MFA Writing for Children and Young Adults
The Raven Challenge
Believing with certainty Da’s ancient tales contain truth, Roald also trusts his father's claim that century old ravens exist. Hadn’t he seen the same ebony pair hopping and coughing along the edge of wilderness and pine his entire sixteen years?
Why pears, not peaches?
Rosalyn and Micah sat beneath a pear tree in the grove, absorbing the delicate aroma of fresh fruit. The young woman leaned back against its smooth dark grey and brown bark, pulling her son into her lap. He giggled. “Tell me again how I arrived in a suspicious package wrapped in brown paper,” he said, snuggling into her belly.
Luck of Frozen Pond
Shock jolted my body as my feet hit wood. Some leyline snapped between Mor and me; my chin jammed into my chest, rattling my teeth. What had just happened? Wasn’t I daughter to Mor and Da? Hadn’t my parents meant to better our family position by marrying me to King Ransom, purchasing his affections? Hadn’t my Rumple luck spun straw into a golden dowry?
Green Lighting Honor
Frost ogre brains hang like Audhumla’s udders beneath a line of anxious cows at dawn. Below them emanates an intense green light. Suspended inside the green glow reflected from mammatus clouds, a girl named Rosalyn shimmers like surreal pearls, a raven treading air by her side.
A Bull named Revenge
A black bull stood at the edge of a mountain grove, bellowing his duress. Might a sorceress hear and assist him? Hefnd was his name: Revenge in a language other than Norse. Hefnd thought he might kick some witch of a thing into that low grade tornado down valley. How satisfying it must be to fling wagons at a renovated barn, defacing its pristine, white siding. He studied the circling wind, admiring its vengefulness; what had set that whirler off?
Eyelash rains of marigold
A whirling dervish caught Freya’s eye as she scanned the earth’s surface seeking Odr. Joy it was to forget all her troubles, to fling herself upon a tornado, to catch an upbound thermal and soar: bliss, in fact. Falcons circled ridges, rising in similar fashion. She swung arms to breast in a human hug before stretching her cloak of magic feathers and winging into the swirling air. The Lady felt a twitch as her left wing caught lift; she steeped her body into a counterclockwise turn, missed the rising air, tried again. Soaring was tricky, even for a goddess.
The Doodle Release
Crafting inner peace may involve thread, needles and fabric. My Norwegian mother often escaped to a quiet basement corner where her Singer sewing machine whirred for hours, generating professional-level garments. She sewed the wardrobes of two daughters, constructed suits for Daddy, and even volunteered to sew 100 choir robes for her beloved choir, a job that lasted twenty years.
He was small of stature but had enormous heart, as aspiring heroes did in days of King Ransom. The redhead, near 3.33 ell, leaned head-to-head with his 14 hand dun outside a towering white, reconstructed barn crowning the mountain valley. Nearby, a meandering stream sang its lazy tune and all might have been well, considering he had driven Granny to the wedding of a King. However, downward from Od and the Norse horse he’d named Sollys, “Bright Sun,” fanned wagon after wagon of nervous, breast-collared draft horses, anxious to be free of harness. On a good day, they might have objected to standing in wait a mere stride from budding snacks, cool waters and shade. This day, what they felt developing down valley, would soon head their direction. Such knowledge would have rattled Od’s harness, had he, too, been shackled.
The Green Man
The hills were alive with the sound of frenzied hardanger fiddling, high pitched screams, outraged shouts. Amazing how pervious a renovated barn became, packed with disgruntled guests attending wedding festivities only to imbibe food and drink. Such behavior might have been expected from a hungry populace ordered to fund the elaborate repair of a dilapidated barn and then witness the marriage between their King and his reluctant bride.
My bride flows toward me like jenny gold, her silk dress a shimmering infatuation of silk and electrified wire. I fully expect the child to burst into song at seeing me, the impervious King dressed in full military regalia. I am, after all, raising her in an instant from lowly miller’s daughter to Queen of Hevn, my high mountain valley.