Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Twelve Days of Christmas: The Story of a Partridge, Turtle Doves, French Hens, Calling Birds, Gold Rings, Geese, Swans, Maids, Ladies, Lords, Pipers, and Drummers

“Do you think that we can really bring true love?” asked a partridge to its Christmas friends, nibbling on a sweet pear in its tree. 

“The last time we tried, it didn’t go very well,” the bird chirped, reading a recent letter from the mail. The drafty room fell silent, and all his friends could do was nod their heads and shrug their shoulders. “The person who wrote this latest letter really believes that we have the answers to his love life.”

The partridge lived in a castle on the far side of Edinburgh with turtle doves, French hens, calling birds, gold rings, geese, swans, maids, ladies, lords, pipers, and drummers. 

Every year at Christmas, they received abundant requests to travel all over Scotland as gifts, to bring true love to waning romances.

Despite their love for romance at Christmas, the friends had given up offering themselves as gifts for the purposes of true love. After so many failed attempts, they had lost their idealism and innocence. 

“We are very much in love,” two turtle doves cooed to each other, stroking their feathers. “Why can’t everyone else be as happy as we are?”

“Oui, oui,” sang the three French hens. “If lovers listen to us, our accents can make them think of Paris!”

“We sing love songs,” hummed the four calling birds, “and it makes anyone fall in love if they have any musical sense.”

“Our golden rings make real gentlemen think of proposing at Christmas,” clanked the five gold rings. “We just have to find diamonds to fit us!”

“It’s the magic in our eggs, but you’d have to have the heart of a child,” squawked six geese-a-laying, rolling golden eggs under their wings. 

“When we put our necks together, we make hearts,” swooned seven swans-a-swimming, “and we only ever have one mate for life! Humans are so shallow sometimes.”

“We make the most romantic dinners with our delicious milk,” explained eight maids-a-milking, flipping through their cookbooks, wearing patterned aprons and plain dresses. “I don’t think couples eat proper dinners together anymore. Sigh.” 

“Dancing is the most romantic thing that couples can do together,” cheered nine ladies dancing, kicking their knees up high. “There must be a way to get ladies and lords to dance together again.” 

“Leap for joy at the thought of true love!” exclaimed ten lords-a-leaping. 

“Celebrate the love that can be found at Christmas!” delighted eleven pipers piping. 

“True love marches to its own beat!” quipped twelve drummers drumming. 

“Well, maybe we should try again,” the partridge suggested. “I could respond to this kind sir, saying we would be willing to help him, but we make no promises! He says he’s willing to hire us for the Twelve Days of Christmas to win over his love.”

“We’ve been hiding in this castle alone for too long anyhow,” agreed the two turtle doves. “We don’t have much to do this year at Christmas!”

At that, it had been decided that the friends who were brought together through Christmas would once again attempt to bring true love for twelve straight days, offering themselves as gifts. No one could imagine a grander idea at the holidays!

As time went on, the friends became so famous that a song called “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written about their endeavors. Much success was granted to their romantic gestures, and everyone in the world wanted true love at Christmas.

 

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

Monday, November 8, 2021

"Mr. Santa's Song," A MERRY CHRISTMAS CAROL

VERSE:

Jesus, can we please have snow for Christmas?

If I had just one wish, if I had just one prayer,

It would be for white flakes to float through the air.

It’s just not the same without a storm,

And Rudolph doesn’t think it’s the norm.

Jesus, can we please have snow for Christmas?

 

VERSE:

Jesus, can we see your star for Christmas?

If I had one more wish, if I had one more prayer,

It would be for your light to shine everywhere.

It keeps me on course on Christmas Eve,

And it helps my weary elves believe.

Jesus, can we see your star for Christmas?

 

CHORUS:

And while we’re at it, I might need to shrink a pound.

I’ve been a bit too jolly, and my belly’s growing round.

I can’t fit down the chimney, and the children need their toys.

Please hear my request; I love all the girls and boys.

 

VERSE:

Jesus, can we join your choir for Christmas?

If you’re not keeping count, I’ve got another prayer.

It would be for your band to spread lots of cheer.

The angels and saints in one accord

With trumpets, harps, and praise for the Lord!

Jesus, can we join your choir for Christmas?

 

CHORUS:

And while we’re at it, how I need to shrink a pound.

I’ve been a bit too jolly, and my belly’s growing round.

I can’t fit down the chimney, and the children need their toys.

Please hear my request; I love all the girls and boys.

 

BRIDGE:

And please could you make up for what I lack?

I can’t meet every need with the gifts inside my sack.

I’ve made up my list, and I’ve checked it twice,

But some presents I can’t give even if the kids are nice.


VERSE:                  

Jesus, can our hearts have peace for Christmas?

If your ear could extend, I’ve got a final prayer. 

It would be for your hand to dry each last tear.

I’m doing my best beneath the trees.

I hope the world bends down on both knees.

