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, June 27, 2013

From Blanket to Coat to Book to Painting

One of the joys of publishing our stories of unsung Canadian heroes is the feedback we receive from readers, as well as the ‘ripple effect’ that comes from our books.

One such wonderful ‘ripple effect’ was the creation of a beautiful painting by Calgary artist Bev Tosh. She was so inspired by Alan Buick’s book The Little Coat: The Bob and Sue Elliott Story that she created a portrait of Sue Elliott for a collection that is now on display at the National Liberation Museum in Groesbeek, Netherlands. The multi-media exhibition called CanadianWar Brides: a one way passage to love runs from June 6 to November 24, 2013 and features 22 portraits as well as artifacts of Dutch war brides to Canada.
Sussie Cretier, 1944 before receiving the 'little coat'

Bob Elliott, May 945

Sussie Cretier was 10 years old in November 1944 when she met Bob Elliott, a Canadian tank commander from Calgary who was fighting the Nazis across the Maas River in the Netherlands. Sussie became a good-luck charm and little sister to the Canadian soldiers, bringing them laughter, songs and hope during a difficult time. They wanted to give her a Christmas present, so they asked a seamstress in that little Dutch village to make a coat for her out of a wool Army blanket. The buttons on the coat came off of the soldiers’ tunics. On Christmas Day 1944, Bob Elliott presented Sussie with the coat – the most precious gift she had ever received.

Bob and Sue each went on with their lives after the war but reconnected in 1981. They fell in love and married. Sussie – now known as Sue – still had her little coat. She brought it with her to Canada, where author Alan Buick saw it and decided to write the award-winning bestselling book The Little Coat.

In May 2013, Bev Tosh contacted Alan Buick to let him know about her painting of Sue Elliott being on display in the Netherlands. In describing the display, Tosh said, “Over 20 new portraits on wooden panels – all with story panels on silk – stand shoulder-to-shoulder beside Hetty’s wedding dress and a short film of her wedding in Gorinchem in 1945. A veil of vintage handkerchiefs, each embroidered by the artist with the name of a ‘bride ship,’ speaks of ocean voyages and tears.”

She added that “Sue Elliott is not a war bride in the narrow sense but hers is a story of mid-life love that is based on wartime friendship. There are several such stories that expand the scope and enrich the display. This would not have happened had it not been for your book, The Little Coat, which, fittingly, was recommended to me by another Dutch war bride living in Saskatchewan who is also portrayed in the exhibition. The story keeps growing!”

Thank you, Bev, for enjoying our book The Little Coat and sharing that marvellous story with a new audience! Best wishes on the Netherlands exhibition!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pobody's Nerfect #4 - Common Spelling Errors

Have you ever seen a lovely hand-painted sign on a house or cabin and just cringed because of an incorrect apostrophe? It happens to me often - especially at this time of year when we visit lakes and see the beautifully decorated but incorrectly spelled signs announcing the owners of a particular cottage:

The Brown's

The Smith's

The Johnson's

Oh, dear. If you're thinking of ordering such a homemade sign, please check the spelling abilities of your painter before you place the order. Unless the sign ends with a description of what is owned by the individuals inside - such as The Browns' Cabin or The Smiths' Refuge. Otherwise, it should simply say The Browns or The Smiths - as in The Browns (the members of the Brown family) live here.

And here's a good word for you. Yuck. Or is it Yuk? In editing a document recently, I came across the author's word, 'Yuck.' It caused me to grab my dictionary and check for the proper spelling, since I had always spelled this word 'Yuk' in informal conversations. It turns out the word can be spelled either way, but I opted for 'yuck' in this case because the word without the 'c' has commonly been used in connection with comedy - as in Yuk Yuks Comedy Club - and that's not the kind of 'yuck' the author intended in the context of that story.

Homemade - This is another word that often causes me problems. I have to look it up every time I use it.

And while we're on the topic, here are some other words I've had to double-check in the dictionary recently:

Double-check. I often want to make it one word with no hyphen. That is incorrect. But since I am aware that this word is on my list of words that I have trouble with, I almost always look it up. (I say almost always because pobody's nerfect, and I make mistakes, too.) That's the key to good writing and good editing - knowing when to use a dictionary or, in my case, ask another great editor who happens to live with you. (Imagine my winking smiley face non-emoticon here.)

Seat belt. It's two words, but I can't seem to keep that detail in my brain. I have to look it up every time. Thank you, again, reliable dictionary.

In-patient versus outpatient. Don't ask me why one of these words is hyphenated and one is not. The English language can be really annoying at times.

Easygoingroller coaster and payback. These are the correct spellings. It's hit-or-miss for me with these phrases, so I grab the Oxford Canadian Dictionary to be sure. We use the first version of the word as it appears in this dictionary.

So that's it for today's mini-spelling lesson.

Happy writing and editing!

Also see my Pobody's Nerfect blogs #1, #2, and #3.