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Girl in the Red Coat

December 15, 2020– A few weeks back we posted a writing prompt of a little girl in the snow with a pair of skates draped over her shoulder. We asked our readers to submit their work for the chance to be featured on our blog. Check out K.G. Watson’s story, Girl in the Red Coat below:

“Hey!  Girl in the red coat.” The call rang across the snow. She’d been spotted.  She walked on pretending not to hear.  Another call. “Please don’t go.  We need another player.” She turned to see who, in the group, had called.  It sounded like another girl but everyone was in hockey gear, skating circles and passing a puck on the newly-frozen pond.   The caller was short, like herself.  “I see your skates and you were watching us.  Can you come and play three-on-three?”  The speaker hopped the snowbank and walked up the bank as she spoke. “These are figure skates,” she said as the other girl got close.   She nudged them with resignation. “I see that.  They’ll do.  You were watching us for a while.  You are coming from a lesson?” “Yep.” “Can you skate backwards?” “Of course.” The girl in red replied indignantly.  Her cold hands holding skate laces under her velvet collar slid into her pockets.  Mittens should have been there.  They were home, clipped to the hot air register. The hockey girl noticed.  “I have a pair of mine inside hockey gloves, and a spare stick and helmet.”  She nodded towards bags at the log where the kids had been lacing their skates. “I’ve always wanted to try hockey besides in the driveway when my brother is out.  Mom says it’s a boy’s game.   And I’m too small.  I have to take figure skating.”  She watched the others.  “Poor skaters,” she decided. “Well …  Can you stay?” “Mom dropped me and I took the bus home.  I live over there.”  She nodded at the mansion on the edge of the park as she checked her phone.  “She took my brother to his hockey game.  He won’t be home for half an hour.” As they walked down the bank, her hockey hostess explained how she could start easily.  “You can play defence. We have no goalie, just two forwards and a defence.”  She pointed to the piles of snow that marked off the goalposts.   “If you can skate backwards, stay just to the centre side of anyone coming at you.  They’ll cut outside along the boards.  Just back up, keep in place and angle them into the snow.  When they fall, shoot the puck to a forward.” The others turned to welcome her; ponytails and stray ends peaked from under helmets; they were all girls.  She appreciated the warmth of the woollen gloves lining the padded hockey ones that were set beside her while she laced up.  She hefted the battered hockey stick.  “Same as my brother’s,” she decided and glided into position.  The other team was bringing the puck up from their end. Her greeter met the attack early but was late with a stab to free the puck.  It shot to the other forward who cut inside theirs for the pass and was under-speed as she crossed centre ice, bearing down on the girl in the red dress coat.    Red stepped to the attacker’s right leaving an opening on her left. The forward took the bait.  But she hadn’t expected the quick response.   With a little more speed, she’d get around the guard.  A couple fast strides.  The girl in red remained, preventing a shot on goal.    She made one more spurt and ran out of ice at top speed; the puck slid free and … The girl in red stopped. “Are you OK?”  The other girl was struggling up in a cloud of snow.  “Never had that happen. Where did you learn that?” “What?” “You really deked me out.  I was sure I could get around you. You let me commit and then moved me over like my dad’s dog herds sheep. The next try was unsuccessful too.  The attacker stopped short but the girl in red poked the puck free and flipped it over the teammate’s stick to her own forward who sent a long lead pass to their player racing around their defence to score. She was complimented on the lift she put on the puck to get it past the opposition.  “You handle a stick well.  This isn’t your first time.” “My brother plays,” was all that Red said.  As the sky slowly darkened, the girl in red learned stick tricks to block passes or poke checks.  The streetlights were on when a van pulled into a parking place. “That’s my Dad.  We have to go.” The girl in red looked at her watch,”. “Oh-oh.  I’m late.”  When she realized she still wore a borrowed helmet it was hard to find her red hat in the snow at the end of the log. “Maybe we can do this again,” the hockey player said.  “What’s your name?” Laura,” said the figure skater.  “What’s yours?” “Haley,” she said.

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The Four Types of Writing Styles…

September 18 , 2019– Did you know that there are four types of writing styles? Every time we (writers) pick up a pen, we’re on a mission! Knowing all four types of writing styles and how to use them is essential for getting your message across to readers.

  1. Narrative– The style that we all know and love! The main purpose of the narrative writing style is to tell a story. Novellas, Short Stories, Biographies, Poetry, and Novels are all good examples of this style. Simply put, narrative writing style answers the question, “Then what happened?”
  2. Expository-This style explains or informs. The opinion of the writer is usually left out of this type of writing and it’s very subject-oriented. Textbooks, How To Instructions, Manuals, and Recipes are all good examples of expository writing.
  3. Persuasive-Persuasion is the main purpose of this style. It always contains the opinions/biases of the author and it’s meant to convince the reader of something.  Advertisements, Opinion Columns, Resume Cover Letters, and Reviews are common persuasive styles.
  4. Descriptive-Descriptive writing focuses on the details of a character, event, or place and it often incorporates the five senses. Good examples of this style are Poetry and Journaling.

So now that you know the four styles of writing, which style do you use most often? I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and write in a different style this week!
X LLB

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Publisher’s Corner…

July 19,2019- Let’s check out our Publisher’s Corner question of the week!

Q: “Lacey, I don’t read a lot of books because I don’t have tons of time, I know you’ve said in the past that reading directly influences writing, so I’m wondering what I can do to make more time to read! Any suggestions?” 

 A: “Ah, yes. This is a huge problem in society at the moment! We are living in such a fast-paced world that we barely have time to do anything pleasurable or just for fun. But, making time to read is essential! Not only does reading lend to our ability to write, but it also makes us better writers, better storytellers, and more empathetic toward our fellow humans. The average Canadian adult has approximately 5 minutes per day to read!  That’s it. I admire your commitment to reading more and I’m so happy to help! Here’s how I squeeze in time to read”: 

1) I wake up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later. Carving out this hour to read is essential to my happiness and to my business as I usually read things that are relevant in my field such as trade magazines or what’s trending on the best seller’s list. This hour before or after allows me to be uninterrupted.

2) I listen to audiobooks. Audiobooks are portable and you can listen to them everywhere. I travel a lot so this format of book allows me to get my reading done in the truck, on a plane, in the airport, on the treadmill, or wherever else I am. You wouldn’t believe how much time is wasted while travelling and waiting!

3)I read novellas, short stories, poems, and magazine articles. Reading anything is better than not reading anything at all! I’ll pick up a book shot by James Patterson for a quick, action-packed read that satisfies my craving for a good story in a short time.

Getting your daily dose of reading is only a matter of scheduling and preparing! Happy reading and writing! X LLB

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Photo Writing Prompt…

May 27, 2019– It’s been a while since we’ve done a photo writing prompt so what better day than today? It’s the middle of the week and we could use some excitement:) Using the photo below, come up with a 500-word short story. Submit to pandapublishing8@gmail.com for your chance to be featured on our blog.  Happy Writing! X LLB

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Writing Prompt

February 12, 2018- Today’s writing prompt can be found below. I find this particular prompt very intriguing and I think that I might challenge myself to write a short story about this just to flex my creative writing muscles! Happy Writing:)

Bee & Puppycat. The thing you're talking about. It's Bee and Puppycat