Sunday, February 25, 2018

Have you made a warm fuzzy? (short story) by Leanne Dyck

You do good for the sake of being good--not because it will earn you some kind of reward. Or do you act out of selfishness? And if you act without any thought to self-gain, do you still receive a reward?

Some would argue that the mere act of giving is its own reward. That reward is intangible--rather than tangible--a warm fuzzy feeling. Never downplay the warm fuzzies. They give you a high better than any drug.

(an example of the knitting I did for babies)

ArtCraft on Salt Spring Island is a seasonal gallery--open during the summer months. They sell locally-made (on-island and from the surrounding smaller islands) art and craft, hence the name. Years ago, when I was a participating crafter, I sailed to them twice a year--to drop off and pick up. 

I was on a pickup run--sailing home with a small bag full of knitting. Among the items were several baby toques. Something made me stop reading my novel. Something made me notice them--a mother and her baby. They were so cute together. I carried the toques over to them. 

After a brief explanation, I opened the bag.

She dug through her purse and found her wallet. "How much--?" 

I shook my head. "No, it's a gift."

The look on her face... What a reward. 

She popped the hat on her child's head. Oh, so cute.

Another idea: "You probably have friends with babies."

"A few," she told me.

"Here, these are for them." I handed her the bag. And the warm fuzzies doubled. In fact, when I'm blue, that memory still picks me up.

(another example)

You tell me:  generosity or selfishness?

(before its seams were sown and ends were woven in--and it was sent away Iceland)

Next post:  Sunday, March 4th (approximately 5 PM PST)
What exactly do we writers owe our readers? What do we promise them they will discover in our books? In my short article, I discuss the author-reader contract with regard to the opening sentence, the hook.

Sharing my author journey...

(and caught in the act of working on a sweater for a baby)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Self Publishing? Ah, nope by Leanne Dyck

"dreaming of spring on Mayne Island" ldyck


"Hey, Leanne, it's taken you so long to publish a new book have you ever thought of self-publishing?"


"Hey, Leanne, have you published anything recently?"



I began my career as a self-published author. I published fiction and non-fiction for adults. It was a fun experience that challenged and informed me. I'm glad I started that way, but I have no plans to return to this path to publication.


I like the idea of joining a team of professionals. 
(meaning, I don't want to assemble a team)


I don't like the idea of shelling out money in order to be published--especially when there's no guarantee I will earn it all back. 

A book could be a must-read but if no one knows about it it won't become a best-seller.

Successful self-publishing, in my opinion, relies on deep pockets and a big name. I have neither. And so I seek to team-up with a recognized and trusted name publisher.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not cautioning you against self-publishing. If it makes sense to you I say go for it. It doesn't make sense to me so I won't.

The downside you'll have to wait a long time to read my next book. (estimation:  about two years after I sign a contract). In the meantime, I hope you will continue to read this blog. Thank you for your interest and for supporting my author journey.

"dreaming of spring on Mayne Island" ldyck

Next post:  Sunday, February 20th (5PM PST)
I'll share a slice of life from my days as a knitwear designer. 

Sharing my author journey...

"Abby enjoying her human pillow" ldyck

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Wanderlust (short story) by Leanne Dyck

There are tons of story prompts on the Internet. I read one suggesting that inspiration be gleaned from a few verses from a song. I read this prompt and forgot about it. I was working on a number of writing projects. I didn't need to be prompted. But, apparently, my subconscious was inspired. Early one morning, I wrote this short story--inspired by two verses from Tom Paxton's 1964 classic:  Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound

from a collection of vintage postcards  ldyck


His boyhood home hadn't changed--same blue Pontiac in the driveway, same welcome mat. It felt odd but he knocked anyway. His little sister--now a woman--opened the door.

"Well, look at you."

"You've been gone a long time," she said with unmistakable maturity.

"I had to read life's stories in the stars, in the sand." He couldn't be blamed for a poet's curiosity.

He told her of what he'd found--the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben--as she made coffee and put icebox cookies on a plate.

"Where are mom and dad?"

"They always left the porch light on. They grew old waiting for you to come home." As gently as she could, she told him about standing under the oak tree, watching their coffins being lowered into the ground.

That woke him from his introspection. He felt the sand in the hourglass trickling away. It was time he did what was expected. He got a job, got married, bought a house, had kids. He tried, he really did. But one day, the wind in the trees sang a certain song. He couldn't resist the call of the road.

He found his wife in the kitchen and waited until she took the last batch of cookies out of the oven.

"Honey, I have something I have to tell you." I can't breathe. It's like I'm in a small box being squeezed to death. I'll send money; you won't do without. It's nothing you've done; it's who I am. But he looked at her face--those soft doe eyes. So full of love. So trusting.

The door banged open. The kids thundered into the house. 

She bolted from her chair, pointing at the door. "Outside. Take off those mud-caked shoes, outside." Returning to him, she asked, "Sorry, what did you want to tell me?"

But the moment was lost. His courage was gone. All he could say was, "I love you"--which was enough for her. Only he knew she would need more. And day after day, he tried. And day after day, he failed. In the end, he left it all in a note.

He sent her postcards from every place he visited hoping that in some small way it would make amends. See, I do think of you--he hoped the gesture proved. He always signed the cards with love.

Maybe one day, when you're away from home, you'll meet him. He'll probably tell you what he told me. "Have an adventure or maybe two. But go home--before you forget how to." Buy him a beer or two and he may even sing fragments of a barely remembered song, "Nail your shoes to the kitchen floor, lace 'em up and bar the door/Thank your stars for the roof that's over you."

This short story is dedicated to George.

Next Post:  Sunday, February 18 
at approximately 5:00 PM PST
Self-publishing? Ah, nope
I explain why I explain why I continue to travel down the path I'm taking

Sharing my author journey...

Sunday, February 4, 2018

My Knitting Haven (short story) by Leanne Dyck

I wrote this short story in 2010...oops...nope. It was 2003. 

Mayne Island hums with the songs of artists and artisans inspired. Its beauty is a natural incubator for creating. The minute I set foot on its soil my creative soul sang and I knew I was home. For four years I have been proud to call Mayne Island home. 

Over this time my knitting haven has floated from shore to shore. Both on the isle itself and also on BC ferry. Unless you are very shy, the ferry is a perfect haven. Long uninterrupted periods of clicking with inspiration as close as the nearest window.

We have moved three times during these four short years...and I have changed professions. Through it all, I have been delighted with the quality of knitting havens. For the first two years, I clicked away as customers came and went from my craft supply store. When my store closed, my haven moved to a beautiful garden setting where squirrels, hummingbirds, and deer inspected my stitches. Recently, we staked our claim as islanders with the purchase of our home. 

My new home is littered with tell-tale signs:  yarn, needles, knitting, knitting baskets, and paper and pen. As this is late fall, my knitting haven is located in the living room. With three cats blissfully sleeping and a wood stove glowing in the corner, I knit. You are invited to grab some needles, lovely yarn and join me by the fire.

Next post:  Sunday, February 11th
This short story was inspired by two verses from a Tom Paxton song.

"Abby listening" ldyck

Sharing my author journey...

What's the significance of this article to my writing life right now? Read on...