Sunday, April 23, 2017

Guest - Dr. Sigal Haber – A Canadian Children Books Author

Sigal Haber is a mother of three children with an extensive experience in education and teaching. 
Her love for literature and kids led her to the quest of writing for children.
As a University Prof. Sigal has taught and studied entrepreneurship for many years and had been involved with young entrepreneurs’ educational programs. Creativity and innovativeness, considered the core values of entrepreneurial behavior, are rooted in her thinking and writing. 
In her books she brings her life experience and knowledge in a creative and humours way to create a great reading experience for young readers.

How/why did you start to write?

Reflecting back I realize that I have been writing my entire life; whether for friends and family occasions, family trip diaries, for school purposes and even eulogies. I always found a way to connect the event to some moral in either a funny or serious ways. It has always been a part of me, one which I failed to recognize for a long time even when people around me encouraged me to. Once I started my academic career, I channelled this gift to a more professional aspect in my academic writing

How did you become an author who writes children's books?

I realize it may sound a bit like a cliché but I feel that writing found me and I became a recognized author at the right time of my life.

After a long academic writing career, I felt like I needed a transition in my writing style. I wanted to be able to adjust ideas and life experiences and write about them differently – So I turned it to writing for children. One thing that helped me with that was my own children. As a mother to young toddlers I used to read aloud for them all the time, so much that I have some books and songs memorized to this day. Naturally, the first reader of my work was my youngest son Jonathan, who was 9 years old at the time I started writing for children. He loves comic books and has a childish spirit. I must admit that initially I wrote for my own family, but once I have started to get encouragements from my surroundings, I decided to start the journey of publishing and have become a published author. So far, the responds I am receiving from my readers are incredible.

What was your first published piece?

My first published story was a picture book for children “Chuck The Rooster Loses His Voice”. It was published on Kindle / Amazon on June 2016. 

After many years as a U. Prof., teaching and researching entrepreneurship and management I asked myself how to introduce the concept of entrepreneurship to young children. I wanted to create a way for teachers and parents to discuss with their children what it takes to be a leader and take initiative in a community.
And no less than that I wanted to do it in a fun and humorous way. So I wrote this rhyming and funny story about what happens in a farmyard when the Rooster who supposed to wake everyone in the morning became ill. Obviously, life starts to go wrong. In an attempt to deal with the situation, the animals try to find a replacement from amongst themselves, to fill the Rooster's place. So they initiate and organize a singing contest. You’ll have to read it to find out will someone be found to take Chuck's place? How will the Rooster react to the idea? And will there be another "Farm Idol"?

The story highlights how situations seemingly problematic (i.e.: ill and not functioning rooster) can be seen as an opportunity for development of social ideas within a community (i.e.: a singing contest). It shows how leadership and self-confidence can help in promoting an idea regardless the difficulties involved. Furthermore, it shows that even if an initiative is not being completely realized, there are still ways to leverage the knowledge and experience gained during the process in order to improve it or to start a new one in the future. The book is directed to ages 5 and up.

A few months ago I published my second picture book for children on Kindle/ Amazon: “The Bear Barr Wants to Play the Guitar”. It is a cute story about a bear who wants to play the guitar but finds it difficult than he initially thought. The story shows how parents and friends can be supportive and help a child to achieve his goals. Also it illustrates the importance of perseverance for achieving life goals. For ages 3 and up.

Both titles are available on Amazon.

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?

Before embarking on my writing career I was a U. Prof. studied SME in tourism industry, women entrepreneurs and family businesses. For years I have been active volunteer mainly worked with social and young entrepreneurs, gifted musicians and in my children’s schools. I think that the fact that I always kept writing and at the same time was involved in the community and engaged socially with people, enabled me to develop a creative way of looking at things and write about them.

What inspires you?

I love poetry. I love the way poets use and “play” with words to express feelings and thoughts. Writing is like a puzzle for me. It deals with putting the right words to express your idea and affect the reader emotionally and inspire him. It is a challenge. And I like it!

