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.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hoarfrost-covered Winter Wonderland

Although fog can lead to some serious traffic accidents, the mist in the winter air of the Canadian Prairies can lead to hoarfrost - ice crystals forming on wet surfaces - and some beautiful scenery.

Yesterday, we took a short stroll in Wascana Park, which at 2,300 acres is larger than New York's 843-acre Central Park. The park includes the Saskatchewan Legislative Building, University of Regina buildings, and City of Regina buildings. It has a unique tripartite operating structure.

The Legislative Building is undergoing reconstruction, so we concentrated our walk on an area to the east of that grand building, overlooking Wascana Lake.

Here are some photos of the hoarfrost-covered scenery. Enjoy!

This is likely the last blog I'll post in 2014, so we hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

These 'NOEL' candle holders have been in my husband's family for decades.

Al's dad began teasing Al's mom years ago by convincing our children to occasionally rearrange the letters to spell 'LEON' instead of 'NOEL'. 

Sometimes it would take awhile before Mom noticed, and our children and their grandpa would eagerly watch for a reaction any time Mom came into the room where the misspelled Christmas greeting was waiting for her.

When Mom finally saw the changed letters, she would inevitably act annoyed and ask, "Who changed these letters?"

Then Dad and the kids would giggle at their shared silliness.

Our adult children still pull that stunt on their grandma, and we look forward to it happening again this Christmas season, fondly remembering Al's dad in the process.

So from our home to yours this Christmas ...

... Joyeux Leon!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Giveaways Lead To Giggles

This Christmas season, we decided to donate some of our DriverWorks Ink books to elementary and high schools in our home community. It's sort of a continuation of what we do with a number of our books – donating $1 from each book sold to a worthy charity – but donating to schools also has other benefits for us:
1)      More local teachers and school administrators learn about our small, local publishing company and will soon know about some of our great books written by Prairie authors; 
2)      We get more local stories into the hands of local children;
3)       We get our Prairie authors’ works to more potential customers that they cannot physically reach themselves;
4)      We reduce inventory for some books that have stalled in sales and pump up potential sales of some of our best-sellers just before Christmas; and
5)      We connect personally with more local people, which has led to some other unexpected results.
This last point is the reason for this blog.
We’ve had a few chuckles and several heart-warming moments because of Al’s deliveries of books to schools this past month.
So here, for your Holiday enjoyment, is a replay of several interactions between my husband and publishing partner, Al Driver, and individuals at some Regina and area schools.
Al’s routine was always the same – enter the school through the main doors, go to the office and present the books to office staff, along with a personal introduction and a letter explaining our company and our donation of books.

* * *

At one elementary school, he met two young lads who were waiting inside the school office. A little boy who was six was sitting with his six-and-a-half-year-old buddy. They'd already said ‘Hi’ in response to Al’s ‘Hello’ and had answered his question of their ages. (Al’s coached children for decades, so he is well-versed in how to relate to the little gaffers.)
Being an avid fan of the Detroit Red Wings hockey club, Al was wearing his Detroit Red Wings jacket. The six-year-old looked and looked, and then asked, “Do you play for that team?”
Al:  No. I’m way too old.
Student: Then do you coach them?
Al: No.
Student: Where did you get the coat?
Al: It was a birthday gift from my grandsons and their mom and dad (knowing the boy could relate to that).
Student: (After thinking for a moment) When was your birthday?
Al: June.
Student: Oh.

* * *

A young boy asked, “Are you here to help us with our Christmas concert?”
Al: No. Is somebody coming to help you with your concert?
Student: Yes. (Then he whispered) Our teacher said there will be a surprise.
Al: Well, if I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise, would it?
          Student: (thought for awhile, then said) Yes.
* * *

A teacher was in the hallway by the office with a group of girls in about Grade 4. The students were learning a dance for the Christmas concert. Al had go around and behind the teacher to get to the office.
The teacher started backing up and almost backed into him. Then she asked him if he’d like to join in and learn the dance, too.
Al declined. “They don't want to see me dance. It would be bad.”
The girls all giggled.
He carried on to the office, hearing tittering in the background.

* * *

At one high school, an office secretary came running over the second that Al set a Never Leave Your Wingman book down on the counter on top of the pile of other books.
“This is my favourite book ever,” she said. “I just loved it. Any time I see anything now about Dionne and Graham, I read it. How is she doing?”
            Al was pleased to respond, “She’s doing very well.” (See a YouTube video) Then he introduced himself and our company and said why he was at the school with the books.
“(Gasp!) You published this book! Your company published this book?”
Al replied, “My wife and I did. We’re a small company. Better yet, my wife wrote this book.”
“Oh, bless her. It’s a beautiful book. I want to take you and introduce you to the librarian because you’re giving us free books.”
The librarian was thrilled with the donation and was told by the office clerk, “This is one of the best books I’ve ever read.”
* * *

Some of the older schools do not have offices in the immediate vicinity of the main doors, so Al had to go searching a couple times. At one school, a little girl about eight years old looked carefully at Al as he walked into the school.
She sternly asked him, “Are you supposed to be here?”
Al refrained from smiling and asked, “Are you the hall monitor?”
“Nooo!” she replied, annoyed at his insolence.
He told her that he was looking for the office and had some stuff to drop off there, which seemed to appease her. She pointed him in the direction of the office and let him go on his way.
            (She’ll probably be a policewoman or security guard some day.)

* * *