In the News – Spinning on a Barstool

In the News – Spinning on a Barstool

 

In the News –

Spinning on a Barstool 

 

 

Thank you to Jenna Hauck at the Chilliwack Progress for taking the time to investigate and write this story. The link to the news article is below *** NOTE*** the article is full of Spinning on the Barstool Spoilers so if you want the surprise ending, read the book first 😀

Tip Tuesdays at Corky’s

Tip Tuesdays at Corky’s

 

Do Gooders Just Want to Do Good!

The story behind Tip Tuesdays at Corky’s.

Note… Spinning on a Barstool spoilers are included, don’t read if you intend on reading the book without spoilers!

 I never knew the extent of the needs of our youth in Chilliwack until I met Daryl. In a round about way it’s because of him. So, Thank you Daryl!

 

 If you’ve read Spinning on a Barstool you will be well aware of the homeless situation in the City of Chilliwack BC. Inspired and Funded by Daryl and investments made by Haney and myself we had our sights set on eradicating homelessness by working with our youth before they became homeless. This was the intention of the Foundation of Hope. As the Foundation was waiting for registration and funds to be released through Fintrac, I investigated and explored the deepest needs and what our City was doing to address them. Many programs were already in place funding was missing. Two places touched my heart, the Schools and The Cyrus Center. 

It was when we went and spoke with our schools that we comprehended the state some of their students were in. I won’t go into detail here, please read Spinning on a Barstool for a deeper perspective. Along the way, I found Cyrus Center and I saw what they were doing and I heard from others, some of the situations the youth have found themselves in and their needs. I won’t go into private details. There are many, many people in Chilliwack doing many great things. Reaching out to give a hand up to our youth who are hurt. Poverty and the problems within that are real, and they exist here.

When the Foundation of Hope didn’t turn out as planned, when Daryl didn’t turn out to be who he portrayed himself to be, the sorrow was magnificent. The hope, the funding, and the aid were gone, but the problem wasn’t.

After I brushed my off my ego and washed off the dried snot stuck to my face I started writing Spinning on a Barstool. Its intent was to protect the Canadian people from Daryl (and perhaps people like Daryl) but I had a bigger desire, to do what we were planning! To help our youth, and to bring attention to their needs. Homelessness is still an issue, If we work to aid youth to prevent them from becoming homeless then our future looks better. Why not try?

What can I do?

I’m a waitress in a pub, clearly not educated in matters such as these!

But the problem still exists and it natters against my soul.

The majority of the profits of Spinning on a Barstool have been designated to aid in the prevention of homelessness but it’s slow going. Profits happen after the expenses are paid. The expense to put the book out was quite substantial and we need to sell a large number of books before it turns a profit, this hasn’t happened yet. I have hope 😀 There is $100 in Hopes’ Project’s account, donated by a couple of ladies at the pub who have the same desire I do. In the meantime, the problem still exists.

Last November I had the idea to fill the Christmas stockings and the  ‘shoe closet’ of the school by donating all of my tips on Tuesdays through the month of November. The response was enormous! It was AMAZING! Elderly people brought in their extra loonies and toonies and people came specifically to hand me hundreds of their own money to give to the school on their behalf. One of our former servers Nikki, got wind of it and took her enthusiasm to her new place of employment CamTran and they got on board. I was so busy at work I couldn’t keep up…

 TO THE RESCUE … TINA!!!

“I’ll give up my day off Glenda! I’ll come and help you!”

Oh God, I needed it too!… together we tackled the rest of the Tuesdays and at the end of November our customers had donated over $3600! With another $2200 added from the generosity of Cam Tran’s employee’s

The school filled the shoe closet. Gym strip and running shoes and toiletries and food gift cards were purchased by the school with these funds to help any of their students in need throughout the year. And Christmas Stockings were filled! And Corky’s Customers did that! It was amazing!

Last week Tina said, “Are we doing it again Glenda?”

I said, “ are you volunteering, I can’t do it on my own?”

“Absolutely!”

Tina is again giving up her day off to come and do Tip Tuesdays at Corky’s.

I’m grateful and I’m humbled.

This year we decided to split the funds exactly between the school and Cyrus Center. The intention is to help our Chilliwack youth and both do a spectacular job!

With this all said,

Everyone is invited to come and visit Tina and myself, every Tuesday through the month of November from 11 am until 4 pm.

100 % of our tips will be donated and we are happy to do it!

Please come and have fun with us! Bring in your extra rolls of quarters and dimes, if you are a cheque kind of person we can direct who you can make cheques out to. If you are a Chilliwack Business looking for an area to give, then get on board we would LOVE to have you!

