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.

It’s holiday time for me!

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It’s holiday time for me! I am excited to say that I will only have sporadic access to the internet while I am away; however, I hope to share some excerpts from my children’s devotional books and get one or two fresh, new blogs ready and scheduled ahead of time for posting.

 

This past week was crazy; my laptop was acting up. The keyboard would randomly reassign values to the keys, for example, the numbers would become letters, and the letters were arbitrarily all over the place. I ran out and bought a new memory stick for my writing and my work files, so I didn’t lose those.

 

One afternoon, after finding me in tears because three times in a row, I lost all my edits, my husband surprised me by taking me out to buy a new laptop and an external hard drive.

 

I have spent the last week transferring files and backing up files, onto an external hard drive. The thought of losing ten years worth of ministry files and pictures going back to 2000 was anxiety-inducing. Now that all that is done, I can focus on updating myself. Yes, I was old school in every sense and was still working on Windows ’97.

 

I’m not sure who is more pumped for my trip home, my mom, my nieces, or me! In the ten years, we have lived in BC I have only been home once for fun. The other two times were for funerals. I did manage one quick visit during work meetings, but once again, it wasn’t for fun and was short. This time I am home for four weeks of pleasure!

 

The cool thing about writing, though is it travels well, so I will continue editing my middle-grade fantasy, writing book 2, and working on my picture book ideas. Going home will allow me to spend some time with my nieces’ children to see what books they like to read and engage with; hopefully inspiring me.

These little monkeys are now 5 and 3! I can’t wait to see them.

 

 

 

5 days until September? When did that happen?

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It’s been a crazy summer and hard to believe it’s almost September. I kind of miss the excitement of sending kids off to school or preparing for the new Youth and Family Ministry season.

This year my son is preparing for the incoming students at King’s College in Halifax. I’ve loved chatting with him on his plans as a Don for the first-year students.

I’ve started preparations to integrate back into work, by assisting at my husband’s church and writing up 5minute ministry chats. Wow, it’s harder than I remember, but I’ve loved the challenge.

The kittens love to help me when I sit down at my desk and try to type. Unfortunately, their contributions often lead to more confusion than assistance. I find myself spending twice as long checking my edits on my fantasy book before sending them off to the editor now.

I have to confess; I love the editing process! With each new round of edits, my book sounds so much better.

As for reading, I’m either reading books for work or picture books for younger children. My niece asked me to write a book for her kiddies, and I’m still playing with ideas and reading what’s out there.

How have you spent your summer? And are you ready for Fall?

New School Year

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As the new school year approaches and you start your preparation plans I would like to introduce you to my books: Kaylee’s Adventures and Timothy’s Adventures

Each of the short chapters, provide a question section that may be used to generate positive interactions with both the chapter and the scripture verses that are referenced.

For the older grades, these questions may be used for comprehension, collation, and introducing writing concepts.

No prep time is needed and each chapter and discussion can be completed within the 45 to 60 minute class time!Karmen, Scarlett and Claire

Timothy’s Adventures sample of discussion time

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Chapter 10 Parent/child discussion time questions

Fruit Salad

The beauty of unity and diversity:

God created the body to function in harmony. Each part has a job to do, and there can’t be division in the body, or it doesn’t work. When one part of our body hurts, all of the other parts know it, and they feel it. No one part is more important than another part; all are needed and cared for. God tells us to care for one another as Jesus has cared for each one of us.

Each person is a unique child of God, created with love and cared for so much that God has blessed everyone with special gifts, unique to them, to use in celebrating God’s glorious body, the people of God.

Why were the little puppies barking and pulling at the park?

What did Timothy and Reid do when they saw the bullies?

How did the bullies respond?

What did Naila say to Timothy and Reid?

What did Sara say to Naila?

Why was Naila confused by Sara’s comment?

What did Sara wish?

Who did Naila remind Nanny of?

What did Maria’s grandmother say to Naila?

Why did they have fruit salad?

What made the fruit salad special?

What did Timothy remember about his daddy?

Read together 1 Corinthians 12:12–27. If time permits, you may also want to read Psalm 139:1–18, Jeremiah 29:11–14, Galatians 6:4, and Ephesians 2:10.

chapter 10

A snippet from Timothy’s Adventures

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chapter 13

“Hi, everyone. Look who we bumped into at the park!” Tyrone announced as they walked into the backyard.

“Sara! You made it.” Maria was glad to see her friend. Everyone was so happy when they saw Sara.

Teddy was so excited to see the friends who just arrived that he started running around them. He was weaving in and out and all around when all of a sudden there was an excited little “woof-woof” from the back door. Teddy skidded to a stop. His eyes lit up, and he spun in circles. Then he ran up to Angus, licked his nose, bounced back, turned in another circle, and took off with Angus close behind him. The two puppies were running all over the backyard; first it was Angus chasing Teddy and then Teddy chasing Angus.

Before anyone had a chance to say anything, there was a loud thump and two little yelps. The two puppies had collided head on in the middle of the yard. They both sat there shaking their heads, confused.

Benjamin and Reid walked over, picked up the two puppies, and rubbed their little heads. “Silly Teddy!” Benjamin whispered in the puppy’s ear.

Maria looked at her nonna. “Is now a good time to give them their surprises?” she asked. “I’m so glad you are here, Sara! Would you like to give Angus his present?”

The boys put Teddy and Angus back down on the grass, and the two girls gave the puppies the new stuffed animals they had made for them. Nonna gave Melissa hers, and Melissa gave Nonna a gentle kiss. Teddy and Angus had fun tossing their stuffed animals in the air and then running to catch them before they hit the ground.

Sara and Maria watched how happy the puppies were. Maria looked at Sara and smiled. “I know you are sad about what happened, but I am really happy you are here with all of us.”chapter 13