Off The Beaten Path

So I was forced to try a new road the other day because of construction. And much to my surprise, I found this little gem;

A church in a field in the middle of nowhere Saskatchewan.

 I drove this area millions of times, but never took this road, had no idea this magical castle-like church even existed. We had to pull over, take photos and just take it in. The kids even asked to come back this way again so we could see it a second time. We were star struck.

I had to do a little research on it. This is a century old fully restored Bekevar Church made by the Hungarian settlers of the area.

I found a great blog post HERE about it and Perry tells about the magic of this church just beautifully. It was built in 1911 and is a character itself in the heritage of the area. Imagine the social gatherings here. The love affairs that blossomed, the marriages, the deaths, and the hauntings.

Yes hauntings. I was delighted to read about the ghost stories that stem from it. It's rumoured that a male spirit protects it and does some fun things with the bell. You can read about them HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Much to my delight, Perry got a hold of me and shared another story! He wrote a poem about it on his blog, HERE. This one is about a woman who catches a ride and leaves her gloves behind. AH! I love it.

As you can see, I'm not the only one who thought this place was magical. So many have written about it, taken photos, and I'm so glad I found it. Its presence on the open prairies made me think that it was a character all of its own in one of my stories. Hmmm. inspiration never got much easier than that!

Ever get off the beaten path to find out how ignorant you really are?


Kreativ Blogger Award and THE No Strings attached award!!

Thanks to the cool cat Angeline Trevena and the energegic and fun Carrie Sorensen from Chasing Revery for the Kreativ Blogger Awards!

And wow! A bunch of thanks to the always entertaining, EJ Wesley for the No Strings Attached Award. Whoo Hoo!!
 Got my tractor purring, they did.

So in order to accept the first award the rules are to get off my horse and:
  1. Thank and link back to the person who presented  the award to little old me. So a million thanks ANGELINE and CARRIE!
  2. Answer the questions below: Exciting I know.
  3. Share ten random facts/thoughts about yourself. Yup, can't wait for that.
  4. Nominate seven worthy blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Only 7?

What is your favourite song? Depends what I'm doing. 
Working on Finding Balance? Anything Nickelback will do.
Working on Surviving the Storm? Firehouse is better
Working on getting lucky? Metallica please. 

What is your favourite dessert? Anything CHOCOLATE. yum.

What ticks you off? People who think money is a goal. 

When you're upset what do you do? Write.

Black or White? Damn now that I got chocolate on my brain it's all I can think about. They both rock.

Which is/was your favourite pet? My St Bernard handles all my editing. When my work comes back drooled all over, I know I got gold.

What is your biggest fear? Kryptonite. I married Superman.

What is your attitude mostly? People say I'm a little too laid back, but that's because 90% of my day, I'm in a fantasy. The other 10, I'm trying you convince you to join me.

What is perfection? Lounge chair, Nickelback, beer, laptop, a light breeze, and a kickass idea. No need to explain, just join me you'll get the idea what perfection feels like in a hurry.

What is your guilty pleasure? mmmm. perfection.

Thanks EJ Wesley 
from The Open Vein
10 random things? 
1.I have no problem picking up snakes.

2.Mice scare me, even if I know where they are.

3.I find the first snow fall of the year to be the happiest day ever. No reason, it just is.
4.My birthdays always make me sad. No reason, they just do.
5.I feel the urge to let you all know that EJ WESLEY has a blog that just rocks, so if you're not following, you might want to check out his world.

6.My dog isn't actually my editor, that was a joke, when she drools on my work, I wipe it off.
7.I once took my dog for a walk, but forgot her in the house. yes. i did that. 
8.When I was in high school, I could high jump over my height. In fact I went to provincials and won a ribbon. I had to look up at my competition.
9.Someone told me I had to eat an entire strawberry pie if I wanted to be a real Reimer and not just married to one.
10.I am a real Reimer.

A Symbol that We're Out of Time

My son has been dragging the same blanket around for 7 years. (well, I did wash it every now and again.) It's a sled for his toys. A launch pad for his rockets. It's a fun way to carry blocks. It went to school with him the first day. It's a tent, a rag, a comfort. He always knows where it is. When he noticed a hole in it, he asked what would be involved in the repairs. I can't repair a knitted blanket, not the way he wants.

