Picture Pick FriYAY: La Conner, Wa.

Miles and I typically visit the tulip fields every year in La Conner, Washington. We got a late start this year and it was the first sunny day in weeks. Which meant sheer and utter tourist chaos. We waited on a side street for 45 minutes before I said, “Let’s skip the tulips.”

I was sad to miss seeing them, but my son in the backseat was losing every ounce of toddler patience. (Which isn’t a lot to begin with.)

Here are some pictures of daffodils and tulips from years past.

These are two of my favorites that Miles took back in 2010:

LaConner, Wa

La Conner, Wa tulips

Anyway, back to last Friday…

We decided to skip the tulips and go straight to the town of La Conner.

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Photo found on Google Search

La Conner is a MUST SEE, if you are ever visiting Washington state. If you are a historical home junkie like myself, you will get your fix. The historical farms will take your breath away and the tiny town oozes charm.

LaConner, Wa.

You get a lovely mixture of farm and maritime life.

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Oh hello there, Great Blue Heron!

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Look at my handsome travel companions. I’m a lucky gal! (Miles is really much happier than he appears. Ha!)

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Sorry I didn’t capture more of the farm life and the tulips in La Conner, but there is always next year.

Happy FriYAY everyone!

-Rachel

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A Delightful (Bookish) Surprise: “Masters And Beginners” Has Arrived

I was having an off morning. My almost two-year-old woke up very early. That led to a series of meltdowns. My patience was running on “E”. I was feeling the guilt-soaked isolation that only a stay-at-home parent can feel.

Then I got a knock on my door and I heard the plunk of a package being set down.

I saw that it was from New York and I was thoroughly stumped.

I opened up the package and discovered two adorable baby blankets, two beautiful wooden boxes filled with treasures, and….

Daley Downing’s new book, Volume One: “Masters And Beginners” from her series,  “The Order Of The Twelve Tribes”.

Daley has a fantastic blog called The Invisible Moth. (I highly recommend you check it out, like right meow. Lots of cute cat pictures and details of Daley’s life as an author.)

My eyes filled with tears for the personal and thoughtful gifts that she sent and my book-dragon heart raced with excitement to read Daley’s book that I have been anticipating for months.

“Masters And Beginners” Summary: When Sophie Driscoll’s grandmother dies, her parents take over running the Annex, a warehouse facility that stores magical artifacts and documents proving, and protecting, the existence of faeries. Sophie and her brothers, Flynn and Cal, happily adjust to a new house, new friends, and a new way of living, joining the ranks of generations who have kept the fey and mortal realms separate for centuries. Before the first month of their new life is over, they’ll encounter romance, elves, talking cats, ancient secrets, and potentially lethal danger. What could possibly go wrong…

Please stay-tuned for a book review for “Masters And Beginners”. If you would like to participate in the discussion and support an incredibly talented indie author you can snag a copy of “Masters And Beginners” here.

Thank you Daley and all of the other wonderful bloggers who make this community the special place that it is. You save this mama’s sanity over and over again.

-Rachel

Picture Pick FriYAY: Enjoying The View

Sometimes I take things, people, places, in my life for granted. Yesterday I was looking out my window and I fell in love again with our yard. I saw the beauty of spring, and the vibrant colors that most days I ignore.

Can you see the waterfall through the blossoms? (“Waterfall” is a stretch, it’s actually a storm drain, but “waterfall” is so much more romantic.)

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I was thankful that in this small part of the Earth that we inhabit, animals are able to thrive.

Can you spot one of our resident ducks in the photo below?

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You’ve seen the view below in a fall photo series that I shared. Here it is in luscious spring.

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Happy FriYAY. Hope you are enjoying your view today.

-Rachel

Picture Pick FriYAY: Spring

I posted a comment on Paul’s blog, windblownwords about spring.

I thought of my comment again today when I was strolling with a dear friend. (And by strolling I literally mean pushing our kids in strollers, not luxuriously walking idly by.)

Nature is stretching her branches and rubbing the frost from her eyes.

Happy spring. Happy FriYAY.

Rachel

The New Addition 

I’ve been a little absent lately. Not just from this blog, but in many social aspects of my life. 

I’m excited to tell you guys why…

We are expecting a baby girl in August! I’m so thrilled and excited, but nothing turns me into an introvert like pregnancy. My mind has been filled with family and preparation – I’ve really just been enjoying this time.

