Tag Archives: halloween

Pumper the Pumpkin Picture Book Free Oct. 28-31/Write Your Own Spooky Story

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Every year, I like to give away a little treat of my own. I’ve written a picture book from a story I originally wrote when I was 10. I originally wrote it back in Mrs. William’s class when I was in the Fifth Grade. 35 years later, here is the story of that long ago character I created, Pumper the Pumpkin.

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Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner *Available for Free on Amazon 10/28-31

On Halloween Eve, Pumper is trying to be a jack-o-lantern. Only he needs to find the right family to adopt him. Will he in time? Join Pumper in this amazing Halloween quest of being a part of something bigger.

This Halloween short story is intended for ages 3-10. Get into the Halloween spirit with this family friendly tale.

For years, I’ve carved Pumper the Pumpkin has my pumpkin in hale to this character I created so long ago. Sometimes, things you make up as a kid, like having unicorn friends come hang out with you in your bedroom, can make their way into a children’s story to entertain children that were once your age.

Remembering those fun, creative activities always has been a plus for me. I use them all the time in my stories. And yes, I still have the Pumper original story. I promised myself that when I got bigger and my language arts skills improved, I would rewrite Pumper the Pumpkin. The original story had bully kids come in and throw all of Pumper’s family to the ground, breaking them into pieces. It’s how I said he was alone originally. But I cut that out in the rewrites, and made it that he just hadn’t been picked yet. I added the character Miraballe. Voila! A new, improved Pumper story was born.

So, if you’d like to write your own Spooky story over the next few days before Halloween, check out the steps on How To Write Your Own Spooky Story below. These can be done in a few days if you double up a few of the lessons. Try two lessons a day, and you can make your story in time for Halloween. Waaaahhahhahahahha!

Day 1 For Writing A Spooky Story: Main Character Creation

Day 2: Creating a Spooky Setting/Plot

Day 3: Starting the Rough Draft

Day 4: Continuing Rough Draft with Dialogue

Day 5: Revision and Proofreading your story

Day 6: Writing the Final Draft

For those of you that would like the full lesson plan, it is available on Teachers Pay Teachers at this link: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spooky-Story-and-Summary-Report-October-Writing-Unit-2763010

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The Spooky Story Writing Unit is available on Teachers Pay Teachers for $2.95.

Only $2.95!

Plus, Pumper the Pumpkin will be free on Amazon between Oct. 28-31!

https://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A

HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE HALLOWEEN!

-Tiffany Turner

 

 

Spooky Writing Project Unit On Sale 10/21-10/23 @ TeachersPayTeachers

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spookystoryunitbkcvrSo, I’ve been writing down all my teaching wisdom to preserve and share it with current and future teachers. I’ve had 18 years experience teaching with a specialty in writing. So, I’ve been writing up some fabulous projects on TeachersPayTeachers.com. I’ve just put my Spooky Story writing project unit on sale for this weekend, 10/21-10/23. The unit follows current Common Core standards. It’s on sale for $2.36. Unit includes graphic organizers(worksheets), sample writing paragraphs, grading rubric, and all the lesson plans for the unit. It even includes a Spooky Book Summary Report.

I’ve had kids over and over say this was their favorite project in my classroom. So, if you’re a teacher and need something for Halloween, have the kids write a story. They can’t get enough of this. Or even if you’re a parent and you want to keep your kids busy from now until Halloween, try this project and have them read it on Halloween night. There is nothing more magical than watching kids entertain themselves with their own writing.

LINK To TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS HERE For Spooky Story Project!

Plus, my Halloween read-aloud is available exclusively on Amazon Here!

And I’ve just posted a new writing unit for Mysteries!

Hot off the presses: Mystery Genre Writing Unit LINK HERE!

OH yes, have a spooky and safe Halloween!

Write Your Own Spooky Story Day 6: The Final Draft

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Look for other story writing projects on my blog in the coming months. Please follow to not miss them!

