Saturday Story Starter

Well hellooooooo there!  It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I have a really REALLY good excuse, though — we’ve been in the middle of a move. A BIG move. An all-the-way-across-the-country-from-Oregon-to-Boston kind of move! Things are still pretty topsy-turvy around here, but we’re starting to feel settled. It’s really fun to be back on home turf (I grew up in New Hampshire and the Boston area), and I’m especially loving the snow!

On the book front, MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CAMP is in the pipeline and ready to go. Look for it on bookshelves near you May 3rd. Wheee! This is the 7th and final (I know I said that last time but really truly final) book in the series. Click here to read a sneak peek. And fear not, although it’s the last hurrah for my book club girls, there’s more fun ahead for you with a book that will be out in early 2017 — YOURS TRULY, the sequel to ABSOLUTELY TRULY. I’m putting the finishing touches on that this spring.

What do you say we dive into a little Saturday Story Starter? I can’t think of a better way to spend a cold and snowy weekend (at least it’s cold and snowy here in Boston).

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). I rewrite my essay a lot but lately I’ve been lacking inspiration so I started this. 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 click here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here to browse to your heart’s content.)

Let’s get started, shall we?

Snow day in Boston

Ah, pink tulips and snow. Two of my favorite things! And even better together!

But what are they doing here? Who brought them? Who are they for? And what’s the story behind the tulips and the snowy winter scene we glimpse through the window? You’re the writer, so it’s your decision. Set the scene for us, and tell us a story…

Ready, set, WRITE!

90 thoughts on “Saturday Story Starter”

  1. This is a poem, not a story, but whatever!; )

    One Rose

    One rose
    Standing in the snow
    It will die in the cold of winter
    Or bloom in the warmth of spring
    One rose.

    And this is the story (well, a little part of one):

    I sit back and look at my notebook. Still blank! I can’t for the life of me think of a poem. This has never happened before. Usually the words just flow out of me and onto the paper. And this one time Mrs. Rogers assigns a poem for homework, (which NEVER happens, by the way) I get writer’s block. Typical.

    Mrs. Rogers is the most ANNOYING teacher ever! All she does is make you do dictionary work. Now, as much as I love to write, I hate to read, spell, or define words. That’s because I have dyslexia, so it takes me forever to figure out each word, let alone look it up. And Mrs. Rogers gives us hard words. I mean REALLY hard – Last week we had pistachio! But I love coming up with poems and stories. I just don’t like to write them down. And math – don’t even get me started on math! Math is so hard! I could go on forever, but – Wait! I have an idea for my poem! I go over to my desk, open my computer, and start to type.

    One Rose, I write. I continue, then I write who wrote it. Me. Phoebe Hawthorne, age 10.

    To be continued…

    I know it didn’t have much to do with anything, especially since it is really many tulips, not one rose. But that’s what I thought of when I saw the picture.

    • Definitely. My scanner is back in Portland, though (I’m living in two places at the moment), so until everything’s under one roof again, we’ll have to be patient…

  2. I am so satisfied with the sneak peek of the 7th Mother Daughter Book Club! I cannot wait for it to come out in May! Thank you so much for posting it Mrs. Frederick!

  3. The little witch bustled about her small cottage, busily. The neighbors next door were putting on a party for their daughter’s birthday, and the witch was in charge of dessert.

  4. Bailey Fischer walked into the dinning room frantically calling for her mother who didn’t seem to be answering. “Mother!” Bailey called quite tired.
    “Yes honey?” Asked a voice from the kitchen as Bailey’s mother, Mrs Fischer stuck her head around the kitchen doorway.
    Just as Bailey had expected Mrs Fischer had ear-phones in her ears and she could hear booming music coming from them. “Mother, I have been calling you for five whole minutes!” Bailey exclaimed tiredly as she sat down on on of the dinning room chairs to rest.
    “I was just unpacking some of the kitchen utensils.” Mrs Fischer replied her head disappeared as she went back into the kitchen.
    Bailey shook her head in frustration. The Fischer family had moved to a big house in Oberon, Australia. Her father had been asked to go to work the day they moved in so Bailey and her mother were stuck to putting everything in the house… which was very difficult if Bailey couldn’t converse with her mother.
    Bailey looked around the dinning room and frowned as she noticed a vase of tulips on the table. “Mother, where did these come from?” Bailey asked not looking away from the mysterious tulips.
    No answer came from the kitchen and Bailey shook her head. She then noticed a piece of paper hanging to the handle. She leaned forward to see what was written on it.

    ‘For the Fischer Family, We hope you enjoy living at Oberon, we will surely enjoy having you.’ ~ The Dubose Family

    Bailey looked towards the kitchen doorway. How had her mother heard the doorbell and not her? “Mother,” Bailey called yet again.
    “Yes honey?” Came the answer from the kitchen.
    “When did the… Dubose family bring the flowers?” Bailey asked.
    “Oh about… five minutes ago.” Cam the answer.
    Bailey groaned. “Really.” She muttered annoyed.
    Another thing to worry about. Unpacking everything, the snow outside that wouldn’t let them move out of the house, and this new family…. GREAT! Bailey thought annoyed.

