• Picturebooking Prof

MOON SMILES: A Fall Writing Frenzy Entry

Happy fall, ya'll! Guess what? It's time for the annual Fall Writing Frenzy #kidlit writing contest hosted by Kaitlyn Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis (and supported by a host of amazing donors, of course)!

The task: choose one of the fall-related images selected by the hosts and let it inspire a new piece--a story, a poem, or anything in between, for any #kidlit level (PB - YA). The catch? It has to be 200 words or fewer! So, without further ado...


Photo: Fall, Vino Li/Unsplash *NOTE: I took the liberty of rotating the image 90 degrees from the original in order to more fully convey the “moon smile” I saw when I came across the image. 😊



Brenda Whitehead

146 words

New day.

New way.

Not one thing feels the same.

I’m lost.

And tossed.

And shocked how fast it came.


I moan,

“I miss the life I had!”

My soul,

A hole,

Of sadness mixed with mad.

I hide.


My refuge on the roof.

I stare.

Breathe air.

The darkness feels aloof.

A gleam?

A beam!

A light has traveled miles.

Clouds crush,

Winds rush,

But still the moon shines smiles.

All night,


Casts beams into my soul.

It fills.

It spills.

It starts to make me whole.

Clear skies.

New eyes.

I see beyond my hard.

And spot

A lot

Of others who are scarred.

New day.

New way

Of figuring things out.

It’s slow.

I know.

But now we have a route.

We share.

We care.

And when we dread the miles,

We stare.

Breathe air.

And soak up moonlight smiles.


When I first came across this image, I was surprised that rather than perceiving it as ominous, it struck me as hopeful. The sliver of a crescent moon caught my mind’s eye as a smile, that even in the midst of darkness and gloom, brings light and peace. The poem that resulted is meant to broadcast the reality of grief, but also of resilience—and of the power of light, self-care, and community in times of darkness. I purposely kept the scenario specifics broad, in the hopes that readers with a variety of experiences can find a point of connection in the lines. Some readers will note that this piece is a bit of a departure from my typical PB-crowd fare, as the topic and language veers more into adolescent/YA territory; it was kind of fun to step out of my “comfort zone” a bit on this one!

Thanks so much for reading, and be sure to check out all of the other wonderful fall frenzy pieces here. 😊

PS--comments here sometimes work and sometimes don't...if they're not working for you but you'd like to share your thoughts, please head on over to my Twitter page, I'd love to connect there!


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