Wednesday, October 18, 2017

We Publish Life

"Take a deep can do this...

I know you don't know what you are doing....but you can do this...."

These words continue to scroll through my thought processes over the past couple of months. I have been taking a lot of deep breaths. I can't say I'm 100 percent sure I believe the "You can do this" part just yet. We will see how this pans out.

What would possess a 56 year old woman to wake up one morning and decide she is going to start a Publishing Company? A Publishing Company which actually publishes someone else's books. A company which has taken on an investor who 'believes' in the company.

"Take a deep can do this..."

You've figured out that the 56 year old woman is me...and I'm the one who has chosen to set sail on unchartered waters. Let me introduce you to-- Seaward Publishing House...where "We Publish Life"

What did I know about publishing? I only knew the side of publishing from the author's view point. Aren't they the people who help find an editor? Aren't they the ones who told me that I have to meet deadlines. Magically one day this mystical company send me a proof copy of my book-- at which time, I swoon-- hug it to myself and hope that I'm not dreaming!

So what did I know about publishing? I am beginning to discover, I knew very little. Almost nothing, if I'm honest. Over the past 2 months I have been on a roller coaster ride of a huge learner curve. I've had to hire editors, set up bank accounts, seek out printers...all the while rechecking the balance sheets to make sure I don't go over budget. The banker who helped me set up my 'small business' account asked me, very cheerfully, "What made you choose to start a Publishing Company"

I looked at her across the desk and wanted to say, "I must have been crazy!"....but instead, I said, "Because I came across a manuscript which was just too incredible to not see published...and since no one else wanted to publish it...I decided to seek out investors and to start this company"

Of course, the explanation is not that simple. For more than a year, I had known I was supposed to do this. Even before I read the great manuscript, I knew deep inside I wanted to see a publishing company that published books with meaning. There was this growing desire to see books that would speak life into people. I wanted to publish books that talked about real life and at the same time changed people's lives. About the time I was tossing this around in my head, a brilliant woman, Crystal Krachunis, showed me a manuscript she was working on. I was blown away- it was exactly what I had been thinking about...publishing life!

Over time, she would show me bits and pieces of what she was working on and I encouraged her to send off the manuscript to publishers. She did. I sat with her and worked on sending them to more publishers. All responses were encouraging, but everyone had other projects they were working on. One company responded with ...yes we will publish - but it will be 'co-publishing' for such and such an amount. Sigh. Neither she or her husband had the funds for such an endeavor. Finally they said they were going to self publish....just 500 books for a first run....they could afford that.

"Just let them do can't do it....don't even offer..." my mind screamed at me.

I talked to several people hoping they would be willing to invest in this book. Finally I found an investor. I called up Crystal immediately and said, "Would you be willing to entrust your book to me- I would like to publish it"  And thus the adventure began!

Will you join me on this journey? The book is scheduled to come out just before Christmas. I will be blogging about this process. I will be blogging about my life. I will blog about the great editors, printers, web site designers, bankers, who have helped me get this far. I will be blogging about other books-- books that have long since been published, books that produce life.

Be on the look out for more....and remind me to breathe every once in awhile.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

....And then there were more...

We started with two. It didn't take long for us to add three more to the mix, making us ongfamily5 for quite a long time. Before we knew what happened, we had added 3 more to the mix. In 2010, the first little person arrived on the scene, bringing our grand total to 9 human beings.

By the end of 2016, we all crammed together into a delightful getaway house in Gig Harbor, Washington. I looked at the little human beings who now outnumbered the adults. It hit me that we are in the process of creating our own tribe. We have reached a grand total of 17 human beings- 8 adults and 9 children.

Ong Family Reunion 2016*
Picture credit: Melissa Letham, Photographer
Our time filled up with fun gingerbread house building, games, just sitting around talking while holding one or another little one. Often times we were running after a 'getaway' baby, or trying to calm down two or more kids upset about something or another. It didn't matter what we did, as long as we were doing it together. One family had flown in from North Carolina...another family jumped into their vehicle at the end of our time to drive across 27 States in around 3 weeks. Still another family flew off to Hawaii shortly after our get together. We treasured the 2 days we were all in the same place at the same time. We are also thankful we were able to get a lovely family picture taken. (thanks to....Melissa Letham, Photographer, Tacoma, WA)

*Faces blocked out due to privacy issues with foster care.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Memory Monday: Alaska

I've been to Alaska before...but never on a cruise. My hubby had promised to take me on a cruise on our 25th anniversary and he is a man of his word.  

