Title: Wings, Wrinkles, and Wrappers
Word Count: 44K
Genre: Middle Grade paranormal
For Kate, it's been six months and twenty-three days since the sadness made her dad drive away and not come back. Seventeen days since she last spoke to her once-best friend Sophia. And an entire lifetime of eleven years without ever knitting a single hat. When Kate accidentally prays for help she ends up stuck with two old ladies who happen to be her long-dead grandmothers. They provide more caustic and silly commentary than actual assistance and Kate wants them gone. But getting back to heaven isn’t so simple. First, Kate must help them actually improve her life in some way.
From knitting to winning back a best friend with a chain of gum wrappers, Kate goes along with her grandmothers' "lessons” in hopes that they’ll hurry up and leave, until she realizes their stories could hold the key to bringing her dad home. But when the rescue plan backfires and only drives him further away, Kate has to learn her grandmothers’ biggest lesson of all: when to love and when to let go.
Told in epistolary format as a series of letters in a Father-Daughter notebook, Kate’s journey explores the binding nature of family stories and relationships through generations.
Grandma Bev never gave up on Grandpa Henry and I’ll never give up on you. So, I knitted you this hat.
6/15 Kate, It’s Wednesday. I’m sure you’ll be leaving another hat on my doorstep today. Hopefully you see the notebook. Just wanted to say thanks for the hats. All of them.
You missed my birthday last year. I know that’s not the best way to start a note but my next birthday’s in 33 days and it’s all I could think to say.
July 21st, remember?
I was sure last year when I turned eleven you would be at my party. You’d only been gone ten days and I guess I thought you were just taking a vacation. And if you were coming back soon, my birthday would have been the perfect day. It would have been like a surprise party, but not really a surprise because I knew all along you wouldn’t miss my birthday.
Mom made a shopping list that morning. “Air mattress, popcorn, pizza…anything else?”
It was a sleepover party with Sophia, just like always. And just like always, I knew you’d make my special, birthday tradition cake. So I said, “Strawberry ice cream and Kool Whip.”
Mom tapped her pen on the counter but didn’t write it down. “Why, Katydid?” She wouldn’t look up from that shopping list so I knew she was just pretending not to understand.
I played along anyway. “In case Dad forgets to go shopping.”