Look for other story writing projects on my blog in the coming months. Please follow to not miss them!

So, now that the trick-o-treating is done, did you get a chance to recopy your story? If not, and you got swept up into the Halloween spirit, don’t despair. You can write a Spooky story any time of the year. It’s called Horror Fiction, and people like to write and read it all year round. So, even if you got distracted by the Halloween excitement, sit down now and recopy your story out into a nice, final draft.

There. How do you feel? You actually wrote a fabulous, spooky story you’ll have to share with others every Halloween. How do I know? I wrote my first spooky story when I was 10 years old in Mrs. Williams class. The story has changed many times over the years, but it became “Pumper the Pumpkin.” If you didn’t get a chance to download it this week, it’s still on Amazon for $0.99. I didn’t price it too high on purpose. There is such joy in being able to share a story with people, and I hope you are able to enjoy mine.

On Halloween Eve, Pumper is trying to be a jack-o-lantern. Only he needs to find the right family to adopt him. Will he in time? Join Pumper in this amazing Halloween quest of being a part of something bigger.

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title.

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title.

Thank you for joining me in this writing adventure this week. I do plan on some more to be posted in the next coming months, starting with how to write you’re own Mystery story as the next project. So please follow my blog so you don’t miss it.

Have a fabulous November! -Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

My Halloween Tale, Pumper the Pumpkin is be available for free on Amazon. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A

 

Write Your Own Spooky Story: Day 4 Your Rough Draft; Adding Dialogue and Getting Unstuck

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Using dialogue to describe your characters action can propel your story forward.

Using dialogue to describe your characters action can propel your story forward.

Welcome to Day 4 of writing your own spooky story. Today, it’s time to work on connecting those middle events to lead to your solution in your ending. It’s going to be a busy day. Before I start, I have to announce the HUGE issues with my phone. It completely has died. I have to take it to the CPR phone store. So, I’m going to have to postpone my Periscope broadcast until tomorrow at 3:30 pm PDT. Sorry folks. When the electronics act up, it affects everything. But of course,  I can still answer questions and comments on the blog. Feel free to ask advice as you progress through your project this week.

Today is the second day of writing your rough draft. It’s the time you need to connect your introduction and problem you wrote yesterday to the rest of the story. You need to write the middle events that lead your characters to the solution, and end your story with the satisfying bang that they crave. In this section, you have to leave clues that your character can find or have events that push them along to the ending. Think of all those other spooky stories you may have read. They will help you get some ideas. Writers are active readers as well as observers. A lot of the time, a good book in the same genre will jog an idea for you. If you get stuck, try remembering some of your favorite books and try the same thing(s) with a twist. All you have to do is something similar but with twists and changes.

Another thing that helps me get in the zone for writing is to put on some music. If it’s difficult for you to concentrate without noise, that’s normal for some people. Some people need a background noise, like music, to concentrate. Some people need complete silence. If you’re having trouble, and know you need quiet or music to write, try making an environment for writing. For example, I have made several playlists for different projects using Youtube. I find the video for a song and put them in a playlist. Right now I’m playing a Halloween playlist to get me in a spooky mood. It includes Panic at the Disco’s “Emperor’s New Clothes”, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, Theme song from “Tales of the Crypt” and “Ghostbusters”. If I get stuck, I watch the video and listen to the music, and it gets my concentration going again. This works for me. But if you have other ways that help you as you write, please feel free to share in the comments section.

As you’re writing, be sure to check your story map to check off things as you add them. They will help you guide yourself to the ending. Also, to avoid telling too much, try using dialogue. Sometimes it’s easier to have your characters talk about something than just describe it. Here’s an example:

Mark and Becky walked up to the house at the end of the street. No one liked to trick or treat at this one house, because it looked too haunted. It had a older man that lost his wife a few years ago. He never appeared except to water his lawn now and again. Becky thought one more treat would be good. Her candy bag looked a bit small. Not many people had been home in her neighborhood. Maybe they could get something at this house after all.

