The Gift 27

Posted on June 15th, 2009 in Stories


Hello, Invisible Friends.  I am Thor, from Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet. And I’m here on a very important mission.  But first, I have a few questions.


Did you enjoy Mrs. Frizzle’s confession this weekend?


What about the double edition of Twirl?  I found it quite riviting.  I even drooled on the pages.


I’m glad you agree.   Now, as one of the Blond Duck’s most trusted editors, I have a question for you.  You see, the Blond Duck is going to be publishing two children’s books very soon.  And she had a possibly brilliant idea: for one of the books, she thought about not having illustrations, but leaving the pages blank for children to illustrate themselves.  We all know that we picture things quite differently.

On the other hand, illustrations often add tremendously to a book and help people see things in new ways.  So Invisible Friends, we need your help.  Tell us what you think below.


Oh, and I must add my fabulous owner Marjie will be featured as the Pond’s creative woman Saturday!  Stay tuned!


Now if you excuse me, I have The Gift to read.

For those who don’t know, the Gift is the story of Samantha, a grad student who discovered a strange gift while staying with her friends at her parent’s vacation cabin over winter break.  After traveling to her old friend’s bar to try to determine the origin of the strange necklace she received, she suddenly found herself in the enchanted forests of Ireland being pursued by a secret admirer.  Can her friends and loser boyfriend Jeremy save her before she gets trapped in a real-life fairy tale?  Read on…

To read previous issues of The Gift, look under the Never Ending Stories Tab…


Is that you?” Rouge repeated, cracking his bruised eye as open as possible.  His eyelid trembled before crashing back down, leaving him to squint with only one eye.

“Of course it’s her,” Jeremy snapped.  He slapped the fine silver mesh walls, looking longingly at the food tray Ashley held.  “I’m starving.  Gimme some food.”

“Shut up,” Ashley and Aine said in unison.

“But I’m hungry,” Jeremy whined.  He pressed his face against the mess, leaning out so his body protruded like a fish trying to escape a net.  “I haven’t eaten in ages.  And you know how crappy wedding food is.  What I wouldn’t give for a hamburger or steak or some fried chicken..”

“Shut up,” the girls repeated.  Ashley shoved his leering face back and he tumbled to the ground,  mewling.  No one paid attention.

“Ashley, you’ve got to get Samantha and get out of here,” Rouge urged, struggling to his feet.  “Aine, is there any way you can get them out with magic?”

“What about me?” Jeremy squawked.

Aine shook her head.  “My magic is no good here.  I am a being of the forest, not of stone.  If the wedding is in the gardens, where most of the weddings are, I’ll have more luck.”

“Most of the weddings?” Ashley repeated.  “The troll said the prince gets married often.  He was serious, wasn’t he?”

Aine nodded, pressing her lips together.  “I’m afraid the Prince has a greater harem than any man could dream in Arabian Nights.

“And they’re not jealous because he keeps them all doped up like Samantha,” Ashley fumed, her fists drawing into balls at her side.  “Stupid men…”

“Hey!” Jeremy protested.

“Ashley, we don’t have time for that,” Rouge interrupted, grimacing as he stepped toward them.  Even from several feet away, Ashley could see the lesions on his chest and face.  “We need to get you girls out of here.  Aine, do you have any advice?”

Aine hestitated.  “There is one thing…”

“What?” Rouge asked, his eyes brightening.  “Anything.  I’ll do anything.”

“Give me your ring,” she said, pointing to his hand.  Without a word, he handed it to her.  Aine dropped the ring, which was larger than her head, in Ashley’s purse.  “Here’s the plan, gentlemen,” she said crisply.  “While you’re in the dungeon, we can do nothing.  I know the troll guarding you, and he is not one you want to mess with.  We’re going to sneak into the bridal suites and inform Cleo of our plan.”

“What about Samantha?” Rouge demanded.  “And what is the plan?”

“Samantha is…unavailable to us,” Aine said gently.  Rouge winced and lowered his head.  “Cleo will be able to help us.”   A door slammed down the hall and a loud snorting began to fill the hall.

“He’s coming back!” Ashley whispered.  “We’ve got to go!”

