Category Archives: Aarne’s Story

My Little Book Goes to Washington

I had a full-circle moment a few days ago when I entered the industrial steel-encased elevator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  A fellow teacher and I had travelled to Washington, D.C. on a school trip with a group of twenty-four grade twelve English and Literature Studies students who were eager to explore the museum for the first time. It was our first stop. This was my third visit to the USHMM, but I was no less excited. Tucked into the pocket of my travel purse I had a copy Read more [...]

How My Book Almost Didn’t Happen

The following is a version of my talk at the book launch for The Day Soon Dawns on Sunday, April 19 at Parkside Centre. I thought I’d tell you a little about how the book came to be . . . or rather how it almost didn’t happen. I was about fifteen, my daughter’s age, when I learned about World War II in history class at Lo-Ellen. Even then, I knew my father had stories, but I couldn’t really make sense of them. He didn’t say too much, and I was afraid to ask. Even then, I vowed to Read more [...]

One Journey Ends and Another Begins

Spring has finally arrived, although it is difficult to tell as a layer of fine icing sugar snow fills the air and clusters on the deck outside my patio doors.  It has been a whirlwind of a week now that my book is finally published. Appropriately, I think, the official publication date was on the last day of winter.  I started self-publishing at the beginning of December and what a journey it has been!  Like waiting for spring, it took several weeks longer and was more blustery than I initially Read more [...]

Striving for Perfection While Learning to be Imperfect

Last week I was delighted to find the printed proof copy of my manuscript in the mail. When I cracked open the heavy duty cardboard packaging to reveal the book version, without the cover art, unfortunately, I was thrilled. What I didn’t expect was the anxious feeling that accompanied the excitement. This is it. This is the book. This is what I have been working for over the past three years. As I flipped through the pages, pausing to look at the pictures, the headers, the fleurons, and the fonts Read more [...]

Start Writing a Family Memoir

You’ve heard it before: everyone has a story.  I believe it’s true.  Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to share their past with family members or is willing to write their memories down for future generations.  What a lost opportunity.  A family memoir is a chance to capture a moment in history that is both important to an individual, his or her family members, and often others outside the family circle. It only requires a storyteller and a willing listener. What makes a family Read more [...]

Why Early Readers Matter

One of the most difficult things to do when you are learning to be a writer is to let go of your work and send it into the wide world. You are so uncertain about your writing, but know you need readers to improve it. You require a cheerleader in your corner, someone who will make you feel like the hours you spent tapping at the keyboard and delving into research was worth all of the time, energy, and tears. You need the teacher who will lead you down the right path and then push you to move ahead Read more [...]

Cover Art for Christmas

Christmas came early to the Kovala household this year.  A few days before the event, I checked my email and, low and behold, a message magically appeared. With a quick click of my mouse, I opened the file, a most electronic type of wrapping paper, to view the package inside: two possible versions of my book cover. I could have kissed Santa right there through my laptop screen. I know it is dangerous to judge a book by its cover, but I have to admit that my general browsing through bookstores includes Read more [...]

What I Don’t Know about a Book’s Interior Design

What I Don’t Know about a Book’s Interior Design I vividly remember standing in the stacks at the Morisette Library at the University of Ottawa, a second year English major, overwhelmed by the sheer number of books and seriously wondering how I would ever be able to read all of them in my lifetime. Even at that age, I naively had every intention of trying to do just that. There was something about the dark and musty rows upon rows of shelves that ran from my toes to the tips of my fingers Read more [...]

How a Story’s Circle Expands

December 14, 2014   How a Story’s Circle Expands This week in self-publishing was all about…waiting.  I’m not so good at biding my time.  Perhaps that’s why I chose to self-publish in the first place.  After many months of waiting on publishers to say yes or no to my manuscript, I decided to move ahead on my own. This week, with nothing to be done but practice patience, I finished a short story, read a few articles about self-publishing and experienced some Zen moments Read more [...]

Indie Publishing

December 7, 2014 Indie Publishing I came across the term “Indie Publisher” the other day as I was conducting research about self-publishing. It reminded me of indie bands from the 1980s and early low budget movies, fiercely independent and experimental artists struggling to create their art outside of the mainstream. There’s something romantic in that notion.To me, the term sounded hip and young, but my daughter said it sounded old. Hip is out, she told me. Not cool, I said, knowing my Read more [...]