Sunday, May 9, 2010

The winner and the last thing for Megan's giveaway!

And the winner is....
Grace Shaffer!

Congratulations Grace! I will be sending off your new book as soon as I get your address! And thanks very much to Sarah and Johanna who also entered their wonderful stories!
Here is Grace's winning story along with two honorable mentions. (I had a hard time figuring out who was going to win, but I picked Grace since she had a great story that had to do with the cover.)

Grace's Story:

The aspens quivered overhead and the cattails all around us rustled in the wind, their sharp blades scratching my face. I had had more than my share of cuts and bruises for the past few days. My sister, Abby, shivered nervously, digging her face deeper into my dress.
I motioned to her to remain still and quiet. The two of us were alarmed when we heard a noise in the distance. I glanced behind my shoulder, and my heart sank when I saw the sight before me. In the distance, a savage looking Indian slowly got up from where he had crouched behind a bush, and started searching.
I squeezed my eyes shut, thinking I had imagined what I had just seen. But when I opened my eyes again, I saw the savage looking Indian again. He was tall, with broad shoulders, paint covering his face, held a sharp tomahawk in his hand, and was searching for something or someone; and I knew exactly what he was searching for. He was searching for us. I squeezed my eyes shut once more, trying to keep the tears from overflowing, trying to stay strong and not showing my fear for my sister. Please, God! Oh, please, let the Indian pass without seeing us! I prayed.
I still remember clearly what my mother had told me when she hid my sister and me in the cellar as the Indians started to crash through the house, tearing or breaking anything in their grasp. “I fear that the Indians will capture your Father and me, so listen very carefully to what I say,” she said firmly while a great lump was in my throat. “Do not let them catch you, my dear Emma. Once you reach the ridge, just a few more miles to town, then send word to your Aunt Maurice. Keep running no matter what. Most of all trust in the Lord, for he will see that we get through these hard times, and take care of your sister. Watch over her; she is still young and will need much protection,” she instructed before she lowered the cellar trap door. I remember how painstaking it was to say our goodbyes and “I love you’s;” by that time Abby was crying hysterically.
I memorized every word of my mother‘s instructions, for it was only but a few days ago that they came out of her mouth. Ever since the Indian raid of our home, my sister and I have run with Indians at our heels. We have run in deep terror that we might be captured.
“Do you think he will see us, Emma?” Abby whispered.
I started ran my fingers gently through my sister soft hair.
“All we can do is wait,” I replied.
Waiting felt like hours, when the Indian started scanning the landscape. I held my breath, my heart skipped a beat, and I closed my eyes once more. Suddenly, I felt a hand grasp my shoulder, and I nearly screamed!
Then I woke up; beads of sweat clung to my skin, and I was panting very heavily. Abby was sitting beside me, sleeping soundly. She had rested her hand on my shoulder. I do not know how, but sleep finally overcame me, and before I knew it, the rooster crowed signaling a new day.

Honorable Mentions:

Magical Friendship by Johanna

It was a cold, blustery day in January. “Cathy” shouted Rose in a loud voice, “We’re going to the store to get some new ballet shoes. You know, for the ballet”. Cathy and her sister Rose were going to be in their first big performance. They had been taking ballet lessons for three years, and now they were ready! “Coming”, exclaimed Cathy excitedly. “Just think we’re going to be in our first ballet, and I’m so glad its going to be ‘Sleeping Beauty’”. “Girls are you ready?” Mom asked from the bottom of the staircase. “Coming!” answered both the girls this time.

When they arrived at the store, Rose easily found her size and the style she liked. But Cathy found two pairs she liked. One pair was pink with tiny little diamonds and flowers, while the other was white, with a bow. In the center of the bow was a single sparkling jewel. Pink was Cathy’s favorite color, so Cathy was just about to choose the pink pair. But there was something about the white slippers, something that made it stand out among all the others. Suddenly, she felt someone tapping her shoulder. She quickly turned around and saw her sister, Rose. “Well, have you decided which pair are you getting?” Cathy gave each pair of slippers another thoughtful look and said quite decidedly, “The white ones!”

