Published! / My Christmas Bunny Story


It’s always fun to get real mail. But to get this piece of mail…

Very exciting!

For those of you who think magazine stories get published just like thatin a *snap*well, have I got a story for you. I originally submitted this manuscript to Clubhouse Jr. magazine for their consideration back in January 2019. In May, I got an email, asking for what’s called an R&R (revise and resubmit). They liked the story, but could I tweak it a bit? They wanted more of a focus on Annie and stage fright.

Of course, I’d do the R&R! I worked on the piece, showed it to my amazing critique partners, and sent it off once more. It was July when I got the word. They wanted to publish my Christmas Bunny story. Except not in 2019… No, I had to wait until December 2020!

Fast forward to a year and a half later…

December 1st. I happened to be at the Clubhouse Jr. website and I saw the cover for their December issue. It took me a moment to realize that I “recognized” the characters in the cover art. Up to this point, I had not yet seen the illustrations, but I realized that the art was MY story! Christmas Bunny and all.

December 15th. My complimentary copies arrived in the mail, and I got to hold the magazine in my own hands. It was the first time I really got to see the illustrations. (Thank you, Lauren Gallegos. I don’t know you, but you did a beautiful job!) I even filmed me opening the envelope with my complimentary copies (which I then turned into the GIF below.)


The story behind the story…

It’s actually based on a true event. A niece of mine (Annie in the story) had a very special stuffed bear that she carried everywhere with her. (Note: I turned the stuffed bear into a stuffed bunny.) Little Niece was one of the tiny angels in the Christmas pageant. During one of the songs, she saw poor Baby Jesus, lying all alone in the manger, and her little heart just went out to Him. And well, I won’t say what happens because that’s part of the plot of my magazine story…

On another note, I do find it interesting to see what changes the editors made. First of all, they chose a different title from mine. I think Away in a Manger does go well with the story. (My original title was The Non-Historical Christmas Bunny, which then got shortened to The Christmas Bunny after my R&R.) They did change my bunny’s name (from simply Bunny to Brown Bunny). And they turned one of my adult characters (Ms. Garcia) into a male, now Mr. Garcia. (Again, I’m happy with the change since I realize that there are no other male characters in the story. Annie and Zoey are girls, and even Brown Bunny is a girl!)

And that is the story behind my Christmas Bunny story!

Happy Christmas!

Photo Challenge #37 / This is It

20200911ma_1546“It Came By Post” / Theme: This is It

A little about this photo…

Look what came in the mail! If you can’t see it, that’s my name in the byline. This is my first children’s story to be published. And to make it even more meaningful, it’s the story of my grandmother during WWII. That’s her photograph and her Red Cross brooch. (In the artwork, she’s the girl on the right. I think it’s pretty cool that they came pretty close to her correct hair colour!)

Note: In the story, she’s about 16 or 17 years old. However, in the photo, she was probably already in her twenties…

THIS WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is posted every Saturday. Please join me in posting your own photos with #2020picoftheweek