Halloweensie Writing Contest

Arrrrrooooh! It’s time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Writing Contest again.

Here are the rules in case you want to join in. You have until midnight on Halloween to enter.

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.

My story is inspired by my trip to the Crystal Palace roller skating rink last night. Being close to Halloween, there were lots of people in costume. And the black lights really brought out the creepy. (I dedicate this story to my sister who had a less that spooktacular time last night. Love you, Shmee!)

Party Skating GIF By Lolita.

Good luck to everyone entering the contest!

All Hallow’s Eve at the Roller Rink

Glow-in-the-dark ghosts dangle from dingy drop ceilings.

THRILLER thrums through skull-shaped speakers.

A Vincent Price voice commands the session.

“Creatures of the night, take to your wheels and GLIDE!”

Tiny Fairy Princess runs on her skates.


Colliding with a wall-hugging werewolf. 


Speed-demon Grim Reaper’s tattered black robe flutters. 

Pumpkin-headed gargoyle grapevines backwards.

Skeletons scissor and spin sporadically inspiring goosebumps.

Zealous Zombies dip and moan to the monstrous music.

Goblins gobble down goodies. 


Bone-brittle cotton candy and paprika-peppered popcorn.


It’s All Hallow’s Eve at the roller rink!

Bonnie Kelso writes and illustrates books for children and adults that encourage individualism and brave self-expression. She facilitates art workshops for her local community and beyond. Her debut picture book, NUDI GILL, will be released in September, 2022. A lover of nature and travel, she can be found wandering about outside with her family whenever a good opportunity to do so presents itself.

Fall Writing Frenzy Contest

I’m excited to participate in the Fall Writing Frenzy Contest again this year. Thanks to Lydia, Kaitlyn and Ameera for hosting. If you’d like to join or read the entries, here’s the link!

Persephone Rises (YA)

Tonight is the night.

Ch-chills shake my bones.

The veil between the living and the dead grows thin 

as the sickle-shaped moon shows me my truth.

Spirits pass inside shadows unseen.

They’ll stop at nothing to return me to my prison.

At fourteen everything was taken from me…

my home, my free will, my pride.

Even my own father stole my innocence.

Taken against my wishes.

Six crimson seeds, laden with deception, 

were all I took for myself.

There used to be a time 

when I glided barefoot through cool meadows, 

soft petals blooming from my footprints.

But now, no balm can soothe these hell-scorched feet.

My mother sleeps, wasted from a long day’s harvest.

She works so hard to maintain my custody.

When she first lost me, she raged at everything.

Her barter with the tempest held back the rain.

Drought brought death to nature’s bounty.

She commanded locusts to devour whatever remained.

Her blood is my blood.

I gently draw the scythe from her hand.

What cuts wheat also cuts flesh. 

Nothing can be done to me 

that has not already been done.

A victim no more.

Tonight is the night

I stand strong and fight.

Fall- Credit: Vino Li / Unsplash

Holiday Helpers: Susanna Hill’s 10th Annual Holiday Contest

I’m entering another contest! Why? Because I learn a lot when I step outside my writing comfort zone. For Susanna Hill’s Holiday Contest we were given the theme of “Holiday Helpers” to work with in 250 words or less. I hope you enjoy my entry, inspired by the endless amounts of tinsel around my house this year. Ho-ho-ho, everyone! 🙂

Sparkle 3000

The holidays are here and there’s so much to do!

Just me and my mom, we’re too small a crew.

How will we manage to cook, clean, and shop,

when I still have school and her work doesn’t stop?

Then Sparkle 3000 arrives at our door.

Arms like an octopus, he rolls on the floor.

He gets straight to work and says, “Please, excuse me.”

His lights blink and flash like our new Christmas tree.

He shakes out the carpets and dusts every shelf,

flashing and humming like a big metal elf.

He straightens and sweeps, tosses trash in the bin.

