Friday, February 24, 2017

Reader Judy Goegan’s review of my 1940s Saskatchewan Mennonite novel Consider the Sunflowers


I want you to know how very, very much I enjoyed it. And, the ‘history’ in the back was so interesting and informative.

I was even up in the middle of the night when I was simply too excited to fall back asleep and just had to get up and pick up that book.
Thanks for the blessing, enjoyment and delight that the book brought to me. It was like a wonderful meal to a starving heart!

I would like EVERYONE to read it.....everyone who enjoys a wonderfully-written love story that holds your interest, and moves along in just the right way. The characters became one with me and I felt like a fly on the wall of their lives. The tender moments of their love were handled so delicately and sweetly. I highly recommend it and, again, thanks for the joy it brought me!

[Image by Pixabay] 

Friday, February 17, 2017

1940s-era Saskatchewan Mennonite novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS reviewed by Rita Dozlaw

It moved me (tears, actually) to read that Frank and Tina got through the struggles life threw at those two, and the reasons they did was Tina's faith and God's mercy. The title, in the end, meant a lot to me. Sunflowers rise to see the Son, and considering the humble flowers' example brought the tears on.


I loved the clear truthful way you told their stories. If I know Frank, he'll 'come around'. How can he not give his heart and life to Jesus with all those wonderful people around him to work God's plan (for everyone) out to the finish? I got tears again this morning as I told Jack how it came about that Tina's heart, where the Holy Spirit of Jesus lives, turned again to prayer, finally.


Elma, you don't just pick up any book and find the road to salvation right there in its pages. I loved that and somehow it didn't surprise me because just look at the author! I love you. I appreciate the talent exuding out of your veins onto the pages.


There are a lot of things I'm regurgitating from Consider the Sunflowers. I loved it. Thank you for writing it. I'll never look at sunflowers the same.

CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS is a 1940s-era Saskatchewan Mennonite novel by Elma Schemenauer. 299-page paperback. If you're interested, ask in a store or library.  Or order online: 

​​-Chapters Indigo

-The publisher, Borealis Press






Wednesday, February 15, 2017

reviews of books about Canadian history

Do you have a published book about Canadian history? The magazine Canada’s History has an online form where people can post 150-word [or less] reviews of such books. . They don’t guarantee they’ll publish them, but you might ask someone to post a review of yours there. In the form they also allow 200 characters for the reviewer to tell something about him/herself.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

copying & pasting text

Working with authors makes me think a significant number don’t know how to copy and paste text on a computer. This is one of the most useful skills an author can have. If you don’t know how, try following the instructions in the following website:

These instructions are for Microsoft Word.


On a Mac, the procedure is somewhat different. Here’s one site that explains it:


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Congrats to Abbotsford author Barbara Nickel

Barbara Nickel is an Abbotsford-based author of children's books including FROM THE TOP OF A GRAIN ELEVATOR, THE SECRET WISH, and A BOY ASKED THE WIND. A Vancouver lamppost will soon display a plaque of a spread from A BOY ASKED THE WIND, thanks to a program by the Vancouver Public Library and CWILL BC (Children's Writers and Illustrators of B.C.). Barbara writes for adults as well as children. I'm particularly interested in her work because of her Saskatchewan and Mennonite connections, which sound something like mine [as evidenced in my 1940s Saskatchewan Mennonite novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS]. For more info about Barbara Nickel, her books, and speaking engagements, see her blog, . Thanks to Mary Derksen for telling me about her.


Friday, February 3, 2017

1940s Mennonites in China & beyond: A review of Janice L. Dick's novel IN A FOREIGN LAND

Having a Mennonite background much like author Janice L. Dick's, I was fascinated with her earlier book OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER. It's about a group of Mennonites who escape Soviet Russia and reach China in 1930.


IN A FOREIGN LAND picks up their story in 1945. It focuses on the son of a Mennonite couple whose trials and adventures the author featured in the earlier book.


The young man in question is Danny Martens. He tries hard to be the man of the family after Communists forcibly take his father away, along with other men originally from the Soviet Union.


Danny faces persistent threats and persecution from his parents' long-time enemy Senior-Major Leonid Dubrowsky. Other challenges include trying to manage the family farm and grappling with his wavering faith in the teachings of his Mennonite family and community. His biggest challenge is trying to get his family to North America, following the wishes of his father.


Throw in a growing interest in his young Lutheran neighbor Rachel Giesinger and you have the ingredients of a crackling good story. I especially like the evocative picture she paints of life in China at the time. I felt as if I was really there.


Elma Schemenauer, author of the 1940s-era Mennonite novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS.


opportunity for writing about animal adoption, rescues, etc.

The following message is from Amber Hall. Thanks, Amber.


I am putting together an anthology for animal charities. At this time, I am looking for essays, articles, poetry, and short fiction to include in the book. Anyone is welcome to submit.


Subject matter must be animals, and submissions with the themes of adoption, fostering, rescue, and transformations will be given priority.


This is a nonpaying market as all the profits will go to various animal rescues. Authors included in the anthology will be able to request that their favorite rescue be included in the list for donations.


Please send questions and submissions to

Submissions should be attached as Word documents. Multiple submissions are acceptable.



Thank you!


Amber Hall


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

speech recognition

I’ve use speech recognition on my computer for years. It saves my hands and is often quicker than typing by hand. If you have Windows Vista or higher, you probably have Microsoft Speech Recognition built right in. Here’s a simple description of how to find it:

1 Turn your computer on.

2 You should see a Globe at the bottom left. Click the Globe.

3 Then you should see a list that includes Control Panel. Click Control Panel.

4 Quite a long list comes up, sort of alphabetical. Check to see if Speech Recognition is there.

5 If so, click Speech Recognition.

6 Click the various Speech Recognition topics to learn more about it.

7 You need a microphone [I don’t recommend a wireless one because it’s less accurate]. I bought an expensive microphone online, but my husband bought a reasonably priced one at somewhere like Staples. It works fine for him.

[The above procedure might be somewhat different on your computer.]