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Archive for the ‘16. Writings for Children’ Category

Intro: This story was written for my dad and my son. At the time, my son was only two and I was visiting my parents. My dad stands about 6’6 1/2, like the Jolly Green Giant (Only not green), and has an incredibly deep voice. The night I was visiting was special because it was one of those once in a lifetime opportunities where three planets align and can be seen by the naked eye. To be perfectly honest, I can’t remember which planets they were, so I used writer’s perogative in creating this story. My dad had taken my son out in the front yard, on the porch, under the stars. I stayed inside, watching through the window. My dad cradled my small son in his left arm, pointing to the sky with his right hand. My son looked up where my dad pointed, yawned… and that was it, the inspiration hit. Before they’d finished their visit outside with the planets, I had written the tale, “My Grandpa Showed Me Mars.” Now, as with my other picture books for children, now that I’m reading them more than twenty years later, I can see where they’ve lots of room for improvement and I’m not claiming it to be a masterpiece. However, it is a major part of my past, the writing of these stories, so I’m including them “as is” on The Road Home.

“My Grandpa Showed Me Mars”
Written by:
Wendi Friend
1991
~ For Dad, and Andrew~

*

One night my grandpa showed me mars.
He told me to look way past the stars.
To my delight, just beneath the moon,
Was Saturn, Mars, and Neptune!
“Look very closely,” my grandpa said to me,
“this is the only time we’ll be able to see
these planets together, shining so bright.
I’m glad we could share this special night.”
I stared at the speckles in the sky
while Grandpa started singing a lullaby.
Before long, I’d fall fast asleep.
Safe in Grandpa’s arms I’d dream.
I dreamed of a flying saucer
Soaring through the stars.
I was inside, and I was going to Mars!
I pushed all the buttons and turned the controls;
I wondered if I’d see any little green trolls.
My saucer zoomed up and down,
flipping topsy-turvy way above the ground.
I passed Saturn and I passed the moon;
I was just about to pass Neptune
When suddenly, I realized I was afraid!
I couldn’t go to Mars that day!
I still had other things to do…
my mom told me earlier to clean my room.
I was just about to turn around
when the wheels of my saucer touched the ground.
It didn’t seem like I had gone that far,
But it appeared as though I had landed on Mars!
The door of my saucer opened wide.
Though still quite scared, I stepped outside.
There were many things to be seen,
But none were trolls little and green.
I wandered around and looked at the sights.
I picked up a rock and held it tight.
I carved my name in the hard, red sand
To tell other people I had reached that land.
Then I noticed I was all alone
and decided it was time for me to go home.
With my rock in my hand, I climbed back in my ship.
3…2…1, I was ready to lift.
I flew very fast through the star-filled sky,
and got home by the end of the lullaby.
Grandpa took me inside, tucked me into bed.
He gave me a kiss on the top of my head.
I told him about my special trip,
and all about my big space ship.
“You fell asleep when I started to sing
and it sounds like you had a really neat dream,
but that’s all it was.” My grandpa said.
He smiled, and then winked, patting me on the head.
He closed the door and turned out the light.
From behind the door, he yelled, “Goodnight!”
I remembered carving my name in the sand,
and to my surprise…
The rock was still in my hand!

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Intro:  What was I thinking?  I have no excuse for the poor writing presented here, other than the fact that I was a young novice and tinkering with varying writing styles.  I had developed a certain pattern in my poetry up to this point… four stanzas, every other line rhyming.  I’d read a book on writing that suggested identifying such patterns, and then trying to break the boundaries and write something in a different pattern (try it… you’ll like it!).  I had the right idea, but admitedly, didn’t pull it off with much finesse.  But, I promised myself when I created this blog that I’d include all the pieces and parts of me – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and this shows the developmental phases I went through as a writer, and as a mother, so I’m keeping it. As a sidenote, no, I had never seen Spiderman and wasn’t aware that my peanut pickin’ pal shared Spiderman’s alter-ego name. *grins*

“Hillary Penelope Plicket Plum”
Written by:
Wendi Friend

Hillary Penelope Plicket Plum,
Shorter than most, but taller than some,
Set out for a day of gardening fun.

With a heart of gold and curls to match,
She skipped down the way to the strawberry patch
And pulled the chain on the gate to unhook the latch,

That unlocks the magic that her garden keeps.
In the bushels of berries that smell so sweet,
She frolics and plays with no shoes upon her feet.

She hums a little tune, “La da da, de de dum”,
Sings Hillary Penelope Plicket Plum,
A very kind, compassionate one.

She tends to her garden come rain or shine.
Through the cold of winter and the heat of summertime,
She cares for her garden without a whimper or a whine.

She does it all – remembering just one thing:
She’ll have sweet, fat berries in the magic of spring.
Then she’ll have strawberry flavored everything!