The next day at ballet class Miss Adeline the teacher said calmly “Line up girls, and one at a time I would like you to dance the part of Princess Aurora”. One by one the girls (Katie, Eliza, Josie and Rose) danced the part. Then Miss Adeline said, “Cathy, will you please come up”. Cathy was very nervous. She quickly slipped on her new white dancing shoes. At that very moment her fears melted away and she felt relaxed and calm. She walked over to the middle of the dancing floor and began to dance. “Oooo’s” and “Ahhhh’s” were heard throughout the room as Cathy performed the dance flawlessly. When she had finished everyone rushed over and showered her with questions. “How long do you practice?”, “How do you do that twirl so perfect?”, “How do you make it look so effortless?” Even Cathy was astonished at how easily she had performed the difficult steps. She had a strange feeling however that it had something to do with her new dancing shoes.

Slowly, Katie, a girl who had recently moved into town and joined the class, approached and said “Cathy, Miss Adeline wants you and I to dance the part of Princess Aurora one more time.” Cathy grabbed Katie’s hand and they walked towards Miss Adeline. After they both danced the part one more time Miss Adeline said, “Katie and Cathy, you both dance very gracefully. The part of Princess Aurora however, also requires a lot of singing. Therefore, my decision will have to be made not only on your dancing, but your singing ability as well.”

At the request of Miss Adeline, Katie stepped up and began. “La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.” Katie’s steady voice was getting higher by the la’s. It was beautiful. Cathy had a sad look in her eyes, for she knew she would never sing as clear and sweet as Katie. Now it was her turn. Cathy slowly stepped to the center of the room. Nervously, she smoothed out her skirt and as she did, she caught a quick glimpse of her new ballet shoes. The jewels sparkled in her eyes as if to smile back at her. Suddenly she felt a surge of confidence. Cathy lifted her head and began to sing. “La, la, la, la, la, la, la, trolalalala.” She stood back, very startled looking, for she could hardly believe that this beautiful voice was her own! Again, she looked down at her slippers. The jewels were so bright they looked as if they glowed. Once again, Cathy had the strange feeling that her sparkling slippers had something to do with her singing performance. Suddenly, she looked up and Miss Adeline was walking towards her and Katie. She slipped a crown on each of there heads, and said, “Cathy is our Sleeping Beauty, and Katie is Sleeping Beauty’s Mother.”

Snowflakes were lightly falling as Rose and Cathy walked home from ballet class. Rose said, “How did you dance your part so flawlessly and where did you learn to sing so beautifully? Have you been practicing secretly without me?” Cathy looked down. Almost in a whisper she replied “No ... no, I have to tell you the truth ... and the truth is ... well, I never danced that part so well in my life or sang so wonderfully until ... until I got these shoes ... it’s almost as if they’re magic” Then they both looked at one another and said together “THE SHOES!”

That evening the girls decided to find out if the slippers really were magical. “Cathy, try your old ballet shoes on and see if you can dance well” said Rose. Cathy slipped on her old dancing shoes and began to dance. As she finished, she was close to tears with frustration. Then she tried her new white shoes on and repeated the steps with the grace of a butterfly. The slippers WERE magical!

It was the day before the ballet! Everyone was at dress rehearsal. “Okay girls, each one of you come up and dance the part that you are going to perform” said Miss Adeline. As the other girls were lining up, Katie with tears in her eyes, inched her way over to Cathy. “Oh! Cathy, since we’ve moved into town my father has been out looking for a job while my mother lies ill in bed. I’ve spent so much time at my mother’s bedside, that I have not had time to practice my part in the ballet.” Cathy looked down at her dancing shoes. Suddenly she heard Miss Adeline’s voice “You will be next Katie”. Slowly Cathy bent over and pulled off the magical dancing shoes and handed them to Katie. Katie looked puzzled. Cathy smiled and said “Go ahead, try dancing in them”. Katie slipped them on quickly and began her dance. She danced her part as if she were floating on air, effortlessly, just as Cathy had! Tears of happiness were streaming down Katie’s cheeks as she left the dance floor and returned to where Cathy was standing. Florin had sensed the magic in the slippers she was wearing and realized how precious they must be to Cathy. More importantly, Katie now realized what a true friend she had found in Cathy.