Please share one of your successful author platform building techniques

As a self-published author I use the social media channels. We are fortunate to live in an era where authors can reach to reader in various ways. Technology plays a huge roll in it.

Tell us more about yourself by answering the following questions:

What is your favorite word? 


What is your least favorite word?


Your favorite pet?


What turns you on emotionally? 

My children’s laughs

What turns you off?


What do you in your spear time?

I love playing sports especially bike riding. Biked 600 KM of the Trans Canada Trail and looking forward to the next 600…

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

A Singer and piano player

What profession would you not like to do?


If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

You did good! How about another round?

Chuck the Rooster Loses His Voice 
Its theme was inspired by my long career as a U Prof and researcher in the field of Entrepreneurship and management. I wanted to be able to discuss with children what does it mean to take initiative in a community and how important it is to help each other in a way that is adjusted to their own world of imagination. 
This is a rhyming story to be read also aloud for your children and adult can enjoy it too (Writing it I recalled myself reading particular stories to my daughter especially those that I could speak with her about their themes, language and keep reading it over and over again.)

Ages : 5 and up 

The Bear Barr Wants To Play The Guitar

Just published on Amazon 

This story is about perseverance and pursuing your personal goals even you encounter difficulties. 

For ages 3 and up. 

Dr. Sigal Haber's Amazon page where you can find more information and reviews

Author links...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Her Words (short story) by Leanne Dyck

Wise creatives remain open to inspiration; they welcome it. One way to invite it is to have new experiences. For example, a couple of evenings ago I read Byron did at an open mic night on Mayne Island. Early (too early) the following morning inspiration called. So I grabbed my pen. This is what I wrote...

Her Words

Open mic poetry night was the last Friday of every month. She went Friday after Friday until she found the nerve to share what she wrote. The lights were low; the bar crowded. She pushed her way to the microphone. She read her words slowly the way she'd reversed. It was all mostly a blur. But what a feeling; what a rush. Afterwards, he found her table, bought her a drink, and told her, "Wow, you're talented."

So she joined him in the cab. Later she wished it all had been a blur.

Happy Easter!

Next post:  Guest Post:  Please welcome children's author Sigal Haber
Published on Sunday, April 23rd at approximately 5 PM PT

As part of the Literary Festival Active Pass celebrations, I will be giving an author reading at 
11 pm
at Mayne Island library

I plan to arrive at the library before 9 am and leave at 4 pm. I don't want to miss a second of this special day.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson reviewed by Leanne Willetts

Robert Louis Stevenson writes with old fashioned charm. He takes delight in the simple and ordinary. This poem, in particular, views the wind through a child's eyes.

He wonders as to the nature of the wind:  'Are you a beast of field and tree,/or just a stronger child than me?'

The poem has a way of pulling you back to childhood when you had time to sit and wonder.

The poem draws upon all your senses. You feel the wind push at your face. You hear it's windy song. You see it merrily dance with the kites, birds, and grass.

The poem too talks about the sadness of not being able to find the unapproachable. The mystery always seems to be around the next corner:  'I saw the different things you did,/ But always you yourself you hid./ I felt you push, I heard you call,/I could not see yourself at all-'

I wrote this review on September 15, 1987, for a children's literature class I took at the University of Winnipeg.

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky,
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass--
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all--
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song

Next post:  Sunday, April 16 (5 PM PT) 
Her Words (short story)

(click on image to embolden)

"I have a story to tell"

Leanne Dyck's Author Reading
Sunday, April 23rd 11 am
Mayne Island library
Festival Active Pass

"Looking forward to seeing you there."

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Byron did: in praise of poetry

Byron did. So did Shelley and Yeats and Burns and Cohen and Atwood and Browning and...

'Let me count the ways' wrote Elizabeth Barrett Browning

But my ways refuse to be counted. My brain can't think like that. My pen won't write like that.

Lord Byron wrote:  'She walks in beauty, like the night' -- and women swooned.

Poetry is like French. It sounds pretty coming out of someone else's mouth. It pours out of someone else's pen. But not mine.

