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A Blessed Feature

My book is being showcased on http://kimpayne.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/seasons-blessings-for-you-by-grace-k-chik/ by Kimberley Payne, a fellow writer and Word Guild member. Check it out!

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A Blessed Inspiration

My husband and I went on vacation during the latter half of the month of August.  As usual, I gave a copy of my book to people who ran their bed and breakfast business via their homes.

Our first stop was in Cornwall, Ontario. The name of the  B&B was The Lighthouse Landing B&B. The names of the owners were Lesley & Gerry Samson. On the morning of our departure, I left a copy of my book in our assigned room.

Later I received the following e-mail from Lesley:

I had not been downstairs when I sent my e-mail to you.  Thank you so
much for “Season’s Blessings for You”  What a pleasant surprise.    We
have really been blessed since we opened our Bed and Breakfast.  The kindness and generosity of our guests gives our souls a real uplift.  I
will read your book and leave it for our guests to read also.

I have often thought of writing a book (actually since I was child) and
have even started numerous times.  Maybe you were sent here to give me a
nudge in the “write” direction!!

I had comments from a few people who felt a desire to write when I gave my book to them. It’s good to know that a seed to write has been planted into their hearts.  🙂

Note:  when I requested her permission to use the e-mail for my blog, Lesley gave me the news that her husband Gerry passed away in September. My sincere condolence goes to her.

Blessings on display

My father took these photos of my books being displayed at CCM Bookstore (for store’s  address, please click on “About Me” tab). As you can tell, it’s towards the front of the store.

The bookstore:

SAM_0365

The book-table:Book display 2

The book:Book display 4

Blessed Review

The following is a review of my book by a friend of mine, a fellow writer. It was originally on her blog, but it’s no longer there. Nevertheless, she gave the same review on the Amazon website when you search for my book.

After reading Season’s Blessings for You by Canadian author Grace K. Chik, I wondered how I could get on her Christmas card list.

You see, in the mid-1990’s Grace began a hobby creating her own greeting cards to give to family and friends. In 2002, she had a “creativity-block” for her Christmas cards and decided to combine two of her hobbies – card-making and creative writing. Each Christmas card she sent out thereafter contained an uplifting story that became a hit with her friends, family and co-workers.

Those stories are now combined in this beautiful holiday book and are sure to warm your heart this Christmas season. A perfect gift to tuck into someone’s stocking or to read together as a family. Some stories are based on children’s fables and so they are appropriate for children as well. Each story has a scripture verse at the end to drive the theme home.

Like I said at the beginning, I would love to be on the author’s Christmas card list. What a surprise it would be to open a beautiful card and find a delightful story inside, instead of a rhyming verse. When you’re done reading this book, you’ll wish you were on her Christmas card list too!

Blessings testimony

The following is a testimony I shared with my church on Sunday January 2, 2011 (I changed it slightly to accommodate for anyone who reads this):

I’ve been wanting to become a writer all my life. As you can imagine, I had this dream of having something written and published since I was a kid, but it never came true. That is, until now.

So, what got me finally going to make this desire of my heart to become real? It’s hard to say because there may be a lot of factors. For now, I only can name a few. First of all, I can’t remember when, but it was after the sermon of one of my church’s pastors when he declare a unique altar call. He directed those with no dreams to stand on one side of the open space, so that God can reveal what things or actions He wants to put into their hearts. He instructed those with dreams to be fulfilled to stand on the other side. I was among those with dreams; so I came down to the front. Our main pastor prayed with me to have my dream of a book being published.

The other two involved with two of the three personal promises I’ve made to myself years ago. The first promise was that I were to volunteer for a Christian event. I’ve not done this for a long time since I was an employee of the organization. Among the events happening on Saturday was one set-up for women. After the panel discussion the audience were encouraged to gather around any of the panelists so they could pray and speak whatever message the Lord had for the women participants. For me, this panelist said that the Lord wanted me to “let go of my insecurities”. It wasn’t exactly immediate but those words gradually took a load off of me. I had a lot of “what if’s” especially concerning many of my high-school schoolmates whom I don’t have contact with since graduation. What if they found out that I’m still alive? Would they try to track me down and resurrect all the pain and hurts? Since that day I found myself not worrying about the “what-if’s”.

