Thought I’d come back to life for a moment and enter Susanna Leonard Hill’s Valentiny story competition. Rules: 1) story must contain a character who is confused, 2) be no more than 214 words, and 3) be written for kids to enjoy. Well, maybe I’m entertaining and distracting myself, too, in these troubling times. So here’s my 214-word story….
Cupid’s Heart Finds a Home
By Jilanne Hoffmann
Dear Stupid Cupid,
Last year, you gave me a green candy cane. I barfed. Please don’t do that again.
Dear Hurty Gertie,
You hurt my feelings. It’s not nice to call someone stupid.
Sorry you’ve been sick. I know nothing about candy canes or the color green. I only know about chocolate, the color red, and hearts. Maybe you have me confused with someone else?
Dear Clueless and Confused Cupid,
Sorry to hurt your feelings, but I’m sure it was you. Speaking of red, you wear a red suit, don’t you?
No, I wear my birthday suit.
Dear Birthday Suit Cupid,
Now I’m confused. My birthday’s in June, but I got the candy cane in December, along with a bunch of toys. Does your mom really let you go outside naked?
I have no family, no home. I’m just a lonely cherub, spreading love and chocolate around the world, not toys.
Dear Sad and Homeless Cupid,
Please come live with me! You can sleep in my room, and I’ll give you clothes to wear. We’ll hide the chocolates under my bed.
On my way! Happy Valentine’s Day!
All my love,
Now, if I were a lit major, I’d read between the lines and realize that this story is really about becoming a little less selfish and welcoming those who need a little extra love and support into our homes.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
91 thoughts on “Cupid’s Heart Finds a Home”
What a hoot. Though I’m left wondering if the characters ever figure out the real source of the green candy cane?
If we were allowed illustration notes, I’d suggest that we’d see Santa sneaking that green candy cane under the tree, or some such thing. But it remains a mystery to the characters. Only the reader knows the answer. 😀 Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Kara!
Gertie and Cupid’s friendship has great sequel/series potential 🙂
Music to my ears, Kara. Sweet music! 😀
It is always (sadly rare, these days) a DELIGHT to find you popping up in my Reader. Please Pop Up more often. We are all in need of smiles and kindness.
However……I am also wondering at the power of ridicule and popping vanity balloons as a tool for change. Could one LAUGH a narcissist out of power? A friend posted a link which purported to say that the wonderful Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer sketch ‘hurt’ intended target most BECAUSE having him portrayed by a woman damaged his credibility in some way……….if this is true, I am dreaming of an army of thousands of women marching doing Team Trump impressions. Where is the nearest comedy impressionist and lampooning evening class…………….
I’m sad, too. I miss you all a great deal! One of these days, I will be back in the regular blogging saddle again. Perhaps when I find a new agent…
In the meantime, let me know if you do decide to take that evening class. I would love to be in your audience!
Oh, I was hoping you’d be in the class too! I really hope you find a new agent soon – for you, and for us, who miss you
I love stories told through letters! This was super fun. 🙂
Thank you, Jennifer! It was a fun experiment. Thanks for stopping by and reading!
What a creative way to tell your Valentiny story. So cute! And so sweet of Gertie to open her home to Cupid. Love it!
Thanks, Jill! Gertie was really a softy in the end, wasn’t she, opening her home and her heart. Good luck to you in the competition! And thanks for stopping by to take a look!
I enjoyed reading our story in this unique format. Thanks for your comment and for stopping by my blog. Ken
Cheers to you, Ken! It was great fun to play with a different form. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good luck to you!
Fun and unique way of handling the Valentiny contest. Great job.
Thanks for the encouragement, Karen! And thanks for stopping by to read and comment!
Jilianne, I love reading how differently folks respond to the prompt. You show a great sense of humor through your characters and I am definitely glad there was a happy ending for Gertie and Cupid. Good luck with the contest!
Thank you! Yes, it has been quite interesting to read so many widely divergent stories that are based on the same starting information. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
What a delight! Thanks, Jilanne! 😉 xoxoM
Thank you! It’s so good to “see” you! I’m trying to be positive with my work. Hope to be back in the saddle on a regular basis sometime in the near future. We’ll see!