Jesus, can our hearts have peace for Christmas? 

 

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

"Santa Moved the Spoons," A MERRY CHRISTMAS CAROL

VERSE:

I spent all day baking cookies

For Santa and his merry elves.

Then I folded a napkin with two spoons and a knife.

I’d never been so excited in all my life,

And when I woke up in the morning

The Christmas tree was overflowing and . . .

 

CHORUS:

Santa moved the spoons.

He ate each and every crumb.

Momma said she gave the gifts,

But Daddy I’m not dumb.

It was Mr. Claus, and I know this because,

I heard Rudolph on the roof,

And Santa moved the spoons.

 

VERSE:

It’s not like the Easter Bunny.

Can’t come close to a Leprechaun. 

I waited and watched for a clue they were there,

But all I found was Momma’s brown hair.

Now when I look at Grandma’s silver,

I have tingles, chills, and shivers ‘cause . . . 

 

CHORUS:

Santa moved the spoons.

He ate each and every crumb.

Momma said she gave the gifts,

But Daddy I’m not dumb.

It was Mr. Claus, and I know this because,

I heard Rudolph on the roof,

And Santa moved the spoons.

 

BRIDGE:

If Momma and Daddy still don’t believe,

Can I test for fingerprints, please?

Santa’s hands were everywhere

From the fireplace to the rocking chair, oh . . .

 

CHORUS:

Santa moved the spoons.

He ate each and every crumb.

Momma said she gave the gifts,

But Daddy I’m not dumb.

It was Mr. Claus, and I know this because,

I heard Rudolph on the roof,

And Santa moved the spoons.

 

TAG:

I heard Rudolph on the roof, 

And Santa moved the spoons.

Yes, Santa moved the spoons!

 

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters                     

Sunday, October 3, 2021

"Snowdrop," A MERRY CHRISTMAS CAROL

VERSE:

Snowdrop!

Did you do your

Windowshopping?

Christmas day

Will soon be here.

Celebrate now

With love and cheer.

Snowdrop, snowdrop.

 

CHORUS:

Christmas wouldn’t be half the fun

Without the weather that freezes the sun.

Winter white in a storm of snow

Makes the stars shine and glow.

 

VERSE:

Snowdrop!

Do you feel the flurry 

On the roof top?

Catch a crystal

On your tongue.

Believe in magic

While you’re young.

Snowdrop, snowdrop.                                                  

 

CHORUS:

Christmas wouldn’t be half the fun

Without the weather that freezes the sun.

Winter white in a storm of snow

Makes the stars shine and glow.

   

BRIDGE:                     

One snowflake, two snowflake,

Three snowflakes, four!

Snow on snow, and it’s galore!

 

CHORUS:

Christmas wouldn’t be half the fun

Without the weather that freezes the sun.

Winter white in a storm of snow

Makes the stars shine and glow.

 

TAG:

Snowdrop, snowdrop, snowdrop, snowdrop!

Snowdrop, snowdrop, snowdrop, snowdrop!

 

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Father Time: The Story of a Magical Clock Shop

In an abandoned lighthouse on the coast of Great Point in Nantucket, Massachusetts, an elderly bearded man in overalls opened the windows to a bright July morning. 

Over time, he had converted the tower and its nearby buildings into The O’Clock Shop, where he made and repaired clocks. 

“I can fix anything that ticks,” the man who many people called Father Time quipped. “Bring me your clocks and your watches, even if they run on batteries. Time flies! I’ll help you catch it.”

His shop was filled with little clocks, big clocks, grandfather clocks, wrist watches, and pocket watches. Each of them tick-tocked at once, causing most customers to feel dizzy with the noise, especially when he turned up an unknown radio station that only played songs about time. 

“The channel comes in since I’m near the coast,” he explained to visitors, glancing at his painting “A Dance to the Music of Time” by Nicolas Poussin. “Once in a while, the station plays songs in cut time with two half-note beats per measure,” he continued. “As if anyone was counting, cut time is not at all common time, but you knew that already. It’s all about time!”

On his wall hung a huge scythe, a large hand tool, in case he needed to cut back the beach grass, and a bronze and silver hourglass sat next to the cash register that he flipped each New Year.  Customers often swore that they saw wings on his back, such as John Gray, the neighboring fisherman, who looked at Father Time, convinced he saw large, daunting wings on his shoulders. When Mr. Gray looked again, the wings were gone, as if they were never there in the first place. 

“Did you see the wings this time?” Mr. Gray would ask his wife Joan when they visited the shop.

“No, honey, I didn’t see the wings,” Joan chuckled, admiring the clocks. “Maybe next time.”

As the beach waves crashed against the shore, they created an ebb and flow rhythm almost like a clock. With each splash of water, a new timepiece came alive as the clocksmith tinkered away.

