About twenty years ago, I used to look through real-life, print magazines for story ideas. I saw a photo of two young children, a boy with his mouth wide open, and a little girl looking inside it. Today, I remember that the children did not have the same skin colors (I searched for the photo, so I could show it to you, but I couldn't find it!), and this photo prompted a story idea titled, "Looking Inside."
In this story, it's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, (just like today!), and a kindergarten teacher is attempting to teach her class about who Dr. King was and more importantly, his life's work. But she keeps getting interrupted, as kindergarten teachers do, from the children wanting to tell her things about their own lives and just general kindergartener wiggliness.
At the end of the lesson, she wonders: What did they actually learn in that chaos? She sends them to centers; and a few mintues later, she sees two children "looking inside" each other--pulling earlobes down and peering in, for example. She rushes over there, due to the fact that there is a "keep your hands to yourself rule" in every classroom in America and probably worldwide, and the discussion that follows assures her that the children did indeed understand Dr. King's message that all people are the same and should have equal rights.
I always loved this story. And I never knew what to do with it because it is told from the teacher's point of view, flash fiction, and cute. I couldn't find the right home for it.
As you know, my publishing company, Editor-911 Books, is a business I've been growing for the past year, and my first author was 91-year-old Fred Olds. Fred writes stories that are marvelous, but they have trouble finding a home because they just don't fit the mode of what children's editors and agents are looking for currently.
To grow my business, I wanted to learn how to sell books through Ingram Spark, and not just Amazon, and so I had an idea for a book to try, and Fred said, "Yes." (Sometimes, all it takes is an idea and a yes!) I'll show you what was born out of the idea below, and then how the beginning of this post about my story fits and how all of this relates to why I'm writing about this on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.