You’re succeeding! Persist! 😉 xoxoM
You, too! 😉
Well done and fun, Jilanne!
Thank you! I love Susanna’s contests! Thank you for stopping by and commenting!
I’m glad that they were able to find either other, becoming less selfish and lonely in the end. And having chocolate together, lots of chocolate!
I think the world would be a better place if we all shared our chocolate, don’t you? Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
What a clever way to showcase your story! I love the letter writing back and forth. Gertie and Cupid are just adorable, and I’m delighted to see Gertie’s generosity. Congrats on a sweet story and good luck!
Thank you! It’s so much fun to read everyone’s entries. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Omi I cracked up and loved it. When does this get illustrated and published?
I wish I could have edited as I thought more after reading aloud to Mitchell. It also shows, in these extremely sad times, how two people work through anger and differences…. Wish we could do that….
Yes, that’s one reason why I think children’s books are so important. They can provide subtle examples of how individuals can approach their differences and come to some kind of understanding without doing horrible things to each other. I just finished reading “Samurai Rising,” an historical account of one of the most famous samurais in all Japan. I do think that humans have become slightly more kind to one another and marginally less violent since the 1100s feudal societies. I’m thinking we’ve got such a long way to go, though. It’s a bit discouraging.
Thanks, Katie! Only the gods of publishing know. And they hold their cards close to their chests. Stay tuned…. 😀
Thank you! It’s so much fun to “see” you all again. I’ve got to do a little blog hopping before I go back into my hole.
💕 back at you! Thanks for stopping by and giving me such lovely emoticons!!! 😀💕
Hi Jilanne, Good luck to you but I’m afraid I don’t understand the story. Maybe it’s a nationality thing and I, being Scottish, don’t share the American humour. All the best again.
Thank you! Let me give you a short hand explanation. Gertie is confused. She thinks that Cupid gave her toys and a green candy cane at Christmas, the candy cane that made her sick. So she’s writing to Cupid, asking him not to do that again. Cupid is confused because he only gives chocolates and hearts out for his day. But he doesn’t know about Santa. That’s why Gertie wants to confirm that Cupid dresses in red, Santa’s color. Santa wears a red suit while Cupid wanders the world as a naked cherub. Does that help? If the story were illustrated, it would most likely make much more sense. Thank you for the best wishes and for stopping by and commenting! Cheers!
Its so important to not make assumptions! NEVER attack. Seek first to understand and second to be understood. OXOX
Yes! Yes! Yes! That’s it! Thank you for stopping by and commenting!
Loved the format and the ending. 🙂
Thank you, Janie! Glad you liked how these two characters came together in the end. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
JIlanne, this is waaaay cute and clever. Love, love the mix-up and the humor. Great structure, too, a letter.
Thank you, Kathy! This is such a fun competition. I’m really getting a hoot out of all these stories. Thanks for coming by and commenting!
An epistolary picture book. What a great idea! It could make such a fantastic interactive book.
Thank you! I hadn’t even thought about that possibility. Hmmmm….thank you for stopping by and commenting!
Fun format, and a really cute story. We can all use a bit of kindness right now. Good Luck.
Thank you! Yes, I’m thinking that kindness needs to be a BIG theme in all of our interactions these days. Thanks for the best wishes and for stopping by and commenting!
Adorable & sweet change from politics! Thanks!
Sent from modern device while negotiating twin truces & juggling flaming knives
Check out my latest writing at: Pamelaalma.org
Thanks, Pamela! But it is political! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! xo
That’s adorable and poignant. Hope you are well, Jilanne.
Thank you, Catherine! Yes, I am well, but I’ve been scarce, lately. Am trying to balance my picture book work with all of my other activities. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! “See” you soon!
Love the letter format and your opening is terrific… What a way to hook a reader! Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Thank you! Happy Valentine’s Day to you! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
I’m glad they cleared up the confusion and became friends. Good luck!
Sometimes, it just takes a little reaching out to clear up misunderstandings. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
ROFL! This is so funny!
Thanks! Please, I don’t allow rolling on the floor here. Unless you brought chocolate with you. Chocolate helps me forgive just about any indiscretion….Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
It’s quite a feat to do an epistolary story in only 214 words–wow! Sweet! “Bare-bunned Cupid” was my favorite part ;-). Good luck to you, Jilanne!
