For anyone who feels grammatically challenged, there are short to-the-point grammar lessons at the following website. They seem to be free: https://www.englishgrammar101.com/
Monday, March 27, 2017
Visiting the city of Moose Jaw was exciting for me when I was growing up on the prairie east of Elbow, Saskatchewan. I'm pleased to see the Moose Jaw Express publish this nice article by Sasha-Gay Lobban.
(Photo of Moose Jaw signs by Deb MacFadden, Flickr Creative Commons.)
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Sask. born author writes book for Canada’s 150th birthday
by Sasha-Gay Lobban
Saskatchewan’s own Elma (Martens)
Schemenauer has written a compelling
book that documents 30 historical tales
spanning this great land and the centuries
from the 1200s to the 1900s.
Born and raised east of Elbow, near
Davidson, Outlook, and Central Butte,
Schemenauer loves Canada and its his-
tory. She is especially interested in the
story of Finnish-born immigrant Tom Su-
kanen, who farmed near where she grew
Published by Borealis Press of Otta-
wa, YesterCanada presents 30 historical
tales that have intrigued people of the
province for many years. Schemenauer
has brought these tales to life.
Some of the mysteries you’ll find in its
pages are: Where in the icy Arctic is the
lost Vancouver-based ship Baychimo?
What strange power rang the chapel bell
in Tadoussac, Quebec one foggy April
night in 1782? How did painter Tom
Thomson die? Is the ten-armed monster
of Newfoundland real or imaginary?
In addition, you’ll also meet adventurers
like Dr. Elizabeth Scott Matheson of
Onion Lake, Saskatchewan; Ontario’s
daring Lady Agnes Macdonald; devout
Nova Scotia pioneers; gold-seekers of
Alberta; and a Manitoba Cree chief who
gave his life for the woman he loved.
Schemenauer says the City of Moose
Jaw was an exciting place for her that
helped to broaden her horizons. “When
I was growing up near Elbow, Saskatch-
ewan, the city of Moose Jaw was an ex-
citing place for me. I loved visiting the
Wild Animal Park and shopping with my
mother. My experiences in this vibrant
city helped expand my horizons. They
contributed to my identity as a Canadian
who is delighted to share my country’s
rich story-telling traditions. I’m especially
interested in Christian faith, values, and
the adventures they inspire.”
Schemenauer spoke with the Moose Jaw
Express and revealed what inspired her to
document these stories.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT
THIS BOOK THAT YOU’D LIKE PEOPLE TO KNOW?
- YesterCanada’s 30 stories present as-
pects of Canadian history unknown to
many people. The stories appeal to the
senses and emotions. Reviewer Violet
Nesdoly says they put readers “right into
the various Canadian settings these sto-
ries inhabit, from the grassy fragrance
of the Saskatchewan prairie, to the bone
chill of the Arctic, to the salt spray of the
seaboards, east and west.”
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE ABOUT CANA-
- My father, Peter J. Martens of Elbow
(1914-2014), loved telling stories of the
past. He brought them to life, often acting
out the parts of all the characters includ-
ing the animals. His storytelling and his
love of Canada inspired me as a child.
As an adult I spent many years working in
publishing in Toronto. During those years
I had opportunities to write a number of
historical and partly historical books.
My husband, Robert S. Schemenauer,
born and raised in Prince Albert, was my
greatest inspiration. He is a scientist who
loves history, pre-history, mystery, and
historical puzzles. He found some of the
stories in YesterCanada, and helped me
chase down the details I needed to write
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED ON THESE
- I worked on some of the stories for
many years. In some cases, information
became available slowly over a long
period of time. For example, artist Tom
Thomson’s death is a 100-year-old mys-
tery that remains unsolved to this day.
People still investigate it and write new
articles and books.
WHAT WAS THE PROCESS LIKE, COMPILING
- Usually I would notice a story or part
of a story somewhere, and become in-
trigued enough to look for more infor-
mation. I combed through history books,
biographies, diaries, old letters, books of
folklore and Aboriginal legends, periodi-
cals, museums, and Internet sites. When
possible I also interviewed people who
were involved in the stories. For exam-
ple, I had the privilege of interviewing
Laurence ‘Moon’ Mullin of Moose Jaw
(1910-2003). Mullin played a key role
in the story “Saskatchewan’s Dryland
Steamboat.” It’s about Finnish immigrant
Tom Sukanen, who built an ocean-going
vessel far from any ocean. His vessel is
now displayed at the Sukanen Ship Pio-
neer Village & Museum south of Moose
When possible I also visited areas
where the stories took place. For exam-
ple, I visited Old Wives Lake, setting of
the story “The Laughing Grandmothers
of Old Wives Lake.” It’s based on an Ab-
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR PEOPLE TO KNOW
THESE STORIES, ESPECIALLY IN CONJUNCTION
WITH CANADA’S 150TH?
- Knowing more about our country’s his-
tory boosts our sense of identity as Cana-
dians. It helps us understand what Cana-
da is all about, and who we ourselves are.