    Ta Da! I hope you like it Heather.


    P.S I read the preview for the 7th MDBC book club book. It’s great… But I noticed something quite small. On the page that has the girls seeing the sing of Camp Lovejoy, the book says: Camp Loveoy, not Camp Lovejoy. (Just thought I’d point that out… Sorry) 🙁

  5. (Before I start my story, I just want to say how excited I am for the mother-daughter-book-club book! Sad it’s the last one, but hey, it’ll be my birthday, not to mention the luck of a dozen more books of the series in the after library!)

    It was a small patch of earth, the place Elizabeth Cherry Daze sat on. The tulips from Percy sat in front of her, the only real kiss of color. Her half-painted kitchen sat to the side of her, the paint brush and paint bucket sat atop the island. Elizabeth rolled her fingers over the pink tulips, the color she had chosen for her kitchen, only because it reminded her of Percy. Percy. He had left his cologne and many of his shirts, they smelled like him. She would text his phone every day. Elizabeth often kick herself for worrying for that time when he would not text back. She sat near the window, wondering why war exists. It hurt so many, just to prove a point. It was devastating. She slowly sat up and began to paint the kitchen again. Elizabeth… a voice called through the door to her. It was Percy. She ran to the door to see a cold world of despair. She could practically hear him. His obnoxiously cute laugh, his grin, his warm oak voice.. impossible not to love. Like her last name, it had been a daze. A daze of spilt caramel coffee on an unsuspecting and accidental victim, a quickly scrolled number on the back of a hand, and a stuttering voice making the call. Elizabeth felt warm. Suddenly, a text woke her up. One text from Percy. ‘Guess who’s home?’ and she flung the door open and there he was, another bundle of tulips in hand.

    The end!

  6. Okay, so I know this is kind of long, but I hope you enjoy reading it. Thank you so much!

    “May, there’s been a delivery!” my mother called from the kitchen when I first got home. I stomped my snowy boots on the welcome mat and shook the flakes out of my long, red curls. In the kitchen, I found my mom placing a tray of brownies in the oven. On the island behind her, in a clear glass vase was a beautiful bouquet of pink tulips, my favorite. “Nice flowers,” I commented. “From Neil?” Neil is my mom’s boyfriend.
    “Actually,” she replied, turning around with an annoying smirk on her face, “they’re from Braden Kay, and they’re yours.”
    “Ha ha,” I said, turning on our Keurig to make hot cocoa. “Really, though¬– who sent them?”
    “I’m serious. That boy is so nice. He told me he really liked you and wanted to give you some flowers. It was all very sweet.”
    How do I explain Braden Kay? He wasn’t cute, he wasn’t smart, and I definitely didn’t have a crush on him. Obviously my feelings for him weren’t mutual. And he knew it. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t tried. I had turned him down more than I liked to admit, and now he tried to win me over by talking to my mom and bringing flowers? If I said yes now, how shallow would that be?
    The next day, Valentine’s Day, I came to school with small boxes of candy for my closest friends. It was middle school, so we no longer did class valentines, which I missed, but my friends and I kept up the traditions amongst ourselves.
    At lunch, just as we were finishing our swap, the loudspeaker came to life and our principal told us that school was ending early, do to an unexpected snowstorm. We were to proceed to the gymnasium where our parents would pick us up.
    Two hours later, the majority of the student body was still sitting in groups on the gym floor as the snow got increasingly worse. After a few minutes of pointless conversation, Jasmine nudged me. I looked up. Great. Just great.
    There, a single tulip in hand, was Braden Kay, looking incredibly awkward and uncomfortable. I stood up. “Hey.”
    “Uh, hi, May,” he said, leading me away from everyone. “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Then, as if he was afraid he’d chicken out, he shoved the flower into my hand.
    The gesture was so sweet and I suddenly felt bad for all the mean things I’d said and thought both about and to him. I glanced over at Dustin, my one true crush, where he sat with the popular kids.
    Would HE ever bring me flowers? And even if he did, would it be my favorite kind? Probably not. Maybe I didn’t like Braden like he did me, but he was still a gentleman.
    So I took his hand and looked him in the eye. “Thank you. Happy Valentine’s Day, Braden.” And then I turned and walked back to my friends, grinning.

      • This was so great! One thing I really loved about it was that the dialogue was so…true. Everything sounded like something someone would really say, not just staged. 🙂

  7. The door of a flower shop jingles. A young women comes to the counter. “Goodmorning, what can I help you with?” He lips form the words softly and perfectly.

    The customer, a man no older than 40, replies, “A bouquet of tuplis. Thank you.”

    “Is pink okay?” her hair frames her face in a way that makes her youthful and delicate.

    “Yes, pink would be lovlely.” Then he mutters, “It’s her favorite color.” He doesn’t realize that the owner has heard what he’s said. He didn’t mean for it to come out verbally. He didn’t mean to share a secret.

