The Act of Creation

Barb Heagy Jan. 2016 001

Upon finishing my book for the night, I placed the new bookmark my sister had given me at Christmas between the pages to mark my place.

Before I closed the book, I examined the bookmark, taking some time to really look at it. Is it leather? Or is it some kind of stiff fabric covered in a thick coat of paint to give it substance? It had been hand-painted – a ruby-throated hummingbird hovering in front of a pink and fuchsia blossom. A thin black ribbon was looped through a punched hole at the top of the bookmark.

Someone created this, took the time to carefully choose fabric and ribbon, colours of paint and suitable brushes to make this bookmark. I looked on the back. Hand-printed in a golden brown paint was the name “Carolyn Smoke ’15.”

Thank you, Carolyn. Thank you for making this for me. You didn’t know it was going to be mine, but thank you for meticulously taking the time to create this hand-made craft that I now get to use and enjoy.

It reminded me that we just need to make our creations and then send them out into the world. We don’t know where they will end up. It’s not for us to worry about that. We enjoyed the process of conceiving it and then we let it go to be itself and allow others to enjoy the finished product.

Creation is like planting seeds. We may plant apple seeds and never get to see the grown tree in full bloom or dripping with apples. We can imagine, if we wish, future generations sitting under shady boughs munching on crisp red apples. If that’s why we planted the seed, then our act of creation becomes an act of generosity, for others will reap the benefits of our labour. Or we can plant seeds simply because we enjoy black soil under our fingernails, blue skies above us, and a warm sun heating our backs. And within a few weeks, we can watch the magic of a fresh green shoot breaking through the earth and growing before our eyes. And that can be enough.


So You Want to Write a Book

I decided to write a book. I gathered up my journals, took out what I felt wasn’t needed, added some stories from the past, and had some friends read it and check it over for grammar and spelling and flow. I thought I was almost done.

Then I hired an editor for one last, final check. Little did I know that the hard work had just begun. Months later, with detailed revisions and editing, my manuscript was ready to send to Balboa Press. I thought I was almost done.

Week after week I worked with a new team member of the company setting up my manuscript for digital use, signing release papers for each step of the way, sending in a bio’, extra copy work for the front and back covers, keynotes (my book in one sentence), getting a professional author photo, getting copyright use for that photo, working with a design team through detailed revisions of my cover and interior of the book, reading and re-reading proofs in attentive detail, working with marketing consultants through detailed phone calls with checklists and ideas to self-promote my book. Once the release papers were sent off to the printer, I waited for weeks, and I thought I was almost done.

While I waited, I continued working on my social media platform, making a daily entry to my Facebook page, learning how to set up a blog and writing a weekly entry. I made phone calls, emails, met with people for interviews, approached book stores and libraries for exposure, and talked up my book everywhere I went. I had to buy packing materials, check postal fees, learn how to accept an e-transfer for money and make sure I am always carrying change in case someone wants to buy my book and pay with cash. I designed and ordered a business card and am learning how to build my blog into a website through YouTube tutorials. I am writing speeches for oral presentations on “Self-Publishing”, “Dealing With Loss”, and “Working Through Grief” for future oral presentations with small groups. I am beginning to realize that I am not almost done. The real work of marketing my book has only just begun.

Said by David Baldacci from Nov. interview in Writer’s Digest: “No one on earth is going to care more about your career than you. Not your agent, not your publisher, not friends in the industry. At the end of the day, you need to take responsibility for your career. And I know it’s hard when you’ve got your first book and you’re so excited that you’re like, ‘I’ll let other people take care of the royalties and all that—I’m just so excited, there’s my book on the shelf!’ But at the end of the day, everything matters.”

I have come to realize that “writing a book” isn’t just a matter of putting some words on a page and sending it off to a publisher. A whole new career has begun for me and it is my responsibility to care and put the energy into every facet of the business. But I believe in my book and its message. I am learning so much. I take courses, meet weekly with other writers and learn from pod casts, video tutorials and on-line articles and books on writing. I continue to write every day. And I read, read, read other author’s work. My life is busy but fulfilling. And I have come to accept that with writing and publishing, one is never done.

My Self-Publishing Adventure Continues – The Books Have Arrived!

Barbara Heagy Promo 10 - My Book 005-002

MY BOOKS HAVE ARRIVED! Those who wish to purchase a copy, please message, phone or e-mail me and I will make arrangements to get a signed copy to you. My book, “10 – A Story of Love, Life, and Loss” is an inspirational memoir/cancer journey/love story, and is available at this time as a paperback, $17 CAN, plus shipping if I need to send it to you.