This robot works hard! It makes my head spin!

“He did it! It’s done!” All is shiny and new.

But Sparkle keeps going, even when we’re through.

So tired from watching, we collapse in our beds,

as gingerbread dreams dance in our heads. 

When morning arrives, I creep out to see

that Christmas is gone! “How can this be?

You took down our tree because it’s not neat?”

The presents and turkey are piled on the street!

“I want to be helpful.” Sparkle turns blue.

“I’ll learn to do better, I can watch you.”

I say, “We must fix this!” Sparkle’s lights flash.

“I’ll teach you the difference. Treasure or trash?”

A few hours later, Mom wakes and comes out.

“A perfect holiday,” she says without doubt.

I wink at Sparkle. “No working today.”

He slumps in a chair with one word, “Okay.” 

Professional Critiques

I am part of several critique groups and some of the members are published authors. I have learned so much from each critique partner and when I look back at my earlier drafts I realize that my work has improved dramatically over the years because of the help of fellow writers.

When I get really stuck with a manuscript, I’ll even pay for a professional critique. And sometimes, every now and then, I win a professional critique. BONUS!!!! That’s what I’m going for now. If you write for children and you want to enter as well there is still time. Here’s the link:


You’ll have to pick a manuscript ahead of time that you want critiqued, and even tougher, you’ll have to choose a few pros from the long list of authors, illustrators and agents who have generously donated their time to help lowly unpublished writers such as myself to get just a little closer to reaching their publishing dreams.

So, thanks to each and every one of you, because writing this post earned me 20 extra entries! Whoo-hoo!

Hope everyone is staying healthy and creative.

Lots of love,


Reading and Writing

As a writer I find it embarrassing that I was never an avid reader as a kid. I was much more interested in going outside. It didn’t really matter what I was doing, as long as it was outside. Mostly, I wandered. I looked at things, smelled flowers, tried to talk to the birds, and when I felt really brave, I would lift up a rock and see what I might find hiding underneath. I didn’t really become a recreational reader until I graduated from college.

Continue reading

What does anger feel like?

Red hot? Lava-like? Thorny, like a ball covered in spikes?


I’ve been asking this question a lot lately, trying to get to the root of it. Anger is like a star. It sits in your tummy and when everything is going okay, you don’t even notice it. But as soon as you perceive a threat, the star begins to change. The shifts may begin in a subtle way. A strange poking here and there caused by the points of the star. If it is not addressed, it will begin to dig harder, like a thorn in the skin. Everything you do, every interaction you have, it’s there, just under the surface, waiting to Continue reading

Is Your Creative Life Worth Fighting For?

Two Brains

How much time do you spend watching TV? This image appears on page 27 of my book Vitalize Your Creative Life. I stand by this graphic and the message it conveys. I also freely admit that I am a TV binger and lifelong TV addict. By the word “TV” I mean the effortless preoccupation of my brain by programmed sounds and videos on a screen (of any size) while the remainder of my body remains relatively inactive. In part I had no choice. I grew up with TV. I am the product of an early generation exposed to a now common type of addiction. Continue reading

Mapping Your Next Nine-Year Cycle

Mapping The Nines

Happy New Moon! This is a special New Moon, because it is the last one in 2016, ever! This means we are given an opportunity to set a powerful new intention for not only the next lunar cycle, but also the next year and the next nine-year cycle. No pressure, right?

Recently, I’ve been exploring my past nine-year cycles. I put it in writing, too. There is an undeniable spiritual shift that occurs when you write stuff down. Suddenly thoughts will begin to creep their way into the real world. I started this exercise by writing each year 2008 – 2016. Then I wrote as much as I could remember of what happened in each year—places I went, adventures I had, people who I relied on for support, and feelings I felt. After I wrote a few sentences for each entry, I chose a theme that summed up the feeling of the year for me. For example, in 2009 I struggled with infertility issues. I themed that year Continue reading