    He buys the flowers and walks out of the shop into the bustling city of New York. It’s like he stepped into another world. He walks across the street, past the bakeries and little shops to the hospital across the street. He walks through the big glass doors. He takes the elevator up to floor 7, and walks to room 7d.

    Inside a young girl is waiting. But she is sleeping, she has been sleeping since the accident. He eyes are closed gently and her skin is pale. Her father walks in with the flowers and sets them next to her bedside. “Honey, please wake up.” he says almost praying as tears run down his cheeks.

  8. “I’m taking a morning walk mom!” Natalie Jane hollers from the back porch, where she’s busily sliding on her boots.
    “Are you sure? it’s less then twenty degrees out,” her mother replies, concerned. “And there might be some hunters at the back of these woods-”
    “I’m positive. There’s nothing better than a lovely walk on a nice brisk morning than this.”
    So, out she goes on the cold February morning, hustling in the snow with her fleece jacket tucked around her soft blue sweater. Natalie’s favorite season is winter. The noise her boots make when they crunch in the snow delighted her so much, she felt like singing. So that’s what she did, she sung and sung ’till until she stumbled across a little clump of snow. But wait…it wasn’t snow….it was heavily frosted tulips from last September. Her best friend Lila had an experiment with frost, and forgot about it.
    Natalie laughed aloud as she hastily, but carefully pulls them out of the ground and rushes home in giggles. Tulips in February! How quaint! Mother will love these!
    So Natalie skipped, and opened the back door.
    “Mother! I’ve got some tulips….Lila’s of course!” She laughed happily and got out her mother’s best vase. When her mother came back, she hugged Natalie in delight as she took a picture of them, and sent is to there favorite author, Heather Vogel Frederick.

    Mrs. Frederick, I can not say how utterly delighted I am about your next mother-daughter book club coming out! My mom got me the whole boxed-set of them for Christmas two years ago, and I thought I wouldn’t like them…but boy. Once I picked up the first one, I couldn’t put it down! I had the whole series finished in a week. Thank you SO much for those ideas for those books you came up with! 🙂
    -A happy reader

  9. I’m glad to see the return of these, as well as the MBDC with its new book coming out! 🙂

    Nathan flung upon the door to the mountain cottage in a haze of wind and snow and wayward curls as he pushed his way in, gasping from the cold and the slush filling his boots. His cheeks were flushed bright pink, and he soaked the warm air inside of the cottage on his frozen skin, the thaw reaching through his whole body and in such contrast to the freezing temperatures outside that his face began to burn.
    He heard footsteps coming down the hall towards him and quickly shoved the brown paper package behind him, hoping to conceal his surprise until the ideal moment. However, it was only Mrs. Hutton, rosy-cheeked and homely as usual, tutting as she helped him out of his coat and boots.
    So Andre was still…
    “You’re going to kill yourself with this cold!” she said, shaking her head sharply. Nathan raised his hands in defense.
    “Sorry, sorry!” he said, wiping the trail of slush he’d left in his wake. Snowflakes had threaded themselves in his eyelashes and eyebrows and cheeks, like a million small kisses, and were now rapidly melting, streaking down his face and hair like tears. “But a little cold isn’t going to stop me from coming. I’ve delivered in worse blizzards, and you guys are some of my best customers.”
    He was joking, of course. Customers was too loose a term to describe people who had been your family in all but name for so many years.
    Mrs. Hutton’s face softened slightly, and she backed away, wiping her hands on her skirt. “You should go see Andre.” she said, her voice quieter now. “He’s in his room… I’ll have food ready soon, so I’ll call you when it’s ready.”
    Nathan nodded, trying not to put too much melancholy in the motion. Today was a happy day. An exiting day. He had his surprise, after all. He handed her the actual delivery bag, filled to the brim with fragrant spices and salted meats, and made his way down the ever-familiar hall.
    This house, this small mountain cottage, was embedded with memories of childhood, which resurfaced in the smells of the homemade lavender soap and the scratches in the wall, some of which Nathan could claim as his own. At the end of the hallway, there was a table right underneath the frost-covered window, draped with a faded lace doily and which black-and-white family photos sat, staring at him with faint smiles. Nathan wondered where his own family photos were. He’d never seen them.
    On the left of the table was the room at the end of the hallway, the room that he’d came for. He knocked twice, announced himself, and then entered without waiting for a response.
    The first thing that greeted him was the music, the softly spinning record filling the room with a sweet, slow melody. Nathan felt his own voice go down at that; the whole room had that atmosphere, one that smoothed all the edges and corners of his person and in a way, humbled him.
    “How are you?”
    There was stirring from the bed. Nathan had almost thought that Andre had been sleeping, but his eyes fluttered open slowly at his voice, and then two pairs of deep brown eyes were staring into his own.
    Andre always stared directly into someone’s eyes. It had bothered Nathan, when they were younger, but now it only helped him determine whether or not Andre was being honest, and it allowed his own emotions to be read easily as well.
    “I’m fine.” His voice came out soft, clear, just like the church bells after dark. “How are you?”
    He didn’t look fine. Andre was skinny as a twig, and his dark skin and pitch black hair against the wide, white sheets created a contrast that made him seem too small and too vulnerable. Nathan could hear his shallow breathing, even from the entryway. He forced a smile and walked closer.
    “I’m great! It snowed pretty hard on the way up the mountain, but I stopped in that tavern that you like and–”
    “I know you have something you want to show me, you don’t have to hide it.” Nathan smiled, trying to conceal his sheepishness. Andre could read him too well. He always could.
    “Well, yeah…” he brought the package out from behind him, grinning broadly, and presented it to Andre with as much pride as he could muster. “Look!”
    He could see Andre’s eyes widen, if only slightly, at the sight of the pink tulips. Not a petal was bruised or torn, even if they were slightly covered in snow; Nathan had carried them as carefully as he could and shielded their delicateness, not willing to let anything damage his treasure. When the rest of his deliveries had taken a beating, he used only the utmost carefulness with these flowers.
    They had been a tough buy, but more importantly, they were for Andre. That was why.
    The other boy’s features relaxed into a smile, and even though it was small, lips pressed together, Nathan could tell from the way his eyes scrunched up and his hands twisted together that Andre was pleased. “You remembered that they were my favorite flower.”
    “Yeah, well… flowers are kind of hard to find in winter. Some guy was selling these, that he grew himself. I thought of you, and your garden… it must be covered in snow by now.”
    “It’s dead,” Andre said quietly, and Nathan started.
    “In spring…” But in spring, Andre wouldn’t be better. He wasn’t even… the next snowfall, the doctor had said, would be his final. And even if he survived, tending a garden was too much work. Nathan felt all of these things build up on his tongue, and then he bit down determinedly. “Well, never mind that. I’ll bring you your own garden, right here in your room.’
    Andre brought the flowers to his chest, staring down at their bright petals. The tenderness of the gesture almost made Nathan’s heart break, and he smiled all the brighter for it. That was all he had been able to do, and all he could continue to do.
    “…thank you, Nathan.”
    “It’s no problem. I…” Nathan remembered the hours Andre had spent in the garden before, even when he begged him to go play, and how he had presented each of his creations to him proudly: salad made from his own homegrown lettuce and a bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day. He remembered the warm days, before the collapse and the winter, and how he had always felt guilty for moving on when Andre couldn’t.
    “I’ll keep bringing them no matter how cold it gets.”
    Spring would come one day.