“What a brilliant moon hangs over the ocean tonight,” Father Time pronounced in awe, standing atop his lighthouse after a full day’s work. He lit the tower for sailors that journeyed across the ocean in sea time. “I’m a timekeeper for the ages. The pendulum swings wide! I wonder who will come into the shop tomorrow, and how I’ll be able to help with the evil Hours.”

“Eliad, maybe I’ll stop by with some friends,” called Mother Nature from the moonlit beach to Father Time. She lived up the coast in a small cottage overgrown with flowers, fruit trees, and stalk vegetables. Flowers intertwined with the golden locks of her hair, as if the daises and roses grew from her own scalp. The starlight shone on her countenance that radiated like a vibrant angel in a silk dress. 

“See you in the morning, Autumn!” Father Time exclaimed, clearly in love with his elegant neighbor. “I’d really enjoy some more of your blueberries from the bushes in your back garden.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” Mother Nature replied, leaving a trail of flower petals in the shadowy sand. “I long for the fullness of time!” she called. 

Bright and early, Mother Nature knocked on Father Time’s shop door with a large bowl of blueberries and a group of tourists who she’d met on her morning walk, interested in his magical clocks. 

“What a time and season!” Miss Nature chuckled. “Do you have advice for such a time as this?” she asked. 

Depending on which clocks the customers bought, Father Time showed his patrons how to turn back the Hours, turn forward the Hours, make the Hours stand still, and even extend the Hours.  

“Let me tell you a little secret,” Father Time whispered, when he was sure he could trust the customer. “If you turn the hands seven times backward and then seven times forward, you will get seven more hours in your day. I thought I’d let you know in case you need some more time.”

“What are you talking about?” most customers questioned, confused at Father Time’s advice. The idea of what he was saying could happen was beyond their ability to believe. 

“The real question though is if you’re in need of Chronos or Kairos,” Father Time clarified. “Do you know the difference? Chronological or sequential time is different than a time for action. If an alarm goes off on one of my clocks, it’s time to hit the target like an archer. Kairos is pivotal.”

In most of his clocks, Father Time hid instructions in a back secret door, where customers could find the information when they were ready to confront the fleeting time in their lives.

“Did you know that you have a ticker, just like a clock?” Father Time joked to Mother Nature, scooping handfuls of the blueberries into his mouth. “A patient heart beats a lot stronger. A day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

“It just takes a little time,” Mother Nature explained, fixated on a swinging pendulum. 

“Is there any place in your lives that you need to sow seeds?” Autumn asked the strangers that she invited into the shop that morning. 

            Unsure of what to say, the visitors shrugged their shoulders in silence. 

One dainty customer quietly pressed the keys on an upright piano in the corner, keeping in step with its metronome that would not deviate a beat. 

“If I plant seeds today, sometimes I don’t reap a harvest for years,” Autumn announced. “This is a trustworthy saying: ‘God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

“I want to be beautiful!” the little girl in the tourist group cheered, running to the largest grandfather clock at the front of the shop, opening its main door, and trying to squeeze herself into the clock body. The clock was decorated with gold trim and carvings. It had a special glow about it as though it was other-worldly. 

“This clock is centuries old! It’s priceless and not for sale. The ancient Greeks built it,” Father Time scolded, grabbing her and plopping her on the ground. “You can’t live in a clock anyhow! Make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Number your days!”

“Have you heard from that unscrupulous beast called the Hours?” Mother Nature inquired, shinning up the glass door where the little girl smudged it. 

“He leaves me threatening notes time after time,” Father Time answered. “I throw them out and keep selling my clocks. No one deserves to have even a minute stolen from them. The Hours is ruthless and steals so much from so many people, but not if I have anything to say about it.”

“The Hours is completely cuckoo,” Mother Nature sighed, listening to the cuckoo clock sound at thirty minutes past ten. 

“My vegetable garden was torn to shreds, and I spent so much time tending to it. I know it was the Hours, but the only thing I can do is try to redeem the time and turn the hands back on one of your clocks. Other people have many worse things that need redemption, but it’s still upsetting. I was looking forward to hearty vegetable soups.”

A large gust of wind rushed through The O’Clock Shop, shaking the machines on the walls. Several alarms went off at once, including the enchanted grandfather clock.

As Father Time looked out the window, he saw the Hours standing in the high grass, swinging his scythe. 

“How did you steal my sickle again?” Father Time yelled at him out the window. He looked at his wall to see the empty space where it had been hanging. “Give it back now!”

“The Hours must have slipped through the shop when we weren’t looking,” Mother Nature cried, looking at the trembling customers. “Do his tricks ever end?”

The skeleton body of the Hours was robed in a black-hooded cape. A pale horse stood beside him, neighing and screeching. A crow hovered over his shoulder. A snake with a tail in its mouth creeped at his feet. 

“A crazy man is outside your shop, swinging a large knife!” yelled neighbor John Gray, running up Father Time’s front walkway, out of breath, and into The O’Clock Shop. “What is going on around here?”

