Saturday Story Starter


Glorious SPRING!

So let’s write about … SPRING!


It’s so beautiful outside here in the Pacific Northwest that I could barely pull myself back indoors to get this Saturday Story Starter going.

For those of you who haven’t participated before, Saturday Story Starter is purely for fun, just a way to exercise those writing muscles (think of it as Heather’s Literary Gym). There are no prizes, only the simple joy of putting words on paper (well, OK, on the computer screen). Also, I won’t be offering critiques, just brief words of encouragement, but I will read all your entries, that I can promise! (And if you’d like to read some of the earlier stories that have been shared, click here and click here and here and click here and here and here and here and here and here andhereand here and here and here and here to browse to your heart’s content.)

So, back to this month’s story starter …


I spotted these gorgeous blossoms on my walk today, and couldn’t resist sharing them with you (click on the photo to enlarge the image). They speak to me of spring. So does soft rain, and the sound of frogs, and green shoots bursting from the earth. The world smells differently in the springtime, fresh and new and filled with promise.

What speaks to you of spring?

Brainstorm a list. Now, take that list and turn it into something to delight us. A poem, perhaps, if you’re so inclined (not me–I am SO not a poet!). A description. A fake weather report. A conversation between two friends on a walk, noticing the world around them. Or perhaps your list will spark something entirely different–a story, a scene, something magical or humorous, who knows? Let the words take you in whatever direction they will.

Ready, set, WRITE!

21 thoughts on “Saturday Story Starter”

  1. You inhale the moist, fresh air. Thin, hazy clouds scatter across the colorful Arizonan horizon. You stand on the rock ledge, beholding the sight before you: streaks of lilac, indigo, blush, coral, and carrot orange. And in the middle, a growing orb of light.
    The light highlights the shadows and crevasses of the mountain. It glows upon the lively wildflowers dotting the piles of disorderly rocks. Slowly, it pulls itself up and up. You watch and soon the color fades, leaving only an endless blue. Crisp, cool, and clean.
    The tops of the yellow Palo Verdes, covered with blossoms, catch your eye. Towering, green Saguaros loom above you. In contrast the barrel cacti stick out of the ground like pokey pincushions. Ocotillos display their peachy flowers upon their leafy, vertical branches.
    You listen to the raspy calls of baby birds and watch baby cottontails scurry around. Spring has sprung in the Sonoran desert.

    • Juni, I LOVE this! So cool to be an eyewitness, through your beautiful description, of springtime in the desert. I love the fact that we have Story Starters participating from all corners of the world!

  2. “Spring” by Maddy

    The season that follows winter
    When buds form on the trees
    Plants and flowers sway back and forth
    In a warm spring breeze

    The season that follows winter
    Newlife and blossoms everywhere
    Rainy and cool, or sunny and warm
    In the crisp spring air

    The season that follows winter
    When spirits are lifted high
    Cool nights and beautiful days
    You feel you want to fly

    Hope you liked it. I’m in 8th grade this year and I wrote this poem four years ago, when I was in 4th grade. I don’t often write poetry. I thouht this poem is the kind of very thing that matches this story starter! 🙂 🙂 ~Maddy

    • You wrote that when you were in fourth grade? Wow — well done, Maddy! And it DOES match the story starter! Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂

  3. Grandma Jackie was the only caretaker in Kacey’s life. Her mother Rose, and her father who liked to be called
    “Doctor”, were historians who liked to travel the world, and write books about aliens, daydream about the future. Jackie had told her. Every mother’s day, Kacey would go out for a walk. Jackie wasn’t really a mom, and Kacey knew that, even for 10. When she went out, Kacey would whistle to the tune of the sweet, fresh May air. She would find a spot underneath an apricot tree, and let the blossoms float all around here; But one thing Kacey loved to do the most, was tend to her secret garden out back. Jackie knew not to go in there. Kacey would take a picture of her mother out, and hide it in the rose bushes. Roses reminded her of her mother. One mother’s day of tending to her roses, she lie in bed, half awake when she heard voices that woke her up. “Seven years doctor. When can we talk to her?” Everything was silent then; “Three more years Rose. She’ll understand in just three more years”. The woman broke out in sobs. “Oh doctor, three years! That’s too long to be away. The last time she saw us she was three!” “I’m sorry Rose. That’s just how it has to be. Thirteen is when she can handle her fate. When she understands how amazing she is. When she understands why we left. When she understands what she is; Who we are. C’mon. I’ll go pick you a rose.” The woman took one last fleeting look, sniffed, and left with him. Ever since that night 3 years ago, I waited. Today is my thirteenth birthday. Grandmother Jackie told me my parents are coming. I took another walk today. I picked a rose for my parents. When I got inside, the light is surrounding them. They step out of the light and I drop the roses. I forget all about them. I run towards my parents. There are so many other adventure’s I went through. I found out who I am. We talked about things worlds away. We talked about they ended up here, and why they always leave. I’m 19 now. Same age as my mother was when she met my father. Now I’m escaping to a past they left behind. I’m escaping to YOUR world. I’ll see you soon. One more thing. Bad Wolf. Bye. CLICK

