STORY INSPIRED BY A PET BIRD

The following article appeared in the Vernon Morning Star newspaper, Vernon, British Columbia, posted February 8, 2015 in the Lifestyle section. Gayle has made a few deletions and additions for accuracy. The original article is at

Story inspired by a … pet [bird]

by Cara Brady

Gayle & Ian - JLJBL interview-Morning Star

Gayle and Ian Moore-Morrans sign copies of their new children’s book, Jake, [Little] Jimmy & Big Louie. they will have a book signing Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. at teach and Learn. (photo credit: Cara Brady/Morning Star)

When a writer meets and marries an editor, the result is books. Ian and Gayle Moore-Morrans have just published their first book written together, a children’s book called Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie.

Their previous books, written by Ian and edited by Gayle, are From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada, a memoir, and Beyond the Phantom Battle: Mystery at Loch Ashie[, a novel].

The couple included members of their extended family, great-grandchildren Leland German, then 11, as reader, and Hannah German, then [seven], as illustrator.

Jake, Jimmy & Big Louie is a book to appeal to anyone of any age who has ever loved and raised a pet. Ian draws on his own experiences raising a cockatiel to tell the story of a boy who takes on a budgie with a disability and an at-first unwanted raven, and follows their adventures and growing friendship.

Ian, 82, still has vivid memories of the first time he ever saw a book. He grew up in poverty on the West Coast of Scotland.

“I must have been about four. My brother brought home a book from school and it had pictures in it. It was such a temptation. I went to school until I was 14 and got good marks in writing. My teacher told me I should be a journalist but that seemed too far beyond me,” he recalled. “I joined the air force and it was the first time I had sheets on my bed and three meals a day.”

He later became a blacksmith, then an industrial machinist and has written a book, Metal Machining Made Easy.

Gayle also showed an early aptitude for writing and wrote for church papers and magazines while she was a parish worker, [secretary, social services director and program and magazine editor]. She married a pastor and lived in Germany for [eighteen] years, keeping up her writing and editing and detailed scrapbooks. She was widowed [after she moved to Canada] and met Ian, who had lost his wife, in 2003 in Winnipeg. They made their way west and decided they liked Vernon after performing here as Mr. Scotland and his Bonnie Lassie, a singing duet, at a Kelvern Celtic Society Ceilidh.

Ian said [he] started to write the book [many] years ago [at age 63]. “I had a dream about this little budgie and thought if I’m ever going to start writing this story, I better start writing it now.”

Gayle added, “We dedicate this book to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

Ian and Gayle are now working on a new book, Came to Canada, Eh? Continuing a Scottish Immigrants Story. Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie is available through http://www.createspace.com/5114278 or Amazon. Their blog is at http://www.ianmooremorrans.com and their publishing company is Moomor Publishing.

Ian and Gayle will have a book signing Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. at Teach and Learn in Vernon.

In addition, Gayle and Ian will host two book launches for Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie at their home, Sunday, February 22. Information from the poster follows:

Announcing
Book Launches for 
“Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie,”
the adventures of a boy and his two pet birds
set in Vernon, British Columbia
(a children’s chapter book for ages 7-12 and for older people, too)
Sunday, February 22, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (take your pick)
Book readings and signings, a “bird hunt,” and refreshments
At the home of authors Ian & Gayle Moore-Morrans
House #69, 6688 Tronson Road, Vernon
(just west of the airport)
250-275-1446 (you may call ahead to reserve a place)
also
A Book Reading & Signing
Saturday, February 28 at 2 p.m.
Vernon Teach and Learn Ltd.
3015-30th Avenue, Vernon

 

ANNOUNCING PUBLICATION OF OUR LATEST BOOK: JAKE, LITTLE JIMMY & BIG LOUIE

 

 

JLJBL Book Cover

Finally the day has arrived to announce that our latest book is now available for order. We are proud of the product and hope many of you will be anxious to read it. We think adults will enjoy the book as much as children or teenagers will.  The book is written on the pre-teen reading level. You can order a copy online at the following link: https://www.createspace.com/5114278.