“Maybe we should just call the police, honey!” his wife, Joan, cried, standing in shock in the shop, finally seeing the wings on the back of the clockmaker. “He does have wings!” she gasped. 

“Nothing lasts forever! I have come for your souls!” The Hours screamed, and his voice echoed up and down the coast. “You cannot escape me! Time devours all things!”

“Speak of the Hours,” Father Time warned, walking over to his priceless grandfather clock, and stopping the mortal hands of time. “Now be gone!” he called to the Hours. 

With that, the Hours disappeared, nowhere to be found, and Father Time’s scythe reappeared on his wall. Then, the clockmaker allowed the hands of time on his ancient grandfather clock to begin once more.

“Guard yourself everyone from the Hours! Don’t let him steal from you,” Father Time instructed. “He’s gone for now, but he comes back when you least expect it. You never know what he might do! You don’t owe him anything. There is a time for everything! I’ll put my time signature on that for life. Life and life to the full!” 

 

Copyright 2023 Jennifer Waters


https://soundcloud.com/jen-waters/fathertime

The Potter's House: The Story of Clay and The Wheel

“Come on in,” invited Sage Conrad, a renowned potter in Charleston, South Carolina, who was also known for her studio called The Wheel. “Class today will focus on wheel throwing,” she explained as a handful of students entered her studio’s front door on the June morning.

As legend had it, anyone who was a student of Sage’s was sure to experience a miracle, not like a hokey, made-up one, but a deep, mystical encounter that caused the person to change from the inside out. Like most mornings, her longtime friend Alfred Odin sat in the back of the studio, reshaping the clay on his wheel. 

“I just can’t get it right,” the gray-haired man moaned. “Sage, I know you think that your new students are here for life lessons, and you have something to teach them, and they have something to teach you. I don’t want to hear it. I really don’t.”

“God bless you, Alfie,” she laughed, kissing him on the cheek. She fixed her curly dark hair and adjusted her glasses as she put on her quilted apron. “Is your rosary still hidden in your pocket? For someone who loves to curse God, you have a funny way of always carrying a cross in your pocket just in case He might be watching you. Will you ever learn?” she asked, shaking her head.

“You don’t have to tell everyone my secrets,” Alfie snapped, slamming the clay onto the center of the wheel head. As his rosary stuck out of his pocket, he used his fingers to open the clay. 

Since his bowl was a bit lopsided, he started over again, kneading the clay like dough. 

“O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand,” Sage read from the hand-carved sign at the front of her class, quoting Isaiah 64:8. “The first major question is what will you allow God’s hands to make of your life? Are you workable? The second major question is what will you make with your own hands? And why?”

“Jesus help me, I have heard this speech so many times,” Alfie mumbled, reforming the walls of his piece, which was starting to resemble a small, crooked bowl. “Next, she will talk about being a willing vessel for the purposes of the Lord. If I have to hear this one more time . . .”

“Before we begin, we need to stand up and sing praise,” Sage instructed. “Everyone on your feet! If you don’t know the words to ‘Have Thine Own Way, Lord,’ they are on the blackboard. Just sing along, even if you don’t know the tune,” she gestured, pointing to four verses of lyrics.

“Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way; Thou art the Potter, I am the clay,” Alfie crooned, wearily conducting from the back of the room as the class sang off- key. He stammered under his breath: “My favorite song of all time.”

“Now, today, I am going to teach you the basics of making pottery on a wheel,” Sage announced to the students as they sat down. Several broken and cracked pieces of pottery sat on a windowsill at the front of the class as light shone through them. “By the time we are finished, I want to hear what you made and why. I’m hoping that you are an open and willing vessel for the Lord, even with your cracks. There’s nothing better that you could be in the whole wide world!”

“I didn’t know that we had signed up for a church class,” one of the adult students whispered. 

“Hush, Wilbur, she’s the best potter in the state,” his wife, Minerva, insisted. “Look at her pottery on the shelves, even the broken ones are magnificent. I’ve never seen such beautiful and elegant pieces.”

Meanwhile, a group of teenagers were taking notes, wanting to mold their clay into greatness.

“I think she’s making a lot of good points,” one of the girls whispered to the others.

“I’m doing this for you, Minerva, because I love you,” Wilbur stated, making the teenagers giggle. His wife shook her head. “I’m not an artist.”

“Did I hear you say that you’re not an artist?” Sage eavesdropped. 

"Yes, ma'am," Wilbur stated. "Art is not for everyone."

“Your thoughts are mighty strong, and if you speak negativity, that’s all you’ll get. You are an artist. You’ve already been at the wheel of your life. How’s it been going?”

“His mistake,” Alfie sighed, rolling his eyes. “He should’ve known better than to argue!”

“It’s going even better since I walked into your studio this morning,” Wilbur assured Sage. 

“So glad to hear that! The first thing you’re going to learn is his how to take a lump of clay and make it into a ball,” Sage taught. “First, you must prepare the clay, just like God prepares you.”

