Category Archives: Kidlit

HOW TO HIDE ACORNS JUST RIGHT

[photo credit: Ebay.com]

This is my 50 words or less children’s story in honor of Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and for Vivian Kirfield’s #50PreciousWords contest. 50 Precious words Enjoy! Thank you Vivian for this opportunity. You rock!

HOW TO HIDE ACORNS JUST RIGHT

(50 words)

By Traci Bold

Winter is coming!

Squirrel must bury his food.

In a place…

Just right.

Or I’ll forget.

Let me help. Near a shrub.

Which one?

Under the fir.

Not my fur!

By the house.

Humans will find them.

Among the garden.

Maybe…

Below the trellis.

Good spot…

Perfectly center.

Just right.

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

testudinal – adjective

[te-stood-n-l, –styood-]

  1. pertaining to or resembling a tortoise or tortoise shell.

 

crevice – noun

[krev-is]

  1.   a narrow opening or crack in a hard surface and especially in rock

crevice

“I feel so naked without it,” Terrence said to his best friend Trent.

“You look fine without it,” said Trent.

“But I need it, it protects me. You wouldn’t go anywhere without yours and you know it.”

Trent kicked the ground, shuffling his feet. “You’re right, I wouldn’t.”

Terrence covered himself with large leaves he found.

Trent laughed. “You look better without the leaves.”

Terrence squinched his eyes and curled his mouth. “Fine.” He dropped the leaves.

“We need to retrace your footsteps,” Trent said. “Start from the beginning.”

Terrence led Trent back to his home under the mud bog. Trent scratched around the mud. Terrence breezed through the brush. “Not here,” he called out.

A shadow passed above them. Chills crept over Terrence.

They traipsed to the rock quarry next. Terrence kicked rocks out of his way while Trent noses around the big rock. “Not here,” he said.

Sweat dripped off of Terrence, his skin becoming pinkish.

“We have to find your shell fast. You’re going to fry right up and the buzzards will eat you all gone.”

Terrence trembled at the thought. He led Trent to the other side of the rock quarry where the sun was almost hiding.

A testudinal object poked out from the crevice in the quarry.

“Look Terrence!” Trent pointed.

CRAW! CRAW! A shadow circled above them, then disappeared.

“Run!” Trent called.

Terrence used all of his might pushing his stubby legs as fast as they could go.

The shadow became two.

Terrence pushed on.

Swooooosh!

Terrence ducked. “Almost there,” he chanted over and over.

Trent chucked a rock at the buzzards.

Swoooosh!

He ducked into his shell as the buzzards dove toward him.

Swooosh! Miss.

Trent peeked out from his shell, fearful for his friend.

Terrence lunged forward.

The testudinal object was indeed his shell. He pulled and prodded. Swoooosh! and pulled some more. The shell flew into the air…kerplunk… hit a buzzard and landed perfectly on Terrence, covering his body once more.

CRAW! CRAW! Screamed the buzzards, one rubbing it’s head.

Terrence ducked into his shell and hid in the crevice between a rock and a hard place, known as the quarry.

When the buzzards bagged out, Terrence ambled over to his friend.

“Good thing they’re gone, they almost had themselves fried tortoise for lunch.”

“And chicken soup if they had caught me,” Trent said as he shivered.

“You were brave Trent, not a chicken,” said Terrence.

“I guess so. But you’re the one who gave one buzzard a goose egg.”

Terrence laughed. “Yeah. Buzzards love to eat tortoise eggs so I bet they love goose eggs too!”

Together they laughed and laughed all the way to the mud bog where they filled up on leaves for lunch and nestled into the mud for a nap.

 

 

 

Embrace the ‘bold as brass’ Moments

Haha! Today’s word of the day selection for Merriam Websters Learner’s Word of the Day is a phrase and one that I truly enjoy. Here it is…

bold as brass – idiom

[bohld az bras]

  1.   not afraid at all : very confident or bold

 

One word sticks out to me in that phrase and it is repeated in the definition. Can you guess it? If you need a hint, look at my name and you will see the same word repeated. I use it in both my webpage and Twitter handle.

bold as brass lion (Not sure if this is a bold or stupid move to give a lunging lion a wrapped present. This guy sure doesn’t exude confidence. How would you describe his expression? Write your answer in the comments for this post.)

