Saturday, December 31, 2016

6 things you need to write a book

Do your New Year’s resolutions include writing a book or getting started on writing one? Good ideas in this article: http://tinyurl.com/z7fq4xy .

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Marguerite's story in YesterCanada

MARGUERITE AND THE QUEST FOR A NEW FRENCH KINGDOM is one of 30 stories in my new book YesterCanada: Historical Tales of Mystery and Adventure. It starts like this:
It was a sunny spring day in 1542. Marguerite de la
Roche, a dark-haired girl in her teens, stood on the deck
of her uncle's ship. Her heart pounded with excitement
as she watched the coast of France fade into the distance.
She turned to face the blue expanse of sky and
ocean. Seagulls squealed and soared overhead. The air
was filled with the smell of salt water and tarred rope.
What an adventure! She was going to the New World.
What would she find there? She'd heard stories of
the hardships suffered by those who had tried to start
settlements on those distant western shores. But she'd
also heard about the New World's beauty and riches.
Its waters were full of fish. Its forests abounded with
wildlife such as beaver, fox, and bear. Precious metals
might be hidden in its rocks. The French explorer
Jacques Cartier had seen Aboriginal people using knives
made of copper.
The possibility of finding copper and perhaps even
gold and diamonds was one reason for the voyage her
uncle was undertaking. The other reason was his desire
to claim territory for France.
King Francis had chosen Marguerite's uncle, a
nobleman commonly known as Roberval, to act as his
representative in the New World. The king had given
Roberval a fleet of ships and commissioned him to set
up a French kingdom in the western lands. Marguerite
was delighted that her uncle had taken her along on his
exciting expedition.
As she gazed across the waves, her long dark hair
streaming behind her, she became aware that someone
was watching her. Out of the corner of her eye, she
caught the admiring look of a handsome young sailor
who was standing near by, coiling up an anchor rope.
Marguerite blushed and lowered her eyes. Then she
turned and darted away.
You can read more of this story in the book YesterCanada. Ask for it in a bookstore or library. Or order online from:
​-Chapters Indigo   http://tinyurl.com/jkuuje3 
-The publisher, Borealis Press   http://tinyurl.com/hwn3m6x


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

OTHER VOICES: Tony Blenman's memoir reviewed by Elma Schemenauer

Tony Blenman has heard conflicting voices all his life. As a child in Barbados, he sometimes received positive guidance from adults. Sometimes he didn't since his family was troubled by alcoholism, infidelity, and physical and sexual abuse.

 

Tony often felt caught between positive and negative voices, from family members as well as friends. However, he seemed to have a God-given tendency to choose good over bad. For example, he says, "I tended to tell truth even if I was going to get in trouble for it."

 

A great-aunt's Christian beliefs influenced Tony, and by the time he was a teenager, he was travelling with a friend ministering the Gospel. A few years later he decided to attend Northwest Bible College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A couple of his friends also decided to attend this college. Tony's friends received their visas. He didn't.

 

Disappointment depressed him to the point where he stopped attending church and reading his Bible. Thankfully, he finally listened to more positive voices and returned to his Christian faith. Not long afterwards, his visa came through and he received permission to go to Canada.

 

Having learned that Canada was cold, Tony tried to prepare himself by cranking down the air conditioning in the laboratory where he worked. However, when he arrived in Edmonton in 1969, he discovered that even extreme air conditioning couldn't match that city's cold weather.

 

The young newcomer also suffered from coldness of a different kind, racism. He tells of being invited for an interview regarding a position in a church. When he arrived, the board members were surprised at the colour of his skin. They had expected him to be German based on his last name. The board went ahead with the interview anyway, but didn't seem to take it seriously and didn't hire him.

 

Despite the extensive Biblical and theological education Tony acquired, he was never able to obtain more than a temporary ministry in a church. He also wasn't given the opportunity to fulfill his dream of becoming a Bible College teacher.

 

Evidently part of the problem was his skin colour and the fact that he was in an inter-racial marriage, having married a white Canadian he had met in Edmonton. Another part was the fact that his wife had had a child by another man before marrying Tony.

 

He was disheartened at not being able to work in Christian ministry. However, he eventually found another way to help people. He began working in a treatment facility for children and youth with behavioural problems. Regarding one client he counseled, he says, "I recognized the voice he was listening to in his very young life. I drew from experience and told him...not to listen anymore to an inner voice of defeatism."

