Adam Ryan Chang
Lunch with a Bearded Lady
The 2022 Spring Fling Writing Contest is hosted by Ciara O'Neal (author of wacky tales) and Kaitlyn Sanchez (Agent at Context Literary). See the full rules and prizes here.
Stephanie and I decided to collaborate on our entry. The challenge is fun and simple. Find a gif (with whatever theme you want to give yourself) and write a full story in 150 words. For the Spring Fling Writing contest, the gif had to correlate with the spring season. Keep reading for our submission below. I know I'll be returning to this practice for a quick brainstorm or warm up.
Lunch with a Bearded Lady (145 words)
By Adam Chang & Stephanie Wildman
Lady’s my bearded dragon. Her throat puffs out. Her scales form spikes.
“Dragons are real?!” Lianne exclaims.
“Yes,” I answer. “Help me feed her.”
“What do dragons eat?”
Other dragons?!” Lianne wonders.
“Lady’s a sophisticated eater,” I explain. “Let’s set the table with her favorite flowers.”
I consider the blooms in the garden. “What looks good? We’ve got geraniums, carnations, roses, and dandelions . . . Today it’s dandelions.”
In the kitchen, I pull containers out of the fridge.
Lianne remembers lizards at the zoo eating live crickets, worms, and roaches! “I can’t –I’m gonna be sick,” Lianne whispers.
Plop! Plop! “Kale and carrots?”
“What is this?” Lianne asks.
“It’s Lady’s salad,” I reply, as Lady bites a dandelion.
“Look!” Lianne points, staring at eggs peeking out from the sand. “Can I have a baby dragon when they hatch?”
I've spent the past two years learning how to write better stories in 500 words or less. To see it done in 150 words has been eyeopening. And I know folks are writing stories in 50 words even.
April 5 has been dubbed "Dandelion Day" and is celebrated by diverse groups including coffee makers, gardeners, and yes, authors.
If you like to plant outdoors like me, you may have a love/hate relationship with dandelions. I find them to be a pest only because if you leave one bloom, the seeds spread so rapidly. But as a child, they're sure fun to blow!
Research has shown that the plants aren't considered invasive in California. The lawyer in me takes a neutral stance: Neither for better nor worse, dandelions were carried over by European colonizers in the mid 1600s as a food source and for medicinal purposes. And they're now a food source for humans and animals. But also hold value as art and in cultural practices.
Hope you enjoyed Lunch with a Bearded Lady. My sister actually has a female bearded dragon and my daughter has played with her throughout the years. Did you know that baby bearded dragons have a diet of about 80% bugs and 20% plants, and as adults (about one years old) that ratio flips!
Kaitlyn is on Twitter @kaitlynleann17.
Ciara is on Twitter @ciaraoneal2.
Photo credit: Enrique Grisales