Not sure what an idiom is? Me either. But idiom is what bold as brass is classified as instead of a noun, verb, adjective, etc. Nope, not idiot, but idiom which is quite different. Therefore, here are some examples of idioms

idioms-english

animalidioms

and definitions:

[id-ee-uh m]

1.   an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but that has a separate meaning of its own
2.    a form of a language that is spoken in a particular area and that uses some of its own words, grammar, and pronunciations : dialect
3.   a style or form of expression that is characteristic of a particular person, type of art, etc.
idiom explanation
Now that we know exactly what an idiom is I can show what bold as brass is.
My given first name is Traci which in some baby name books means, ‘bold, courageous battler’. When I married and took my husband’s last name, Bold, my full name took on a whole new meaning and one that I have steadily embraced.
Throughout my life I have fought for fairness (the phrase ‘life isn’t fair’ is a load of crap, a cop out,  as it is used by people who do not want to put in the work and time to do the right thing). I battle quite hard to achieve it and have lost the battle numerous times. But I persevere; carry on and keep trying. I have always believed that anything worth having is worth working hard for; there is always a catch in things coming easy.
In my writing, I take a bold approach to convey the story I want to tell or convey the message I want to get across. This is where editing comes in. Sometimes my bold approach is too bold and needs to be toned down to a gentle approach. Boldness requires balance like a teeter totter.
Teaching kids balance
Teaching kids balance – illustration of two children on a seesaw
Balance requires a mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior or judgement. Snap decisions disrupt this balance and do not attribute to the bold as brass moments.
brass knuckles  Bold as brass is a state of mind in how you live your life. It’s not about giving attitude adjustments to people who you think need it but rather adjusting your attitude to handle the situation given with finesse and flair that’s best for all involved. In essence, not taking crap from people and standing up for what is right by doing it the right way, not a bullying way.
Bullies are everywhere and around every corner. Being bold as brass means you fight to do the right thing no matter how hard or how steep the road is. You don’t let the bullies get to you and you put the bullies in their place by being bold as brass, not using brass. Bullies have some type of insecurity that moves them to bully people who have less than them or who have more, it just depends. Often, confident people are their first intended targets. Why? Because they want to shake up the confident persons world to feel better about themselves. But these confident, bold as brass people just let the bullies roll right off their shoulders which bullies hate.
A bully will back down from someone showing confidence. It shakes them up.
bullying-stops-here-fight-back.jpg
However, being bold as brass is sometimes looked upon as being cocky and some people are just that. So, be bold, be brave, stand up for your rights and others but also be humble, kind, caring and loving. When you are all of these, you will have the world in your hands to do great and wondrous things. You don’t have to be bold as brass all the time. Embrace the bold as brass moments when you have them and be proud.
the-world-in-my-hands-1280x800
We all have the ability to be bold as brass but not always the courage to be. The choice is ours alone. Make each moment count the right way.
Sincerely,
Traci Bold 

Lost and Found

sylvan – adjective, noun

[sil-vuh n]

adjective

  1.   of, relating to, or inhabiting the woods.
  2.   consisting of or abounding in woods or trees; wooded; woody:
    a shady, sylvan glade.
  3.   made of trees, branches, boughs, etc.

noun

4.   a person dwelling in a woodland region.

5.   a mythical deity or spirit of the woods.

 

relieved– adjective

[ri-leev]

  1.   feeling relaxed and happy because something difficult or unpleasant has been stopped, avoided, or made easier : feeling relief

 

 

Jolene stepped into the meadow. On the other side were the woods. Behind her a group of kids ran after her chanting mean horrible things. She scanned the meadow; no where to hide there. Right then she knew she had to make it to the woods to drown out the meanies and their chants or she would lose her temper causing even more chaos.

469

Only a few yards in, the chants grew quieter as the woods ate up the sounds past it’s borders. Jolene breathed in deep. Ahhhhhhhhh. Much better. The only sounds were squirrels chattering and rustling in the foilage and something small scampering across the forest floor.