“God prepares you,” Alfie quipped, giving up for the morning. “The clay can’t be too wet or too dry, and you can’t have bubbles, or you might explode when He bakes you in the furnace.”

“Even if the clay has been used before, it can be made workable again,” Sage nodded at Alfie. “God is always working and reworking at His wheel, as it seems good for Him to do.”

Much of the class listened to Sage in awe, realizing that she had a higher awareness than most of them during their daily lives, yet it seemed they were soft enough to be molded by her. 

“God is going to make something great out of you yet, Alfie,” Sage joked, looking at his latest creation with a critical eye. “He might have to break you first, if you won’t bend, but He will get his way. He loves you too much to leave you in your current condition, and so do I.”

“She’s been in love with me since we were teenagers,” Alfie blurted, interrupting her class on the way out the door. “She could never admit how much she loved me. Her vessel has a few cracks!”

“It took a lot of molding, but the Lord brought me this far, didn’t He Alfie?” Sage smiled, sitting down in front of a treadle wheel to teach the class her techniques firsthand. “On the contrary, Alfie is so stubborn and hard-headed that sometimes he misses the blessing as a crackpot!”

Despite the spat between Sage and Alfie, the students crafted their clay jars with care. 

By the end of the day, the pupils had each made some sort of earthen vessel, ready for the first firing of the kiln, and then the glazing, and then firing their handiwork for the second time. 

“I receive whoever the Lord sends me,” Sage explained as the students departed for the day. “Now, every time you look at your finished creation, you can remember that you are a willing vessel. What stories I have from students over the years! It has been no greater honor than to be clay in the hands of the Potter. Who knows what miracles you will now experience!” 

 

Copyright 2023 Jennifer Waters


https://soundcloud.com/jen-waters/the-potters-house

Hiccup Hiccup: The Story of Froggy Burps and Bumps

A hiccup is not the same as a burp,

And neither is it a type of a slurp. 

As a frog, people think I’m a twirp. 

I do croak, and I do not chirp.  

If I hit a bump in the pond, 

It makes my body want to respond.

The lily pads are very fond

Of my ability to hop beyond. 

I am not rude, or crass, or crude.

I hiccup when I’m in a good mood. 

I drink water to make it conclude, 

And I always have great gratitude!

 

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Paper Hearts: The Story of Valentina Love

Paper hearts, paper hearts,

Strung together like a row of darts.

A girl named Valentina Love

Hangs them up like wings of a dove.

If your heart is broken, or it’s cold, 

She’ll make yours new, I’ve been told.

A singular heart for your chest.

Red is the color that beats the best.

She’ll paste it on with tape or glue.

Before you know it, you’re brand new.

If you only had a beating heart, 

You’d know you have another start.

Like the Tin Man in The Wizard Oz,

If you had a heart, you’d find a cause.

You’ll fall in love, or love would fall.

Love would shower you all-in-all. 

Valentina hangs hearts from trees, 

And she doesn’t ask if she can, please. 

Strands and strands of paper hearts

Help friends and strangers do their parts.

If she wraps you in a twine of hearts, 

You’ll know she had some extra smarts. 

Somehow, she realized you were sad, 

And your sadness really made her mad.

She knew one heart was not enough, 

And your day must have been so rough. 

She snips away with her scissor blades

And causes hearts of many shades. 

Everyone should have a heart, 

And if you’re lucky, it’s a work of art.

 

Copyright 2021 Jennifer Waters

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Mr. Pelican Goes Fishing: The Story of Catching Your Supper

Mr. Pelican needs to catch his supper!

The bird’s first name is known as Tucker. 

He scoops his beak into the river. 

He thinks the waves will be a giver. 

If asked, he will eat almost anything,

And so will most of his tiny offspring. 

See turtles and birds swallowed in whole,

As ducks and goslings crawl in a hole. 

He’s not the nicest creature around.

If he sees your toes, they might ground. 

Ground up in his stomach into pieces.

Toes weren’t meant to have decreases.

Lookout for the pelican finding his food,

Or you might be the one pursued. 

Mr. Pelican is always hungry!

He lurks throughout the back country. 

If you meet him, try to give him cookies. 

Then, run like you aren’t with the rookies. 

The sugar will fill his belly in full,

And he can’t over your eyes pull wool.

 

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

Friday, June 25, 2021

Checkers: The Story of A Black and White Cat

Checkers is a 

Feline cat.

He’s black and white,

And that is that.

His coat has squares

Of different shades.

He likes to play

Games like charades,

But he’s really best

At games on a board.

He’s cuter than cute

And so adored.

He’ll win your pieces

From the game, 

And to be sure

Chess is not the same.

He’ll jump over you,

Or he’ll go askew.

Then he will have won

Out of the blue. 

Don’t be fooled!

He’s not just a cat,

But a master mind

That wears a checkered hat!