Now, let’s add some dialogue to the paragraph.

Mark looked at Becky. “You think we should trick or treat at the house at the end of the street?”

Becky felt ill. “Really, no. I mean, that old guy never appears since his wife died. He only comes out to water his lawn. He’s not very nice when he does it too.”

Mark grabbed his bag looking inside. “It’s been slim pickings this year. Not many people have been home, Becky. Why don’t we try one more house? It couldn’t hurt, right?”

Becky shrugged her shoulders. What did she have to loose? One more house couldn’t hurt. 

Adding dialogue makes the scene come alive, and you’re no longer telling the action, it is being done by your characters. Dialogue can make the action propel into the next scene. Next, I’d have them walk to the porch and try to trick or treat. Since this would be my haunted house setting, somehow they’d end up inside the house. And then the real fun begins.

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Enjoy finishing up your rough draft today. Tomorrow, we’ll work on revising and proofreading to ready you to get that final copy done for Halloween. Ask around and see if someone is willing to listen to your story for tomorrow. And I’ll post questions and tips for them to look for. Until then, happy writing!- Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

Plus, for this week only starting, Oct. 27, my Halloween Tale, Pumper the Pumpkin will be available for free on Amazon. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A

Write Your Own Spooky Story: Day 3 Starting Your Rough Draft

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Day 3 of writing your own spooky story: Starting your rough draft

Day 3 of writing your own spooky story: Starting your rough draft

Welcome to Day 3 of writing your own spooky story. Today we’re going to start the rough draft. The best way to start your story is to find a quiet place, and have an idea of what activity your character is doing when we find them. It’s best to start them in the middle of an activity that is important to them, such as being at school, basketball practice, or playing in the creek near their house. Something that would be a place or thing that will lead them to the problem.

Why is this important? Because as a writer, you want to SHOW, NOT TELL your story. You want to have activities showing what your character is about or likes to do, and not just tell your readers. If you tell them, your story is nothing more than just a summary of actions. A story shows the actions and events. It puts characters into problems and lets them loose.

There are two school of thoughts on how to write the rough draft as well. The two ways to write a rough draft can be broken into two groups of people, those that write by having an idea of what the characters are and what may happen, and let the action play in their mind as they write it down. These people are called Pantsers, as they write by the seat of their pants.

The second group are more organized and like to outline or write down the order of events that they want to have happen in a story from beginning, middle to end. These people are called Plotters since they like to have events mapped out.

Either way of writing your rough draft is correct. You could even try the one way that sounds best to you, and if it doesn’t work, switch to the other. It’s good to know which you prefer since it will make it easier for you to write. Personally, I’m a Pantser. I tend to spend a lot of time knowing what my characters are like, and an idea of what they will do. But often I’ve sat down and had the story turn out different, because once I put the characters into the situation I’ve created, they choose to do something else. I love this! I call it being in the zone. I enjoy the story as much as any reader since sometimes I don’t even know what will happen in the end until I write it.

So, think of that action your main character needs to be in the middle of, find that quiet space, and start writing. Don’t worry about how it starts. You can always change it later. Just start. If it’s hard, use the phase, “There I was on a dark and stormy night.” My starting phrase for my posts this week is”Welcome to Day — to writing your own spooky story.” It might sound boring or hokey, but it gets me started. Once you get your brain flowing, the beginning can always be changed or improved.

Tomorrow, I’m planning to try something new. I’m going to be broadcasting on Periscope, a phone app. that allows you to broadcast world wide anything you might be doing from anywhere. I’ll be going through the techniques I’ve posted about the last few days, and taking any questions or comments you might have on your story in progress. Please join me @Tiffmeister on Periscope at 3:30pm-4:40pm PDT. If you don’t have the app, you can download it from the GooglePlayStore or Itunes store for your iPhone.