The second promise was to attend the Write Canada conference, organized by the Word Guild. The Word Guild is an organization that networks writers, editors, agents, publishers and so forth who are Christian and Canadian. Members correspond each other as a whole or with a few people or one-on-one through e-mails. Among the activities, The Word Guild organize small 1-day local conferences in different spots across Canada and one yearly major one in Guelph, Ontario which is Write Canada. This was my second time and it was a long time since I came to my first one. It was there that I met my publisher from Word Alive. It was during the conference that I felt an urge to get my Christmas stories published. Within days after the conference, I finished up whatever I wanted to put my draft together and faxed it to my publisher just in time for a special discount and before the HST was born.

It was an interesting experience. There were a lot of correspondence between me and my publisher, especially whenever I asked her to clarify some things. I have a few books about publishing but, for me, the best way to learn is through experience.

From the time I sent my book to be published, my husband Tim and I decided not to tell anyone yet; I don’t feel comfortable to say anything especially when I don’t have the finished product. You could say it was our best-kept secret. But gradually we had to let out a bit to someones for whatever reason. In August I asked a longtime friend of mine to snap a photo of me for the back of the book; she had taken some photography courses. Then we let another of my pastors know about my upcoming book. The first members of my family to know were my parents when Tim and I presented the final proof of my book to my father for his birthday. Since the news of my book came about in here, I had a few people who came to me, telling that, one way or another, they felt a nudge to write a book as well.

As I have learned at my first 1-day Word Guild conference in downtown Toronto years ago, we Christian writers are not just writers; we’re also missionaries. The only unique aspect is that we literally take the “trips” through our words, whether in a book, on blog, e-book or whatever so that whoever reads them may receive a glimpse of God’s love. I thank God for putting the desire in my heart to write and helping me to birth it into a book. May He continue to inspire me and maybe some of you into getting more things done in ink.

Season’s Blessings – an excerpt

Here’s an excerpt from my book. It came from the story “Be Bad No More”. It’s kinda like “The Three Little Pigs” written in a different way. In this story, each of the pig react uniquely when their childhood tormentor, the wolf, seeks redemption from him/her. This part of the story portrays the interaction between the wolf and the second pig:

     As the day darkened into night, Wolfie wandered through a large park. Several screaming drunks scared him. He walked quickly past any small group of thugs before they could question his presence. As he walked on, he wasn’t aware that someone was watching him.

     He was passing by an apartment building when someone seized him by his tail.

    “Yeow!”

    “Come on,” sneered a big fat tailless cat in a pin-striped suit. His hat almost completely covered his eyes.

    The cat hoisted Wolfie over his right shoulder. “The big boss wants to see ya.”

    “The big boss? Who? Who? Who?”

    “Shut up and stop acting like an owl.”

     The cat stepped up the stairs loudly. Wolfie’s head and chest bounced at each step. His head banged upon the doorway as they stepped into the apartment.

     Wolfie was very much in a daze when the feline henchman dropped him on the floor. The first thing Wolfie sensed was a nauseating stench of cigar smoke. Shaking his head, Wolfie’s eyes focussed at a very fat pig in a white shirt and black tie and pants who was sitting on a very old sofa chair in a corner.

     Wolfie asked, “Isaac, is that you?”

     Isaac removed his cigar and blew out. The smell caused Wolfie to cough. Isaac snickered as he put his cigar back into his mouth.

     “I noticed you at the park, so I sent my pal Maxx to get you. Tell me, Wolfie. What are you doing in my neighbourhood?”

     Wolfie stood up. “Well, uh, you see, Isaac, I–“

     Isaac sneered at him. “Do you remember those times when you tied my tail to a pole before those races and relays started?”

