Believe it or not, six months ago, I had never even heard the word QUERY as it pertained to writers. Now, I’m in the middle of querying two books I wrote, Chaos in the Flower Garden and A Final Goodbye.
Chaos is a story about how the different kinds of flowers can’t get along because they are different from themselves. The Roses are the snobs, the Lantanas spread out and sneak into everyone else’s beds, the perky Petunias get mad at the Hibiscus Family for blocking their sun, and the Sunflowers like to compare themselves with everyone because they insist on being the tallest. The animals in the garden call an emergency meeting at the bird bath and decide to launch “Operation Chaos.” They think that if they got to know each other then they’d realize each flower has redeeming qualities so they start spreading the seeds everywhere so they are no longer segregated. At first the flowers are outraged that someone not of their kind has popped up in their bed but the younger flowers enjoy meeting someone different.
A big storm threatens the garden and the flowers have to rely on each other’s differences to survive. Sonny Sunflower uses his big face to shield the pounding rain from the delicate Ruby Rose who is clinging to the trellis for dear life. They all pitch in to save the animals and each other realizing that they should celebrate their differences.
After the storm, the garden is more peaceful and colorful now that the flowers are all mixed-up. Now, every year the animals celebrate “Operation Chaos” by scattering seeds and mixing up the garden even more and that’s just how they like it.
The other story I’m querying is a personal narrative about seeing my Grandpa one last time before he died. It’s called, A Final Goodbye. It makes me cry every single time I read it. I learned when teaching second graders that no one ever talks about death to young kids. One year, one of my student’s dad died from a car accident. It was horrific. I had the class make cards and brought them to the funeral. My student held on to me so tight because I hadn’t seen her in a week. Unless you’ve been an elementary teacher, it’s hard to explain the bond between a teacher and her students. Teachers see their students more than the parents see them. Still today, I feel like my former students are mine.
I had to explain to the class what was happening with their friend and her dad’s funeral. They were clueless about death. With the parents permission, I did my best to explain it to them and the ritual of a funeral to celebrate the life of the person that died.
I wrote A Final Goodbye about the heartache of saying goodbye to a dying loved one and how they can live forever in your memories. I’m crying as I type this just thinking about this story. I like to write things that make people feel deeply that’s how you know you’re alive.
I haven’t heard back yet on any of the queries but it’s only been a week or so. I am sure I will learn a lot from this first round and that’s exciting to me. This career is going to be about the process of becoming a write, and I plan to enjoy every step.