Tag Archives: Publishing

More change; Valley Sunshine

Starting near the end of last year and continuing in January of this year I shared with you my thoughts and other people’s quotes regarding CHANGE.  I felt there was marked change going to occur – specifically, but not only, in my own life.

2016 is definitely shaping up to be my year of change.

A long chapter of my life ended this week. It was so hard to let it go.

When I was in my early 30’s, and the mother of three young children (a fourth born later), I started a friendship newsletter – called Valley Sunshine – that quickly turned into a Christian one which developed into a type of ministry. I started with about three dozen ‘members’, a number that rapidly increased to over 500 worldwide! It was phenomenal to me. That’s with no advertising except word-of-mouth, except for a few mentions in others’ newsletters. (Once there was a half page article in the provincial newspaper about me/Valley Sunshine!) For over ten years that continued – run on donations – no subscription fee, with mail coming to me almost daily from all over the world, occasional phone calls, and a surprise package now and again. It was like a huge family of friends who encouraged one another. I know the Lord touched lives through that little homegrown publication; it was my joy to be part of it, and I look forward to one day knowing all He did through that humble publication. With the passing of my mother (my greatest “fan”), I took a long break from VS publishing.  A few years ago I started it up again on a much smaller scale by subscription as requested. (It remained non-profit.) Finally, this week, I sent the final issue out. It was a hard decision to come to, but a necessary one. Trying to compile that last issue I mourned the loss of this connection with people I’d grown to love, this change of calling on my life, the hard choices; however, eventually I sensed the relief of admitting it’s done – it’s run its course. I still feel the loss, and I will for a long time. But …

It’s time to allow change in my life to have its own space.

As a caregiver one’s time is used very differently, it’s taxed in a way one does not expect. The things that used to be easily addressed cannot be handled the same way. I had to accept it was time to let change happen and allow the Lord to redirect my life.

Writing in other ways has floated to the top of my life. As you may know, I’ve been interested in writing for MANY years, have taken courses and participated in various online writer’s groups. Now I’m working on children’s stories again. I have a writing coach/buddy. I’m a member of an online critique group, and recently joined an in-person writer’s group (mixed writing genres) that meets once a week. I’m a member of 12×12 and participate in PiBoIdMo and ReFoReMo. All these things are intended to help me learn and improve. Life is still busy. Writing is a huge part of that for me.

Now I’ve told you much more than I had intended to when I started this post. I was going to give you a fun quiz to do, and the above was going to be the lead-in. It just grew and grew!  Next post will be the quiz. 🙂

Much love to you.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to let go because it’s time so that you can move on to other things in your creative life?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

About my giveaways – I’ve been thinking …

Hello, everyone!

My apologies for not posting for almost two weeks. I’ve been  working on the Reading For Research Month challenge – and still reading books on the list as our local library brings them in for me, handling my week at Dad’s, and sick with bronchitis since the last week of March. Because of the latter, during my week of caregiving I’ve not hung around Dad as much and when my respite arrives I go home and usually nap – whether the nap was intended or not. I’m very grateful for the help I have.

Now I have a pondering to share with you.

I’ve observed that very few of my readers are entering the monthly draw for my giveaways. I hope more of you will leave comments to have your name in the draw as I’m planning to have larger items when I can, and I would like to know that you are interested. It would be wonderful if you’d pass the word along, too, on Twitter or Facebook, or wherever you socialize online. Thank you.  🙂

Please check my post about the giveaway for this month, and put your name in by leaving a comment. The day is coming up this week for someone to win!  Comment by April 13.

This week I’ll be writing more – or, that is the plan. I have a lot of catching up to do for 12×12, the online critique group I’m in, and final details in the newsletter (Valley Sunshine) I am closing down after many years of publishing. Plus, I have updates to do here on my blog, especially with regards to all the books I’ve read lately. (note my Books I Read widgets and my “Books I read this year” link –> “books I read in 2016” page.)

Thank you for being part of my life. I appreciate you!

What projects or plans do you want to work on most right now? Are you feeling sidetracked?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

Yesterday I quit

The only place where dreams are impossible is in your own mind.  – Emalie

 

Yesterday I quit. I gave up. I told myself I can’t do this. I’m not a writer. I’m not even good at this.

I looked around me – at the writers I know – and told myself I am not like them. I don’t write, or even think about writing, the way they do.

You won’t find notebooks full of my writing; I keep most of my thoughts and ideas hidden away in my head and heart. That’s not a writer.

You won’t find my stories on your local bookstore shelves; they aren’t even set free for anyone to read. That’s not a writer.

You won’t find a blog with my ideas shared and out there for review; they are secreted away where no one can judge them. That’s not a writer.

You won’t find my drafts being discussed in a critique group; I don’t belong to a group. That’s not a writer.

So, yesterday I quit.