 

Later Tony studied social work and began counseling men and women who had parenting and spousal issues. He ended up spending twenty years as a clinical social worker with his own business, encouraging people to listen to constructive voices.

 

I enjoyed the vivid details about Barbados in Tony's book. I could picture the yams, molasses, and fields of sugar cane, and hear the church bells ringing.

 

Tony remembers many details of his life at age five. This resonates with me since I also remember a lot from when I was that age. In fact, my early life in a very different place, the Saskatchewan prairie, helped inspire my 1940s-era Mennonite novel Consider the Sunflowers.

 

Since I'm originally a prairie chicken, I was interested in Tony's impression of that part of Canada. He says he "didn't know the actual meaning of a prairie" till he travelled from Edmonton to visit relatives in Hamilton, Ontario. As he crossed Alberta and Saskatchewan, he finally "understood what a prairie province was all about." Flat as far as the eye could see.

 

I like that. In fact, I like this whole book. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in memoir, the West Indies, Christian faith, immigrant experiences in Canada and the United States, and overcoming obstacles in life.

 

The book is available online from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Chapters Indigo. Published: March 30, 2016 Publisher: FriesenPress  Language: English, ISBN - 10:1460285506  ISBN - 13:9781460285503

 

 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Can you write a lyric essay by the end of March?

Lyric essay-writers & potential lyric-essay-writers: Here’s an interesting opportunity: http://www.portyonderpress.com/2017-guidelines.html

 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

guidance on writing 101-words stories or other short fiction

Looking for guidance on writing 101-word stories or other short short fiction? Pamelyn Casto has a good article here: http://abstractmagtv.com/2016/12/15/a-short-course-in-short-short-fiction/

Sunflowers bloom in Prairies North, the magazine of Saskatchewan

My 1940s Saskatchewan Mennonite novel Consider the Sunflowers is reviewed in Prairies North, the magazine of Saskatchewan, Winter 2016 issue. The same issue features the article “Saskatchewan’s strong women of settlement.” It includes Elizabeth Schinold, who settled in my hometown, Elbow, in 1907.

Consider the Sunflowers

Rating: 3.5 of 5

Author Elma Schemenauer

Publisher Borealis Press Ltd

Genre Historical Fiction

Release Date January 1, 2015

ISBN 0888875754

Review by Lionel Hughes

Rural women enjoyed many of the benefits from modernization but increased urbanization created new complications. Author Elma Schemenauer has explored the new realities facing women like her mother in her fictional book Consider the Sunflowers http://tinyurl.com/hpxwbzx .

“My mother Agatha often talked about the differences between her life before and after marriage,” says Schemenauer. “She had worked in Saskatoon and Vancouver as a young woman during the Depression of the 1930s. A lot of single Mennonite women worked in cities during those years, sending money home to their parents and siblings on the farms.

“Agatha enjoyed city life but felt lonesome for her boyfriend back in their small Mennonite community near Elbow and Loreburn, about halfway between Saskatoon and Regina. Eventually she returned, marrying him in 1940. However, she always missed city life, while my father loved farming and the wide-open spaces of the Prairies.”

From the historical foundation of her mother’s life, Schemenauer imagines different, but entirely plausible outcomes for women like her mother. “My characters Tina and Frank live on a farm 12 miles east of Dayspring, Saskatchewan based on my parents’ farm 12 miles east of Elbow. Tina realizes that Frank will never move to a city, so she tries to convince him to move closer to Dayspring.” He refuses.

“I was a child in the 1940s so I personally witnessed the situation [of the times]. I saw it play out in the lives of my Mennonite mother, grandmothers, aunts, great aunts, and neighbours. I have vivid memories of those years and drew on those. In the Mennonite culture I grew up in, marriage is seen as a reflection of Christ, the bridegroom’s loving relationship with his bride, the Church. The family is defined as a man and a woman and their children, a communion of persons committed to sharing self-giving love. Mennonites, being human, don’t always live up to these high ideals. However, I believe that having such ideals helps them navigate difficulty in relationships.”

Where Schemenauer’s personal experiences ran out, she did what every good writer does.

“My personal impressions weren’t wide-ranging enough and they were those of a child, not an adult. So I supplemented them with information from other sources. For example, I interviewed Mennonite relatives and acquaintances. I visited Mennonite museums and communities. I read autobiographies, family histories, community histories, and general historical works. I enjoy such research and continue it to this day.”

