Author Blog

Snapshot Story Guest Blogging!

I am excited to host guest bloggers to my site!  This simple way to guest post will be fun and interesting for everyone.

So, here are the guidelines:  My blog is for Young Adults so the story needs to fit that genre at least loosely.  (Ages 10-29)  The short story can be no longer than 1/2 a page, single spaced, font: 12, Times New Roman.  The catch?! – Your story must be inspired by the picture below.   The steps are simple: 1)Think up a snapshot story to go with the snapshot. 2)Post it below in the comments (I will add it as a blog post for you).  3)Comment on any other stories you’d like to. … and you’re done!  I look forward to reading the contributions!! *You don’t have to have your own blog to guest post!!!  We welcome all.

Here is the snapshot:

My story is as follows:

The Keeping Case

By E.A. Henson

I laughed when I found it missing, the ring once held in the case.  An attractive ring with some value too, sparkling and polished.  My smile does not mean to be callous and my hand will miss the pretty piece.  The cleaner must have taken it from the suite where I’m staying.  Surely I could raise alarm.  Yet, my heart lacks the urge care.  My amusement erupts from sweet relief that something more cherished remains.  It was not the ring that I found dear but the box that kept it safe.  Black and gold and red, pieced together carefully.  Tenderly designed and painstakingly fitted by hands that once held mine.  Long before my world turned around and cares became the past, her heart broke as my birthday neared.  There would be nothing to give.  Too hard a year and the 22nd of August arrived too quickly.  Late into the night, her hands worked, covering the ugly pill box.  Until, at last, shining and bright, the elegant case was wrapped.  A simple gift which, to me, could hold nothing more treasured than itself.

*This fictional narrative is dedicated to my own mother who puts so much of herself into every gift she gives.



By Guest Blogger: Kathleen Smith

She held a keepsake of every heart she had broken. Displayed in an open glass box, they rested comfortably in their secrets, whispering of memories to her as she gazed at them every morning. I was allowed to ask her about one piece each week I visited the silver-haired heiress. But one morning I suppose I made the poor decision to touch one of the treasures.

“Don’t open that box!” she exclaimed, fanning herself against the summer warmth.

The box was small, sitting right in the middle of my palm; it demanded admiration for its red and black embellishments, the gold clover in the middle of the lid. Instantly I guessed an engagement that the woman had turned down long ago, when her hair was brown and her face bright with youth. But she studied my expression from her settee and smiled softly.

“It’s not a ring, child.” She rose and crossed the room. “But it is most dear to me.”

“Another broken heart?” I asked. And she smiled. There was sadness in her eyes.

“He was a poor man, could offer me nothing more than I already had. Yet one morning, as we were shopping downtown, I noticed this little box.” She held her chin up confidently, “I asked him if I had that box, would he fill it with everything he had just for me?”

“What did he say?”

“He brought the box to his lips, lifted the lid, and whispered… I love you. His promise still rests in this box.”

I did not ask any more questions.


Be Like a Little Flower

By Guest Blogger: Adrienne Stravitsch

Irene couldn’t believe that she was talking to her.  Rebecca hasn’t spoken a nice word to me all year, she thought.  Irene looked up, terrified at what was going to happen.  The chaos and electric excitement of the last day of school filled the halls.  Irene had just wanted to make it out the door and onto the freedom of summer break without another incident.  “Irene, I want you to have this. I…I…I’m sorry.”  In a flash, the terror of her entire year was gone.  At the bottom of her locker sat a tiny box, painted carefully by hand.  The crisp dimensions of the strokes were covered in a clear lacquer.  Irene ran her fingers across it, and then opened it.  Nothing inside.  She closed it.  A three-petaled flower on a dual-colored lid, the design was more geometric than flowery.  Irene’s heart warmed.  She opened the box again, and noticed the underside of the lid.  “Luke 7:47-48” was scripted there in tiny, shaky black ink.  Shame.  Contrition.  Forgiveness.



