The idea was born in my daughter's third grade classroom. I was one of the ?room mothers? planning a Christmas party. Overriding my suggestion of a non-sweet treat, the other two moms were discussing how many bags of candy they?d buy for these eight and nine year olds to eat at the party. The candy was to be given out in addition to iced and decorated cookies and punch. My timid attempts at saying ?don't they get enough sugar?? were met with looks of disbelief. I agreed to help with the cookies, but stubbornly refused to buy any candy. I knew my daughter didn't need any. And what if one of the children was diabetic, like the little boy we knew in New Jersey?
What if . . . What if a third grade girl was worried about what was going to be served at the party because one of her classmates was diabetic? What if she didn't think it was fair that her friend usually ate pretzels while everyone else had cookies? What if her mother was the room mom in charge and let her pick the treat?
The resulting story called ?Halloween Isn't Fair? came out of those ?what if's. I knew Jack and Jill, a magazine my daughter read, needed holiday stories. I knew they liked healthy recipes. My story seemed a perfect fit. I found a sugarless cookie recipe, wrote up the no sugar cookie paint our family uses, and sent them and the manuscript off to Jack and Jill.
A few months later a cream colored envelope appeared in my mailbox. I opened it with trembling fingers. An acceptance! Not only was Jack and Jill purchasing the story, but they were going to use the recipe, too!
Take that, you candy maniac moms! Someone else agrees that kids don't need all that sugar--my editor. Talk about ?oh, so very sweet!?
Sue Ford has told herself stories since she was a child. She has sold more than 130 magazine short stories and articles for children and adults. Read about her two children's books at her website: http://www.susanuhlig.com. She loves speaking and talking about writing, too. The two organizations that helped her get started are the Institute of Children's Literature and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Currently, Sue is the Regional Advisor for Kansas SCBWI (http://www.KANSAS-SCBWI.org)