The Long Road to Publication


For the past few months my aunt, Norma McGuire (aka Nonie Vogue), has been working on a special and very personal project – a chapter book for children. It contains bedtime stories that were told by her now deceased husband to their children and grandchildren. Each chapter recounts an adventure of an old fishing boat captain and his young friend.

The manuscript for JOHNNY AND MR. FREDERICKS* has been read and re-read, revised, edited and proofread multiple times. Accompanying illustrations have been sketched. A website has been created. All that remains is to find a publishing home for it.

Despite all the telling, writing, editing, revising and illustrating, that ‘all’ is probably going to be the longest and most difficult part of the journey. Those of us who are still looking for agent representation or a publishing contract of our own know all too well how distant that view can sometimes look, especially when the rejections roll in and the waiting seems endless.

Pursuing a dream takes more than just work. It takes hope, courage and determination as well as patience and persistence. Throughout her eighty-eight years Norma has shown all those qualities, although she’s not one to sit around and wait for things to happen.

I’ve mentioned some of her accomplishments before. She’s a photographer, she paints and she quilts. Throughout her marriage she worked alongside her husband who was a commercial artist. Years after anyone else would have retired, she created a line of hasti-notes from her own paintings. In the past four-or-so years she has been knitting for a homeless mission: so far, exactly 155 toques and 126 pair of mitts, as well as 72 tiny toques for newborns in hospital, with who knows how many more to come. During the past two years she has also filled seven leather-bound journals with wise quotations and stories from her life to create ‘treasure books’ for her family, every page accompanied by a sketch or watercolour painting – to date, 572 of them!

Somehow I don’t think she’ll have any trouble seeing this book publication project through to completion, regardless of how long it takes. She’s a ‘glass-half-full’ kind of person and already has the goal in sight.

Stories as told by Harry C. McGuire
Edited & Illustrated by Norma G. McGuire



Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

14 thoughts on “The Long Road to Publication

  1. Your aunt sounds remarkable. She an excellent example to those of us who have become discouraged during the journey.

    As true as it is, it seems so unfair that getting our work published is often the most challenging. I’m wishing your aunt all the best.

    I’m heading over now to check out her site.

  2. “Pursuing a dream takes more than just work.” Ain’t that the truth!

    This is terrific. What a talent. Have a feeling your aunt will see her book pubbed. Besides, ya can’t go wrong when there’s a kid, an old salt & a treasure map in the tale. Like the website too. For what it’s worth – I’m pulling for her from down here in the tropics. Now I’ve noticed my coffee cup is only half full so I need to make a trip to the kitchen.

  3. My dear Carol,,
    That’s me? Wow! You make me sound very special.. when all the time, I’m just this person doing what I have to do to keep myself busy. You forgot to mention I make CD’s! Especially at Christmas time, for friends and family. Seriously, I am so blessed to have you as my friend… who just happens to be my niece, and who has this special guy for a husband. Thank you for this. I do appreciate it. I know you are getting it ready as a promo for JOHHNY AND MR. FREDERICKS. We will need it very soon. Will you take me to the book signings?! All my love. Auntie Norma.

  4. Wow Carol, I might have to print this out and read it anytime I am silly enough to get discouraged. Norma is a special woman who has touched many, will touch many more and will ride off our mortal plain with a thunderous roar and not a whimper 🙂

  5. Wow, she sounds like a fabulous lady. No wonder you’re in awe. I am. The job she has ahead is going to be rough, but it sounds like she has what it takes. I’m cheering for her. I’m also first in line for a book when it comes out.

  6. I was delighted to hear THE BOOK is finished! Of course I’ll be right behind Joylene for the book! I’ve no doubt it will be published and become a MUST HAVE for (in my case) our grandchildren. I wouldn’t mind getting one of those “Treasure Books” either.
    Miss you.

  7. An amazing woman! (I’m proud to be related!) Hooray for courage, determination, patience, and persistence.

    BTW, you can expect there to be queue-jumping as I sneak my way to the front of the line for her book. 😉

  8. Father, God, we ask your favor on this special project. Bless the work of Norma McGuire’s hands and heart to bless and enrich the lives of young people. In Jesus’ most precious name. Amen.

  9. Your Aunt sounds amazing. You are lucky to have her in your family and I wish her all the best of luck in finding a publisher. With her positive attitude and energy, she will! I have a 93 year young great aunt who is similar. A wonderful motivator.

  10. Thanks for all your encouraging comments. Yes, I think she’s pretty remarkable, too. And special thanks to Judith for the prayer. I know her main reason for wanting to publish this book is quite selfless — to share with other children the stories that brought such pleasure to her own. I pray she gets that opportunity.

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