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#50 Precious Word Contest 2018

March 2nd, is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and to celebrate, the #50preciouswords contest is now open.  Don’t know what the #50preciouswords contest is, then head on over to Vivian Kirkfield’s website here, for the all the rules, and fabulous prizes.

Dr. Seuss was not immune to writing challenges either, and was dared by Bennett Cerf, his editor at Random House, to write a story using no more than 50 unique words (not the word count). The result: Green Eggs and Ham.

Thank you Vivian for all of your hard work and dedication to children’s literature, and the kid lit community.  My entry comes in at exactly 50 words.

 

Snow day

School is cancelled!

Hip, hooray!

Called my friends

“Come out, let’s play.”

Slick bottom sleds,

conquer the hill.

Pigtails ascending,

Oh what a thrill!

Race up and down

till sun starts to set,

stomach growling,

clothes soaking wet.

Gather our sleds;

head on our way.

Hoping tomorrow’s another snow day!

 

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday Charles Perrault

Charles Perrault

Charles Perrault

Charles Perrault was born on this day 1628 in Paris, France.  Perrault began his career as a lawyer, but had a penchant for poetry, and writing.  He is most famous for his book Histoires ou Contes du temps passé (Stories or Tales of The Past) which included eight famous stories we are all familiar with listed below:

Subtitle: Contes de ma mère l'Oye (Tales of Mother Goose)

Subtitle: Contes de ma mère l’Oye (Tales of Mother Goose)

La belle au bois dormant (The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood)
Le petit chaperon rouge (Little Red Riding Hood)
La Barbe bleüe (Blue Beard)
Le Maistre Chat, ou le Chat Botté (The Master Cat; or, Puss in Boots)
Les Fées (The Fairies)
Cendrillon, ou la petite pantoufle de verre (Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper)
Riquet à la Houppe (Ricky of the Tuft)
Le petit Pouçet (Little Thumb)

Charles Perrault was born into wealth and prestige, and was highly educated, and an excellent student. Perrault was successful in the law, and worked for the government under King Louis XIV.  He was elected to the Académie française in 1671.  Ironically while in the Académie, he was involved in “The Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns”, a bipolar dispute that pitted ancient literature up against modern-day writings.  Perrault took a modernist stance believing that ancient literature was not as sophisticated as modern literature.

Charles Perrault became a widower after only six years of marriage.  His wife bore three sons, and a daughter.  He was forced to retire from government life at age 56, and went home to care for and educate his four children.  In 1697 at age 69 he published Histoires ou Contes du temps passé.  This is a great lesson for all writers that it’s never too late to pick up quill and parchment, Underwood, or Apple.  It was his love of oral folklore telling, and the subsequent rewriting of those tales that have allowed them to be passed from one generation to the next; not quite the modernist after all.

Gustave Dore's Engraving

Gustave Dore’s Engraving

He is the inspiration for my story The Full Worm Moonand I am happy to wish him a Happy 388th Birthday.  It is an impressive feat to remain so relevant after death, and to continue to touch so many minds with such wonderful storytelling.

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The Full Worm Moon

When you’ve worked in a hospital as long as I have, you get to dread the full moon, and the crazy lunacy that kind of a night dishes out.  I thought it would be fun to see what kind of night the full worm moon would dish out on my fairy tale hospital.  I remember reading about the full worm moon last spring, and fell in love with the name.  This winter we will be celebrating a very rare Christmas day full cold moon, so  I thought it would be a good day to present my tale.  Enjoy.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

tumblr_mkbvy5kHOD1rfuijjo1_1280

(Photo by Lee Capps)

On the night of the Full Worm Moon,
Just three months shy of June,
The Nightingale sang her tale
In her melodic musical scale.

f5f61f280a9f438d15262c7c16d57613

Her notes spun the yarn of three wards
Where sick fairytale characters board.
She tweets of the one crazy night
When they all came in running with fright.

It was Lunacy’s raining assault
On the Hospital C. P. Perrault,
An impregnated orb shining smugly
On the wards of the: Good, Bad, and Ugly.

The Wolf was the first through the door.
Inflated with prisoners of war.
Dr. Spock had the nerve to come fore,
“What is making your belly so sore?”
The Wolf rolled around on the floor,
Moaning, “Too many petit fours?”