  4. March 21st
    Spring. Mama loves spring. The scent. The taste. The season. Gram promised that we could go visit her at the hospital. She seemed doubtful of Mama’s recovery. But I just know—I can feel it in my bones—that Mama is coming home today. After 2 agonizing weeks of slurping Gram’s corn soup, a nice big greasy hamburger with Mama will make me feel just fine. Much better.
    Avalon and Sage have been giving me odd looks this whole week. I thought my friends would tell me why, but they just shrugged it off. But their pitiful glances did not stop. I would just let it be, but Gram has been giving Me those looks too, but I’m sure it’s nothing. Medical bills. It’s
    Probably the medical bills we’ll soon receive.
    I hear a door closing, “Hi Ember!”
    “Hi Gram!”
    She peeks into my bedroom—more like the guest bedroom—and is about to speak when her phone rings.
    “Hello? Yes, this is Rosario Ramirez.”
    I tone her out, and grab a bouquet of roses I bought the day before from the bedside table. A gorgeous apple-red rose lay upon the eleven other flowers that were the color of clouds. Blood dripped on snow. Powerful with a bit of paranoia mixed in. I knew Mama would love it.
    I stop admiring my roses, when I hear the silence, that signifies that Gram has stopped talking.
    “Who was that, Gram?” I ask.
    Her voice is tender yet stone like ice, “The hospital.”
    “What did they want? Did they say that Mama is coming home today?”
    “No,” she cracks, “None of that.”
    “Then what?”
    Her eyes soften so slightly, though now I am able to see the tears in her eyes, “Ember,” she swallows, “Your mother is dead.”
    My mouth drops, and my eyes are disbelief itself. The flowers in my hands don’t fall, for they are being clutched with all my anger, yet caressed with my never-ending tears. Spring has instantly disappeared from my world. It is gone. Just like Mama.

  5. When dewdrops sparkle on the springy grass,
    And the morning sun comes up,
    The rays of warmth shine through the clefts in the mountain,
    And the deep purple lupins grow up towards the clear blue sky.
    The birds cry,
    Their songs echoing off the snow capped peaks.
    There is music in the air,
    The frozen deafening silence of winter,
    Blown away by warm breezes,
    And cool nights.
    That’s when you know,
    That spring has come.

    I loved writing that! 🙂

  6. My problems. They haunt me. No matter how petty. They hurt, so much.
    Boys: he likes her she likes him. I’m the unwanted one
    Family: I disappoint them. they like my siblings more.
    School: all the bullies. I’m my own bully. All my flaws always showing.
    Tears: about all of this. even about the boy. I know, I’m such a wimp.

    My worst critic is myself as I remember all my flaws. Walking down the empty streets. Everyone’s at school as my long fingers trace the whimsy picket fences and ornated house decorations. My skinny jeans hugging my legs too tightly as I walk slowly. My shoes hit the fresh spring grass. The breeze in my dip-dyed blue hair.

    Flowers. They’re like us in a way. They seem beautiful and unhurt on the outside. But they work endlessly on the inside, get their insides slowly hurt, and keep going until they just give out. I quickly snap a string of flowers off a nearby bush. They main piece of flora is a flexible green plant and is adorned my beautiful flowers.

    There’s 6 main flowers.
    One for the boy.
    One for my disappointed family.
    One for the bullies.
    One for my flaws.
    One for tears.
    And One for always being strong.

    I tie one end to the other and find it fits perfectly on my head.
    This represents me. My flaws, my reactions, my life.