 

 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

101-word story: contest

This contest looks interesting. Deadline Dec 21. Can you write a good 101-word story between now and then? https://www.101words.org/writing-contest/

 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

short story contest: On the Premises

Free short-story contest from On the Premises.

 

4) Short Story Contest #29

We're launching a new, full-length short story contest! The premise is:

SPACE

The word "space" has multiple literal meanings and can work as a noun or a verb, and it has multiple metaphorical meanings as well. There's outer space, inner space, emotional space ("I need my space!"), etc. Your challenge: Write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which the idea of "space" plays an important role. You may interpret "space" any way you want, as long as your readers can figure out how you're using it. For instance, it's not enough to set a story in an empty warehouse just because empty warehouses have a lot of space--the space has to be an important part of the story.

GENRE RULES: No children's fiction, no exploitative sex, no over-the-top grossout horror, and no stories that are obvious parodies of existing fictional worlds or characters created by other authors.

One entry per author. No fee for entering.

Deadline: THURSDAY, March 2, 2017, 11:59 PM Eastern Time. This one ends on a THURSDAY, not a Friday!

Hyphenated Words: If the hyphenated word is generally considered a single word, it counts as one word. (Like "twenty-five" or "jack-o-lantern.") Otherwise each part of the hyphenated word counts separately.

Prizes: $220 for first, $160 for second, $120 for third, $60 for honorable mentions. We will publish between one and three honorable mentions. To submit, go to the following website and follow the instructions.

https://onthepremises.submittable.com/Submit

Friday, December 9, 2016

Slavomir Almajan's review of YesterCanada

The wise, kind Slavomir Almajan posted a review of my book YesterCanada: Historical Tales of Mystery and Adventure on his blog FROM THE ROOFTOPS. You can see it at the following website. Watch for snow falling on his rooftops.  https://afteryouplease.com/2016/12/05/elma-schemenauer/

 

Friday, December 2, 2016

new book, YesterCanada: Historical Tales of Mystery and Adventure

I'm thrilled to announce that my newest book, YesterCanada: Historical Tales of Mystery and Adventure, is available online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo, or the publisher, Borealis Press of Ottawa. Or ask in a store or library. YesterCanada presents 30 historical tales spanning this great land & the centuries from the 1200s to the 1900s. Here are a few of the mysteries you'll find in its pages: Where in the icy Arctic is the lost Vancouver-based ship Baychimo? Who rang the chapel bell in Tadoussac, Quebec one foggy April night in 1782? Why did a Minnesota farmer abandon his farm, walk to Saskatchewan, & build an ocean-going ship far from any ocean?

 

In YesterCanada you'll also meet adventurers like Ontario's daring Lady Agnes, pious Nova Scotia pioneers, Alberta's ill-fated gold-seekers, & the Manitoba Cree chief who gave his life for the woman he loved. YesterCanada is a 248-page paperback with 30 illustrations & a bibliography, ISBN 978-0-88887-650-8, $19.95. More information at http://elmams.wixsite.com/elma .

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

free contests for memoir/lifestory & historical fiction

Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest just announced these interesting free contests. Thanks, Chuck.

 

If You are Writing Memoir or Historical Fiction, Enter These FREE Agent-Judged Contests!

Welcome to the 28th and 29th (free!) "Dear Lucky Agent" Contests on the GLA Blog.


The "Dear Lucky Agent" Contest is a free recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here's the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes-meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two.

If you're writing Memoir/Lifestory, then the 28th contest is for you! Check out all the details and rules here. It is judged by agent Jennifer Wills of The Seymour Agency.

If you're writing Historical Fiction, then the 29th contest is for you! Check out all the details and rules here. It is judged by agent Elise Erickson of Harold Ober Associates.

The contests are both live through end of day, Dec. 31, 2016.

 

Monday, November 28, 2016

opportunities from Eastern Iowa Review

laughs for authors & editors

Here are some laughs for authors & editors, passed on to me by Eileen, a Kamloops author. Thanks, Eileen. My favourite is the one about the three-year-old.

 

"Lexophile" is a word used to describe those that have a love for words, such as "you can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish", or "to write with a broken pencil is pointless." A competition to see who can come up with the best lexophiles is held every year in an undisclosed location.     This year's winning submission is posted at the very end.


 
... When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate. 

... A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months. 

... When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A. 

.. The batteries were given out free of charge. 