As Cathy and Katie left the dress rehearsal together, Cathy explained how she and her sister Rose had discovered the magic of the dancing shoes. Florin looked at Cathy and said “How will I dance in tomorrow’s performance without the shoes?” Then Cathy said brightly “Katie, I’m giving you the shoes.” Katie stopped and turned to Cathy. Then she said “But you need them for the ballet, don’t you?”. “No” said Cathy “They have given me the confidence I need, and now I want to pass them on to a special friend”. With that Cathy pulled the shoes out of her ballet bag, looked at them for another moment, and handed them to Katie. “Oh Cathy, you’re the best friend I could ever ask for ... I ... I don’t know what to say” cried Katie. “You don’t have to say anything” replied Cathy “That’s what friend’s are for.”

On the following evening, Magic filled the air, as the entire town witnessed the flawless performance of Cathy, Florin and all the other girls dancing in the ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Some praised Miss Adeline for her teaching ability. Others complimented the young students for their discipline and long hours of practice. But to Cathy and Katie, who were new best friends, they knew it was The Magic Dancing Shoes!

The End Visit: Johanna's Sweet Blog
~A Nothing~


Darkness erupted from the miniature marble I was holding. Everything was black. Black as a black hole stuck in space that traveled through the universe only at night, when a solar eclipse blocked out the sun and the stars were tired from shining. So yes, you could say it was dark.
I had found the small, glass ball in a cereal box, totally unaware that it would turn my life into some coma.
Was it a coma? Or some world? If it was, what kind? A metropolis that only a certain kind of person could see? I hoped I was that kind of person. Or what else would I do here?
It had been almost two days since I had been sucked from normal living. Normal house. Normal school. Normal friends. Normal parents and siblings, the whole shebang. What had normal turned into now? Odd? Weird? Totally confusing and terrifying?? More of the third one I’m afraid.
I used to be called Erin. I had been very fond of that name, even for a girl. I wonder if I’ll ever be called Erin again, saying as though nobody else is here to say the name. From now on, I’ll call myself Zandrr. Zandrr Spink. I smiled at myself for coming up with such a cool sounding name. Or maybe I didn’t smile? Maybe I just thought I smiled. It’s not like I could tell.
There was no gravity here. No air. No ground. No sound. I couldn’t even hear my own breathing. It was as if I was dead, but yet, I could still think. Could still talk to myself in my head. Talking to yourself might sound like thinking, but to me, it was just the same as talking out loud. I know I make no sense.
Now would come the words “a lot of time has passed” but since there wasn’t time here, it’s not legit for me to say. So what is there to say?? Nothingness is pounding in on my brain, I can’t take it any longer.
What to do when there isn’t anything to even think of doing?! I’m nothingness. Complete and utter nothingness. I’m a nobody. No…I’m a nothing. A nothing. A nothing…a nothing…a nothing…a nothing…a nothing…a nothing…