By Guest Blogger: Angie Smith

Before Michaela was born, her parents traveled all over Europe seeing all the famous landmarks – the Coliseum, the Eifel Tower, Big Ben, the Louvre – the kinds of places that, having seen them, make you believe you are a more intelligent and sophisticated human being. It was a trip most people only dream of experiencing. On her seventh birthday, Michaela’s mom took her aside and gave her a souvenir from that trip to Europe – a colorful round box that looked like a cupcake too pretty to even think about eating.

“This is a very special box, Michaela,” her mother explained. “When I bought this box on my adventure with your dad, I knew in my heart that someday I would have a daughter and that I would give her this as a place to keep her wishes.”

“What do you mean, Mama?” Michaela asked, intrigued by the plans her mother had for this mysterious box.

“You are seven years old now – a young lady – and young ladies have dreams and wishes. I want you write them down and keep them forever in this box so you don’t forget them. This is your very own Wishing Box.”

Twenty years later, Michaela was mourning the painful loss of her mother to brain cancer when she found the box in the back of a dresser drawer. She carefully opened it, reading each wish as if it were a rare discovery. Most of them were the dreams of an ambitious little girl, and each one reminded her of her mother’s adventurous spirit. It had been many years since Michaela had even made a wish, let alone put one in the box.

“Am I the same girl who wrote down all of these wishes?” she wondered.

Michaela stood up, put her Wishing Box in her purse and walked out of the house. Opening the Wishing Box had been like taking a breath of fresh air. Michaela was not exactly sure where she was going, or what would happen when she got there, but she did know one thing: her mother had inspired her to start wishing, and now it was time to honor her by finding the wisher and dreamer inside herself. Time to really start living.


First Things

By Guest Blogger: Rachel Fogarty

Her chubby little six-year-old pointer finger wiggled the tooth back & forth. This was her first wiggly tooth and her face expressed a combination of excitement and worry, “Mommy! Do you think the tooth fairy will come tonight?” This was the moment that Kerrie had anticipated for a long time. The feeling of a loose tooth, wondering whether or not she would see the tooth fairy, and the possibility of a treat from the tooth fairy enthralled the little girl.
Smiling at her with a twinkle in her eye, Mrs. Warner whispered to her little girl, “Of course, little one. She will remember. First things first. That tooth is ready to jump right out. Keep it moving back and forth so we can pull it and put it under your pillow before bed.”
No sooner had she said these words than Kerrie pulled the shiny white tooth from her mouth. Her eyes blinked with incredulity, “I did it, mommy! I pulled my very own tooth!” Her smile displayed the small space that her tooth had occupied. “The tooth fairy can come now! The tooth fairy!” Her happy squeals echoed down the hallway as she ran to find just the right place under her pillow.
Mrs. Warner was having a difficult time trying to figure out just the right gift she could give Kerrie in place of the newly-pulled tooth. Tucking Kerrie into bed, she sat stroking her daughter’s hair while reading to Kerrie one of her favorite books.
Suddenly she knew. It would be the just the right gift. Kerrie would be delighted.
Finishing the book, Mrs. Warner gave Kerrie a kiss, and hurried down the hall to find the treasure in a drawer. It was the box that had been given her by her mother when she had lost her first tooth, some thirty plus years prior. Pretty and simple, the wooden box would be the perfect gift indeed.


