Tag Archives: writing contest

March 2021 Bookish Resolutions Wrap-up

Happy Easter!

It’s hard to believe March has come and gone. It was an unusual March this year: unseasonably warm and with no March Break for the kids, as it has been moved to April.

I completed most of my resolutions this month.

-Read 24 books for the Mount TBR 2021 challenge.

I read one book from my TBR list, and it was an amazing one called “Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process”. Click here to read more about it.

If you want a sample of what the essays are like, click here.

-Read 12 nature related books to enhance my horticultural therapy study.

I got part way through my book club book. It’s a huge collection of stories, which I am taking my time with.

-Read 12 books that are either memoir, poetry, or soul books.

I read two memoirs:

“Girl in the Dark” by Anna Lyndsey

What would you do if you developed an insensitivity to all forms of light and had to spend all your time in a blacked-out room? Well, that’s what happened to Lyndsey, and you can read all about the highs and lows and the light and the dark in this fascinating memoir. 

Many doctors were puzzled by Lyndsey’s condition, and the memoir has garnered some controversy. You can read about these issues in this article.

I had wondered what happened to Lyndsey in recent years, as the memoir doesn’t end on a positive note with her cure. Fast forward to 2020, and Lyndsey finally got her diagnosis, which is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. It’s a condition she’ll always have to live with, but at least she knows more about how to manage it.

One of my favourite parts of the book is when she finally is able to go outside after a long period of time inside and experience rain again:

“From the crown of my hat to the toes of my boots, an indescribable thrill runs through me. I stand poised at the edge of the lawn, and my starved senses open to this delicious, half-forgotten joy…It is as though I am being kissed by the world, welcomed back to life.”

“Two Trees Make a Forest” by Jessica J. Lee

This 2020 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction award winner and contender for Canada Reads 2021 (which did not win) is not your typical memoir, as it encompasses history, travel, and nature. This short video and this one will give you a taste, hopefully whetting your appetite to read the book.

-Work on my writing 15 minutes a day.

A lot of my writing has been horticultural therapy related, but I also worked on my story that I wish to hand into the CANSCAIP competition as well as critiquing two stories per week.


Read this excellent story from one of my critique partners, which I got to see evolve.

-Read 3 creative nonfiction essays a week.

I didn’t quite read three per week, falling short just a couple, mainly because my assignment for my horticultural therapy course was far more extensive than I thought it would be. Here are my favourites:

“As an immigrant, I wanted to understand Canada’s fascination with the Tragically Hip. This is what I found” by Lindsay Pereira

“What the Hip gave me, eventually, was a key to understanding not just a culture but a people. The band’s songs reflected the hopes and aspirations of city dwellers as well as small towners, recognising a commonality in this shared experience that I began to appreciate as an outsider. The people wearing “In Gord we Trust” T-shirts weren’t just fans; they were identifying themselves as members of a club that had used this music as a soundtrack to their lives.”

“Exit Wounds” by Sue Cann

A braided essay weaving together childhood and adult experiences.

-Read 5 picture books per month

Done. Here are my favourites:

“Terry Fox and me” by Mary Beth Leatherdale; illustrated by Milan Pavlović

Told from the perspective of Terry Fox’s best friend, the story is pre Marathon of Hope.

“Dorothea’s Eyes” by Barb Rosenstock; illustrated by Gérard DuBois

A picture book biography about photographer Dorothea Lange

“A Last Goodbye” by Elin Kelsey; illustrations by Soyeon Kim

A touching picture book about how animals express grief and take care of each other in the end stages of life

Bonus books:

“Before They Were Authors: Famous Writers as Kids” by Elizabeth Haidle

This graphic biography about such writers as Maya Angelou, Gene Luen Yang, and Madeleine L’Engle is good for both kids and adults.

“Crows: Genius Birds” by Kyla Vanderklugt

I’ll never look at crows the same way again.

-Submit one story to a contest per season.

I submitted two:

Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse (TNQ)

This was my first time submitting a poem to a contest.

Rate Your Story Spring Writing Contest: Cooking Up Culture

-Attend one writing webinar per month.

I attended two writing webinars:

An Evening with Diana Beresford-Kroeger (IRL)

Interview with Tui Sutherland

-Work on one lesson of a writing course per month.