Chapter 1~

“Five minutes Spencer,” Miss Stone, Vancouver’s favorite librarian whispered in her soft, low voice. Spencer nodded absentmindedly, his nose in a book. Miss Stone smiled and left him be. Around ten minutes later, Miss Stone tapped him on the shoulder.
“Spencer…? Do you need a ride home?” Miss Stone tapped him again, but Spencer’s body was limp. She rolled her pale, blue eyes at the sleeping boy.
“Come on,” she pulled Spencer up and his eyes shot open.
“Oh…I’m sorry Miss Stone,“ he said slowly and winced. Miss Stone only smiled again, and took about nine books from the shelf behind her.
“Here, stuff your face with these. Should be good reads, this is where I put all of my favorite novels and series,” she set the stack in his hands, and led him to the door.
After locking up the library and saying goodbye to fellow librarians, Miss Stone took Spencer to her car.
“Your mom is probably worried,” she said to him with pity in her eyes. Spencer nodded, thinking about how his mother would react after what happened last time he had fallen asleep at the library. He would probably be squeezed to death, then grounded, then ungrounded because his mom was so soft on him. She was too sweet to give him a real punishment.
It was a short drive, and they made it to Spencer’s house by 8:55. Tracey Ashton ran out to meet them by the front gate, a worried look on her face.
“Spencer! Spencer, oh Spencer my boy, have you fallen asleep at that library again?” as imagined, Miss Ashton squeezed Spencer ‘til he could hardly breath.
“I’m sorry Tracey, I should have noticed how late it was,” Miss Stone then assured her it would never happen again, even though that’s exactly what she had said the last time, and look what happened.
Spencer was not grounded, but sent to bed for the night. He had not said much, that being his personality, and the knowledge that if he did, it would have probably made things worse.
He tried not to touch the books Miss Stone had given him. Tried not to look at them. But the sheer curiosity that the boy had for what was inside, finally took over and he was instantly devoured into “Because of Winn Dixie” though he had already read it twice.
It was late. Really late. Almost morning of the next day, and Spencer still sat reading. The dim light of his lamp gave it all a spooky look, but it’s not as if he cared. All he cared about were the words on every single page that made up that book.
Spencer sighed and set down the half-read book. He spread out the other eight and glanced over them all. Endurance. Lord of the Rings. The Black Stallion. Harry Potter. What was this? He picked up a dark red, leather book without a title.
Spencer was used to fantasy. It was his favorite. Fantasy like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Alice and Wonderland, the works. But when he opened to the first page in the red-leather book, it was like someone put a dark blanket over his heart. It was terrifying. Not like any other fantasy book he’d ever read, or ever will read. It was…Dark.
He quickly slammed shut the book with a thump, breathing heavily. What was it about the book that made it sound so real?! He turned it over in his hands, and opened the back to read about the author, only…there was no author. It was just written and there in his hands. No author? Spencer wondered if he fell asleep again. Probably. But the thing that creeped him out the most, were the ongoing words that were now permanently stuck in his head. Two words that filled about twenty pages.
A nothing…a nothing…a nothing…a nothing…a nothing…
Sleep never sounded so good. Spencer leaned over and eyed his bright green alarm clock. 2:17AM. With eyelids heavy, he picked up the cause of his sleepless night. Or morning actually. He studied it’s smooth leather cover, lightly touching it with his fingertips. Tingles flew up and down his fingers and hand. He shivered.
Spencer’s breath was fast paced now, though he didn’t understand why.
While reading the bazaar and frightening book, Spencer had twitched with horror so many times, he now had cramps throughout his body. What awed and terrified him, was that it sounded so real. Like, Zandrr Spink was really trapped in that nightmare.
He rubbed his sore neck and opened up to the last page. It was blank. With keen curiosity, he flipped through the pages until he came to words. The 178th page.
It was dark, even with the dim lamp on his desk, but when he saw small words appear after the last sentence, “…a nothing…”, he knew it wasn’t a dream.
He sprang out of his bed, throwing the covers on the floor. Spencer flipped the light on and studied the page harder. A minute later, more words popped up. A nothing… A grin appeared on his face.
She was real. She was a living human being! Or maybe not? Spencer didn’t know. What he did know, was that he wanted to help her. He might be the only one. But what to do? Was there anything to do?

Spencer grabbed a pen from his desk and let out a breath he had been holding in. He put pen to paper, writing “Hello?” on the end of the last “a nothing…”
Something happened that made Spencer almost fall face down on the floor. Replacing “a nothing” came the words…Who are you?…

Spencer’s eyes widened and he couldn’t breath. The pen that used to be in his hand, had been thrown across the room. He went to fetch it, and brought it back to the book.
He slowly wrote more. My name’s Spencer…are you ok?
Zandrr Spink took a while to reply. The next words on the page were: I’m trapped. Spencer bit his tongue and with a shaky grip on the pen, wrote the words: I’ll help you.
“I don’t know yet. Where are you?”
“Have you been…hearing me?” Zandrr asked.
“Your thoughts have been transferred to this…book. I got it at the library,” Zandrr paused. Spencer didn’t know if she would reply again.
“Well…I don’t know where I am. It’s scary. You’re the first person I’ve heard from since I got in here,” came the words. Spencer’s eyes widened,
“You said it was the marble? The glass marble from the cereal box??” he wrote on the page.
“I think I might have an idea….”