... A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail. 

... A will is a dead giveaway. 

.. With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress. 

... A boiled egg is hard to beat. 

... When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall. 

... Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest. 

... Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off?
  He's all right now. 

... A bicycle can't stand alone; it's just two tired. 

... When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds. 

... The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered. 

... He had a photographic memory which was never developed. 

... When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she'd dye. 

... Acupuncture is a jab well done. That's the point of it. 
 
 

And the cream of the twisted crop:

. Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.

ALWAYS LAUGH WHEN YOU CAN;  IT'S CHEAP MEDICINE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, November 21, 2016

sunflowers bloom on Amazon.ca

My 1940s Saskatchewan Mennonite novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS is now on Amazon.ca ! It's never been there before. If you've read it, please consider posting a review. It can be short. https://www.amazon.ca/Consider-Sunflowers-Elma-Schemenauer/dp/0888875754/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479787213&sr=8-1&keywords=elma+schemenauer

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

a published voice for the homeless

A Boston literary magazine gives a published voice to homeless people. This is a good idea that I believe is being tried in other places too. The following article may provide inspiration and a concrete example: http://www.pw.org/content/lit_mag_gives_voice_to_homeless .

Monday, November 14, 2016

legal tips for publishing memoir & nonfiction

Good article at the following website. The links lead to other useful information. http://selfpublishingrelief.com/9-important-legal-tips-for-self-publishing-memoir-and-nonfiction/  .

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

IAG 2016 award winners Janet Miller & Virginia Laveau

As previously announced, Janet Miller and Virginia Laveau won the 2016 Dr. Robert & Elma Schemenauer Awards for

 

-WRITING WITH A KAMLOOPS & AREA THEME and

-WRITING SHOWING AN APPRECIATION OF NATURE THEME

 

Janet’s winning poem and Virginia’s winning article have now been posted on the Awards website. You can read them at http://elmams.wixsite.com/awards/award-winners .

 

The awards will be offered again in 2017 for writing on the same two themes. See the Awards website for details.

 

Monday, November 7, 2016

socially acceptable ways of talking about your writing on social media

 

When some authors talk on social media about their books or other writing, they interest people and get them on their side. However, other authors’ promotional activities tend to irritate people. Why? How can authors increase their chances of being in the first group? Good article here:

http://www.webdesignrelief.com/socially-acceptable-grandstanding-7-tips-talking-social-media/ .

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sahali Mall Market

I enjoyed another fun day at the Sahali Mall Market here in Kamloops. It’s a great place to shop for local MEATS, EGGS, BAKING, HEIRLOOM SEEDS, PREPARED FOOD, CRAFTS, BOOKS, & MORE. It happens EVERY SATURDAY NOW TILL CHRISTMAS, 10:00 AM TO 2:00 PM IN SAHALI MALL, 945 Columbia Street West, Kamloops (Jan. through Apr. 1st & 3rd Saturdays). Brought to you by VISIONS FARMERS MARKET SOCIETY, Andy Balogh, 250-577-3810, http://met.marketplacebc.ca/market/visions-farmers-market-society .

 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

developing characters in one's writing

Good article here on developing realistic characters in one’s writing: http://tinyurl.com/gp6yof4 .

 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS in Sahali Mall, Kamloops

My 1940s Saskatchewan Mennonite novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS was at the Sahali Mall Market in Kamloops last Saturday, at the Interior Authors Group table. The sunflowers & I had a good time. We plan to be there every Saturday from now through December 17. Please drop in if you're in the area.

Monday, October 31, 2016

resource for writers

This looks like a good resource for writers. It covers LOTS of topics. Ultimate Internet Writers Directory,

http://writersinternetdirectory.blogspot.com/ .

 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

contest for published works by Canadian writers who are Christian

Are you a Canadian writer who is Christian? You may be interested in this contest. It includes a number of different categories for books and other works published in 2016. Deadline for submissions is January 16, 2017.

https://thewordguild.com/contests/the-word-awards/the-2015-word-awards-guidelines/ .

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

writing opportunity: funny short stories 250 to 500 words

Have you written a funny short story of 250 to 500 words? Or can you write one? Or can you write a funny monologue that length? You may want to check out this website: http://www.funnyinfivehundred.com/p/submit.html .

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

want more reviews for your Christian book?