The air was crisp and piney, her favorite smell as it reminded her of Christmas time, a time that was always magical no matter whose home she was at. She closed her eyes and reveled momentarily in Christmases gone by.

CRACK!

Her eyes flew open. Was that a lightning strike? Jolene knew that sound all too well. She looked up to the sky. Blue skies still spilled through some of the gaping treetops and sunshine peeked through here and there. Not thunder, not this time.

CRACK!

The sound came from in front of her. She scoured the trees for falling limbs and branches.

CRACK! SNAP!

Now this was different. The sound was directly in front of her somewhere behind the oak and pine trees.

SNAP! A flash of electric blue light shot out from the wide oak.

Jolene was mesmerized. Her feet happily lead her to the majestic tree.

“Hello? Who’s there and how did you make that blue light?” she asked skirting herself around tree.

CRACK! SNAP! was her reply. Jolene jumped. She scurried to the other side of the tree in time to witness tiny feet like a babies but with only four toes kick forest floor up at her.

“Go away. You scare me,” a tiny yet commanding voice said.

“Who are you? I promise not to hurt you in any way. You made beautiful blue light. Please come out,” Jolene coaxed.

Shuffling sounds grew closer to Jolene.

“I do not have anything but my clothes and shoes. See?” she said holding her hands straight up in the air.

A short, furry person with a cherub face stepped out from the oak tree. This beautiful being radiated a soft glow of white light almost with a bluish tint and was carrying what looked like a bamboo stick.

Jolene immediately felt relieved and at peace, something she had not felt in a long time.

“You have the sweetest face I have ever seen,” Jolene said.

“Thank you,” came the simple reply.

“Most kids do not like these woods. Rumor has it these woods are haunted by ghosts of evil people. I like the woods. I find peace here.”

“As you should.”

“But there are scary creatures and animals in these woods aren’t there?”

“Depends.”

“On what?”

“On what you think is scary. Do you think rabbits, squirrels, fox, deer, owls, birds, or Sylvans are scary?”

Jolene thought about this. She really loves all animals but she had never seen a Sylvan before and was not sure what one really was.

“What is a Sylvan?”

“I am a Sylvan. Are you scared of me?”

The Sylvan twirled around emitting a cloud of powder blue dust. As the dust cleared, a taller shape stood in front of Jolene. This shape was just like Jolene’s dream version of a grandmother. This being still held the bamboo looking stick.

“No.”

The Sylvan swirled in circles again emitting a powder blue dust cloud. Now it was shaped into strange animal that had paws like a kitten, powder puff tail, soft fluffy looking gray fur and the face of a wolf.

“How about now?”

Jolene laughed. “Definitely not.”

Once again, the Sylvan swirled and twirled and when the powder blue dust cloud settled, the group of meanies was standing in front of Jolene.

“And now?” growled the Sylvan.

Jolene trembled. She felt fury rise up in her throat all sense of peace gone. Red was everywhere, she felt it, saw it and tasted the bitterness of it.

“Yes but scared for you, not of you,” she said through clenched teeth closing her eyes, willing the Sylvan to retreat. The heat was rushing through her veins and scorching her eyes. “You need to leave before I hurt you.”

CRACK! SNAP!

“You can open your eyes, I have changed back.” the Sylvan said.

Slowly Jolene opened her eyes. Her hands trembled, her body shook.

Blue light filled the space around her. The Sylvan was once again the furry, cherub faced short being. It reminded her of everything good  in the world, babies, animals and spirit beings.

Jolene relaxed. Peace was filling her up inside pushing the fury out of her. She sat down on the forest floor grateful for the soft seat it provided.

The Sylvan sat beside her. “You passed the test, you may visit these woods whenever you want Jolene. I know you will bring no harm to the creatures who live here.”

“What is your name?”

“Sylvie. Unoriginal I know but I like it best.”

“Makes sense to me. Why did you change shape? Can all Sylvans change shape?”

Sylvie tilted her head to the side and snapped her stick once.

Snap. A tiny blue streak shot across the air.

Finally she answered.