Metaphors as yummy as pettifor and language that would be swarmed by bees make poetry challenging to understand. Most of it sails passed my ears and over my head.

 A Coat by W. B. Yeats

I made my song a coat
covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat
But the fools caught it
Wore it in the world's eyes
As though they'd wrought it
Song, let them take it
For there's more
In walking naked

We have poetry in our souls, they say. But I've checked. Mine has gone. If it was ever there.

Margaret Atwood wrote:  'We turned out the lights in the cellar and played Murder in the Dark.' Then she wrote, 'I heard that this game was once played at a summer cottage by six normal people and a poet, and the poet really tried to kill someone.'

I used to claim that my amazing dyslexic brain was to blame.

"People with dyslexia can't work with syllables," I'd say.

But then I read that Yeats had dyslexia.

Robert Burns wrote:  'My love is like a red, red rose.'

Maybe poetry is like a garden. Maybe it has to be seeded and carefully tended. Rhythm, rhyme, meter -- maybe if I studied... Maybe... But who has that kind of time?

It might be trite,
but it's also right --
I'm not a poet
And I know it.

Happy Poetry Month!!

"I have a story to tell"

Leanne Dyck's author reading
Sunday, April 23 11 a.m. to noon
Mayne Island library
Festival Active Pass

"Looking forward to seeing you there."

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Are you an ant or a caterpillar or a bird? (short story) by Leanne Dyck

(photo by LDyck)

One fine day in early spring an ant meet a caterpillar. 

"When are you planning to spin your cocoon?" The ant asked.

"I'm not," the caterpillar told him.

The ant just stared at him. "Pardon me?"

The caterpillar spoke louder. "I'm not!"

"I heard you. I just don't understand you. Why would you continue crawling in the dirt when you can fly up there in the beautiful blue sky, among the fluffy white clouds?"

"I like it down here in the cool black soil," the caterpillar said.

A bird perched on a branch overhead flew down to the caterpillar. "Ever since I broke out of my egg there's nothing I'd rather do than fly. Caterpillar, you have a right to be apprehensive. Change is scary, but don't let that fear limit you. Listen to your friend, the ant. Embrace your destiny," she sweetly sung to him. "Close your eyes."

The caterpillar closed them.

"Imagine the sun shining on your beautiful wings. Imagine the wind carrying you. All that can be yours if you only believe in yourself--in your potential."

The caterpillar felt the sun on his face, the wind on his wings. He spun his cocoon; he rested; his wings grew and then he flew.

Next post:  Sunday, April 2nd (at approximately 5 PM PT)
This post celebrates poetry month.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

book review: Note to Self by Laurie Buchanan

Have you ever felt a little off and wished you could talk to someone wise? I know, who hasn't--right?

Note to Self not only helps you puzzle through what may be wrong but also gives you solutions on what to do about it -- including visiting your doctor. The large solutions require lifestyle changes. The small ones include incorporating certain colours into your environment. 

(Only suggestion for improvement:  colour photos of the colours suggestions)

This book demands to be read slowly. You need time to digest it. I received Note to Self in November, as a birthday gift. I tore open the wrapping and cracked open the book and am still reading it--and I plan to never stop. It's a book that can address different aspects of your life--or different selves--as the need arises. 
Note to Self is divided into seven selves:  Self-Preservation, Self-Gratificaiton, Self-Definition, Self-Acceptance, Self-Expression, Self-Reflection, and Self-Knowledge. As Sheila Glazov wrote in the foreword:  'The whole essence of Laurie Buchanan's book is timely and timeless....This book helps readers understand how they can easily unpack the emotional baggage they persistently pack and cautiously carry on their journey through life.'

Note to Self by Laurie Buchanan is a must-read -- as good for you as kale, but reads like chocolate -- smooth, rich and fun. It's sure to leave a good taste in your mouth. 

Visit Laurie's Buchanan popular blog: Tuesdays with Laurie.