BigBadWolf

(Image by Cale Atkinson)

Dr. Spock heard the cries from his belly.
This couldn’t possibly be teacakes with jelly!
“To the O.R!”, he cried to Nurse Kelly,
“Then admit to Ward Bad Machiavelli”

Mirror Mirror on the wall
In rolled the fairest of them all,
Obtunded in her glassed in wall,
Surrounded by 7 Dwarfs so small.

(Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Disney)

“Help, help!”   They cried,
“Snow White is dead!”
Her skin still white
Her lips still red
Dr. Spock ran quickly to her bed,
And placed his hand upon her head.

He checked her out from tip to toe
Swiftly diagnosing Snow,
“Poison!” from an evil foe;
“Call ENT please Nurse Cousteau.”

“A Poison apple I deduce,
A classic case of child abuse.
Once ENT can get it loose,
Admit Snow White to Ward Good Mother Goose”

Last, but not least
A horrible beast
Who dined on his wives
In a blood thirsty feast.

tumblr_lo19o8fvSX1qmyd03o1_500

(Artwork by ZhdaNN)

A serial killer of the first degree
Stabbed multiple times by his wife’s family.
With his blue tainted tendrils
A dark shade of red
The ER staff
Were shaking with dread.

Dr. Spock ever brave
Went to Blue Beards Bedside
To examine his wounds
And apply germicide.

“Your lacerations are deep, they’ll require a stitch.”
“Nurse Ratched please call in our surgical witch.”
With a swoosh, and a vroom, on a long hairy broom
Flew the witch through the doors of the Emergency room

All cloaked in black
With a cat on her back
Came the witch with her stitch
In her medical pack.

1108-1

“I’ll stitch up this beast,”
Said the witch to the doc,
“Then find him a room with an unbreakable lock!”

“Bluebeard as a detainee?”
“No, no” he thought, “That won’t be me!”
“Prison cells…how bourgeoisie”
For he possessed the enchanted key.

Psychiatric-Health-Facility-12_t479

“These doctors cannot lock me in.”
He smiled with an evil grin.
His bloodied beard then shook from chuckling
As he wheeled into ward Ugly Duckling.

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Sneaking a Peek on Christmas Eve…

Hello everyone it’s time for another one of Susanna Leonard Hill’s fabulous holiday writing contests.  Here are the rules:  Write a children’s story 350 words or less with any version of “Rocking around the Christmas tree at the Christmas Party Hop” as your opening line.  The story can be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate.

This tune was way too catchy so I wrote my story to the music of Brenda Lee, sing along and have some Christmas Cheer!!

graphics-christmas-trees-495252

imagesSneaking a peek on Christmas Eveimages

at the presents under the tree.

Mom and Dad believed we were fast asleep,

but in reality…

Sneaking a peek on Christmas Eve is a dangerous game we play.

Crawling on our bellies all through the house,

in a covert Navy Seal way.

They would go completely mental knowing

we were here;

voices whispering,

“Shhh be quiet, getting caught would cause a riot.”

Sneaking a peek on Christmas Eve

like the ghosts of Christmas Past.

Checking out the gifts that Santa left,

and the piles that we amassed.

They would go completely mental knowing

we were here;

voices whispering,

“Shhh be quiet, getting caught would cause a riot.”

Sneaking a peek on Christmas Eve,

whose that hiding under the tree?

Oh my god, we’re busted, it’s Mom and Dad,

and they’re laughing merrily..

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holiday's To Everyone, and Safe and Peaceful New Year!

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holiday’s To Everyone, and a Safe and Happy New Year!!

 

 

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There was an Old Pumpkin…

Here’s a little Thanksgiving fun I had with a story I adapted from my favorite childhood book, I Know an Old Lady by Rose Bonne and Alan Mills 1961.

pumpkin-carving-big-toothed-jack-o-lantern-by-jeffk

There was an old pumpkin who swallowed a fly

I don’t know why the fly flew inside

Perhaps to make Thanksgiving spiced pumpkin pie

There was an old pumpkin who swallowed a spider

It slid down it’s sticky webbed spider hang glider

spider-web-at-corner-clip-artPumpkin swallowed the spider to catch the fly

But I don’t’ know why the fly flew inside

Perhaps to make Thanksgiving spiced pumpkin pie.