Signed copies will also be available from the authors at a Book Launch and subsequent book readings in Vernon, British Columbia, probably in the month of February.

Sometime in February 2015 the book should also be available for order online through amazon or from book stores. Unless you want to take advantage of free postage through amazon by placing an order at a minimum of $25, we request that you place your order through Create Space as listed above as we get a larger royalty and you receive the book at the same price and same shipping and handling fees as through other methods of online ordering.

For those who want to read the book in an e-book format, we will be listing it on amazon as a Kindle book shortly.

Below is the information from the book’s back cover:

Has a pet ever held a special place in your heart?

Though written for children, this book will appeal to pet lovers of all ages. It tells the story of Jake, an 11-year-old boy who adopts Little Jimmy, a budgie bird, born without wings. Jake learns to help Little Jimmy live and feel like a very special bird.

Later, a rescued baby chick is literally dumped into Jake’s hands. “Thing,” as Jake originally names him, soon insists on his own name, becoming “Louie.” Eventually Big Louie grows into a huge and very smart raven. Though he didn’t want the raven at first, Jake soon realizes that Big Louie has become an important part of the family who comes to the rescue when Little Jimmy gets into dangerous situations. One adventure follows another and the three become fast friends who really love each other.

Author Ian Moore-Morrans had ample experience raising his own Jimmy, a cockatiel, from newly-hatched to adulthood. Ian has used that knowledge in portraying realistic characterizations of both birds, including intelligence, comic actions, dependence and independence, plus an ability to “talk” and a knack for finding a very special place within a family.

Co-author Gayle Moore-Morrans, also Ian’s wife and editor, has added her own touch to the story, giving a spiritual dimension to Jake’s family and his decisions in caring for and loving his pets.

For that special “kid’s touch,” Ian and Gayle invited two of their great-grandchildren to collaborate on Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie. Great-grandson Leland German was their age-appropriate consultant and Great-granddaughter Hannah German served as the illustrator. They are pictured at the top of the following collage.

Wee Yins' collage-2014

TO OUR ‘WEE YINS’

Our book,” Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie,” is dedicated to the eleven children in our lives, three of them born since we first started blogging a draft of the book  almost two years ago. They are our youngsters (or “wee yins,” as Ian would call them in his Scottish vernacular).

In the center is a picture of Ian signing a stack of his books and one of Gayle busy at one of her Location Writing sessions. We are surrounded by photos of these very special children who make up our blended family: from top left and clockwise, Leland, Hannah, Logan, Eva, Gustav, Haylee, Brayden, Alex, Lexi, Madison and Caleigh. We love them all!

 

 

Am I a Co-Author or Just the Editor?

This is Gayle Moore-Morrans blogging. We previewed most of the chapters of Ian’s children’s chapter book, “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie” on this site last year and asked for some feedback from others as well as asking two of our great-grandchildren for input prior to publication – — Now-13-year-old Leland for consultation on the appropriateness of the book’s contents for his age group and now-8-year-old Hannah for some drawings to illustrate the book. In our post of March 21, 2013 I blogged Leland’s review entitled: “Wow!” A Recommendation for Ian’s blogged book, “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie.” I’m now ready to re-scan Hannah’s illustrations for the book as I’ve edited them on Microsoft Paint. Our new printer – an HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 is finally installed and ready for me to do the layout. Here is a preview of the book’s cover illustration showing the boy Jake, and, on his shoulders, his BFFs, Little Jimmy the budgie and Big Louie, the raven.

000-Cover Photo

I’ve usually been identified as Ian’s editor, blogger, publishing and marketing person. How should we recognize my role in this children’s book that has evolved over the years it has been in the making? Am I just the editor or am I also the co-author? In our previous post I re-blogged a very helpful post by Francis Guenette on how she is writing with her mother even though her mother is no longer living. That prompted me to reply to her my thanks for answering a question that my husband Ian and I have been mulling over the past months.

