Thursday, March 2, 2017

#50 Precious Words Contest Entry

My Mom is a Ninja (50 words)
By Megan Haslem Jones

Problem solver.
I think Mom is a ninja.
Accurate throws.
Cuts, chops, dices.
Ninja scream.
She must be a ninja.
“Powerful kicks,” I overhear.
Stretchy clothing.
Afternoon meditation.
She IS a ninja!
“Mom, I know your secret.”
“Excited? Future big brother!”
Not a ninja.

Thank you, Vivian Kirkfield for organizing this fun event.  Writing a story in only 50 words has helped me to grow as a writer.  I had to evaluate and analyze each word more than I usually do.  Not being able to use illustration notes added another layer of fun.  I used all 50 words in this version.  Previously drafts were a little shorter, but this version is my favorite.

For more information about this contest (and other awesome kid lit info) check out

Wow, there are so many talented and creative writers participating in this contest.  I think I'll spend the rest of the day reading all the fun entries.

Chapter Book Challenge

March is turning out to be a busy month.  It is only the 2nd!  I'm pushing myself to try new things.  I usually write picture books, but I'm writing early chapter books this month, too.  My original idea was too long for a picture book.  So I'll try it out as an early reader with the possibility of it turning into a series.  We will see where the month takes me.  For more info check out:

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Storystorm 2017

This was my first year participating in Storystorm.  It has been so much fun.  I highly recommend it. Mark your calendars for January 1, 2018.  I'd write more but I have 35 new ideas calling my name for some love and attention.  Until I can write more, check out it is a gold mine of information.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Why do I write?

Honestly, the first answer that comes to mind is that I write for my sanity.  I've always had a job and been enrolled in college.  Almost always at the same time.  You can't put the cart before the horse and you can't pay for college without money.  Now, I get to be home with my two adorable, busy sons.  I am so glad that I get this time with them and that I can be home with them for every giggle, tear, snuggle, and memory.  That also means I am home for every bad day, tantrum, poop bomb, and mess.  The good far outweighs the bad.  I promise.  Sometimes by the end of the day, I need some sanity.  I need quiet time.  I need to not have someone smearing who knows what on my shirt sleeve.

I've always loved writing.  I've recently found old stories that I wrote years ago.  About a year ago, I told my husband I need a hobby.  A real hobby.  I chose to pursue writing.  At first, my theory was that it is easier to pull out a laptop or a piece of paper than drag out art supplies or practice the piano while my babies sleep.  One day I hope to work on those other hobbies, but writing is my main goal now.

One of my dreams has always been to write children's picture books.  I researched online, read books, and started putting my thoughts to paper.  A funny thing happened.  I love it.  I have the writing bug and I can't stop.  I lucked out by finding a local critique group.  I was absolutely terrified to go to that first critique, but I am so glad I did.  The members were so welcoming and kind.  The first story I shared that night was terrible.  It was, really.  I know it was.  One day I will go back and revise it.  Since then I've joined official organizations, made amazing connections within the writing community, and even entered a writing contest (more on that later).

Here is to my sanity.  What helps you keep your sanity?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Writing Inspiration

I'm not consistent with keeping a journal.  Honestly, I have several different journals filled with only 2 or 3 pages of writing.  All of my stories are based on some part of a memory or experience things like playing with my siblings or the yearly county fair.  Some of my dearest memories include my Grandma and Grandpa.  In a way, this is a special way for me to feel close to them now they have passed.  I get to honor them and reflect on sweet times shared together.  I may not keep a journal but I enjoy creating stories based on memories.

A few weeks ago, my family and I traveled to the area where I was born and raised in Eastern Utah.  Things have changed dramatically in the 11 years since I lived there.  My great grandparent's home, where I grew up, has now been torn down.  This sleepy town that I was once so nervous to leave, doesn't feel like home anymore.  Maybe it is because I lost a piece of my heart when a JiffyLube was built on top of my roots.

My kiddos were restless and tired of being in car seats, so we made a quick pitstop to give them (along with husband and me) a little break.  We ended up near fairgrounds a few towns away.  This is the same place every year my siblings and I would participate in the yearly county fair.  We raised, fed, trained, and then showed and sold pigs or steers.  The memories flooded back as we drove around the pens and stalls.  I couldn't believe how it looks exactly like I remember, yet so different. In my mind, everything was taller, larger, and grander.  Maybe because to a then scrawny, scared 8-year old, everything looks bigger.

I wish I would have taken some pictures.  At the time, I was so overcome with memories and stories to tell my family it didn't even occur to me that maybe one day, this too will be torn down.  A few months back, I started a rough draft of a story about the county fair.  This unexpected pitstop has given me the motivation to finish the story.

To memories and pitstops!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


I'm trying to add more sounds within the text of my picture books.  Sounds add another layer to the story and are something that can't be shown in the illustrations.  It has been a lot of fun and sometimes downright frustrating.  How do you describe an explosion?  A breaking dish?  A flat tire?  I find myself whispering different sound effects to try to figure out what works best.  I may have lost my mind.  Zoooop!  Poof!

I was finishing up critiques before my group meets tomorrow when I had a complete brain fart.  I was trying to describe a chicken sound.  Yes, I know the sound a chicken makes.  Why can I not think how to spell it?  Bauk? Buk? Buuoook? bhuuk? Bok?  I'm getting desperate... cluck, cluck.  Forget it,  (insert chicken sound here).  Nailed it.  Kachow!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ruby Car

Ruby was the name of my great grandmother's 1964 Pontiac Tempest.  This car parked in the garage next to old textbooks and a deep freeze. The grocery store, bank, and church were all within a mile of home.  Ruby and great granny never went far. However, when all the grandkids piles inside we used our imagination to drive Ruby car to far away places, often finding ourselves in a bit of a predicament. Here is to Ruby car and new adventures.  Also, when you marry a handsome boy with a common last name, you have to get creative!