THE DOG ~ [contest piece for #50PRECIOUSWORDS 2021]

Author and friend Kathy Halsey turned me on to author Vivian Kirkfield’s #50 Precious Words Contest – a story for kids in 50 or less words. I thought I’d have a go. 

This is basically a true “tail” of my dogged determination to get a furry friend, pitted against my mom’s dogged determination to not allow – or love it.

Bonnie ‘fireUrchin’ Lambourn

I begged, “Pleeeeze!  Let me.  I NEED a dog.”
Four years.

The relatives prodded . . .

Reluctantly Mom caved,
but her eyebrows twisted like cheese curls
at the black mop with legs and wagging tongue –  
who then skulked to the corner.
40 minutes sulking.

Earned . . .
a bowl of food. 

[wc= 50 words ]


What is it about picture books that keeps me paddling through the currents?

Right now, the currents are getting this new website set up. My old one was no longer editable, so had to face that struggle of facing this… and while it is a simple setup for many, I’m a “pantser”. Picture book people know that means I jump in and face the waves rather than read loads of instructions.

As an artist, prior teacher and dancer, I’ll validate myself by saying – I’m a kinesthetic, visual, learner. Even if I read directions and follow them to the letter, and get it right first time around… I remember what I wade through better. Eventually I’m a swimmer who will save myself from the wild wave… but right now…. this blog post is a mostly a test to see if it lands in the right spot.

©bonnie lambourn / fireUrchin ~ 2021

2022 storystorming

I started off Storystorm as I did last year – excited – then deflated – feeling a bit uninspired by new ideas. I should have remembered from 2021. That feeling got a huge reboot back to excitement after a few days.

Quickly a day arrived where ideas bounced against the next day’s ideas, and against a totally separate book launch event by/for Peter H. Reynolds. I almost didn’t draw the heart along with the authors and artists onscreen. But then came this heart-faced character I really liked.

Suddenly on day 10, I had a first draft along with pages of seeds, word play, doodle and other story ideas – and then a first draft for a PB 2 days before my critique group meeting – who claim it a draft nearly there and worth dummying.

That CG Meeting inspired more bouncing ideas between us, and by me following the very next Storystorm inspiration. I found myself writing most of the afternoon and night. A 2nd PB draft with various days ideas and that character was developed.

Can’t wait to see what is next! 2022 feels like a very good year so far.