I have recently participated in the following professional development activities:
- SCBWI webinars
- Renee LaTulippe’s Lyrical Language Lab
- Susanna Leonard Hill’s writing contests
- Vivian Kirkfeld’s 50 Precious Words contest
- Julie Hedlund’s 12 Days of Christmas
- NF Fest
- SpringFling Kidlit
- A member and small group leader of an online critique group, Making Room for Rhyme.
|My first publication appeared in The Caterpillar magazine, December 2017.|
An egg holds the promise
of life within.
You’re never quite certain
when it begins.
A secret is growing
without a sound,
a mother is watching
above the ground..
She’s counting the minutes
till the time is right,
then all of a sudden
the egg’s too tight.
The shell begins cracking
bit by bit.
The baby can’t stay in,
it just won’t fit.
The silence is broken,
the voice is clear:
‘Today is my birthday,
I’m here! I’m here!’
Here is my third place entry for Susanna Hill’s Holiday Heroes Contest, December, 2018.
A CHRISTMAS SCENT-SATION
Two weeks before Christmas,
way out in the shed,
presents were stockpiled
and wrapped, green and red.
Behind the brick firehouse
was joy, guaranteed,
collected each Christmas
for families in need.
The firefighters planned
to deliver the gifts
the very next day
when they finished their shifts.
Then what did their
sensitive noses detect,
but a strong scent of skunk–
all the gifts had been wrecked!
A skunk made his burrow
out under the shed,
then an unwelcome
possum crawled in it instead.
Well, what would you think
that striped stinker should do?
He blasted the possum
with skunk musk—P-U!
And of course all the presents
soaked up the foul odor
as it seeped through the floorboards–
that furry exploder!
Now what could be done
to remove the aroma,
without putting everyone
into a coma?
“I’ll call my friend, Stan,”
the chief told the crew,
“He’s in wildlife control,
so he’ll know what to do.”
Stan was there in a flash
in his van full of tricks,
“I’ll fill up my fogger
with a mystery mix.
It’s my favorite concoction
for skunk residue.”
Then he put on a gas mask,
his coveralls, too.
Stan fogged and he fumed
till the stink disappeared.
They delivered the packages,
all the kids cheered:
“Hooray for old Stan,
he’s a Christmas scent-sation!
He rescued our presents
And they heard the skunk mumble
as he slunk out of sight,
“Guess I’ll find a new burrow.
Merry Christmas! Good night!”
|I was also a finalist for Susanna’s Valentiny Contest, February, 2019.|
The Missing Pupcake
Brayden loved both of his dogs just the same.
They weren’t alike–one was wild, one was tame.
Mona made mischief, she didn’t know, “NO!”
Lisa obeyed because Brayden said so.
Brayden created some Valentine treats,
a doggy dessert made with eggs, oats, and beets.
The piping hot pupcakes were spread out to cool
all over the counter, but underneath—DROOL!
“Let’s grab a pupcake while Brayden is gone,”
Mona said. “I’m too short! Let me climb on.”
Lisa looked back toward the door with remorse.
Mona whined, “Help me out! You be my horse!”
Lisa stood steady while she climbed aboard.
Mona stretched upward, then seized her reward,
nearly inhaled the first pupcake she saw,
leaped down from Lisa’s back, “Got it! Hurrah!”
Lisa slunk out of the kitchen to hide.
She acted guilty, but Mona felt pride.
Brayden came in, heard their skittering feet,
glanced at the counter, saw one missing treat.
“Mona and Lisa!” he cried in dismay.
“I baked those pupcakes for Valentine’s Day.
Which of you took it? It’s time to confess!”
Lisa looked hangdog, her eyes blinked distress.
Brayden inspected them, solving the puzzle.
Mona had cake crumbs all over her muzzle.
“Mona, you’re busted! Now you go to bed!”
Then Brayden gave Lisa two pupcakes instead.
|And again, a finalist in Susanna’s Halloweensie contest, October, 2019.|
hanging by a thread.
Spiderling is spinning.
Can’t construct a cobweb.
Help! The strings aren’t sticky!
Searches for solutions,
while Halloween is new.
arachnid has no glue.
Witchy whizzes in then,
(broom repair, you see),
catches Spider sobbing
among the web debris.
Witchy comforts Spider
with a shushing motion.
Utters muttered verses,
promptly pours a potion.
Golden drop is plopped
on Spider’s little backy.
Silken threads appear.
Some twirl and tie—they’re tacky!
Spider’s on the broom now,
trying to repay.
Sticky silk will mend it.
Witchy’s on her way!
|I recently won a critique in the #SunWriteFun contest, July 2020.|
Summer Symphony By Jill Lambert
The dog days of summer drone on,
brimming with the sound of cicadas.
Their serenade rises and falls
from tree to tree.
The male cicada revs up his tymbals
like an ever-present lawnmower,
hoping to lure a mate.
His raspy buzz beckons:
“Over here, my dear.”
Ah! A female cicada snaps her wings
in sassy affirmation.
The scene repeats,
high in the treetops,
over several furious weeks
as cicadas pair off.
Each female sprinkles hundreds of eggs
among the branches.
Finally finished, life ends.
Each lonely egg, abandoned.
And yet…life goes on!
Six weeks later,
nymphs hatch and drop down
to burrow below,
secretly sucking on plant roots.
For the next two to nine years,
the nymphs live
an undercover life.
At last, they emerge to molt
and vacate their creepy exuviae,
scattering their shells just to scare us.
Reborn, they rejoice like graduates,
“Ta da! Now we’re adults!”
Again, the male cacophony
commences to conduct the cycle of life,
a thrumming summer symphony.