 

Copyright 2021 Jennifer Waters

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

PUMPERNICKEL synopsis

LOGLINE

An adorable freckled-faced girl becomes an actress when she wins a photo contest and her picture appears on a cereal box, giving her more nickels than ever in her bank account!


PITCH

Pumpernickel has more freckles than a Dalmatian, and they are about to make her some nickels in her bank account. Thinking that she is cuter than Thomas Jefferson, she imagines her face on a nickel. With a similar notion, she dreams of being on the Puffs Cereal Box and enters their contest for her face to be featured on the product for an entire month. After thinking she lost the contest, she finds her face on the grocery store shelf and decides her career as an actress has just begun. 


SYNOPSIS

Pumpernickel doesn’t have a dime to her name, at least according to her father. What if she had a nickel for every freckle on her face? Eight-year-old Pumpernickel has more freckles than spots on a Dalmatian. Her nose and cheeks are full of tiny curious dots the color of sweet rye bread. Pumpernickel wonders: If she gets more freckles, does it mean she will get more nickels? Pumpernickel’s mom warns her that it doesn’t necessarily work that way. Freckles and money are not related. 

 

Despite her mother’s advice, Pumpernickel dreams of being on a cereal box, where everyone can see her freckles. If a famous photographer saw how darn cute she is, then the whole world just might want to give her nickels for her freckles. She thinks she is cuter than President Thomas Jefferson on nickels, and her house is cozier than Monticello. Pumpernickel holds up the Puffs Cereal box to her mom, pointing out the adorable smiling girl with braids featured on it. Don’t look too closely, but there’s a contest on the cereal box to have a winning picture featured on it for a whole month, Pumpernickel’s father says, rolling his eyes and biting his lip. He’s sure that she probably never would want to enter the contest. Of course, Pumpernickel decides that she is not only going to enter the contest but is also going to win it. She runs to get the family camera. She promptly smiles as big as she can, and her dad snaps pictures of Pumpernickel one after the other.

 

Months later, when Pumpernickel has almost despaired at being featured on the Puffs Cereal box, she wanders through the grocery store with her mom. For weeks, she has been lamenting not hearing a word from the Puffs Cereal contest. Then, as she reaches for her favorite cereal, she notices a familiar face. It's her face! She made it to the big time. The nickels are going to start rolling in now. Pumpernickel’s mom stares in disbelief at the cereal box. Her mother says she’s going to tell her father to open a bank account just for Pumpernickel when she gets home. The money from the contest can pay for Pumpernickel’s college tuition. Her mother doesn’t want her daughter to waste any nickels. In the grocery store aisle, Pumpernickel proclaims that she’s going to be an actress. She runs through the store with the cereal box, showing everyone her picture. She hands out Puffs Cereal to the customers in the aisles and in the cash register lines. This is just the beginning of Pumpernickel’s freckles making the world smile!


Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

SHINY NOSE synopsis

LOGLINE

When a little girl’s mother dies of cancer, a Christmas reindeer makes the world a brighter place. 


PITCH

As a copywriter for Chicago’s Montgomery Ward, Robert May drafts an original Christmas story about a reindeer. In the wake of the Great Depression, he tries to write something hopeful with holiday cheer. Although his boss is wary of a story about a “shiny” red-nosed reindeer named Rudolph, Robert’s daughter, Barbara, is comforted through the tale when her mother dies of cancer. In time, the story becomes a best seller, and it’s even adapted into a very famous Christmas song and franchise.


SYNOPSIS

In 1939, when Robert May, a Montgomery Ward copywriter, decides to write a poem about a reindeer with a shiny nose, he hopes the world will become a brighter place. Many families could still feel the effects of the Great Depression. Instead of making the annual coloring book, Robert drafts an original Christmas story about an animal with holiday cheer. After all, his daughter, Barbara, loves reindeer, especially with Santa Claus and his sleigh. Although Sewell Avery, CEO of Montgomery Ward, is doubtful that the poem about a reindeer is the best idea, he approves Robert to write the piece. With the original name Rudolph, Robert sets off on brainstorming for the story. Coming home from work that evening, Robert sighs at the tiny, unkept two-bedroom Chicago apartment. He checks on his bedridden wife, who had been suffering from cancer for the past two years. He explains he’s been working on his poem about Rudolph the reindeer all day again. His wife hopes his writing is a big hit with the shoppers, and his daughter runs to him to hear the latest version of the story. Although his daughter Barbara is sad that her mother is sick, she finds joy in her father’s reindeer story. 