Let’s surpass last year!

And let’s have an amazing time doing this!

And

THANK YOU!

Please follow our progress here;

  https://www.facebook.com/corkys.chilliwack

 

Baptized in the Spoken Word

Baptized in the Spoken Word

Baptized in the

Spoken Word 

Intro

I didn’t know the word Appalachia until I met David, and have since come to learn it goes beyond a word. It’s a world. Storytellers steeped in tradition, rocking on porches, drinking coffee, and exhaling wisps of smoke from cigarettes, watch as their sky opens. Sometimes storms release, sometimes a story. Sometimes we are lucky to know them. I’m a lucky one.

 Please allow me to introduce my guest blogger this week. David Sweet, as he answers my question, “What inspires you to write?”

 

Dad’s eyes lit up when I told him tales about his great-great-grandfather, George Burkhart. George, a legend in Harlan County, Kentucky, moved his family to Crank’s Creek in the late 1700s; they lived for a time inside a large, hollowed-out sycamore tree in that virgin forest of America’s early western frontier. I told my dad I had discovered that ol’ George also danced, played fiddle, cured people and animals of curses placed upon them by witches, fathered a child at 102 (a most interesting tale), and  lived to be 116 years old. Newspaper articles from Cincinnati to Kansas City covered these accounts about the oldest living man in America in 1820. My dad, contemplating George’s legacy, wanted more.

What makes this remarkable is that my dad rarely talked to us when we were kids. A Baptist lay pastor all of my life, I heard him talk about his life sometimes in his sermons, but he rarely talked at home. A working-class man, sometimes working 12-hour shifts, six days a week, he also labored on our small farm and pastored a rural church. I suppose he didn’t have much time to talk to us. That is, until he retired in 1994. 

Dad  passed away in 2015, but in that 21 year span he began to open up to us. He talked more as his years on this earth dwindled. A few years before his passing, I shared George Burkhart’s legacy with him. Aware of my life-long passion for writing, he encouraged me to write about George and others. Dad opened up about his childhood, telling me interesting anecdotes about himself I had never known. In the end, his sharing of these stories made me have a deeper connection to him. It would also reignite my passion for writing when I retired in July 2022. I wanted to tell more stories.

In a tradition of some Appalachian ways of communicating, this introduction has come a long way around the mountain to answer Glenda’s first question: “What inspires you to write?”

Stories. Stories read to me as a child; stories I read in school; stories I heard in church; but, mostly, family stories. When I was a kid, an old adage was: “children are made to be seen, not heard.” The youngest of six children, I enjoyed the limelight too much and wanted to be heard, but I had to learn to listen first. I listened to my oldest brother and Dad discuss current events, politics, and my brother’s time spent as a young man in the Vietnam War; my dad talked about his life as a sailor in WWII. I also listened to my mother’s brothers when they visited from Ohio. They told stories about growing up in Kentucky and how life was different here. In fact, my uncle Stanton, who worked in a book-binding factory, brought boxes of discarded books, some of which included early editions of Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle and Call of the Wild. Uncle Stanton wrote a short story I keep in my desk drawer. I often think about re-visiting it to edit for his family. The greatest storytellers I heard, however, were my brother-in-laws and my oldest brother. They seemed to challenge each other to see who could top the other’s yarns. I grew up baptized in spoken word.

Now, to answer Glenda’s second question: “What do you enjoy writing about and why?”

In high school, I thought I would write another ‘Great American Novel’ in the vein of J.D. Salinger, or I would break into the science fiction genre and be another Frank Herbert. I slowly (and painfully) realized I was never going to do any of those things. I was me. I carried something else that deserved to be told. My stories. My family’s stories. Currently, I am rooted in the past, revisiting family stories, exploring ideas I had as a child, and redeveloping fictional storylines I created 30 years ago.

I enjoy resurrecting people and characters from my life. Some have passed on, others are no longer in my life, but I want my readers to know them and feel the same way I do about them. Perhaps my readers will dislike them, (and that’s okay). Perhaps my readers will discover something they didn’t know before. A difficult task in writing about family is that portions of these stories are, sometimes, painfully true; gaps also exist where I am missing information. Sometimes, I create gaps, filling them with my imagination, hoping my audience understands. Most of all, I want readers to know that I love all of these stories, positive and negative, because they are me, and I have carried them all my life.

Consequently, I have wanted to be a writer almost my entire life. 

