Young writers, win a chance to have your story published. Submit your story to the Kid’s Imagination Train Writing Contest.
September 3, 2014 - LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kid’s Imagination Train, the online magazine, invites children to participate in its first annual writing contest with the theme of winter or holiday stories. Eligible children, ages 7 to 12, must submit their stories by October 1, 2014.
KIT editor, Randi Lynn Mrvos, explains why she decided to initiate the contest. She says, “Kid’s Imagination Train encourages children to be creative by actually illustrating stories that are published online. The writing contest is yet another way children can use their imaginations.”
Mrvos and the KIT staff will read all of the submissions and select a story for publication in the December issue. In addition, the contest winner can choose a book reviewed by KIT. Mrvos says, “We look forward to reading the stories and hope to offer the contest again next year.” For contest guidelines and the list of books go to the KIT website (http://www.kidsimaginationtrain.com/p/editing-services.ht...).
About Kid’s Imagination Train
The free online Kid’s Imagination Train magazine publishes creative fiction, kid-friendly articles, book reviews, lesson plans, and activities for children ages 5 to 12. Each month children can send in their drawings. KIT chooses four to six drawings to illustrate each story. The extra pictures are posted on the KIT Illustrators (http://kitillustrators.blogspot.com#120175498150251905) gallery.
Online Children’s Magazine Releases New Look
Kid’s Imagination Train now features a page turning design. The format allows KIT to offer a paperless publication with the appearance of a magazine.
Aug. 8, 2014 - LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The online children's magazine, Kid’s Imagination Train, continues to grow since its inaugural January 2013 issue. Randi Lynn Mrvos, editor of KIT, first published the magazine as a blog before turning it into a website and adding the new flipbook feature.
Mrvos, an accomplished writer and editor says, "I'm dedicated to supporting authors and writers by publishing both new and established writers." Furthermore, Mrvos believes children should have a place to go where they can enjoy reading and exercising their imaginations. According to Mrvos, "KIT is unique in that it helps children to read and learn, engaging them by providing the opportunity to illustrate their favorite stories."
KIT pays contributors and is open to submissions. Mrvos also introduced the first annual KIT writing contest. The contest theme is Holiday Stories. Children 7 to 12 are eligible to submit a story. In addition to working on KIT, Mrvos dispenses editorial advice and information about children's writing on her blog Children’s Writer’s World (http://childrenswritersworld.blogspot.com#163070713611172...).
About Kid’s Imagination Train
The free online magazine, Kid’s Imagination Train, publishes creative fiction, kid-friendly articles, book reviews, lesson plans, and activities for children ages 5 to 12. Each month children can send in their drawings. KIT chooses four to six drawings to illustrate the stories. The extra pictures are posted to the KIT Illustrators (http://kitillustrators.blogspot.com#120175498150251905) gallery.
Well, it’s finally happened our little princess is now in the driver’s seat. She passed her test and drove herself to the gas station and the mall. She wanted to make her inaugural trip solo to prove to herself and us that she could do it. My mom taxi service is officially out of business.
When the boy got his license, it was frightening but I wasn’t decommissioned. The ragazza was five years behind him, and she still needed me to drive her everywhere. Once again, I worry about my child being a new driver with limited experience. Yes, we signed her up for a driving class so she could do the prerequisite number of hours to get her driving permit, and my husband and I both allowed her to drive as much as possible.
Those days weren’t easy on us. The first time my husband took the ragazza out she drifted around a corner careening dangerously close to a street sign. My husband explained to her that she psychically had to turn the steering wheel, and I’m sure he didn’t say it in a calm voice. I also had many harrowing days on the road with the ragazza. In the beginning, she had an aversion to driving in the middle of her lane. I would repeatedly tell her “move over, move over” while mailboxes appeared only inches from the car. I would mentally tell people with dogs to just get inside until they were sure the road was clear. Within a year, the ragazza now makes smooth turns, stays a safe distance from the curb, and actually remembers to shut the car off before she hops out.
I have reached a mom milestone. Both of my children can drive. I have become the passenger in their lives instead of the driver. Recently, my mother pointed out to me that she has no remaining grandchildren who don’t drive. So, the circle of driving continues.
If you’re looking for interesting and fun stories for your children, hop on the Kid’s Imagination Train. You’ll find fiction and nonfiction stories along with monthly book reviews. Kid’s Imagination Train is for children ages 5 to 12. And young artists are encouraged to send in a drawing to illustrate the stories.
I invite you to read my stories “Nature’s Recyclers” and “Sunday Spaghetti Sundae,” and read my book review for “Snowmen at Night.” So, take a trip and learn new things. It’s free and you don’t have to leave home.
Check out The Uncustomary Book Review web site, www.uncustomarybookreview.com to read my review of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Okay, the title is misleading. I only found one snake in the garage, but one snake is one too many. Snakes don’t belong in the garage. On the day of the traumatic event, I entered the garage, hit the button for the door opener and walked to my car. As I was getting into the car, I saw an acorn. I was going to kick the nut through the doorway when I noticed movement over in the corner. It was a snake. It reared up, opened its mouth and slithered towards me. At least that’s what I think it did; I don’t really know what happened because I ran back inside.
I called my husband to tell him we were victims of a snake invasion. He was at work and said he would be home as soon as possible. Hours later he rushed in. Why did you leave the garage door open?” he asked.
Why wouldn’t I leave the garage door open? I didn’t want the snake to think that it could sashay up to the door, knock, and say, “Hello I’d like to introduce myself. I’m the snake that lives down the street.” My husband did do a thorough investigation of the premises and he seemed disappointed that he couldn’t find the snake.