 

As Robert reads to his daughter at bedtime about a reindeer named Rudolph with a very shiny nose, she falls asleep. Later in the week, Mr. Avery agrees to consider drawings of Rudolph from Denver Gillan from the company art department. Robert tells Mr. Avery that he’ll spend the whole weekend at the zoo with Denver. When Saturday morning comes, Barbara goes with her father and the artist to the zoo to make drawings of deer. Unfortunately, Barbara’s mother is too sick to accompany them. The next week, Robert sits at his desk, scribbling on pads of paper and throwing them in the trash can. As he stares out the window, he cannot see through a thick fog from Lake Michigan. He realizes that Rudolph’s nose can shine like a spotlight through the fog on Christmas Eve, so Santa can make his deliveries. While at work, when the phone rings, and Robert hears his wife’s mother on the phone, he feels sick to his stomach. He sobs on the way to the hospital, trying to figure out how to tell his daughter that her mother has passed away. When he lays eyes on his daughter, she cries and cries and collapses in his arms, kicking and yelling. He tries to tell her about Rudolph, but she says he’s not real; he’s only a stupid reindeer. 

 

After his wife’s funeral, Mr. Avery insists that Robert doesn’t have to finish the Rudolph poem. Although Mr. Avery suggests he takes a couple weeks off, Robert insists on finishing it. He wants to finish the story for Barbara. After a few more weeks of writing, Robert bursts through his apartment door one evening and announces he has finished the story about Rudolph. His daughter is so pleased and thinks her mother would enjoy the story. By Christmas, 2.4 million copies of the poem are distributed to Montgomery Ward shoppers to great success. Rudolph is almost as important as Santa Claus, making the world a little brighter after all.


Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

CANDY CANE TWIST synopsis

LOGLINE

A high school choir dances the ballet at Christmas, and everyone sings hallelujah!


PITCH

The Hallelujah Chorus meets The Nutcracker at Head of the Class Middle School. Forte Piper, the school’s choirmaster, pops candy canes in the mouth of any student who complains about dancing the ballet as part of the chorus’ annual performance. When the students plot against their teacher to save themselves from public humiliation at the holiday concert, they temporarily save their reputations until Mr. Piper vows to make them dance the ballet at next year’s performance.


SYNOPSIS

This year is about to be different at Head of the Class Middle School in Hoboken, New Jersey. Choirmaster Forte Piper is combining singing with ballet in the annual Christmas concert. Breaking new ground, he’s planning The Hallelujah Chorus meets The Nutcracker. Mr. Piper is famous for popping candy canes into the mouths of students if they are caught talking in the middle of choir practice. He keeps a handful of candy canes with him at all times, ready for anyone babbling. In case he needs to pull someone off stage, he uses a shepherd’s crook, which looks like a huge candy cane. During the first choir practice of the year, the students in the choir are in stupendous fright at the thought of the entire school seeing them embarrass themselves in a ballet-chorus routine. Drummer Harp, Griff Gig, Mandolin Sonatina, and Seraphine Viola each got candy canes popped in their mouths for complaining to Mr. Piper. Griff’s candy cane accidentally went into his nose first. Despite their complaints to Mr. Piper, he says they are starting their first vocal-ballet practice the next day. He asks them to come prepared with a tutu. 

 

In attempt to protect their reputations, the four soloists pass the word to the rest of the chorus members to go along with Mr. Piper’s choir practice until the December 14th performance night. Almost every day, Mr. Piper charges the students to do pirouettes, and the students wish they had signed up for band or orchestra, where they could practice musical talent. Finally, when performance night arrives, Mr. Piper is successfully pulled off stage with his candy cane crook and locked in the music closet. After kicking and apologizing, Mr. Piper slumps on the floor in the closet in tears. Drummer explains to the crowd that Mr. Piper wasn’t feeling well, but the choir will sing on. 

 

After several holiday selections, Mr. Piper brakes out of the closet and runs across stage in a tizzy in his hideous tutu. The audience laughs as though it is a joke, and so it is, but it is also the best choral performance in the history of Head of the Class Middle School, and it never involves one bit of ballet dancing for the choir. Mr. Piper bows in his tutu, throwing candy canes to the crowd in good cheer. Next year, the choir will be doing a ballet with singing, Mr. Piper scolds and informs the parents. As the choir members mumble that they will be trying out for sports team instead, Mr. Piper considers that they could just take a field trip to the New York City Ballet instead. The students once again pull him off stage with his own candy cane shepherd’s crook.


Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters 

THE CHRISTMAS WOODCUTTER synopsis

LOGLINE

When a woodcutter’s daughter gives the Christ child her bed on Christmas Eve, she will never forget him.  


PITCH

A little child visits a woodcutter’s home in France on Christmas Eve. After being welcomed by the family to warm himself at their hearth, Marie, the woodcutter’s daughter, offers the child her bed for the night. She sleeps on the kitchen bench instead. After a restless night’s sleep, Marie and her brother Valentine find the little child—who reveals himself as the Christ child—singing with angels. The child then plants a fir branch that shoots into the sky, and he disappears. The woodcutter’s children promise to remember the Christ Child and what they learned that Christmas Eve, even if no one else believes them. 