It helps us count the blessings we enjoy
today compared with the challenges peo-
ple faced in the past. We can also learn
from our forerunners’ faults, mistakes,
and misfortunes. Perhaps most import-
ant, reading historical tales is fun and
YesterCanada can be picked up at your
nearest bookstore or library or order on-
line from Chapters Indigo http://tinyurl.
com/jkuuje3 , Amazon.ca http://tinyurl.
com/jjq5uy3 , or the publisher, Borealis
Press http://tinyurl.com/hwn3m6x . Also
find out more Schemenauer on her web
Posted by Elma Schemenauer at 5:50 PM
Interesting article giving 8 reasons why agents & editors may reject even a good book: https://tinyurl.com/kgz9og8
Posted by Elma Schemenauer at 9:12 AM
Friday, March 24, 2017
Interviews and Reviews: Connecting Christian Readers to Christian Authors is an interesting website. Kelly Miller's review of my book YesterCanada: Historical Tales of Mystery and Adventure is at http://bit.ly/2mE8i0R .Thanks, Kelly.
Posted by Elma Schemenauer at 8:18 PM
White City is a relatively new community 10 min east of Regina, SK. The White City Star just published Robyn Tocker's article about my book YesterCanada. Robyn is an editor, reporter, and book author. Thanks, Robyn!
8 TheSTAR | Serving White City, Emerald Park, Pilot Butte, Balgonie & surrounding areas | Friday, March 24, 2017
ARTS & CULTURE
Sask. author publishes historical
adventures of Canadians
Elma Schemenauer has written over
70 books and her most recent release
celebrates Canada’s history, just
in time for Canada’s 150th birthday.
Schemenauer grew up east of Elbow,
Sask. She now lives in B.C., but she and
her husband frequently travel to Saskatchewan
to learn more about Canada’s
history and its people.
Schemenauer started writing in the
late 1960s. Since then, she has published
77 books, the majority children’s
“I always wanted to be a writer, but
growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan,
I didn’t have much idea of how
to be a writer. We didn’t even have a
newspaper in Elbow. There wasn’t any
idea of how you could actually be a
writer, so it took me a while,” she said.
Schemenauer became a teacher
instead and taught
Saskatchewan’s children. While on a
teacher exchange program in Nova
Scotia, she decided to make a career
“I thought, ‘If I’m ever going to be a
writer, I should just do it,’” she said.
Schemenauer went from Nova Scotia
to Toronto to find work in the publishing
industry. The move from rural
Saskatchewan to big city Toronto
wasn’t easy, but Schemenauer did it.
She found a job at a magazine called
the Canadian Chartered Accountant.
“It was a start; out of that I got hired
by a publishing company,” she said.
“That’s when I started writing and I
couldn’t believe I was actually hired
to write. I had this image of a writer
just being somewhere alone trying to
write and trying to get something published,
which is what most writers go
through. In my case I got really lucky.”
After eight years, Schemenauer became
a freelance writer and worked
on educational children’s books.
Schemenauer’s latest book, Yester-
Canada: Historical Tales of Mystery
and Adventure, tells 30 historical tales
about everyday Canadians spanning
from the 1200s to the 1900s. A few of
these mysteries include: Where in the
icy Arctic is the lost Vancouver-based
ship Baychimo? What strange power
rang the chapel bell in Tadoussac,
Quebec one foggy April night in 1782?
“I’ve always been interested in history
and my parents were interested
in it. My dad would tell stories around
the dinner table from history and I got
interested in it that way,” Schemenauer
“When I was working in
publishing in Toronto, I was having
to do a lot of work that had to do with
history, so it got me hooked into that.”
Schemenauer chose these 30 stories for
her latest book because they interested her.
“They are stories that grab me, mostly
because there’s a human interest. I
like ordinary people and most of them
are about ordinary people,” she said.
“There are some there about people we
all know, like John A. MacDonald.”
A lot of research went into this book.
Schemenauer said she read books, magazines
and newspapers; interviewed
people and traveled a great deal.
“I did a lot of research in libraries
in Toronto,” she said. “In some cases,
I was able to interview people who
were first-hand with the story, who
knew something about the story.”
Writing this book was an “emotional
adventure” for Schemenauer.
“I got really hooked into the stories.
I was very involved in them personally,”
she said. “My husband likes this
kind of thing too, so we did a lot of
driving around to visit the sites where
these things took place … We went to
see the sites of these places wherever
Schemenauer said she hopes people
are entertained by her collection of
mysteries and adventures.
“I want them to get some sense of
what life was like in the past, what
people had to put up with,” she said.
“Some of those people – it’s incredible
what they put up with. They managed
to be brave and continued to do it.”
She hopes readers notice the strong
values prevalent in her book.
“I’m drawn to that kind of story.
There are lots of stories you could write
about Canada’s past, and some of them
the values in them would be pretty
bad, but I hope to instil good values
like courage and reliability and things
like that,” she said.
[YesterCanada is a 248-page paperback, $19.95. If you're interested, ask for it in a store or library. Or order online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo, or the publisher, Borealis Press of Ottawa.]
Posted by Elma Schemenauer at 4:03 PM