Books are still available on-line: hard cover, paperback, E-book at,,,,

Reader response so far has been good. Check out this review from Sharon Sinclair,

“Barbara Heagyʼs exquisite story of love, life and loss is perfectly titled. Through her poignant recollection of ten precious years, many of lifeʼs dramatic themes unfold: birth..death, joy..sadness, hope…despair, denial..acceptance, loss…gain. By inviting readers to participate in the delicate balance between these polarities, we are privileged to share an intimate glimpse into loveʼs extraordinary bonds.

Barbaraʼs gifts as a story teller are readily evident in the skillful way she wraps her audience into her journals with a warm embrace. You will laugh and weep and rejoice in the human spiritʼs victory over death.

For a reader who has confronted cancer, or any other hideous illness, Barbaraʼs poetic account of her own journey will resonate with a healing energy that uplifts and inspires.

With sensitivity and wisdom, Barbara offers advice on how to cultivate a state of grace and gratitude for every aspect of our remarkable lives. Represented by the numeral that has such symbolic meaning for this talented author, Barbara Heagyʼs work scores a perfect 10!”

Also, check out my writer page at If you like what you see, click “Like” at the top of the page or leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.


My New Book – 10 – A Story of Love, Life, and Loss


I am very pleased and excited to announce that my new book is now available.

It can be ordered on-line at,,,, in paperback, hard cover or E-book form.

10 – A Story of Love, Life, and Loss is the true story of a couple in midlife who found each other and then, after receiving a cancer diagnosis, learned to face losing each other. Over the course of ten years, Tom and Barb developed from long-time friends to lovers to committed spouses. In their tenth year, when Tom was given a terminal diagnosis of small cell lung cancer, he faced it head-on, saying, “I wasn’t given a death sentence. I was given a life sentence.” The couple’s love for life and for each other carried them through a seven-month cancer journey with courage, perseverance, persistence, and gratitude. This raw, emotional story is based on the author’s journals. Its honesty and intimacy may inspire and uplift you as you trace their journey. Their story is a reminder to all of us to live life with gratitude and zest, fulfilling all our hearts’ desires in the time we are given.

“10—A Story of Love, Life, and Loss is a heartfelt story of courage and love. When you are faced with the impossible, what do you do?  Barb generously shares her intimate journey, seamlessly flowing between raw journal entries and emails to and from supporting family, friends and community.  Woven in are endearing flashbacks of her and Tom’s love story, as he—her soulmate—slips away from her.  An inspiring story which can be a comfort for anyone facing a devastating challenge. Beautifully, honestly and passionately written.”

Gloria Nye, Spiral Press.

God, Bless You

Last night, lying in bed, saying my evening prayer of gratitude and blessings, I thanked God for every aspect of my life: my family, good friends, a home, the bounty of food we had all Christmas season. At the end of my gratitude prayer I said to God, “God, bless you.”

And I thought, Does God bless himself/herself? If God can bless me, can I bless him/her? And then I thought, Well, what is a blessing?

A blessing is a little piece of goodness that is freely, unequivocally, uncompromisingly, graciously, generously, unconditionally given as a bonus anointing for the self, the soul. It is grace, a tangible goodness that falls with love upon us.

A blessing can take many forms and be many different things to different people depending on our circumstances or our viewpoints of our circumstances.

We actually are inundated with blessings every day: the sun, a new day beginning, flowing water, gentle winds, a quiet glance, a smile, a little favour, a kiss, a hug; that nice thing a stranger does for you for no reason at all, that open door, letting me go first, sharing, seeing, hearing me, acknowledging me, complimenting me.

But we take so much of it for granted. We only see it as a blessing if it’s infrequently given, or given in unexpected abundance.

But I digress. If God can bless me so abundantly, can I bless God?

Yes, I think so. I can do all those things I listed above for others, for the world around me, and every time I do them in action or voice of gratitude, I do it for God. If I can take what God gives me and create something new and give it back as a gift in the form of a baked casserole, a painting, a quilt, a book, a song, a dance, I am putting a new blessing out there into the world. I become a co-creator. I’m sure it puts a big smile on God’s face, the face of the universe, every time that thing of beauty, that good deed, that positive action and energy is put out there.

We can cycle all our given blessings around to others and back to God. It’s called love.

So,”God, accept my blessings. God, bless you.”