Thank you! Kids get such a kick out of saying things like “bare-bunned,” don’t you think? Thanks, Katelyn, for stopping by and commenting!
Wonderful epistolary Valentine’s story. Fun and satisfying read!
Thank you! I’ve been enjoying reading everyone else’s. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
I think Gertie may have known what she was doing all along! After all, she ended up with a live-in chocolate supplier. Cute story and love the format!
Thanks! Anything for chocolate! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Jilanne, You made me imagine Cupid with a pair of pants…funny and clever story! Thank you for your comments for my story, too. Good luck to both of us!
Thanks, Maria! Do you think he would wear red pants? LOL. Good luck to you, me, and everyone! I’m thinking that we all win just by flexing our pencils and playing on Susanna’s court after she’s set the net to a certain height. I’m also a fan of mixing metaphors. 😀
Cute story! Happy Heart Day!
Thanks, Kate! Happy Heart Day to you, too! Hope all is going well with your writing. I’ve been trying to stop by all the blogs I’ve been missing reading for the past many months. Yours is on my list! “See” you soon!
What a great way to tell your story and to show that as long as we keep lines of communication open there is always a way to work things out. Loved it!
Thanks, Sandy! Yes, friendship and love grows stronger with communication. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Jilanne, this is really funny and well done. The underlying message comes out honestly and not forced. I really like this. Happy Valentine’s Day and good luck to you too!
Thank you! Gotta sneak those “messages” in without anyone knowing…..Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Jilanne, what a great story! I love how the two become friends and how she offers cupid a home. I’m also very jealous of your travel record; I’ve been to five continents and am hoping to get to the last two too.
Thank you! Travel, you say. I’m not sure I’ll make it to Antarctica, although Emperor Penguins could change my mind. I’ve seen quite a few other types of penguins, just not the biggies. We’ll see how things go once my son is grown. Who knows, I may hop a research vessel or some such thing….Let me know if you ever decide to go. It could inspire me to pack a bag and head out with you! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
This story made me snicker. Funny, and then it turned sentimental. Well done.
I wish you well with it.
Thank you! I’m glad it tickled your funny and sentimental bones. Thanks for stopping by!
Hilarious! A great take on the contest topic. Good luck!
Thanks, Carol! I think we’ve all had great fun. I’m so glad that Susanna is brave enough to tackle this project in addition to all of her other work. Thanks for stopping by!
Glad they persisted until the miscommunication was cleared up! Well done! May all your candy be sweet and not sickening.
Thank you! Made it through VD without barfing. Yay! Probably because I stuck to a small amount of dark chocolate. 😀 Thanks for stopping by!
Unique, witty, and funny 🙂
Thank you! I feel like you just told me I hit a grand slam—or at least a triple. Very kind of you. Thanks for stopping by!
Excellent holiday confusion! I particularly loved bare-bummed cupid:)
Thank you! I’m very glad that Cupid will be bare only by choice in the future. 😀 Thanks for stopping by!
Super story, Jilanne…so clever and funny…but heartfelt at the same time. Well done!
Thanks, Vivian! I can’t believe I almost passed up the opportunity because I didn’t think I had time. So glad I did. It was great fun to write! Thanks for stopping by!
Super fun entry Jilanne. I really enjoyed the letters back and forth and your creative greetings and closings…so funny!
Thank you! I think that pair kind of wrote the story themselves. I was just dictating. Thanks for the encouragement and for stopping by!
Hahaha! Very funny, Jilanne! There certainly was a lot of confusion in THAT story! 🙂 Glad it all worked out in the end, though, and hope there were no more green candy canes! 🙂 Thanks so much for joining in the Valentiny fun!
Thanks, Susanna! I’m just happy that you offer these cool contests. It must take a huge amount of your time. Thank you for all you do! Cheers!
I love the epistolary form. Such a great idea. And Gertie is a riot! Thanks.
Thank you, Joanne! Gertie just kind of took over and decided to write that first letter. Then poor, misunderstood Cupid had to set her straight. Thanks for stopping by!