My Humble Thanks 4 The Versatile Blogger Award Nominee!

I am delighted to have received an award, it has me smiling like an idiot.

Writing With Hope

versatile-blogger-award-nomination

I received the Versatile Blogger nominee from Tired Mind Typing Fingerswho is an awesome blogger. I am really humbled by this award, I’d like to think that I’m versatile or at least I try to be. There are so many amazing bloggers out there, so hard to get through all of the posts. But, I do try to read as much as I can and comment.

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Sally’s Sunflowers

Sally started on her list. 1. Keep Bubbles out of the way.

She put a nice comfy cushion on the sunny windowsill in her bedroom, next she placed Bubbles on top of the cushion.

“Now number two, the birds,” Sally whispered.

It was a tricky thing to do but Sally placed five fat seed balls on the bird table in their garden along with a full net of peanuts.   Crossing her fingers she hoped the table wouldn’t break.

“Number three,” she said and went to collect his post from the postbox.  Sally walked to  Mr. Blunts door.

Bubbles ran up to her as Mr. Blunt opened his front door.

“Shoo cat!” He shouted.

“Bubbles came to say hello. She likes people.”

“Well,  I don’t like her. Why have you got my post?” Mr. Blunt asked in a loud voice.

“I was being nice!” Sally whispered.

Just then, Bubbles ran in to the kitchen.

Mr. Blunt chased after her. Sally followed. Luckily for Bubbles, Sally was smaller and faster than Mr. Blunt. Diving under the table she caught Bubbles in her arms and dashed home.

“My teacher says practice makes perfect, we will make him smile.” Sally said hugging Bubbles to her.

Number four was – mow his lawn. But, Mr. Blunt had already mowed it.

Sally shook her head. “It is very hard to help some people.”

Number five: wash his car.

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Sally took out the buckets and sponge for washing the car. She wanted the car to sparkle so she squeezed an extra dollop of liquid into the bucket.

She was washing the windows, when she heard a strange noise. She discovered there were dogs licking the car. Great big dollops of dog slobber were flying about and landing on the nice clean car.

“Shoo go away,” she said. They started barking.

Mr. Blunt came outside. “Who is making all that noise?” He stopped and stared at his car, which was covered in dogs of many shapes and sizes.

He was still shouting as Sally and the dogs ran away.

Mum asked her, ‘Is this what you washed his car with?’

“Yes. It said, it will give the greatest shine all week long.” Sally said scratching number five off her list.

Number six: buy him some sweets.

Sally shook her piggy bank. She counted out loud, ‘four euro and two cents. I could buy an awful lot of chocolate for that.”

Scooping the money into her blue purse Sally walked along beside her mum with a hop and a skip. The money rattled as she moved.

The sweet shop with its rows of rainbow jars of sweets was her favorite shop. “He is a really old man so perhaps I should buy him soft sweets.”

The shopkeeper said,  “that is a kind thought, yes jellies are over here.”

Sally scrunched up her face. Mr. Blunt reminded her of a shark. “What would a shark like?” she asked.

“Something strong and hard, I think, to crunch on.”

‘Well, he is an old shark so perhaps, some bulls eyes, chocolate candy, jelly babies and some soft jellies, just in case.’

“Good idea.”

Sally bought some chocolate mice for Bubbles and herself.

On the way home Sally said, “I don’t know how to give Mr. Blunt these sweets without making him mad.” She sighed. “How can I make him smile if all he does is get madder and madder?”

“Maybe he just doesn’t smile.” Mum said.

Sally grinned. ‘That is silly. Everyone smiles, even Bubbles smiles.’

Back home Sally walked to Mr. Blunts front door. She rang the doorbell. When the door opened Sally shoved the bag of sweets at him saying, ‘these are for you,’ and ran back home.

Mum asked, “did it work?”

“I don’t know.”

Mum bent down and gave Sally one of her extra special hugs.

“Number seven will make him smile, a great big toothy smile!”

Sally spent hours working on her picture. The bird table looked just like the one in her back garden, the birds looked like birds. Sally went to bed saying, “tomorrow I am going to see Mr. Blunt smile.”

That night Sally dreamed that Mr. Blunt smiled so much, he out shone the sun. It hid behind a cloud. The birds didn’t like his smile, they flew away. The dogs were frightened by it and howled like wolves.

On the way to his house, the next morning, the wind pulled the drawing from her hands. It landed in a puddle. She gave it a shake and continued to his door.

The door opened. “What? You’ve come to give me another tooth ache?”

“I drew a picture to make you smile, here it is.”  She held the picture out for him to see.

He took the soggy picture and gave a nod of his head.

Sally was sad but she said, “I’m not giving up. I’ll write down my funny joke.”

Sally’s joke was:

A cheeseburger walked into a bar and said, “hello, can I have a pint of beer please?” The bartender replied “Sorry, we don’ t serve food”

Sally wondered how she could deliver it to him without him seeing her. Dad said, “Let’s send it by airmail.”