SYNOPSIS

A little child freezing in the cold on Christmas Eve knocks on the ice and snow covered kitchen window of the home of a poor woodcutter in Fourc├ęs, a small town in France. Valentine, the woodcutter’s only son, invites the child to sit by the fire. Marie, the woodcutter’s younger daughter, wipes the snow off the child’s face. The wife of the woodcutter warms the last of their supper stew for the boy. The boy thanks the family, nibbling on day-old bread from their table. The mother pours the child the last of their milk from their icebox, hoping the family cows would give more in the dawn.

 

Then, Marie insists that the little child sleep in her bed for Christmas Eve night. Instead, she will sleep on the kitchen bench made by her father. As the family settles into their beds, Marie drifts to sleep on the hard bench with one pillow and blanket. Trying to sleep, she watches the snow out the window with a shooting star drifting into the distant night sky. Marie asks aloud hours later if anyone hears the singing and the harps, sitting up, wondering if she had a dream. Valentine slips into the kitchen to peer through the window, and the children realize they have been visited by angels who are dressed in silver robes with golden harps and lutes. While the cherubim and seraphim sing, a group of children gather beside them also appearing in silver robes. Then, Marie and Valentine turn to see the little child standing next to them in a golden robe and crown. He opens the front door of the poor woodcutter’s home in the breaking dawn and snaps a bough from a nearby fir tree. Amidst the excitement, the woodcutter and his wife hurry to the front porch with their rifle.

 

After a moment to realize what was happening, the woodcutter and his wife fall to their knees in reverence. The angels and children continue to sing and dance on the early Christmas morning in the French countryside. With jubilation, Marie and Valentine join the other children in their celebration, making merry music. The Christ Child plants the bough of this fir tree deep into the ground. Then the child who was also God disappears into the early morning air. The fir branch shoots into the sky, growing into a full fir tree, decorated with golden apples, silver nuts, and wooden toys. Marie and Valentine take the gifts from the tree and deliver them to the other homes in the town. Marie tells her brother that they must never forget what just happened, even if no one believes them. Marie pinches herself, saying that she knows that the Christ Child is real because she gave him her bed, and the bench was very hard for the night. To this day, children everywhere decorate Christmas trees in honor of the little child, remembering the faithfulness of the woodcutter and his family.


Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

CHRISTMAS CRACKERS synopsis

LOGLINE

A wedding cake baker puts magical romantic notes in Christmas sweets and finds lasting love for himself and everyone else.


PITCH

Tom Smith gets more than he bargained for when his own magical love notes enchant a customer in his wedding cake shop into falling in love with him. After reading the note in her Christmas cracker, she wants to marry him and eat wedding cake for the rest of her life. His wedding cake shop becomes known as a place where romantic messages for his customers prove true. His Christmas crackers are a worldwide phenomenon!


SYNOPSIS

Tom Smith, a wedding cake baker from Clerkenwell, London, loves Christmas crackers. His wedding cakes sit delicately in his shop window on fine china, decorated with colorful icing. Waiting for his own true love, he just keeps baking wedding cakes. In the year 1847, he introduces his crackers, which crackle like logs put on a fire in a twist of paper. Then one day, an elegant customer walks in the shop and announces that she has found a wedding cake for when she gets married. Mr. Smith asks when the wedding date is, so that the cake is finished on time. She explains that she’s not engaged yet, but she will be very soon when she finds the right man. Mr. Smith sighs, handing her a brochure of his cake designs. The lovely woman takes samples of chocolate wedding cake from the counter. 


Then, she inquires as to the other samples, and Mr. Smith explains that those are his Christmas crackers. Since his bonbons slumped in sales, he put love messages in his sweets. Believing that she needs all the love messages that she can get, she grabs a handful. Mr. Smith says he’s considering putting jewelry and toys in some of them instead of sweets for fun. He thinks that expanding the merchandise might increase business. She opens her first cracker with a pop. At first Mr. Smith says he called the crackers ‘cosaques’ after the noise from Cossack’s whips, but he later decided on Christmas crackers. Reading the love note in her Christmas cracker, the brunette woman gasps, looking up at Mr. Smith. She whispers out loud: “You’ve just met your true love.” Mr. Smith stammers and scratches his head. He tells her not to take the fortunes on the love notes too seriously. Before Mr. Smith could say anything else, his mystery customer throws her arms around him and kisses him. She asks him to marry her, and she says that she’ll take every wedding cake in his shop for the rest of her life.

 

At first, Mr. Smith tries to fight back, but after a moment, he figures there is no use in fighting with a gorgeous woman who loves his sweets. Christmas crackers! Mr. Smith cheers, kissing her back. He asks her to be his Mrs. Smith. She says “of course” and takes a handful of cake and smashes it in his face and hair. He takes a handful of cake and smashes it in her face and hair as well, and they both look radiant. So, Mr. and Mrs. Smith live happily ever after with wedding cakes and love all around them. Their shop becomes known as a magical place where romantic messages read by customers prove true every time, even if there are a few bumps along the way. Each year at Christmas, Christmas crackers sell in the millions all over the world because of their lasting love.


Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters