So back in April, I participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. This was very last minute and I didn’t necessarily have anything as far as the theme. I wanted to use this challenge to play around with a possible sequel to my children’s shapes book which was published in February 2015. I thought this was a great way to push me forward and get my creative juices flowing by doing challenge.
I loved that it was on the alphabet and it just seemed perfect for my next book. Please keep in mind that I posted daily on a whim (mostly with the help of my oldest daughter) and I tried to keep it as cohesive as possible from one letter to the next. I even made it more challenging by adding cute illustrations with each letter. It still amazes me how much work I put into that entire month of April. I kept telling myself that I was in a creative zone. Nothing broke me. And in the end… I survived with many sleepless nights. This was also my first experience with the A to Z Challenge. Below is an excerpt of my possible second story and I have highlighted the alphabetical letter word in bold for your convenience. It is a bit lengthy but reads quickly. I would love to read your feedback (illustrations were excluded here but available on my other blog) so here it is:
One morning, the yellow sun breaks through a fluffy, white cloud and Owl is ready for yet another fun day.
He flies down from his favorite perch high above the forest.
He stumbles while landing on a pile of acorns.
Owl dusts himself off by taking flight again and shaking the dirt from his feathers.
He glides over a fragrant meadow with hibiscus and lily flowers.
With a quick flutter, two purple butterflies startle him nearby.
Owl follows the two purple butterflies to a clearing in the forest.
It is a camping ground.
He decides to stop for a little snack.
He loves to roast marshmallows!
After Owl finishes his yummy marshmallows, he looks around for a place to put down his stick.
He sees a sandy area on the camping ground.
He immediately feels like doodling.
He draws a cute stick figure girl.
He misses his best friend.
As Earth Day approaches, Owl writes a letter to his best friend about this celebration.
He reminds her about a few conservation tips.
He places that letter in a special envelope and mails it away.
Owl is a Brown Fish Owl.
He is one of the largest owl species in the world and his relatives can be found in parts of Europe and Asia.
His horizontally oriented ear tufts and long legs are some key characteristics.
Owl enjoys to be high up in trees when hunting near water and loves to eat fish.
He loves salmon!
After eating his favorite fish, Owl rests on the grass to digest his food.
He notices an empty water bottle beside him.
One green tip is to clean up any garbage left on the ground.
He throws it away in the proper recycling receptacle.
Owl ponders about his day so far.
There are many things that make him happy.
He loves vibrant colors, fun shapes, open air for flying, tasty food, and discovering new adventures.
What makes your heart happy?
On a beautiful day, Owl imagines that he is on a far away island surrounded by water with a cold beverage in wing.
As he sips his favorite coconut drink under a shady palm tree, he drifts off into dream land.
Owl finds himself in the circus.
He is the first one to perform in front of a cheering crowd.
He is also the first owl ever attempting a juggling act.
He is nervous but he keeps his focus.
Does he succeed?
Owl awakens from his circus dream to a loud flapping sound above him.
He looks up to find a key attached to a kite.
The kite is stuck in between a tree branch.
Owl takes the key from the kite’s string.
He examines it.
It doesn’t look familiar.
He props himself into a standing position.
He looks around but there is no one in sight.
But there are footprints on the ground.
He follows them to a piece of paper.
On this paper, there is a written list of ingredients.
The sun begins to set and Owl is ready for nightfall.
He sings a musical tune to say goodbye to the sun.
Day-O, Day-ay-ay-O. We had fun but it’s time to go home.
Day, we say Day-O. We had fun but it’s time to go home.
As the moon grows brighter by the minute, the stars begin to appear one by one in the night sky.
This is Owl’s favorite time of day.
He takes flight to be closer to the stars.
They sparkle next to the moon.
Owl loves to look for his favorite constellation.
It is Orion, a hunter in human form.
This is the easiest one to find from anywhere in the world.
Orion’s belt is a line of three stars which helps Owl locate it better.
According to Greek mythology, Orion hunts the animals in the sky but never catches them.
Owl laughs at this thought.
Flying through the night sky, Owl spots a cobblestoned path.
He has never seen this path before.
He wonders if he should follow it.
What do you think?
Owl rests on a rock to ponder about a few unanswered questions.
He thinks about the key and footprints that were found earlier.
In search of finding out the answers, he flies over a river.
He loves to listen to the sound of flowing water.
This river is very familiar to him.
He looks around for clues.
He sees more footprints on the grass.
Owl lands on the grass near the footprints.
He notices that they are similar to his own prints.
They lead him toward a large object.
The shadow of it fills the entire ground.
As Owl takes a few steps closer to the large object, he realizes that it is a treasure chest.
There is a heart-shaped keyhole on it.
Will the key from earlier open this treasure chest?
He notices that there are more footprints on the grass.
Following the footprints, Owl discovers that they belong to someone he knows.
He finds his favorite uncle standing before him.
He cannot believe his eyes.
What is he doing here?
Owl’s uncle explains that he is here for a visit.
He has a surprise for Owl.
He asks Owl if he has the key from earlier in the day.
How did he know about that?
Owl takes out the key from under his wing and shows him.
Owl’s uncle tells him to open the treasure chest with his special key.
As Owl clicks the lock open, he is surprised to see what is inside.
The yummy smell of the sugary wedge cookies fills the air around him.
He cannot believe this surprise.
The key, footprints, list of ingredients, and treasure chest were clues left for him.
They enjoy a lovely night together.
Owl and his uncle say their goodbyes after eating the cookies.
The moon is high up in the night sky.
It is getting late.
Owl searches for his resting place.
The “x” on the ground marks the right spot.
Owl rests on his favorite tree.
He thinks about his day’s adventures.
He learned about shapes, colors, and counting.
He even unlocked a mystery.
He grows sleepy and begins to yawn.
Owl had such a letter-ific day.
He gets comfortable in his little nook in the tree.
As he recites the letters of the alphabet again, he falls asleep.
There will be a few tweaks here and there but I love that this story is unique because it represents each letter so differently. I am planning on using Blurb Books again since I am already familiar with their platform.
This will still be a work in progress and now that I am going back to work full-time, I am left with more limited time.
For fun, I used this site to see who I write like and it gave me Neil Gaiman. I honestly have never heard of him so I looked him up and was pleasantly surprised. He not only wrote “Coraline” a dark, twisted story about a girl who finds a mysterious world behind a small door in her bedroom but he also wrote a few adorable children’s books about a lovable panda. One of them is called “Chu’s First Day Of School” and I plan to get it for little M in preparation for her daycare school. I guess that’s a good sign, right?! Once on that site, all you need to do is enter some text into the box. So much fun!
Well, I just wanted to share my owl story before it faded away into the black hole of my imaginative mind. 😉
Outdoor educator, animal advocate, trailblazer, and writer