     Wolfie nodded. “Yes, I do. But I just–“

     “Do you remember the times when you forced some of us kids to write those sentences over and over again, promising our teachers to behave better? Those tasks were meant for you to do.”

     Wolfie’s knees knocked against each other in fright. “Yes, I do.”

     “Do you remember your favourite last words? ‘You’ll never be as great as I’m going to be! Some day I’m going to be famous and everyone will look up to me!”

     “Yes, I do, Isaac.”

     Isaac laughed, “Well, look at me. I’m very important to everyone who lives in this apartment and this neighbourhood. As long they don’t cause trouble to me and Maxx, we won’t hassle them too much. Sometimes they ask me some favours and we make sure they repay me promptly. Now look at you. Every time when you tried to form a rock band, it broke up within months. Why? Because you wanted to hog the spotlight and never look out for the needs of your band mates. You lost their respect because you never respected them. Now you have no one to look up to for friendship. All because you only know how to bully, not how to befriend.”

     Wolfie couldn’t stand the guilt any longer. “Please, Isaac. I know we were never friends when we were little and I’m truly sorry for all the trouble I have caused you and your siblings. Could you please let me stay here for a few days?”

     Isaac tapped on the coffee table. Maxx reached for a folded paper and handed it to Wolfie.

     Isaac explained, “I figure you need a place to stay but have no money. So I drew up a contract. Read it. All I need you to do is a little work in this building, plus, uhhhhh, something which I want you to do before living here.”

     Unfolding the paper, Wolfie scanned through the contract. His eyes widened in disbelief at the very thing Isaac wanted him to do.

     “I have to write, ‘I will respect, serve and obey Master Isaac Pig for the rest of my life’? Five thousand times?”

     The pig grinned. “It’s about the equivalent of how many sentences we kids wrote for you. Now what does the contract say if you cause trouble?”

     “Maxx will swing me around by my tail for one minute.”

     “It’s for you to remind yourself who is boss around here.”

     Tossing the contract, Wolfie left the apartment in a panicky state. “I’m out of here!”

     He sped out the room.

     Maxx demanded, “Hey! Come back here!”

     Isaac assured, “Let him go, Maxx. We don’t need that worthless good-for-nothing anyway.”

     As he hurried out of the apartment building, Wolfie didn’t see a patch of ice on the sidewalk. As he slipped, he tumbled uncontrollably.

     “WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

     Before he knew what was going on, he rolled himself into a giant snowball into the downtown area. All shocked shoppers either stepped back or hurried out of the way. Cars and buses braked as safely as possible without crashing into each other. The snowball smashed into a three-storey building. Wolfie slid down the wall and laid flat on his back.

     “Oooooooooooh,” he groaned as he slipped into unconsciousness.

A note of thanks

Since the publication of my book, I would give a copy as a thank-you gift to bed-and-breakfast owners after my husband and I completed our stay. The following is a thank-you e-mail message from one of them during late summer (I promised that I would keep her anonymous):

Dear Grace,
 
You left me with the most wonderful surprise gift “Season’s Blessings for You” at the end of your short stay.  Sunday night I sat down and started to read the collection of writings…. they are wonderful. 
 
I mentioned briefly that I’m also Christian, and worship at a large downtown church that identifies itself function a “being downtown-on purpose”, knowing that we have a strong emphasis on social ministry –  touching the lives of many varied groups of people, esp. poverty and refugee/immigrant related.
 
You may have heard me mention briefly that I’m a seamstress, with a sewing operation in the basement.  Earlier this summer I had invited the Sunday School convenor to come over and go thru’ the large stash of fabrics I have, with the notion that we/I will sew some costumes for upcoming pageant events done by the youth.    Your book almost brought tears to me eyes as I read and thought of other ways how your book might be used to expand some of the programming experiences our coordinator uses.    She is very creative, and always looking for new ways to share the gospel message especially in daily life practices.
 
Many thanks.
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