I did a few ModPo lessons from Coursera.

-Attend a writing group session per week.

I attended at least one per week, usually two.

-Blog at least twice a month.


-Weekly treasure:

The only ice in my area remaining is on my backyard Linden tree


100 days

I still continue to read 2 pages of my German book a day, and I am getting close to being done! 


I wrote two from the two memoirs I read, but I have yet to be brave enough to tweet them.

New self created challenge:

30 days of awe

Write down something awe inspiring or beautiful for 30 days.

I have loved doing this.

How was your March?

Shoe’s Seeds & Stories

@Copyright 2021 Linda Schueler


Valentine’s Day Memories (Valentiny 2021)

It’s time for the Valentiny writing contest! This year’s contest:

“…since writing for children is all about “big emotion for little people” (I forget who said that, but someone did so I put it in quotes!) and Valentines Day is all about emotion, write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone feels brave!” Click here to read more.

Valentine’s Day Memories

Melissa peered into the room. She looked down at the Valentine’s Day card she had made for Nana. She didn’t want to give it to a nana who didn’t remember her. 

She crept into the room. 

Nana smiled at her. “Well hello there.”

Melissa’s heart leapt. Nana had remembered her.

“Who might you be, young lady?”

Her heart crashed down again. She took a step forward. “I made this for you, Nana.” She handed her the heart.

Nana took the card and clapped her hands. “For me? What a thoughtful child.”

“Yes, Nana.”

Melissa dashed out of the room and curled up in a chair, sobbing.

A strange sound made her look up. A cart full of roses had stopped in front of her. Melissa sobbed again. Melissa and Nana’s favourite thing to do had been working in Nana’s rose garden.

“You look like you could use a rose.” A man pushing the cart handed her one.

Melissa tiptoed to Nana’s room. She hesitated at the door but then stepped in.

“I brought you a rose, Nana.”

Nana clapped her hands again. “How thoughtful, young lady.”

Nana breathed the scent of the roses in, frowned, and then smiled. “Thank you…Melissa.”

Melissa grinned and hugged Nana. “You’re welcome, Nana. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Shoe’s Seeds & Stories

@Copyright 2021 Linda Schueler

Holiday Contest 2020: Planting Smiles

It’s time for the Holiday Contest!

This year’s guidelines: “Write a children’s holiday story (children here defined as age 12 and under) about a Holiday Helper!…Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, New Year’s or whatever you celebrate during the Holiday Season, but is not to exceed 250 words…”

Today’s the last day to enter, so you still have some time. Click here to read the rest of the guidelines or to access the link to read the stories. 

Planting Smiles

Maria tugged on Mommy’s arm sleeve. “Do we have to do this, Mommy?”

Mommy smiled at Maria. “You’ll see why.”

Maria and her mommy were at their local senior’s home. Maria looked at the plants on their cart. She didn’t see why they were delivering plants to the seniors. They didn’t know anyone here.

Maria hopped from foot to foot. “What do I do?”

“Why don’t you push the cart?” asked Mommy.

She could do that. She leaned all her weight onto the cart, and they set off.

Mommy knocked on the first door. “Come in,” said a quivering voice.

Maria swallowed. “Mommy, I’m scared.”

Mommy grabbed Maria’s hand and squeezed it. They entered. An old woman sat in a wheelchair, hunched over, frowning. 

“Merry Christmas. Happy holidays,” said Mommy. She handed the old woman a plant. 

The woman looked up at them and a smile crossed her face. “Thank you.”

They left the room and went to the next. This time an old woman clapped her hands at the gift. “Oh, I Iove plants. Thank you so much.”

Next was an old man. He grunted at them, but Maria saw a twinkle in his eye as he put his plant on his nightstand. He chuckled as they left the room.

“Mommy?” asked Maria. “Can you push the cart while I hand out the plants?”

Mommy smiled. “Yes, let’s do that.”

Maria knocked at the next door. “Merry Christmas. Happy holidays.” The next smile enveloped her like a warm hug.

I hope you enjoyed my story. Wishing you much peace this holiday season.

Shoe’s Seeds & Stories

@Copyright 2020 Linda Schueler

Update: I’m thrilled that I got “honourable mention” for this story!

