Monthly Archives: October 2015

39 years ago today I said, “I do!”

Today is a gorgeous, warm, Autumn day, much like October 30, 1976, except it was less windy.

Thirty-nine years ago today! That is amazing to me.

Thirty-nine years ago I nervously walked that long aisle with my dad.

Thirty-nine years ago I started a new life with my new husband.

It hasn’t been easy, it hasn’t been problem-free, battle-free, sorrow-free.

There have been joys, frustrations, heartbreaks, good ideas, bad choices, losses, struggles, surprises, many laughs, fights … and so much love – sometimes hard to recognize, but strong enough to survive.

Thirty-nine years ago today I said “I do” –  and I did, and I would again with the man God prepared for me.

It’s been worth it.  (Thank You, Lord!)

our wedding cake topperThis is our original wedding cake topper.

Does this season mean anything special to you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


Sue Harrison’s “Writing the Third Dimension”, part 33: Alternatives

Welcome back! For the rest of this year we invite you to return here, specifically on the fourth Thursday of each month for the newest installment of Sue Harrison’s teaching: Writing The Third Dimension. You can read and learn from all the fabulous segments from 2013-2015 by clicking on the page title WRITING THE THIRD DIMENSION, found under Writers’ Helps & Workshops on my drop-down menu. Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments for Sue. Now for the topic for month thirty-three:


“Writing the Third Dimension” – part 33: Alternatives

When I began writing Mother Earth Father Sky way back in the 1970s, options for publication were pretty much the following. You could submit your novel directly to a small publisher or university press. You could find an agent who would begin the submission process to larger publishing houses. You could pay big bucks to a vanity press to publish the book. You could self-publish, which would still cost thousands and pretty much relegate your novel to the dreaded “ignored” category. Ignored by bookstores, ignored by reviewers, ignored by readers.

Today, with the advent of ebooks and print-on-demand, self-publishing carries no loss of prestige, and it doesn’t break the author’s budget.

I’m not an expert at self-publishing because I haven’t  gone that route yet. I believe someday I will, but right now I have too many projects on my desk to pursue that possibility. So this post is not about those steps of pursuit. You can find many self-publishing experts on line. I recommend literary agent Rachelle Gardner’s book, which will walk you through the decision process. How Do I Decide? Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing (A Field Guide for Authors) is available as an ebook through Amazon for $2.99. Definitely worth the price!


Meanwhile, let’s talk about the positives and negatives of self-publishing.

Positive aspects:

1. You are in control. You decide what gets edited out of your novel and what you want to leave in. You control cover art. You control font choices. You control length.

2. You decide what time of year to publish your book. If you want to bring it out in time for Christmas, you can. If you want to arrange publication according to your personal schedule,  you can. You’re not in lockstep with the publishers’ other books, waiting your turn.

3. You can keep your novel in print as long as you want. Publishers usually “retire” in-print novels, many times it’s after only a few months on bookstore shelves.

4. Once you pay the costs, you don’t have to split the profits with a publisher.

Of course, there are negative aspects:

1. You pay. If your novel comes out as an ebook, you might pay between $100 and $300 to have your manuscript formatted. Hard copy books are of course more expensive, but print-on-demand allows those costs to come to the author in a more gradual way. You may decide to hire an editor to vet your work before you publish it. Editing costs can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, but the choice is up to you. I do recommend an editor, not only for grammar, spelling, and typos, but for content. You want your novel to be the best possible. Otherwise, you may lose your readership for a second book.

2. You must find your own cover art and pay the artist.

3. You may have to acquire more “techie” skills to ready your manuscript for ebook formatting.

4. You must do your own PR work. In the current publishing climate, that’s also true with many commercial publishers. So this isn’t as much of a deterrent as it used to be. Still, you can’t sit back and expect someone else to research the market for you or find bookstores willing to carry your novel.

5. Most national reviewers don’t review self-published novels. On the local scene, though, many reviewers do. It’s your job to find them.

The most important thing for a writer with a completed first novel to know is that self-publishing exists as a viable option. You do not ruin your career if you decide to self-publish. You’re simply getting your novel out there to an audience.

Have you considered or pursued self-publishing? Tell us your experience!

Strength to your pen!


*Writing the Third Dimension, copyright, 2010 Sue Harrison*

Sue HarrisonBestselling author, Sue Harrison, has written two bestselling Alaska trilogies: The Ivory Carver Trilogy and The Storyteller Trilogy – all of which went digital in May 2013. She also wrote a middle readers’ book SISU. Prior to the publication of her novels, Harrison was employed at Lake Superior State University as a writer and acting director of the Public Relations Department and as an adjunct instructor in creative writing and advanced creative writing. For more information, click here. To inquire about booking Sue for workshops or speaking engagements this year, click here.

