Writing Update: Pick Your Favorite

Hi friends,

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged anything about my writing endeavors.

I have four picture book manuscripts that I am going to start querying to agents.

For fun, could you please pick the project/pitch that is the most interesting to you? The book you would most likely pick up for yourself and the children in your life. Please answer in the comment section below.

A) Elsie Goes to Work

During summer break, Elsie goes to work with her mother at a greenhouse. One day, she sees the most beautiful rosebush and wants it for her own. One problem, she may have neglected the last plant her mother bought for her, and now her mother won’t buy her another. She strikes a deal with the owner of the greenhouse: if she helps for the day, she can have the rosebush. How hard can work be? The reward of a job-well-done smells sweet, and Elsie learns that hard work pays off in more ways than one.

B) Mrs. Irish

When Anna’s friend, Mrs. Irish falls ill, Anna must take charge by making the cure for her friend. Anna learns that her mysterious older friend is a witch, and her magic goes wacky when she is sick. Finding the ingredients proves difficult when Anna must deal with a cantankerous cat and rogue fairies that see an opportunity to wreak havoc. Mrs. Irish’s enchanted cottage has been turned upside-down and Anna must cure Mrs. Irish before her house crumbles around them.

C) Cinnamon’s Foal

Hayden and her friends await the arrival of a new baby foal at the stable where they ride. Everyone is surprised and saddened when the foals mother dies during the birth. The girls work together to make sure the new foal has excellent care. By helping the foal, the girls realize that they are healing themselves by caring for the baby who needs them.

D) Animal Diner

Miles learns at school that he can be anything. He knows that he is destined to be a great chef. Nothing can stand in his way. Miles realizes that it’s going to be hard to cook when he isn’t allowed to use the stove or that he can’t reach the mixing bowls. He isn’t even allowed to be in the kitchen without adult supervision. Miles reverts to making food in his backyard. Mud pies and worm spaghetti are fun to make, but Miles yearns for someone to appreciate his skill. Just when Miles’ dreams of becoming a chef begin to fry, a surprise dinner party gathers to enjoy the feast that Miles has carefully arranged.

(Yes, its a bit odd I used my husband’s name for a protagonist but it just fit!)

Have a great day everyone!

-Rachel McKee


A New Project

I’m at a point in my novel where I am stuck. That means my writing is stuck. I hate that.

So I decided to dig up a children’s book that I wrote last May. The story is (loosely) based off of my experience working at a flower nursery. I posted the story last week to get some feedback. It’s been removed and revised many times since I posted it.

The writing for this story came easily. I was able to draw on my own experience and reflect. Now I want to write an entire series based off of Elsie’s (my MC) adventures. These stories will be written from my childhood memories. I’m very excited about this project. I’m also learning that it’s good to keep writing, even if you have to put one project aside.

Drawing from my own experience while writing these picture books has been easier than writing my novel (Not that any writing is easy.) Creating fictional characters and a fictional story is hard, sometimes I feel like I’m reaching into a black hole to find what works.

I must stop and quote two authors:

“Write what you know.” -Mark Twain

“You speak of Lord Byron and me – There is this great difference between us.
He describes what he sees – I describe what I imagine – Mine is the hardest task.”
-John Keats in a letter to his brother George, September 1819

In my case, both of these quotes are true. There are certain plot points, emotions, and scenes that I have been struggling with because I have no reference. I’m not giving up on my novel, but I need to follow this new motivation.

I’m pitching the first book in the series, Elsie Goes To Work next Thursday at a Twitter pitch event. If you have a picture book you would like to pitch, the hashtag is #PBBooks and it’s happening on the 2/23/2017.

Wish me luck, hopefully an agent or editor will “like” my pitch.

-Rachel McKee