    Years later a major company specializing in herbal medicines and the healing effects of botany made its way into the world scene, with its leader bringing forth never-before-thought of cures and remedies, often made from obscure plants from deep in the mountains.
    The effects of these remedies were almost revolutionary, and wealth and fame followed its investors and stock holders, and the CEO, of course. Curiously, despite his massive acclaim, he strayed far from the public eye and spent most of his time abroad, or far away from prying eyes, in the depths of nature.
    It was said he had a greenhouse and most spectacular garden.
    One day, however, an reporter managed to snag an interview with him. Inside the aforementioned greenhouse and with a cup of tea, the two conversed in an interview considered most rare.
    “What most of the world is wondering, sir,” she began, sipping her tea and returning it to its plate with a clink. “is how all of these innovations even got started? What was the beginning of this breakthrough for you?”
    Now aging, Nathan set down his teacup as well. In the middle of the table was a plate of cookies, homemade by his granddaughter, and adjacent to them, a porcelain vase filled with bright pink tulips.
    “Well…” he started, looking out at the rest of the greenhouse, filled with flourishing growth. “There was someone I loved very much…”

  10. Please please please tell me jess and Darcy are still together! You created the most amazing relationship that feels so real and so strong, it would be SUCH a shame to see that end

  11. YES, do a Fan Mail Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are almost as fun as reading MDBC!!!!!!! I LOVE the sneak peek!!!!!! I have my calendar marked in May for the book!!!!! I’m so exited, can you tell?????!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I’m sorry I didn’t post my story, it’s just a bit to weird since its kind of personal, but I can tell you that Tulip is the name of a girl, and she lives in Narnia before the white queen goes away. I will keep writing it. This has been my favorite SSS!!!!!!!!!!

  12. It was a cold, crisp fall day, the kind that made you think, “Are you sure it’s not winter yet?”. It was the kind of fall day where anything could happen, anything at all.
    It was around when Nina thought this that the snow started to fall. Fluffy, packing snow that would make a perfect snowman. She would never admit it to her summer-loving family, but snow was her favorite thing. Nothing made Nina happier then running out into the cold, bundled up tight, and hopping into the snowbank, making snowballs and chucking them at her older brother, going sledding down the huge grass-covered landfill hill and ice skating at the park.
    And it was the day she wanted it to snow most.
    Her birthday, the one day a year where she could count on her usually forgetful family remembered to care for her. And the one day she usually could count on absoulutely no snow falling, just because of her luck.
    So what had changed?
    Nina pulled herself hesitantly out of her warm bed and instantly regretted her decision- how could one bedroom be so cold?
    Pulling on jacket after jacket to try and keep warm, Nina finally slid open the door and crept downstairs to the kitchen, looked out the window, and saw..
    When he spotted Nina, Matt grinned and held out a bouquet of beautiful pink tulips. It was then she noticed a glass vase holding similar flowers on her table. And when glancing out the window again, she noticed the house across the street was clear of snow!
    “What the..” Nina stopped short when she noticed the snow-maker at Matt’s feet. Matt had made it snow, for her!
    She ran outside, already in her coat, and ran straight for her boyfriend.
    He smiled and pulled her close. “Happy Birthday, Nina.”