Still. My heart was as heavy as his because this blanket has an amazing story that started before he was born.

I was just pregnant. Just. maybe a month or two. It was Friday and I was looking forward to the weekend because we were leaving right after work for something and wouldn't be home until Sunday. I don't remember what but that much I remember.

My neighbor called me at work. (Everyone is my neighbor, I live in a town with 18 houses.) So anyway, she asked me to swing by after work because she had made something for my baby. "Babe isn't due for months yet and I really don't have time tonight, so why don't we schedule a coffee." Nope. It could not wait. She wouldn't hear of it. I had to come pick this baby gift up today. End of story. She was so determined to get me there, she ordered groceries and asked if I'd be a dear and drop them off.


I did bring her groceries by and I accepted the beautiful knitted white blanket she handed me but I felt extremely guilty because I couldn't stay and chat. I was also very confused as to why she was giving me a baby gift before I had a baby to wrap it in. Still. She insisted. She said that it wasn't my blanket, she was giving it to my baby so I couldn't refuse it.

She said she worked on it all night to make sure I had it today. Today. Really, I knew better than to argue it with her so I promised to swing by Sunday as soon as I was back. She didn't look too worried and I got the impression she was pretty sure I was going to flake out on that Sunday coffee-- which made me feel even worse for walking away with the blanket I didn't deserve.

When I did get home Sunday, there was a flood of cars at her place so I didn't go by. Still. The guilt was eating at me because I felt like I'd accepted a gift and fled. Later that day, I learned that she'd passed away Friday night in her sleep.

She was gone and my last moments with her had been rushed, taking a gift she worked on for a baby that wasn't born yet.

Guilt twinkled with a million other emotions that made me sick. Did she know she was dying? Was this why she insisted on giving me the blanket that day of all days?

I rarely wish to go back and relive a moment, but if I could redo that one, I would. I would spent more time chatting-- so what if I was late for something so important I can't remember it 8 years later. I remember her. I remember that conversation. Which means it was more important and it was where my heart truly was.

I placed the blanket on a shelf in babe's room and vowed to never let my babe touch it. It was a blanket I would cherish forever.

But. It wasn't my blanket. She'd made that clear and my son was about to remind of that.The first time I wrapped him it, he slept better. Well, as a new mother, I wasn't about to question magic like that.

It soon became a necessity in his crib. Then somehow I was trucking it to town with us.Before I knew it, he was dragging it around. At first it was cute and I told myself she'd loved to see him with the blanket. Soon I discovered that it was his and there was no way in hell that I was taking it from him. That beautiful knit blanket followed him everywhere. He ran it through the dirt. It waited on the floor while he bathed. Well, once it went in with him. He stood in front of the washing machine while it bathed. It was weaved with pink and blue splashes that he liked.

There was one identical to it in the closet only it was purple. He liked that one, too. But not as much as the white one. The white one was his. The purple one was its buddy.

At seven, he should be over the blanket, but he's spending more and more time with it these days. He folds it carefully before he leaves for school. I'm not allowed to wash it anymore. I see it in his eyes. He thinks his blanket is dying. The hole has grown, the fabric is growing weaker. He's loosing a friend that has always been there waiting for him since before he was born. A friend that's come in handy countless times.

It's just a blanket, yet... it's not. Ya know? For both of us now, it's a symbol of time that we can't get back.

You have things in your life that remind you how fleeting time really is?

Found This in my Slush Pile...

*I found this in amongst my writing and I was laughing my butt off. Who was I talking to? I DO NOT remember writing this. No idea when I wrote this. But damn is it ever true!


Just like that I start off with a  swear word. Beware, I plan to throw that one around a bit. Already, those of you who aren’t writers think it’s a disease I won’t survive. 

I might not. 