Have you had a Christian book published? Would you like to get more reviews for it? You might investigate the free service described at this website: http://www.interviewsandreviews.com/ . I don’t know anything about it but it sounds interesting.

poetry contest for people of faith, especially Catholics

Poetry contest for people of faith, especially Catholics: http://www.newyorkencounter.org/poetry-contest-2017 . Deadline is Nov 1.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

smiling speakers at Penticton writers festival April 2017

Hey, I’m in the smiling-speaker lineup for the Okanagan Valley Writers Festival in Penticton, BC, April 9-7, 2017: https://okanaganvalleywritersfestival.com/the-festival/2017-lineup/ . I’m slated to give 3 workshops:

-Catching Readers’ Attention: Hooks and Bait

-Fiction Flaws: Find Them, Fix Them

-Fictionalizing Real Life

Please pass this info on to folks who may be interested.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

determining & working toward authorship goals

So you want to be an author. Why? What are your authorship goals? How can you work toward them? Good article here: http://tinyurl.com/jg2tr2s .

 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

opportunities for writers: Spirit Fire & Indiana Voice

Spirit Fire Review is a magazine open to Christian poetry, creative nonfiction, visual art, and music, especially works celebrating the Holy Spirit:

http://www.spiritfirereview.com/

 

Its sister publication, Indiana Voice Journal, is open to general works of various types: poetry, fiction, etc. These works don’t need to be specifically Christian: http://www.indianavoicejournal.com/

 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

why we must not let newspapers die ....

This is funny, also contains useful lessons on how not to write.

 

On 5 October 2016 at 20:55, dennis drobot <denndbc@yahoo.com> wrote:

 

 

subject: Why we must not let newspapers die ....

 

Why we must not let newspapers die ....

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
And finally... 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Mennonite Child's Thanksgiving in 1940s Saskatchewan by Elma (Martens) Schemenauer

When I was growing up on the Saskatchewan prairie during the 1940s, Thanksgiving meant all-day church. We Mennonites called the holiday Erntedankfest since High German was our language of worship.

 

Before the morning service, several women of the congregation decorated the church. They arranged cabbages and baskets of other vegetables near the pulpit. They set loaves of homemade Bultki—white bread—on the pump organ, along with bouquets of sunflowers and other flowers. Some bouquets graced the windowsills.

 

The service started with a hymn: Nun Danket Alle Gott (Now Thank We All Our God) or similar. This was followed by Scripture reading and prayer, led by whichever man of the congregation had been asked to "have the opening."  Then came the main event: preaching by two or more visiting Prediger (preachers).

 

One preacher made a particular impression on me as a child. He began by telling the story of Adam and Eve. I knew it from Sunday School. However, this time, I didn't pay much attention because the preacher was using grownup language.

 

As the church grew warm, I leaned against my mother's arm and drifted off to sleep.

 

I woke with a start as the preacher shouted, "We are all children of disobedient Adam and Eve!" He pounded his Bible, his eyes bulging. "Like our first parents, Adam and Eve, we are sinners. We lie. We steal. We are unkind, jealous, greedy, selfish. Even little children wilfully disobey their parents."

 

I squirmed in my Sunday dress.

 

"God is holy," the preacher continued. "He cannot overlook sin. We all deserve His punishment."

 

He glanced at the clock, shut his Bible, and stepped down from the pulpit. Apparently that was the end.

 

A sense of doom clutched my heart during the closing prayer.

 

My father and the other men of the congregation didn't seem concerned. They began matter-of-factly lifting the benches aside and setting up sawhorse tables for the noon meal.

 

How could they act so calm? How could the women so cheerfully call to each other as they spread tablecloths on the tables and brought the food from the shady side of the church, where they had left it in tubs of cold water?

 

How could the teenage girls laugh and talk as they set out the food: sausages, ham, cheese, potato salads, jellied salads, buns, and pickles, aware of the teenage boys watching them? Why wasn't everyone cowering under the benches, trembling in expectation of God's punishment as announced by the preacher?

 

I might have asked my mother, but I doubt if I could have found the words. Anyway she and the other women were busy chatting, pouring coffee from the Thermoses, feeding the children, eating quickly themselves, and then clearing the tables and washing the dishes.

 

At last the tables were down and the benches were back in place for church. Impatiently I waited for the first preacher to finish so we could hear further news from the second, who had introduced the topic of impending judgement that morning.

 

Finally it was the second preacher's turn. He opened his Bible. "Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross," he said. "He took the punishment for our sins. If we tell God we’re sorry, He forgives us. He takes away our sins because of what Jesus did."

