Tuesday, February 13, 2018

In the Name of Love

http://bwlpublishing.ca/authors/donaldson-yarmey-joan/
#1
My husband and I lived on an acreage and my husband work in the country for an oil company. Therefore he didn’t make it into town to buy me a Valentine’s card. So early Valentine’s morning he went outside and packed some snow into a pile. He got a can of red spray paint and painted a heart with an arrow through it on the snow. He also printed Be My Valentine on it. I could see the pile of snow from the kitchen window for months as it was the last snow to melt in the spring.
#2
My mother had moved from Alberta to B.C. to pick fruit and then got a job at a store in Vancouver. Mom’s parents, my grandparents sold their farm in Alberta and bought an acreage near Vancouver. My father was in World War II and was repatriated to Vancouver when it was over.
When dad left the army he got a job and began to look for a place to buy. My grandfather’s health was bad and so they decided to sell their acreage. One of mom’s friends was my dad’s sister and my dad found out about it through his sister. He bought my grandparents acreage and met my mother. They married seven months after meeting and were married for fifty-four years.
The way dad put it: He bought the acreage and got the daughter for free.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

New Year's Writing Resolutions


 

A New Year’s Resolution could be described as promise made by a person to change themselves or something in their lives for the better. It could be being nicer to their neighbour, reading more, or having more fun. This change begins on New Year’s Day and is supposed to last for the year.

Making a New Year's Pledge is a custom observed mainly in the Western Hemisphere but is sometimes found in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Eight of the top ten resolutions are: spending more time with loved ones; getting in shape through exercise; losing weight; quit smoking; stop drinking; enjoy life more; pay off bills; learn something new.

How do these resolutions relate to my writing?

1.)    Spending more time with loved ones.
Writing is a solitary undertaking. I sit in a room alone with my computer (some writers use pen and paper.) I don’t like to be disturbed because that disturbance usually comes when I am right in the middle of a scene and I want to get it all down the way I am visualizing it. In order to spend more time with loved ones, I have to cut back on my writing. I read an article about one best-selling writer. Her son asked her if she would go to his baseball game. She said she couldn’t because she had to work on her next great book.

2.)    Getting in shape through exercise.
I spend my writing time sitting in a chair. If the story line is going well, I want to keep at it to the detriment of other activities.

3.)    Losing weight.
Hunger distracts me. I find that I write better if I have a full stomach, usually full of chocolates, but anything works.

4&5.) Quit smoking and drinking.
I have never smoked so that is easy. I only have an occasional drink so I am fine with that, also.

6.)    Enjoy life more.
Again, doing anything outside that room takes time away from my writing. And since I enjoy writing my books and planning more stories, I guess I am enjoying life.

7.)    Pay off bills.
Many writers write in order to pay off their bills. Some write hoping that they will have the next great best seller and earn lots of money. Most write because they love to write. Learn something new.

8.)    Learning something new.
Most beginner writers take writing courses to learn their craft. For others writing comes naturally. Many writers take a course in something they are writing about so the reader feels that the writer knows what they are putting in their books. When I write my historical novels I do a lot of research—reading books, visiting the places I am including in the book, and checking sites on the Internet. I have learned so much about Canadian history that I didn’t know before. I like to live by the saying: keep learning because it doesn’t cost anything to store the information.

       So how do my New Year’s pledge(s) relate to those resolutions? I am going to continue doing my exercises in the morning before I begin writing so that I stay in shape. In spite of liking to write with a full stomach I work at maintaining my normal weight and will make sure that I continue to do so. Luckily at this time in my life, I don’t have any large debts and can write because I love to. I am not going to take up smoking nor will I drink more. But I think the most important one is I am going to continue enjoying life by writing more but also by spending more time with family and friends.

       In the past I have set aside my writing so that I could do things with my family and friends. They laugh with me, go places with me, are happy for me when I do something new and different. Writing is words on paper.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Would I Redo