Thanks for joining us! Please feel free to leave your questions and comments. We invite you to come back November 26, 2015, for part 34.


I was just reading a post by Carol Garvin about today being election day here in Canada. She inspired me to say a little something about it, too.

Since the year I became old enough to vote in elections I have taken that right and responsibility seriously. I may have missed one time in all those years, but I’m not positive about that because it would have been a long time ago. I believe it is a very important thing we are called to do for our country, and to ignore that right is irresponsible.

My father is a World War ll veteran. He left home as a teenager and went Overseas to risk his life for the freedom of our country and that of others. That war is known as “the deadliest war in history.” Dad has said very little about what he experienced during that traumatic time. I sometimes think about my dear grandmother, how she must have anguished for the safety of her boy, the many prayers and tears I’m sure she offered for his safe return home. As a mother myself, I know those years had to be some of the hardest times of her life as she waited for the war to end so she could welcome her son home. Moving ahead to today – for me to not vote, to ignore the right we still have, would be to ignore my father’s sacrifice – and that of many – as if it all meant nothing. 

Although Canada has changed in ways I don’t like, for me to only grumble about it affects nothing. It’s true that we also have the right not to vote, but I believe if we didn’t have the privilege of voting we would be clamouring for it. 




Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Stevie Wonder sings carpool karaoke – funny!

Here is your laugh for the weekend. Not only is it funny, it’s touching and wonderful.

If you know who Stevie Wonder is you probably have enjoyed his music.  I wasn’t familiar with James Corden before this, nor had I heard of his carpool karaoke, so this was a great first for me.

WATCH HERE and enjoy!

Have you ever watched James Corden’s TV program before?

Have you ever met a real celebrity? How did you handle that?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂




It’s a beautiful Autumn day here in Nova Scotia … well, if you ignore that it’s overcast. I don’t mind because we enjoyed a fabulous September, and so far October isn’t even as cold as in many past years.

There is much for which to be thankful.  A few for me:

  • My husband entered early retirement October 1;  Yay!
  • He is stiff and sore but no serious injuries to himself or his vehicle when another vehicle hit him from behind after the one behind it didn’t stop;
  • All our girls are living not far from us again, at least for awhile;
  • Dad is still with us at age 90, still knows us, and is in good cheer most of the time;
  • We’ll probably have 15 at our Thanksgiving table today to share a meal together.
  • There are SO MANY more things I thank God for I could go on and on and on.


How about you? What are you thankful for today?

Last day to vote & help this high-needs school get books!

My post today will be short and …. pleading.

On September 26 I told you about the challenge to get books for the little elementary school – Gaspereau Valley Elementary – all my children attended, and now my grandson goes there.

This school – grades P-5 – has 130 children, which means the goal is to reach is 130 books. Currently we only have 76! That puts us a long way off from reaching the mark and the opportunity to win so much more. Will you help us?

Chapters Indigo is generously committed to this challenge and is contributing the books donated at no cost to you. PLEASE HELP! It’s the last day to give this high-needs school the books it needs; you only have to go here and VOTE


Of course, there is the option to actually contribute $12 to purchase one book which also equals 10 votes! Would you consider that? No worries if not, but Please vote today. That costs you nothing but a few minutes. And if you do decide to buy a book (using paypal or credit card on their secure server) then please vote first and donate second. That allows one more vote than if you were to do it the other way around.

Thank you so much … and please urge your friends to vote as well. This is the last day of the challenge, and you can vote from anywhere and anonymously if you prefer.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

The Heavens declare!

There is a Scripture verse – Psalm 19:1 – that says so much in a few words. 

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork. 

I love star-gazing. There is nothing that compares with the astounding magnificence of a clear night sky.

I love the sky at all times, ever-changing, always amazing.

I am in awe of the expansiveness of the sky, the perfection of the horizon’s curve.

I’m impressed by the clouds beautifully suspended in the inner circle of the atmosphere that encloses our globe – our home.

When I was skydiving … oh my! The thrill of rolling out of that plane and falling into the seeming nothingness of the sky at 10,000 feet up!

When I received the video of my first jump I was again in awe of the perfection of the roundness of the bubble we live in, the gentle curve of the horizon, the creative layout of the land and water beneath us.

On the ground we get to see amazing things from a different perspective. Sunsets and sunrises can be exquisite!

This morning I want to share with you a photo taken by my daughter from her home on the lake. She captured a breathtaking sunset a few nights ago. I got her permission to post it here. Please respect that it is her photography.

Sunset. Oct'15

Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous!

I think if I lived there I would have permanent nose prints on my windows overlooking the lake.

Is there anything in Nature that simply takes your breath away because of its amazingness?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