Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Raise the Gaze – Keep Up the Good Work! (Peter Black)

Our coordinator suggested that in our April posts on this blog site we might “write a post about who we are and what we write. . . . [and we] can incorporate the where, why and when, too,” among other aspects.
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An invitation to talk about ourselves? How can one resist!  It’s like unbolting the paddock gate!  
Courtesy: Official Royal Family website
Yours Truly is an English-born Anglo-Scot. Let's update that: I’m an Anglo-Scottish Canadian. This summer my family and I complete 40 years of blessing in this fair and great land.

Writing? My first effort won first place in my elementary school age group in a writing contest sponsored by the Ford Motor Company to mark the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II, that is—I wasn’t around for Queen Liz I!). I don’t recall taking first place in anything since then. But hey, there are lots of things I don’t remember anymore.
As it is, I enjoyed a much-loved career in the music industry in Scotland, where I served as principal tuner-technician in companies in Glasgow and Aberdeen. And then, after coming to Canada and studying for pastoral ministry I served in various Ontarian communities until retiring in 2010.

Now back to writing. From my youth I’ve put my hand to song-writing, poetry, Bible studies (and sermons of course), short fiction, biographical sketches—including Bible characters, radio program message scripts, newspaper articles and some denominational magazine articles, and blog posts.
It surprised me as much as anybody that my first published book was fiction for kids, featuring a bevy of creature characters who inhabit a pond. Why surprising? Because since my teens and throughout my adult life I buried my nose in serious stuff: The Bible, theology and spiritual life and growth, and biographies of missionaries and heroes of the faith. 

I’d hardly read fiction at all, since leaving behind in the 8th grade Tom Sawyer, Coral Island, Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island and several Dickensian novels and such like. Now I’m gradually digging through novels that lay buried in my library in excess of 35 years.

In the meantime, languishing dormant on the vine hang several book projects, including some fiction, awaiting a springtime surge of nourishing sap to bring them back to life and on to fruition.
Instead, for now I’m putting together a collection of inspirational articles from among the 800 or so I’ve written since 1996 for P-Pep! column, in the Southwestern Ontario community newspaper The Watford Guide-Advocate.*  (I’m in hope of publishing before the end of the current year.)

The articles I’ve selected are not necessarily the best of the bunch; however, when browsing through the files I tossed quite a number of them into the barrel, then stuck my hand in repeatedly and pulled 52 of them out.  
Those 52 articles are now divided into 4 sections of 13 in each. Each section will contain 3 or 4 brief focus statements that are intended to encourage, called Words to Bless.

I plan to include the phrase Raise Your Gaze . . . in the title, for this expresses my desire to play a part in elevating my readers’ focus.  
That’s what TWG (The Word Guild) Authors Blogspot does for me. My colleagues’ posts draw my attention to some thought, anecdote or topic that directs my attention upward—often heavenward—from the frustrations at hand or the concerns that distract. They lift my spirits and frequently induce a face-cracking a smile. 

Keep up the good work, everyone, and with help from above I’ll do the same! :)
 
                                              ~~~
*Serving Watford, Warwick, Alvinston and surrounding areas, since 1875
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Peter A. Black is a freelance writer in Southwestern Ontario, and is author of “Parables from the Pond” – a children's / family book (mildly educational, inspirational in orientation, character reinforcing). Finalist – Word Alive Press. ISBN: 1897373-21-X.

His inspirational column, P-Pep! appears weekly in The Guide-Advocate. His articles have appeared in 50 Plus Contact and testimony, and several newspapers in Ontario. Peter’s current book project comprises a collection of 52 column articles.

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Blog: Raise Your Gaze
Contributor: Family and Faith Matters
 

17 comments:

Glynis said...

Peter, you are such an encouraging chap! Thank you so much for this great post - it gives us a little insight into the motivations of your heart and where you go from here. I am looking forward to reading your new book. Parables from the Pond is such a timeless treasure in my 'signed books' collection. My the blessings abound and thank you, once again, for being such a blessing to your fellow writers!

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

I didn't know that you were a piano tuner and that you wrote music. That's neat?
Thank you for your ever-light and encouraging posts and how every post I put up there's a lovely comment from you.
Keep up the good work, Peter!

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

I meant, "That's neat!"

davidkitz said...

Peter, I find it curious that both you and I are drawn to the pond. I'm currently working on a second "Little Froggy" book. Thanks for your words of encouragement. They are highly valued.

Janis Cox said...

Peter,

Such an interesting life story. I too think it is funny that I wrote a children's book - not expecting to at all.

Keep encouraging all of us.

Blessings,
Janis

Sally said...

Fascinating! Cheers to a fellow songwriter, newspaper article writer, and children's book writer....love the "Raise Your Gaze" catchphrase, and looking forward to reading more...

Peter Black said...

Heh! Heh! Thanks to y'all y'all.
You're a significant source of inspiration and encouragement to me. :)
There's so much of the little kid still in us, isn't there?
I'd suggest that a great many sights and scenes, and sounds and scents of the haunts and experiences of our childhood got stored away in our memory banks. Some of these, it seems, eventually germinate and are evocatively brought to birth (in the plan of God) in our writing today -- hence our retrospective surprise at our writing / publishing stories of childhood or about the creatures that fascinated us way back then.
Does that make sense to you?
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Ruth said...

What joy it gave me to find out a little more about who you are. I've known for a long time that you are an encourager! It seems that children's books come bubbling up through our more adult leanings. Mine too, came as a surprise. I'm looking forward to what kind of novels you will write. I echo your title--Keep up the good work.

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Peter, I loved reading about you today and finding out how God has led you through the years. Keep reminding your readers to Raise their gaze toward heaven - what great advice for all of us. Blessings always, Rose

Kathleen Gibson said...

Peter, what a varied background you have. It's about time we scribes learned more about the Barnabas among us. Thank you for this glimpse of the mind and man from whom "seldom is heard a discouraging word." I certainly understand what it takes to assemble a column compilation, and hope your book gets as much encouragement as your words have given, for God's glory.

Eleanor Shepherd said...

Peter, I am so grateful for your gracious comments about my blogs. I look forward to hearing from you every time I write. I thrive on your encouragement. Interesting to learn about your former life. I had no idea!

Kimberley Payne said...

Like Glynis, I too have Parables from the Pond in my 'signed books' collection. It's a treasure. Just like you!

Ed Hird+ said...

You are deeply appreciated, Peter. Thanks for all that you do. Happy Birthday.

Susan Harris said...

Peter, I'd like to order the first copy of Raise Your Gaze. Thank you for the legacy of affirmation that will continue to impact long after all of us are gone. God bless your writing. God bless you.

Marian said...

The best thing I like about you is that you are real. The second best thing is that you are a real encourager. I also like that you always, always have something positive to say.

Alan said...

When I was floundering, you gave me courage, patient endurance, to carry on. Thank you, Peter. Now I feel more like a member of this developing community.

And there is something about that North British air, or maybe it's the oatmeal porridge and Calvanist theology, that builds such character. And didn't John Wesley come from Yorkshire?

Donna Mann said...

You are our encourager - big time. At times when I doubt that I've chosen the right words for the right sentence and then after, doubt. You come along and pick up on something totally different and build on it. Quite amazing to be able to do that.
Press on.

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