The Synopsis. It’s so evil, few can tell you exactly what it is, yet every agent wants one eventually, every writer will be like me, up at three in the morning, wondering what the hell they can say to do their novel justice, and catch attention of an agent who suddenly holds more power than them.
I am a writer, I am a community developer, and I am a mother. Not in that order, not in any order. Actually, at any time of the day, I’m all three, even right now at three am. 
I need sleep. 
I can’t sleep. 
I have a plot running through my head. I have an adrenalin rush. I want to do three things. I want to find a way to get my stories to the world, I want to save the world, and I really want to wash my kitchen floor. 
At three am. 
I really am brilliant at this time of the day, ain't I?
My editor hard at work at 3 am with me

And so, enters The Synopsis. 

Wait. I hear children walking upstairs. Don’t they ever sleep? What’s wrong with them? 

Forget them, what I need is a checklist.
I need this one piece of writing to:
  • have voice
  • sum up an entire manuscript
  • outline the basic plot
  • really accentuate my characters and how much I just love them, well... that one annoys me. Okay, let's just try to really give my characters personality that makes them stand out. Voice? Did I already say that one? Actually, not voice twice that's just redundant, it needs... a magical way for me to describe a character I just took 100k to develop. In a sentence would be best. No more than two. Okay moron- if you could do that why waste your time on 100k? Really? No wonder this feels impossible.
  • highlight the major conflict in a powerful way
  • show the action. Yes. It really must be exciting. and sexy. Can The Synopsis be sexy? Probably not so scratch that. 
  • be perfect in every possibly freaking way. 
Essentially, I’m asking for a miracle. 

I read what I rewrote. (I’m on draft ninety-seven). If a miracle can happen, it should be about now.

I’m so tired, I hear voices, but I have to get up for work soon, so I need to put those voices to good use.
Maybe it’s time to put that away and look at The Query. Sorry if I offend anyone with all these bad words. 

The Query. I got goosebumps because this one little paper defines me as a writer. Nothing I put in it will do my book justice, so I put in very little, hoping to intrigue, to get the agents to read The Synopsis which by some miracle will be great.
There, I woke my husband with all my swearing. He wants to know why I insist on torturing myself like this? Am I nuts? Obsessed? 
My friends say I have passion, my enemies just don’t talk to me. (Do yours?) I’m not sure which one he is right now, but by the scowl on his face, he’s on the fence. I have better things to do than procrastinate like this, but at three am, if you’re reading this, you know what that scowl means, and feel my hope. A miracle isn’t far off. Inspiration has to be hiding behind him.
I once got a sympathy card for a dog that passed away, it moved me to tears because I couldn't believe they knew something I didn't know- I was upset inside but had no idea how to express it. I get the same feeling when I read The Synopsis. There are emotions there that must come out, but how in 500 words? Someone send me a sympathy card please!

The Query just sends me to the washroom with dry heaves, so I put it away. I don't need that tonight. Save it for when I need to fake sick in a hurry.

If I get past this step, I won’t look back. 
Yeah, I will. I plan to tell every writer that they aren’t alone, that at three am, I’m up, too. I taste the vomit in those words and smell the fear around my desk. 
I plan to walk the world spreading the good news: There is hope. 
I haven't found it yet, but it's there someplace. 
Not a three am, don't be ridiculous, I'll catch up to it in the morning.
You know what the problem is? After all that work on a novel-- and I did work hard at it, ask my scowling husband who supports me. Ask my children who are sleeping in my spot. Ask my enemies, they were all made during the process. They all know. I worked hard-- and now I have to beg a stranger to read it by creating something that I can’t even pronounce and shove it in his face ( or hers) like a hundred other great writers plan to do this weekend.
I will see rejection. I will develop a thick skin. I won’t let it affect me. 
Yet, I will self-doubt. 
What will never change? Me, sitting here at three am. 
I am obsessed. 
I am nuts. 
My husband says admitting it is part of the process and he goes back to bed, proud of me. Why is he always so proud of me? If just once I could see "lost cause" written in that scowl, I'd pack up and live happily ever after, but no, that pride... it just make me try harder.

And there it is! 
I feel it. Hope. (I knew it was behind him. It always is.) 
After The Synopsis there is The Full. That sounds nice. I like full things, don't you? Actually, I even like partial things.

* hahahaha. You ever come across things you don't remember writing but still ring true? Ever feel this despair and hope at 3 am? Here's to the voice of sanity that only strikes at 3 am. lol.