Here are my comments on Francis Guennette’s blog post “Writing with My Mom.”

               Wow, did your blog post on writing with your mother ever resonate with me, Fran! In fact, I feel it has answered a few questions I’ve had in the past year. As you know, our blog is mostly about my husband Ian’s writings. When I started out editing his stories about nine years ago I had just retired from my editing job, we had only been married a year and soon headed for Mexico in our motor home to explore retirement there. I relished getting to know him better through his writings, especially becoming familiar with his impoverished upbringing in Scotland during the depression and war years, his military service with the RAF in Egypt and his early marriage and fatherhood and then immigration to Canada. Editing that book was a true editing job in that I took his words and only changed them for grammatical reasons when necessary but then rearranged large chunks in a much more logical sequence as he had pretty much written it in a “stream of consciousness” fashion. When I found there were gaps or inconsistencies I returned the manuscript to him for additions and clarification. Though Ian was in his early 70s then, he was in robust health and had energy to burn. When he wasn’t writing he was entertaining by performing Scottish songs or teaching me his repertoire so that we could sing and perform together.

                That way of working cooperatively continued after our move back to Canada two and a half years later. But it lasted only for a little over a year when a sudden illness brought him to death’s door and a long hospitalization, much of it while he was in an induced coma. Recovery from the near-fatal illness was a slow process. He was kept alive and healed by over five years’ treatment with prednisone; however, it is basically a poison which wrecked havoc on the rest of his body. A heart attack in 2010 necessitated five stents in his arteries and another regimen of medication, exercise and diet changes. Now at 81, he is pretty much a recluse, rarely sings, no longer writes and rarely even reads. He sleeps a lot and is lucid mostly late afternoons and evenings but doesn’t have the energy to do much with his pile of writings which still need to be published, nor has he been able to do anything about promoting those which have already been published.

               That’s where I come in. I’ve put aside the pile of writing I’ve done over the years, mostly on spiritual insights and family history and feel it is my “labor of love” to try to get the rest of Ian’s writings edited and published. However, as you’ve found with your mother’s writings I have been grappling with the fact that I no longer can ask Ian to do re-writes when I feel they are warranted. Like you said with your mother’s work, “I began to make changes and what I was doing was much more than editing.” Ian and I have discussed how to address the authorship of the next book which I hope will be coming out soon. Granted, he is the main author. He originally wrote the children’s story, nursed it through a number of revisions over the years and had sent it to several publishers even before I met him. It was hung up on the need for editing though. I now have done the editing but have also made a number of changes in the story and added a spiritual component to it which I felt was lacking and needed. It no longer is just the story that Ian wrote. I’ve also recruited our 8-year-old great-granddaughter to do the illustrations for the book and have extensively adjusted those illustrations using Microsoft Paint to make them more consistent and the characters more uniform. So how do we identify the authorship of the book? Ian and I have discussed this and have tossed around listing a co-authorship or a “with” authorship such as “by Ian Moore-Morrans with Gayle Moore-Morrans.” We’ve thought that perhaps the former gives too much credit to me and perhaps the latter makes it look as if Ian had a ghost writer (which certainly isn’t the case).

               I found your remarks helpful when you stated, “I will put the book out in both our names and claim co-authorship for my mom’s stories – though her name will appear first. No matter the work I’ve done, the one who came up with the ideas and the characters deserves first billing.” So I’m feeling more at peace with the “by author with another author” claim.

               What a great legacy your mother has left you and how wonderful that you can keep her memory so alive by working with her writings. I have the added advantage of still having Ian here with me so I can toss ideas and solutions around with him even though he can no longer physically do the re-writes and adjustments. I can even do future book readings and promotions for him without having to take along videos of him reading from the particular book. (Something I did twice in 2012 when I was able to travel to the States to do book readings/sales for Ian when he was unable to travel there because he couldn’t get travel insurance to go out of Canada.)  In addition, Ian has added an addendum to his will granting me full ownership of his writings, both published and unpublished and free rein in pursuing publication of any as-yet unpublished writings of his.

