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, July 25, 2013

Words and Other Things In The Park - Regina

This has been an unusual summer because of a late spring, extra rain, and a late growing season. But the plants have finally grown and blossomed, and we are now enjoying all variety of outdoor experiences.

I've spent the noon hour for these past three Wednesdays in beautiful Victoria Park in downtown Regina - participating in Words In The Park.

On the first Wednesday, I was one of three writers who spoke, and I read from my non-fiction books Never Leave Your Wingman and  The Sailor and the Christmas Trees.

 We also heard from Marie Powell, who read some of her fiction...

 ...and Michael Trussler, who read some of his poetry.

(Here's a link where you'll see much better photos than we took that day. Thank you, Shelley Banks!)

For the last two Wednesdays, I was the host for Words In The Park, and I introduced these Saskatchewan writers:

Lt. Donald Aden Bowman wrote about his adventures at sea during the war.

Rolli read from his poetry and short stories.
Leah Dorion read one of her children's stories...

... and Bob Friedrich read an article about Regina's downtown temples.

On my treks in and around the park, these are the sights that caught my attention:

The skyline - showing off Regina's 'twin towers'.

The setting up of the space for Words In The Park, with the Wednesday Farmers' Market in the background. 

This pillow, sitting so casually on a park bench, surprised me. Did someone put it there for others to use? Did someone use it and then leave it behind? Maybe it's just there for a photo prop. Hmmm.... my curious mind wonders (and often wanders, too).

This gorgeous two-coloured rose also surprised and pleased me.

Proselytizing In The Park. A young man loudly shared his evangelical Christian views, while another man carried a cross that stated "Are You Ready?' and another videotaped the speech and surroundings. At one point, a vendor had a chat with the speaker. She was obviously not happy about the effect the loud speech was having on her nearby farmer's market stall.

And then I saw Yoga In The Park - from the back side only. What a wonderful use of this downtown green space!

When I returned home, I stopped to enjoy my lovely flower garden before going inside to my home office to continue what I do best - write, edit and help others publish and market their books.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, folks! We certainly intend to do so!

We'll see you again in the fall!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Journalist By Any Name

I began my writing career as a young child - writing poetry, short stories and epic-like letters to friends as a way to combat the boredom I felt as a farm kid with an overactive imagination. In high school, I used a 'Get Out Of Math Class Free' card to work on the student newspaper. I wrote whatever was needed to fill the pages of that monthly collection of trivia and drivel, after we'd inserted the gossipy sections of 'who likes who' (or more accurately - these initials likes these initials, and only four people in the whole school actually thought they could figure out the encryption) plus the artwork of an aspiring-hippy artist, of course. (He really was quite talented and he did go on to earn a living in that craft.)

Shortly before the end of my Grade 12 school year, the high school teacher who was our newspaper's adviser suggested that I should become a journalist. Honestly, I was such a naive country bumpkin (is that redundant?) that I had no idea what he was talking about. We only received two television stations and two newspapers in those days, which didn't really provide me with much inspiration or information of interest to a 17-year-old.

So I looked it up.

Journalism. Hmmm.

More or less, it's a profession of individuals committed to reporting the truth and informing the public of what is really happening in the world.

Well, I could probably do that. It involved writing, right?

So I chose the closest course to our hometown and spent the next two years swallowed up by the big-city goings-on of Calgary, Alberta - and engrossed in learning all I could about the big-city world of journalism, as taught by those who had experience in the industry. It was a great way to learn from the doers. It helped me jump into this industry with both feet - and I have only kind words to say about SAIT in Calgary.

During college, I met a young man from Regina, Saskatchewan, and we moved to that smaller city and married shortly after our course ended. We've made our home here ever since, enjoying long careers in the journalism industry - me as a writer primarily and he as an editor primarily.

In 2008, our occupational paths converged again when he joined me in our book publishing company. (You can find details of that exciting enterprise on our web page.)

But I really wanted to talk about journalism today - mostly because I saw some phrases about the profession recently (at Brainy Quotes, WikiQuotes and elsewhere as noted below) and thought I'd share them with you. These are among the phrases I saw that I could relate to (obviously), but there are many more - including several that are less positive about the profession that has been dear to our hearts for decades:

"I've always had standards about writing well. There is art in this business. There is potentially great art."
                                      - Gay Talese (Sept. 2006 in a lecture. Bullpen: NYU Journalism)

"I don't want to be part of the story. I want to be an anonymous, quiet onlooker who tries to work out what the hell is happening - it's not easy - and then tells other people about it. I don't like being a figure in the thing."
                     - John Simpson (October 2007 interview in Barnes, Nicky. BBC Norfolk)

"I think journalism gets measured by the quality of information it presents, not the drama or the pyrotechnics associated with us."
                   - Bob Woodward 

We journalists make it a point to know very little about an extremely wide variety of topics; this is how we stay objective.
                   - Humorist Dave Barry

And last but not least, I'll draw your attention to an article from CBS News called 'Best. Journalism Quotes. Ever.'  I particularly like Number One on this list.

Have a good day, all you writers - and journalists!

Keep on doing your best. That's all we can ask.