Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Susanna Hill's 4th Annual Holiday Contest: Polar Woes

© Sylvia Liu

Here's my entry for Susanna Leonard Hill's 4th Annual Holiday Contest. The rules: write a 350 word or fewer holiday story for kids that involves wild weather. Check out the link for the other awesome entries. Update: I placed 7th in the overall competition! (here are all the results).   

POLAR WOES (338 words)

by Sylvia Liu


The icy water sloshed under the door of Santa’s workshop. Adelaide lifted her felt boot, soaked with melted snow.


Santa bustled in, pulling his beard in all directions. “Jumping Jingle Bells! The ice caps are melting fast. The reindeer can’t handle the knee-deep slush. The sleigh won’t slide without ice.” He slumped in a chair that creaked mightily in protest and buried his face in his hands.

Adelaide frowned. The whole world depended on his deliveries in three days. She set some magic mops to work. Would there even be a workshop next year? The elves already had to move to houses on stilts, and just yesterday, she woke to find a polar bear snuggling at her feet.

“I’ll think of something, Santa,” Adelaide said. The water swirled around her toes. The shadows swam and her reflection danced.

“Yes. I’ve got it!” She grabbed a bullhorn. “All elves to your stations. We have an emergency order to fulfill.”

She flung a swath of blueprint paper onto the worktable. She scribbled. She calculated. She measured and she drew.

She thrust the newly minted schematic to the chief engineer. “Make this happen.”

As hammering filled the workshop, she logged onto her laptop. She typed the addresses of her far-flung friends. She tapped her missive and hit “Send.” She drummed her fingers and waited for the . . .

            Ding.

Adelaide read the response and smiled wide. “Santa, take a break. I’ve got this covered.”

Santa was already snoring in his corner recliner.

            Three days later, Adelaide paced back and forth. Where were they?

            She opened the door to peer out at the sloshy, slushy mess.

And then they came.

            In waddled the eight.

“Buenas noches,” they said.

            They nodded in approval at the contraption before them, loaded with presents.

            Adelaide roused Santa from his Christmas Eve nap.

            And into the night they went. “Now, Diego! Now, Dona! Now Pablo and Viviana! On Carlos! On Marta! On Sergio and Eliana!”

            Adelaide’s penguin friends swam the amphibious sleigh into the sparkling night.


57 comments:

  1. Love penguins (natch!) and love your story, Sylvia!

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  2. Also meant to say I love the art too! I did a quick holly on mine because I couldn't bring myself to draw Mars. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Teresa, for both comments. I tried to do a quick drawing but it got a bit more complicated. But a fun way to spend some time today.

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  3. I can't believe you pulled that illustration together so quickly. What a great addition. Love it. Very cool story, Sylvia. That Adelaide is some elf! And hooray for the penguins! GWOCK!

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  4. I can't understand why The Big Man hasn't yet moved to the South Pole. Not only is there rock under all that arctic ice, but also he can also recruit some adorable penguins for extra seasonal work.

    A great, fun story, Sylvia! I loved it!

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    1. You're right for all those reasons. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Oh fabulous! I've never read a Santa book with penguins in before. Love this!

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  6. Love! Love! Love! The penguins names are icing on the cake!

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  7. Warm weather penguins saving Christmas - way to go! Good luck :)

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  8. Sylvia, LOVE! Your penguins are ADORABLE. Adelaide is wonderful. Your art is just beautiful. What else can I say? FANTASTIC job. *high five my penguin writing friend*

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  9. I love a good story about a girl (elf) who engineers a solution. And with penguins! What could be better? :)

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    1. Penguins and engineers go well together.

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  10. Great story! For a minute there, I was wondering if you had a solution for global warming. I love the twist with penguins.

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  11. Penguin power!!! You know I love this, Sylvia!! xoxoxoxox

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  12. Fun solution to the problem. And great names for your penguin pals.

    Now I've got a riddle for you:

    Q. What’s black, white, black, white, black, white?
    A. A penguin rolling down a hill.

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  13. What fun! Adelaide and the Penguins save the day! Good luck!

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  14. A satisfying answer to a huge predicament. Great job! :)

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  15. Adorable story, Sylvia. Love the twist at the end. Didn't imagine penguins - so cute. And, I love the illustration!

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  16. Really creative solution, love the image of the Penguins pulling the underwater sleigh!

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  17. Awesome story! I like "jumping jingle bells" and the Spanish penguins. Very cute!

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    1. I figured if they come from Antarctica, close to Chile/Argentina, they would speak Spanish.

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  18. Really cute story. I loved the surprise ending!

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  19. Love love love this! Great job. :)

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  20. Clever solution for saving Christmas!

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  21. OMG, the details are amazing in this story, Sylvia! Super awesome writing! From the polar bears snuggling at her feet to the surprise penguins at the end. And the illustration is adorable! I'd love to see this one in print. I 100% love it! (And BTW, I think I still owe you a critique from our swap agreement way back in August or Sept! Feel free to rely on me.)

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    1. Thanks so much Carrie! And yes, I remember our agreement. I just haven't finished that draft yet!

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  22. Terrific story, Sylvia! Hurray for the resourceful Adelaide and her amphibious friends :) Way to save Christmas. Nicely written! Thanks so much for joining in the holiday fun!

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    1. Thank YOU, Susanna, for creating such a wonderful and supportive forum and contest. It's been so much fun.

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  23. Sylvia this is the first story to make me burst out laughing. Fabulous job. :)

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    1. Aww, your comment made by day. Thanks!

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  24. Sylvia, Well done! Love the penguins. I mean, who DOESN'T love penguins??? Smart girl engineer too! Woot! Woot!

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  25. Oh yay!!!! How clever to ask the penguins to help! This is a great story, Sylvia...lots of great language that kids would love. And you had me at 'Viviana'. ;) ;)

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  26. Adelaide knew what she was doing, that's for sure, as she scribbled, calculated, measured and drew. ¡Me encantan los nombres de los ping├╝inos! ¡Un cuentito fabuloso! Celebrar la diversidad. ~Suzy Leopold

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  27. Of course penguins would come to save the day! And I love "Jumping Jingle Bells."

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  28. Penguins to the rescue! :-) Terrific imagery (and a fine bit of art, too)--well done, Sylvia!

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  29. Clever, Sylvia. Glad you made it into the finals. Hope all goes well for you. Thanks for stopping by my blog to comment.

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