Tuesday, October 3, 2017

nervous about doing an author reading or talk?

Encouraging, funny article here by writer & cartoonist Bob Eckstein: http://tinyurl.com/y7sknv5t .

Monday, October 2, 2017

WAITING FOR MESSIAH by David Russell: review by Elma Schemenauer

"Nourish us with sacred story till we claim it as our own." In our church we often sing these words, which are part of the hymn "As We Gather at your Table." I believe the book WAITING FOR MESSIAH edited by David Russell can be a helpful resource in this regard. It's a collection of stories about Christ from a Messianic Jewish point of view.


The stories, written by several authors including Russell himself, are based on imagining the lives of known Bible figures who waited for Messiah. They reflect the heart cry that, in the words of Russell, "continues down the centuries from ancient Yisrael to modern Indiana and everywhere in between."


The word list near the beginning of the book is useful for people who, like myself, aren't terribly familiar with Hebrew. It includes terms such as Adonai (Lord God), Avraham Avinu (Abraham our father), Berakhah (Blessing), and Tehillim (Psalms).


The book contains eleven stories. These stood out for me:


-"A Mother's Tale" by Karen Hopkins. Scenes from the life of Miryam, mother of Yeshua. When taunted for getting pregnant before marriage, she says, "Every baby is a blessing... And this baby is a very special blessing."


-"One Glorious Night" by Ronnie Dauber. A young shepherd recounts the birth of "the ultimate lamb."


-"Free at Last" by Ugonmaeze Akandu. When the elderly Simeon meets the Holy Family in the temple, He realizes that God has kept His promise and will finally let His servant go in peace.


-"Yeshua the Rabbi" by David Russell. In Yeshua's hometown, Natzeret, many people reject him. The narrator of the story isn't sure what to think. He says, "We've got other possible messiahs running around, but Yeshua, there's something about him the others cannot claim to possess."


-"In Full Unity" by Donna B. Comeau. A woman weaves a seamless garment with no idea of who will wear it. She worries that she's acting foolishly. When she meets Yeshua, she knows that God led her to weave it for Him. I like this story's specific details about the woman's living conditions, for example, "Her roof had a beam that ran from wall to wall, and atop was a healthy crop of grass, barley, and the dying beginnings of a fig tree that wouldn't survive the summer's heat."


-"Redemption of a Thief" by Glenda Reynolds. A thief who murders a young man sees Yeshua raise him from the dead. The miracle impresses the thief, who says "I carried on with my life of crime, but I was not the same thief after that day." Eventually he is sentenced to death for his many crimes. As he hangs on his cross beside Yeshua, he says, "Remember me when you come into your kingdom." Yeshua's answer: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise.”


Brief notes after each story tell something about the author and where he or she may be reached. I think the book would be a good read for both adults and young adults.


WAITING FOR MESSIAH is available as an e-book for $3.89 American at this site: https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=waiting+for+messiah


Monday, September 18, 2017

Jane Friedman on using social media to promote your writing

How do you feel about using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to promote your writing? Confident? Terrified? Cautious? Puzzled? Good thoughts from publishing guru Jane Friedman here: http://tinyurl.com/y9jpe8hj .


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Are you looking for an editor?

Looking for an editor? Consider Blazej Szpakowicz, a member of the Kamloops-based Interior Authors Group. Here’s his curriculum vitae.



Blazej Szpakowicz: writer, editor, historian, language nerd.


I'm a Kamloops-based editor and writer with a BSc in Computer Science and a PhD in History. It will be my pleasure to polish your writing until it shines, and to help you communicate your ideas in the clearest and most eloquent language. My main areas of specialization are academic writing and speculative fiction, but I copyedit across all fiction and non-fiction genres. Short story? The next great Canadian novel? Position paper? Scientific article? Doctoral dissertation? Whatever you need, I've got you covered!


I have a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Ottawa, and have also completed Editors Canada professional development seminars in copyediting. I spent over fifteen years in academia as a student, teaching assistant and professor, and have extensive experience correcting students' papers not only for grammar and spelling but also for clarity of expression and strength of logical argument. I have critiqued or copyedited an array of fiction and non-fiction writing, ranging from history papers to science fiction and fantasy short stories to economics essays to corporate position papers, and my interests include such diverse topics as the history of the English language, Japanese anime and manga, British television, video games, and professional wrestling. I have also completed TESOL/TEFL certification, and much of my recent editorial experience involves working with writers for whom English is a second language.