("Spring in Paris on Mayne Island, photo by LDyck)

Next Post:  Sunday, March 26th (at approximately 5 PM)
Are you an ant or a caterpillar?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

How to get an unsolicited manuscript read

 Some authors are fortunate to have the assistance of a literary agent. But I'd wager that the majority of us don't. So we are left to navigate the publishing industry labyrinth by ourselves.

rock art by my husband, photo by me

Since I started keeping careful records, in 2014, I've sent 400 submissions to publishing houses. Over the years, I learned some valuable lessons. One of the most important was how to properly address a cover letter. 

Dear Sir or Madam
To Whom It May Concern

This is the equivalent of standing on the street corner, waving your arms in the air and shouting, "Hey, you!"
Someone may hear you. But the chance that she will be the right person are slim.

Dear Publisher
Dear Editor

Visit the publishing house website and carefully study the submission guidelines. (Some submission guidelines give you all the information you require. Others don't.)

Small publishing houses may tell you to send your submission to the publisher. All publishing houses have at least one editor. So there is a chance that your submission will get to a publisher or an editor. But there's no guarantee that it will get to the right publisher or editor. Moreover, addressing your submission in this manner shows that you didn't do your homework and that you may not even know who the right publisher or editor is.

How do you find the name of the right publisher or editor?

Roll up your sleeves and click those computer keys. You want to find not only the contact's job title but also her name
'If [the publishing house] has multiple editors, approach an assitant editor, associate editor, or senior editor (Generally avoid managing editors, who oversee the daily operations but often don't read unsolicited manuscripts)' -How to stay out of the slush pile

Other reference sources...

-books in your genre -- read the acknowledgment section. Sometimes authors will thank their editors. 

-join genre associations or genre specific writing groups -- members may be able to supply you with the name and job title

Dear Kathlene Witherspoon, Assistant Editor

"Bim" photo by ldyck
Next Post:  March 19 at approximately 5 PM PT 
Book review:  Note to Self by Laurie Buchanan (self-help) 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Guest post: Linda Marshall, children's author

First, thank you very much for inviting me to participate in your blog. What a joy the universe of children’s literature is! I’m so enjoying this new career. I didn’t start out as a writer. In fact, I started out as an Anthropologist with a strong interest in children’s development across cultures and in folklore. Prior to going to college, I’d spent several summers working with developmentally delayed children. That work inspired many questions, one of which was questioning how various cultures handle children who are different from the norm. In college, I studied cultural anthropology and early childhood education. Then, spurred by the nascent women’s movement, I began teaching in - and advocating for more - childcare centers. It was then that I discovered the joy of picture books. Wow! What an eye-opening. That’s when I met Swimmy, who helped all his friends work together to chase away the big, bad fish. And I met Max, whose mother still loved him - and kept his dinner warm - while he was angry and chasing wild things. And I met Frederick who, like me, wanted to gather sunbeams.

I continued teaching small children. Then, with children of my own, I began teaching parenting education. Writing came late - very late! I’d pursued (but didn’t quite finish) a Ph.D. in Anthropology. I opened (and closed) a bookstore. I raised (to completion, if the job can ever be considered complete) four children. I also had a flock of sheep, chickens, rabbits, cats, and dogs. 

My writing grew from all of my experiences…and from the world around. I’m curious about almost everything…and I like to explore. I also love words. My article below, which first appeared in last summer's SCBWI Bulletin, describes my love of picture books…and how they can be used. 

 (Please click on image  to embolden)

I can be reached via my website: or 

Twitter (which I rarely use) @L_E_Marshall

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Book comparisons: why make them?

photo by LDyck

Why prepare a list (one to three) of published books that are similar to your manuscript? Why do a book comp?

-it's an abbreviated way to present your book to an editor or an agent.

-it shows editors or agents that you have your finger on the pulse of the genre you're writing -- that you're current, that you know what's hot, that you've done your homework.

-it show that there is a potential readership for your manuscript

-it helps the publisher see where your book might fit in their catalogue

-it helps the editor or agent pitch your manuscript

-it helps you locate the right publisher -- they published that book they may be interested in publishing mine.