 

My heart stirred. It seemed there was hope after all. Actually I recalled hearing something like this before, but I had forgotten how it went.

 

"Jesus comes and lives in our hearts," the preacher continued. "He helps us not to sin. He helps us live in a way that pleases God and makes us truly happy."

 

My sense of doom lifted. If we wanted a way out, there it was. I'm not sure how much of the message I personally applied at the time, but it planted seedlings that bloom in my heart and mind to this day:

 

-There's no point pretending. Call the darkness darkness.

 

-Cry out in the darkness, reach out at the end of yourself, and there will be a crack of light. Follow the light.

 

-Out of despair, hope.

 

-Out of weakness, strength.

 

-Out of meekness, power.

 

-Out of death, resurrection.

 

-Ultimate answers exist.

 

Years later this incident and others from my prairie childhood inspired me to write my 1940s-era novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS. The story, set in Vancouver and rural Saskatchewan, is about love, Mennonites, faith, despair, and ultimately hope. It's loosely based on the lives of my parents and other Mennonite relatives from Russia.

 

CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS is a 299-page paperback available online from Chapters Indigo http://tinyurl.com/ny8smwk or the publisher, Borealis Press of Ottawa http://tinyurl.com/1fdo9pf . Or ask in a bookstore or library. For more information, please see http://elmams.wix.com/sflwrs .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

FINDING SARAH, FINDING ME: A BIRTH MOTHER'S STORY by Christine Lindsay, review by Elma Schemenauer

It's 1978 and Christine, a young woman in British Columbia's Fraser Valley, is a Christian whose unbelieving boyfriend has only a "skim-milk" love for her. When she tells him she's expecting his baby, he says it "doesn't feel like it has anything to do with me." 



It's heart-wrenching for Christine to contemplate giving up her baby, but she decides adoption would be the best option for the child. She asks an organization called Hope Adoption (since closed) to help her find suitable adoptive parents. Her one condition is that "the adoptive parents believe in Jesus Christ...must act like Jesus wants people to act." 



Bob Trainor of Hope Adoption presents several possibilities to the pregnant Christine. He doesn't give names or other identifying details, just general information. He mentions one prospective mother who "gave up her teaching position because she believes God will give her a baby this year." That woman's faith touches Christine's heart. She chooses the teacher and husband.

In February 1979 Christine gives birth to a beautiful little girl and gives her to the chosen couple, whose identity remains unknown to her. Later Christine marries an understanding and supportive man and has other children. However, she always wonders about Sarah, the little girl she gave away. Should she search for her or leave well enough alone? Every year around Sarah's birthday, Christine receives pink flowers in church or elsewhere. She takes this as a sign from God that she should try to find Sarah, who by this time would be twenty years old.

Christine eventually discovers where Sarah is, establishes communication, and arranges to meet her. Sarah arrives with a bouquet of pink carnations and her fiancé, Mark. The meeting is cordial and the young couple are evidently Christians, both studying to be nurses. However, Christine doesn't feel the spiritual, emotional, and psychological connection she had hoped for. She says "the bond I've carried in my heart for Sarah never existed for her....The little girl I've imagined all these years and loved was truly a phantom....She is my daughter, but not my daughter."

Sarah and Mark invite Christine and her family to their wedding. Christine, hurt because they're invited only to the ceremony and not the reception, doesn't want to attend. Finally she's persuaded to do so, along with some of her family. However, she doesn't identify herself to the ushers, so she misses out on the corsage and invitation to the reception that Sarah and Mark have arranged for.
During the first ten years of Sarah and Mark's marriage, Christine sees them occasionally but their relationship isn't close. It improves slowly, especially after Sarah announces that she and Mark are going to become missionary nurses.

These are the outlines of Christine Lindsay's moving memoir. She writes it well, as one would expect from a seasoned author of several successful novels. Throughout Christine's journey she is encouraged by the stories of Biblical characters including Hagar, Ruth, and Hannah. Sarah's adoptive mother, Anne Vander Bos, is also encouraged by Hannah's story. Interestingly Anne and her husband were considering the name Sarah before they knew they would receive a child whose birth mother had named her Sarah.

The story isn't all pink flowers and sunshine. There's lots of sadness in it, lots of puzzlement and disappointment, but Christine clings to the belief that God will work it out for the best. Her narrative will inspire and inform people personally touched by adoption, as well as general readers. 

