Okay, so I hear the word 'TEST' and right away my hands begin to feel sweaty and cold at the same time. My mouth suddenly become horribly dry and my stomach begins doing flips!
I have thought about writing Children's literature for quite sometime now, actually since I was in elementary school!! I particularly enjoy writing fiction for the preteen girl age group. To give you an idea, Judy Blume and Ann M. Martin are two of my most cherished authors. So, I thought I would give it a shot at the Institute of Children's Literature. I had done the whole process back when Alyssa was a baby and was accepted, but I chickened out. If I should be accepted again and it won't dent our budget to badly, I am not going to back out this time. My stomach did a complete flip just reading what I wrote!
Anyways, as part of the aptitude test, you have to submit a sample of your writing. It can either be a memory from childhood or something that you think would appeal to children. I chose to go with a memory from my childhood and the first thing that popped into my head was this:
A Candy for a Penny
It was still dark when I was awoken by my father gently tapping my shoulder. "It's time" his deep whisper came through the darkness, lit only by a small sliver of light coming from the bathroom light. Today would be the birthday of my baby sister!
I was ecstatic. Oh, how I had waited and waited for this day to arrive! Ever since I tossed that penny over my shoulder at the water fountain in the mall and silently wished for a baby sister. Ever since my mothers belly began to swell. The day was here at last. My suitcase had been packed for weeks, knowing ahead of time the plan was for me to stay with our neighbours.
When I emerged from my room, I caught glimpse of my mother griping the edge of the stove and moaning loudly. My innocent mind was so unsure and yet, curious as to why she would be moaning like a wounded creature. My father quickly ushered my suitcase and me out the front door. I sensed a great amount of urgency from him, as his heavy hands kind of shuffled me along causing me to move at a quicker pace and stumble somewhat over my own feet. We were greeted by the crisp, fresh air of that beautiful summer morning. The birds had already begun their morning songs in the trees and the sun was well on it's way to greet the day.
We arrived at our neighbours, who luckily live in the other side of the duplex we were renting. My father gave the top of my head a quick dusting with hand and he was gone. As I sat down with our neighbour on her couch I began to chat nervously and about everything our dog had done. Important stuff when you're only one month shy of turning seven. After exploring my suitcase and discovering the treasure of coloring books, sticker books, story books and treats my mother had packed, the phone rang.
I remember the feeling of a million little butterflies flittering in my stomach as I slowly approached the telephone, so uncertain and so excited. As I placed the phone on my ear and felt it's coldness, I hear my fathers deep voice. "It's a GIRL!!!, you have a baby sister!!!"
I was speechless, trying to wrap my brain around this whole concept. "I will come and pick you up in a bit and take you to see her and your mother in the hospital" my father replied to my stunned silence. "Okay" was all I could muster.
I don't have memories of the drive, but I do remember vividly walking into that hospital room and seeing my mom sitting cross legged with the teeniest bundle I had ever seen. It stole my breath when I stood on my tippy toes and peaked over the bed to see her.
I asked what her name would be and my father replied "'Candy' except we will spell it, KANDIE"
Perfect I thought. Absolutely perfect. My 'Kandie for a Penny'.
That is pretty close to the original way that morning went. Of course, I had to leave out some stuff since it can only be 250-500 words!!lol I think I went a smidge over 500....I hope that doesn't disqualify me! lol
Wish me luck!!
God bless, Penny
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