  7. Spring Blossoms

    As we look at the following story, I want you to ask yourself these questions: What speaks you of spring? What draws you towards spring? Spring is a beautiful season in the year where people observe nature, take pictures of trees, play catch in parks, gaze at the sunrise, see bunnies running through the hills, pick flowers, take a picnic, and most importantly celebrate Easter. There is so much to explore in this wonderful season.

    I tucked my nature journal under my arm and walked all the way to my window. I gazed at my beautiful cherry blossom tree that I had planted with my mom. It was so pretty and cheerful. There was also a secret nature passage that was just a little bit further ahead. It led to my secret hideout. I was the only one that knew about it. It was the perfect place to walk and reflect on the wonders of nature. Tomorrow will be Easter and this would be the perfect opportunity to cook up a special surprise for my friends and my special guy named Darcy Hawthorne, my best friend Emma’s brother, before my parents make me do chores. I quickly got dressed and slid out the back door. I admired the trees once more and continued on my way. I passed a green willow tree and under its branches was my secret location. I skipped a few stones on top of a little creek filled with fishes (similar to a koi pond). I reached a door. It was mahogany and had a woodcut with carvings of owls around the edges. I grabbed a little key that dangled from my charm bracelet and unlocked the door. It led to my garden that I called Spring Blossoms. It had a beautiful white table filled with flowers, another little cherry plant that is still growing, a mini koi pond that I built, and a hammock. I approached my large collection of plants. I paused by the cherry one and watered it. I grabbed a carrot from my harvest and fed it to my bunny that I named Peter Rabbit. Suddenly, I heard a noise. It sounded like my cell phone. Text: Jess, where are you? –Mom- Reply: I am coming. I quickly rushed out of my hideout but I dropped my key as I was going back to the outside of the willow tree.
    “Jess, where were you?” mom asked.
    “Sorry mom,” I replied.
    “I made some waffles,” dad announced.
    “Do you have any homework for the weekend?” mom asked.
    “I had calculus but I finished it last night,” I announced.
    “How about English or science?” mom pressed.
    “We are reading Treasure Island in English and I already read till Chapter 8, which is two more chapters than what the teacher assigned,” I replied loftily. “For science, Mr. Gregory asked us to write in our journals about plants and/or trees, the topic is spring,” I stated.
    “Sounds fun,” mom commented.
    “Do you think I can be excused from chores this morning?” I asked.
    “Well, I suppose that’s fine since you finished all your homework and your brothers have offered to help with chores,” mom said.
    “Thanks!” I exclaimed and left the house. Just then, I noticed Emma Hawthorne, my best friend, approaching on her bike.
    “Wow Jess, did you just wake up?” Emma teased.
    I looked down at my outfit. I was wearing my olive green t-shirt with a bunny on it and some ripped up jeans and my bunny slippers. “I was just heading off to nurse the calves,” I explained.
    “Okay,” Emma replied. Emma looked like she was on her way to Spring Couture Magazine. She was not known as a fashion diva as opposed to her good friend, Megan Wong or Becca Chadwick but she liked fashion more ever since she started dating Stewart back in 8th grade. She was wearing a pink tank top, a black sweater, pink/sparkly skinny jeans, and ballet flats.
    “You look so cute,” I complimented.
    “Thanks, you should change if we are going to go to the Arboretum Rose Garden,” Emma suggested.
    “Oh well I was not really planning on going out, I kind of have to do something right now,” I said.
    “Oh because we always write our nature essays together,” Emma reminded me.
    “I know and it’s totally fun but I need to do chores,” I replied.
    “Fine, I guess I will write it by myself then,” Emma said and rode off.
    “I love writing essays with her but I have to go back to my garden and work on my surprise for everyone,” I thought. I walked all the way towards the willow tree again and lifted the branches to get into my hideout when all of a sudden Emma was right next to me. Oh no! How was I going to explain this now?
    “What’s going on?” Emma asked.
    As I was thinking of an excuse, I tried to play the I-don’t-know-what’s-going-on card. “What?” I asked distracted.
    “You know what I am talking about, where are you really going?” Emma asked once more.
    “I have no idea what you are talking about,” I replied.
    “Yeah right, then let’s take a walk inside here,” Emma said and closed the branches behind her. She saw the pond and skipped the rocks. When she reached she door and tried to open it, it opened instantly.
    “Wait, how come it’s doing that?” I said.
    “Doing what?” Emma asked.