Interspersed between segments of Christine's story are short accounts by others whose lives have involved adoption in one way or another. They include Anna of Oregon, Cathy of Bermuda, Levi of Manitoba, Susan of South Africa, and Sarah of the Fraser Valley (Christine's Sarah).

All profits from the sale of FINDING SARAH, FINDING ME: A BIRTH MOTHER'S STORY go to Global Aid Network's Women's and Children's Initiative, which focuses mainly on working with orphans and fatherless children.

FINDING SARAH, FINDING ME: A BIRTH MOTHER'S STORY by Christine Lindsay is 233 pages long and was published in August 2016 by WhiteFire Publishing of Cumberland, Maryland. ISBN 978-1-9390 23-82-7 (digital), 978-1-9390 23-81-0 (print). Available from Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere.




Monday, October 3, 2016

CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS is in Central Butte, Saskatchewan

Bob & I enjoyed visiting Central Butte, Saskatchewan, in early September. Nice murals, up-and-coming restaurants, good grocery store. My 1940s Saskatchewan Mennonite novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS is available in Galloway's Pharmacy on the main street. As you can see in the picture, Joan Soggie’s historical book LOOKING FOR AIKTOW is there too.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

your book: how many copies?

Apparently the average self-published book sells 200 copies during its lifetime. The average traditionally published book sells 1000. Of course we authors try to do better than that if we can. In Canada a book that sells 5000 copies is often deemed a bestseller. In the United States the number is several times that.

 

Regarding printing: Digital printing [using high-powered laser or inkjet printers] is generally appropriate for books with a print run of fewer than 3000. For those with a print run of 3000 or more, offset printing is generally the technology of choice.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS in The Whimsy Store, Saskatoon

My novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS is in The Whimsy Store, 417 - 33rd Street West, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Here I am with Chantel [left] in this interesting store. They specialize in things made by Saskatchewan folks. Other interesting places near by.

Monday, September 19, 2016

CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS is in Rosthern, Saskatchewan

My 1940s Saskatchewan Mennonite novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS is now available in Rosthern, Saskatchewan--at the Station Arts Centre. You can have tea or lunch while you're there & browse through their beautiful gallery & gift shop.

Station Arts Centre
701 Railway Avenue
P.O. Box 1078
Rosthern, SK S0K 3R0
306 232 5332

Website http://www.stationarts.com/

Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 am - 4 pm
Closed Sunday & Monday
Open on event nights

Other Rosthern attractions include: Mennonite Heritage Museum, Rosthern Clothes Basket (an MCC thrift shop), several restaurants, & the nearby Seager Wheeler Farm. Rosthern is about halfway between Saskatoon & Prince Albert, at the junction of highways 11 & 312.

 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

many writing & poetry contests, no entry fees

Enter poetry and writing contests at FanStory.   Enter all of these contests (and many more) for a one time membership fee.  Cash prizes with no entry fee. You'll also get feedback for everything you write. More Information

 

Writing Contests

 

Four Line Poem
Write a four line poem that has a specific syllable count. The first line has 1 syllable, the second line has 5 syllables, the third line has 5 syllables, and the last line 9 syllables. The subject can be anything.
Deadline is Today! - Still time to enter! Sep 12th

 

Antonym Poetry Contest
Write a four line poem. The first line is only one word. Second and third line can be formatted as you wish. The last line is the antonym (opposite meaning) of the word on the first line.
Deadline In 4 Days. Sep 16th

 

Paranormal Flash Fiction
In this flash fiction contest we are challenging writers to write a flash fiction piece that is between 500 and 800 words on the topic provided. The topic is 'paranormal'.
Deadline Sep 21st

 

3 Line Poem
Write a three-lined poem that has a specific syllable count to enter this contest.
Deadline Sep 26th

 

Acrostic Poetry Contest
Write an acrostic poem. An acrostic poem is a poem where the first letter of each line spells out a word. View an example in the announcement.
Deadline Oct 1st

 

Character
A character can make a story. Write a story that based on the scene pictured in this announcement.
Deadline Oct 5th

 

Faith Poetry Contest
The theme for this poetry contest is 'faith'. We are looking for poems that in some way pertain to this theme. It doesn't matter if it's spiritual, political, intellectual or emotional as long as faith is clearly represented.
Deadline Oct 11th

 