Like strawberry shortcake and strawberry jam,
‘cause she tended to her garden with her very own hands,
Following through with her special plan.

With ingredients gathered and strawberries grown,
Hillary Penelope Plicket Plum skipped home
And bumped into a boy with a basket of his own!

He was a tall, thin boy with soft, brown hair.
Hillary looked at his basket and asked, “Whatchya got in there?”
“Peanuts,” said the boy, “why do you care?”

“Whatchya gonna do with ‘em?” She asked one question after another.
“If you must know,” replied the boy, “I’m making peanut butter.”
An idea whipped through her mind with a flicker and a flutter!

Hillary looked up at the by and asked, “Hey, there, what’s your name?”
“Peter Parker,” said the boy, “peanut butter is my game.”
“Hillary Penelope Plicket Plum is my name.

“I’ve got an idea for you to contemplate.
It’ll only work if we cooperate.
I’ve got a feeling it’ll work out great!”

As the two skipped home, Hillary shared her plan
With the boy with the basket full of peanuts in his hand,
And he took a liking to Miss Plicket Plum’s plan.

Her plan worked just fine, without one hitch,
And they shared a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

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Intro: This story, as with many of my early writings, was inspired by and written for my first-born son, Andrew.  Written somewhere between 1990-1991, this story was created to aid my young child with his suddenly active and sometimes frightening imagination and was designed to teach him to use the powers of his own mind to overcome the fears he faced. Although I was proud as punch of this piece when I first created it, it retrospect, I can see where it’s seriously lacking in both writing style and concept. Nonetheless, it is what it is and I’m proud to store it in my archives. Knowing what I know now, I can’t help but wonder if the boy was actually seeing dragons! *smirks*

“Drew and his Dinosaur”
Written by:
Wendi Friend
~ For Andrew ~

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Drew.
He had an active imagination, as many three-year-olds do.
Something seemed to be bothering him
As he was eating breakfast one day;
He stopped chewing his bacon long enough to say,
“I saw a dinosaur, Mommy! It was big and blue!”
“You have an active imagination”, the mommy said to Drew.
When he finished eating breakfast, he put his plate into the sink
And said, “Mommy, guess what I saw! It was a dinosaur… big and pink!
It chased me and it grabbed me!” exclaimed a frightened little Drew.
“But, Sweetheart,” said the mom, “I thought the dinosaur was blue!”
“Mommy, guess what I saw!” An excited Drew did say.
“I saw a dinosaur; it was big and grey!”
“That’s just your imagination,” explained Drew’s mom,
“And in a day or two, the dinosaurs will be gone.
These dinosaurs aren’t real; you’ve created them with your mind –
So use your mind to make something different –
Something special, something kind.
Try to imagine something else…
Something a little more pleasant.
Imagine that the dinosaurs are giving you a present!”
Drew then imagined that the dinosaurs were his friends.
They lived happily ever after…
The end.

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Intro: This was the first story I’d ever written for children, and it was written for my first-born son, Andrew. Written somewhere around 1990-91, my son was about two-years-old and I was trying to teach him the concept of puting his toys away when he was finished playing with them, to put his dirty clothes in the hamper, to not toss things on the floor, and to generally pick up after himself. My son spoke often of monsters, which is why I created the Mess Monster, thinking it a character he’d relate to easily. Andrew is now 19 years old and has maintained cleanliness and personal hygiene, almost obsessively, throughout his lifetime.

“Rodney and the Mess Monster”
Written by:
Wendi Friend
~ For Andrew ~

Rodney was a little boy who hated to clean his room.
He claimed he simply didn’t have time;
He had better things to do.
So, his mom just left everything in a pile,
Hoping he’d get tired of the mess after ‘while;
But, Rodney didn’t seem to care,
He just left his stuff layin’ everywhere!
He’d come home from school and kick off his shoes,
One of which, he was sure to lose!
His jacket went here, his books – everywhere.
Before long, he got lost in there!
He woke up one morning and opened his eyes
Only to find a horrid surprise!
He was trapped in his room, couldn’t find the door;
He couldn’t get out of bed because he couldn’t find the floor!
He cried for his mommy, his daddy, too.
Rodney was helpless, didn’t know what to do.
Suddenly, he heard an awful sound;
A monster was coming out of the ground!
Rodney was scared and yelled, “Leave me alone!
Go back where you came from. Go on, go home!”
The monster growled, showing his teeth,
“This is my home. You created me!
I’m the mess monster and I love girls and boys
Who won’t pick up their books or their toys –
Because they don’t have time, they have better things to do;
So I’ll just live here forever with you!”
“No!” Rodney hollered, “Go away!”
And his room has been clean since that very day.
To keep the mess monster from moving in with you,
Maybe – just maybe – you should clean your room, too!

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