Departure: Seattle  

The room was amazing- the entire ship was incredible. (another post with all those pics at a later date)

First stop on our itinerary was Ketchikan.  It was a Sunday, so naturally we looked around for a church to attend. We chose a small church which was walking  distance from the Ship. It was lovely meeting with people from the town. I noticed a smart little car parked on the road...with the keys still in the ignition. I commented,"boy this place must be safe for someone to leave their keys in the car"
My comment was met with laughter and a quick explanation that there was no where to drive to! 
Aside from shops- lots of diamond shops- fur shops-trinket shops- there was not much to see in town. We boarded the ship with the promise that our next destination would be to see the Glaciers. This was truly breathtaking
I thought this ice looked like a sinking ship
 I can't begin to explain the awe and majesty of the scenery. The ship sliced ever so quietly through the waters as my husband and I sat out on the balcony drinking in the scenery.
the Glacier

Amazing scenery
 Heads popped out of windows and over railings as everyone attempted to get the best view of the glacier and the mountains. I'm not sure why, but I kept whispering to my husband, "This is so beautiful" was almost like I didn't want to disturb the beauty with my voice. Needless to say, this was one of my favorite parts of the journey.

The next stop along the way was Juneau. There seemed to be an endless stream of planes flying in and out of the harbor. Since I've been to Juneau before, we opted to stay on the ship and enjoy a day of rest. We did important things like experiment taking pictures of ourselves in the ship's elevators. Needless to say, it was a great choice.

 We did get off at Skagway, yes to explore all seven blocks of the town. This was a very intriguing town. Skagway is known as the gateway to the Klondike and thus there are a myriad of stories which surround this borough. I'm sure there will be a few more posts about this place.

Aside from learning a bit about its history, we mailed some postcards from the wee post office and ate some ice cream.
 We walked up one side of the town and down the other. We explored dirt paths and finally decided we would head back to the ship. As we sauntered back to the ship, I could not help but notice how crisp the air was. 

On our journey, we had several delightful surprises...there will be plenty of time to talk about those later. I think my favorite surprise was our next stop, Vancouver Island...specifically Victoria!  I said to my husband, "Why didn't we just come to Victoria and spend the whole time here..."

"Who knew!" (I'm sure he was thinking it would have saved a lot of money) :)
 I won't say too much more about Victoria because it definitely deserves a post all of its own. If you ever have a chance to visit this charming place, don't think it! 

All in all, the cruise was amazing. We met interesting people, saw wonderful new places, and enjoyed spending time with each other. When it came time to disembark, we were quite happy to be getting home...but we have promised ourselves a return trip to Victoria...this time we will take the ferry.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tomorrow is finally here

Ah yes, each day I tell myself, "I will update my blog...tomorrow..." Tomorrow comes...and goes...and I realize it has become yesterday. Ooops, no problem.....I'll be sure to update it...tomorrow. You get the picture! Then I blink and June has turned into November...I can't keep waiting for today has to be the tomorrow I keep talking about.
Visiting Japan and meeting up with old friends

Of course there has been plenty of things to update about...and update I have ....unfortunately all in my head. You would love to see the wonderful posts I've created....a trip around the world in two hours (that deserves a post all of its own) ....a post about a trip to Japan...

family visiting...

two youngest grandkids meeting for the first time
Oldest Granddaughter, Kailynn

unexpected and wonderful family dropping in....Monday phone rings.
Great Grandma and Grandpa

"Hi mom- how is Singapore?"

"It is great, how would you feel about us coming to visit?"

"Sure, when were you thinking of coming?"

"Wednesday night"
A miracle we were all able to be together!

"This Wednesday? That would mean you have to leave today!"

"Yes we already have our flight"


Alaskan Glacier
Throw in other miscellaneous to Alaska....and the normal hurry and flurry of life...take a quick trip down to Dallas for a conference....okay, now I understand why tomorrow never seemed to come. I was too busy enjoying today.  I have missed not only updating- I've missed reading blog updates.  Let's just hope my next 'tomorrow' does not take another six months to come!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Feature Friday: Enid Blyton Books

Can you imagine my utter disappointment when I walked into a bookstore here in the States and they seemed to have no clue who Enid Blyton was! 