  13. (Okay before I start, I’d like to say thank you for your books. You and the girls of the Mother-Daughter Book Club have truly inspired me over the years 🙂 Now on with the story!)

    From a young age, Lily closed her eyes and curved her lips up into a smile every morning at about 8 a.m. It wasn’t exactly something she meant to do, just something that happened. But today was different. Today, she had a definite reason to smile at the world.

    Her sort-of-but-not-really-crush Arthur had sent her flowers. Not the generic roses or cheesy lilies, but her favorite, tulips. And they were just the thing to make her smile on that cold winter day.

    There may have been a blizzard, but the snowfall kept her happy. Falling at a steady pace all morning, it brightened her day just as much as the tulips had. And was there anything that could make her happier than the two combined?

    Lily didn’t think so.

  14. Hi!!! Thank you so much for the sneak peek of Mother Daughter Book Camp!!!!! Even with just the small amount I just read, I already know that this book is going to be amazing!!! You are such an amazing author and I can’t wait until May 3rd!!!!!!!!!
    From, Mia Scott
    P.S. I noticed that on the first page that there was just one small mistake. The book says: My friends have been needling Jess ever since we left Concord. Was it supposed to say needing instead of needling????

    • Nope — “needling” is correct — it means annoying, or picking at — think of a mosquito poking at someone with its needle-nose… 😉

  15. “Just like magic,” had been her exact words when she first saw snow as a child. Now though, Evelyn glared out at the snow as if it had personally offended her. The white crystal flakes seemed to mock her. How easily they fell, with such content could they pile up on the ground. How carelessly they ruined her plans. She sighed and wandered back over to the kitchen table. The table had belonged to Jacob’s mother, though Evelyn still loved it even with all the scars and scratches. But while the table made her smile, the sight of the object on top of it caused her light blue eyes to fill with tears. A letter, finished and folded up, rested there missing only a stamp. She cursed herself for forgetting the stamp. She had written hundreds- thousands maybe- of letters over the past few years, and not once had she been so careless as to forget a stamp. And now the one time she needs one, a snowstorm comes to bar her way to the post office. Now the letter would never make it to Jacob by Valentine’s Day.
    Evelyn wished for a second that she had the means of technology that would allow her to contact Jacob in a different way, just this once, but that thought vanished the moment it came. She could still remember the pact she had made with her husband years before. After Jacob’s brother had died in that car crash caused by a texting driver, Jacob had sworn off all technology. A little extreme, Evelyn had thought at the time, but it had been good for them. They had started spending more time with each other, really paying attention to one another. Sure, they still had the home phone, but with a storm like this Evelyn couldn’t have hoped the power would have stayed on. Of course, all that was before Jacob had left. Before she had encouraged him to go live his dream of being an archaeologist. When they had gotten that call inviting him to be a part of the team down at the sight of the newly discovered ruins in Arizona, how could she not have let him go? She had told him that he had to go because if he didn’t she would be holding him back forever and she could never live with herself if he didn’t go and yes, she would be fine and yes, it would be okay if the project really did take three years like they were expecting but now she was here alone in cold, cold Minnesota without Jacob and-
    Breathe, she told herself. Evelyn knew she couldn’t have gone with. It had been her decision. Evelyn had been tempted to go with- so, so tempted- but she knew the school needed her. With a town this small, no one wanted to come work at the dilapidated elementary school down the street. Evelyn was the only fully qualified Special Ed. teacher in the entire town, and those kids needed her. Evelyn also knew that she needed those kids too. Without any children of her own, Evelyn soaked up every second of her time with the kids at school, and she didn’t think she could bear to break the bonds she had formed with this class just yet. So off Jacob had went, looking guilty and miserable and exhilarated all at the same time, pushed out the door by Evelyn’s insistence. Two and a half years ago.
    Evelyn squeezed her eyes shut and blinked away the memories and the tears. Evelyn wandered over to the picture mounted on the wall near the front door. There was no photograph in the frame, only an ancient brown tulip pressed between a white sheet of paper and the glass. That flower was a reminder every time she looked at it of the love she shared with Jacob. It broke her heart that he couldn’t be with her for Valentine’s Day.
    Suddenly, the front door started jiggling and Evelyn was shocked out of her thoughts. Her heart raced. She was all alone in this house without even a Chihuahua to protect her. She grabbed the closest weapon she could find- a half empty coffee pot- and started creeping toward the door. Just as she reached the door, it swung open and she raised the coffee pot over her head, but when she saw who it was Evelyn stopped dead in her tracks.
    Evelyn stared in disbelief. There he was, standing in the doorway with his warm brown skin sharply contrasting the raging snowstorm behind him. Holding a bunch of fresh pink tulips, just like the one in the frame. She dropped the coffee pot on the ground and it fell with a CRASH. But she didn’t care. She couldn’t imagine how Jacob had gotten here at all, let alone in a storm like this. But she didn’t care. All she cared about was that he was here, with her right now. Evelyn broke out her trance and threw her arms around him, and he squeezed her back. Then, with coffee staining the ground and snow swirling around them and tears running down both their faces, they kissed. And it was
    Thank you Ms. Frederick for the story starter! I had a lot of fun writing it and I loved reading all the other stories too. 🙂

