Gray-Haired Granny Visits Budding Authors at FVES

Gray-Haired Granny and Linda Cole cooked up a BIG surprise for her fourth grade class.  Granny would visit Fuquay-Varina Elementary School to share with 24 excited students what gets her so fired up – WRITING!

So, on May 23rd and 24th, Granny made a guest appearance at the school in Fuquay-Varina, NC.  And, let me tell ya’, she pulled out all the stops!  She read to them StoryTime Club’s newest release, Mr. Tootenspieler and His Fabulous, Ginormous One Man Band, and parts of the chapter book she’s currently working on, The Amazing Misadventures of Mike Mega with Dr. U.B. Strong or My Taste Buds Almost Killed Me and Other Confessions.

During her presentation, Granny doled out plenty of tips to the budding writers on how to “spice-up” their own stories.  And she revealed some interesting details about the publishing and printing processes.  There was even a little time carved out for questions and answers.

But what really thrilled Granny during this visit was when she inaugurated Gray-Haired Granny’s Writers’ Club!

Here’s how it unfolded:  The class was divided into 6 teams of 4 writers each.  The teams were presented with an introduction to a story.  But what made this exercise so intriguing was one little twist – each team had a capsule, that, when dropped in water, revealed a farm animal.  And that animal – whatever it was – had to be incorporated into each team’s story!

Granny told the students the winner’s story would be showcased on her blog.  The writers did so well, GHG had to select two winners!  Congratulations go out to Bella, Kevin, Isaiah, Jackson, Eathan, Trey, Dynasty, and Jaylyn for all their hard work.  In fact, ALL the participants are to be commended for their wonderful creativity.  Keep it up – practice, practice, practice!  Who knows, maybe one day some of you will become an author like Granny!

Granny took the liberty to amend the introduction of the story.  It’s followed by the 2 winning entries.  The students’ stories begin with And then…

Special Delivery

The doorbell chimed, “Ding dong.”  Sallie heard her mom open the door then call out, “Hey, Sallie, you’ve got a package from your Uncle Russ.”  Sallie flew down the steps and stood before her mom eager to see her big surprise.

You see, Uncle Russ would send Sallie a present whenever he went on a big trip.  This amazingly cool guy traveled all over the world to exotic places.  He never once failed to send her something totally unique.  And somehow, someway Uncle Russ managed to outdo himself with each and every new gift.

When Sallie grabbed the huge box from her mom, she was amazed at how light it was.  In fact, it didn’t feel like there was anything in it at all!!!  She reached for the scissors and quickly sliced through the packing tape. Throwing open the box’s flaps, Sallie began digging through mounds of foam bits.

One of her fingers touched something that felt a little different.  Not knowing what to expect, Sallie carefully pulled it through the packaging.  “Why, it’s an envelope with my name on it!” screamed Sallie with delight.  Tearing it open, she read the note out loud:

Dearest Sallie,

Surprise!  I found this hidden away in a tiny shop on an island village smack dab in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  At first, I wasn’t sure about giving it to someone as young as you, but I think you can handle it.  I just hope I don’t get in trouble with your mother.  Enjoy…but be careful!


Uncle Russ

Sallie was more excited than ever now!  She tossed the note aside and hurriedly began digging through the box again.  This time, her hand touched something much larger.  Pulling it from the box, she found herself holding a perfectly round sphere the size of a soccer ball!  Even though it was made of a dark, smooth wood, the ball felt almost weightless.  But there was something strange about this ball—it had a seam all the way around it.  A gold hinge held the two halves together, and an ornate clasp latched the pieces shut.

Sallie sat back and carefully examined her surprise.  “What in the world is this?” she thought.  As she twisted the clasp, the ball sprang wide open!

And then…

…a yellow, fluffy ducking lay motionless except for the rising of its flank.  “How is a little duckling dangerous?” Sallie thought.

She took it to her room and gently laid it down on her bed.  Sallie wrapped the duckling in a blanket to keep it warm.  Sallie cautiously walked to the black and white tiled kitchen.  The afternoon sunlight streamed in through the old fashioned windows.

“What was in the egg?” Mom asked.

“A duckling,” Sallie replied.  Sallie’s mom looked at her a little puzzled then walked away.  By now, it was evening and time to go to bed.  She walked upstairs and got in her bed.  By the time Sallie closed her eyes, there was a purple haze all around her room.

