Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Well, Isn't This Nice?

It would seem that, at this particular stage of my life, I make blog entries once or twice per year!
If you don't remember me, I'm not surprised. NOT the way to win fame and fortune.   

For contributors to the Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon anthology, due out in October, a bio was to be included. Room was provided for links to websites and/or blogs. I PROMISED that I would have my blog updated for when the book was released. So, although in the interim, babies have been born, people have died, political matters have moiled, both victories and horrors have occurred, finally, here I am, back again!


WRITING & PUBLISHING Most of my writing is done for publication or in emails or, in occasional comments, on FB. I am not one of those “birds” who tweet or twitter, partly due to lack of time and interest, partly due to ignorance of the process. (Exception: When placing birdfeed and peanuts on the window frame and sill, I do occasionally attempt to mimic the calls of birds around me. Sometimes, jays, in particular, respond.)

Most Recent Newspaper Columns, Pembroke Daily Observer:
 Have continued with my newspaper columns as a member of the Pembroke Daily Observer Editorial Board. Please take a peek at them:
1)   A piece about poetry, with my illustration showing part of my varied poetic approaches.

As mentioned in that article, my friend Heather Campbell (author of five books, two of which I edited), my son, Daniel Elford, (whose writing skill first evidenced itself by publication in a national magazine when he was eight) and I read our prose and poetry in Janna’s Gallery CafĂ©. I read a mix of published pieces, unpublished competition winners and excerpts from two of my book ms. We quite enjoyed ourselves and the appreciative audience—sufficiently appreciative that there have been requests for a repeat event. One of Daniel’s pieces, concerning prejudice, brought loud spontaneous applause. Proud Mom!

Concerns the effect of the misuse/ignoring of Lent. Illustration of the empty tomb smothered in secular "Easter" gimmicks and treats.
3. A discussion re. the Petawawa battle against the hardy mosquitos and some suggestions for reframing the situation. Mix of serious and fun piece. Enjoyed doing both the article and the illustration. Didn't check to see how the mayor felt about my fountain suggestion.

4. A piece that told of living with Bagheera and sharing in his dying. Because of his death, I’ve put aside my (Working title: “The Cuddle of Cats--Talk to me I'll listen. Listen to me, I'll talk") book ms. for some time. Have recently reread the ms. and I expect to be back working on it soon, though, honestly, it still hurts to do so.

Next article is probably going to be about reducing/defeating poverty. Because I’m catching up on other matters, I haven’t made time to dig into it deeply, apart from participating in a recent day-long Poverty Forum (am awaiting the promised participants’ notes), nor have I considered what illustration I’d like to prepare. (Illustration is a self-reward when piece is completed, and the editor appreciates it..)

My Day Apart Writing/Editing Display

Photo for brochure
 February 7, 2015. Thoroughly enjoyed being keynote speaker at A Day Apart at Kanata Baptist Church, Kanata, ON, an event sponsored by the Canadian Baptist Women of Ontario and Quebec for members and other interested women. I was treated very well by the organizers involved, encouraged to display my writing/editing wares, as you see above, and found the participants to be quite responsive.  (Note The Reluctant Caregiver there, above, on right.)

Sold Grandmothers’ Necklace copies and one or two copies of Bobbi Junior’s The Reluctant Caregiver, winner of The Word Publishing’s 2014 Free Publishing Contest and shortlisted for the best non-fiction award-winning book. It is having high impact in the Alberta health system with some repercussions here in Ontario. I have the reflected glory of having edited the initial manuscript. It was a joy to do so. Bobbi gifted me with a personal copy. We began our writer-editor relationship via The Word Guild, before we’d met. Later, we two introverts shared a room, at a Write!Canada conference and we’re still friends!

July Beachburg Fair:
Earned a 5th, a 3rd and a 1st in my writing entries. Appreciated the positive comments made by the judge, particularly those about the children’s story. Hoping I’ll think of a good place to have that published. The children's story came second in another year's competition. I revised it and resubmitted it with a new judge and, success.
Moto Cross picture from Beachburg Fair photos.

Not long ago received my cheque and my copies of The Word in Season, October, November, December issue 2015 (Augsburg Fortress Press), in which I have fourteen devotionals, as opposed to seven last time.

My, I like doing that work! It definitely is work, but I learn more each time I do the research and I feel so good about doing it. Preparation of every devotional, as with preparation of a worship service, is, in itself, a worshipful experience. Haven’t contacted them re. doing something new as yet because when I take that on, apart from when I am also editing a book, everything else is put aside and I MUST get caught up on other matters!

