Beautiful Day

 Getting Back to Creating

     Wow, it is the end of June. It has taken me such a long time to finally write something here. With all that’s going on in the world, I found it difficult to write anything. Eventually, I did write some cute stories, all first drafts and very rough. How did I finally get back to writing? I watched the activities of the birds in the backyard, funny birds. I went to an outside market by the river. It was a beautiful day, that was great. I went to a book store and thrift store, and I observed the environment around me, all to get inspiration. I belong to 12×12. I kept reading the discussion section, and critique section, interacting when I could. I listened to a lot of great webinars given by 12×12. I also read about writing. The best books on writing picture books, for me, are Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul, Writing Toward Home by Georgia Heard, and The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman. All those books are worth the read. Those are the things that helped me with getting back to creating and writing. One more thing that helped me was to read funny Picture Books, look at funny pictures, and talk to family, and friends about anything. Go out, take a walk, and enjoy the weather. Happy writing and creating!


Spring is a time to rethink things in your life. Are you on the right path? Are things in your life the way you want them to be? It is a study of self. That’s a difficult thing to do. This year I promised myself that I was going to have a garden in my backyard. I kept questioning whether I was going to do it. I went over all the things that a good garden requires. I went back and forth, yes I’ll do it no it’s too much work I can’t do it. Then a beautiful day happened and I started decluttering my writing room. That felt like I decluttered my mind. It felt good! I started writing new stories. Another beautiful day happened and I weeded my garden bed. I put two more planters by my garden bed for flowers. That felt good! Now I’ve decluttered my garden and my mind. My next thing to do is to get my stories out to the public. I was unsure about this part. Then today I read Sarah Aronson’s blog and Tip of the day.

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe

That quote really spoke to me. SO, here I go putting my stories out there. Wish me luck. Thanks, Sarah Aronson


Are you ready? It’s here! A time to dress up, scary or not, and walk through the neighborhood. Ringing doorbells, knocking on doors, and saying Trick or Treat.

Guess what? It is time to post your Halloween story for the Halloweensie Contest!

Here’s mine:

Teeny Owl’s Spooky Halloween

By Janet Parkinson Bryce

Word Count 98

Teeny owl didn’t like the forest on Halloween. She could hear creepy sounds as she flew to her tree.

Teeny landed on her branch and sighed.

“I don’t like creepy sounds on Halloween.” Said Teeny. “I do like goodies: chocolate-covered bugs, gummy tails, and…”

“Eeeeeek, shriek,” floated through the air.

“Who’s there,” Teeny yelled.

Teeny owl shivered, she had goosebumps and her feathers stood on end.

“Eeeeeek, shriek” the sounds came closer.

Two eyes, glowing- in- the – dark, flew towards her.

Teeny covered her eyes. her branch bounced.

BOO! said her sister, Tunney.

Teeny screeched

Tunney laughed. “Time for goodies.”

Halloweensie Time!! 2021

I LOVE this contest! I wait all year for it and it’s finally here! Susanna makes it fun and creative. So I’m grabbing my pencil and laptop and starting my story. A 100 word limit is hard so I’m giving it my all. Good luck all you children’s writers out there.

The 11th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest!!!

~ for children’s writers ~

So! Are you ready?

THE CONTEST: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in word count) using the words glow-in-the-darkgoosebumps, and goodies.

  • Your story can be poetry or prose, scary, funny, sweet, or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words. Get it? Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 
  • You can go under the word count but not over!
  • Title is not included in the word count.
  • Also, being super clear for this year, glow-in-the-dark counts as 1 word (even though it looks like 4 )
  • You may use the words in any form i.e. glowed-in-the-dark, goosebumpley, goody (“Oh, goody!”, goody-two-shoes etc.), whathaveyou 
  • You are welcome to enter more than one entry – just remember you’ll be competing against yourself 
  • No illustration notes please!

And yes, I know 100 words is short, but that’s part of the fun and the challenge! We got just shy of 300 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!