Sallie walked toward the purple light.  When she touched it, she disappeared.  Once she opened her eyes again, the landscape was parched and dry.  Suddenly a great orange and red creature swooped above her.  Sallie blinked her eyes in amazement.  “This isn’t real, it’s just a dream,” Sallie thought.

Sallie started to run trying to figure things out.  Suddenly, she found a golden note at her feet.  Sallie, being a curious girl, picked it up and read:  Beware!  Follow the one that flies.  Find the golden hourglass and turn it over before the last grain of sand falls, or you will be doomed!

Sallie started to figure out the first piece of the puzzle.  “The one who flies,” Sallie pondered.  She thought about this for a few moments.  Then, she got an idea.  “The red and orange reptile,” Sallie thought, delightedly.  The reptile landed beside her as if she had called it.  Then it took off with Sallie close behind.  She ran as fast as she could.  It was soon dark, and Sallie lay down on a bed of ferns she found.

As soon as she closed her eyes, the ground started to tremble.  In a couple of seconds, a colossal T-rex was towering above her!

Sallie froze in terror.  Before she could think, the dinosaur bent down and swallowed her!

Sallie fell and fell for what seemed like ages.  Then she landed with a splash into the T-rex’s stomach!

It was humid.  Sallie’s head broke the surface as she struggled for breath.  “How am I going to find the golden hourglass now?” Sallie thought.

Suddenly, as if an answer came to her, Sallie saw the animal’s pumping heart and, in the midst of it, was the golden hourglass.

Sallie swam with all her might toward it.  Sallie took it in her hands and wrenched it out, turning it over.  Then everything went black.  Sallie woke up finding her mother looking worriedly down at her.  Sallie peered over the top of her bed.

Sallie saw the duckling still asleep.  Sallie thought, “I touched the duckling before I went to bed.  It must have sent me back in time!”

“Are you alright?” Sallie’s mom asked, interrupting her thoughts.

“Yeah, I think so,” Sallie replied.  “Was it real or was it just a dream?” Sallie wondered.

By:  Bella, Kevin, Isaiah, and Jackson

And then…

…a letter came out, and she read it to find out she had to go on an amazing quest to get her present which was a goose.  She accepted the offer and headed out to start her challenging and frightening quest.

The letter is not only a letter, but it is also a map of her quest.  First, it sends her to a forest with creepy and interesting creatures.  She read the map over again and hesitated because the map told her to walk all the way through the forest until she reached a pitch black cave.  The map also told her that inside the cave, she will have to cleverly pass a gigantic beast guarding her goose which was stolen by the beast.

So, she started the long walk to the deserted cave which held the beast along with the goose.  On the way there, she met a deer.  They strolled together for a while, but the deer had a family to take care of.  Sallie understood and stated, “Good bye, my friend.”  Then she continued her journey toward the frightening cave.

About a half an hour later, she ran into a lion named Mr. Mc Ugly.  They walked together, and while they were walking, Sallie asked, “Why are you here in the forest?”

Mr. McUgly replied, “I came from the zoo, but the zookeeper didn’t like the way I looked so they just left me here in the forest to live.”

Sallie felt bad for Mr. McUgly and told him, “It doesn’t matter what you look like, all that matters is that you are a nice, caring animal person.”

After that there was silence and finally Mr. McUgly thanked Sallie and told her that he had to go.  Sallie replied, “Okay, goodbye.”

Sallie then walked for miles and miles and before she was about to give up, she reached the enormous horror cave.  She entered shivering, taking a step then pausing until she heard a rumble.  She jumped back and before her eyes stood the giant.  Sallie gasped for breath, but it was taken by the terrible sight of the giant.

She peered through the dirty, filthy legs of the giant to see the beautiful, white goose.  Sallie was overtaken by the beauty of the goose.  She thought and thought and then she was struck with an idea.

Sallie picked up a rock and threw it through the giant’s legs, and it landed in front of the goose.  The goose was spooked and flew past the giant and into Sallie’s arms.  Sallie ran out of the cave with the goose clutched between her arms.  She ran into the forest to escape the giant, and her plan worked!

But how was she going to get home?  Sallie put the goose down, and, out of the blue, the goose started to expand.  But Sallie thought that the goose was going to explode.

The goose got big enough for Sallie to ride on.  “That’s it!” shouted Sallie in an excited voice.  “I’ll ride my goose home,” said Sallie, and that’s exactly what happened.

When Sallie got home, she shouted, “That was the best present ever!”  And they lived happily ever after!

By:  Eathan, Trey, Dynasty, and Jaylyn


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