“We Sylvans change shape to suit our need. If we feel a dangerous being is here, we change into whatever scares them the most. If we feel a good being is here, we change into whatever image brings the happiest thoughts to that being. I imagine this is why these woods are rumored to be haunted.”

“I am so sorry I became so angry. When you changed into the meanies, every horrible thing they have ever done to me, other kids and even animals came to me and my horrible power started kicking in. I cannot control it when it does which scares me the most. I have to either run away or will the target to go away so I cannot harm them.” Jolene explained.

Sylvie squeezed Jolene’s hand. A warm feeling of love flooded Jolene. She hugged Sylvie then stood up to leave.

” I have to get back home Sylvie. My foster Mom will be worried if I am home too late. I promise to keep your secret.”

Sylvie smiled a brilliant smile. “No need to keep the secret. It will just be another rumor but one that will keep the bad beings out. You may visit whenever you like. In fact, coming here will ease your power and help you keep control over it until you learn how to use it wisely.”

Jolene tilted her head and thought a moment. “I’m glad you are my new friend Sylvie. I’ll visit again soon.”

CRACK! SNAP! Beautiful blue light lit up the forest.

“Anytime!”

Jolene rushed home, just in time to help with dinner.

“Where were you Jolene?” her foster Mom asked.

“Working on my creative writing project with a new friend.”

“New friends are good. What’s her name?”

Jolene beamed at her. “Sylvie.”

 

 

Check This Out KidLit Writers

Writers of children’s books, check out this fantastic blog. Not only is it fantastic but insightful and resourceful as well.

Not saying more because the blog says it all when you read it.

https://subitclub.wordpress.com/

#justkeepwriting #justkeepwriting

FOLLOW ME

dusk – noun 

[duhsk]

  1. the time when day changes into night and the sky begins to get darker
  2. partial darkness; shade; gloom

vase – noun

[veys, veyz, vahz]

1.   a container that is used for holding flowers or for decoration

kerflooey – adverb

[ker-floo-ee]

1.   Informal. to cease functioning, especially suddenly and completely;fall apart; fail:

ludic – adjective

[loo-dik]

1.   playful in an aimless way

kerflooey

 

The sun would be setting soon. Bad things happened at dusk when the shadows came out of hiding. This was not good. Of course leaving their home without permission was not good either. The girls had no idea how soon their adoptive parents would come looking for them.

The girls lived with an English family who had rescued them. When the girls were just babies their parents had been killed in a fire trying to save them. As they had been told, the English couple had known their parents and were visiting when the fire broke out.

Now that the girls were each thirteen years of age, they wanted to return to their Aborigine people. They had learned enough of the aboriginal culture to know that only the boys did a walkabout but they were sure their people would welcome them home especially when the elders of the tribe realized they had outsmarted the Quinkins.

“Kala, did you bring the vase with you?” Kyeema asked.

The vase was the key to this being a night they will live to remember or a night they wish  forgotten.

“Yes, Kyeema. I have it hidden here in this sack.”

“Good deal then. With our walkabout camouflage, there should be no chance of anything going kerflooey.”

Kala and Kyemma knew the shiny, silver vase would attract both of the Quinkins’ attention possibly allowing the girls to pass by the cave at night, unnoticed. Then they could safely make it to their new home. Their hope was that the Quinkins would fight over the shiny object (both spirits were entranced by shiny things and often only showed themselves to humans when the humans had shiny objects upon them) and pay no attention to them.

Now that the girls were each thirteen years of age, they wanted to return to their people. They had learned enough of the aboriginal culture to know that only the boys did a walkabout but they were sure their people would welcome them home especially when the elders of the tribe realized they had outsmarted the Quinkins.

“Have you ever seen a real Quinkin?” Kala.

Blue blank sheet of paper

Kyeema raised an eyebrow. “We are twins Kala, when have you ever known me to leave your side unless I am with Mum or Dad?”

“I know but I thought maybe you had dreams about them like you do other things.”

“Luckily, I have never seen one in my dreams. However I think I saw a Timara when Mum and I went to market. Legend says they stay invisible though so I am not sure.”

“Why do you think you saw one then?”