He showed Sally how to make and fly paper airplanes. Soon the kitchen was full of paper planes whizzing about.

Sally and dad planes

“I can do this.” Sally said. Walking outside she took the empty bird food bucket and placing it upside down stood on it. She saw Bubble’s sitting in Mr. Blunts garden chair. The back door opened. Sally held her breath, pointed the nose of the plane in the direction of the back door and threw the plane.

It flew straight. Then with a – smack- it hit him on the nose. “Ouch! Who did that?”  He roared.

Sally hid behind the fence. With a sigh Sally sat down on the bucket. Now she had to bake a cake. Sally didn’t like baking but she did like eating cakes.

She baked the cake with mums help. While it was cooling Sally made the icing. “This is the best bit”, she told Bubbles as she drizzled some icing on his paw. He tasted it. Sally went to clean her face and put on a clean tee shirt.

When she returned she discovered Dad had left just one piece of the cake.

“Sorry Sally but it was delicious.” He said.

Sally had one chance left. But she didn’t know what to do. Mum gave her an idea. ” Mr. Blunts wife was a great gardener. ”

“Really?” Sally said. They were watching a tv program about gardening.

“She loved bright flowers.”

The man on TV was talking about Sunflowers. ” They are very smiley flowers, aren’t they?” Sally said. She went to find her dad.

“The trouble is real Sunflowers take months to grow, Sally,” he said.

Sally had a plan. First, she drew a huge sunflower.  Then she and her Dad to his workshop.  Days later they were finished. The flowers had bright yellow and orange faces. They had leaves for arms. The petals made a soft clicking sound that she knew the birds wouldn’t like. Her mum helped her paint the flowers.

“It will keep them away from Mr. Blunts garden and Bubbles too.”  Sally said.

Next morning, Sally and her Dad went to Mr. Blunts house, very early to plant their sunflowers. “Don’t worry Sally, if he shouts, I’ll shout back.” Sally crossed her fingers.

Mr. Blunt was grumbling as he walked to the door. He opened it. “You!” he said to Sally.

“Follow us, Mr. Blunt, you have to see this.”  Dad said.

Mr. Blunt followed them. They stood together and waited. Sally heard a strange sound. She felt sad, Mr. Blunt’s bottom lip was wobbling. She knew what that meant.

“I’m sorry, these were supposed to make you happy,” she whispered.

Mr. Blunt walked over and bending down hugged her lightly, ” Thank you. Can I touch them? My wife loved sunflowers, these are smashing!”

Sally did a cartwheel and laughed aloud. Her miles of smiles worked.

 

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“Well done! Sally. I’ve made some gingerbread, can I bring it over?” Mum asked Mr. Blunt. He answered with a smile.

After that, Mr. Blunt became the smiliest man in the neighborhood. He even suggested they start a business. From then on every Saturday morning Sally, and Mr. Blunt sold sunflowers in the market. And every Sunday morning Mr. Blunt arrived at Sally’s house to hand her a small bag of chocolate mice for Sally, just to make her smile.

A Surprising Catch.

 

Hamish and Breeze were fishing. The moon hovered over them high in the sky.  The river flow was slow.

“The river looks tired.” Breeze whispered.

“Lets hope the fish are hungry and tired.” Hamish stuck his fishing line in the water. The line ran from the water to a low branch of the oak tree. Near the top of the branch Hamish had fixed some tiny bells. “They will wake me when the fish has been caught.” He told Breeze who kept staring at the bells.

“I should have thought of some bells,” Breeze said and settled down for a nap.

They woke when a fox jumped onto Breeze’s chest.  Breeze sat up and shouted “we’ve caught one.”

Hamish looked at their fishing lines.They sat quietly they didn’t jig about in the water.  “I don’t think so, it was Harry the fox, blame him.”

Harry apologised to Breeze for waking him adding, “she scares me. And she is a little crazy as well.”

Breeze and Hamish watched the fox run across some stones along the river bed and vanish into the dark field behind them.

“I wonder who scares him. How shall we find out?” Hamish asked as he spotted a  stripey sock lying on the path close to them. They walked to the sock. Hamish sniffed it. “Lovisma, it smells of lavender and she likes lavender.”

“Lovisma loves her crazy coloured socks, why would she drop it here?” Breeze walked along the path and found another sock, this one had dots on it. They continued through the wood finding out bits of clothes here and there. A hat sat on a gooseberry bush, a  dress hung from a branch and a long scarf blew amongst the leaves in the willow tree. As they went they picked the items up and Breeze stuffed them in his pockets. He smiled because he had solved the puzzle.

“I know a crazy collie who likes to steal socks, but I won’t set Lovisma on her.”Breeze said. “I like crazy collies called Ellie.”

The sun was rising and the moon was heading to bed as they arrived at Lovisma’s house. Elegant and Lovisma were in the kitchen arguing. They could hear because the windows were open.

“I don’t understand who steals our clothes? I mean who would want to do it and why?”

