About Maxine Spence

Hello!  Welcome!

Here’s a face to go with the ramblings, although I’ll warn you that I don’t usually look like this.  Yes, I love the country, but I don’t usually spend my time lounging against oversized straw bales in an otherwise empty field.  And usually, in photos, my eyes are closed or my face is goofy and I tend to look a little more . . . disheveled.

But this photo was taken by Susan H. Smith, our wonderful family photographer, who has infinite patience and an unlimited supply of film.  Thank you, Susan! (Check out her link in my blogroll.)

Likewise, what I’m about to tell you “about me” may or may not be 100% accurate either.  What I pronounce true today could have been turned on its head by the time the alarm rings tomorrow morning — which can make for a wild ride (just ask my husband).

Let’s start with the labels since they’re a little more static. I’m a wife to Stephen and a mother to Gabriel and Jacob and those roles have defined me for so long that I can’t even think of any others at the moment.  Except for the roles that either sprout from those two main ones or can easily dovetail with 24/7 parenting: school volunteer, past president of the minor soccer association, manager for my son’s baseball team, director of Christmas pageants, secretary of the arts council, etc, etc, etc.

Holding steady beneath all these roles are my two greatest loves: reading and writing.  These are followed closely by the dream of creating beauty (in a medium other than words). I’m taking baby steps out of the dreaming and into the doing on that one.

I’ve just started to write for myself again.  I used to write for that elusive publisher who might see merit in my scribbles and transform them into a book. And then, one day, I woke up.

I realized that when, and if, one of my manuscripts was selected for publication, I would have absolutely no say in the face it presented to the world. Every design decision would be made by someone who did not know the story as intimately as I do. An illustrator would be chosen with no input from me at all.

Let’s not forget: role #2 listed above was “mother” and the thought of someone else mangling my babies was enough for me to rethink my rash actions. (I have to question my own use of the word “rash,” considering the turnaround time on a picture book submission is anywhere from 3-6 months. But that lengthy lag-time gives a person a whole other reason to rethink the “submit and wait process,” doesn’t it?)

I decided to self-publish my children’s picture book and whoowhee is there a steep learning curve or is there a steep learning curve? So that’s why I’m here.  To share what I’ve learned and provide a place for others to share what they’ve learned so that we can learn together and flatten that curve a bit.

There. That’s enough about me.  How about you?  Who are you? What have you written? Where are you in your self-publishing journey? What have you learned? What do you need to know? There’s a revolution happening in the publishing industry and people like you and I are in the first wave.  Let’s ride it together. 


12 Responses to About Maxine Spence

  1. Darren says:

    Hey Max … I have been taking some time to get “caught up” on you blog during Christmas. Wonderful to say the least. I need to talk to Jacob about “Liam” … didn’t know about that! Very cool.
    Anyway, if it is possible to send encouragement online …. I believe!

    • maxinespence says:

      Thanks, Darren! I appreciate your support. I hope I can do Audrey proud.
      Haven’t seen much of Liam lately – perhaps he’s more of a fair weather friend. I’ll have to ask Jacob what name his snowboard goes by.

  2. lorienyoga says:

    I love the humor that comes through in your writing! And good for you to self-publish. It takes brains, trust, and maybe a little craziness, but it seems a lot more wholesome than watching someone “mangle your babies,” as you mentioned. I can’t wait to read your book.

  3. maxine spence says:

    Well thank you kind Lorien! Brains – maybe. Trust – oodles. And, believe me, more than a little craziness! Thanks for dropping in.

  4. Inez says:

    thank you for exploring this Maxine – and inviting us to join your exploration. Just so you know – the Library has purchased both the print and the audio editions of Cheryl’s book.

    • maxinespence says:

      Maybe you’ll join me, Inez? You are another wide-shouldered woman I know who is juggling a lot! Yeah, for the library for purchasing this wonderful book! (I love my library!) I’ll be sure to let everyone know you have, not one, but TWO versions.

  5. Maxine, I am the program coordinator at the Jake Epp Library in Steinbach, Manitoba. I just noticed your book as it was waiting to get catalogued. Our librarian says that either you or Elsie dropped off a coopy when you were passing through our town on your way home from book promotions. I am wondering if you are planning on making another trip through our little city and if so, would you consider a book reading of any of your books, Leaf , or any other new books. I thought Leaf was a gorgeous book with a great story.
    Tracey Pankratz

    • maxinespence says:

      I will certainly consider any opportunity to read my stories and/or talk to people about books and writing. I’ll give you a call, Tracey, so we can chat further. Thanks so much for your interest!

  6. Chuck McCormack says:

    June callwood twelve weeks in spring…’those who are sleeping’ quote…do you know the origin of this? Was this it’s origin? I read this years ago and always wondered.

  7. Bill Sisson says:

    I just came upon your blog looking for information on one of my family’s favorite childrens authors, Deborah Turney Zagwyn, and found your article from 2011. I’m pretty sure we own all of Zagwyn’s books, and I haven’t seen anything new published since about 2004. Any idea why she might have stopped writing or publishing? Thanks!

    • maxinespence says:

      Hi Bill! I have no idea why Deborah would have stopped – perhaps she is putting her hand to other pursuits. She seems to be overflowing with creative ideas. My fingers are crossed that she’ll take up the pen and watercolors again some day.

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