I grew up on Enid Blyton books....Famous Five, Malory Towers, Secret Seven, St. Clare's etc kids grew up on the Noddy books, the Naughtiest Girl series, Magic Faraway series, etc etc....her books made me want to read more. I graduated quickly from Enid Blyton straight into full blown historical novels...psychology text books...any classic literature I could lay my hands on...I would have never had the appetite for books if it had not been for Enid Blyton.

I've heard some negative reviews of her writing...and I'm sure, now as an adult, I might find some of the writing lacking...but as a child...well, she transported me into fantasy worlds. She was the reason I tramped around in primary six with my 4 best buddies- and we named ourselves the Fearless Four- or Famous Four- we would scope out haunted houses and explore abandoned buildings. We drank ginger ale and ate ginger biscuits....probably imagining we were on one of the Famous Five's great adventures. 

It is good to see that does offer more of her books. (compared to a few years ago) I know I have bought some classics from Ebay (for my grandkids). I hope these books are always around for children to enjoy!

If you were an Enid Blyton fan (or you just read some of her books) which one was your favorite??

*images from Ebay and

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Ending of Blogathon

Today is the day...the blogathon ends...I'm thankful for the experience of competing in yet another blogathon. I skipped a beat- not posting on May 18th, but that is fine...although I can't say I officially completed the blogathon--- I'm glad that I didn't stop there and give up. My last few days of the blogathon were my best!

I'm thankful to my two guest post bloggers- Jenny and Kusum. They made my blogathon just a bit easier. 

Although this is not my first blogathon, I think I learned the most during it. I am thankful for all I am coming away with. Here are just a few things-

1. The need to be focused and prepared with posting blog updates

2. The desire to want to post nice pictures with each post-- better still to TAKE those said pictures!

3. The need to be consistent

4. Make good use of keywords and use links generously

A hearty congratulations to all those who faithfully blogged for the 31 days without missing a beat!!!!! GOOD JOB!!!!! Keep on spinning out those blog posts for all to read.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wild Wednesday: Top Five

I've seen a couple blogs which looked at their statistics to determine which blog posts were most viewed. Thanks to, I was able to go to my statistics page on what my top five blog posts were for ALL time...that means from the beginning of this blog...

1. Just a Peek- a blog about Boulder, Colorado- I suspect it was most viewed because it had key words like 'Boulder, Colorada'- so people were probably searching for the place and stumbled on that particular post.

2. Reflective Thursday: Lady Jane Grey - This was the predecessor to my now "Feature Friday" where I feature various books, people, memoirs, biographies. In this particular post- Lady Jane Grey was featured. People searching for her must have stumbled on to this post.

3. Wild Wednesday- Crutches vs. Wings - an impromptu post which has surprisingly has made the top five- of all time! I'm not sure what it is about this post which made it one of the top five.

4. Unbirthday Parties - This post is one I was surprised made the top five. It happens to be one of my favorite, but I am pretty sure no one stumbled on it- so they had to make a conscious effort to come and read it. A post about seizing each and every moment and making the most of life!

5. Feature Friday: Mitford Sisters- This is another post which I think could possibly have been stumbled upon. The Mitford sisters are historically well known- and so it makes sense they would attract attention.

After looking at those five posts, I decided to check on what the top five posts were for this month. I was curious to see if there was a difference in the posts which attracted attention during this blogathon. Two of the posts from the former list made the top five. The Crutches vs. Wing post was number one on the list. Just a Peek made it to the number two position.  

The third post which attracted attention was Feature Friday: Tender Mercies. This was a post featuring a book of poetry. The fourth post was the Wild Wednesday: The Wild guessing game. This post definitely attracted a bit of attention because of the interactive aspect of the guessing. The post which placed fifth was Thankful Thursday: Unexpected Friends

There were some posts which I wish had made it to the top five, but they were not there. When I realized that key words probably brought greater traffic flow to certain posts, I know I must be more specific on my key word choices.

We Publish Life

"Take a deep can do this... I know you don't know what you are doing....but you can do this...." These words...