Publishing stories of fascinating Prairie People and Unsung Heroes

Welcome to the blog of Deana Driver - author, editor, and publisher of DriverWorks Ink, a book publishing company based in Saskatchewan. We publish stories of inspiring, fascinating Prairie people and unsung Canadian heroes - written by Prairie authors including Deana Driver. We also publish genres of healing and wellness, humour, children's fiction, and rural poetry. Visit our website to learn more about our books.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Moose Jaw miracles

The people of Moose Jaw and area were wonderful hosts to Dionne and Graham Warner and Al and I as we joined them for their 12th annual Canadian Cancer Society Living and Learning fundraising luncheon on Tuesday. The event was held at the beautiful Timothy Eaton Gardens and we were treated to a tasty lunch of soup, salad, sandwiches and desserts. Dionne was the guest speaker for the luncheon and every eye was on her as she told her story of battling cancer seven times.

The people at one table were even heard to yell out, "No!" when she stated that in December 2009, she was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer of the liver, lungs ("And I've never smoked a day in my life,") and bone cancer in her rib, spine and pelvis. Most people in the room could not believe that she was there the day before she was due for her weekly chemo treatment. There were tears of sadness and empathy but also much laughter throughout her address.
A very touching moment for Dionne and me came while we were signing books for customers after the luncheon. An older gentleman and his wife came through the line-up and, as is our habit, I signed the book and then handed it to Dionne so she could sign next and then hand it to Graham to add his signature and hand the book back to the happy customer. When this gentleman got to the spot in front of Dionne, he said to her, "You saw me six weeks ago at chemo ... You gave me a hug." Then he placed his hand over his heart and patted his chest twice ... and slowly said to Dionne, "You made me feel special."

Dionne and I were both temporarily speechless, moved by his profound gratitude for what Dionne would consider such a simple act. I said to the gentleman, "She has a way of doing that, doesn't she? She makes everyone feel like they are the most important person she has spoken to that day." The gentleman smiled and agreed. He then grabbed Dionne's outstretched hand and thanked her again before he went on his way. He turned around one more time with another smile and nod to the woman who had given him a small boost six weeks earlier - in the form of a hug.

As he walked away, he turned to me and said, "You wrote a good book."

All I could say was, "Thank you."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

This little Piggy...

When I was younger, I wrote poems for school projects, for fun and to express myself. Since I became a journalist 30-some years ago, poetry took a back seat to true stories. A recent contest by the Saskatchewan Writers Guild peaked my interest, challenging us to write a poem about Hogs for an upcoming promotion. I fully intended to submit the poem, but Al and I were on the road and I missed the deadline. We did have fun creating our rather simple, but funny poem.... so here it is - to brighten your day....

Our Hog Poem
By Al and Deana Driver

I wanted a dog
Mom got me a pig
It started to eat and then it got big
And now it's a hog.
Soon it will be bacon.

HA HA HA! Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Speaking to students always a blast

Going into a school and talking with students about my writing and publishing is one of my favourite adventures. You never know who will be listening (or not), who will ask questions (or completely ignore you) and who will actually be paying such close attention that they later come up to you with compliments and many more questions relating to their own writing future!
I spoke to an Entrepreneurship 30 class today at O'Neill High School in Regina SK and was pleased with their attention and their questions afterward - about my business, my writing, the cost of publishing a book, and the timeframe in creating and growing our business to the point it is at right now. A young lady came up to me afterwards and talked about her goals of becoming a writer. Those one-on-one chats are always special and make me feel proud to do what I do and share the little bits of knowledge that I have.

At St. Augustine School in Humboldt SK last week, I was greeted by enthusiastic, polite students who seemed to enjoy the stories of my writing and our many DriverWorks Ink books. While we ran out of time for the Grades 5-8 students to chat with me afterwards, the younger students (Grades 1-4) in my first presentation asked at least 30 questions and made me grin all the way home with their inquisitive honest queries:

How long is your longest book? (That I wrote? Longest in the number of words? Never Leave Your Wingman is about 90,000 words.)

How long did it take you to write the longest book? (I wrote for two months straight - from start to finish because I had a tight deadline. I write more quickly than some writers I've met.)

What's your favourite book? (Of the ones I wrote or published? They're all kind of like my babies and it's hard to choose a favourite one, so I won't.)

How do you get the words so small? (Ah... the type size in the finished book ... It can be adjusted with different computer programs.)

Is the lady who has cancer - she's dead, right? (Nope. Not at all. Dionne Warner, subject of Never Leave Your Wingman, is on vacation right now, enjoying her week off of chemo with some friends  - she's doing very well!)

Are the cats still alive? (Yes, the cats in Letters to Jennifer are still alive and well, ordering around their Live-In Person - author Sharon Gray.)

Do you ever take a vacation? (Hmmm... do I look that tired? Or did I baffle them by listing all the books and projects we've worked on lately?... We just had a short vacation, but maybe I need another one.)

How long have you been writing? (Since I was a little girl... but I've been getting paid to write for the last 30 years. Cool, huh?)