               I wish you well with your co-authorship adventure with your mother and plan to re-blog this latest post of yours on our blog at ianmooremorrans.com. Thanks for your insights.

Gayle Moore-Morrans

“WOW!” – A RECOMMENDATION FOR IAN’S BLOGGED BOOK: “JAKE, LITTLE JIMMY AND BIG LOUIE”

Calan, Leland, GrandpaWe’ve mentioned before that the children’s chapter book we have been blogging, “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie” is also being sent to two of our great-grandchildren for their comments as to the appropriateness of the writing for children ages 7-12 and also to perhaps receive some pictures they’d like to draw for the book. Just today we received some real affirmation that we are on the right track. Here is the message received from our 12-year-0ld great-grandson Leland along with a photo of Leland with his dad Calan and great-grandpa Ian taken last summer in Winnipeg.

“Hey grandma and grandpa i just finished reading the first six chapters of that book you sent me and it was one of the best books I’ve ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

‘and im also starting to draw  the  picture for the second chapter, but i just started it because i was reading for about an hour so my eyes are really stressed out right now so im going to go to bed and i will continue tomorrow!

‘but it is a really good book so-far “

Thanks to Leland. We don’t think we’ve ever had such a great review! 

Watch for the next chapter to be blogged tomorrow.

Installment 5 of “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie,” a Children’s Chapter Book

We apologize for the long delay in posting the next installment of Ian’s children’s chapter book, “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie.” Our excuse is that we have been otherwise occupied for most of January and the first days of February because Gayle finally had a surgery date of February 7th for a total hip replacement on the left side. She has had both her right knee and right hip replaced in the past – the knee in 2000 and the hip in 2011. Now she is truly a bionic woman on both sides!

Ian is still trying to adjust to a number of changes in his medications and couldn’t be left completely alone while Gayle was in hospital, so we had to arrange for some home care and a LifeLine installation for him. That is going well and we’ve been able to count on the home care attendant to help both of us for a short time after Gayle was discharged on February 9th. Thank goodness for our Canadian health system. So far we have had little additional expenses other than the low LifeLine costs, our pharmacy expenses until the yearly supplement kicks in and our regular monthly BC health payments.

Ian and Jimmy, the cockatiel, circa 1999.

Ian and Jimmy, the cockatiel, circa 1999.

Today we are sharing a photo taken about 1999 of Ian schmoozing with his cockatiel Jimmy, who was the inspiration for this present story about a budgie named Jimmy. We hope you’ll enjoy it and the next chapter of “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie.” If you remember the last chapter, Jimmy had been lost and just as the chapter ends Jake had received the good news that Jimmy had been found and would be returned by the police.

“JAKE, LITTLE JIMMY AND BIG LOUIE”

by Ian Moore-Morrans

edited by Gayle Moore-Morrans

Copyright © 2012

CHAPTER FIVE

Jimmy Returns and “Thing” Arrives

The following day, the police were at Jake’s house with Jimmy safely in his cage. Jake was in orbit over the news that Jimmy had been found, for he had hardly slept that whole week while Jimmy was missing. Lying awake in his bed at night, he had prayed that Jimmy would be kept safe, wherever he was, and that Jimmy would come home soon. He promised to love Jimmy and always try to take very good care of him. This promise had kept him certain that Jimmy would be found, so when Jake’s father told him the good news, he sort of expected it.  ‘Well’ he thought, ‘it got Jimmy back to me.’

(The rest of the chapter’s content has been deleted prior to publication.)

Picture suggestions:

Jake smiling and holding little Jimmy, just as Ian is holding Jimmy the cockatiel in the photo at the beginning of this posting

Jimmy sitting on Jake’s shoulder.