Palindrome Poetry
A palindrome is a word (or sentence) that reads the same backwards as forward. So 'Madam' is a palindrome.For a palindrome poem you incorporate it into your poem but do so with the sentences. See an example in the announcement.
Deadline Oct 18th

 

Lune Poetry Contest
A Lune poem is a short and fun poetry form with only three lines. View the contest announcement for an example.
Deadline Oct 24th

 

Newbie 5-7-5
Write a poem that has three lines and follows a specific syllables count. View an example in the announcement.
Deadline Oct 31st

 

Halloween Poetry Contest
For our Halloween poetry contest we are looking for poems that somehow capture the fun, horror or excitement of this time of the year.
Deadline Oct 31st

 

Halloween Horror
Write a horror or thriller story for our Halloween writing contest. The story can have a Halloween theme or you can use your imagination to create a story that will put your readers on edge.
Deadline Oct 31st

 

Share A Story In A Poem
In this contest you are challenged to write a poem that tells a story and also rhymes. We've included examples of this type of poetry storytelling in the announcement.
Deadline Nov 5th

 

Haiku Poetry Contest
For this contest you are challenged to write a Haiku poem. Haiku is a form of poetry that only uses three lines. Can you paint a mental image using only three lines?
Deadline Nov 11th

 

Sonnet Poetry Contest
Just like Shakespeare did, discover the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the Shakespearean sonnet.
Deadline Nov 17th

 

What If?
For this contest you are presented with a &quotwhat if" for your character. What if your character woke up in a cell.
Deadline Nov 22nd

 

Free Verse Poetry Contest
Write a free verse poem. This is a method of writing poetry that does not follow any structure or style. See an example and details in the announcement.
Deadline Nov 27th

 

Blank Verse Poetry Contest
Write a blank verse poem for this contest. A blank verse poem is written without rhymes. It does have a set metrical pattern. See the details in the announcement.
Deadline Dec 2nd

 

Etheree Poetry
The Etheree poem has 10 lines with a specific syllable count.
Deadline Dec 8th

 

Quinzaine Poetry
A quinzaine is a 3 line poem that only has fifteen syllables.
Deadline Dec 14th

 

Love Poem Poetry Contest
Write a love poem. Your love poem can be fictional or non-fictional. It can be a humorous or a serious love poem. The choice is yours.
Deadline Dec 20th

 

Non-Fiction Writing Contest
We are looking for personal essays, memoirs, and works of literary non-fiction. It can be spiritual, political, or funny. Creative approaches welcomed.
Deadline Dec 28th

 

ABC Poetry Contest
For this contest you are challenged to write a ABC poem. ABC poetry has five lines and often is used to express feelings. See the announcement for an example.
Deadline Jan 3rd

 

Cinquain Poetry
Write an 'Cinquain' poem for this contest. A cinquain poem is a poem that follows a specific format. Read the announcement for a sample poem.
Deadline Jan 9th

 

2-4-2 Poetry
Write a 2-4-2 syllable poem. It has three lines. The first line has 2 syllables, the second line has 4 syllables and the last line 2 syllable. The subject can be anything.
Deadline Jan 13th

 

Write About This
Write a story based on the image pictured in this announcement. What is happening here?
Deadline Jan 17th

 

5-7-5 Poetry Contest
For this contest you are to write a short poem. It should only have three lines. But the structure is that of a Haiku. The first line has 5 syllables. The second line has 7 syllables. The third line has 5 syllables again. Write about anything.
Deadline Jan 24th

 

Newbie Writing Contest
For our New Arrival 'This Sentence Starts The Story' contest we challenge you to write a story that starts with this sentence: 'Hell found me.'
Deadline Jan 28th

 

Minute
Write a Minute poem for this contest. A fun poem to write. It follows the "8,4,4,4" syllable count structure.
Deadline Feb 2nd

 

Share Your Story
A memoir gives us the ability to write about our life. But you can write about life with the option to create and fabricate and to make sense of a life, or part of that life. Write a piece of your life!
Deadline Feb 7th

 

Horror Story Writing Contest
Put your readers on edge or terrorize them for this horror writing contest.
Deadline Feb 12th

 

Tanka Poetry Contest
For this contest you are challenged to write a Tanka poem. Tanka is a form of poetry with a specific syllable count. See the announcement for an example.
Deadline Feb 16th

 

 

These are just a few of our contests. View the full listing here.

 

 

 

 

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