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

So, get writing! And I’ll see you tomorrow for some one-to-one help and support! -Tiffany (Mrs. Turner)

Plus, for this week only starting today, Oct. 27, my Halloween Tale, Pumper the Pumpkin will be available for free on Amazon. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A

Write Your Own Spooky Story: Day 1 Free Lessons for your Class or Child

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Write your own Spooky Story this week, Oct. 26-31. Lessons posted daily!

Write your own Spooky Story this week, Oct. 26-31. Lessons posted daily!

Write Your Own Spooky Story

Day 1

This week I’m planning a big treat. Usually, I’d be doing this in my classroom. But I’ve been on medical leave and a sabbatical for the last few months. This leaves me without a classroom for the first time in 18 years. So, I thought I’d take some of my teaching on-line this week for one of my more popular writing projects, The Spooky Story. This week before Halloween, I’ll be posting daily steps for you or your little one to be writing their own Spooky story. I have done this in my classroom for over 15 years, and I’m happy to be able to share it with you during this special creative week when everyone has spooks and goblins on the brain.

 

Day 1: Build your Main Character

Day 2: Create a Sidekick and Villain/Setting/Plot

Day3: Start the Spooky Story Rough Draft

Day 4: Write your Rough Draft help and guidance

Day 5: Proofread and Revising Tips for your Spooky Story

Day 6: (Halloween) Rewrite and finalize your Spooky Story to read tonight!

 

Today, we’ll focus on character. Which means, you guessed it, you get to make up your very own spooky character for your story. Think of all those spooky stories you’ve read before, like Goosebumps or Scooby Doo. They all involve a girl or boy human kid that runs into monsters such as ghosts, vampires and zombies. But you don’t have to stop there. You can have your main character be a vampire, zombie or ghost if you want. The important thing is that your story will revolve around this character. They will be the center of your action. So, pick carefully.

 

Once you’ve decided on whom your character is, it’s time to add all the details that will come in handy while writing your story. It’s called prewriting. You can do it in a couple of ways. You can write a list answering questions about your character or you can fill in a detailed web of ideas about your character. I will include both. You can decide to do one or the other, or both ways. Get as many details as you can. They will come in handy when you work on tomorrow’s assignment, sidekicks and villians.

 

Questions About Your Main Character:

  • What is their name?
  • Describe what they look like. Hair color? Eye color? Age? Height? Weight?
  • How do they dress? What are their favorite things to go to school or work in?
  • What are their favorite movies, books, or TV shows?
  • Do they have a best friend? Who is it?
  • What about their family? Brothers or sisters? What do their parents do?
  • Describe their school or work.
  • Do they have special powers or abilities?
  • What is their flaw? Do they have trouble doing something?
  • What are they good at?

Special Extra Credit: Describe what is in their backpack or what they take with them always.

Idea Web for your Main Character

Idea Web for your Main Character

Tomorrow, we’ll work on a sidekick and a villain. These two types of characters are very important to help your main character and to cause trouble for them.

 

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Plus, for this week only starting Oct. 27, my Halloween Tale, Pumper the Pumpkin will be available for free on Amazon. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A

Until tomorrow, have fun making your character. I’ll see you tomorrow for creating a sidekick and villain.

-Tiffany Turner

Trick or Treat Gift For You: Pumper the Pumpkin Free Promotion Oct. 27-31

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One of my favorite holidays is coming up soon, HALLOWEEN! As a kid, I loved using my imagination to make a costume and trick or treat in the night time. It was also the time the neighborhood would come out and visit with one another. I would see many of the people once a year, and would note the changes from the previous year of trick or treating. I would also meet the new people that moved into the neighborhood. There is nothing better than Halloween to promote creativity and community.

So in the spirit of giving out treats, I’m offering Pumper the Pumpkin, my Halloween picture book free from Oct. 27-31 on Amazon. I first wrote the story when I was in Mrs. William’s class in 5th grade. The original was a path down the road of learning that writing can be fun. I was bit by the bug from then on. I had always wanted to rewrite it and make it available for people. I would get lost in the world of Pumper the Pumpkin, and carve him every year with his girlfriend. Her name changed through the years, but it has finally ended as Mirabelle. It deals with the search of finding where you belong and meeting your destiny. Every year, I would find the right pumpkin to carve and turn into Pumper. I am happy to share this tradition with you and your youngster this Halloween.