Aine looked swiftly at Rouge.  “Wait for my signal,” she said.  “When the time comes, we’ll need you.”

“Wait!” Rouge cried, reaching towards the fine chain mesh.  “You said once I was the only one that could help Samantha.  What were you talking about?  I tried to rescue her, and that didn’t work.  What can I do?”

Aine glanced around.  The snorting grew louder, accompanied by pleased squeals and grunts.

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with the golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet.
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams beneath your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams

Rouge’s mouth dropped open.  “That’s what the other fairy said,” he murmured.  “It must mean something.  But what?  What does it mean?”

The snorting crept under the door as the troll fumbled with his keys.  Ashley reached into the purse and thrust her hand through a small slit in the mesh.  Rouge extended his hand.  She laid the silver chain dangling with a crystal pendent over his fingers.

“It’s a charm your grandmother gave us,” Ashley whispered feverantly.  “She said it was for protection.  We only have two.  I thought you’d need it.”  Rouge slipped it around his neck.

“Thank you,” he murmured, sliding the crystal under his shirt.  “Thank you.  I totally forgot about this.  You gave it to me in the airport, but I forgot.”

“I never knew about it,” Aine scowled.  “It would have made my life much easier.

“What about me?” Jeremy sputtered. “I need protection!  And food!  I’m starving!”

The door swung open.  Smacking with satisfaction the troll lumbered inside.  Ashley hastily stepped back from the mesh cell.  “Did you get anything good?” she asked.

The troll nodded, his fat green tongue sliding over his purple lips.  “Siobahn is so busy that I was able to eat an entire roast of lamb and several potatoes,” he boasted, patting his bloated stomach.  “Normally, I’m lucky if I can get a ham sandwich.  Makes me almost wish the Prince got married every day!” He chortled, his fanged teeth gleaming in the dull light.

Ashley felt bile rising in her throat.  She slid the contents of the tray under the mesh curtain of the cell and stood again.  “Well, I’m off to the bridal suite to prepare tea,” she informed the troll.  “I suppose I’ll see you at the wedding!”

The troll licked his lips and wriggled his fingers.   “I’m be plenty hungry again then!” he laughed, his stomach jiggling up and down.

He was still laughing as Ashley and Aine rushed down the hall.

“You had a pendent of protection and you never told me?” Aine hissed as they rushed down the maze of tunnels and doors into the marble and crystal hallway.

“I totally forgot about it,” Ashley snapped.  “I gave it to him at the airport and airport security in Ireland made him take it off.  It’s been in my purse the entire time.  It wasn’t until you said that poem that I remembered.”

Aine sniffed.  “What are you going to do with the other pendent?”

“Either I’ll wear it or give it to Cleo to wear,” Ashley said with a shrug.  “I figured we’d see who needed it the most.”

Aine nodded.  “That’s a good plan.  The bridal suite is down the next hallway, four doors to the left.”

“What did you do to get locked in here?” Ashley asked as she ducked down the hallway.  It was eerily quiet, with only a faint blue glow sparkling off the crystal walls from the sapphire chandelier.  “Shoplift?”

Aine glared at her. “It is none of your business,” she snapped, crossing her arms.  “Open the door.”

Ashley rolled her eyes.  Grabbing the handle of the second door, she jerked the heavy iron door open with a metallic groan.  Stepping carefully into the room, it took her only a second to realize what was happening.  Her eyes widened with horror and she gasped.

“It’s worse than I thought,” Aine whispered.

To be continued….

Stay tuned, Invisible Friends!  We have a fun week coming up–a new Twirl, Coconut Queen, homemade mac and cheese and more whimsical fun!  Also, we have Marjie as our new creative woman Saturday!  Stay tuned!

For more fun, visit my sister blog, Words n'Whimsy or sign up for my newsletter (both buttons on sidebar!)

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42 Responses to “The Gift 27”

  1. cindy Says:

    It’s hard to wait for the next chapter….

  2. Teri Says:

    Good morning!! I think it should be illustrated!! My daughter LOVES to look at the pictures!! ;-)

  3. Kristina Says:

    What is in the room?!?!