As a writer, I have over fifteen years' experience in academic writing, including an award-winning Master's thesis in History at the University of Ottawa. I've also been writing science fiction and fantasy for about as long as I can remember. As a writer of fiction, I've critiqued and been critiqued—so I personally know how painful it can be to put your work out there and how important it is to treat authors with tact and respect.


You can find me in the Editors Canada Online Directory of Editors at http://www.editors.ca/directory/blazej-szpakowicz-phd


Feel free to contact me at bszpak@editors.ca with any questions or to arrange a sample edit!



Blazej Szpakowicz, PhD                 zek@eecs.uottawa.ca




Monday, September 11, 2017

finding a title for your work of nonfiction

Good article on Jane Friedman’s blog here: http://tinyurl.com/yaxjsp2r .

Sunday, September 3, 2017

recipe lemon pudding

In the last few years, quite a few foods don’t agree with me including dairy products unless cooked and most grains. Here’s a pudding that works and tastes delicious.


1 cup water

1 egg

3 tablespoons starch [arrowroot or tapioca][Cornstarch doesn't agree with me.]


Whisk together and cook, stirring constantly till it reaches a boil. Boil and stir about 1 minute till fairly thick. Remove from heat and stir in:


Juice and grated peel of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Honey to taste [1/2 cup or more]


Let cool a few minutes. Put plastic wrap directly on top of pudding to keep it from forming a skin and refrigerate until serving time. Serve plain or with ice cream, pouring cream, and/or fruit.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Kamloops an "agreeable last stop for poet Robert Service

Thanks to the Kamloops paper The Connector, which published my article about poet Robert Service in their June 2017 issue. 1st photo shows the Service plaque in Kamloops. 2nd shows him about the time he arrived (credit Library and Archives Canada). Here's my article:

An "agreeable" last stop for Service

Submitted by Elma Schemenauer

Robert Service was a shy awkward thirty-year-old when the Canadian Bank of Commerce transferred him to Kamloops in July 1904. He was sorry to leave Victoria, but found Kamloops "even more agreeable."

In his autobiographical book Ploughman of the Moon, Service describes his time in Kamloops, which he characterizes as "a town in the heart of the cattle country, with a river running alongside."

He and other employees lived in rooms above the bank. At that time the Kamloops branch was located at the southeast corner of Victoria Street and First Avenue, where Brendan Shaw Real Estate now makes its home. A Chinese cook prepared meals for the "bank boys."

Service wasn't a natural banker. He was too much of a dreamer to concentrate on numbers. He wrote in Ploughman of the Moon, "I knew I was not suited for the job; yet I had no hope in any other direction, and I was intensely grateful for the safety and social standing it offered."

Banking was a welcome change after the years he had spent as a drifter, wandering minstrel, potato-digger, orange-picker, cowboy, and "cow-juice jerker."

Service was pleased with the bank's undemanding schedule. It gave him lots of time to ride his pony over the area's "rolling ridges, or into spectral gulches that rose to ghostlier mountains....like the scenery of Mexico." He reports "meeting Indians, superb horsemen" and "making friends among the cattle ranchers. They gave dances in their lonely homes, and we (Service and pals) would ride back in the early hours of the morning."

Service also played polo in Kamloops, though he wasn't good at it. He says he "never could hit the ball with certainty."

What was he good at? Poetry-writing had tugged at his soul during his years of poverty and wandering. However, he hadn't developed his poetic gifts to a great extent.

As it turned out, Kamloops was the last stop on Service's road to literary fame. In the fall of 1904, the Canadian Bank of Commerce announced it was transferring him to Whitehorse in the Yukon. When other bank employees heard the news, they envied him. They had heard exciting stories about the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-1899. The rush was over, but the thrill and romance lingered.

Service was sorry to leave Kamloops. He wrote that "life there had been delightful." Yet he felt a sense of destiny leading him on. He travelled to the Yukon with "an idea that a new and wonderful chapter in my life was about to begin."

It did. In the Yukon, Robert W. Service's gift for poetry blossomed like wildflowers in the brief Arctic summer. One of his best known ballads is "The Cremation of Sam McGee." It begins:

There are strange things done in the midnight sun

By the men who moil for gold;

The Arctic trails have their secret tales

That would make your blood run cold.

This grisly but entertaining ballad was inspired by a true event. Both the event and the writing of "The Cremation of Sam McGee" are described in my new book YesterCanada: Historical Tales of Mystery and Adventure. For more info about the book, which presents 30 historical tales spanning Canada and the years from the 1200s to the 1900s, please see http://elmams.wixsite.com/elma .