkin monster?!)
(courtesy google images)

Please check out fellow fextravagansist Catherine’s foto, as well as Stacy’s and Robyn’s (our 2 other die-hard players in this wacky game 🙂 – Robyn’s isn’t up yet, but I heard a rumor it will be later so keep your fingers crossed!)  If you’d like to join in, choose a photo appropriate for ages 0-12 that says pumpkins/jack o’lanterns to you, post it on your blog, and put your link in the comments below so everyone can come visit you!

Also, if you have any good recipes that involve pumpkin, it’s about that time…  My recipes tend to involve things like:
Step 1:  go to store
Step 2: buy pumpkin pie because there is no time to bake during parent/teacher conference season 🙂

BTW, in case you were wondering, I went to a wonderful school visit yesterday (where Woolliam/Baahhb, my sheep puppet, was such a hit I could barely get out of the classroom!) and I picked up the beautiful signed copy of Haunted Party that is going to be the prize in the Halloweensie Contest.  If you haven’t read about it yet, go here and get those gears a-turnin’ 🙂

OK.  What else do I have to share with you today?  Probably a million things, but no time!  So have a donut on me, have a great weekend, and I hope I’ll see everyone here Monday for the Choose Your Own Adventure Bloghop – SO EXCITING!!!

Ahoy, Sea Serpent!!!

(Yes.  That is my version of brevity :))

Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza Etc. Etc.

Whoopee!  It’s Fun Friday!  And today we have Fun Times Five!!!

Fun Times One:  My Foto for the Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza.  Those of you who have been paying attention will know that this week’s theme is HARVEST.  Here is mine:

courtesy goole images

Quite a haul, don’t you think?  🙂

Anyone who would like to join the fun, please post a 0-12 year-old-friendly photo on your blog, then pop back here and put your link in the comments so we can all visit and enjoy, and possibly be inspired to write a story!  Be sure to check out Fellow Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganzist Catherine’s photo too 🙂
Fun Times Two:  I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you to save the date of October 24th for the More-Fun-Than-You-Can-Stand Choose Your Own Adventure Bloghop.  I’ve read a number of the entries, and it promises to be edge-of-your-seat fun!
Fun Times Three:  I’m cooking up an idea for Halloween.  Some of you already contributed on my Face Book page yesterday, but for anyone who would like to join in, I need 3 Halloween-related words.  If you have some good ones, please post them in the comments below 🙂
Fun Times Four:  I’m going to have an exciting announcement Monday but you’ll have to wait until Monday.  (I know.  That was just mean, wasn’t it?  Hinting and then making you wait?  I didn’t think I had it in me.  Who knew?)
And finally, as promised, Fun Times Five!!!: the reason you came over here today in the first place!  It’s time for me to tell you who won the September Pitch Pick!
But first, I want to tell you a story my mother-in-law told me about her gall bladder….
Actually, my mother-in-law has more gall bladder (and other far worse) stories than you’d ever care to hear, but I’m not really going to make you sit through any of them.
Anybody need a chocolate break?  Should I wait to make the Pitch Pick announcement until you’re back with a fistful of Snickers bars?
No?  You’re ready now?
Well, all right.
The winner of the September Pitch Pick, whose pitch will be sent to the wonderful and only Erin Molta, editor extraordinaire, for helpful hints and thoughtful critique is….
ddddddddddrrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmm rrrrrrrrrrrrrooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllll!!!!!


Congratulations, Aimee!  And congratulations to Kimberly, Saul, and Catherine, too – your pitches were all great.  You guys really gave Aimee a run for her money 🙂  Thank you all for being brave enough to put your work out there and good luck with your books!

So now, go have fun with the fotos, put some Halloween words in the comments, and hold you breath until Monday 🙂

Have a great weekend!