I wrote my first poem when I was seven years old for a girl on the school bus: I was in second grade; she was a high school freshman. I wrote my first story when I was in third grade, scribbling twenty-seven pages in a wire-bound notebook. I lost some of the first pages and gave up on the story. It still exists in some form in my head. I wrote my first novella when I was in middle school. My English teacher loved it and submitted it to a writing contest. I didn’t win nor get my manuscript returned. I did, however, have a few poems published in literary magazines while in high school. Remarkably, the girl I wrote poems for in second grade kept them and gave them back to me when I was in college, which gave me hope that people connected to my writing. But, I put creative writing aside in college to pursue a short career in journalism. I also taught creative writing, English, and a host of other subjects during my 24 years as a teacher, but I wasn’t truly writing. It took retirement a year ago to set me on that path again.

I started exploring ideas I toyed with in middle school, high school, and college. I began writing poetry again, finding better imagery and brevity. One of my short stories, “Southbound” won a prize on Reedsy.com. It was a manifestation of a family story. I have come back full circle to those stories I heard when I was a kid. 

Stories are in my soul, in my DNA. In fact, I believe the desire for storytelling weaves itself indelibly into the universal consciousness of mankind. Humans have been storytellers for tens of thousands of years. Stories want to take on lives of their own, they desire to thrive out in the open, and they are driven to reproduce and evolve like any other organism. So, my inspiration and enjoyment for writing is just inherent, like it is in all of us.

To enjoy some of David’s work please visit the websites below.

 

https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/david-sweet/

 

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/31-southbound-by-david-m-sweet/id1577467066?i=1000586191258

 

 

Words of a Wordsmith                                                       (The journey from writer to author.)

Words of a Wordsmith (The journey from writer to author.)

Words of a Wordsmith

(The journey from writer to author.)

Intro

 Michael Schwartz is a horror/thriller author who I met on Facebook. When asked to share his publishing experience with me Michael was quick to accept and quick to respond. If you have a manuscript and you’re not sure what to do next please read Michaels’ experience. Equally important, Michael is a ‘Super Encourager.’ His voice regularly is heard on social media as a singular cheerleader for all writers. Approachable and genuine, if you have any questions he will give his time to answer them… Please allow me to introduce my guest blogger this week. Michael B. Schwartz.

 Self-publishing, my journey.

After several years of searching and praying for an agent for The Dreamkiller, I bought a book that recommended Booklocker. I never once thought I was selling out by going this route. After a few short days, they agreed to get my novel out to the world – they formatted it and supplied the ISBN. I was in charge of my own editing which, looking back, wasn’t the best idea as I missed errors that should have been caught. 

That left the cover. Back then, my niece was taking graphic arts class in high school and she agreed to make my cover (I actually loved it – still do) but Booklocker declined her work saying there were issues with the bleed and it wouldn’t work with their printers. They had a rabbit up their sleeve and told me for an extra $200 they would supply a cover artist. I already paid close to $500 to Booklocker. But I was young and determined to have my book read so I waited an extra 5 months to finalize the cover and come up with the money.

All in all, from their first acceptance to produce the book, to my first proof copy reaching my hands, it took around 7 months.

Like all self-publishing, I was in charge of my own marketing and that was what hurt me the most. I was relatively new to the whole marketing thing so all I could do was share my link on Facebook a couple of times, create a free website which I had no business doing, and use word-of-mouth. At the time, only family and coworkers bought my book and I can easily say it was under 20 sold. 

I will say that my lack of marketing came from life. I was working insane hours at the metal stamping factory and my children were young. Add to that, I really wasn’t comfortable with the whole social media platform. Yes, I had Facebook, but my list of friends were small and they were family who already knew about the book. 

I went ahead with my plan anyway and had published Forbidden Realms, and The Dream Crusades through Booklocker and hoped for the best.

Every year I had to pay $18 per year per book just to keep it listed on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and several other places but after so many years and zero sales, I took Forbidden Realms and The Dream Crusades down and kept The Dreamkiller.

Now we move forward 12 years and the world of social media has become this giant lifeform of its own. 

Ever since December 2022, my author page has flourished beyond my wildest dreams. Through this enormous group of supporters that I did not have 12 years ago, my book has gained new life. Of course you know how this works, so I won’t bore you with me explaining the wonderful world of social media. 

My plan is to reactivate Forbidden Realms once I get enough in royalties to cover the $125 cost. At this writing, I have sold 9 books. It’s not a lot but way back when, I had released the series at one title per year.  I’m content to keep promoting until then.

My story may scare off some to the world of self-publishing; I merely wanted to show the difference between then and now. 