“It is very bothersome. It means we have to keep zapping up new socks. It is  a little tiresome.” Lovisma told her older sister.

“What I don’t understand is how it always happens when it is your turn to do the laundry. It is strange.” Elegant said.

“Let’s be kind neighbour’s and return the washing.” Hamish suggested. “Afterall Elegant is a very kind witch.”

They emptied Breeze’s giant pockets and left the socks and hats in a heap on the porch.

“Go hide.” Hamish told Breeze.

Breeze ran into the wood, Hamish rang the doorbell, then hid.

Elegant answered the door saying, “Good morning….” She stopped and stared at the heap of washing. Then she did a little jig and dance on the front porch before pointing her wand at the clothes and ordering them to march indoors.

Breeze and Hamish heard Elegant say, “Good news Lovisma, you won’t be bored today, some kind neighbour has found our washing.Now lets make sure these socks  in pairs.”

The two friends decided doing nice things made them extra hungry so they forgot about their fishing lines and went to Hamish’s house to cook an extra large breakfast.

 

Easter Bunnies.

The wood smelt of cinnamon. Breeze sniffed the air, like a dog would. “Hmm someone is baking, time to go visit.” He stood and stepped further out onto the branch of the tree, then smiled as it bent gracefully towards the ground. Then he stepped off and said “time to investigate such surprisingly delightfully promising smells.”

He placed one large foot on the soft forest floor and went to visit Tulip, the best baker he knew. However when he got to his friend Tulips house it was to discover she was not feeling happy.

“Did you steal my baking?” Tulip, the fairy, flew close to his face.

He shook his head and said, “It is gone? Ahh no who would do such a nasty thing?”

Tulip bit her bottom lip and considered who the thief might be. They decided to set a trap. Breeze helped by taking hold of two of the biggest hot cross buns and blew on them to cool them before eating them.

“Really? Tulip said. That is your idea of helping? Making them disappear?”

“But this time you know when and where they are disappearing. Last time it was some slinky thief who stole them.”

His fingers itched as Tulip placed the other ten cakes on her windowsill to cool.

“Now we hide. “She told him.

“Perhaps I should just sample one more to make sure they really are..” he was drooling as he spoke. “No, hide now.” Tulip stamped her feet and he knew it was a sign that a fairy with a lot of magic was getting madder by the second. And he did not want to make her angry.

Breeze climbed into a tree close to her house and waited. He didn’t see what was happening at first. He simply heard a “swish” “swash” sound and when he peered at the house there was now nine cakes left.

“Bother” Tulip said from her hiding place close to him. “did you see who that was?”

Breeze shook his head.

“Hmm, a little magic is needed.” With that she flew back to her window and threw what Breeze thought was icing sugar on the cakes.

When she arrived back beside Breeze, she put her finger to her lips. He nodded and settled down for a snooze, after all if magic was being used then he had time for a nap.

He woke to see a dancing hopping bright blue light. It made his head ache, the light was too bright. “Turn it off, please ” he asked Tulip.

“In a minute, come with me.”

Breeze looked at her and wondered if now was a good time to point out that she always insisted he said, “please and thank you,” but she often forgot to say it. He decided to be quiet.

They discovered in the middle of the hopping blue light a very angry dancing bunny.

“He looks strange.” Breeze said.

“Herbert is very strange”

But he is the, Easter bunny isn’t he?” Breeze tilted his head sideways to examine the huge basket of easter eggs beside Herbert. “You can’t harm him then.”

“Tulip maybe it would be best to let him go.” Breeze spoke softly.

Tulip thought about this and decided Breeze was right. But only after she made Herbert eat two dozen hot cross buns. When he left he kept saying, “I will never want to see one of them ever again.”

It took Breeze two days and a whole tin of gingerbread men before he forgave her for not letting him eat hot cross buns with the Easter Bunny.

 

Sally’s Smiling Sunflowers

Part 3.

Sally wondered what would make Mr. Blunt happy. She wanted to see him smile. “Everyone should smile sometime,” she whispered.

Her dad heard her. He said “If you do that you will be the biggest and best smile maker in the whole world.”

This is Sally as  the worlds biggest, best smile maker for you to colour.

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Q&A With Children’s Author Maria Matthews

I was delighted and honored to be given this chance by Shana. Thank you, Shana.

Rosco's Reading Room

Please welcome Maria Matthews, Irish author of the delightful chapter book, The Runaway Schoolhouse, to the Reading Room today.

Q. Welcome, Maria! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.

A. I live north of Dublin city, Ireland, in a rural village. Like every other writer, I grew up reading and loved to daydream. It wasn’t until my children were grown that I had the time and confidence to begin writing. I began by submitting short stories to magazines and was successful, having stories published in women’s magazines, and being runner up in a short story competition.

Nanowrimo encouraged me to try writing longer works and for the past four years November has been a no housework month, as writing consumes me. Becoming unemployed was a boost to my writing time, but to live, we need to work so I work twenty hours a week.

I was…

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