There was an old pumpkin who swallowed a bird

Yes I said bird, you haven’t misheard

Cute Little Cartoon Bird-Pink and Yellow

Pumpkin swallowed the bird to catch the spider,

That slid down its sticky webbed spider hang glider.

Pumpkin swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why the fly flew inside.

Perhaps to make Thanksgiving spiced pumpkin pie.

There was an old pumpkin who swallowed a cat,

A cat who was wearing a red striped top hat.

Pumpkin swallowed the cat to catch the bird.

Pumpkin swallowed the bird to catch the spider,

That slid down its sticky webbed spider hang glider.

Pumpkin swallowed the spider to catch the fly.

I don’t why the fly flew inside.

Perhaps to make Thanksgiving spiced pumpkin pie.

There was an old pumpkin who swallowed a dog

Mistaking that dog for a barking tree frog.

Actual Barking Dog

(Actual Barking Dog)

Barking Tree Frog

Barking Tree Frog

Pumpkin swallowed the dog to catch the cat.

Pumpkin swallowed the cat, to catch the bird,

Pumpkin swallowed the bird to catch the spider,

That slid down its sticky webbed spider hang glider.

Pumpkin swallowed the spider to catch the fly.

I don’t know why the fly flew inside.

Perhaps to make Thanksgiving spiced pumpkin pie.

There was an old pumpkin who swallowed a goat.

The goat was quite ill with a case of strep throat!

goat02-funny-jumping-cartoon-comic-silly-breadwig.com_

Pumpkin swallowed the goat to catch the dog…

Pumpkin swallowed the dog to catch the cat.

Pumpkin swallowed the cat to catch the bird…

Pumpkin swallowed the bird to catch the spider

That slid down its sticky webbed spider hang glider.

Pumpkin swallowed the spider to catch the fly.

But I don’t know why the fly flew inside,

Perhaps to make Thanksgiving spiced pumpkin pie.

There was an old pumpkin who swallowed a cow!

Just swallowed it down like a plate of cow chow.

Moooo

Moooo

Pumpkin swallowed the cow to catch the goat…

Pumpkin swallowed the goat to catch the dog…

Pumpkin swallowed the dog to catch the cat…

Pumpkin swallowed the cat to catch the bird…

Pumpkin swallowed the bird to catch the spider,

That slid down its sticky webbed spider hang glider.

Pumpkin swallowed the spider to catch the fly

But I don’t know why the fly flew inside.

Perhaps to make Thanksgiving spiced pumpkin pie.

images

There was an old pumpkin who swallowed a horse

And most would agree as a matter of course

That this was the pumpkin’s great tour de force,

Until he exploded with monster truck force,

Exploding_Pumpkin

Releasing the cow and the goat and the dog

Who ran from the quivering, quaking squash bog

Out popped the cat and the bird and the spider

That slid down its sticky webbed spider hang glider.

Out flew the fly that had first flown inside,

Who managed to outfly the pumpkin high tide

he gathered the bits of the pumpkins insides;

INDEED to make Thanksgiving spiced pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin Pie

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!

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Why The Nightingale Tales?

Andersen - The Nightingale - 005Welcome!!  I’m so glad you found your way to this page.  I decided to start The Nightingale Tales as a place where I can share my stories, poems, and ideas in an open, and simple format.  I am a critical care nurse by day, and I have a site that is devoted to more adult themed, and nurse oriented tales (nightingale chronicles), but here I would like to focus on writing for children.  As you can see I use the word Nightingale in each website, I honor both Florence Nightingale (the founder of modern day nursing), and the beautiful bird known for its melodic songs, and inspiring tales .  I enjoy making up stories, playing with themes, and seeing what I can create.  There is so much inspiration out there for children’s writing.  I have found many great websites along the way that inspire writing for children, and honing in on the craft of writing which I will share throughout this blog, and please feel free to share any treasures you may have stumbled upon.  Once again welcome to The Nightingale Tales, I hope you enjoy your time here.