I've had a blast participating in the merry madness of Susanna Leonard Hill's Holiday Writing Contest over the past week. Out of 118 entries, fourteen have been chosen as finalists and the choice is now up to you! Voting has commenced and will continue until Wednesday, December 18th, at 5:00pm EST. Please cast your vote for whichever story makes your jolly heart jingle.
As for myself, I've enjoyed aspects of each and every entry (yes, all 118), but now feel quite ready to take a break from Santas and sleighs, reindeer, elves, and all varieties of mishaps, mix-ups, and mayhem. Like a breath of fresh air, Becky Shillington joins me in the Haiku Garden today to share her own gift of the season. Not the kind that is unwrapped in a flurry of excitement, but the kind of seasonal gift only Mother Nature can provide-- the kind that unwraps itself, slowly, over time, and belongs to anyone and everyone who stops to relish the moment.
Bare branches reach up,
Fingers brushing a blue sky
So bright that I squint.
(c) 2013 Becky Shillington. All rights reserved.
As a writer of picture books, chapter books, and poetry; a former third grade teacher; and an active mother of twins; Becky's personal life mirrors these branches, reaching out to those in her immediate and extended communities. If you visit her blog, Tapestry of Words, one of the first things you'll notice is all the resources she generously shares with fellow writers and readers of all ages. But I especially admire the fact that she frequently volunteers in her boys' classrooms, sharing her love of poetry with children and adults who recognize the benefit of watching the world unfold. She describes her life as "a tapestry of love, laughter, and southern comfort." I, for one, am grateful that she chooses to share these qualities with the rest of us.
In the midst of the craziest month of the year, thank you, Becky, for stopping by the Haiku Garden; and for encouraging the world to slow down, if only for a few moments, so that I could stop, breathe, and enjoy today's little ditty.