POST: your story in the comment section of the Official Contest Post between 12AM Eastern Friday October 29th (the day the official contest post will go up here) and Sunday October 31st at Midnight – the witching hour! (see, there are those witches again )

  • For those of you who would also like to post on your blogs, please feel free to do so! You are welcome to include the link to your blog with your entry in the comment section of the Official Contest Post so that people can come visit your blog, but all entries must be posted in the comment section of the Official Contest Post between 12 AM Eastern Friday October 29th and Sunday October 31st at Midnight.
  • If you have difficulty posting your entry to the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you! [susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com Please place your entry in the body of the email including your title and byline at the top – NO ATTACHMENTS! and please do not submit any entries before the official opening of the contest at 12AM Friday October 29th. They will not be accepted.
  • I know how hard you all work on your entries, and how anxious you are to get them posted, but please try to be a little patient if your entry doesn’t show up immediately. Many comments have to be manually approved, and it sometimes takes me a little while to post entries that come in by email. I promise I will get to everything as soon as I can. I try never to leave my desk during contests, but sometimes it’s unavoidable 

My Thoughts

Writing has been difficult for me this year. With the world going a little crazy and all the news from far away plus the terrible weather we’ve been having. My creative abilities have stopped. I open my lap top and stare at a blank page. I tried to revise some stories and again, I hit a wall. I tried to recharge by taking some workshops, but the more I tried to learn the more I closed down. So, I just stopped and I couldn’t get started. Nothing seemed to inspire me. How is it that so many Picture Book authors got published this year. I have to admit that I was a little jealous. I was happy for those people, I congratulated those people. I wondered, how am I going to do it? I put all my writing away for a while.

I concentrated on the Genealogy of my family. That was fun. I did find some interesting stories. The pull to write and finish some manuscripts suddenly snuck into my mind. Every story about family made me think of a children’s story I could write. I pushed those ideas away and continued my research on my family. Then I started writing down the ideas I had pushed away.

I started to read about how long it took some authors to finally get a manuscript published. I read about the process of publication. The realization that writing is a job, a business, smacked me in the head. I put my family research away and pulled out my manuscripts. I really needed to write. Then, surprise, I actually wrote a new story! Where did that come from? My obsession with owls and animals helped me. It needs a lot of work but I started writing again. Yea for me! I set a time to put my butt in the chair and write. It worked. Now I’m registered for two Picture Book conferences. One is Picture Book Summit. This is a fabulous at home conference. It is a fun and relaxed conference.

PBS-2021-Book-Giveaway-Winners.png (680×380)

The other one is, 2021 Picture Book Palooza! Live September 18th & 19th, 2021 & Recorded. Check out both, join them and have fun!



     It is Memorial Day, a time to look back and acknowledge the men and women who fought for our safety and freedoms. The mothers and fathers, the uncles, grandfathers, and great grandfathers. During the pandemic I spent a lot of time doing my family genealogy. I managed to go back, in some cases to my seventh great grandfather. I learned that every generation had someone who served in the military. I am so proud of all of them.


How to get re-Inspired to Write

This is my second year participating in StoryStorm. When I joined the group in January of 2020, I couldn’t believe how many stories exploded from my pen, I was so excited! Some became full manuscripts and most were titles and characters. Some of those titles and charters got merged into one story, not completed yet. Then March happened, covid-19. My fear almost consumed me. But I soon realized that I have control over me. I need to be responsible for my actions. I really can’t change anything that’s happening. I tried to write more ideas, stories and revise. I was frozen creatively.

I needed to get re-inspired. I revised two old manuscripts and sent them to be critiqued. I needed more, I spent time outside watching wildlife. I was very attentive when I drove to familiar places and I saw a herd of deer walking down a sidewalk. Looking out my kitchen window I saw a flock of mourning doves land on my deck, just hanging out. A squirrel with white hair sticking out behind its ears ran across my fence. I called him/her Einstein. I spent time researching my family and came up with a few ideas for a non-fiction story. I read new picture book stories and articles on how to create a good beginning sentence, from CBI January issue, and things started to click. I began to write story ideas again. I joined StoryStorm again and I’m loving it.

My advice, pay attention to things around you. Read everything about writing. Listen to stories about family. Everyone is different and has different interests, dive into your interests. You never know where that next story will come from. Maybe from a cat invading your garden or a white groundhog slowly disappearing under a shed.

The Year 2020

This year has been the most troublesome that I can remember. This pandemic is awful. All I can think of are the bad things, the worst that can happen. It was at that point in time that I started praying hard, asking God to please help me deal with this crazy world. It was then that happy things started to occur in my life. My son recovered quickly from a very bad accident. My Nieces had babies, My Nephew adopted a baby. The bad and the craziness goes on, but the good and the happy breaks through. Prayer helps. Pray for your family to stay safe, pray for this crazy world that it may return to normal, pray for yourself that you may be strong and able to get through the rough times with help from the Lord. Stay safe and strong and always hope. Through prayer anything is possible. Amen