  16. (Thank you so much Heather for this story starter. I’ve been working on this for a while now. I have been trying to write this after the best author I know, you! Hope you like it!)

    A hard knock on the door caused Megan to jump from her seat and jaunt over to the door. She peeked out the window to see who it was. The first thing she saw was snow moving about 30 miles per hour. She sighed. It was a cold winter day, and this was the first break she got from her busy-first-year-of-college schedule.
    Then she saw the mailman at her doorstep rocking back and forth on his heels. Megan couldn’t believe it! There was still some snow on the snow on the street and the blizzard was just leaving, yet a mailman was there! She opened the door.
    “Hello…its freezing out here, so if you could hurry up here…I have to go to like 700 other houses…please…ohh I like your shirt…I have a package for you!” He was talking almost as fast as the snow was coming down. Megan just replied with something she muttered like ok thanks but she was so focused on her main dilemma. The snow! She was supposed to drive over to New York in 2 days! Wolfgang was waiting and if she wanted to get on Flash when she was older, she had to take Flashlite seriously. Once the boy left, she closed the door, trying not to make it sound like a slam, even though she felt like slamming it right in his face. But, like her mom always said, why should she do that if the poor kid didn’t even do anything? She opened the package and saw an organic cookbook addressed to, who else, her mom. She sighed; she was hoping it would be from her dad or one of her friends. Her dad was on a business trip, Emma Hawthorne was on vacation with Jess Delaney, her best friend, to some place in California where there is no snow! Lucky! Cassidy Sloane was at some hockey competition with Stanley, her stepdad. And Becca Chadwick, my BFF, since like forever, with some curves along the way, like any friendship, was at a gardening competition for her mom. Megans mom should be home soon with Gigi, they were going shopping. She went back to her dress she was sewing at her desk that had her sewing machine on it; she received it from the book club for her birthday. It was Mrs. Sloane Kinkaid’s idea, of course.

    A little while later, she heard the door knock again, probably her mom and Gigi. She went to the door to discover it wasn’t. It was another package, but this time with no mailman, it was just on her doorstep. It was addressed to her and it was from The Mabin’s, who lived in England. They were the ones who bought the Berkeley’s house. Now the Berkeley’s lived in England but in a different city. She met the Mabin’s the last time the book club visited England last year. She didn’t keep in touch with Simon as much as she used to, but every now and again she would send or receive a message from Simon. She opened it and there was a single card in it, so she opened it. It said,

    Dear Lovely Wong family,

    Right away Megan knew Mrs. Mabin wrote it. She smiled and continued.

    We would love to inform you that we will be visiting America soon, in your town, Concord. We will be visiting on January 28th, and our flight will be landing in the p.m. Also, the Berkeleys will be joining us. I know all the children would love to see all of you!

    I’ll keep in touch soon!
    From, the Mabins

    After a couple weeks, after sewing, looking to see if it stopped snowing, and checking the calendar, it was only a week away from the 28th of January. She was so excited, especially because her book club friends would all be home by them, in fact only Emma and Jess were still gone. The Mabins had 5 kids. There was Oliver, who was 2 years older than me, Charlie who was my age, Ruby was only 11, and Lewis was only 6. Ruby loved my outfits and fashion, almost like a mini me. And I’ve only met her once!
    Finally, the 28th came. Megan jumped out of bed and got dressed into skinny black jeans and a leopard sweater with a silver feather necklace, and then she put on high-heeled black boots. She was ready for their visit! Her room was clean, the house was clean, and the book club would be here any minute!
    After the book club had arrived, she noticed a pink tulip on the ground outside when she was letting them in. She went out and picked it up, wondering how the heck it got here. Then she heard a car stop it was the Berkeleys and the Mabins! She ran over and said hi to everyone. After exchanging hugs and hellos she reached Simon and Charlie. She said hi to Charlie and gave him a quick hug. Then she looked up to Simons eyes and before she realized what was happening, he gave her a big hug and told her he had something for her. Megan couldn’t help smiling as they walked in together. When they came in they were looking at each other and laughing, then when they realized everyone was watching, they stopped.
    “I’ll be right back, I need to go get something,” I said quickly, frantically motioning Simon upstairs with me. He followed closely, and when I reached my room, there was Cassidy and Tristan, in my room!
    “Uh…hey!” said Cassidy, dropping Tristan’s hand and leaping up from my bed.
    “Hullo, Megan,” greeted Tristan. Megan waved to him.
    “What are you guys doing in here?” Megan asked.
    “Um…nothing!” She answered as quickly as she could skate across the hockey rink. She leaped up and left with Tristan, who she pulled behind her. Simon watched them go, and once they were gone, led Megan to her bed. He pulled something from her closet. Megan looked at him curiously, as he pulled out a bouquet of flowers. Pink tulips, to be exact.
    “How di…” Megan started but couldn’t finish because she heard her mom call her name to come down.
    “Give me a minute, mom!” she called. Simon looked into her eyes with his gorgeous, to-die-for-eyes.
    “Happy almost Valentines Day!” he said. He leaned in near me, very close. But Jess interrupted us.
    “Hey guys, did you two taste Cassidy’s moms Mexican corn dip? It is so good!” she gushed, not realizing what she was interrupting. Then I realized that the single tulip I found on the lawn was from…Simon! And right then I realized that, no matter what, even without Wolfgang for a while, that I only need my friends, my family, and best of all, Simon and his family.