“Well, at the market, something kept pulling Mum’s scarf off of her and she kept blaming me. It wasn’t me and I saw a tall, wafer thin rabbit looking person shimmy through the narrow alley after Mum accused me of pulling it again, and crazy laughter from the alley followed.”

Quinkins are spirit people, and there are two kinds, both usually invisible to humans which make them dangerous enough. Imjims are the mean ones who will steal children and take them to their caves to raise the children as monsters. Imjims are short, hairy, plump bellied people who have large scary heads and claws and some say, fangs too.

Now the Timaras were quite the opposite. Though they could be dangerous when they played tricks on humans, often it was just for fun. The Timaras were tall, extremely thin (thin enough to fit between the larger cracks of the caves) and had ears similar to a rabbits. Humans were a source of fun for the Timaras so usually they did their best to keep the humans safe from the Imjims.

“It is time Kala,” Kyeema said.

Kala and Kyeema crept to the side of the cave where the Imjims lived. The moon was hidden for the time being by a creeping cloud. The girls had just a sliver of time to place the vase while the moon was hidden and run before the cloud passed. They counted on this so if an Imjim came out, the vase would catch the wink of the moon and shine brightly.

Kyeema checked the sky.

“Ready? When I hold up my third finger, set it down and run as fast you can,” Kyeema whispered.

Kala took out the vase. She watched Kyeema’s shadow.

One finger.

Two fingers.

Three fingers!

Kala set the vase down and ran as fast she could past the cave opening.

Kyeema and Kala made it a few yards past the opening when the moon winked out of the cloud and they heard loud screams. Terrified, they halted, going kerflooey. 

“OOOOOOOOOOO!” and feet pounding on pavement was heard loud and clear as the moon came out of hiding.

Kala grabbed her sisters’ hand and pulled her behind her, running.

Suddenly, Kyeema pulled Kala to a stop.

“What are you…” Kala protested.

Kyeema shushed her and motioned for Kala to look back.

In the moonlit distance the girls could make out short forms and tall forms rolling around the ground, the vase shining in the scuffle.

Laughter now made it’s way to their ears. Not scary laughter but more of a giggling laughter.

The Quinkins scuffled and rolled like ludic pups.

Kala and Kyeema turned and ran toward their new home with a vivid story to tell when they got there.

 

The End

Picture Books: What’s Your Favorite Subject to Read?

Happy Monday Parents!

Mondays can be quite daunting, but Friday is only four days away now so keep your chin up. This being said, Mondays are great days to visit your local library with your kids.

I have numerous reasons for this. First, going to the library for books your kids want to read is a treat for them.

Second, as it is a treat, this gives you as the parent, an opportunity to learn more about your child’s interests in their world by what books they choose.

Third, this also gives you an opportunity to expand their world by introducing them to other subjects of books or genres or expanding their favorite subject into areas they did not know were compatible. Example: your child loves books about working trucks, show your child books about different rocks that may be found in a quarry or what kind of work the trucks do such as building homes and skyscrapers. Or introduce them to books (non-fiction is great for specific subject finds) about trees or farming. A rockredwoodshow a house is built schoastic-discover-more-farm

Now, some children are really drawn to picture books about subjects us parents would rather they did not want to check out such as bodily functions. However, these books too have a place in your child’s book repertoire. A book that addresses this bemusing subject will appeal to you as a parent and them as a child. This delightful picture book is written by Whoopi Goldberg, illustrated by Olo and is named, ‘WHOOPI’S BIG BOOK OF MANNNERS’. 

You know what your child likes to read but are there subject matters out there that you wish there were more picture books about? Maybe there is a delicate subject that your child is dealing with and if there was a picture book about this subject,  you may be able to help your child through a tough situation. Maybe your child really loves giraffes and only wants you to read them books about giraffes. Are there enough books about giraffes that your child will be satisfied with or do wish there were more because you really would like to read more than the five or six you can find.

As a picture book writer, I continuously read picture books, new and old seeing what is out there. I do have my favorite subjects to write about but I like to expand my knowledge. This is where you parents come in.

Please comment on this post about what picture book subjects you would like to see more of in the future. This will not only help me out but other authors as well.

Thank you!