-finding and reading that other book might inspire you to write a new story

-it verifies that your manuscript is fresh and original

-it keeps you motivated. You get to see, feel, smell a book that is similar to what yours might look like.

Where do you find these potential comps?

-your bookshelves

-your local library

-your favourite bookstore

-publishers' catalogs

-Quill and Quire magazine

-Publishers Weekly


-Other reviewers who read your genre

Heather Ann Burnell (Submissions 101 - Finding Comparable Books) writes:  Use 'titles that are recent [within 10 years] and are in the same category or genre, have the same target audience, and are not so obscure that that the person reading your query has never heard of it' or so popular that you're seen as arrogant or lazy.

Next post:  Sunday, March 5th (approximately 5 PM PT) 
Guest post by author Linda Marshall

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Book review: Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis

USA Today reports a resurgence of interest in George Orwell's work -- namely 1984. I'd like to call attention to another of Orwell's books:  Animal Farm -- which I believe is equally relevant. 

logline:  Spearheaded by pigs, farm animals rise up against their mistreatment and establish their own government.

If you enjoy (or have enjoyed) reading Animal Farm you'll also enjoy Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis -- published by Coach House.
logline:  Two Greek gods -- Hermes and Apollo -- gift fifteen dogs with human intelligence.

In Fifteen Dogs, Alexis studies society:  its development, what it means to live on the fringe (as an outcast, as an immigrant), and the purpose of art (to reflect, to provoke).

Writing Fifteen Dogs won Andre Alexis the 2015 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the 2015 ScotiaBank Giller Prize

In his Quill and Quire magazine article (The Key to Success), Nick Patch reports that -- as of November 2016 -- Fifteen Dogs had sold 110,000 print copies and 20,000 ebooks. Also in the article, Alexis is quoted as saying:  Fifteen Dogs ' "touched a lot of people and I'm happy." '

Fifteen Dogs is my Canada Reads pick -- the book all Canadians should read.

The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) radio program Canada Reads runs from March 27 to 30.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Alone with Him (short story) by Leanne Dyck

I've been working on this short story (flash fiction) for years. Recently, I found the ending and I wanted to share the newly re-written story with you.

(early Tuesday morning -- photo by LDyck)

Alone with Him

He speaks to me, touches me. A cool hand of longing traces down my body and makes me shiver. Why do I feel this way? What's wrong with me? I should stop.

But I don't; I can't. I'm his. He possesses me. I long to stroke his cheek, kiss his lips, melt in his embraces. So there I sit on my bed -- alone with him. My nose buried in the book. I turn each page in eager anticipation. Where will he take me now? My imagination is the world we share. There he lives, he breathes.

I found him in the school library. The book is tattered. It upsets me to think of how many years he waited for me.

But we have found each other. And now that we are together, all I want is him. I find excuses to sneak off.

"I have to brush my hair...make my my homework."

Last chapter -- paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, word by word -- he is slipping away. I'm killing him, us. Still, I can't stop.

The end, I close the book and run a hand tenderly over the cover. My heart calls for him. I feel him in the shadows; he visits me only in my memories. He is gone.

Desperate, I pick up my pen. Imagination fueled by longing, I write. And he returns to me.


Once on the CCBC website, please scroll down to Amy's Travels in Teen Fiction for a list of Amy's hunky literary heroes.

Happy Valentine's Day

Next post:  Sunday, February 19 (at approximately 5 PM PST)  
I review my Canada Reads pick. Hit:  'Dog' is in the title. 
Looking forward to your visit.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Do you write with a pen?

Does anyone write with a pen, anymore?

Of course not. Who has that kind of time? All of us are in too much of a hurry to finish that novel and get it published. Did that one, on to the next -- every year...twice a year...every three months.

Fast, faster, fastest -- the fastest wins the race. And this is a race. Right? That's the reason you write, right -- to win.

And if you don't win. You lose -- your readership, your title. You can't call yourself a writer unless you win. You can't call yourself a writer unless you pump out those novels. Writers write -- All. The. Time.

