Teensy Weensy Valentiny Writing Fun!

Although I’ve seen her children’s books, I never came across author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website until today. I didn’t know what I was missing, and now I’m hooked! A friend told me about an intriguing writing contest, which led me to Susanna’s blog. The instructions were to write no more than 214 words about a grumpy Valentine experience! It had to show grumpiness and had to be appropriate for children. Unable to resist such a clever challenge, I put a little (pardon the pun) something together. Do you get it? Why Susanna chose that specific word length?

IMG_5928I showed my story to my mother (aka/Biggest Fan), and she said, “So clever! I was right there in the bowl!” This will make more sense once you read my teensy tale. Mom and Dad both said some other glowing things about how amazing I am, but I’ll leave all that out since they’re rather biased. I’ve never written anything so short, but it was fun! I encourage all my writer friends to try something like this. It made me chuckle and stretched my keyboarding fingers and squishy brain a bit. I mean, my two sisters (Hi, Margaret and Ginger!) will be the first ones to tell you that I’m terrible at math! But, hey, I can count to 214. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Here’s my entry. Feel free to comment or read it to your kiddos. Happy Valentine’s Day! โ™ฅ

KANDIEโ€™S KISS (214 words) – by Cathey Graham Nickell

Kandie buried herself as deep as possible. She wiggled and squirmed until she was hidden by her heart-shaped friends.

What kind of Valentineโ€™s Day surprise am I? Kandie scowled from the bottom of the bowl. She peeked out. That just made her even crankier.ย ย 

โ€œIโ€™m all wrong!โ€ she wailed, eyeing the other sweets. โ€œHow can you smile and feel sugary at a time like this?!โ€

Old Man Tart chuckled from across the way, โ€œWhatโ€™s yer bellyaching about?โ€

โ€œYou all have such beautiful words. Iโ€™m a fructose failure,โ€ Kandie sulked.

She had a point. Old Man Tartโ€™s tummy boldly stated: HUG ME! Pinkyโ€™s bragged: TOO CUTE! Why, Honeyโ€™s phrase even proposed: MARRY ME!

Kandie glanced down irritably at her own letters. โ€œHISS ME? Seriously. HISS ME?โ€ she pouted. โ€œSomeone at the factory cannot spell! Whoever heard of a candy heart that says HISS ME? Iโ€™ll never find a Valentine! No one will want me!โ€

Old Man Tart waited for her to finish complaining. He cleared his throat and said, โ€œA wise person once said there is someone for everyone. Kandie, Iโ€™m sure youโ€™ll find your match.โ€

I should try to be optimistic, Kandie thought, scooting back to the top of the bowl. And the first person she spotted was Gummy Snake smiling shyly at her.

UPDATE: Amazingly, I won second place in this writing contest!

by Cathey Nickell

Houston-based author and elementary school speaker.

See more posts by this author

© 2020 Cathey Graham Nickell