Repairing Dreams

By Guest Blogger: Monica McCord

The merry tinkle of a bell finally announced the entrance of a customer. Hans sighed wearily. “Yes, what do you–” “Hello, Hans!” A pretty little lady beamed at him from across the store. The bright sunlight made it hard to distinguish her features, but she was very well dressed. A fine, red, shiny gown whispered gently across the floor as she moved towards him. “Well? Don’t you remember me?” Hans felt his heart leap a little. Hesitating another moment, he finally managed to respond. “Marie?” “Hans, it is so good to see you. You can’t imagine how surprised I was when my husband mentioned your name!” He forced a half-smile and nodded politely. “Yes, I’m still a shoe-maker. I finished my apprenticeship a good while ago. Did you come in for a fitting as well?” The lady grew a little downcast. “Hans, I . . . It’s been so long, and I never thought I’d see you again.” The two of them stood silently. Hans stared rather fixedly at the floor, while her eyes wandered over the entire room. “I also wanted to ask you to fix something for me,” she added quietly. “Remember this?” Fumbling with her tiny clutch purse, she brought out a delicately painted box, glinting with red and gold in a whirling, flower-like pattern. “You made this for me years ago, when we were children.” She smiled fondly and stepped closer to him, placing it in his rough, leathery hands. “I wouldn’t trust the finest artist to duplicate your work on this piece. Please, would you repair it for me?” After finishing the box late that night, Hans sat and contemplated it a while. He’d forgotten, or blocked out, nearly all of his artistic spirit in the pursuit of mere survival. Was it worth it? “There are so many things that have passed me by, and so many things I cannot change,” he sighed. “Perhaps this is something that I still can.”



By Guest Blogger: John McDevitt

Aiden shifted the rubble off the dresser to the side, and a small, round shape tumbled with it. Debris was never perfectly round, so he picked the thing up and dusted it off. Black and red with a gold ribbon painted on the top, it fit in the palm of his hand and felt lighter than a feather compared to all the destruction he’d already cleared from the house. Crashing sounds from the next room over told him Padre and Emma were close.
“Padre!” Aiden said. “What is this?” The old priest appeared in the doorway, his worn black shirt and pants coated in rock dust. Aidan tossed him the thing. “Worth anything?”
“Depends,” Padre said. He removed the rounded lid and peered into the pristine, magenta insides. “It’s a keepsake box. Sometimes people your age, even younger, put little mementos … trinkets they wanted to hold on to in there.”
“Oo, like what?” Emma asked, popping her head in the room. Her emerald eyes glimmered even in the dirt and dust they’d stirred up.
Padre placed his fingertips on his forehead the way he always did when he was thinking. “Maybe a ring, a note, a picture. Anything you want to cherish.”
Aiden’s pack was mostly filled with supplies and tools, and none of it was small enough for this box. He stood up and dusted himself off. “Well, that’s about it for this room.”
Emma sucked the dirt off her finger and ran it along the fabric on the inside of the box as Padre went back into the other room. “What would you put in here, Aiden? Just look at it. It needs something pretty.”
Aiden smiled to himself. Forget everything in his pack. There was only one thing worthy of being cherished. He took the top of the box from Emma and set it on top of her wavy brown hair. Her gem-like eyes shined at Aiden, and he smiled back. “C’mon. This house won’t scavenge itself.”
Emma slipped her hand into Aiden’s and leaned against his shoulder as they walked down the hall. In the vast emptiness of their broken world, it was impossible to imagine something worth more than this.


The Masterpiece

By Guest Blogger: Kelly Henson

Miguel stretched and wiped a streak through the dust and sweat on his forehead.  He examined the box closer.  There was nothing particularly special about it; it was empty.  But he didn’t remember seeing it before, and he knew every corner of his family’s small house.  “Papá!  What is this?”  Miguel’s father’s reply was smothered by the pile of blankets he had carried around the corner, “Miguel, you must not get distracted!  The funeral is tomorrow and we have so much to do.”  But he stopped speaking, his voice caught in his throat, when he saw the small, painted box.  Dante settled onto the hard floor next to Miguel, took the small trinket box in his hand, and looked hazily at the spiderweb in the corner of the ceiling.

“Miguel, did you know Maria . . . um, your mother, was una artista?”
“No, Papá.”
“I met her one day in the market in el Distrito.  She was selling beautiful talavera vases and boxes.  The only thing more beautiful in the whole market than those boxes was the lady selling them.”  Dante smiled at the memory and continued, “I asked her about the vases.  To be honest, I just wanted to hear her speak; I couldn’t afford her things.  We talked for a long time, and I asked her to join me for tacos al pastor after her work.  When I had to go back to the city for Señor Díaz other times that year, we talked more.  She was a very modern woman, your madre.  She was educated.  She was an artist.  But she picked me.  I don’t know why!”