Thank you all for your friendship and patience with my attendance of this blog. 

-Rachel

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Today Miles, myself, and our son are going to a friend’s house to enjoy corned-beef and cabbage.

I’m a quarter Irish, mostly on my father’s side. (Although we have Irish ancestors on my mother’s side too.) My maiden name is Carroll.

Carroll Name Meaning

Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Cearbhaill or Ó Cearbhaill ‘son (or descendant) of Cearbhall’, a personal name of uncertain origin, perhaps from cearbh ‘hacking’ and hence a byname for a butcher or nickname for a fierce warrior. (ancestry.com)

Now my married name is McKee.

McKee (derived from McKay) Name Meaning

Scottish and northern Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Aodha ‘son of Aodh’, an ancient personal name meaning ‘fire’. Etymologically, this is the same name as McCoy. (ancestry.com)

I hope you have a lovely weekend. I want to leave you with my favorite Celtic prayer. A few fun personal facts about this prayer. I wrote it in Miles’ travel journal when we first met,  he was leaving for a long road trip. The first line is inscribed in his wedding band. This prayer hangs above the hand towel in our bathroom so we can see it every day.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

-Rachel McKee

Cover Image: “Rock Of Cashel” Ireland. Found on the website Globe Trotter In Ireland.

Finding The Magic

I’ve been rewriting and editing, and then rewriting and editing some more. I’ve had my picture book (PB) reviewed by three people and it’s been incredibly helpful. Elsie Goes To Work is so close, but I feel it’s still missing something. I think I’m leaving some magic out.

I wanted to keep you guys posted, but I don’t have much to report. I’m just looking for that fairy dust to sprinkle on my PB.

So, you know if you have any to spare (fairy dust that is), please help a writer out.

-Rachel

Magic Happens

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My journey as a writer is an upward hike. There is a hell of a lot of climbing and work, but then I come to a lookout point and I can see the progress and revel in the journey thus far. Those moments are precious and beautiful and a sigh for this writer’s soul.

These outlooks on our artistic journey are much needed.They are the reason we keep trudging forward, so our hearts can soar once again from all that we have accomplished.

The hike of a writer is lonely. Sure, we have fellow-hikers who give a nod of acknowledgment along the way. We see some familiar faces and even a few who stop to motivate us when the climb is too steep, but mostly we wander this trail alone. We push forward alone. Only the writer understands their dream.

I have wanted to give up on my journey so many times. Since I became a stay at home mother and started this blog and began my dream of publishing a novel, I’ve wanted to quite every day. The negative talk works its way into my head, “Nobody cares about your writing. You aren’t a good writer. It’s too hard.”

But something always whispers back, “You’re journey isn’t over yet. The next viewpoint is just ahead. Keep writing.”

 

-Rachel McKee

 

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FriYAY Status Update

Hi Friends,

I’ve been very engrossed in the two picture books that I’m currently revising. I’ve felt such passion and enthusiasm for these two manuscripts. I entered them both into a Twitter event (#PBpitch). I didn’t get any likes or *hearts* from agents or editors but that’s okay. It was still really fun and writing those pitches really helped me to understand what these two stories are about. I also got to see some really great pitches and ideas.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter at @Rachel__McKee here are the pitches that went out yesterday.

Elsie Goes To Work

Pitch: When Elsie agreed to work at a plant nursery for a rosebush of her own, she didn’t know mud-battles & worm-wrangling were involved.

Mrs. Irish’s Enchanted Cottage

Pitch: When Mrs. Irish’s sneezes throw her magic into chaos, Anna & her brother must find the cure inside her enchanted cottage.

That’s where I’m at with my writing in a nutshell.

In other news I chopped 8 inches off of my hair and donated it.

 

 

Have a great weekend!

-Rachel McKee

Why I Won’t Illustrate My Picture Books

In my last post I shared a new project that I will be working on. I decided to take a break from novel-writing and write a few picture books that have been churning in the back of my brain.

I’ve since written two picture book manuscripts. A few people have asked if I will be illustrating the books myself.

That’s a solid nope!

Here’s why:

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Yep, that was illustrated by yours truly. If I didn’t write “Meow!” you would probably be confused as to whether this is a mouse, bear, rabbit, possibly a bat, or a cat.

Have a lovely day folks, and rest easy knowing that the future generation will not be subjected to my crazy illustrations.

-Rachel McKee