Guest Blog: William age 15

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I asked William to share some of his reflections on having a father who is a military chaplain. William is 15 and in French Immersion.

This is his reflection:

The largest part of living the military family life, are postings. I always longed to live in a small town where everyone knew each other’s names, and you could find someone by going to the local post office or restaurant. I envied those who were grounded in a hometown.  My Mom told me what I wanted was only achievable by going back to the year 1950, but it was a dream, nonetheless. Reflecting on it now, however, I always feel a sort of sorrow for those who remain in one place. At this point of my 15 years, I get squirrelly when I stay in one place for a long time, I often itch for something different. I think this same feeling applies to where one lives. Sure, you know all the names and locations, but don’t you ever wish you knew more names and locations? These two feelings conflict, as you can imagine, envy and sorrow for those who are settled. It’s a delicate balance for those living the military life, and no one knows which feeling has the correct conviction. To be frank, I think all of us living in military families are lucky; this feeling is strictly internal.

The second-largest aspect of military family life are Deployments. For those who don’t know, a deployment is when they send whoever it is in your family who is part of the armed forces, into a military operation, usually a war-zone. Deployments give you a special feeling – that feeling being one of loss. Calling the feeling “loss” seems a little uncalled for, seeing as nothing is lost in the process of deployment, but the idea of not having them, creates a hole in one’s life that can only be labelled as loss. In 2012, my father was deployed to the Mediterranean sea and then the Persian Gulf, and his stay was extended twice. He left in early January and was slated to come back in June. He eventually returned in September, four months later than expected. Having half of your parental unit missing creates a unique and difficult experience for all those affiliated. My Mom found it extremely difficult to have him gone. She couldn’t stand not having him present, his help, voice, and love there in the moment. Of course, over time, she learned how to cope, how to be more independent, and the same evolution applied to my brother and I. Without his presence and personality, my younger brother and I didn’t know how to act, but this only lasted for a short while. We quickly adapted to his lack of appearance, and we fast learned how to be more independent. Deployment is a tricky subject in that sense, I don’t know whether to consider my evolution during his absence a blessing or a curse. For the pain it causes, deployment is a terrible thing, but I’ve never experienced something horrible as a result.

In conclusion, leading the life of a member of a military family is spontaneous, forever changing, and quite stressful, but I don’t know how else I’d learn coping strategies for all this, and I’m somewhat grateful for the emotional experience it’s given me.

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Remembering Grandpa

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I am grateful that my grandfather followed in his father’s footsteps and served so that we may live free. He instilled in me a deep love and respect for those who continue to serve and sacrifice so much so that we continue to enjoy our freedom.Many of us have never experienced the threat of war or lived in a country where we aren’t free to express ourselves.This year I have invited some military families to share their stories with us.Below is the link for last years post: Remembering grandpa.Until you’ve walked in their shoes you will never understand what they’ve gone through. I love you grandpa, thank you.https://tanyapacker.com/2018/11/06/remembering-grandpa/

Procrastination or Self-care

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Was it procrastination or self-care that allowed October to drift into November without a blog post?

Either way, here it is, November 7th, and I am forcing myself to take a break from editing, programming, and housework to write a blog. I am very excited to share an update on how things are going because I love editing my middle-grade fantasy. This past week I delved into more dragon research, which found me pulling out every book I own that has dragons in it to reread sections.

How could I not enjoy that?

A few weeks ago, the church invited me to a book sale to read from my children’s devotional books with a few other local authors. I didn’t realize we had so many local authors! I’ve invited two of them to do a guest blog. Be sure to keep your eyes open.

Jan does amazing poetry, and Heather writes hilarious children’s books.

I have also invited Nicole Ensing to do another guest blog.

Because one can never have too many projects on the go at once, I am looking into some colouring books and bookmarks for Kaylee’s and Timothy’s Adventures. Hopefully, they will be ready for stocking stuffers!

How do you take time out for self-care?

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Update on projects

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What a blessing my holidays were, and I loved every minute of them, but it’s good to be home and back to my writing cave with my furry writing buddies. Given the amount of travelling I did, it took me eleven days to get back to my routine of writing, editing, and programming which isn’t bad when I had a business trip within a few days of getting home.

A few updates on my current writing projects:

Picture Books:

Have you used the Libby app.?

If you haven’t, I can’t recommend it enough, I love the Libby app. The app allowed me to read so many different picture books in the last few days that I found my own flow and cadence for my picture books. Currently, I have two finished drafts and three others that I’m still working on.

Middle-Grade Fantasy Series

Book One:

Book one is still in the editing stage. I renewed my mentorship contract with my editor Rebecca, and I must say, Kate was right, I love working with her. This last round of edits we finished editing and tweaking nine chapters, and I can honestly say I love how the story is improving with each new round of edits.

Book Two:
After noticing that some edits in book one opened doors for minor changes that will allow for an interesting twist or two in the upcoming book, I decided to take another look at my character profiles before continuing with working on the plot and writing.

What are your plans for this week?

What are you reading?

Refreshing holidays

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Although I’m on holidays and using my phone for all social media updates, I thought I would pop in and share a few pictures from my road trips.

I brought Rainbow along for some inspiration and we are making lots of new friends while seeing this beautiful country of Canada.

The nice thing about writing is that you can write anywhere. I always travel with my notebook and extra pens, but this trip I carefully planned and drafted several ideas for my picture book before I even left BC!

The inspiration for picture books are everywhere and in every conversation. But my best inspiration is coming from playing with my niece’s children and my little cousins.

It’s the creative boost I’ve needed.

Guest blog: Join the justgeneration Youth Movement

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Across Canada, hundreds of young people volunteer to promote and support the work of PWRDF in their churches and communities through the justgeneration youth movement. This is a network of youth that supports and promotes the work of PWRDF by engaging more young people in Canada.

Young people have the power create positive social change and our goal is to to develop opportunities for you to engage with issues of justice – both nationally and internationally – in ways that resonate with your identity as a Christian.

Contact your Diocesan Representative or your Youth Council Representative to get support for promoting PWRDF in your community or church, in whatever way your creativity leads you! Whether your goal is to raise money or awareness, we want to hear what you’re up to and help out in any way we can.

For more information please contact our Youth Engagement Facilitator Su McLeod.

For more information see https://pwrdf.org/get-involved/youth-movement/

For photo credit please see link above.

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I’m here for the meetings honest…

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I love it when my husband and I come to the city for meetings! For numerous reasons, one being that I can enjoy the many shops that we don’t have in our small, northern town, but the biggest reason is that I get to enjoy the best fish and chips!

Given my celiac disease, I don’t often get to eat out so when I do have the chance, I jump at it and am like a kid in the candy store!

I also find coming to the city helps my writing. The new sights and sounds, the excitement and change of pace, all stimulate a different part of me, which translates into my writing. The conversations that you overhear in the city are so different from small-town conversations, and I definitely wouldn’t hear them sitting in my home office with my snuggly writing buddies. These conversations are often excellent fodder for character dialogue or simply to spiral a scene forward. It also pushes me out of my comfort zone, which opens parts of my brain that may be complacent.

So, while my husband is at his early morning meeting, I am enjoying the busy harbour and writing this blog before jumping into my next round of edits. Even with the construction, the view was glorious last night. This morning the fog is slow to clear, but it’s going to be an excellent day to get out of the hotel and go for a walk.