Susanna Leonard Hill’s Pretty Much World Famous 2nd Annual Holiday Writing Contest

December 17, 2012

Fall down on the iceEvery now and then, much to her readers’ delight, Susanna Leonard Hill holds a writing contest on her blog. The entries are always a joy to read, and the prizes are pretty much amazing (this time it’s picture book manuscript critiques!). This is the first time I’ve entered one of these contests… and I want to say right now, I had a lot of fun writing this entry!

The rules are thus (copied and pasted from Susanna’s blog — follow that link for the linky list to all the entries): Write a children’s holiday story beginning with any version of “Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh.”  You may use that actual opening, or you may change it to any similar version “[Verb of your choice]ing through the [any substance you choose] in a [conveyance of any kind].”  For example, “Dashing through the sand in a two-wheeled donkey cart” or “Sloshing through the swamp in a green and white canoe” or “Flying through the air in a striped hot air balloon…”  You get the idea, I’m sure 🙂  But “Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh” is completely acceptable too – whatever works for you 🙂  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.

So… here I go, verb-of-my-choicing through the any-substance-I-choose…

New Skates Please,  Santa!

by Beth Stilborn (264 words)

Wobbling on the ice
In my sister’s worn-out skates,
I might as well be wearing
Great big wooden crates!
The blades are really dull,
They’re too big for my feet,
and when I try to glide along
I end up on my seat!

Ohhhhhh,
Scrape, scrape, scrape,
Skid, skid, skid,
I do a crazy dance,
I can never learn to skate
While sitting on my pants!
Ohhhhhh,
Thump, thump, splat,
Ow, ow, drat,
Falling’s not much fun,
I’d really rather glide and twirl
And whirl like everyone.

My friends all have new skates
They glide around with ease
While I just watch them swish right by
Me, fallen on my knees.
It’s almost Christmas Eve,
I’ve wished upon a star,
I hope that Santa hears my plea
And brings skates from afar.

Ohhhhhh,
Scrape, scrape, scrape,
Skid, skid, skid,
I do a crazy dance,
I can never learn to skate
While sitting on my pants!
Ohhhhhh,
Thump, thump, splat,
Ow, ow, drat,
Falling’s not much fun,
I’d really rather glide and twirl
And whirl like everyone.

The presents are unwrapped,
No shiny skates in sight,
Just sweaters, hats, and oranges —
but what about tonight?
My sis hands me a box
and much to my surprise
Bright shiny skates, the kind I wished,
And look! They’re just my size!

Ohhhhhh,
Swish, swish, swish,
Zip, zip, zoom,
My skates are really fast,
I can whirl and twirl all day
And never be outclassed.
Ohhhhhh,
Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh,
Jump, twirl, spin,
Across the ice I glide,
This is better than I dreamed,
I’ll never go inside!

53 People reacted on this

  1. Oh, Beth! I’m so glad you finally joined in for one of these contests! This is just terrific! I love the whole concept, the skate noises are delightful, “I can never learn to skate while sitting on my pants” – hahahahaha! You have beautifully described the frustration of any sibling coping with hand-me-downs in a wonderful holiday story! Great job! Thanks for playing along 🙂

  2. Beth, I loved how you changed the refrain at the end to match the jubilation of getting new skates! What a fun read.

  3. Yes! Nice meter – this one was the easiest to sing! (there, my secret is out, I have been singing most of the entries out loud 🙂 ) I had a wonderful pair of too-big-not-very-sharp-skates growing up and would skate on the puddles-turned-ice in front of my house. Skating has been a love ever since.

    1. My “secret” is that I sing the words onto the tune as I write. That’s how I write hymn texts, as well. Glad you found my lyrics easy to sing! YAY! And I loved your skating story!

  4. Oh how fun it was to sing these lines. When I finished, I realized I had been smiling the whole while. Just delightful, Beth! DELIGHTFUL! Jump, twirl, spin…

    1. So glad you enjoyed the smiles and chuckles. (There used to be a brand of chocolates here in Canada called “Smiles and Chuckles” — I’d forgotten about them!) Thanks, Alayne!

  5. Your word choice here is fantastic! My favorite is the refrain:
    I can never learn to skate
    While sitting on my pants!
    Ohhhhhh,
    Thump, thump, splat,
    Ow, ow, drat,

    You know you’re doing something write when your reader is giggling out loud 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  6. Beth…this is fantastic!!! Great rhyme…and I love the way you expressed the mc’s frustration with skating with old ill-fitting skates…and then…a wish come true…a dream made real…new skates that fit…and now she can twirl and whirl with the others. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Pat! It was fun! (Since I had no brothers or sisters, hand-me-downs were rare for me, and I considered them a joyous treasure… not that I ever had hand-me-down skates. I suspect I’d have thought differently if I always had to wear hand-me-downs!)

  7. Yes this is very cleverly done. Loved the hand-me-down skates. Reminds me of my time in Toronto learning to ice skate in the town center. I was litterly dragged around by our friends. Photos of the time look real funny….lol. You are a whizz at this!

    1. Thanks, Patricia! I don’t know why I’ve never entered before… I’ll certainly attempt it again, now that I know how much fun it is!

  8. This is so delightful!! How clever you are! (We don’t know each other, but I just wanted you to know this will generate lots of smiles, I’m sure.)

Comments are closed.