From Finn’s Forest #7 #writingcommunity #author #readers #fall #poetry #pumpkins

Today we are taking a trip back to 1997 and then enjoying a fall poem. The late 90s was a time when I was sending my work out to publishers in the mail, including Elizabeth’s War. This included children’s magazine articles. I received rejections, including one from Highlights, who kindly suggested that I focus on one area and submit more pictures. Did I get that is what they wanted me to do? No, I didn’t. I missed an opportunity there.

But, an article called “Mega Veggies” did score a yes and my first payment for writing. In May 1997, my article was in Nature Friend Children’s magazine under my real name. They are still going today and it might be time for me to resume some of that article writing I used to do.

Not only did I talk about how to grow your own veggies but the extra mile farmers went to increase product size. Here’s the quiz from my 1997 article and the sizes of veggies way back when. Which belongs to which? Answers below.

1. cabbage a. 37 lbs. 5 oz.
2. carrot b. 124 lbs.
3. tomato c. 1006 lbs.
4. pumpkin d. 7 lbs. 2 oz.
5. radish e. 15 lbs. 7 oz.
6. zucchini f 7 lbs. 13 oz.
7. potato g. 64 lbs. 8 oz.
8. cucumber h. 20 lbs. 1 oz.

What made me think about this article from twenty-six years ago? I saw a news story about the current size of the world’s biggest pumpkin. Since I wrote my article, it has more than doubled to 2749 pounds from a mere 1006 pounds years ago.

Travis Gienger of Anoka, Minnesota world record pumpkin, was weighed on 10-09-23  in Half Moon Bay, CA.

Answers to quiz: 1b, 2e, 3d, 4c, 5a, 6g, 7f, and 8h.

Here is a fall poem from Deep in the Forest Where Poetry Blooms


full moon

autumn’s delight

a fairy celebration

under the bright harvest glow


all the woodland creatures join

pirouetting under the stars

before first snow



Next week is the release of The Destination. Be sure to stop by and celebrate with me, along with enjoying the Halloween day. I’m dressing up as the Wicked Witch from Wizard of Oz for my daughter’s costume party this coming weekend and my husband is going to be wolfman. I’ll share pictures then. It’s a come as a classic villian theme. I went back and forth between the Wicked Witch and Annie Wilkes from Misery. Anyone else dressing up?

Embrace your inner child. Take a fall (or spring) walk and enjoy nature! Then sit down on a bench and read a book or write a poem. D. l. Finn

41 thoughts on “From Finn’s Forest #7 #writingcommunity #author #readers #fall #poetry #pumpkins”

  1. You have had an interesting journey as an author. A missed opportunity was an opportunity to learn. From vegetables to your recognition as an accomplished and highly respected author. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It really has been an interesting journey, Karen. I have learned so much! I enjoyed those articles for kids back in the day. They have always given such amazing feedback and insight. So kind of you to say that, I’m humbled and always feel like there is so much more to learn. Hugs xo

    1. I thought about going to see it but couldn’t motivate myself for the three hour drive. Too bad an old friend was there, but she had pics of it. I wonder if they do more than save the seeds?

  2. I only got two right on the quiz (cabbage and tomato). My goodness, a 37-pound radish? I’m looking forward to the release of The Destination.:-)

    1. I can’t imagine a radish that big either. And to think they are probably even bigger now! Thank you, Vera 🙂 xo

  3. I saw the article and picture about the pumpkin in Half Moon Bay. I interviewed the President (at the time) of the Maine Large Pumpkin Growers Association for Death by Pumpkin. He told me the chemicals and stuff they use to get the pumpkins to grow that large make them inedible! But the winners of various contests for the largest pumpkin make good prize money at some fairs.

    1. I was tempted to make the three hour drive just to see it and enjoy the festival too, but I didn’t get there. How fascinating you got to interview the head of the pumpkin growers. I would imagine chemicals are used to get these sizes, and they wouldn’t be edible. I did see they won money for their pumpkins or other veggies. It would be a really nice bonus.

  4. What a fun post, Denise. That pumpkin is amazing, and Congrats on your ‘Yes!’ I love your autumn poem too, one of my favorites. Looking forward to seeing those Halloween pics! Our holidays are more mellow with the kids grown and living across country. But we do hand out candy and dress in the spirit of the occasion. 🙂 Have fun! 🎃🧡

    1. Thanks, Lauren 🙂 I can’t believe how big they get pumpkins to grow. I’m lucky to get mine baseball size. It was a yes to remember. It is different without kids at home, and I miss trick or treaters coming to our house. We walk around town and enjoy seeing them. Enjoy your visitors and have fun too! Xo

  5. I can’t imagine vegetables that large. Funny you should mention old writing. I recently found some of some of mine. Some is pretty dismal. I’ll have to say, but it’s nice to see how we progress as writers.

    1. I’m lucky to get nornal size when growing veggies 😉 It is fun to look at the old stuff, just to see how far we’ve come, Joan.

    1. It amazes me what people can do once they set their mind to it, gardening included. Thank you, Jan 🙂 Can’t believe it’s next. Xo

  6. A couple at my mother’s retirement community tried so hard to grow giant pumpkins to take to the fair, but every year they developed some weird pumpkin disease. (The pumpkins, not the couple.) After our zucchini invasion last year, a 64 1/2 pound zucchini would strike fear and trepedation in my heart.

    1. That would make an interesting story if it was a pumpkin disease that infected humans, Liz… lol. I couldn’t imagine lifting a zucchini that big nor what to do with it if I could. I’ll stick to the little veggies I get and photography at the county fair.

  7. What a great story about the beginnings of your writing journey Denise! It was a fertile beginning for sure. I started out creating and writing up activities for youth programs. It was good practice. I’m excited about the upcoming release of The Destination! Bravo! Hugs, C

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! Yes, very fertile beginnings and I have always enjoyed writing for children. I hope you enjoy The Destination. I’m excited too. xo hugs back

  8. Wow a pumpkin over a ton, that would be something to see. Looking forward to your costume pics. I’m going to a friend’s party on Sunday. I will be the Devil, lol. <3

    1. I wished I had gone and seen it but couldn’t get motivated to make the three hour drive. Oh, a Devil. That sounds like a fun costume. Hope you post pics from that. xo

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