  4. Marjie Says:

    I know you sent me an email about this children’s book, but it got eaten when my old computer bit the dust a couple of months ago. I’m so sorry. I vote for illustrations, also; children prefer them. Thor thanks you for your acknowledgement that he enjoys your work; it’s not his fault he drools on most everything. It just means he loves you. And we love The Gift, too!

  5. Mary Says:

    BD, I don’t know a lot about publishing – as a matter of fact I know nothing about publishing – but I know a bit about children. Keep the illustrations. They will bring the children back to the book time and time again. You can’t color in Mommy’s lap and even if you could, what do you do when all the pages have been colored? Your book would effectively become a one-time coloring book. Just MHO. Enjoy today!

  6. Pam Says:

    What is it??? Jeremy drives me NUTS.

    I love illistrated stories myself and so do my kids, but I do think it’s a neat idea to let the kids illistrate too. I guess I am not much help.

  7. Typ0 Says:

    I like the idea having kids draw their own pictures! What about having half pictures, half without? And the without ones would have a prompt asking hte kids to draw something… Although libraries mightn’t like that. LOL

  8. Helen Says:

    I’m loving your page! Thanks for dropping by my blog, it was great to see you there.

  9. Chad in the AZ Desert Says:

    I thought maybe do both. Have an illistration in one half of the page and a space for their own illistration in the other half. That could be innovative.

  10. Rachel (S[d]OC) Says:

    Although I love the idea of fostering children’s creativity, I’m a little iffy on the idea of having blank pages for children to illustrate their own books. Kids sometimes have very spontaneous instincts when given license to draw. They might not really think things through when first presented with a blank page. They might look at the book in a week or two and not be 100% happy with the drawing they did for whatever reason and the book becomes less precious. As they get older they may even look back on the book as something they could have drawn better if they were older. Granted the parents will still love it.

  11. TeresaR Says:

    What?? What’s worse than Aine thought?

    Ok, my 2 cents: I like the idea of letting the kids illustrate it themselves, but it can seem daunting to some kids, so how about some line drawings to get them started for each illustration and the kids can complete it themselves.

  12. Maria Says:

    I needed a break in the work day. Your blog always is the answer!

  13. Paula Says:

    What is worse than Aine thought? WHAT IS IT? Whaaaaat Issss Itttt? I think I’m ready to ring Jeremy’s neck. What did she see in him in the first place? Ugh. :-0

    Congrats on your children’s books! That’s terrific! Hmmmm, regarding the illustrations — my kids liked the illustrations. We spent as much time studying them as we did the story. Plus, many kids are taught to not write in any reading books, but to color a picture on a separate piece of paper. It’s easier to save the picture for posterity than to save a book once they’ve outgrown it. But most importantly, as a mom, I have three kids and I usually only buy one book for them to share. I would foresee mayhem if one kids wanted to illustrate it one way, and the others felt left out. So, I guess my vote is for illustrations!

    Keep us posted on when they go to print! Gosh, I wish we lived closer so we could get an autographed copy! Congrats again!

    Now, back to The Gift, Whaaaaat Issss Itttt? Me thinks we need a double entry to The Gift, too. I was so lovely to have a double Twirl! :-)

  14. Reeni Says:

    That’s a great idea – having the children illustrate the book!! And a double edition of The Gift would be a joyous occasion!! I love this story!!

  15. Pooba Says:

    I think you should do both! Have pictures to get the child’s creative juices flowing and then leave spaces where the child can draw their own pictures too!

  16. The Preppy Princess Says:

    Hmmmm, we’re still adapting to the show chicken! We would vote for illustrations, as it gives the child something to return to; we fear in today’s “attention span of a gnat” circumstances once it’s colored they may be inclined to consider it ‘done,’ or ‘finished.”

    Smile at you Miss Duck!

  17. Lee Says:

    I LOVE the idea of having the kid illustrate the book! I know both my kids would adore that!

  18. Amber Says:

    I’m sorry, but whenever I look at that chicken I giggle. It’s so poofy! :) And cute! I bet he’s soft.