So ditch that pen. It's way too slow. The computer is the only tool to use. You're in this game to win.


I recently received a rejection letter that read more like a pep-talk. The P-u-b-l-i-s-h-e-r wanted me to realize that it wasn't the act of being published that gave my writing value. She wanted me to remember that writing -- the act, the craft -- in and of itself is valuable.

And so I wonder... Could it be true that we don't have to enter the race? Is it possible that you don't even have to be published to be a writer? Maybe there are more important things than speed--like maybe studying the craft. Hmmm...


Giving Up and Giving In by Kathryn Magendie

Sunday, January 29, 2017

How is a synopsis like ordering eggs?

What is a synopsis?

'A synopsis conveys the narrative arc, an explanation of the problem or plot, the characters, and how the book or novel ends.'
 5 Tips on How to Write a Synopsis by Courtney Carpenter (Writer's Digest)

Once upon a time, synopsis could be seven pages long. But once upon a time is a long time ago. Now brevity counts. 

How brief?

For example, my novel is 53,000 words. My synopsis is 110 words.

Desiring feedback, I brought that synopsis to my writing group. They were very helpful. But one question I didn't expect inspired this article. 

How is a Synopsis like cooking eggs?

How do you like your eggs?

He said:  over-easy

She said:  scrambled

When preparing a submission package, where do you put the synopsis?

He said:  You should include it in the query letter.
(The query letter introduces the author and the manuscript. Also referred to as the cover letter.)

She said:  It should be on a separate sheet of paper.

He explained:  Publishers don't have time to paw through tons of paper.

She explained:  Unless it's on a separate sheet of paper the synopsis will be overlooked.

Who's is right?

The publisher -- or literary agent.

Carefully read the submission guidelines. There you will find details about how the synopsis should be presented. If you don't find this information, feel free to use your best judgment. No matter where you put it, always include it.


Of course, you might not have the 'where-to-put-this-thing' problem. Your synopsis may not be as short as mine. That's okay. It can be as long as two pages. In which case, she is right.


Writing a Novel Synopsis by Jane Friedman

How to write a 1-page synopsis by Sooz

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Book review: All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

In our fast-paced, stressed filled lives, have you had a conversation like this...

Dr. McCarthy:  ' "So tell me. What are you doing to take care of yourself" '
Allison Weiss (protagonist of All Fall Down):  ' "Nothing, really. There just isn't time." ' (p. 31)

What will happen to you if you ignore your own needs and only live to serve others and/or build your business? What will happen...?

Author Jennifer Weiner knows. All Fall Down is a cautionary tale.

When you read the words 'drug addict' do you see a vagrant with stringy hair, wearing a parka in July? 

Meet Allison Weiss--she's a wife, a mother, and a businesswoman. 

Overcome by 'the accumulated stress of a mostly successful, extremely busy life' (p. 9) Allison turns to something that will help her cope.
'The pills calmed me down... When I swallowed them, I felt like I could accomplish anything.' (p. 22)
I witnessed Allison's swift descent into drug dependency--as she takes first two, then four, then six pills to help her cope, to keep her afloat.

Author Jennifer Weiner applies all the senses and I truly felt what Allison goes through--I'm overwhelmed, I'm in need, I'm dependent, I'm ill. It isn't pretty. I see dependency plainly. I'm there.
'My skin felt like it was host to hundreds of thousands of fiery ants wearing boots made of poison-tipped needles.' (p. 216)
The message is clear:  Never get so busy that you forget your own needs. You need to listen to yourself, care for yourself--the same way you care for others. Because you can never tell if you are 'one of the earthlings, who could take or leave a glass of wine, or a joint, or a...; or one of the Martians, for was too many and a thousand was never enough. You can never tell.' (p. 358 - 359) 

Visit author Jennifer Weiner's website.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Keep Your Dream Alive (the secret of success)

(photo by ldyck)

Theme song:  Blue Skies

Martin Luther King Junior had a dream. Do you?