  17. I was exploring the painting store when I noticed a beautiful picture of a Golden Retriever. At first I thought that it was a photograph because it looked so real! The delicate lines and shading of Golden Retriever’s the fur and the strong, bold, posture captured the dog’s personality perfectly. The artist cleverly had angled the Golden’s fur to show that it was blowing in the wind. Then, I found the best part of all. The dog’s eyes were so realistic, it reflected whatever was in front of it. I knew that I found the perfect present for my parents. Surprisingly, the painting wasn’t that expensive but the shopkeeper did tell me never to spill water on it. She seemed eager to give it away. With that warning in mind, I brought it home to show my parents. When I gave it to them, they loved it and wanted to hang it up. We found the perfect space, in the living room and my parents gave me the job of cleaning the frame once a week. The dog stood unmoving, in its place for many years. One day, I was cleaning the frame and I knocked over my cup of water! To my horror, the water spilled on the painting and instantly, the paint contorted and turned into a messy blob. All the delicate strokes and the shading was gone! I quickly mopped it up but it was no use, the beautiful painting was gone. Suddenly, I saw something silvery growing on the canvas. A new dog appeared on the painting. However, it wasn’t shaded, it wasn’t even filled in! Still, its color and beauty astounded me. The second painting showed a silvery and detailed outline of the same Golden Retriever. In the background was more delicate silvery outlines of a stable and trees. The painting was beautiful. Once again, I glanced at the eye. Instead of only being silver, it was swirled with gold. I couldn’t believe it was a painting! The outlines were so real that they seemed to pop out! My family came in and were also blown away by the emotion and beauty of the picture. We decided to keep the painting (after all we paid for it!) and it still is in the same place today.

    The End.

    I might have already submitted it but here is it again!

  18. I just re-read Absolutely Truly for the tenth time. I love it. Charlotte’s Web is one of my favorite books. When does the second Truly book come out and will you write more? Sorry to hear you have left the Northwest (I’m from Washington). I know you are originally from the east coast so you must be glad to be back home.

  19. I have a question. Even though you’re in Boston, will you still come to Oregon and do a meet and greet sometime?

    I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK!!!! I’m so exited!:-)

  20. Please post something else! anything else! anything! IM TOTALLY ANTICIPATING THE NEXT POST! plz have a giveaway soon!

  21. ~This story is based on Cassidy’s sister Chloe, when she is around Cassidy’s age in the first book.

    “Dad, I’m home from school!” I yelled up to hi in his office.
    “Alright sweets, Cassidy is at hockey practice, and mom is shopping. I’ll be here if you need me.”
    About to respond to him, I noticed some tulips on the kitchen table.
    They smelled pretty awesome. Then my hand came across a note.
    “Would you like to accept a quest? If so, continue reading. To find me, the big suprise, go to the place where we heat up food. I figured the microwave. In there, I found a pink sticky note. That one said, “Hello, Hello, we meet again. Your getting closer to me. If you thought that last clue was pretty easy, the rest won’t be. My next brain buster is in the garage. It is stuck to something we fling outside. That one was pretty hard. Maybe a baseball? Wait, I think I got it! With that, I went over to the frisbees, and sure enough, I found another sticky note under the purple frisbee. This note said, “Very witty thoughts you displayed to find this. To find the next clue, solve this puzzle:What has a mouth, but can’t speak, and what has a bed, but never sleeps on it?” I was very confused when I read this. I had no clue! I decided I might as well use technology, since it can do about almost anything now. So I searched up the riddle, and the answer was right there:River. That was the correct answer to the riddle, but I couldn’t figure out what inside my house, or in my yard for that matter that had a river. There wasn’t any anywhere by our house. Then I thought about Murphy’s dog food. It was called Rich River. I looked every where it the kibble bag, but nothing was there. Walking away from it, I saw a sliver of pink under Murphy’s food bowl. Sure enough, it was a sticky note. It said:Finally, this is the final clue to get to the suprise, all you need to do, is get your dad, call Courtney, and tell her the code word: Wish. She will take you from there.”
    So, I called her.
    “Hey Chl!” She greeted.
    “Wish” I said.
    “Look under the rug in the living room. Bye.”
    Under the living room rug, I found a green sheet of paper, that said, “Unscramble these words.Before you do that, stand with your back to the TV.
    The words were “Land, Going, To, Disney, We’re.” I went over to the TV, and went on an unscrambler app, and put the words in. The only options we’re, “We’re going to DisneyLand!” Mom, Dad, Courtney, and Cassie popped out from behind the TV and shouted this.
    ~To be Continued.

