By Don Jackson, November 2014
Former host of one of Canada's most popular radio shows spanning three decades.
Chicken Soup for the Soul author, broadcaster, storyteller.
Changing your life one story at a time.
It has been a lifelong dream of mine to write a book. I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to see a part of that dream fulfilled in such a meaningful way.
I am so proud to have an original story of mine published in the new Chicken Soup for the Soul collection, Christmas in Canada. It features 101 stories about the joy and wonder of the holidays. As it says on the back cover of the book: "The Christmas season is a magical time of year! From winter storms to farmer's parades, from carolling to cookie baking, from family gatherings to welcoming new immigrants, you'll delight in these heartwarming tales of family, goodwill, and giving, from one coast to the other.
I have to tell you about the atmosphere in the room where we had the official launch of the book on November 4th. We had 34 authors included in the collection in attendance. We collectively signed about 250 books. If you look at my Facebook page, you will see a profile photo of me behind a stack of those books. It was a room that was filled with so much positive energy. Every one of those authors has had life-changing experiences. The atmosphere was almost electric. I don't think I have ever participated in an event where so many positive feelings were almost tangible.
It was a very emotional experience, too. There were some tears, but also so much joy in that room. I can still feel a lingering echo of that charged atmosphere. I relive it when I re-read the stories in this powerful collection, Christmas in Canada.
It was such a wonderful opportunity meeting some of the authors, too.
One of them is Grant Madden from Australia. His story is called Driving Home to Canada. He now lives in San Diego, but since he is originally from Australia, he decided to sign all the books upside-down.
Another author,who Lydia and I sat with during the entire evening, was Stephen Lautens. The name should be familiar to those who remember reading the very popular Toronto newspaper column by Gary Lautens, his father. My father was one of his most devoted readers and he introduced me to Gary's writing style. His son, Stephen, is a writer and lawyer who has had other stories published in previous Chicken Soup editions. You might have read his columns in the National Post, Toronto Sun, the Calgary Sun and The London Free Press. He has a very popular Facebook page and a Twitter account where he features political viewpoints that might just put a smile on your face. It was a highlight of my day to be able to tell Stephen about my dad's enjoyment of his father's writing and I feel I have made a new friend.
Other authors in this book include a former Toronto police constable who now writes children's novels, many other published authors, retired teachers, a marathon runner, an employment specialist for people with disabilities, a former professional musician, a nurse, a psychotherapist in private practice, a professor with a Ph.D., in electrical engineering, an interior designer, a quilt teacher and so many more from diverse occupations and backgrounds.
A few of those special edition 'signed by the authors' books are still available to be purchased through the Facebook page:
Janet Matthews is one of the two editors of this new collection. Amy Newmark, the main publisher of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, is the other. I understand Janet still has a few of these collector's editions available to be purchased. You can find out the details by visiting her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/canadianchickensoup
I hope you will visit her page and give it a Like, and let her know you were recommended by me.
My story, Mysterious Visitors, is the first in Chapter 8: Angels in Our Midst.
All the stories are 'Santa safe', so they can be enjoyed by the whole family. This would be a great way to spend Christmas Eve or Christmas Day reading the stories with your family.
I had so much fun writing it and learning so much through my regular interactions with my editor, Janet Matthews.
Incidentally, Janet is available for public speaking events. More info on that is also available on her Facebook Page. You can find a link to purchase the book via my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HeartbeatOfTheInternet
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my family to yours!
Don Jackson – November 29, 2014