Sunday, January 24, 2016

It's About Time!

Once again, because I have a story, present title, "Some Nights, I Wake up Crying!   Laila’s Story" in an anthology about illegal child labour, with a link to my blog, I'm prodded to update "Still Waters and Dancing Wings". It's that I have things published in new publications often enough to push me into bringing my blog up to date.

It's certainly also a very good thing that I'm not this tardy about meeting writing submission dates or completing editing contracts!

Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon has indeed been released and is doing very well. At this link, you can see the list of contributors and the titles of their submissions, as well as some responses to the book as a whole.  

Because my piece (originally entitled "Hardly the Wisdom of Solomon") was so self-revealing, I hesitated to submit it. Then again, how could I not tell about the incredible undeserved Help with a capital H which I received as I lived through those life challenges? How could I not share my story's joy as well as its utter misery?  I do not walk alone, nor, readers can realize, do they.   


A little more about the Beachburg Fair Awards: I submit to publications world-wide, concentrating, for the most part, on Canada, and secondarily, on the United States. I also like to support local institutions which encourage the arts. This year I entered three pieces in the Beachburg Fair Writing Competitions. Results show up in the photo.

People do not have to live in the area in order to submit. I hope to submit the "Grandmother Remembers the Fair" story, suitable for mixed older adult and child reading together,  for publication somewhere. I would also like to submit the decrepit farm story. The judge's comments on both pieces were encouraging, particularly those on the "children's story". It has some humour in it. I think people appreciate that. (I do.)

 "Living and Dying of a Valley Farm" was triggered by the weekly sight of a local homestead slowly disintegrating. I've found it fascinating in a depressing way and have taken photos of it at different stages, one of which I used for my set of photo cards on sale to raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. I did some research on the history of the property and the persons who had lived there. Out of that arose a poem and a story. It felt as though I've lived through it by the time I'd finished. (A similar feeling emerged as I completed the "Laila's Story" manuscript).

Timmy and the book about himself
It's rather fun to have the ribbons in addition to the small financial prize. It seems in keeping with a country fair.

As I don't have a barn stall or harness to which to fasten them, I put the ribbons on Timmy, my son's chimp which I have on loan for as long as I need him. (Timmy is also the subject of one of my picture book manuscripts (written in French and English versions.)

During the run-up to the recent election, I was kept busy making and posting relevant FB posters, and writing to newspapers and various politicians on topic.

Participation in the 100% Possible environmental event in Ottawa prompted postings to encourage participation but, thus far, no article/column has arisen. It was VERY chilly on that day. (I took the photo on the right but I didn't take a "selfie".) We were to wear green if possible. Value Village supplied a dark green coat for a price and I assembled  a silly hat with green leaves and a green plastic (Clementine box) net veil on it. Robert, my husband, took a photo but it isn't available right now. (Translation: I can't find it.) 

As predicted in the last blog entry, a column did arise from my involvement in the Poverty Forum. Here is the link:  It uses the true story of one person to introduce people to some of poverty's reality in Canada. I was very pleased when a neighbor who had read the column was concerned enough to ask whether the young woman involved ever overcame the obstacles to find a decent job. (In this case, the accompanying photo wasn't mine. I was too busy elsewhere.)

The article I mentioned being asked to do concerning Advent for Glad Tidings was on page 4 in this November/December issue. It was called "Hit Pause". You can read it at

I'm not sure why I didn't enter this in The Word Guild writing awards competition, but I didn't, and it is too late. 

The Pembroke Observer Column on the same topic can be found here. If you're interested, you can compare the two Advent versions for similarities and differences.   (Illustration mine)

Note: Daniel, the son whose writing was so well received at Janna's Café has been doing some more writing, as has his wife, Brenda. She writes what I think is called Fan Fic. We watch episodes of a particular series so we can understand what is going on when she writes about something that takes place in between the episodes, keeping the characters in character. It's interesting to see how she works with them. She really seems to get inside their heads and can provide rationale for anything they say or do.

Note #2: Our only granddaughter (the other four are boys) had received a book filled with empty frames of various shapes and she was to create a graphic novel style of story in it. She did. I have a photo of her reading it to Grandpa when we were there for our New Year's celebration of Christmas.  

                                   End of reporting re. 2015.

This week, I'm to participate in a town meeting about making our community more elderly-friendly. Time will tell whether a column will arise from it. My next assigned newspaper column is for Easter weekend, so it won't be then. 

The organizer suggested something about my being involved in the access study committee, a sub-group, I gather. It is of personal interest to me, of course, because my husband's emphysema necessitates his being on oxygen 24/7 and the effect that has on his ability to walk long distances from parking or long halls without any seating along the way (such as at the new Pembroke medical building), or to climb more than a few steps at a time.

However, for that same reason, I'm uncertain that I have the necessary time and energy to give to the committee work involved. I may, however, write a column for the local paper, using the information the committee gathers, if that will help. 

OTHER ACTIVITY: The faithful Petawawa Grannies continue to work to support the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers to Grandmothers in their actions of assisting the hard-working grandmothers raising, under extremely adverse conditions, children orphaned by Aids/HIV. 

One popular Pet Gran event is the GranAfrican Dinner.

In an Observer article (not mine) see photos taken at the 2012 version of the  dinner.
A talented member, Judy Cummings, conceived of and created attractive centerpieces for events until she was "centrepieced" out. For the 2015 dinner it was my second turn to make the centerpieces, using requested materials donated, for the most part, by other Pet Gran members or their friends.

<-- This is just a few of the 15 happy grannies (still without their jewellery) who sat with an electric candle on a coloured plate that had a circlet around it saying "Grandmothers Light the Way". Some people wanted to buy the figures but I wasn't quite ready to let them go.

This year, each of those grannies is to be joined by a figure of a baby, young child or teenager to represent the many children for whom the Sub Saharan grandmothers are caring. This year, at least some of the granny figures will be on sale, possibly by bid. 

There will be a poster with all the details for me to add here sometime soon.

This year's GranAfrican Dinner is on April 10, 2016 at the Legion in Petawawa!  Great food!  Great entertainment ...three different entertainers are back! Old favourite and new items are for sale at the market tables.

It's after 12:00 midnight. It's long past time for me to get to bed. Have many tasks to complete these days and I'm a rag (and sometimes "grumpy") without sufficient sleep.  

Some of Grandmothers' Necklace's clippings.
Grandmothers' Necklace continues to sell as people see it for the first time and new opportunities arise for sales. Expect some new readings in the valley when the snow clears.

I hope this update gives you enough information for now.

Oh, one more thing. I'm ready for another editing contract. Need an editor? Talk to me.