Miguel pulled his knees to his chest and sat silently.  His mother.  The woman loved by all the little children with their dirty feet and scratched knees.  The woman hanging freshly scrubbed diaper clothes and rolling out tortillas until her calloused hands ached.  (Miguel saw her quietly massage them when she thought no one was looking.)  The woman who was so softly spoken and never boasted, demanded, or nagged like the other women by the store.  She was an educated woman?  An artist?  He wondered why she gave it all up.  He had always yearned to leave the dusty streets of his town, to go to San Luis Potosi or even el Distrito to work, and she picked this life?

Dante looked at his son, “Are you ok, Miguel?  . . .  I miss her too.”
“Why did she come here, papá?  How did she give it up?”

Dante took the box from his son and held it gently, the way Miguel would have handled a baby bird out of its nest.  “She gave me this box when we got married.  She said it was the first thing she ever painted, and that learning to make a beautiful thing takes a long time.
“A year later, when you were born and she was tired and rocking you to sleep, I asked her if she was sad not to be in the city painting, meeting people, selling her art.  She looked at your curly black hair and replied, ‘I am still an artist.  I am learning, but my children will be my best masterpiece yet.’”


Calling Card

By Guest Blogger: Ben Butina

This wasn’t the first time my condo had been tossed. In my line of work, it happens every once in a while. If you know your business, they don’t find anything because you’re not stupid enough to leave anything worth finding in your own place. The bastards trashing your place know this, too. They’re just sending a message: “Someone knows what you’re up to.” But who? Who knows and why do they want me to know that they know?

As far as apartment trashing goes, this looked mild. A few drawers pulled out. Some papers scattered on the floor. Then I noticed that my fridge door was wide open. All my food was spoiled. Who thinks to do that? Down in the basement, I saw the lid to the washing machine was open, too, and it stank of bleach. My clothes were ruined.

Trashing my furniture would’ve been an easy fix. Just buy new furniture, have it delivered, and you’re back in business. Now I was facing a Saturday morning at the grocery store (which I hate) and a Saturday afternoon clothes shopping (which I hate even more). Back in my living room, I noticed something that hadn’t been there before. A little wooden box, shaped like a cupcake. It looked pretty good on my bookcase, like it belonged there. A calling card, maybe.

For the first time in my career, my place had been trashed by a…girl.

To see more from Ben:


The Box

By Guest Blogger: Christy Henson

I was 18 when the call came in from Germany, an operator asking if I would accept the charges, as they did back then for collect calls. Both Mom and I said yes. Apparently she had also been awakened by that 5am intrusion.

The call lasted only a minute, then Mom rushed into my room, asking “Mama or Papa? What did she say? Mama or Papa? Did you hear…?”

“Mama,” I answered, now understanding that neither would be good, grasping from the look on her face that “Mama” was unexpected.

Somehow, of all the siblings, Mom ended up with the box and its contents, well, just one content, actually. The box held Oma’s rosary, with its mother-of-pearls beads and crucifix of silver worn by her gentle touch. Mom told me how her whole family gathered every evening in May and October, the months of Mary, to pray a family rosary. With 11 children and a farm to tend, they sometimes said it at record speed, but they prayed it.

My grandma prayed the rosary, with the rosary in the box, every single day, every month of every year. I can picture Oma’s lips moving silently while her thumb and index finger lingered on then moved from bead to bead, her face lit up by the glow of the lamp or a winter’s firelight, her whole being radiant by the glow from within that she just could not contain: Her love for Him, her thanksgiving for His gifts to her, especially her family…for her husband and their children around her and the two who awaited her, eternally patient and joyful.

And her box? It has been passed to me. I know that when I pray with the rosary, more worn yet lovelier than ever, Oma silently prays it, too.


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