Do you imagine a brighter tomorrow? What does it look, smell, feel, taste like? What foods will you eat? What clothes will you wear? Where will you live? Where will you travel? Who will be your partner, your friend? How will you help others? When asked for the secret of your success what will you credit?

Find images or objects that will make your dream tangible. Imagine your success and write about in your journal.

Keep your dream in your pocket. Affirmations are keywords that help you visualize your dream. For example,  I am a best-selling author.

'I will...' puts distance between you and your dream. 'I am...' gives strength to your dream--helps you visualize it.

Write your affirmations on index cards. Keep these cards by your bed, in your car, in your pocket-- anywhere that they may be readily available.

What steps will you take today to bring you closer to success?

-visit a bookstore or library. Imagine your book on the shelves. Read books on the craft of writing.


-write a short story


-work on a novel


-network with others in the publishing industry (connect with them on LinkedIn; email your favourite author)


-visit a publisher's website and buy one of their books


-write an article for your blog


-participate in a blog tour for a new release


-join a writing group


-enter a writing contest


-attend a writing event


-send a manuscript to a publisher


Realize that you are the only one who can make your dream reality.

Stay positive.

'I just wish people would realize that anything's possible if you try; dreams are made possible if you try.' -Terry Fox


Plan to Achieve Your Creative Goals in 2017 by Joanna Penn 

Why Success is Hard

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Basket Weaving (short story) by Leanne Dyck

(photo ldyck)

Basket Weaving

The radio interviewer skimmed the paper. “Please introduce yourself to our listening audience.”

Name, city of residence that was what was expected, but instead...

“I'll soon be a widow.”

Dead air. The interviewer cut it as quickly as possible. “Oh, your husband's off for the weekend. Is he into golf, hockey..."

“No, it's worse than that.”

“Basket weaving. Ah, baskets. Why don't you tell us about the baskets you make for ch —.”

“My husband wants to get rid of me — you know, like kill. He's tried more than once. Why just the other day I was standing too close to the pool and he rushed me. He may have succeeded had I not kept my ground. But it's not going to be me who d —.”

The interview heard a man growl, “Mindy can't talk.” Click.

Hey, know what? You just read a micro text. Now why don't you write one.


Here's a reason...

Emerging authors (and CRD residents) 
enter for a chance to win $500
Deadline:  January 22, 2017

The Malahat Review (literary journal) Poetry and Micro Text contest

or if that's too short why not try this...

Deadline:  January 15
(once on the site, scroll down)

Picture Books in Canada

Red Deer Press is a Canadian multi-genre book publisher.
Canadian authors may submit manuscripts by email or mail.
Submission guidelines

Sharing my Author Journey...

Life, the universe is encouraging me to be more focused. I have

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017: a year of possibilities

("Hello 2017" photo by ldyck)

I know exactly what I want to accomplish this year--I want to continue to build a successful author career. 

But what is my next move?

 Should I write this story? Submit to this publisher? Should I include this information in my query?

"A" doesn't always lead to "B". It may lead to "C" and loop back to "B". "B" may not resemble what I envisioned. It may look like a waste of time or worse something to be avoided. 

The only thing I can control is my mind.

'Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us or we find it not.' -Ralph Waldo Emerson
'We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.' -Talmud
'A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.' -Mahatma Gandhi
( I found the last two quotes while reading Laurie Buchanan's new book--Note to Self. It's a must-read. I'll explain why in the coming months.)

To open the door to possibility, remain positive.

How do you remain positive? 

Periodically, over the coming weeks (or months), I will share my answer to this question. I invite you to share yours in the comments.
("Good-bye 2016" photo by ldyck)

Next post:  

Published on Sunday, January 8th at approximately 5 PM (ish) PST.
Short story:  Basket Weaving by Leanne Dyck
Have you heard the literary term Micro Text?
I'll explain by way of example.

Picture Books in Canada

Based in Ontario, Pajama Press is an independent children's literature publishing house.

Sharing my author journey...

This holiday has been very productive. I've finished writing (who is to say what is more accurate) two