About

Sandra Bell Kirchman and Ling Ling

Sandra Bell Kirchman and helper

Picture a nervous 17-year-old cub reporter standing in front of a scarred desk, behind which sat a great, gruff bear of a man with an enormous black beard and a huge gut. He was the editor of a Northern Ontario town’s weekly newspaper, The Elliot Lake Standard. He stabbed his finger at the copy I had left on his desk.

“What’s this word?” he demanded. I peered where he pointed, reading upside down and glad for at least that accomplishment.

“Uh, ‘misles,'” I answered.

“Really?” he said sarcastically. “‘Misles’–and that means what, pray tell?”

I was stumped for a few minutes and stood there wracking my brains for a simple way to explain the word. “You know, ‘misles.’ It’s the present tense of ‘misled.'” (I pronounced it MY-ZILD.) “It means fooled, led astray.”

The editor sat there for a moment, his face screwed up in thought. “Ah!” he roared suddenly and I jumped. “You wouldn’t happen to mean ‘misled,’ now would you?” (He pronounced it MISS-LED.) “Which happens to be the past tense of ‘mislead,’ not…” and here he practically spat the word, “…’misles.'” He thrust the copy at me. “Fix it and, while you’re at it, go over the rest of it to make sure we don’t have any more unexpected little nuggets like that one.”

Flushing, hot and uncomfortable, I ran to my desk to do as he said. I learned a lot from that man and not all of it in such a painful way.

A prairie wheat farm

"The waving wheat can sure smell sweet..."

Since then, my adventures have taken me across continents, into the sky, beneath the earth, and into the hearts of people. In 1993, I won the best short story award in the Saskatoon Writers’ Club’s 5th annual Wordsmith contest. The story, “‘Til Death Do We Part,” was a somber, modern-day story regarding the harshness, as well as the joys, of a couple’s life’s work on a prairie grain farm.

My children’s stories have been sold to magazines like Hopscotch for Girls and Parents Without Partners, and my police stories have been printed in The Saskatoon Sun and Law & Order magazine. Details of these and more can be found in my print media portfolio here.

In 1997, my son introduced me to a hithertofore unknown (to me) treasure, the internet, and I have been writing online ever since. My online writing portfolio can be found here.

"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"

The first book in the Oz series by L. Frank Baum, published in 1900

From early childhood, I have always loved fantasy stories. My first encounter at the age of six with The Wizard of Oz and other Oz stories by L. Frank Baum drew me into a land of imagination and delight. My own imagination was inspired and I vowed that, one day, I would write stories that sent the mind and spirit soaring into the limitless universe.

"Witchcanery" by Sandra Bell Kirchman

"Witchcanery" by Sandra Bell Kirchman

My first published fantasy novel, Witchcanery, is one such story and has been happily acclaimed by readers across the world as a delightful novel, fast-paced and as entertaining as any they have read. When it came out in its second edition, published by iUniverse, I won two of iUniverse’s awards: Editor’s Choice and Rising Star.

I also write and publish some short fantasy fiction on the forum at my website, FantasyFic. The first of this bounty is an interesting tale of halflings, elves, war, a strange baby and the secrets of moon magic, entitled, appropriately enough, “The Secret of Moon Magic.”

"Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories" edited by Sandra Bell Kirchman

The unicorn on the cover of "Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories," edited by Sandra Bell Kirchman.

Several other stories followed…”The Birth of a Unicorn” and “Battle Cleric,” to name two. Both were so popular with readers that the first story formed the basis for the anthology recently published by Fantasyfic, entitled Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories.

 The other short story is forming the basis for my next novel, Battle Cleric, the Novel. I’m still working on the first draft of this and have already written over 100,000 words on it. However, it will be a trilogy so it will be a question of writing all three books and then honing them down to complement each other and still have each book a standalone story on its own.

"50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading"

I'm the one hiding behind the "d" in "Reading"

It was while I was putting the finishing editing touches on Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories that I found out I had been selected by The Authors Show to be included in their book 50 Great Authors You Should Be Reading. It was a great honor and I was very excited. I’ll be talking about all of this in my blog in a little more fun detail. But the focus of this blog is based on the writing of Battle Cleric, the Novel, plus any hints, tips, exercises that work for me, etc., that I can come up with. And I hope you will join in with your comments and dreams and plans and suggestions. I am going to stop now to hopefully save you from eyestrain. Come back often.

28 responses to “About

  1. Wow… I really enjoyed reading that, especially the first story. heheh. I reckon I can learn lot from you, especially how to break into freelance writing on the Internet. Print magazines don’t really work for me, its either web writing or nonfiction books for me. One day.
    I have only restarted my journey again – after a gap of 10 years. More about that later … 🙂

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    • I think you will be very successful at freelance writing, especially in the areas you indicate. You have a lovely open style of writing, that is quite easy to read and is threaded by your sincere honesty. Non-fiction articles for magazines might be a marketing target in the areas of your expertise and there are hundreds of them. Online writing that pays is not so easy to break into but you might do some unpaid writing for a while to show your stuff. When you are ready, remind me and I will come up with a list of places to try in your preferred areas.