Also out, recently, is an anthology, Encountering Jesus, in which I wrote about a life-changing vision. Today I received my contributor’s copy, and I've seen the book advertised on Amazon, Now I'll get to see the exciting experiences about which others wrote. 

Have a ms. accepted for another of their anthologies. It concerns an unusual dream that our youngest son, Daniel, experienced. Understand there are a couple of other anthologies in the works. (Bethany House)

Was happy to receive a request for a piece about Advent for the November/December issue of Glad Tidings, a national (and international)  Presbyterian Women's Missionary Society publication. Have always enjoyed writing for this publication. Have had worship services, poetry, articles, book reviews, devotionals, short stories, etc. published there.  As the value and meaning of Advent is one of my pet interests, I was more than "glad" to submit this time. I expect the issue will be out in late October. Intending to write an article on the same theme (not same article!) in my November column for the Pembroke Observer.

 I’m committed to completing short stories for two different anthologies but am at the research stage for one of those.

Much of my time is spent in editing. This is one of my main sources of income. Fortunately, I enjoy doing it, am fast, and have happy clients.

As the Ink Flows, an anthology of devotionals (written for Christian writers by a group of Christian writers) which I edited, is to be released in April, 2016. It has a relaxed workbook component to encourage interaction.  I’ve also edited articles and short pieces for some of these contributors. The connection continues.   (This entry has been updated because I goofed on the year of release. I don't have a copy because it isn't out yet!)

Last week received a gift copy of Redemptive Love, Claudia Loopstra’s book. I was her primary  editor. It was a long-term contract, begun after we met at a Write!Canada conference. It lasted approximately three years with time gaps as needed. Claudia did a huge amount of work and we became friends as she developed the book, fitting all the pieces together. The author has been very frank about herself, her faith or the lack of it, and about the dramatically serious and amusing events (sometimes both at the same time) which unfold. It isn’t a book a reader will quickly forget.

At present, I have the ms. and am awaiting the go-ahead from a new writer, whom I met at a day conference presented by the Ottawa Christian Writers' Fellowship with The Word Guild assistance. This author’s work has an unusual style and flow that I think will appeal. Again, there is gentle humour. Though I edit serious and academic pieces, I particularly love reading or editing when there’s some humour—overt, subtle, dry or sly!


Grandmothers' Necklace: Have also been catching up on which places are still carrying copies, and, as a result, submitted some book sales funds to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Hooray! There is still a huge need for the funding to deal with lack of medical, housing and educational assistance that is affected by, and contributes to, the AIDS/HIV pandemic.

Have eliminated some selling sites. Some, which were independent bookstores, have already been eliminated, unfortunately because of closures. Some great sites still remain, and I'm grateful. The newest site is Janna's, which hosted Pot Pourri. Am very grateful to several contributors who continue to promote the book when selling their own! The book is timeless and a great read. Some people asked permission to do a stage presentation involving some of the material. Some excellent monologue material in there. Contributors now have the copyright!

Present GN Selling Sites. Full cost of book goes to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. No profit for writers or editor. PLEASE DO ME A FAVOUR. If any of these places ceases to carry the book, please inform me. Don't want people going on a wild goose chase. There is also Amazon but the stores are kindly carrying copies which are already printed and SLF receives the money through me.  Leslie White generously updates the website as we receive the information.

In mid-October, I should be free to take on other editing, so, writers, whether new or with a publication history, if you are seeking an enthusiastic, experienced and informed editor, with decent writing credentials of her own, please keep me in mind.
Enquiries: Use, which is the email I check regularly. That way, you won't get lost in the dust.

Soon I’ll post some of my written references from editing clients and from editors of national publications for whom I write/have written. Maybe next post? Or upon request.
I should also get those up on The Word Guild site!

For much of this year, I’ve daily joined the “Davids”, sling-shot in hand, to spend much of my time, money and energy in trying to “save Canada” by supporting all the organizations, not just political parties, which have geared up to do so.

Patricia, this mini-earner, is bled dry as we struggle to un-do the un-doing of our country.

How can we watch Canada being dismantled and NOT act?! As a Christian and as a person involved in the arts who cares about  God's gift of a beautiful environment, who is concerned about enforced and continuing poverty and its devastating effects, particularly on women and children, etc., I can't ignore it.

Anyone who trustingly thinks destruction in almost every facet of Canadian life has not been happening, (suicide by government) hasn’t been paying enough attention. However, I am discovering there are more "Davids" than I had thought, and in some surprising places. (No, I don't foist political rants on my clients. This is my blog and I'll cry if I want to.)

Surely this is a year’s worth of info. about me. Thank you for browsing through it. Now, imagine yourself receiving a medal!!
Photo courtesy of Adventure Time Wiki