To everyone this year, may you have a happy and safe Halloween!

Note: Pumper the Pumpkin is also a Kindle Unlimited title.

LINK TO PUMPER THE PUMPKIN ON AMAZON–Also a Kindle Unlimited title.

Buried: A New Goth Series for When Everyday Is Halloween

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Buried by Linda Joy Singleton: A Goth Girl Mystery

Buried by Linda Joy Singleton: A Goth Girl Mystery

For those of us that enjoy Halloween everyday, I recommend Buried by Linda Joy Singleton. This amazing new Goth series is a spin off of her Seer books. Thorn has just moved to Nevada, started a new high school, but has managed to find her niche, other goth girls. Black nail polish, black fairy wings, piercings and fabulous wig colors are the normal attire to complement a school day. Throw in a past student that has reached fame like Justin Bieber, and you get the starting of a new goth adventure.

Thorn has the ability to find things. Needless to say, a locket finds her with a mystery. When she discovers the secret of the locket, she is connected to its crime. Can she manage to find the owner of the locket that will clear her name? It might mean giving up what she has found most dear, her new friends and gothic look. Can she give it all up to enter the singing contest and expose the criminal before it’s too late?

Seriously. This book has drive. It kept me glued to its pages, turning feverishly with mysteries around every corner. Who is the Grin Reaper? Is he cute? Can a girl save her friend from being with the wrong guy? Not to mention, candy pink doesn’t go well with skull earrings.

If you notice right now you’re wearing black nail polish, this is most likely the book for you. It is a great YA read for any age. Whether you want a good mystery to relax with, or relish the days “Everyday is Halloween”, I recommend Buried. It will make you want more in the end, especially if its dressed in black.

***** Five Star Rating

Available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.

New Halloween Picture Book: All Hallow’s ABC

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All Hallow's ABC by Jenni Kaye

All Hallow’s ABC by Jenni Kaye

Are you looking for a Halloween themed bedtime picture book? All Hallow’s ABC by Jenni Kaye is a great way to get your child into the Halloween theme without the scary, threatening pictures and messages that are often within books and movies this time of the year.

The illustrations are darling, with a cartoonish quality. Each line captures the magic and fun of Halloween. It will help with that high energy excitement as the spooky night approaches. This is definitely a repeat read for each year until the little trick-o-treater is ready to read it on their own. Currently a bronze medal winner at the 2013 Moonbeam Children’s Awards, I recommend for a spooky read-aloud every night.

***** Five Star Rating
Available at Amazon.com as a paperback or ebook edition.

Charming Picture Book For Trick-o-Treaters

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A Ghost Went Trick or Treating by A. J. Cosmo

There is nothing better than a good story to set the mood for Halloween. A picture ebook called “A Ghost Went Trick or Treating” is a charming story about the lessons learned on Halloween Night. If you are looking for a nonviolent, friendly and safe story for Halloween, this is a great book for your little Trick or Treater.

A mysterious ghost Trick or Treater is adopted into a group of children. Figuring he needs some help, they take him around with them. But when one of them gets into trouble, bullied by the local teens, the ghost comes to the rescue. Plus, there is a surprise twist to the plot. I’m not including spoilers. But if your child likes cute monsters, they will enjoy the surprise.

This is a great story to begin Halloween week. It can be read again and again as a lead up to the big event on the 31st. I highly recommend this for younger Trick or Treaters, but for older siblings as well. The author, A.J. Cosmo, teaches compassion in situations where sometimes, just a nice gesture can be returned in kind.

***** 5 Star Rating
Available on the Kindle only.
This is a Kindle Select book and only available on Amazon.
For your copy of “A Ghost Went Trick Or Treating” click here.