Sandra Bell Kirchman and Ling Ling

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.

My articles and press releases have appeared in newspapers around North America, starting in the mid-1970s and continuing through to today.  They have included small town newspapers in Wichita, Kansas; Loveland, Colorado; Casper, Wyoming; Seattle, Washington (not so small town);

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.
My husband and I live in the Canadian prairie midlands with our three shih tzus in a lovely wood cabin-looking home, complete with cedar siding.  My current project, an apocalyptic novel called The Rocky Road to the End of the World, is about three-quarters of the way through the first book in the trilogy.  I also write a weekly column for the local online newspaper, EsterhazyOnline.com, called “Puppy Dog Tales.”

2 Responses to “About”

  1. How did you customize your banner?


    • Hi, Teri – here’s how I did it:

      1. Go to dashboard
      2. Select Appearance
      3. Select Theme Options
      4. That should bring up General Settings
      5. Go down to Custom Logo.
      6. Browse your hard drive for the logo you want.
      7. Insert and upload.
      8. Check to make sure it’s there. It should be.

      Hope that helps. You have a very nice site. I subscribed 🙂 If you need to know how to make your featured stories slide across the top, I can help you there too.



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