I know we have snakes in our neighborhood. I’ve seen them in the grass and flattened on the road. Actually, I feel sad when I see a snake that was run over by a car. Snakes are like spiders I don’t have a problem with them as long as they stay outside. But the snake did cross the human/nature boundaries.
We have an adorable stray cat that saunters through our yard. Yet, I’ve never found him in the garage. And there’s the amusing chipmunk that sits on our front steps regularly tormenting our live-in cat. I’ve never discovered the chipmunk in the garage. I encountered a nice possum family one night crossing the road. The possums know the outdoor frontier is where they belong. We have turkeys in the vegetable garden but never in the garage. I frequently smell the scent of a skunk but I’ve never seen it in the garage. My point is the snake was definitely trespassing.
I know you’re wondering why I posted a picture of a cat. Well, cats are cuter than snakes.
I invite you to read my guest book review of Signe Pike's "Faery Tale: One Women's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World."
It appears Sept. 9th on http//www.uncustomarybookreview.com
While you're at the website, check out the other reviews.
It was a semi-sunny day at the beach. In the south, they call it the beach but in Jersey we say down at the shore. We found a clear spot next to a young family. As we were spreading out our towels and setting up our chairs my sister-in-law saw a cigar butt lying in the sand. I too was kicking away cigarette butts. To some people the beach is just one big ashtray. Ugh.
The ocean was rough and tumble and the Regazza and her cousin were getting thrown around on their tubes. I made the Mom call and told them it wasn’t a good idea to use the inflatables. The day before I told the girls that there was a strong undercurrent and with their teenage eyeballs they sent beams of disgust my way. They silently let me know that they can’t take me seriously when I’m afraid of everything and they’re young and superhuman.
It’s true I really don’t want them to go out in water above their ankles even though my daughter is on her high school swim team and she’s lifeguard certified. Why can’t they be content to frolic in two inches of water? I just read that someone, somewhere was standing in water up to their knees and a shark attacked them. Anyway it turns out that I was right about the rip current because cousin K got caught in it. Thankfully, she stayed calm and swam out of it.
So we decided to stay out of the water and soak up the sunrays that could penetrate the clouds. My sister-in-law and I took our chairs to the end of the water to sit and watch the waves. Now that’s acceptable ocean wading. We were having a nice conversation when a strong smell invaded our space. It wasn’t a fishy, ocean odor or a sun tan lotion smell. Wafting towards us was the noxious stench of a cigar.
The offender stood about ten feet away from us in water dangerously up to his thighs. He had his hands on his hips, his belly was sticking out, and he was puffing on what looked like a big turd. At least he was wearing a shirt and long swim trunks.
Where does he flick the ash? Where does he dispose of the cigar butt? I think we solved the mystery of the sand cigar. We waited for a wave to knock him over but the ocean was nice to him. I thought about how I would like to put that cigar out using his forehead, but I’m a proper northern woman so I would never do such a thing. Instead we packed up our stuff and headed back to our beach house, because that day there was more than one kind of butt on the beach.
After investing months of my time watching the voice, the conclusion of the competition was disappointing. I thought the idea of the show was to find “the voice” not the same ho hum, generic warbling. I think Jermaine Paul is talented and a good singer, and he seems like a nice family guy, but Juliet Simms and Chris Mann were by far the leaders of the pack. America got to have their say, and my sixteen-year-old daughter and I were left stunned.
The outcome reminded me of when the Ragazza was in elementary school and she didn’t get a spot on the safety patrol. She was an “A” student, with good attendance and behavior, yet the principal and vice principal didn’t think that was good criteria for being a candidate. They treated the process like a popularity contest, allowing the teachers to vote for their favorites, and then selecting the students they felt would never get the opportunity due to their poor grades and bad behavior. It was a mind numbing experience, especially when the vice principal told me that not being chosen for safety patrol is like not being picked for the cheerleading squad. Ahh, No. Cheerleading is about skill and popularity. Safety patrol was always about being an exemplary student, and hopefully in other places across America it still is.
So, The Voice left me feeling bewildered. How could Simms or Mann’s performances not move America? By the last two nights, the Ragazza and I were bored by Paul’s performances. We regretted not having a bigger buffer on the recorded program so we could fast forward. Paul did shine when he sang with other performers. We enjoyed seeing Pip and Jamar Rogers again, and Paul’s rendition of “Soul Man” with Blake was entertaining. The Ragazza pointed out that Paul is good at singing with others because that’s what he does for a living. And this brings us to his relationship with Alicia Keys. Why was there controversy about Tony Lucca getting support from famous buddies, but it was okay for Paul to have his boss lady give a video shout out on the show. Key’s must know just as many people as Justin Timberlake.
For the Ragazza and me, Simms and Mann embody what the show should be about. They’re two people who we looked forward to seeing and listening to every week. We wanted Simms to win and I know she reached a new generation when the Ragazza said to me “why don’t people sing like that anymore.” The answer seems to be America isn’t interested. Just like some administrators don’t see a need to reward deserving students.
Dappled sunlight filters through green feathery fans on the ends of tree branches. Pink blossoms scatter like confetti across the sidewalk. The air is tinged with impulsive vibrations. The springtime color palette emerges as pale pastels but soon turns to vivid hues that capture the vibrant energy of the season. Spring brings forth a feeling of expectations for new possibilities. The arrival of spring gives you the opportunity to fling open the windows and relish the invigorating breeze. Spring pushes aside winter sluggishness inspiring you to run, walk, play, sit, and soak up the long fragrant days that turn into comfortable nights.
Donna Smith is a freelance writer who lives between the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware River.