Halloweensie: “Dancing the Legbone”

I can’t believe that it’s the 10th anniversary of the Halloweensie contest, one of my favourite contests! I haven’t entered all the years, but I have written quite a few stories for this contest.

This year’s guidelines: “The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words skeleton, creep, and mask. “

Click here for all the rules. 

Here’s my entry.

Dancing the Legbone

Every year the skeletons held a skull ball on Hallowe’en night. Every year Funny-Sonny Skeleton wanted to ask Silly-Sally Skeleton to dance the legbone, but he was too shy. He’d creep back and forth behind the table holding bone broth drinks and knuckle sandwiches and just watch. 

This year though Funny-Sonny arrived clutching his invitation that said “Mask required”. His bones clattered as he saw Silly-Sally, but his mask made him brave.

He extended his hand. “May I have this dance?”
She nodded. They skipped to the dance floor and danced the legbone all night long. 

I hope this put you in the Hallowe’en spirit. Click here to enjoy some more Halloweensie stories.

Happy Hallowe’en! Stay safe.

Shoe’s Seeds & Stories

@Copyright 2020 Linda Schueler

Kindness Jar (Isolation Version)

I have read about kindness jars, and last week I decided to try using one. There were several reasons for this including the fact that when you are isolating with people you often take them for granted, and you can sometimes forget to be kind to each other. Another reason is that you often forget to be kind to yourself.

I made several slips that we draw after lunch. So far it’s been a hit!

The only rules I made is that you cannot do the same thing two days in a row, and if you don’t want to do one, then you may put it back, but then you have to draw two more. We also have been a bit flexible, eg., on the days it was raining no one had to go birdwatching. The task was completed on a sunny day instead.

Below are the ones I put in my jar. Feel free to use any or make up whatever suits you and your current companions instead.

Suggestions for a Kindness Jar

Do a chore.

Give a member of your family a 5 minute massage.  

Ask someone to share an uplifting 5-15 minute video with you.

Send someone a picture of an animal.

Compliment someone.

Tell someone that you are proud of them for something.

Make someone a card.

Tell someone that you appreciate them and what for.

Draw or colour something for someone.

Make someone a healthy snack you think that they will like.

Ask someone to share part of their current favourite book with you.

Be kind to an animal.

Tell someone a joke.

Be kind to some plants; spend 15 minutes working in the garden.

Ask someone to share a current favourite song with you.

Ask someone what small kind thing you can do for them today.

Stretch for 10-15 minutes.

Spend 10-15 minutes birdwatching.

Spend 15 minutes in the backyard.

Spend 5-10 minutes meditating with someone else.

Ask someone about what they enjoying right now. Listen.

Make someone a cup of tea.

Spend 10-15 minutes writing a poem.

Be like my forget me nots.

I’d love to hear if you decide to do one yourself and what the results are. Or if you have already used a kindness jar, what other tasks did you put in there.

Bonus: My creative writing teacher posted my creative nonfiction essay on his blog. Yay! Click here to read it.

Another bonus: I am hoping that I can participate in all 7 weeks of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Eenie Meenie Miney Mini Writing Challenge. My first story is called “The Knight’s Princess”. 

Shoe’s Sunday Stories

@Copyright 2020 Linda Schueler

Halloweensie Writing Contest 2019

Happy Hallowe’en!

Yes, it’s that time of year again. It’s time for the Halloweensie writing contest! Yay!

This year’s challenge, as taken from Susanna Leonard Hill’s website, is: “…write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words potion, cobweb, and trick.” You can read all the rules if you click here.

Read on for my submission.

A Hairy Potion 

Celia had missed class and had borrowed Melinda’s notes for the animal making potion. She threw in a handful of cobwebs.

Celia frowned as she read the next ingredient. 

Hair fur

Hair fur? What was that?

Her hair wasn’t furry, but it would have to do. Celia pulled out one of her own hairs and threw it into the potion.

Poof! Another Celia stood next to her, blinking.

The teacher chuckled. “The trick to making this animal potion is to put in h-a-r-e fur.”

Celia laughed. “Melinda!”

“Sorry, Celia, you know my spelling isn’t good!”