    “It just opened for you, I always open it with a key,” I said and pulled off my charm bracelet. Where was it? After several long minutes I found it lying next to my hammock. “Got it!” I cried triumphantly.
    “I still can’t believe you have a hideout and you never told me about it,” Emma said. “Well, people are entitled to have their secret places,” I replied.
    “I don’t keep secrets from you,” Emma snapped.
    “Yes you do or have you forgotten that doll named Clarissa that you kept from me all these years until recently?” I shot back.
    “That’s different,” Emma replied quietly.
    “No it’s not and sometimes I want to be alone from the world, I don’t have anywhere else to go,” I said feeling frustrated.
    “I guess I see your point,” Emma admitted grudgingly. “Can I hang out for at least ten minutes?” Emma begged.
    I said yes because it’s hard to say no to your best friend. As she played with Peter Rabbit, I just looked at her and felt sort of disappointed still. It had been hard to keep a secret from my best friend but I had also known that a secret this amazing could slip out from my best friend’s lips.
    “How could you keep a secret hideout this fabulous for so long?” Emma asked me. That’s it. This was the final straw. I didn’t need any reminders that made me feel guilty or pressured to tell her how I felt when it came towards keeping my hideout a secret.
    “I would want to tell the whole world!” Emma exclaimed. That did it.
    “Look Emma, you don’t understand at all,” I said. “I need a place to be alone and think,” I continued.
    “Yes I know that already but why?” Emma pressed.
    “I don’t really know why, maybe because my brothers bother me all the time and I never get any privacy!” I yelled full of frustration.
    “I get that but this place is so amazing and I would love to have a place as nice as this,” Emma said wistfully.
    “I was also afraid a secret like this might pop out,” I admitted.
    “Is that what you were so worried about?” Emma asked.
    “Sure I would like to tell my other friends but I won’t tell them now that I know how you feel,” Emma stated.
    “How about Stewart?” I asked.
    “Well, okay no I won’t,” Emma replied.
    “I have an idea, now that you know about my secret place perhaps we can throw an Easter party here,” I said.
    “I thought you were mad that I discovered your secret hideout,” Emma replied looking confused.
    “I was a little bit, but then I thought why should I be selfish and want to keep this place for myself so I have been thinking that it might be okay if my parents and a few close friends come by as long as I lock it right afterward,” I decided.
    “Okay so you mean that you will open it one night a year?” Emma asked.
    “Yes and you have got to promise that you won’t try to find a way to come in here without my permission,” I said wagging a finger of mine at her playfully.
    “All right! Scout’s honor,” she said.
    “Good,” I replied. Easter finally came. I went over the guest list with Emma and narrowed it down. We agreed that Cassidy Sloane, my parents, Darcy, Stewart Chadwick even though I was really hesitant at first because everyone knows Becca Chadwick, his sister is the biggest gossip ever, and she was also coming. We had a picnic in the backyard of my house and almost at the end of the party I decided to take all the guests toward the willow tree.
    “Listen up everyone, I want to say that before we go in there I would really appreciate you not blabbing this out to anyone else,” I started. “I hope you enjoy it!” I exclaimed. I was really nervous as I opened the door, I was pretty sure my secret was gone for good. I was dead wrong. As I entered, Becca, Megan and my brothers were in there.
    “Emma, why would you tell them?” I whisper-shouted.
    “I wanted all of our friends to know and now that they’re a bit older, your brothers promised that they wouldn’t reveal your secret,” Emma replied.
    “Okay,” I finally agreed not sounding too sure. “
    Look Jess we know that we often, I mean I often gossip and blab out secrets but I promise I will never reveal your secret,” Becca said.
    “I am sorry we haven’t been trustworthy either,” my brothers say in unison.
    “You know what guys?” I said. “Thank you!” I exclaimed. “I couldn’t ask for a better family in the whole world!” I continued, and we all toast to cherry flavored smoothies.

    The End

    • Fun! Fan fiction AND a secret garden, what could be better than that? 🙂

  8. I am currently reading Wish You Were Eyre to get ready for the next MDBC book, and just found out that I am going to Paris this summer! I’m so excited to visit the places like Megan, and my mom told me that we are going to Angelina’s. I’m so excited!

  9. Telltale Signs of Spring
    Deep in the woods a bird breaks the winter silence, a single note clear in the
    dawn. A doe raises her head. The mama rabbit twitches. The stirring spreads.
    Soon the whole world will hear the music. Spring is here!

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