Installment 3 of “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie,” a Children’s Chapter Book

We’re sorry for the delay in blogging this next chapter of Ian’s children’s chapter book entitled “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie,” but, as you know, Christmas intervened between Chapters 2 and 3. Gayle and I wish all of you blog readers a very Merry Fifth Day of Christmas. So far we’ve had a nice quiet celebration with church on Christmas Eve, followed by a delicious and traditional (to Gayle) Swedish Christmas supper to which we had invited friends. We slept late on Christmas Day and ended up opening our presents that afternoon. The next two days have been spent eating, playing with our new dog Misty, lazing and watching a number of movies that we received as Christmas gifts, reading from some of the books we received and, of course, listening to Christmas music. Gayle has finally found time to edit the next chapter of the story we are posting and I’ve approved the edit so here goes with Chapter 3. Please give us any feedback you may wish to pass on. As you know, the book has not yet been published except here in this blog. We are still hoping to have some drawings sent in on JPGs from our great-granddaughter or from any children that might read this story or have this story read to them. We are including suggestions for drawings at the end of each chapter. We’d like to include some of the drawings in the published book and would give credit to the artists. Here is a nice cartoon rendition of a budgie’s head as a model for Little Jimmy.

budgie head cartoon

“JAKE, LITTLE JIMMY AND BIG LOUIE”

by Ian Moore-Morrans

edited by Gayle Moore-Morrans

Copyright © 2012

CHAPTER THREE

Jake and Jimmy Become Friends

As they headed home, Jake and his dad chatted about their visit to Bill’s Budgie Barn and all they had seen there. When the car was in the garage, his dad took the birdcage from the back seat and began heading for the house, carefully carrying it by its handle.

(The rest of the chapter’s content has been deleted prior to the book’s publication.)

* ~ * ~ *

Picture suggestions: Jimmy in his cage

Jimmy sitting on Jake’s folded hands

Jimmy hopping down a ramp

The drawings below were done by Ian some years ago to illustrate how he pictured the ramp set-upRamp to chair 001 in Jake’s room.

Jimmy's ramps 001

Installment 2 of “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie,” a Children’s Chapter Book

Wouldn’t my fictional character Jake be a bit jealous of me today? Gayle and I drove about 40 minutes north to the town of Salmon Arm, British Columbia, checked in at the SPCA and adopted a dog whom we’ve named Misty. Misty is a very lovely senior lady – a Shih Tzu cross with soft black and gray fur highlighted by a white chest and front paws and, of course, the distinctive Shih Tzu fanned tail. We fell in love with her immediately and she seems to be enamored with us as well. I’ll add a photo of Misty and me here as we got acquainted at home in Vernon this evening. Misty and Ian-first day

This shouldn’t take anything away from the story of Jake and Little Jimmy, though, as I think Jake was just as smitten with Jimmy as we are with Misty. So — here is the second chapter of my children’s chapter book “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie.” I hope readers of this blog will like the story well enough that you will check “follow” and begin to get updates to the story as we post it. Enjoy!

“JAKE, LITTLE JIMMY AND BIG LOUIE”

by Ian Moore-Morrans

edited by Gayle Moore-Morrans

Copyright © 2012

CHAPTER TWO – Jake Meets Jimmy

A few minutes later as Jake and his dad were in the car and heading for Bill’s Budgie Barn, Jake was surprised to realize he could not wait to get there, impatient to see “hundreds, maybe thousands” of little birds all in one place. Soon they turned into the driveway of Bill’s place, parking the car behind an old red half-ton truck.

(The rest of the chapter’s content has been deleted prior to publication.)

 

* ~ * ~ *

Picture suggestions: Lots of birds perched and flying around in cages.

Jake kneeling down to view Jimmy.

Bill talking with Jake who is holding Jimmy.

Some of the bird care items Bill gives Jake.