    • What fun, Emily! I love this! We surprised our boys with a trip to Disneyland once — it was GREAT! 🙂

  22. Ok, sorry this is a depressing story. But for some reason it’s just what popped into my mind when I saw the picture.

    Ella stared at the bright petals for a minute, then grabbed the vase and slammed it to the ground. The shards of glass glinted and shimmered around the pool of water and flower carnage. She took a few shaky breaths, willing herself not to cry. She had cried for a year. It had to stop. Biting her lip, she peered at her reflection in the shallow puddle. She had not looked at her reflection for a year. Her father was right; Ella was a spitting image of her mother. But it had been too hard to see her, not after what had happened. A faint sob escaped her lips, and she broke down. She knew her aunt had meant well by sending the flowers, but why tulips? Why today? The snow fell gently, each flake reminding her of the sterile smell of the hospital, each drift bringing back to when she held her mom’s hand for the last time. With a shaking hand, Ella picked up a single blood-red petal and kissed it. Slowly, she opened the window and gently placed the petal on the snow-covered windowsill.
    “Goodbye,” she whispered.

      • Thank you so much! It means so much to me that you like it. BTW, I’m the Sarah that you emailed a few years ago and told me when you knew that there would be a MDBC 7. You’re still one of my favorite authors of all times, and your books really inspire me to write.

  23. As expected, the doorbell rang at seven o’clock sharp on Saturday, 2103 as it had for the past six days. Violet sprinted to the door, past pictures of her and her mom, past the kitchen, at an impossible speed. A lone pink tulip lay on the doornob, glistening with a crowd of snowflakes. No one was there. Violet Chadwick’s eyebrow’s furrowed. Who could have been delivering these flowers and why?

    She placed the tulip in a vase along with the six other tulips that cluttered together like people in Times Square. As Violet turned to close the door, a purple blur flew across the snow, the contrast in colors looking like blood on a sheet of blank, white paper.

    Violet’s eyes widened in dismay as she realized she just missed the chance to find out who the tulip-giver was. However, just as she was about to walk back to her room to skype her mom about this strangeness, she noticed the person had dropped something. She dashed back outside and picked up a nametag.

    She gasped as she realized the person’s identity. Or, his identity. It was someone she had not seen for years. Someone who had been missing ever since she was born.

    Violet hung up the nametag on the wall. It was the only remnant of her father she had.

  24. “This has GOT to be a record,” Adelaide complained to her best friend, Moe.

    “Totes,” Moe agreed. Moe’s real name was Madeline, but she absolutely despised the name and had shortened it to Moe. She also shorted her words, too, and “totes” meant “totally.” “If this snow doesn’t let up-” Moe stuck her tongue out to catch a few drifting snowflakes, “I might not make it to the airport tomorrow!”

    Adelaide went silent. So did Moe, for a different reason. “Oops,” she said.

    Of course. The airport. Moe just HAD to bring it up. Another reminder that she wasn’t coming along on Moe’s family’s annual trip to Paris. She had been invited that year (for the first time!) and had been granted permission by her overly-protective parents, but all of a sudden – bam!

    A family reunion had been planned.

    And attendance at family reunion in the Belmont family was compulsory.

    “WHAT?!?!?!” Adelaide had shrieked when she heard the news. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”

    “Um, noooope . . .” Mrs. Belmont had said.

    “Sorry, little pea-in-a-pod,” Mr. Belmont frowned, using Adelaide’s nickname.

    “Sorry, Adie,” Moe muttered, jerking Adelaide back to real life.

    “It’s okay,” Adelaide said, although it was absolutely not okay.

    “Wow, what pretty flowers!” Moe exclaimed, running over to a patch of flowers in a snowbank.

    “How did they survive the cold?” Adelaide wondered aloud.

    “Magic,” Moe breathed. Not only was she a text-talker, she was obsessed with everything Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.

    Upon closer inspection, the flowers turned out to be pink tulips. “Gorgeous!” Adelaide exclaimed.

    “Let’s pick some!” Moe shouted, and began to pluck the flowers.

    “Noooooooo!” Adelaide shrieked. “Moe, you can’t. Look – only a patch of eight! There needs to be more to pick them.”

    “Okay,” Moe agreed.

    As the girls turned and walked away, Adelaide glanced back over her shoulder. The pretty pink tulips watched as the girls trotted on toward school.

    It’s sometimes best to leave nature, well, nature.

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