Back then, Amazon was a pretty new platform so I’m not sure it would have been possible to have a book on their site as an indie author by myself (I could be wrong, but it just seemed that way). I knew next to nothing about formatting back then (even now, I’m still learning) and there wasn’t a lot of help in how to format a specific way. There was a limited amount of specifications back then. And don’t get me started with cover design. 

Almost my entire tax return went into publishing, formatting, and cover design but it was well worth it. 

Now, we have control of formatting (there’s even more on-line help with formatting) and there’s even programs we can get (some free) that you can make your own covers. On top of all that, you can upload it directly to Amazon without having to pay a third party to do it for you. 

Could I re-release The Dreamkiller, Forbidden Realms, and The Dream Crusades myself through Amazon since I own the rights to the book and cover? I considered it but there’s that little voice in the back of my head that’s whispering what-if’s. What if I missed something in my contract and they can sue me?

What’s my future plans with self publishing? Will I continue with Booklocker?

First and foremost, if/when the world can enjoy my trilogy, my time with Booklocker is over. I hope I can gain enough to reactivate the other two books and completely cease them after a year or two (depending on sales). I plan on learning how to create my own cover (talking with people who have done it helps) and then I will be publishing one of two novels – not too sure at this point. Anthropomorphism or Iblis will be next on my list.

The writing market is too slim for us authors to worry about whether or not we’ll get a traditional publisher to look our way. We all have stories to tell. We have a job to do – so get writing, my friends.

 

To purchase on of Michael’s book please follow the link!

https://www.amazon.com/Dreamkiller-Book-One-Great-Saga/dp/1609104072?ref_=ast_author_mpb

 

To follow Michael’s journey click on the link and hit his follow button, he will be happy you’re there!

https://www.facebook.com/schwarmb?mibextid=ZbWKwL

 

 

Hay, Hay, Hay, It’s Glenda Again

Hay, Hay, Hay, It’s Glenda Again

Hay, Hay, Hay,

It’s Glenda Again

Intro

 

Nostalgia. A photo, a movie, a place, a person, sound. What pulls you back into a memory? Today it was a smell. The smell of hay.

 

Long grass cut at the ankles and left on the field, naked, sun scorched and seared. The farmer prays for sleeping rain then checks the sky hopefully, fretfully, and faithlessly. Good and bad hay is bundled in bales and tugged by arms of good and bad children onto rusty old pickups, or sparkling new trailers, or clunking wooden wheelbarrows rolling on metal wheels. Then grass igloos in hot lofts where children and mice squeeze into small spots, a summer is spent sipping sweat tea and pulling hay remnants off clothing and out of hair. 

I saw an old green pickup truck yesterday, dangerously overloaded with hay. Strapped down with dental floss. The truck turned right, the hay tipped right with it. I held my breath and started imagining my obituary.

“Buried under Hay”

“Hay she led a great life!”

“Hay, Hay, Hay, The End.”

The floss was strong and the hay hung on tight.

What a sight.

I wondered if the driver recognized then that his idea of adding that ‘one more row’ was a stupid one. I wonder if he held his breath when he turned the corner the way I held my breath when I watched him? I wonder if he prayed? Angel’s hands holding up hay?

All that hay brought back memories of a summer in a hay loft with contact cement. Oh, Lord I’m sure I would have had more brain cells for all of my entire life if I had just NOT sniffed all that glue.

I was young.

I was stupid.

I loved getting high.

I can still taste the glue in my mouth.

I blame Ann.

Some have sisters who help them to bake, and read, and play dolls. I had Ann.

She would drown me in the pool and give me contact cement to sniff.

I loved her.

It was one liter of contact cement. We stopped sniffing glue when we used it all up. It took a while. We shared though.

‘Come to the hay loft, here’s a baggie, breathe deep!’

We were the generous sort.

I couldn’t wait to grow up. I was going to have an apartment like Mary Tyler Moore’s with a walk-in closet filled with glue. I was going to live the life.

Things change along the way, as life does. When the glue ran out we found other things to do in the hay loft. Smoking was cool. Nothing wrong with striking a good match in a hay loft… ‘whoops there’s dad, butt it out before he sees!’ ..and we did, right inside the middle of a bale. It was the glue, it made us dumb 😛

I don’t know why I’m writing about hay today. Perhaps it’s because I’m thankful not to have died in it, or by it, back then or yesterday. Maybe it’s the walk I took this morning in an abandoned field. Fallen logs on fallen grass burned yellow under the sun… and the smell.

The smell of hay, pulling me back to the summer of ‘78 sniffing glue and smoking cigarettes like the bad ass babies we were back then. And tremendously thankful, that I didn’t get what I wanted as a kid.

I couldn’t fit any of that glue in my little closet 😀