Your Life Is Your Story. Write Well. Edit Often.

20 Inspirational Cancer Quotes For Survivors, Fighters – Inspirational Quotes Ideas

Well, we surely are editing our life’s stories at present. Cancer has reared its dreaded head and we are in the first stages of finding out how Ian’s life story is being edited.

Ian has just spent 3 days in the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre emergency room, having gone in with severe bloody diarrhea, had a colonoscopy and CT scan and is now home. The medical team found a rectal tumour which is the source of the bleeding. That means cancer, of course, but we are happy to hear that it is localized and not expected to metastasize elsewhere. We are now awaiting a consultation with a surgical oncologist to see where to proceed from here. Thank God, he is not in any pain, just really exhausted. We’re sure the surgeon will have difficulty in deciding whether or not to operate since Ian is 85 and in poor health otherwise, so it might not be possible. Time will tell. Prayers are being sent up!

Gayle is anxiously trying to master the art of injecting Ian twice a day with an anti-coagulant that is necessary to prevent a stroke, since he is highly susceptible to them and has been on Warfarin for several years. That has been discontinued and a twice-a-day injectable anti-coagulant that is easier to counter-act if necessary has been prescribed. To say the least, nursing was never a career choice for Gayle, but she seems to have been forced into a non-professional form of it now and earlier in the care of her late husband. Again, prayers are being sent up for guidance, patience and endurance.

Present circumstances have sent us in search of some inspiration and these quotes have helped.

Though no longer writing, when he can stay awake and alert, Ian takes great pleasure in reading one of his published books. Right now he is concentrating on our children’s book, Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie, chuckling from time to time and marveling that he ever managed to write it. The latest chuckle came when he pointed out a section where he had brought in a Scottish reflection to his fictional story. It reminded Gayle how, as the past editor of a thematic magazine, her life often seemed to reflect whatever theme was being worked on at the moment. Quoted below is the passage Ian read aloud:

“Some months later, the week after Jake’s twelfth birthday, another problem appeared. And Jake was sure a certain kid was the cause of everything getting all messed up again. As far as Jake was concerned, he didn’t want to go through any more troubles. But that little kid appeared at his door and sure screwed things up for Jake in a BIG way!

“Now Jake’s Grandpa was an old Scotsman who loved the poetry of the even-older Scotsman, named Robert Burns. Even Dad had started quoting some old sayings of Burns’, so it wasn’t surprising that a phrase from Burns’ poem “To a Mouse” came into Jake’s mind. He had often heard both Grandpa and Dad say something like, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley”– meaning that you can make really good plans but they can often go wrong. However it was stated, Jake thought, the saying must apply to 12-year-old boys too, for things certainly did go wrong for Jake—well, for a little while anyway.”


We rejoice that Ian has these writings to fall back on. They help to jog his failing memory and keep his spirits up. It’s good to always look for the silver lining in the inevitable clouds. Peace be with us all.




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:

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


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!



Installment 7 of “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie,” a Children’s Chapter Book

Thanks to everyone who has contacted us through WordPress or email saying that they are enjoying our blogging of Ian’s children’s chapter book, “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie.”  We’re still glowing from our great-grandson’s very positive endorsement of the book so far. I, Gayle, will try to be more diligent in getting the rest of the book’s chapters blogged (now that I am off crutches and my new hip is healing nicely) so that we will be able to get into production of the children’s book, hopefully by late spring.

At the same time as this book is being blogged, I’m deep into editing the next volume of Ian’s memoir or autobiographical stories which we are calling “Came to Canada, Eh? (Continuing a Scottish Emigrant’s Story.)” Those of you reading this blog would perhaps be interested in reading an excerpt from that as-yet-unpublished book which tells of Ian’s beginnings as a writer. He began with this very children’s book that we are now blogging.

To set the scene, Ian and his late wife have just moved back to Winnipeg (again). Ian is 63 years old and deciding to finally do what he has always wanted to do but never before found time for. Here’s a excerpt from “Came to Canada, Eh?”

“My whole life I had always wanted to write stories, but the situation was never the way I wanted it to be. Whenever, for example, I wrote a letter to anyone in the Old Country, I would end up sending about 14-16 pages—and I would get one page in reply. Finally, at age 63, I said to myself, ‘Ian, if you don’t start to write now, then you’ll never do it.’ So I sat down and, over a period of three evenings, wrote ‘My Friend Jimmy’. It was a children’s story about a budgie that had no wings—just 16 pages. But I had to write everything longhand. I asked Audrey [our daughter] to keep her eyes open for an old, cheap electric typewriter for me.

“’What do you want an electric typewriter for, Dad? You’ll be wasting your time. Why don’t you get a cheap computer; that’ll do the same thing only better for you?’

“Oh, that was a terrible word to use in front of an old codger like me—a computer? Sudden terror at the thought of even having one in front of me! Well, she eventually managed to convince me that that is what I should get. ‘You can pick one up dirt cheap, Dad. Do you want me to look for one for you?’

“It was a 286, black and white monitor, no hard drive, just two 3.5” floppy disks; but it was a start. I then became a little more ambitious—going to the library and getting out one of those foldout learn-to-type books that stands upright on edge (like a pyramid) and I started to learn to touch type. Me, an old . . . well, something. And I was improving too—starting to type simple sentences without looking at the keyboard. Pretty soon I got myself a 386 computer, then later it was up to a 486, and then a Pentium! Hey, who was that guy who said that the 286 was all he would ever need? I got the Mavis Beacon typing course (on a CD) and was able to calculate that I was up to more than 20 words a minute, even allowing for errors! ‘Not bad for an oldie,’ I thought.

“While I was improving on my typing, I rewrote my children’s story, and kept editing it until it started to look a lot better. I changed some of the contents and then sent it away to a publisher, knowing full well that he would grab it and tell me that it was the very best children’s story he had ever read. … Some hope! Soon I could just about paper the wall with rejections. ‘Never mind,’ I thought, ‘where there’s life, there’s hope.’ I put the story on file and went on to write other stories, thinking that I’d give “My Friend Jimmy” a try again at a later date. (Little was I to know that the later date would be lots later—about 17 years!)”

Much has happened since the years those words were written. Since then Ian was widowed, then remarried – this time to me (an editor). So we’ve now published three books and hope to have this children’s book finally published before long. Below is our blog of Chapter 7 plus two drawings we found on the computer of an “adolescent” raven whom Louie might have resembled.

Raven 1 Raven 2


by Ian Moore-Morrans

edited by Gayle Moore-Morrans

Copyright © 2012


Louie Gives Jake a BIG Problem

The next day was Saturday. Jake was at his local library first thing in the morning, waiting for the doors to open. Once inside, one of the staff helped him look for books about birds.

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

* ~ * ~ *

Picture suggestions:  Louie standing on the ground and “talking” while looking up at Jake and Jimmy, who is on Jake’s shoulder.

Louie flapping his wings.

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.


by Ian Moore-Morrans

edited by Gayle Moore-Morrans

Copyright © 2012


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.