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About Rae

Rae McDonald has always made her home by the water-side -- from the little lake of her Minnesota childhood to the great Puget Sound near her western Washington home today. Rae has been a school librarian for over twenty five years, but always finds time for her other passions -- the outdoors and the arts. She "fishes" for new story ideas when gardening, biking, taking walks and working with her students. A FISHING SURPRISE is Rae's first published picture book.

I am a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

SCBWI guided my beginnings with the awesome task of writing for children. And, today, it continues to inform and inspire my work. I would say that writing stories is absolutely delicious work! Yum!

Creating picture books is the most wonderful kind of work. I go out on my bicycle or take my dog for a walk and let my mind wander. And, if I can do this by the water-side I am a happy person. I always watch for changes in the world around me. Sometimes, the smallest happening or information sparks a whole story. I get very excited when a new idea latches on to me. First, I must write the idea down in my journal so I do not forget my original thoughts. If the idea stays with me, I begin a folder for this "story to be". When I do this, the project is real. Now, it waits for me to come back and work on it.

A great deal of my story writing takes place in my head. I most often make a movie in my mind before I ever write the words out on paper. Sometimes the stories never leave my head. They become truly wordless books. I also do lots and lots of research for my stories, even if they are fictional picture books. Doing this helps me toss many ideas around in my brain.

A story needs a beginning, middle, and an end. When my ideas fit only one of these parts, I brainstorm many ways to build the story and capture my brilliant ideas. By the time I have a story that feels complete and satisfying, I have written many, many drafts. Choosing just the right words to send a message to my readers is one of my favorite editing tasks.

Once a story grabs me, it sticks like oohey gooey gum until I work it out, stretch it out, and polish it out!

We're hungry, we're hungry for apple pie!

Why is this delicious looking pie baked in a frying pan?
Take a look inside A FISHING SURPRISE. You will figure it out. Maybe you will bake one too!

Research is fun. I am writing a picture book science biography about Joseph Priestley who discovered oxygen. I'm learning science from a master.
A desk full of the writing process! Every story has its own flow, it's own stop and go, and its own "Voila!". And even then, there always seems room to make it even richer. This is a process I love.
Wayward Water ... I truly do love the water and find almost all of my stories have water flowing through them. If you think about it, water may be our most precious resource. While you are thinking of all that water, ponder for a moment just how many water words or actions you can think of. Can you come up with 10, 25, 50 or even 100 water words? Water seeps into so many corners of our world and language. Here is a dribble of words to get your brain flowing: drips, drops, patters, trickles, swirls, mists, drenches, downpours, floods, washes, ripples, drains, soaks, floats, waves, tumbles, drowns, oozes, showers, jets, cascades, springs, pool, brims, spatters ... Now, it is your turn.

What's on my desk right now... waiting for a publisher and their time to shine.

My count of stories waiting for the right publisher is reaching tall-tale proportions!

The Three Little Pigs and the Christmas Visitor - Wolf it turns out, loves fruitcake! Full of laughs, a very hungry wolf, badly knitted woolies, and three very clever little pigs.

A Biography - Who discovered there was more to air than air? Who invented the process to make bubbly water? Who began the study of photosynthesis? Who explored endless electrical conductors? Joseph Priestley - a Biography in the making. After 9 months of research and 3 more of writing and research ...I have a picture book biography manuscript to share!

FUZZ - It is all about a bit of bellybutton lint. Life for Fuzz is out of control until...

Duck and Dood - A laugh out loud new easy reader series

Dash and Flash - A new easy reader series
Book 1: Dash And The Trail Of Left Behind
....easy reader style, meet a curious puppy called Dash.

The Three Explorers And The Legendary Expedition (co-authored with my creative and witty husband, Fred)

The Birthday Surprise
....on the Fourth of July?

Annie, The Cow Who Was Always Ready
....historical fiction and a very adventuresome cow

Grandmother's Dolls from the heart

That Shy Muskrat
....down at the pond around the bend

Ten On The Beach
....count down with ten crabby hermit crabs

The Hundredth Tooth
....waiting on a loose tooth takes time and patience

Rain Forest Rumba
....what's that crazy beat? "Dew whop"..."Boom, ba-ba-boom"