“Spencer??” Zandrr’s thoughts kept spilling out on the page.
“Why have you stopped talking to me? Come back! Don’t leave me…” Spencer couldn’t reply, he was focused on drawing. On the next two pages, Spencer was busily drawing Earth, his house, to be exact. Every detail, every room, everything was added. Two more pages, filled with sketches of him, his family, everything.
“Spencer?!” he hated doing this to her, but he needed to get her out as soon as possible, therefore, he had to make her wait a little while longer.
He was now drawing his school, his friends, buildings near his house, street signs, pictures of Earth again itself. Around 20 minutes later, when he was done, 19 pages of Spencer-related-drawings were in front of him. The last drawing, a picture of the little, glass marble, in pieces, in his hands. The drawings themselves were not all that great, but they’d have to do.
So now he replied to Zandrr.
“I’m back,” he wrote next to her ramblings of “being alone again!”
“SPENCER! What have you been doing, I’m going crazy!” Spencer grinned, ending his sentence with a mere period.
“Just keep talking, ramble on.” Zandrr didn’t understand at first.
“What? Have you figured a way to get me out of here?” Spencer nodded, but suddenly realizing, she couldn’t see him, he wrote on the page.
“Yes, you just gotta keep talking, or…thinking. I have a surprise when your thoughts fill the next few pages. Trust me,” so she rambled on how scared she was, and how the place she was in, was like a horrible coma.
When there, on the starting page of his drawings, the word “Spencer” appeared, Zandrr didn’t say anything else. Spencer waited, but she said/thought nothing else. It must have worked.
Though, it was 4:30 in the morning, he ran outside, only in flannel pajama pants and a tank top. Breathlessly, he looked around, then stopped in his tracks. How could he find her if he had no clue what she looked like? He should have asked. He frowned in desperation.
Running down the sidewalks, he must have looked like an idiot. Spencer stopped dead in his tracks when there, on the steps of the library, lay a girl around his age, probably sixteen, eyes closed.
Suddenly, pain split from his hand and he winced, opening his fist. Little pieces of black glass pierced his palm. A tear fell down his cheek as he ran up the steps to Zandrr.
“Zandrr?!” Spencer took her in his arms and held her to his chest.
“Zandrr, can you hear me? It’s Spencer. You’re on Earth. You’re back,” Zandrr lay there unconscious in his arms. NO! He couldn’t do all of that for only her body!
“Zandrr! Please! I need you!” He brushed her long, brown hair out of her eyes and kissed her forehead. Was the sudden pain in his heart, love? He barely knew her!
It didn’t matter, it was too late anyway. He lost her.
The biggest moment in Spencer’s whole life so far, was seeing Zandrr Spink’s eyelashes flutter, the way they just did.
“Zandrr!” Spencer held her tightly in a hug, not letting go for minutes at a time.
“Am I…alive? On earth?” Spencer nodded, a large smile on his face. Zandrr flung her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek.
“Thank you. I don’t know what I’d do without you…I don’t even know how to repay you!” Spencer tilted his head to the side, eyes locked with Zandrr.
“I don’t wanna ever lose you. Ever.” Zandrr’s eyes widened and she smiled sweetly.
“I need to get to my parents,”
“We’ll call them tomorrow. My parents would never believe me if I told them what happened so…you’re officially a friend from school,” I lifted her up, but when she yelped in pain trying to walk, carried her back to his house.
“Be mine?” Spencer asked, grinning back when she flashed him a quirky smile.
“I couldn’t be anyone else’s.”

The End!

By $arah Sorry, it won't let me post her blog link! Oops!

Those were both very good stories and I would like to ask Sarah and Johanna to send me their address so I can mail them a thank you card. And of course, Grace's too so I can send her her wonderful prize!

Thanks to all who entered! I will host another contest soon because we might move back overseas and can't bring all of our books. We have to pack lightly. Not very happy for me, but for you all of course-I'll be having many giveaways and contests!

Well, that was part one of this post, and now I'm moving on to part 2. (-:

Part 2
Okay, since this is the last day of Megan's blog party, here is the last thing I guess. (-:

I'm just going to tell about what I felt about her blog party and what I liked. Well, I think it was very fun. I can't wait to see who wins! I've never won a giveaway before, just a story contest HERE. I'm sure that others would also like to win, though. (-:

Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I wrote a poem about you:
I love my mom, she is so sweet,
Everyday she tries to keep the house neat,
though it doesn't matter to me,
how neat the house can be,
but most of all I love my mom,
because she never drops a bomb-OOPS!!! Sorry! I love you Mom!
Part- Wait, I'm DONE! Bye! In Jesus,
Kendra Kiser

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