 
When I was in school, I wanted to travel and my dream job was to be a stewardess as they were called back then. I studied French, German, and Russian so that I would know some other languages for when I landed and maybe stayed over in another country. In my last year a job show was held at my high school and I went to talk with the representatives from an airline. She was dressed in her uniform and was very nice.
     I explained that I wanted to be a stewardess and asked for information. She told me that I had to be a certain height and weight, which I was. She said that all stewardesses had to wear a girdle even though their figures might be perfect. I was okay with that. Then she told me that anyone who wore glasses could not be a stewardess. I was devastated, since I needed prescription glasses but seldom wore them. I went to an optometrist to get contact lenses. This was when they were still made of hard material and my eyes could not adjust to them.
     So I gave up my dream of being a stewardess. However, I married, had wonderful children who have given me wonderful grandchildren and went on to become a writer. I travelled extensively through British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon and Alaska, when writing my non-fiction backroads series.
     I belong to a dragon boat team and I have taken part in international festivals in Caloundra Queensland Australia (spent four week visiting the sites of Queensland and New South Wales then a week in Fiji) Sarasota Florida USA, (my husband and I travelled through two provinces and nineteen states on our way there and back home) and will be going to Florence Italy in 2018. While there I hope to visit many other European countries. I’ve also been to Japan and China. So not being a stewardess has not stopped me from doing the travelling that I wanted to do when I was younger.
     Just a note: my sister owned the Canadian Tourism College in Vancouver for many years. One of my granddaughters took her course and is now a flight attendant. She doesn’t need to wear a girdle and, while she doesn’t wear glasses, today it wouldn’t matter if she did.

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Holiday Dessert


http://bookswelove.net/authors/donaldson-yarmey-joan/
 
 
The following is a recipe for a dessert that I made for many years for my husband’s birthday and Christmas and when requested for other gatherings. It is simple to make but takes a while because you have to let it cool between layers. It is very rich and each person only needs a small piece.
 
Cherry Delight
Bottom Layer
1 ½ cup graham crumbs
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup melted butter
Mix these together and pat down into a nine by nine inch pan. Put in refrigerator to harden.
Middle Layer
1 cup whipping cream
1 4oz package softened cream cheese
¾ cup icing sugar.
Whip the cream until almost stiff. Blend in cream cheese and icing sugar and beat until mixed well and stiff. Spread on bottom layer and return to fridge until set.
Top Layer
Open a can of cherry pie filling and spread on top.
 
Enjoy

Friday, October 13, 2017

Ghosts and Haunted Houses




http://bookswelove.net/authors/donaldson-yarmey-joan/

As far as I know, I have never seen a ghost. However, I did live in a haunted house, although without my knowledge. When my husband and I and my brother and sister-in-law first moved to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island we bought a house that had been converted into a duplex. My sister-in-law told me that she was continually seeing a man coming and going from their side. I saw no one on our side.

I returned to Alberta to visit family and friends and was describing where our place was to a friend. She began asking questions about it and said that a friend of hers had lived in that house years earlier. She also asked me if I had seen the ghost who occasionally wandered through the house there. I said no, but my sister-in-law had.

She said that a man had died in that house and her friend had seen his ghost often while living there.
I’m not sure if the reason I did not encountered that ghost nor any others in my life is because I don’t believe in them or because I’ve been lucky. However, if a ghost is reading this, this is not an invitation to come to me and prove you are real.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Support of my Writing


 
 
My family and friends have been very supportive of me during my writing career. When my first two non-fiction books were published, my parents would look for them in bookstores. If they found them with only their spines showing they rearranged the books on the shelves so that the covers of mine were facing out so they could be seen easier.
 
My husband is constantly telling people that I am a writer and where they can find my books. My parents, siblings, children, and grandchildren have come to book launches, sat with me during a book signing, and passed on advertising information about my new books through social media and other means.

When they were younger my grandchildren helped out at some of my launches: acting as doormen by opening doors for customers at bookstores, singing, or playing a saxophone or flute during the interlude before my reading.
 
I have some friends who buy and read all my books and continually tell me how much they like them.

Thank you to my family and friends for your continued encouragement.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Who Would Play the Characters in the Movie?




http://bookswelove.net/authors/donaldson-yarmey-joan/

Total Speculation and dreaming--but wouldn't it be wonderful if a production company decided they wanted to make my historical novel, Romancing the Klondike, into a movie. When I thought about who would play my characters I went with all Canadian actors and actresses.
Here is the list:
 
Ellen Page as Pearl Owens
Rachael McAdams as Emma Owens
Ryan Reynolds as Sam Owens
Ryan Gosling as Donald Miller
Seth Rogen as Gordon Baker
Keanu Reeves as Joe Ladue
Jane Eastwood as Mrs. Wills

I think that the lesser characters should also be Canadian actors and actresses. After all, this is a Canadian story.

What do you think of my selections?