    Oh and RE the note you left on my blog: I get nervous around people in real life too. I know that people think I’m a total weirdo. I don’t really fit into the Mommy Group either.

  19. Louise Says:

    Like everyone, I am betwixt & between on the illustrations. However, I am leaning toward including them in a reading book. It’s best not to get children in the habit of coloring in reading books. Tuff call, Duckie. Now a storybook coloring book, well, that’s a horse of a different color:)

    BTW, did I miss the post that said which books were being published? I’ve been meaning to email you about one of your stories for my grand-daughter. I think she would just LOVE Penelope’s Pie Shop. She is becoming quite the little “bookworm” at six.

  20. Jennifer @ It's A Beauty Filled Life Says:

    What an awesome idea for the kids book! I would totally buy a book like that for my son!

  21. Yaya Says:

    Congratulations on the book deals!!!

    At first I thought the ‘let the kids illustrate’ idea was brilliant, but then I realized that (say the 2 year old I nanny for) wouldn’t know the difference between books she can draw in and books she can’t.

    Love the twist with the protection pendants!

  22. Three Bay B Chicks Says:

    I hear that congratulations are in order? What fun! I am thrilled for you, my friend. So well deserved.

    Now what is it going to take for me to figure out what is in this room already? :)


  23. blueviolet Says:

    I was wondering if you could illustrate most of the book but then maybe leave an opening for a continuation of the story with a couple of blank pull out pages that the kids could use.

  24. Trudy Says:

    I love the idea…maybe a few pictures but lots of fill in the blanks. It would be like they were creating their own story in a way! Brilliant and unique…just like you!

  25. susieshomemade Says:

    Keep em coming:-)

  26. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella Says:

    That’s a toughie. I love the idea of seeing illustrations but if you let them do it then that’s a unique idea that is likely to get you some PR! Maybe you could do two versions and parents/kids can pick?

  27. Cathy Says:

    Gosh, part of me really loves the idea of letting kids illustrate the book. What a great way to encourage creativity. But kids (mine anyway!) really love illustrated books. It can help bring the story to life for them, at least when they are little. I wonder if there is a way to do both somehow – some illustrations, some blank pages for the kids to illustrate? I don’t know. I know that I love how your mind works, though!

  28. Natashya Says:

    I vote for illustrations too – maybe have one element that they can draw in somewhere, or a few blank pages in the back to draw something that you didn’t illustrate.

  29. Pietro Says:

    I think it’s a good idea not having illustrations but leaving the pages blank for children to illustrate themselves: this way, every book would be different and original at the end!

  30. Lura Says:

    Dear Editor,
    I think that Duckie should do both…. I think she should have half the page illustrated and leave the other half for the child to do. Or have half the picture finished and leave part for the child to fill in. doesn’t that sound like a good idea? Tell Duckie hello from me and give her my love. Grammy Lura

  31. marie Says:

    Love, love LOVING this story Duckie. I hope it never ends! It just gets better and better. As for your question. As a child I loved illustrations in my books. I also loved drawing myself. I think Lura’s idea is a great one! Love you to bits! XXOO

  32. ingrid Says:

    Oh, shoot! So not nice, to leave us hanging like that! :)

    McKenna’s gonna email you…she asked me again for your addy.

  33. Rylan Ty Says:

    This is my first time in here and I’ve been reading since early this morning! I CAN’T WAIT!

  34. Nutmeg Nanny Says:

    I like the idea of children illustrating the book. Anything that gets a child’s imagination going is a good thing.

  35. heatherlyn Says:

    I like the idea of the kids illustrating the pages, but I also think that illustrations add a lot to a book. Sometimes the illustrations really are what is telling the story to a child. Perhaps you could have some pages with illustrations and some pages blank …


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  37. marthayt3 Says:

    My chill engagement:

  38. sondrawu11 Says:

    Project servant moved:

  39. paigeyx69 Says:

    Assignment attendant moved:

  40. tommiekm4 Says:

    My brand-new suss out d evolve:

  41. maureenjg1 Says:

    Updated project sheet:

  42. paulinekq1 Says:

    Анальный секс, фото галереи анала, секс фото

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