      I had two small children many years ago (they are adults now), but I can assure you that it does get easier as they get older. You also have so much more to write about. One of my first sales was to Single Parents’ Parents Without Partners magazine. It was a fiction story (they took one a month) about two young children living with their father who travel on their own to their mom’s place to make sure she is all right. It was a hard story to write, but when I finished, it was a story full of honest feelings that landed it right in the editor’s lap. I can see your articles and stories doing the same thing.

      I also took a hiatus from my writing when my children were small. When they got older, I too went back to my writing and it was very exciting. I wish you good luck in your journey.

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  2. Hi Sandra,
    Sorry to take so long getting back to you, work sometimes gets in the way of the fun stuff!
    Posting here, as it seemed the most likely spot. If you contact me via my email (bigyellowbus2@gmail.com) I’ll add you to the authors list of the blog. That way you can take your time and let me know when you are ready to post it.
    Thanks for offering to do this, and I look forward to reading what you decide to write.
    Cheers,
    Ken

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  3. Sandra did you update your about page? I sure enjoyed reading through it, especially the first story. I would have died of embarrassment.

    I haven’t forgotten that you asked me to do a guest post for you. I was wondering if it would be okay for me to write one on planning my fantasy story? I know you’re busy to but the invitation remains open for you to write a post for me.

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    • Hi, Haley – I didn’t update THIS page, but I have updated the About part that appears beneath articles on their own page…it also appears on the Gravatar image. I’m glad you enjoyed it – it has been a fun, if challenging, trip through the years. I didn’t nearly die of embarrassment, although I was plenty embarrassed. I could feel my cheeks flaming red, and it annoyed me that he could see so plainly how embarrassed I was and still kept on berating me lol.

      That would be so nice if you would write that article. It would fit very well into my general theme, as well as being very helpful to beginning fantasy fiction writers. Thanks very much.

      As for writing for your blog, I hate to say this after your being so gracious to write on mine, but I am going to have to stop all posting for a while on my two blogs. I am just totally swamped with opening my new copywriting business and getting “all the ducks into place.” I won’t be gone forever, but it might be a few weeks. I will still check my incoming comments and will still comment on my favorite other blogs.

      So any time you want to write that post, you are very welcome to to it. And thank you 🙂

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  4. Ms. Sandra, This is Marantha Jenelle, the lady with the “GHOSTWRITER” blog. I am online right now if you still want to get hold of me. Send an email to my auxiliary email address at words2ponder@gmail.com and I will do a reply and give you my primary. I do not post it unless I can avoid it on any of the sites via these message boxes.

    MS. SANDRA, I JUST LEFT THE ORIGINAL TO THIS MESSAGE ON THE SITE YOU JUST BLOGGED ON ABOUT YOUR AWARD, BUT I DECIDED TO ALSO TRY TO PUT IT HERE IN THE HOPES OF REACHING YOU, SINCE YOU DO NOT HAVE A CONTACT EMAIL LISTED HERE ON THE SITE. PLEASE READ AND RESPOND SOON.

    MARANTHA JENELLE, THE AUTHOR OF THE “GHOSTWRITER” BLOG

    Please respond soon, as I waited for over two hours last night for your response, then finally gave up and went to bed.

    Hoping to hear from you soon. Also, if you are on Yahoo messenger, I will be requestiing that you send an add request AFTER I give you my primary email address and you reply with what ID your add request would be coming in under, as I do not react well to unknowns.

    marantha jenelle

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  5. SORRY, THE PART THAT IS IN ALL CAPS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AT THE BEGINNING OF THAT LAST MESSAGE. THE PART IN UPPER AND LOWER CASE IS THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE.

    MARANTHA

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    • Marantha – you have to understand that I am pretty busy with my own stuff. I answered you when I had time. I understand that you are anxious to get some feedback but it has to wait until I have the time to give you a thoughtful response. I have done that now and the email should be waiting in your email box. Let me know if it isn’t.

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  6. very nice blog site!

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  7. Great to connect with you here Sandra – you have a very interesting blog!

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  8. Thanks, Barb. I love your blog too. Thanks for taking a peek at mine.

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  9. Pingback: Thinking like an Editor

  10. Pingback: » And the Awards Go To… DorkyDeb.com

  11. Hey Sandra…Just wanted to say thank you for nominating me for the versatile blogger award. Can I use the icon from your blog or could you possibly point me to a link where I can get this icon?

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    • Hi, Ash. I’m sorry but I don’t recognize (or perhaps it’s just I don’t remember) your name. Did you have another one at the time of the Versatile Blogger award? I also can’t find your blog. Could you provide me with a link to it as well as point out your name on my award list?

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      • Okay, mystery is solved – you call yourself Ash, but I know you as Zoya of the fabulous book review blog Silver Mists. I just happened to spot a reply in one of your posts where I also commented. I noticed it was addressed to Ash.

        So, to answer your question, yes you certainly may use the icon from my blog. If you need anything else, let me know…and let us know when you have finished the requirements and posted them on your site.

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  12. You can reach me on my email id as well

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  13. I’ve heard great things about the Oz series. Maybe I should read it?

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    • If you have never read any of the Oz books, I highly recommend them, even for adults. They are simply written and rather antique, but really charming. They get you into your child-like part (not to be confused with your childISH part :P). I have loved them all my life and would still pick up one and read it, just to be immersed in the magic that is Oz.

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