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  • Writer's pictureLittle Thoughts Press

Where I Write: Cynthia Mackey

Cynthia Mackey is the author of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker and The Lullaby Monsters, and her poetry appears in The Dirigible Balloon and Little Thoughts Press. Her debut picture book, If a Bumblebee Lands on Your Toe, will be published by Yeehoo Press in 2024. Her blog, Kid Lit Village features interviews with authors and illustrators of newly released children’s books. Cynthia lives with her husband in Victoria, Canada. For more info, see


photo of the author, Cynthia Mackey

Hi, I’d like to thank Claire for the opportunity to write for the Little Thoughts Press blog. When I started out, my writing was done in the spaces between other things, so I needed to be flexible. Like other moms who write, it happened while waiting for my children at their soccer, basketball, or curling (a popular Canadian sport) and piano and guitar lessons.

photo of a green water bottle and a laptop on a table with a sports field in the background

My office could be the coffee shop, the car, or the waiting room at the orthodontist's office. In the early mornings, my office was the living room couch. I’ve even written on ferries, trains, and airplanes.

In fact, I prepared materials to send to an agent earlier this year while traveling on Via Rail from Ottawa to Toronto. It is a long enough trip to fit in a good block of time and there aren’t many distractions, plus they have coffee. Sadly, the agent passed on my materials, but her request for more work came while I was traveling, and I didn’t want to make her wait.

photo of a mug of coffee and a dessert on a plate

I recently created a home office, and here are my favorite things:

IKEA office stool: I love that it moves with me when I need to wiggle. I’m like a kid that way!

David’s Tea container: I’ve repurposed it as a pen and pencil holder.

Sketch Book: I am not an illustrator, but I like to do sketches to envision what the spreads might look like.

Sofa: For when I need to read or be more comfortable to write.

Tivoli radio: I use this with my iPhone to play music when I need a little more oomph to get through the writing. It has a fabulous sound! Most of the time, though, I prefer quiet.

IKEA face-out picture book shelves: I love that I can change what’s face out and put out the picture books I’m using as mentor texts or for inspiration.

photo of bookshelves displaying the covers of picture books

My dream to fill these shelves up with my own traditionally published books is coming closer to reality. My debut picture book will be released in 2024 with Yeehoo Press, and I’m looking forward to the day when I can add If a Bumblebee Lands on Your Toe to sit alongside books by my critique partners. That will be a day to remember!

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