Then a friend told me it’s not that I’m not a writer, it’s that I don’t have opportunity to write. Well, yes and no. A writer would find opportunities regardless of how complicated life gets, or how tired her body is, or how overloaded her brain feels. A writer would not purposely keep her thoughts to herself, make excuses to not let it happen, fail to release some of that overload through setting her words free. No, that’s not a writer.

So, yesterday I gave up.

I told myself I am kidding myself. I am letting myself believe the impossible when the impossible is … IMPOSSIBLE! 

And then …. I wondered … what then will I do?! When I don’t have that dream, what do I have? And what of my binder full of ideas? My few picture book  manuscripts? my (still) almost completed first draft of my first young adult novel?

Then I thought … HMMMMM

I DO have pages and pages of ideas (for PBs), some just scraps of possibilities, some glimmers of hope, some silly shadows of something that could be … something – or not.

I DO have dreams of sharing my words and ideas – although that’s a scary thing to me – and finding someone eager to publish them because they believe in me.

I DO have the experience of being part of an online critique group for awhile where I shared a couple of my stories for suggestions, also scary for me.

In March I learned that I’m a shy writer. (Check out my review of The Shy Writer by C. Hope Clark.) And I sabotage myself by not allowing my words to find a life and be shared. I’m afraid of not being good enough. I’m afraid of maybe being good enough … and what then?

Maybe I am a writer. Yes, I do write. I’ve had to write in some way for most of my life, probably getting a real start as a troubled teenager full of angst, when expression came through the poetry that flowed from my heart. Since then I’ve captured many poems on paper over the years, most coming out of my faith.

Yes, I am a writer. I think it’s more that I was giving up on my dream. Perhaps it’s that I see it as a fruitless endeavour when what I have wanted for a very long time is to be a published author of children’s books – yet I haven’t taken myself there.

It helps to be rested. I don’t get quality sleep at my dad’s, and then when I’m home every other week I find it hard to settle into sleep. Yes, it helps to be rested. Discouragement feeds itself off one’s weariness. Quitting comes easier.

One dream I’ll share with you is this:  My mother (who is no longer with us) wrote a cute maritime story many years ago, one which would be a delightful picture book, and I know my dad would love to see it in print while he is still able to know. I almost paid (big bucks) to have it done, but … how I would love for a traditional publisher to see it and, of course, their wanting to publish it would be the most exciting thing ever. It would be a sweet memorial to my dear mum.

I am a writer. With a dream. A weary writer (weary everything I am) with a hope to improve. The daughter of a writer with a brilliant imagination who didn’t pursue her talent of writing in the way she would have liked. I want to go beyond that.

Yesterday I quit. I gave up.

Today I am trudging on.

Someday I may give up — But today is not that day.   –  anonymous

Any words of advice or anything to share regarding publishing or anything else?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Is the book as we know it disappearing?

I have been observing.  There is a lot of discussion in all arenas about the traditional book eventually disappearing from use.  This is mainly because of e-books – those online electronic books you can download to read, and whatever else technology will – and has already – come up with to simplify things for us.  Just to let you know … I am not educated in that because I love books as they are and have been for centuries!  Well, the scroll was a little difficult to handle and pack around, maybe, but .. you get my point.

I am not interested in reading a book on a hand-held device, nor am I excited about sitting at the computer to read one on the screen. I am all for holding a made-from-paper-and-ink writing, turning those pages and flipping back and forth as I need to, underlining or highlighting (did I hear a gasp?) when the occasion calls for it – which is rarely because I also use bookmarks and sticky tabs.   I fill my bookcases with old favourites (some saved from my childhood), and soon-to-be-loved stories.   I have books all over the place, a few in the living room and our bedroom, many in my publishing room, my ‘computer room’, the main room downstairs, and even packed away in boxes in our storage room.  My husband, not a voracious reader, also has a few titles on hand.

Most of my children’s storybooks I have kept, and my grandson now enjoys those. I have books that made me laugh out loud, made me cry (and hide behind), pulled me in so deep I didn’t hear anything going on around me.  I have books the Lord used to teach me something important. And there are many volumes in my collection which I have yet to cuddle up with and appreciate their written pages.   Somehow, I doubt very much that I could enjoy an electronic book the same way, it would even be annoying to me.

I don’t get to the library much at all anymore.  There was a time when I would take my daughters there to pick out books for their extra reading, and that was fun for us.  I borrowed several for myself when I was taking a writing course and wanted to read the ones mentioned in it.  But I prefer to own the books I read, I like to gather them and add them to my own personal collection.  Would I feel the same way about having them filed in a little electronic device?  I doubt it!  It is NOT the same thing!

So, is the way of the traditional book one of antiquity?  Is it disappearing?  Will my great-grandchildren not even know what it is to own a printed-on-paper book, to smell its ‘bookness’, to experience the thrill of a page-turning story on paper filled with bright pictures and powerful words?

Now I ask you …. what do you think?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