Sunday, June 11, 2017

New Picture Book 2018

Oh my gosh... It is raining picture books!

Another book is under construction!

Illustrated by Angela Powell
Clear Fork Media

            Meet Wicky, an energetic Flicker, who is cleared for flight and ready to make a beeline right into the minds of young readers. Much to the dismay of his Brother and Sis, Wicky’s enthusiasm creates havoc as the family sets out in search of a bigger nest home in the distant meadow. 
      Wicky practices his best flicker flight, a cuh, cuh, cool flap-flap glide, as he slides alongside a butterfly, hovers with a dragonfly and comes dangerously close to a feline streak in the fence line brambles. While coming to his rescue, Mama’s wing catches a wire, and she plunges down into the vines. “Hurt,” says Mama in a weakened voice.
      Now, Wicky, Brother, and Sis must work together to care for Mama. Turns are taken to gather cheeks chock-full of ants. But, it is Wicky who brings the most healing treats to his Mama, a daily puzzle of I spy clues. These clues, along with Wicky’s exuberant guidance, hurry Mama’s recovery. Soon she is ready to travel and eager to solve Wicky’s I spy puzzle. This high-spirited adventure is rich with humor, mystery, and enduring family love.

      The story of Wicky and Mama’s hurt wing emerged as I recovered from my own broken shoulder, which affectionately became know as my “broken wing”. Like Wicky, my recovery was hastened due to the same exuberant care of my family. Daily, they brought me reports of the wonderful outside world. Wicky is the embodiment of that “zest for life” that is so essential to survival right alongside crunchy ants, that is, if you are a flicker.

Gran, Gran, Granny - Rae's Fall 2017 Picture Book

Exciting times for one very special tree, our Granny tree.

A new picture book is on the way. 

Announcing: GRAN, GRAN, GRANNY
Illustrated by Eric Groff
Clear Fork Media
Fall 2017

                                     Party today, far away

         Sam finds a great deal to sing about as he echoes "the chat" on the way to visit a majestic forest friend in GRAN, GRAN, GRANNY. Lizzie tells this “moment in time" story as she, two brothers, and her parents hike up the well-worn trail to visit one grand old Douglas fir tree known as Granny on her annual measuring day. The forest is aflame with fall color and the path is carpeted with fall leaf confetti on the day following a fierce and worrisome storm. A celebration cake swings along in mom's traveling basket as Lizzie, Nick and Sam lead the way. As the story unfolds, readers will make the discovery that Granny is not a granny in the normal sense of that beloved word.
         The inspiration for this tale comes from years of family hikes up the trails in a hilly and forested watershed near our home in northwest Washington. One particular tree, Granny, has stolen our hearts and given us cause for celebration on our weekly hikes. Once a year we measure her girth with a string wrapped around a silvered spool of wood. The knots on our well-worn string tell us that Granny has grown. We have attempted to measure Granny’s height with helium balloons, but mostly we wonder about her time in the forest. We often meet other hikers at Granny’s stop on the trail and share forest observations. 

         The Pacific Northwest is rich with forests, and old growth trees have been a particular interest of mine. Find a nonfiction section: Fascinating Facts Of The Douglas Fir, following the story. Planting and saving trees are a topic we hear about almost every day. Granny’s tale is unique and universal at the same time. It is my hope that my story shares the love and wonder of one very special tree.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Let's Go Fishing

A Fishing Surprise is still in print and available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Find great reads including my title in SCBWI Summer Reading List:  Too Good To Miss

Here is the link:   Click on the WEST to find A Fishing Surprise.

Summer Reading List - Look for West - Washington Division

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My garden...
Lushly ripening story ideas just right for wee gardeners.


A Savory Book Shop To Visit

Here is a magical for the mind!  Green Bean Books in Portland, Oregon
Walk into this magic bean shop and you will want to stay and explore for a very long time.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Ideas found and one more reason I need an agent!

Some days a simple walk with the dog presents an idea that grabs onto my creative brain and refuses to leave. I'd love to chat with this sign bearing character in the world of stories.  Signs ... I need to paint one for myself:  Children's Book Agent Needed - Inquire Within.

The world is surely my "possibility place".  Everyday, I my brain is set on "wide open" collecting story snippets and ideas much like a baleen whale sifts the sea for savory delights.  My collection of story possibilities is overflowing. Thank you world!

And, as a matter of fact, my file of stories waiting for their chance of publication is reaching epic proportions.  I need an agent! I still feel like I am playing the lottery in the challenge of agent quest even after hours of reading bios, interviews, tracking agented titles, and targeting my submissions.

Dear Agent,
Wherever you are out there...I would love to find you, just as I found this tree in this wonderful sea of life.  Maybe you could wear a sign for me too: Children's Book Author Needed - Inquire Within.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cookies with a what were the exact directions?
These Ginger Chocolate Molasses Cookies will knock your socks off!
Anyone at our house will tell you that this cookie concoction will make music on your tongue. For anyone who savors GINGER, nutmeg, GINGER, cinnamon, GINGER, cloves, GINGER, coffee, and GINGER and chocolate all in one little bundle, this is the secret to happiness.   I often have one of these delights ..."underway"... eating one corner and savoring another corner for later.  Just tuck one in a baggie inside the cookie jar and keep working on it over a day or two.  This cookie has a history that goes all the way back to my husband's youth.   It was time to consult the oldest sister and the conversation went something like this...

Was it mom or grandma that baked the best ginger cookies?  You know the ones, they were chewey on the inside and sugared and crispy on the outside.

Was it the gingersnap recipe resurrected from the old recipe treasure chest or how about the one from the worn Good Housekeeping Cookbook.

Did mom make this recipe or was it Grandma?

Why did Grandma always keep her cookie jar way up high on the refrigerator?

If you like them crispy on the outside, here is my best technique....and so the conversation went until I intervened and came up with an internet model recipe that was quite good, if I do say so myself.

Well, with a little editing here and some more ginger there, a pinch of flax, and coffee, and plenty of ginger and chocolate, success was achieved.  Now, our cookie jar is full of deep, dark, ginger cookie heaven.  Here are a few snaps of my husband creating his glorious and satisfying goal of the "best ginger cookie ever", and I assure you, Mom or Grandma would not recognize them as their own.  My husband says this recipe is all about the texture, scent, and appearance of the cookie in process...a little on the scientific side of life.

Passing thought ... Is it true that memories are changed and reworked the more we relive and retell them?  Well, I think in this instance that thinking is correct. Now, this is one memory that I savor regardless of any similar taste sensation of the past.   Visitors who drop by, check out our big glass cookie jar almost immediately upon arrival, and well the rest of the story is ... another batch will soon be on the way.

Heron Rookery In Nearby Wetlands

Nature at work before our eyes.  Herons in their rookery.

Life is full of surprises...
It turns out that Harry and Henrietta Heron are more than just a couple, but one couple among many in the wetlands not far from our home.  We had no idea their numbers were so great. 

What a fine spring sight to see these often solo fliers tending and repairing their nests high in the scraggly alder treetops.

We are eager for the a wild celebration in the pond below once these babies emerge and learn about their world.  

A mother's is a long way down!

Heron WebCam at Cornell Lab
Great Blue Herons nesting at Cornell Lab